Tag Archives: strawberries

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When I made that first meal for the blog last summer, I was embarrassed at how ugly everything looked, and how terrible it tasted. What was I doing wrong?

Well, the answer to that my friends, was everything. 

I've come a monumental way since that ill-fated, barely edible, I-cant-believe-I'm-posting-this-online post, and I've picked up a few tricks along the way.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mainly, I've become a pretty decent photographer/food stylist (I hope!). This mixed green salad with strawberries and goat cheese is basically identical to the one I made one year ago, but with a nicer camera, better lens, no camera flash, better props, better lighting (THIS is the big one here), and a newfound knowledge of photography.

Here's the original shot:

And now the same salad, but with a year's worth of experience behind the shot:

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mmm....moody. How about another?

Now you might be asking yourself, ok, I get how the lighting, camera, and props make a big difference, but the salad itself just looks so much nicer! What's the secret, Sarah?

Brace yourselves, readers, because I am going to offer you a glance into the world of food styling, and peek at the obsessive compulsivity that must accompany it:

This is nuts. Halfway through washing and sorting through the spinach for the prettiest pieces, in 95 degree heat, I asked my mother if I had lost my mind. She said yes. I accepted this fact and continued to build a beautiful salad.

For the curious, here's the book I've been using as a basic guide to getting my food to look nicer: Food Styling for Photographers.

So that's it, I guess. I could lie and tell you I made a delicious vinaigrette to go with this salad, but I used up my last lemons making the citrus salsa verde for the salmon.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

All in all, I'm pretty excited about where I've come in the past year, and looking forward to where the next one will take me. And I'm still waiting for the fame and fortune that I just know is right around the corner.

Original salad

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grilled, peanut butter, jelly, banana, strawberry, banana split, chocolate, honey, honey monkey, pineapple jam, jam, preserves, PB&J, grilled cheese, lunch, easy, fun, kid, children, weekday, weekend, toasted,

You know what? I think I'm getting way better at food photography and styling. 

Know how I know this? Because I have to spend WAY less time post processing my more recent photos, and when I look at the images I took, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride.

And hunger...

The recent additions to my photo "studio" (aka: dining room) have been my lovely macro lens, and two lowel ego lights. FINALLY I have a decent lighting set-up, and maybe, just maybe, one of my damn photos will make it onto food gawker. I'll tell you more about the lights and lens and how great they are later (probably by updating my Photography page), but now I want to talk about lunch.

If memory serves me right, I don't have any lunch recipes on my blog. Granted, I have a lot of meals that were reheated at lunch the following day, but never have I made and documented a dish specifically for the midday meal. Most of this stems from working 9-5 all week, but why not just make lunch on the weekends, Sarah?

Because I'm lazy. 

I've never been a sandwich person. I just haven't. You might try to tell me that sandwiches are the lazy man's ideal food, but from years of experience, I can assure you that a bowl of cereal provides an even faster way to fill your stomach. Bowl. Cereal. Milk. Spoon. Bam. Done.

None of this opening and closing refrigerator doors, aligning meat on the bread, spreading mayo and mustard and who knows what else, and to make matters worse, I rarely finish an entire sandwich. I have a tendency to get bored halfway through and walk away!

Now, you're probably thinking, Why are you telling us this? Because I found an amazing sandwich that will tempt even the pickiest, laziest eaters ever. I devoured mine, and then immediately had to stop myself from making another. There's always tomorrow though... ...continue reading

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July, Fourth, 4th, cake, buttercream, berries, blueberry, blue, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, jame, independence day, summer, picnic, sweet, simple, fun, kids, colorful, red, white, blue, patriotic, flag, America,

Happy birthday to me,

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday dear Sarah,

Happy birthday to me!!!

That's right, my birthday is on the 4th of July! For many reasons, this makes it the ultimate birthday date ever. For one thing, it's pretty much as far away from Christmas as you can get, so there's no overlapping of presents. Another reason is that almost everyone has this day off!

And for my family, this means heading up to Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, like we have been doing for over 20 years, hitting up the beach, having a barbecue, watching the fireworks, and relaxing. It's simply amazing to be surrounded by your family on your birthday, year after year, knowing that everyone is celebrating and having a good time.

My sister introducing my nephew Charlie to Lake Sunapee for the first time

So since I went strawberry picking for the first time this weekend with Kevin, I thought "why not use them to make the most epic red, white, and blue berry cake ever?"

...continue reading

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chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

The warm weather and high humidity is proof that summer is finally here. Time to refill my grill gas tank, set up my hammock (I don't actually have a hammock, but I can dream!), and most importantly, start buying in-season fruits and veggies.

As a person with an insatiable sweet tooth, I am disappointed with myself as a child for not embracing the natural sweetness of berries. It's only been within the past two or so years that I've been able to get over my hang-ups about texture, and now I simply cannot get enough of them (Though, admittedly, the hairs on the raspberries still creep me out if I think too hard about them). I love berries dipped in chocolate, eaten plain, baked into pies and cakes, and made into smoothies. Any way I can get my fill of these mouthwateringly juicy flavors.

chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

And when it's just too hot outside to even imagine turning on your oven or grill, this cool, sweet soup completely hits the spot.

chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

Though calling it a soup might be a bit of a stretch, this creamy pink smoothie in a bowl will delight everyone, and it's so simple to make! Eat it as a dessert, a snack, or with a large salad for a perfect and easy summer meal. ...continue reading

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I originally had this salad at The Inn at Weathersfield in Vermont, when I went to my Grandfather's wedding party. It was made with fewer strawberries, and a delicious lemon vinaigrette I haven't been able to reproduce yet.

What you need:

  • Mixed greens (I buy the Wegmans bags of lettuce unless I go to the farmer's market)
  • Strawberries
  • Goat cheese
  • A light vinaigrette dressing (lemon works if you want a more tart salad, but I've been using a sweeter raspberry)

Toss the lettuce and strawberries in a bowl with the dressing, add some chunks of goat cheese. It's fairly strong, so a little bit goes a long way. Unless you're like me and you love the stuff, in which case add a lot!