Friday, April 11, 2014

Color-Punch Slaw at Anthology

Color. It's where it's at.

Especially with everything spring finally exploding in the great outdoors.

My newest story at Anthology is a vibrant, toothsome recipe that requires absolutely no cooking. There's a good bit of chopping and a little stirring, but I know your muscles need a little workout so that you can be your warm-weather best…. ;) I hope you like it. It really is delicious, one of my steady go-to's that pleases every single time.

It is just as savory-sweet-crunchy-juicy as it looks. To try the slaw for yourself, click here for the full details. Let me know how you love it!  :-)

And don't forget I still have a giveaway on offer!! There's so much to enjoy in Sweet Paul's book, so visit this page for the details if you want a shot at the goods.

Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Chef in the Garden and a Sweet Paul Giveaway!

Spring is here. Things are at last changing. The profusion of blooms of all kinds is happening. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen me get punchy over flowerstrees, and anything else which as been showing itself spring. Yesterday I had the unique opportunity to accompany one of my farmer friends for a field trip, as he dropped off goods to chefs at the best restaurants in town. Everywhere the day took us, there were redbuds, dogwoods, forsythia, and cherry blossoms clamoring for glory.

But I digress. I am doing a *very special* giveaway. Scroll down for a chance at the amazing goodies… 

These images are the path of a longer-term project. Jim and I photographed a unique farm-to-chef-to-table event last year which epitomized what it means to be part of Community. The fact that it was chock-full of sublime flavors and a total blast didn't hurt any. The story just got printed for this month's Birmingham Magazine, and it looks beautiful.

Will and Liz from Heron Hollow Farm - you've seen them here and here - provided one of their pigs for the roast. The five-course meal included all kinds of veg and foraged treats from the kind gents at Mt Laurel Farm, the incredibly pastoral setting for the event. Due to its first-time success, they are repeating this event, with the next Chef in the Garden dinner on May 3rd. Just in time for beautiful spring produce! Click here for tickets!

I am falling in love with all that it means to get to know my farmers.

There are so many more photographs from that beautiful experience. Order a copy of the magazine here to see it in print! As I said earlier there is a larger project underway, so with any luck you will have a chance to see the spectrum of amazing images all together. I'll keep you posted!

And now for the giveaway!!! 

My friend Sweet Paul, *just* released his wonderful new book, Eat & Make: Charming Recipes + Kitchen Crafts You Will Love, and he has offered a SIGNED COPY to one lucky reader of this blog. We have had a great time making beautiful work together over the years, and so I know firsthand how much love he poured into the making of this book. I hope you will enjoy it every bit as much as he had fun producing it.

In order to qualify for the giveaway, follow me in my daily fun over at Instagram. Then leave a comment here: tell me what fun or delicious thing you are especially looking forward to as we finally revel in spring. Please include a link for contact should you win! Due to mailing rates, this giveaway is only eligible to residents in the continental United States, though I LOVE ALL my readers! Cut-off to qualify is April 20th, at 11:59 EST. I will announce the winner the week following…. so stay tuned!!!

Very soon I'll post more great projects that are now complete. I feel incredibly grateful for the community sprouting up everywhere and the gorgeous stories I am taking part in to tell. Have a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sausage-Making with Birmingham Mag and Five Fab Recipes at Food52

I am having so much fun. Thinking of how I eat day-to-day, I love combining ingredients to achieve a delight for the mouth. In the circles I travel, I've been contemplating how to share that with as great an audience as possible, which led me to my new contribution over at Food52.  I think this is the beginning of a rich relationship… ;)

Here are the photographs from the story to whet your appetites - click here for the story with recipe how-to's! All creations by yours truly, and fully taste-tested for deliciousness.

Pasta Puttanesca

Radicchio Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Crumbled Egg

Olive Oil-Dressed Potato Salad with Smoked Paprika and Capers

Salmon-Avocado Toasts with Fried Capers

Cannellini and Farro with Lemon Zest, Herbs, and Fresh Asiago

Get to it and make one - or all - of these. Please come back and let me know which you love most!

In news of the delicious South, I had the great pleasure to photograph Andouille sausage-making with Chef Chris at Homewood Gourmet, and he knows his craft well. In his family for years the recipe is simple, the process specific, and as you can see, produces awesome results. Here is the spread, along with some of my favorites….

Meat, casings, and spices for Andouille

Whether you are laboring over some feast-to-come, or want simple satisfaction for lunch, make tasty food using ingredients that spark your senses.

What else is there if we cannot enjoy the aromas, delight in the shapes and colors, and then relish the crunchy, juicy give of delicious foods we made ourselves? Here's to more good eating, everyday. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Where I Stand and the Road Ahead

I've been thinking about how to devote more time to writing here, sharing my challenges, adventures, and progress along my path. Of course, it has been nice to be so busy with many wonderful freelance projects. I need that. Gotta bring home the bacon somehow, and batting my eyelashes at a farmer friend isn't going to do it.

Here are some of my favorites from my newest feature over at Anthology. It's a French custard, called a flognarde (and really simple to make)...


Since I've been freelance again in an entirely new land, my husband and I have done some fancy footwork to establish stability. I am so grateful for the connections made with - and through - new friends here, and wonder how long this grace will bolster us. I am also grateful for cultivating solid relationships with my clients, and as time has worn on, their belief in me. It has made all the difference.

I know I don't share as many recipes here as I once did. I carry a certain amount of guilt about that, as if I am not taking care of y'all, but I wonder if I'm projecting and if it even bothers you at all. My hope is that you relish the bounty in the step-by-step stories I have been creating in my column over at Anthology - for over 6 months now! - and that their beauty and information (and the link to the recipe, too!) is consolation enough. Check them all out if you haven't seen them already: numbers one, two, three, four, five, six, and now, seven.

What I really am saying is, what do you love that I provide? Are you missing out on things you feel I used to share? Is there anything you want to see more of? I always have a nagging feeling I need to write more. I hide behind my pictures and often hope that's good enough. They speak so well. I am self-conscious of my writing and so, when there's lots of new photography I've produced - like the wonderful recent trip to be with some beloved farmer friends - I plaster it all over and then whisk off to the next project.

Cooking and styling, in addition to my steady shooting - I love this whole picture. I want to share so many moments in food process. There's something about that which is deeply important to me. As a result, sometimes there's less of a volume of work produced, but with a farther exploration into each. I have fun with these stories. I hope you do, too.

So, here's to sharing in all of the "nexts"….

There's housekeeping to be done and writing to do, and a long-term project simmering. Thank you for accompanying me this far, and your support and delight in anticipation for what's to come!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Provencal Fish Stew, Ribollita, Ginger-Daikon Chicken Stew, and Pork with Porcinis and Cream: New Features at The New York Times

As you may guess from the title, I am eating as well as ever. I was tasked with cooking, styling, and photographing these soothing winter recipes, and I love each.

Really, please take the time (which isn't much at all, as it turns out) to make these recipes. The first story, by one of my heroes, Mark Bittman, is a totally no-nonsense bit and each is deceptively easy to prepare. Do it. The pork with porcinis isn't any more difficult. The rewards will show themselves immediately.

Some great photos which didn't make the final cut....

One which did make the cut - and one of my favorites. Glowing gorgeous chicken stew, you...

And the pork - lentil - porcini - slab bacon - celery - cream recipe.... need I say more?

I enjoyed these recipes immensely and it didn't hurt that two rounds of snow hit Alabama - aka the snowpocolypse - while working on them. Oh, the good eating.

If you prepare any please let me know what you think, or, if you have any favorites. I've had a difficult time deciding.

We all want spring to hurry up and make its way on the scene, but if we have to suffer in the cold, there's no better food than stuff like this!