It was a pleasure shooting the newish spot Last Word in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood for Zagat. From the guys at Woodfire Grill and chefs Eddie Russell and Matt Palmerlee, Last Word took over the spot that was once P'Cheen. The small space hosts an interesting menu and AWESOME cocktails.When I went to dine, I had one of THE BEST bowls of pea soup I've ever had. Anyway, check out the zagat story here and dine there!
Oh, what a life. I have been super busy these past few weeks doing so many fun great things that I haven't had any time to spend on the internet updating things. Oh well, I don't mind it. One great thing I got to do was shoot Katie + Luke and their precious baby Eve at their house in Kirkwood over a couple of glasses of rose. Yes, it was pretty awesome. I used to think I was terrible at shooting people, but I've realized the trick... photograph really awesome people and you get really awesome photographs. Well, that might not hold true all the time, but in the case of this badass family, it was. Enjoy!
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I recently got to shoot American Food and Beverage in the new Buckhead Ave developement for Zagat. The space is well designed and the bar maintains a lovely bartender who was very pumped to have me sit at the bar taste some delicious bourbons at 2pm. Not a bad day at all... See the full Zagat shoot here.
I LOVED getting to shoot Kevin Ouzts' new spot, The Cockentrice, for Zagat a few months back. Kevin became a trusted badass of a charcutier through his shop, The Spotted Trotter, selling there as well as farmer's markets around Atlanta. I'm excited to see where he goes as head chef and restaurateur and The Cockentrice located in Krog Street Market. The space is absolutely beautiful, and the food has yet to disappoint. I am really excited to go back and try his vegetable plate, which I've heard is devine. Check out the full Zagat story here.
I love getting to know people through taking their picture. And I definitely love getting to know couples through an engagement session. Sarah and Steven are not only a dream team, but also a dream to work with. We had an awesome session wandering the Goat Farm snapping whenever the mood struck. With lots of laughs and story telling, the day couldn't have been more perfect. Oh, except that we got to hang out with the Goat Farm's mascot and protector that we named Frank. Frank was the icing on the cake. Thanks, Sarah and Steven, for being awesome and letting me capture such a special moment!
I count my lucky stars every day that I get to live in state that allows me to easily travel to a beautiful coastline, a panoramic mountain scene, or rich lake system all in under about 5 hours. Georgia is rich with so many beautiful places that on any given weekend, you might be pressed to figure out just where to go. Luckily, there is the Georgia Conservancy that makes that choice very easy for you. A local non profit protecting Georgia's land and water, the Georgia Conservancy plays host to an array of awesome weekend volunteer and leisure trips. Trips range from the barrier islands like Sapelo and Ossabaw, to river paddles on the Flint and Altamaha, all the way up to North Georgia in the Cohuttas and the Len Foote Hike Inn... just to name a few. You can't go wrong with any trip. Conservancy employees serve as wonderful hosts and guides, and you can't beat meeting all the cool fellow trip attendees.
This past December, I headed down to Cumberland Island with the Georgia Conservancy and had a blast! You can't beat camping under live oak trees, waking up to a killer sunrise morning after morning, or biking amongst the Island's historical landmarks. Although this is my second time on the Island, there is so much to see and do. It's near impossible to see it all in one weekend.
Above are the ruins of Dungeness, which burnt down in 1959. The grounds of Dungeness are rich with history and lovely to tour. Also, you'll find a couple of orange trees around the property, which is a nice little bonus.
Make sure to check out the Georgia Conservancy's great list of 2015 trips and sign up today!
It's been a minute, but I enjoyed getting a little photographic preview of Le Bilboquet in Buckhead for Zagat. Housed in the new Buckhead Avenue developments, the restaurant is beautiful inside and out with lots of natural light and pretty decent parisian vibe. Looking forward to going back and testing the food, but I did get a little taste of their Rosé French 75, which of course you know is going to be tasty. Check out the accompanying Zagat write-up here!
I love New Year's. I love reflecting on the year, but more importantly, I love looking forward to the next one. I am one of those that jumps at the chance to write lists and goals and resolutions. Mine aren't as simple (or as hard to stay true to) as 1. work out 2. eat better, etc etc... They are little more involved, and this year, I have some pretty good ones.
This past year hasn't been the most pleasant. Sure, it's been filled with so many wonderful things- a healthy family, a loving cat, a wonderful relationship, wonderful professional opportunities, but I've also been riddled with a few insecurities. It's been a year of lots of growth and change, which as we all know, can be difficult. I, personally, have grown and changed a lot and have watched as a lot of my relationships have as well. I'm assuming this happens to most humans about to enter into their 30's. I'm thankful to those around me that love and value me all the way to my core. There really is nothing more important in this world than relationships you maintain and the people you surround yourself with. I'm looking forward to moving into 2015 with a stronger sense of what those relationships mean and how to keep them safe. At the same time, I look forward to adopting a "I don't give a fuck" attitude to all the haters in the world. This has been the year of learning that there will ALWAYS be people with negative things to say or vibes to give off. I found myself spending so much time obsessing over the negativity. I look forward to saying "whatever" and moving right along. Because, ain't nobody got time for that.
I look forward to being healthy, happy, and always keeping a packed suitcase for whatever travels may come my way. I wish all you out there a wonderful New Year filled with the same.
Bring it on, 2015!
I had a blast shooting some family portraits* for the Lennox family recently here in Atlanta. Baby Jack is cute as a button, and I think all babies/humans need lobster hats like the one pictured below. We shot these portraits in Michael's new restaurant, Ladybird, right on the Beltline... a must visit if you haven't been.
*I've got a a special holiday rate for portraits through January 15th... hour-long sessions for $150. Sessions usually provide about 25-40 images uploaded to a dropbox or google drive for easy download.*
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I had such a blast shooting Lizz + Andrew's beautiful October wedding at the new and very awesome Howard Mansion in Kirkwood, Atlanta. The space was badass and the couple couldn't be more awesome. I'm so pumped I got to spend the day shooting them and their special day.
Congratulations to the awesome couple, and wishes for many many happy years! Thanks for letting me photograph your kickass day!
I had a lovely time shooting an event for the lovely ladies of Huff Harrington Fine Art. You might know their Home store a little better, but if you haven't been to one of their gallery openings, I suggest you go! They invited a bluegrass band to play while they showcased some beautiful "pastoral" themed art. They definitely maintain a more laid back and fun vibe than some other gallery openings I've been to. So glad I got to shoot for such a fun group of women! Thanks, Huff Harrington!
*Please feel free to contact me for holiday event photo rates !
Happy Wednesday CFM friends! I hope you’ve been enjoying these last few INSANELY gorgeous days in Atlanta, and as a result I hope you have welcomed this very rainy and very Fall day with open arms. I’m currently holed up at my mom’s home taking care of her and her post knee replacement body. As I’m sitting here, I’m reminded of the powerful healing properties that naturally exist in the [certain] foods we consume. Last night, I cooked a big wok full of local veggies and Riverview Farms pork stir fry. It was so hearty and comforting and healthy. It was the first meal my mom ate post hospital and its easy to see the difference a meal makes. I’m not knocking hospital food, but wouldn’t it be truly amazing to partner hospitals and farmer’s markets??!!! Yes, it would.
Anyway, these are the days of hearty casseroles, comforting stews, and aromatic stir fry. We sauntered through the Grant Park Farmers Market this past Sunday and had a field day with all the colorful produce that’s available right now. I immediately was drawn to the beautiful array of radishes at Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet. These are either English Breakfast or Shunkyo Radishes, I don’t remember. Either way, through cooking them, a lot of that traditional radish spice comes out and adds a nice savory, but hint-o-tang addition to the stir fry. We then sauntered over to Riverview Farms where we picked up a lovely little Pork Shoulder Roast and a couple Delicata squash. And finally, we hit up Freewheel Farm and got a bag of this beautiful chard. All in all, we spent $26 to make this Stir Fry which came out to provide 5 full meals (maybe 3 because it’s so good you want to keep filling up your bowl). That is totally reasonable, right? Next week, I’m going to get into some more thoughts on price breakdown and efficient shopping at the market, but in the meantime, know that to put together a meal for 4, it can be done for around $25-30!
Local Veggie + Pork Stir fry
time 2.5 hours servings 4-5
- 1 pork shoulder, marinated
- MARINADE: 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup miso paste, salt + pepper to taste, 1/4 cup water, 1 clove smashed garlic
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 bunch radishes, greens removed and sliced
- 1 delicata squash, peeled and cubed
- 2-3 cups chard, roughly chopped and stems removed or chopped
- 1-2 cups brown rice, optional
- soy sauce to taste
- 1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Marinade pork (this marinade is open for interpretation, I wanted to asian inspired flavors so that’s what I went with, but do what you like), and place into deep oven safe cooking dish. Add water to the dish and cover. Cook in oven for about 2 hours. The point of this is to low and slow cook this pork with the flavorful bone still attached. I am slightly undercooking it, so that once I remove it I will shop it up and add to the wok with the vegetables.
- Cook rice and set aside.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my wok. It was my grandparents that they got sometime in the 60’s or 70’s. It is an awesome heat source. If you don’t have a wok, just use a good non stick pan with a good amount of oil at a high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until translucent adding a little soy sauce for the sizzle. Cook the squash first as it’s the heartiest. Then add the radishes. Cook these pieces for about 10 minutes.
Remove the pork from the oven and slice into small bite size pieces. Add to the hot wok. Then throw in the chard and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Just before serving, toss in the rice and mix well.
This is an awesome dish to have as leftovers. The flavors show up even more!
Find the original and full blog post here!
If you haven't popped by Ladybird on the Beltline, do it this weekend! The place is beautifully designed and a dream to photograph. It features some of the best outdoor seating on the beltline in my opinion and is perfect as the evenings get cooler. Check it out!
*oh, and you also should order dessert!! Because I make them, and I'm biased.
I love love love these photos I got to shoot of Katie Hayes and her almost here baby Peaches. She, Landon, and dog Penelope are excited to be welcoming their newest family member to the world so soon, and it was such a blast getting to shoot her pregnancy pics. Check them out, and Congrats Katie + Landon!
*Peaches is the temporary name till baby is welcomed to the world, although I personally totally wish that was going to be the name!
I'm excited to start a new tradition on my blog: film fridays. Awhile ago, I brought back out my Canon A1 and have been shooting lots of rolls only to discover that my beloved E6 processing lab on the Westside closed down and to trust CVS with development is like giving your newborn to a wolf. After a little research I found Wings Camera on Briarcliff and they develop. Actually, they send it off to get developed, but it can be accomplished in as little as 2 days. I took my film, they did a wonderful job so now I'm back to shooting film.
It doesn't hurt that this was the first batch I got back from my trip to Vermont + Maine almost exactly a year ago. I'm so in love with these images. There are flaws, but it's the flaws that make them real and make me respect them even more. They also make me respect taking photos as a an artful endeavor and not just a point, shoot, then edit process.
Happy Friday, y'all. Get out and enjoy this insanely beautiful weather!!!
I always love taking photographs for my favorite yoga studio in Atlanta, Wide Angle Yoga. If you haven't checked it out already, check out Debra's website here. You must reserve a spot in her class in order to attend. So hop on her site and tell her I sent you!
And meet Debra. She looks really nice (and it), but we'll work you into yoga shape real fast...
Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmmmm... muscadines. I love muscadines. They are the South's perfect grape variety. Just like a true southerner, they are sweet, yet tough. These sweet grapes along with their close relatives, the scuppernogs, are flooding the markets right now and just waiting for you to pick them up and make something awesome. Along with this recipe for a muscadine crisp I'm about to share, muscadines and scuppernogs are great fruits to use for making jam, wine, a salad dressing, or just to eat raw.
Some vendors with muscadines + scuppernogs are Mealor Family Gardens at the Decatur market on Wednesday and Saturday as well as Mountain Earth Farms on Sunday at Grant Park. I believe I also saw some at Scharko Farms table at EAV on Thursday. But ask around and pick some up before they run out!
A few things to note before embarking on this muscadine crisp... You must remove the seeds before baking. If you do not, you will have little bitter surprises throughout eating your crisp, and it is not a fun surprise. So when you slice the muscadines to separate the pulp from the skin, just squeeze out the seeds.
The crisp topping I made is also the base for my homemade granola. You are welcome to add any nuts or seeds to this mix.
Servings 2-4 Time 50 min
- 1 pint muscadines/scuppernogs, washed, pitted, and separated (pulp from skin)
- 1 cup oats
- 1/4 c pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- 2 TBS flax seeds
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 TBS cinnamon (any spice you'd like)
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 TBS butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes + more for buttering dish
- 1 TBS coconut oil (or canola/vegetable oil)
- preheat oven to 350 degrees F. butter the dish of your choice. Keep in mind that this recipe utilized two 5 inch creme brulee ramekins. Adjust your recipe to suit your baking dish of choice.
- Layer the bottom of your dish with pulp and skins of muscadines.
- in a medium bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. mix well. (this can serve as your base for a granola recipe).
- Add oil and cut in 5 tablespoons of butter till you have a sandy mixture with pea size chunks. You want the butter to be dispersed throughout.
- Top the muscadines with the crisp and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbly on bottom. Your kitchen will also smell like heaven.
As I mentioned last week, the produce of Summer and the produce of Fall are doing a little dance at the markets, and it's a great time to get in the kitchen and try out some new recipes. This week, the tomatoes are still going strong, the eggplants perfectly ripe, but it's the Fall fruit that's catching my eye.
I live my days as a pastry chef so it is no surprise that I am drawn to the sweeter offerings of the market: the fruits. Every season comes with it's charms, but Fall with it's apples, pears, and persimmons, oh my! It's heaven. It's the perfect season to curl up, bake something sweet, and shop for it all at your Community Farmers Market.
For this week's recipe, I wanted to do something delicious with pears that I got from the one and only Ranger Robby, who you will see roaming around East Atlanta Farmers Market on Thursday. He is responsible for growing the garden in the back and educating lots of us on what is growing (and fruiting) in and around the city. He also just so happens to be a forager with Concrete Jungle (check them out if you haven't already). I also spotted some vendors rolling out with pears at Grant Park this weekend, so be on the lookout and pick some up. They are perfectly sweet this year and wonderful to bake with.
One of my favorite books to bake from is from a bakery in San Francisco called Tartine. They make amazing bread and even more amazing French style pastries, and their recipe for clafoutis is one of my favorites. It is a traditional french style custard pancake baked with unpitted cherries. Changing the fruit gives it a different name, a flaugnarde, but the recipe remains the same. It is a great recipe for brunch or paired perfectly with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It lasts well covered in the fridge for 3-4 doors, but I'm assuming it won't last that long.
I used a mandolin to shave the pear into thin strips, but you can chop it however you like...
servings 8-10 time 1 hr
adapted from Tartine
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1.5 cups chopped/mandolined pears
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons sugar, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Butter a 9 inch pie pan or quiche mold.
- Melt 1 TBS butter in a saucepan and toss prepared pears in to coat. sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg and coat pears.
- In a small saucepan, combine milk, sugar, vanilla seeds and salt. Place over a medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar until just under a boil.
- While the milk mixture is heating, whisk the eggs and flour together in a heatproof bowl until smooth.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly ladle the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into the prepared mold and add the prepared pears, making sure they are evenly distributed.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until just set in the center and slightly puffed and browned around the outside. Remove the custard from the oven and turn the temperature up to 500ºF. Evenly sprinkle the sugar over the top of the clafoutis. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to caramelize the sugar. Watch carefully as it will darken quickly.
- Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This is one of my favorite times in the seasons to shop at the markets. It's an in-between time, and just like there's still some heat in the air, some of our favorite summer fruits and veggies linger. But as the mornings get cooler only if by a degree each day, so do some of our favorite fall treats start to trickle in during the coming weeks. It's also a great time to spend at the markets as school is back in session, jobs are back to normal and regular schedules resume. That also means that the lazy days of Summer are becoming the hurried days of Fall, and so the ability to cook and spend time in the kitchen falls by the wayside. Our goal for this blog is make cooking easier and turn it into a go-to instead of a "well, if I time."
Our recipe today is nothing new, but it's definitely a good one to have in your repertoire. Ratatouille, originating in Nice, France was the food of farmers. Coming from the word "touiller," meaning to toss, ratatouille is quite literally the tossing of late summer vegetables in a warm and hearty dish. I added this recipe today as it is a wonderful dish if you have little bits and pieces in your fridge to get rid of. Toss in a half of an aubergine here or a quarter of a pepper here. For me, I had way too many tomatoes from my garden and 1 too many eggplant on my hands. I added onion, garlic, bell pepper, squash, a little bit of random cauliflower I had in my fridge, and basil from my garden, and POOF(!), I have lunch for 3 days and a solid base for making a pasta or rice dish. Ratatouille is traditionally a vegetarian dish, but who says you can't add a little Spotted Trotter sausage? Also pair with some H&F Bread Co crusty bread or make it real southern with some Riverview Farm grits. I ate this dish as a leftover a few days after preparing it and folded in some Decimal Place Farms goat cheese... it was divine.
I adapted my recipe from Moosewood Restaurant's New Classics cookbook, who along with Deborah Madison and Alice Water's are my authorities on vegetarian cooking. Their recipe was pretty zesty adding lots of Indian spices like Cardamom and Cumin, whereas my recipe sticks to some more traditional herbs and spices like basil and chili flakes.
servings: 6 total time: 45 minutes
- 2 cups onions, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 shishito pepper, diced
- 3 eggplant, first sliced into rounds and then diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cauliflower, cut into medium florets
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes, diced (or add grape tomatoes)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 squash or zucchini, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup veggie stock
- 1 tsp each Rosemary, thyme, parsley all finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- *optional kalamata olives + capers to taste*
1. Take eggplant rounds and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. You will see moisture rise to the surface. Blot dry after about 10 minutes. This will allow the eggplant to not get so soggy when cooking.
2. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in large skillet or stew pot over medium heat. add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add shishito peppers, cauliflower, and eggplant and cook until soft and starting to brown. Remove all from pan.
3. Heat the other TBS of olive oil. Add squash/zucchini and bell peppers. Cook until tender and starting to brown. Add tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute. Add 1/2 veggie stock and return eggplant/cauliflower mixture in with squash and tomatoes. Season with herbs and spices and cook until liquid begins to evaporate about 3-4 minutes. I like my ratatouille a little juicy so I don't cook all of the liquid out, but if veggie juices aren't your thing, you can just let it go a little longer.
4. Fold in olives and capers and garnish with fresh basil.