Food Styling

Here it is, another round of my recent food styling for Whole Foods Market Cooking.


Creamy Mango SorbIceCream

This all natural frozen treat is texturally a mix between sorbet and ice cream! The primary composition is organic fruit, so stock up on the creamy, fresh, and delicious goodness. Makes 1 quart:
3 large ripe bananas-peeled, roughly chopped, and frozen
3 ripe champagne mangos-peeled, diced
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t cinnamon
1/3 cup cold almond milk
1 cup almonds-toasted, roughly chopped
cocoa nibs-for garnish
1. Combine bananas and mangos in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and almond milk to the food processor and mix until combined.
3. Transfer the mixture to your chilled ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions (churning for ~15-20 minutes, until set and well chilled).
4. Add almonds into the sorbet, and churn for 30-60 seconds longer.
5. Place the sorbet into a freezer safe container and freeze for 1 hour.
6. Serve in bowls, garnish with cocoa nibs.


New Food Styling

Here are a few more recent food styling shots for Whole Foods Market Cooking! Check out the site and enter your recipes to win Whole Foods gift cards!

Chicken Cranberry Patties

Using organic, dark meat chicken allows for a more tender patty, in these delicious chicken rounds. Serve with brioche rolls and arugula (makes 12 patties):
4 small, organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs-roughly diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 scallions-chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup cilantro-chopped
1t garlic powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
2 t oregano
1t salt
1t freshly ground pepper
1 egg-beaten
3 T olive oil
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine chicken, onion, scallions, cranberries, cilantro, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined and the chicken is finely chopped (~15 pulses). Transfer the mix into a bowl and [using a spoon] mix in the egg.
2. Shape the mix into 12, 1.5 inch patties.
3. Heat olive oil in pan on med-high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear each patty until cooked through (~4 minutes per side).


Leafy Miso Soup with Poached Egg

Super fast and light, this soup is great for lunch or dinner. Use organic ingredients and enjoy it with a hearty multigrain bread or wheat crackers (serves 4).

8C water
4T and 1t miso
1/3C onion-medium dice
3 cloves garlic-chopped
2 1/2C cauliflower florets
1/2 bunch arugula-rough chop
4 large kale leaves-rough chop
6 shiso leaves-rough chop
1/2 bunch radishes-thinly sliced
1t freshly ground pepper
4 eggs
4t sesame seeds
1. Bring water to a boil and add miso. Simmer until disolved, ~2 minutes.
2. Add onion, garlic, and cauliflower and simmer for 3 minutes.
3. Add arugula, kale, shiso, radishes, and pepper.
4. Crack one egg at a time into a large spoon or ramekin, and slowly lower it into the simmering soup. Poach eggs for 1 minute and turn off the heat.
5. Carefully, spoon soup into 4 bowls. Place one egg into each bowl-being careful not to puncture the yolk. Top each bowl with 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds, and enjoy!



The latest craving...muffins! These came out super moist and delicious. I like to add the least amount of sugar possible, making this recipe a bit low on sugar. Feel free to increase the amount to 3/4 cups, for a sweeter tooth (makes 20 muffins):
1 1/2 C AP flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
2 eggs
1/2 c organic brown sugar
1 lg apple-grated
1 stick butter-melted
1 C almond milk
1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C almonds-roughly chopped
1/4 C pumpkin seeds-toasted
3 T sunflower seeds-toasted
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until slightly foamy.
3. Add apple, butter, and milk to the egg mixture.
4. In 3 additions, mix the wet ingredients into the dry. 
5. Reserve 3 T of each: chocolate chips, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, in a bowl. Set aside. Fold the remaining chocolate chips, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into the batter.
6. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon the batter in halfway for each muffin. 
7. Top with reserved chocolate, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds and bake until tops are golden (~15-20 minutes). 


Pecan Pie

As if the holidays weren't indulgent enough...thanks to Martha (and a good friend who put me on to this recipe), I recreated one of my favorite pies for a sweet treat. The changes I made to the recipe can be found below:
1 pre-made pie crust
5 large organic eggs
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
7 T unsalted organic butter-melted
1/3 c unsulfured molasses
3 T cognac
1/4 t salt
1/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chunks-finely chopped
1 3/4 c chopped pecans and 1/3 c pecan halves
high quality vanilla ice cream
1. Lightly score the pie crust and par bake it at 375F for 15 minutes-until it just begins to brown. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 350F.
2. In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, molasses, cognac, and salt. Whisk to incorporate.
3. Stir in chopped chocolate and chopped pecans. Pour mixture into the pie shell.
4. Top with pecan halves and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until the pie is set.
5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, slice, top with ice-cream, and enjoy!
6. Should you be so daring the day after...heat a non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add 1/4 T butter and allow to melt. Add a pie slice to the pan and quickly sear on cut sides. Top with sliced bananas. Mmm!


Persimmon Sweet Potato Winter Pudding

Seeing as the leaves have well turned - if not almost disappeared - I've come up with a wintery pudding to make use of some of the season's crop (serves 4):
1 medium sweet potato
1 T honey
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 cup warm almond milk
1 med persimmon (peeled, tough core removed, and roughly chopped)
1 banana (peeled, and broken up into pieces)
1 medium ripe bartlett pear (peeled, cored, and diced)
1 lime - juiced
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Wash the sweet potato, poke holes all around it with a fork, and wrap it in foil. Bake until the potato is very fork-tender. Once the potato has cooled, peel it and roughly chop.
2. Combine the honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and almond milk in a bowl and whisk until the honey has melted. Allow to cool.
3. In a blender, combine the sweet potato, persimmon, banana, pear, and lime juice. While the blender is on, slowly add in honey mixture and blend until a smooth pudding consistency (you may need to add more honey water, depending on the ripeness of your fruit).
4. Serve with your favorite tea cookie.


Food Styling

Green Beans w/ Fig Vin
Ginger Pears
Huevos Rancheros
Pear Ginger Muffins

Having my [delicious] plate full of various freelance work, I slightly neglected my beloved blog readers. Here are a few recently styled photos, which I worked on for WholeFoods Market Cooking as well as Food52 (fantastic websites for cooks of all facets). More to come!

Thai Snapper


Essence Magazine June 2011 Contributor

Check out my article and recipe contributions to the June issue of Essence magazine-a three page spread!


Review: James Beard House-Take 3

For a someone-special's birthday, we decided to treat ourselves to an extraordinary experience at the James Beard House. Each time I've had the opportunity to visit the amazing venue, I've always been enchanted by the soiree. The welcomed master of the evening was executive chef Lawrence Knapp, of The Hurricane Club. A most appropriate theme for a hot summer day-Polynesian Luau!

   Tobegin the hors d'oeuvre hour, we helped ourselves to The Hurricane Club's signature cocktails, including: 'In the Shell' (an overly sweet coconut concoction, served in its home of a coconut shell), 'Stormy Ginger" (a refreshing citrus drink made with ginger beer), and "Strong" (appropriately named Knob Creek cocktail, garnished with cucumber and tomato).

As we settled into the hot summer air in the outside patio, the small bites made their way into the crowd. Peking duck tea sandwiches were melt-in-your-mouth tender, served on crispy mini white toast. Chicken parm shumai, served in porcelain spoons, were a colorful delight with a slight sweetness.

Crunchy coconut shrimp were served elegantly on skewers. The Elvis, a unique combo of crispy, thick cut bacon, banana, and spicy peanuts was an incredible marriage of flavors. While my favorite of the evening outshone the rest: a peanut butter and guava jam sandwich with prosciutto and Thai basil. Superb!

As we were called into the grand dining room the fantastic staff showed us to our table, where we continued the culinary adventure. A trio of ceviche (snapper, hamachi sashimi, and toro tartare) were served with a cool Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and tangy flavors were subtle, allowing the fish to shine.  Honey glazed baby back ribs and The Club's signature wings arrived on family style serving platters. The tender meat departed the bone with ease, while the sweet and succulent marinade coated our fingers. San Miguel, a light amber and slightly citrusy beer, complemented the multitude of succeeding helpings.

While anticipating the next course (and as if we weren't already loose enough), we received a watermelon surprise at our table...for more lubrication. A vodka-watermelon cocktail, served family style, was a fun and extremely boozy conversation piece.

Crispy peking pig (paired with a sweet hard cider) was yet another family style presentation of tender and crispy meat. Served with a multitude of sauces and buns, each guest made their customized version of a pork bun (or two.... or three... or...).

The black bean lamb chop and spice crusted shrimp surf and turf arrived plated. While the Hawaiian fried rice and baby bok choy were served for the table. Once more the chef presented us with extremely delicious flavors and textures (paired with a bit overly-sweet Riesling). I reluctantly gave up the bone of my perfectly cooked chop and couldn't get enough of the delicious rice and vibrant greens.

With the consumption of the aforementioned cocktails, wines, beers, and liquors, we were exceptionally at ease and happily cheered for the chef as he made his way into the dining room. He briefly described the desserts we were about to feast on: chocolate kill devil's food cake (an unimpressive and somewhat bland spongy cake), the pina colada upside down cake (a tasty, flavorful, and doughy batter, served with a rich yet refreshing pineapple ice cream), and the king of the evening's desserts...the Samoan! An incredible, lick-your-plate-clean melange of angel food cake, coconut, and caramel. An airy delight to end yet another incredible J.B. experience.