One Year

One year ago today I had been out of school just a month with no clue what to do. I missed the graduation ceremony to go to Texas, I didn't have a job or any prospects in sight and had just watched 'Julie & Julia' the previous night. I knew I wanted to still do photos, but in school I didn't more artsy photos. All film, just moments in life that I wanted to capture. Lots of nudes, artful though; people jumping through fields, hidden in the forest, sitting by the ocean. When they were discussed in class sexuality never even came into play. So how did I come to do food photography you might ask? Well I had always baked and cooked. Even as young as middle school, I was always assigned the dessert for holiday events. Culinary school was my dream but then after a photo class at community college with the greatest teacher I ever had, culinary got put to the wayside. 

So when I was out of college with nothing to do, I started to bake. And I mean at least one recipe per day, normally more. I do not do well with free time. So after baking and baking I realized I hadn't been taking any photos. I had never given any thought to food photography, even while having the assignment in school, I didn't like it. 

I didn't think it could be artful. But then one day I saw the blog 'What Katie Ate' and was astonished. From that moment I fell in love with all her photos. So when I watched 'Julie & Julia' the next day I said what the hell, and started my own blog. One year later and I am still at it. The photos have definitely gotten better. At first I didn't understand the importance of props, textures, backgrounds. They add so much to the photo. Looking back at my first few posts, I can see a major progression of the photos. 

So I have the blog to thank for me continuing doing photography, pushing me to make things I wouldn't have, giving me the courage to apply for a job (and get) at a bakery and finally a few proper food photography jobs. 

So for my one year anniversary post I have for you a feast.

Blue Brie Basil Cheesecake

Plum Butter

Orange Compote 

Earl Grey Roll Cake (failed on the 'roll' part but succeeded on the taste part)

Pear Skillet Cake

Enjoy. The savory take on a cheesecake was my absolute favorite. All the different kinds of cheeses blended together in it but then on some bites you would get a kick of the blue, a bit of the  brie crust, it was fabulous. 

Earl Grey cake, enough said. Its love.

Blue Brie & Basil Cheesecake

6 oz (170g) butter, melted
2 egg whites
3 cups herb crackers, chopped finely

8 oz (225g) cream cheese, soft
8 oz blue cheese, chopped
8 oz brie cheese, chopped
1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
3 tbsp basil, chopped
2 eggs
2 tbsp flour

Oven 350. 10 inch springform pan.

Combine butter, whites & crackers together
in a bowl. Press into the bottom on the pan.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven & let
cool. Reduce temperature to 325.

Beat cream cheese, blue, brie, sour cream &
basil together. Add in eggs one at a time.
Fold in flour. Pour into crust & bake until
set, 1 hour. Let cool completely then chill

Serve with additional chopped basil atop.

plum butter

3 1/2 lbs plums
1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cut plums into 1 1/2 inch pieces,
remove pits. Place in a large
saucepan, add 1 cup water, &
sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce
heat, cook until fruit is soft
20 minutes. Remove from heat,
puree in a blender. 
Return to a cleaned saucepan
with cinnamon. Cook over low 
heat, stirring often until well
thickened, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Remove from heat & let cool.

orange compote

4 tbsp naval orange zest, thin slices
6 naval oranges, peeled, seeded,
reserving flesh only
2/3 cup (133g) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. 
Bring to a boil over high heat. 
Reduce to medium, stir occassionally 
for 20 minutes until liquid is 
reduced & syrupy.

Fill canning jars and seal. Boil in a pot
of water, with 2 inches above the lids, 
for 10 minutes. 

Will keep for a few months 
in the cupboard if seal is not broken

earl grey roll cake with 
vanilla buttercream

1 1/2 cups (187g) flour
1/4 cup cornstarch 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (114g) butter, softened
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup (236ml) milk
1 tbsp earl grey loose leaf tea

1 cup (228g) butter, softened
1/4 cup (59ml) milk
4-5 cups (500-625g) powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Oven 350. Butter & flour a rimmed 
jelly roll pan. 
Sift flour, cornstarch, baking
powder & salt together. Set aside.
Beat butter, sugar, vanilla & tea 
until light & fluffy. 
Add eggs one at a time. 
Gradually & alternating, stir in
flour mixture & milk. Pour into
pan & bake for 10-15 minutes, until
toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool completely.

Beat all buttercream ingredients
together in a food processor or
stand mixer. Place cake on parchemnt
paper then spread evenly onto
cake, then roll up. Clip together 
the ends of the parchment,
chill until set.

pear skillet cake

4 tbsp (56g) butter, softened
1 cup (125g) flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (164g) sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup (118ml) buttermilk
1 pear, very thinly sliced

Oven 375. Butter & floured an 
8 inch cast iron skillet.

Beat butter & 3/4 cup sugar until pale 
& fluffy. Add in egg. Sift flour, 
baking powder, baking soda & salt 
in a separate bowl. 
Gradually add to butter/sugar mixture,
in alternating batches with the milk.

Pour into skllet. Fan the pear slices atop.
Sprinkle with remaing sugar. 
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve warm.

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