Sandra Lee Hero Shot for March issue
WOW. I recently had the opportunity this past January to assist on a photo shoot for Sandra Lee at her house in Westchester for a series of food and holiday shots for Sandra Lee magazine with my photographer friend, Jill Lotenberg. We set up and shot 15 different photos of Sandra in various settings around her home and kitchen, with gorgeous food and cocktails for her holiday and entertainment-themed magazine spreads with recipes. The house had a full crew and production team including food stylists, prop stylists, makeup artists, photographers and a team of assistants working around the clock to set up the lighting, food and drinks, props and sets around the house, and of course styling Sandra herself to be gorgeous and photo ready for the perfect final beauty shots for the magazine. The photos turned out great, and it was a cool opportunity to meet Sandra and her team in person. The shot above is currently in the March 2013 issue out on newsstands..stay tuned for more as they are published!
Anti-Arthritis, Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: Healing through Natural Foods
Yay! The time has finally arrived – the cookbook I shot and styled for Gary Null Power Foods arrived on my doorstep yesterday, HOT off the press!
I styled and shot this cookbook last August-September and it was a 6-week process with plenty of long days and nights, cooking, styling and shooting, with lots of laughter and intensity, for Gary Null’s new cookbook titled Anti-Arthritis, Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: Healing through Natural Foods. The cookbook has over 270 recipes that are Vegan, Vegetarian and Raw Food based on the premise of promoting a healthy diet while preventing and reversing arthritis, diabetes, cancer and inflammation through eating raw, vegan and power foods.
I worked with Gary and his editorial team throughout the process to interpret the recipes into appealing, fresh and healthy images for the cookbook. I also collaborated side by side with two amazing Chefs; Wes Wobles and William Shear, day and night (literally!) to turn the recipes into beautifully plated works of art which were styled meticulously in the kitchen and by myself on set, to create the perfect final beauty shot.
I’m very proud to have been the stylist and photographer on this awesome project and part of this dynamic project team that made the cookbook come to life in such a short time – it turned out beautifully with full color photos, a clean design and a comprehensive healthy eating program that might turn any meat-loving carnivore into a Vegan or Vegetarian just yet! The recipes are simple and easy to prepare with raw ingredients including grains, fruits, vegetables, and non-meat soy proteins flavored with plenty of fresh herbs and seasonings. There are recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Salads, Soups and Desserts plus plenty of sauces and dips along with healthy appetizers. Gary also explains the nutritional aspects to a Vegan and Vegetarian Raw food diet with an eating plan spelled out and easy to follow.
Light, healthy and fresh is the name of the game in this cookbook, and it’s arrived just in time for Spring to lighten up your diet and get healthy! Who knew eating meat-free could be so tasty? I just might give it a try
Purchase a copy of the book online
View gallery of some of my fav photos I shot for the book
Kudos to the Cookbook Team!
Kind Testimonial from Gary Null
Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the photoshoot:
Mushroom Bean Curry with Butternut Squash
Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
Coconut Cherry Ice Cream
Penne Pasta and Kidney Bean Soup
Fennel and Pecan Salad with Peaches
Sweet and Sour Bean Stew
Chickpea Burger and Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Spaghetti with Eggplant Marinara
Sticky Sweet Rice with Papaya
Bulgur and Vegetables
Apple Cinnamon French Toast
Bitters Sweet Salad
Millet Coriander Stir Fry
And now for some fun behind the scenes shots on set:
Chef Wes Wobles in the Kitchen
Kristen on set shooting garden scene
Making Homemade Granola
Arranging items on set
Plating the dish and prepping the shot
Setting up the props for the final shot
It’s that time of year again – holiday parties filled with plenty of cocktails, socializing and finger food much to our heart’s desire to celebrate this sparkly season. I teamed up with a photographer friend of mine, Maike Paul, to do a Holiday Cocktail Party photo shoot and we had waayyyyy too much fun!
We chose five of our favorite cocktails to concoct, style, shoot (and drink, of course), along with a few nibbles to compliment. So here’s the lineup: Whiskey Sour with Stuffed Mushrooms, Classic Martini with Spiced Mixed Nuts, Mulled Wine with Cheese and Crackers, Pisco Sour, and a luscious White Russian for dessert. I know you’ll love all of these recipes for your next holiday cocktail party as much as we did. And Happy Holidays to all of you - CHEERS!
1 small lemon wedge
Turbinado sugar, for rimming glass
1/4 cup bourbon, preferably Maker’s Mark
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, preferably organic
1 cup ice cubes
Rub the lemon wedge around the rim of a 12-ounce rocks glass. Place turbinado sugar in a shallow dish. Dip the rim of the glass in the sugar to coat; set aside.
In a large cocktail shaker, combine bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and ice. Cover, and shake vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and cold. Pour into prepared glass, and garnish with orange slice.
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
Fresh ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons EVOO
16 large white mushrooms, stemmed
White Truffle Oil (a few sprays or 1-2 tablespoons for brushing)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped fine
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stem the mushrooms and chop the stems into fine pieces, set aside. In a mixing bowl, blend together bread crumbs, cheese, chopped mushroom stems, garlic, parsley, chile flakes, garlic salt and pepper with EVOO. Adjust olive oil amount to your liking until filling is soft and blended well.
Stuff mushroom caps (cavity side up) with the filling (generously) on a greased baking sheet. Spray or brush truffle oil on outer mushroom caps.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are golden brown. Garnish with fresh mint.
Makes 16 servings.
Classic Dry Martini
1 2/3 oz Gin
1/3 oz Dry Vermouth
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with twist of lemon peel or olives.
Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash Louisiana-style hot sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices; set aside. In a large heavy skillet, melt butter. Add cashews, pecans and cashews; cook over medium heat until nuts are lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Add the brown sugar, water, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until sugar is melted.
Place nuts on a large baking sheet lined with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until nuts are golden brown. Remove from oven and let nuts cool before serving. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 2 cups.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
Mulled Red Wine with Brown Sugar
Mulled Red Wine with Brown Sugar
Two bottles of fruity red wine (Zinfandel or Merlot)
Zest strips from one orange
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
Put the peppercorns, fennel seeds and cinnamon in a large tea ball or wrap them in cheesecloth and secure them with kitchen string. In a large saucepan, combine aromatics with the wine, bay leaves and orange zest.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the aromatics and orange zest strips. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.
Serve warm in glasses or mugs with a variety of cheeses and crackers and spiced nuts.
Recipe from Food and Wine Cocktails.
2 oz Pisco
1 oz Lemon or Lime Juice
1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/4 oz Sugar
1/2 Egg White
Shake all ingredients except bitters with ice. Strain into champagne flutes.
Dash with bitters and drag with a toothpick to make design.
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Kahlua
Half and Half Cream
Pour coffee liqueur and vodka into ice-filled old fashioned glass and fill with milk or cream.
Alternatively you can shake it all up in a cocktail mixer and strain over ice.
Garnish with coffee beans or cocoa powder.
Lobster Rolls & July 4 Feast
Summer is the time of year where all I want to do is flee to the ocean, bask in some sunshine and eat some really good seafood. With July 4th approaching us, my photographer friend and partner Maike Paul decided we wanted to do a test shoot together and make some crazy good Lobster Rolls and a July 4th Feast.
We picked up a fresh lobster at a local seafood market in Brooklyn (who we named Lobster Louie) and he accompanied us as we walked around Williamsburg searching for a big steam pot and some fresh ingredients and props to make our succulent Lobster Rolls. We picked up some fresh corn on the cob, scallions, chives, celery, and lemons, some crunchy Kettle chips, Corona and limes, heirloom tomatoes and lettuce to make a salad to accompany our feast.
Lobster Rolls are fairly easy to make – and if you’re squeamish like I am, you might want to get a helper to cook the lobster in the steam pot (we recruited Maike’s boyfriend). One tip I recommend is to put the whole lobster in the freezer for about 15 minutes before boiling it as it makes the lobster “sleepy” – it’s a more humane way to cook a live lobster and you’ll feel less guilty, I promise. You can also use frozen lobster if you just don’t want to deal with the complication and doom all together!
Lobster Rolls & July 4 Feast
We brushed some light butter on the hot dog buns and put them in a grill pan for a few minutes to make them toasty and browned. New England-style buns are the best, but if you can’t find them, regular top-split buns are fine.
To make the corn on the cob, boil it first for about 10 minutes to soften it and then brush the corn with some butter and throw them in a grill pan or a charcoal grill to get some nice grill marks and then top it off with some sea salt and Old Bay Seasoning or paprika for some extra savory flavor. Make a fresh green salad with heirloom tomatoes and a light lemon vinaigrette to accompany along with some crunchy BBQ Kettle Chips and a cold, refreshing Corona with lime. Now that’s a July 4 feast to remember! Enjoy.
Crazy Good Lobster Rolls & a July 4 Feast
- 3/4 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 cup fresh chives, thinly sliced (plus more for garnish)
- 1/4 cup fresh green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 lb. (4 cups) cooked lobster meat
- 6 hot dog rolls, New England-style or split-top rolls
- 4-6 fresh corn on the cob, husked
- butter, for basting corn and hot dog rolls
- 4-6 small heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 head green leaf lettuce
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon vinaigrette dressing, for salad
- 2-3 limes, for Corona
- Bring a large steam pot full of water to a rolling boil and prep all fresh ingredients. Boil lobster for about 10-12 minutes and let cool for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the lobster claws and the tail and split open the shell to remove fresh cooked lobster, and cut up the lobster meat into large chunks and remove residue by rinsing under cold water.
- In a large bowl, add the lobster meat and stir in celery, mayonnaise, water, chives, green onions, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper, Old Bay seasoning or paprika. Season to taste with more lemon, paprika, salt, and pepper if desired. Garnish with additional chopped chives.
- Boil the corn on the cob for about 10 minutes until soft. Brush with butter and grill in a grill pan for about 5 more minutes until grill marks appear. Sprinkle with sea salt and Old Bay seasoning or paprika.
- Brush the hot dog rolls lightly with butter, and grill in a grill pan over medium-high until they get browned and toasty. Serve the lobster salad in toasted buns with the corn on the cob and a fresh green salad with heirloom tomatoes and a light lemon vinaigrette dressing and fresh ground black pepper.
- Serve with a bowl of crunchy BBQ Kettle chips and a Corona with lime or crisp Sauvignon Blanc white wine.
If using a whole live lobster, put in the freezer for 15 minutes before boiling - this is a more humane way of cooking the lobster. You can also use frozen lobster tails if you desire equalling 4 cups to make this recipe. An alternative to the mayo-based lobster salad is to toss the fresh cooked lobster in some butter with fresh tarragon and salt and pepper (Connecticut-style)!
Watch the video from Fine Cooking on how to humanely cook a live lobster
Food Network Lobster Rolls by Sarah’s Secrets
Amateur Gourmet’s Lobster Rolls
Ellie Krieger’s Lobster Rolls
Connecticut-Style Lobster Rolls by Serious Eats
Lobsters with Laura Lobster Rolls
Food Styling & Photography Workshop w/ Bea Peltre
I recently attended an amazing food styling and photography workshop with Beatrice Peltre, of La Tartine Gourmande at Haven’s Kitchen in NYC. Bea is an amazing Chef, food stylist and photographer and author of the cookbook La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life and one of my favorite food bloggers on the planet! If you don’t know Bea, she is very talented and creative – not only in her cooking and recipes but in her unique, fresh, colorful food styling and photography that has given her fame in the food community.
The workshop was at Haven’s Kitchen, a great cooking school and event space in Chelsea, NYC. If you haven’t visited this place you must next time you visit New York! The front area is stocked full of gourmet food items, cooking tools and utensils, kitchenware, and housewares; and they also serve coffee and tea, wine and great gourmet snacks. They offer small group cooking classes in their great location too, which you can check out online. The kitchen was set up with all of the fresh, beautiful food that we cooked and prepared together with Bea before we went upstairs to the private event space to prop, style and shoot the gourmet dishes we prepared.
After the shoot, we all sat down for a healthy gorgeous lunch of smoked salmon, veggie and dill cream tartines, fresh fruit and salads, cheese, gourmet pizzas and more. We laughed and ate, and had great conversation among the group and learned valuable lessons in the art of cooking, food styling and photography with Bea.
Check out my photos from the workshop and event below (there’s a slideshow on Flickr and a mini-gallery below for viewing pleasure). And if you have the opportunity to ever take a class from Bea or Haven’s Kitchen, I highly recommend! Enjoy.
VIEW THE SLIDESHOW
Food Styling & Photography Workshop w/ Bea Peltre