I Melt With You

Not sure if it’s the same for you, but we’re melting here. I mean, it’s 96 degrees outside. It’s April. I’m confused. And sweaty. But happy! And you know why? Because while stepping outside to grab an orange off my tree I looked up and noticed these glorious little orbs. Already. Yes. Nectarines on my tree.

It’s gonna be a great summer. Albeit an early one.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend, everyone. Big hugs from me to you.

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In The Kitchen With Design*Sponge

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Augh! Finally! Have you seen this? I’m on Design*Sponge’s In The Kitchen this week and I can’t tell you how much of an honor it is.

I think it may have been about six months ago when Grace and Kristina asked me to submit something, but I lagged and lagged and didn’t just want to give her something I’ve run before. I felt it had to be new and original, and then I spent about the next 5 months or so trying to figure out what that could possibly be.

The idea hit me when a grower at my local farmers’ market had a box of beet greens for practically nothing. I’ve been a huge fan of beet greens for some time and was thrilled to be able to take home a nice hefty bag of those stems. Not that I don’t like the beets, but I didn’t particularly feel like roasting, ya know? And the idea was born: share one of my favorite recipe for greens. And it’s a dish that can be vegan, vegetarian or not, it’s really versatile and so completely delicious.

Remember folks, you don’t have to discard the tops of beets. Eat them!

So head on over to Design*Sponge to check it out!

And yes, that’s my home office there and me in my bathtub. I bet you had no idea I was so wacky, what, with me being Mr. Serious all the time.

* * * * * * *

As a little behind-the-scenes, here’s what it took to get the greens & polenta shot as well as an outtake.

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Clockwise from top left

1. Yes, that’s my man on the floor. What he won’t do for a good picture. In this case I rushed him so that I could eat the dish which I promptly did while sitting on the garage floor. I’m so romantic.

2. A bigger view of the surface and the set tray. Don’t think those extra little bits of pancetta went to waste. They didn’t.

3. Here’s an outtake of the recipe shot. This was
my original image but I didn’t feel as if you could see enough of beet
greens. Hey, it happens.

4. Here’s the set I put together for shot before I decided to do an overhead. I have a collection of old wood that comes in handy. That big white thing is my scrim which diffuses light and creates a much softer spill. It basically becomes a big giant softbox. It’s not always necessary but the sun was pretty bright that morning.


On The Job

This isn’t food related but it’s photo related. I do hope that’s ok.

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I recently completed my first big ad agency shoot on Monday (that picture above is from last month) and man oh man I couldn’t be happier. I don’t want to get in trouble by revealing too much about who it was for and all that stuff just yet but here are some of my initial observations:

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1. Accept the fact that the prop stylist will bring things you covet and drool over and no, you cannot keep them and take them home. Including that perfect little glass you’ve been looking for for about 6 months. This makes my heart hurt.

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2. My first time around and the big wig agency people were dreams come true; gorgeous, warm, all smiles, friendly with an idea of what they wanted. It was magic.

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3. After all this time I actually feel like I know what I’m doing. Who knew?

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4. Do not tease, provoke, annoy or trip the food stylist. You’ve been warned.

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5. Mary Sue Milliken is as nice in person as I thought she’d be. She rocks.

Avocados

6. Staring at avocados for 10 hours did nothing to diminish my unshakeable love for those things.

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7. Do not leave obnoxiously-sized muffins laying about in the late afternoon. They will be consumed by me until they’re gone. So much for my recent pattern of healthy snacking.

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8. When technology and creativity work together it’s a beautiful thing. When they fight or argue, well, I never realized I knew so many swear words.

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9. Ok, I give up, I admit it. I WILL hire an assistant. I promise.

Gratitude

10. When you love what you do and have the best significant other in the entire world, well, let’s just say life is a blessing and the work has meaning. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Please forgive the hokey illustrations. I have never claimed to be an illustrator and just looking at the uneven drawing of the glass in item #1 proves that I should stay away from pen and paper.