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Tag Archives: Food Photography

 
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your honey doesn’t have to be complicated. 

“I Love U Berry Much” (Heart-shaped Strawberries) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/6s, -0.7EV, Built-in Rear-Curtain Flash w/Gary Fong “Puffer” Diffuser, -0.3EV

Bottle of bubbly.

Bowl of strawberries.

Melted dark chocolate.

(Clothing optional. 😉 )

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On this day of giving thanks, I am truly grateful for my husband, kitty, warm home, my family, wonderful friends and neighbors, good health, abundance of joyful days and a belly full of turkey! 😉

“Thank-FULL” (Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner) Nikon D300, 62mm, F/5, 1/10s, +0.7EV, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash, -1.0EV

Here’s hoping all your plates are equally full!

Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

Gertrude Noyes (aka, Nancy’s mom) made the most wonderful blueberry cake. Nothing fancy, mind you, but rather a fairly simple cake, dotted with sweet blueberries throughout and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Yummmmm. 🙂

“Gert’s Blueberry Cake” (Blueberry Cake) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.7EV, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

This delicious treat would usually arrive as a surprise on a Saturday or Sunday morning, still warm from the oven, the aroma of cinnamon filling the air. Didn’t matter if we’d already had our breakfast or not. Resistance was futile. 😉

Blueberry Anticipation

Years ago, I was fortunate to acquire the recipe from Nancy which I tucked neatly into my recipe binder. Starting in early August, blueberry memories began wafting into my brain and when I saw quarts of wild blueberries (the best kind) at a local farmstand, I knew I hadto make that cake! Therefore, on a bright Saturday morning, I gathered the ingredients and, following the recipe to the letter, happily anticipated the tasty results.

“Yes, Please” (Blueberry Cake Square) Nikon D300, 50mm, F/5.6, 1/15s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Vignette Blur’ Filter

Hot from the oven, the cake looked and smelled divine. I put a pot on for tea while the cake cooled just a bit and impatiently waited for the moment when I could cut into my blueberry masterpiece. A good deep inhale of that cinnamon aroma and then, finally, that first bite.

Wait for it…wait for it…wait…damn. How could this be? Instead of the expected gastric euphoria, both hubby and I were, well, sadly disappointed. It wasn’t that the cake was bad, but it certainly wasn’t Gert’s. Something was missing. 😦

A couple of days later, I yelled over the fence, “Hey, Nancy! When your mom made her (famous) blueberry cake, did she use lard?” 

“No, she always used shortening.”

“No butter?”

“Nope. Never.”

“Huh. Well, I made the cake and it tasted… flat. And, it wasn’t as moist as hers. Did I over-bake it?”

“Hmmm, I doubt it. What did you use for milk?”

And, just like that, it hit me. You see, back in the day, milk was milk. There wasn’t 2%, 1% or skim, no lactose-free or soy or almond. When a recipe called for milk, it meant wholemilk. An item that is not regularly found in my icebox. Mystery solved. 🙂

“Spread” (Blueberry Cake Buffet) Nikon D300, 45mm, F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

With new confidence in hand (and enough blueberries remaining), it was back to the kitchen to try again. In addition to using whole milk, I also made a few more tweaks to the recipe (we bakers just can’t resist can we? 😉 ).

For example, I like to grease and sugar my cake pans as it adds just a little extra sweetness that flour can not deliver. I also like to layer flavors, so instead of using plain white sugar and plain table salt, I substituted vanilla sugar and vanilla salt. I also used two kinds of vanilla extract since each adds their own bit of ‘something’ to the finished product.

When the timer went off, anticipation along with a bit of nervousness, swelled within me. I prepared the tea, gathered the plates, utensils and napkins, cut and served the slices and then waited for hubby to take the first bite. 

“Have a Bite” (Blueberry Cake) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/100s, -0.7EV, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

“Well?” 

“It’s delicious.”

Woo hoo! 😀

Happily, Nancy concurred and it was a delightful Saturday morning, sipping tea and noshing on a (now) treasured family recipe, shared amongst good friends and remembering a cherub-faced Gert whom, I hope, I made proud.

Folks, it doesn’t get any better than that. 🙂

But in a good way! 🙂

Two summers ago, we tried an intriguing antipasto plate at a Boston test kitchen made up of ingredients one might not think would go well together: watermelon slices, mozzarella, prosciutto and sunflower seeds topped off with a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of (some sort of) vinegar and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and salt. When all the components were eaten together, the combination was both magical and addictive.  

"Summer Cubed" (Watermelon, Mozzarella & Prosciutto Bites) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/30s, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong 'Puffer' Diffuser

“Summer Cubed” (Watermelon, Mozzarella & Prosciutto Bites) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/30s, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

After dinner, I could not get the flavors of that starter out of my mind and set out to recreate the experience, BUT as one fantastic mouthful. It took quite a few attempts (but I admit, even the ‘tries’ were yummy 🙂 ) to get not only the ingredients (type, size and quantity) correct but also, to have them assembled in the perfect order to enhance and compliment each and every one.

"Amuse-bouche" (Watermelon, Mozzarella & Prosciutto Bite) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/60s, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong 'Puffer' Diffuser

“Amuse-bouche” (Watermelon, Mozzarella & Prosciutto Bite) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/4.5, 1/60s, ISO 1000, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser

These little bites have become one of our absolute favorite go-to items for a quick and elegant snack/appetizer/salad/lunch/side/tapas etc., and with summertime watermelon season now in full swing, something that graces our table several times a week. (Plus, they are finger food…no utensils required).

Is there a recipe for these gems? Sadly, not yet. 😦 Like many of my ‘creations’, it merely exists as a scribbling on a scrap of paper lest I forget an ingredient or the order (and yes, both have happened).

Looks like I just might have to consider writing that cook book… 😉

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