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Archive for March 2011

Food-Art | Kitchener/Waterloo Food Photographer

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Muffin Cups.











Enough with the Muffins Lady! | Kitchener/Waterloo Food Photographer

Yes, I know. I bake and take A LOT of pictures of muffins! I really couldn't resist sharing this recipe (and the ensuing images) though. They turned out so perfectly and had such an awesome sugary texture that a photo-op couldn't be passed up.
I needed something to put in the Girls' snack cupboard (that wasn't pre-packaged...or those huge muffins that you can buy at the grocery store that are absurdly high in calories) and went for a quick scroll thru some recipes at allrecipes.com (my favourite recipe site!). After drooling over pictures for a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe (alas, we had no pumpkin puree...will have to be yet another muffin recipe I attempt and photograph) I stumbled upon probably the BEST plain, old chocolate chip recipe I've ever made.

SO, here is the recipe from allrecipes.com. It comes from the kitchen of a woman named Janice and I've tweaked it just a tiny bit to include whole wheat flour:

Quick Chocolate Chip Muffins:

Ingredients:
1 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white sugar
3 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt

3/4 milk (I added about 1/4 c. more than the recipe states just to make my batter more smooth)
1 egg
1/3 c. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 c. chocolate chips

1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar

Method:
1) Set oven to 400 degrees.
2) Mix together milk, oil and egg.
3) In a separate bowl, mix together flours, 1/2 cup white sugar, baking powder and salt. Once mixed, add to milk mixture. Beat on medium until smooth (add extra milk if the batter could use some "smoothing").
4) Add the chocolate chips.
5) Pour batter into paper muffin cups.
6) Mix 1 tbsp of brown sugar with 1 tbsp of white sugar. Using a small spoon (or shaker), coat the tops of your muffins.
7) Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until fork inserted inside comes out clean.
Here is what the batter looks like before. I thought the light and little bits of sugar looked so pretty (and you can't go wrong with pink cupcake cups!).
CD listend to while baking: The Life and Death of a Male Body by The Rumour Said Fire
Baking Items purchased at: Shoppers Drug Mart (chocolate chips - on sale - wahoo!)
Equipment Used: Canon 7D, 50mm lens (although, not a lot), 100mm lens, all natural light

Stephanie Brown | Jolanta's Spa | Kitchener/Waterloo Photographer

My awesome make-up artist, Stephanie Brown, invited me out to her new artist-digs at the beautiful Jolanta's Spa in Waterloo. Here is just a small taste of their products! Stephanie will be doing make-up and styling for Novella's Spring Boudoir campaign, coming soon!
Jolanta's Spa is located at 445 Beechwood Place in Waterloo, Ontario.

Baby Photography | Kitchener/Waterloo Newborn Photographer

Friday, March 25, 2011

Back in the Fall, I also had the great pleasure of capturing this vibrant little guy! At only 3 months everything seemed so wondrous to him and his big blue eyes are enough to just melt your heart!
He's so expressive! What a sweetheart.

Fall Wedding | Kitchener/Waterloo Wedding Photographer

This past Fall I had an incredible time shooting these two sweethearts and am very fortunate to be shooting another event for them later in the year! The ceremony was held at The Wedding Chapel in downtown Kitchener with our post-ceremony photo-shoot at Waterloo Park and surrounding area. Their wedding was full of many vintage inspirations and boasted a beautiful, classic feel.
My Bride also happens to be an artist and made me this as a thank you. Isn't it just gorgeous! I love the green and black and mounds of texture! Huge thanks to you both for such a great day!


Strawberry Merengue Cupcakes + Rockford | Kitchener/Waterloo Food Photographer

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Brother and his girlfriend came to visit the other day, cupcakes in one hand and a new puppy in the other (needless-to-say, my Girls did not know which to go for first). I *volunteered* to hold the cupcakes while they settled in. All I could see was PINK inside the translucent container and I began plotting my next food shoot.
Here is Stephanie's recipe. The cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous and have a very light, Spring-time taste. We happened to be enjoying a bottle of white wine and, thinking back on it now, it was the perfect accompaniment to such a delicate dessert.

Strawberry Merengue Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of cake flour (not self rising)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp.)
2 1/4 sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 egg white
1 cup milk
2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries

Method:
1.Preheat oven to 350
2.Sift both flours, baking powder and salt together
3.With electric mixer on medium high mix butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs (and egg white) one at a time.
4.Reduce speed while adding flour in two batches, alternating with the milk.
5.Fold in straweberries by hand.
6.Fill cups 3/4 and bake 25 minutes until golden brown

Strawberry Merengue Buttercream Icing Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
4 large eggs
1 1/4 sugar
1 1/2 unsalted butter (room temp.)

Method:
1.Puree strawberries
2.Combine egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl over top of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until sugar has dissolved (mixture should feel smooth and warm)
3.Using an electric mixer starting on low and gradually increasing to medium high, mix until stiff... continue mixing until it turns fluffy and glossy and the mixture has cooled completely (10 minutes)
4.Add butter afew tablespoons at a time. Once all butter has been incorporated scrape down the sides and beat until all air bubbles have been eliminated.
5. Add strawberries
CD Listened to While Eating: 21 by Adele
Baked Goods Made by Stephanie Brown
Images Captured w: Canon 7D, 50mm lens, 100mm lens, & natural light





Cocoa Banana Bran Muffins | Kitchener/Waterloo Food Photography

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Husband and I are leaving tomorrow morning for the North and I thought I could make something to give us a semi-healthy head-start in the AM. Behold! My first attempt at mixing flours in a recipe to make it healthier. You'll notice that only 1/2 cup of unbleached white flour was used, which was mixed with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 full cup of bran and 1/2 cup of oats.
In the image above you can see all of the little grains/oats/bran goodness that made up each muffin.
Cocoa Banana Bran Muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bran
1/2 cup oats
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2+ mashed bananas

5 tbsp milk or plain yogurt

Method:
1) Cream tog. butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla and mashed bananas. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
2) In a separate bowl, mix together flours, bran, oats, cocoa, baking soda/powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture.
3) Mix all ingredients very well
4) Slowly add milk (you may need more if batter is not soft enough to spoon into muffin cups).
5) Spoon batter into muffin cups and place in 350 degree oven.
6) Muffins should be ready within 20-25 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean).

By the way, add dark chocolate chunks or walnuts to kick up the flavour! You could also substitute the milk/yogurt for applesauce.
I've also begun making my Mom's cheesecake for her birthday. While I'm waiting for the cream cheese to soften, I've made the cake's base - yummy crushed graham crackers. The base was super-simple.

Graham Cracker Crust (for Cheesecake)

Ingredients:
1+ cup(s) of crushed graham crackers (you can purchase pre-ground crackers too)
about 1/3 cup butter, melted

Method:
1) Pour crushed graham crackers into a steel bowl. Slowly add about half of the butter and mix with your hands. Keep alternating between adding butter and mixing with your hands until the cracker mixture sticks together when you form a ball with it.
2) Spread mixture onto bottom of spring-form pan and press down firmly, covering all spaces.
3) I've had my cracker crust sitting on the counter for about 2 hrs now and it's firm and ready for my New York cheesecake mixture!
I'll be sure to post more from my cheesecake process once everything is ready! Will take recommendations for its topping though if you would care to leave a comment!
CD Listend to While Baking: The Baroness by Sarah Slean
Images Captured with: Canon 7D, 50mm lens, 100mm lens, white reflective board, natural lighting.