Inspiration: Food Photography

Last Monday I spoke about looking for inspiration in different places.  And one area that has been a serious source for me is food- and no I am not just talking about all the food I’ve been eating!  Since arriving to Singapore I have had the opportunity to take lots of food photography.  I really enjoy the challenge of trying to capture the vibrant colors and varied textures of the different dishes and ultimately translating those images into ones that leave your taste buds calling out.  Or at least that is the goal!

Here are some of my favorite images from this past weekend:

Food Photography 1

 

Food Photography 2

 

Food Photography 3

 

Food Photography 4

 

I took these photographs at brunch this past Sunday and was just wildly impressed by all of the displays.  I love the greens and different shades of oranges and reds and pinks.  There also was some fantastic contrast in terms of texture that gave the dishes beautiful dimension.  Too me the dishes were almost too perfect to eat…. almost!

 

Tell me, do these photos leave you inspired?  Or more importantly, do they leave you hungry?  Where did you find inspiration over this past week?

30 Lessons for 30: Health Lessons

4 days into my 30 Lessons for 30 series! And while I’ve already covered a wide variety of topics, there is still a lot I want to say.  After some serious consideration I wanted to talk Health Lessons today.

Now this may seem like a broad subject- and it is.  As a result my Health Lessons vary in topic but all share one commonality: being the healthiest version of one’s self.  Some of these lessons I knew theoretically and didn’t really learn until I had to apply them to my own life.  In other cases I watched people I know follow (and not follow) these tips and it had a profound impact on the outcome of their situation.

Hopefully these reminders will be good for you too- after all, how can we be the best versions of ourselves if we don’t do our best to care for ourselves?

Health LessonsHealth Lessons:

1)  Food can be your greatest friend or your greatest enemy.  Just like the old adage says, you are what you eat.  So eat whole, eat local and eat organic as much as possible.

2)  Drink lots and lots of water.  I know.  You’ve heard it a million times.  But remember drinking water not only hydrates you it also helps with physical functions.  Moreover, drinking water ensures that you aren’t drinking sugar and calorie filled beverages.

3)  Stay active.  Hate the gym?  Fine.  But that isn’t an excuse to sit around all day.  Find an activity and do it.  Your body needs activity to work at its optimum level.

4)  Sleep.  Oh gosh- someone needs to tell me to take my own advice on this one.  But seriously, your body needs sleep in order to recover from all the stressors it is put through.

5)  Be your own medical advocate!  Don’t trust others to make all the decisions, be informed and partake in the conversation.

6)  Don’t forget your mind.  It should be just as much a priority as physical health.  Take care of your mind and don’t take on more than you can handle.  Just like your body needs time to recharge, so does your mind.  So find something you do just for you.

 

Those are my Health Lessons!  Again, I’d love to know: what would you add to this list?

 

Other 30 Lessons for 30 topics include: Relationship Lessons, Fashion and Beauty Lessons and Career Lessons.  Make sure to check them out!

Roasted Veggie And Hummus Pizza

I haven’t done one of these in awhile.  But, I just had to share the easiest recipe in the universe with you.  Seriously.  It is a Roasted Veggie and Hummus Pizza – or at least that is what I love to call it!

This is something that is great for a quick dinner or as an appetizer if you have friends over (bonus- it can be Vegan!  Just check the puff pastry…).

Now before you look at my ingredients I have to qualify them:  I am normally pretty strict about shopping organic and local, and in this case the veggies are.  However, I couldn’t find the organic hummus and puff pastry at Whole Foods, so I settled for these options.  Please don’t judge me too harshly! Alright…. Qualifying done!

Roasted Veggie and Hummus Pizza

Ingredients:
-Veggies for Roasting (I chose Heirloom Tomatoes and Broccolini)
-Hummus
-Puff Pastry

Yep.  That’s it.  If you want to brush some olive oil over the veggies or add some salt & pepper, go for it.  But it isn’t necessary!  Promise! (Although Lukus likes to add a little hot sauce afterwards, but he does that to everything)

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400*F/ 205*C
2.  After defrosting one of the pastry sheets (this is the only part that requires planning), unroll it on a foil lined cookie sheet.
3.  Add a layer of hummus to the puff pastry.

4.  Slice veggies and top the hummus with them (go ahead, make it look pretty!)
5.  Bake for 15- 20 min or until pastry has puffed and the veggies are roasted.
6.  DONE!  Yep, that is it!

Seriously.  It is that insanely easy.  Now go.  Eat a Roasted Veggie and Hummus Pizza!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

It has been a very long time since I shared a recipe.  For that I am deeply sorry. (I blame my kitchen that is not conducive for photography, let alone cooking!)

I promise to make up for it by sharing a seriously delicious treat.  I’m talking a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate!

What?  You think you’ve seen this recipe before?  Trust me, you haven’t.  I am not relying on gimmicks.  No chocolate powder, condensed milk or caramel candies here.  This is the real deal.  And trust me, it is worth it.  It is serious salted caramel hot chocolate goodness!


Ingredients: (Serves 2)
¼ tsp Salt (use the good stuff)
½ C Semisweet Chocolate (chips are fine)
2 C Milk (I used skim—maybe it offsets all the rest of the bad stuff!)
¼ C Granulated Cane Sugar
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream

Optional:
Dark Spiced Rum (This is for the grownups, but is not necessary for enjoyment)
Whipped Cream (Please make your own! No need to sweeten it…)

Directions:
1) In one saucepan add salt, chocolate and milk. Turn to medium heat (careful not to boil!), allowing chocolate to melt. Stir occasionally.


2) In a second saucepan set heat to medium-high and add the sugar. As the sugar begins to melt stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn.
3) Once the sugar is smooth add butter. Resume stirring until the butter is melted.

4) Remove caramel mixture from the heat and add the heavy cream. The mixture will foam a lot (don’t worry, it’s supposed to). Continue to stir until the caramel sauce is smooth.
5) Pour the chocolate milk over the caramel mixture. Again you will be stirring to make sure the two mixtures are well combined. (Basically this is a serious arm workout!)
6) Pour into mugs, add optional ingredients (or not) and enjoy your Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate!

Blackberry & Nectarine Heaven

It has been awhile.  Hasn’t it?  When was the last time you saw a recipe from me?  Much too long ago, I know!  So I am making it up to you now.  And I am doing so with pie.

Not just any pie.  This is a blackberry and nectarine pie.  Ahhhh…. Now you are with me.  Good.  Just in time for the recipe!

Wait— time out— I am not going to give you the step-by-step of making the crust.  This is for two reasons:

  1. I did not create the recipe.  I used the combination of butter & shortening recipe from Simply Recipes, and it is delicious.
  2. I just lied to you.  I didn’t use anything.  Lukus used the recipe.  He made the pie crust.  Yes, he is on crutches.  But he volunteered!  Don’t judge me.

So I am going to give the recipe as though you have two prepared pie crusts.  I recommend you make them yourself (or have your injured husband do it), but I will forgive you if you go the store-bought route.

Back to the recipe….

Ingredients:

  • 2 Prepared 9 inch Crusts
  • 1 Egg White (beaten)
  • 3-4 Nectarines (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 cups Blackberries
  • 1 Lemon (juiced)
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup & 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar (divided)
  • 1/3 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Butter (cut into pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425*F/218*
  • Line a glass baking dish with the first crust.  Brush the egg white over the crust.

  •  In a medium size bowl, combine the nectarines, blackberries, lemon juice, vanilla extract, sugar, brown sugar and flour into a bowl.  Mix gently.
  •  Add the ingredients from the bowl to the pie shell.  Top with butter pieces.

 At this point you have a couple of options:  you can add the entire top crust as double crust (see the pie crust recipe for instructions) or you can try your hand at the lattice pattern Lukus tried.  It is your call.  The world is your oyster (or in this case it is your pie!).

  • Once you picked the crust, brush the cream along the top of the pie and sprinkled with sugar.
  • Then the pie goes in the oven.  After 15 minutes drop the temp to 375*/190* and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
  • Pull the pie out of the oven, let cool.  And Enjoy!