I shouldn’t complain. I really shouldn’t. Our kitchen is quite lovely, especially for a city apartment. I’ve heard about (in fact, I’ve cooked in) some tiny spaces that barely fit one or two people. We actually have a table in ours and have managed to fit 15+ folks in the room (standing, of course). For me, the real challenge comes with the light. If you’re just eating in there, it’s fine… but for those of us who
obsessively take pictures of our food, well, a well-lit kitchen is key.
Rarely do I photograph dishes in our kitchen, instead I move things out to our living room or our back deck to get the shots. It often means I need to get creative, shooting things close up or using textured backgrounds to make it pop.
If I need to work on a bigger project, I pack up bags of props, my lenses and any ingredients and I take a trip to my mother-in-law’s to use her newly renovated kitchen. The light in there is magnificent and with all the beautiful appliances, I get a little spoiled by the experience.
This is what I did just last week on a day when I needed to do a shoot for a client and wanted to also work on a dish for the OXO “Very Vegetarian Recipe Challenge,” which I’m really thrilled to be a part of. The guidelines for this competition are as follows: use three of the six OXO gadgets they were so generous to send participants to make a vegetarian dish that can serve at least 2 people, be made in 30 minutes or less, and incorporated veggies, a starch/grain, and dairy. Sounds easy, right? Well, we also couldn’t use certain things, like blenders, a Dutch oven, or my favorite kitchen appliance, a food processor (WAH!!!!). But, you know what? When forced to think outside the box, you tend to do your best work and, I have to say, I think this was one fantastic salad. In fact, I plan on putting this on my Thanksgiving menu. Yeah, it was that good.
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I don’t bake many cakes. I’m always happy to eat them, but the thought of frosting a triple-tiered cake stresses me out. It’s probably for the best that we don’t have these treats around the house, as will power has never been one of my strengths. There are no calories in a sliver or in a finger swipe of icing, right?
Breakfast breads are the cakes I so fondly remember from my childhood… banana bread or a sour cream coffee cake were made often, prepared for Sunday brunch or a quick afternoon snack. I don’t make them quite as frequently as my mom does, but I do get the urge from time to time. They don’t last long, either. I’ll cut the majority for Eric to take to work, give a few pieces to friends, and save the rest for us to enjoy for a few days.
When asked to create a recipe for the KitchenAid blog, The Kitchenthusiast
, I knew a coffee cake was in order. Baking a cake with pistachios has been on my list for a long time (years, in fact), so I used it as an opportunity to play around with what I believed would be the perfect pairing: pistachios and sour cream coffee cake
. And this guy (and his taste-tester husband) were not at all disappointed.
Disclaimer: While I was compensated for this post, all opinions here are my own.
I’ve had some unsuccessful attempts at making ice cream. I blame myself for the majority of these failures (if one can refer to them as such… can something that has cream and sugar in it be bad?). My mistake has always been that I’ve made ice cream in the middle of summer. Now, that might make perfect sense to you folks, but when you keep your apartment at 76 degrees on a balmy day, well, things aren’t likely to freeze very easily. I think my ice cream maker was having issues too. So, between those two things, the stuff wasn’t turning out the way I’d hoped.
Anyway, I decided recently that I’m not giving up. Nope. In fact, I want to start making ice cream on a regular basis. Maybe not every week, but once or twice a month (I think it might be time to get back into that gym routine). I may not post every success on here, but given how good this turned out, I thought it’d be wrong to keep it to myself. Despite my obsession with Jeni’s Ice Cream and her beautiful book
(which, shockingly, has sat on my book shelf, virtually untouched for two years. Well, let me tell you, that book has now found a permanent place in our kitchen.
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I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. I’m celebrating a birthday this weekend… the last year in my 20s. I know, SO OLD! I must admit that I’ve been looking forward to turning the big THREE-OH for a while. And now that we are only a year a way, we can start planning (not that I haven’t been for the past five years). Seriously, I have visions… and it involves a multi-course seafood dinner at a well known New York establishment (Eric, are you reading this?).
We’re keeping my 29th birthday quiet this year, because Eric and I could use a little alone time after a summer full of travel and family vacations and work… and more work. The Cape house is ours (ALL OURS) and our goal is to just sit on the deck, read, listen to music, sleep, drink, eat… drink some more, eat some more. We do have grand plans to pull out the charcoal grill to smoke some more bluefish, as well as salmon and maybe even oysters (I know, I know… tough life). Oh, yes, and there will be margaritas. Not sure you knew that I’m a tequila fan. A fresh margarita and some fish tacos… I don’t really need anything else.
My friend, fellow blogger and Boys Club contributor, Greg Henry, has come out with a wonderful new book full of unique cocktail recipes called Savory Cocktails. I had it on our coffee table for a few days and Eric and I kept poking through it, tabbing recipes we want to try. For any cocktail enthusiasts out there, this book is totally for you.
Greg and the publisher of Savory Cocktails have been generous enough to offer a copy to give away to one A Thought For Food reader.
To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post (would love to hear what your favorite cocktail is).
Bonus entry: Tweet about the giveaway by clicking here, then come back to tell us you’ve done so.
Giveaway Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Open to US and Canadian residents only . Giveaway will end on September 20th 2013 at 12:00 pm EST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.
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