Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:38:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 How we edit food photos http://steamykitchen.com/27688-how-we-edit-food-photos.html http://steamykitchen.com/27688-how-we-edit-food-photos.html#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 15:26:26 +0000 http://www.steamykitchen.com/?p=27688 Hello my friends! This year, I’ve had so many food bloggers ask me how we process and organize all of the tens of thousands of photos and videos on Steamy Kitchen. I thought I’d create a little video on our workflow with my friend and Steamy Kitchen assistant, Cheri Alberts of The Watering Mouth. I’m lucky to have someone so ...

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Hello my friends! This year, I’ve had so many food bloggers ask me how we process and organize all of the tens of thousands of photos and videos on Steamy Kitchen. I thought I’d create a little video on our workflow with my friend and Steamy Kitchen assistant, Cheri Alberts of The Watering Mouth.

I’m lucky to have someone so multi-talented like Cheri living close to me, she comes over 2-3 times a week to help test recipes, shoot and edit videos and process the gazillion photos that I take for each dish. She’s practically part of our family now, my kids love her, the dogs love her and my carpal tunnel/tendonitis-arms love her.

I think what Cheri and I do best is quick, simple workflow. Editing and organizing photos isn’t our favorite thing to do (it’s really a chore) but our tools that we use make it super easy and efficient. What actually takes the longest is going through the photos and choosing which ones to use!

Our main tool on the computer is Adobe Creative Cloud, which lets you use the entire Adobe suite of products for a monthly fee. As products get updated, you get the latest version, instead of having to buy each software individually and purchase updates. Our 2 main software tools that we use is Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.

As you’ll see in the video, Lightroom is our work-horse for organizing, tagging, editing and exporting photos. Editing only takes a couple of clicks and I can batch-edit with simple copy/paste commands. Photoshop is only used if we have to add fancy text to a photo.

Okay, here’s Cheri’s video for you!

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Fishs Eddy Love http://steamykitchen.com/20624-fishs-eddy-love.html http://steamykitchen.com/20624-fishs-eddy-love.html#comments Sat, 11 Feb 2012 14:06:06 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=20624 A couple of years ago, I met up with buds David Lebovitz, Elise Bauer, Matt Armendariz & Adam in NYC….I can’t exactly remember why we were there….but I do remember the Korean fried chicken, donuts and shopping at Fishs Eddy. Fishs Eddy is paradise for inexpensive dinnerware and glassware, i.e. a candystore for food bloggers. By the way, window prop-shopping with Matt & ...

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A couple of years ago, I met up with buds David Lebovitz, Elise BauerMatt Armendariz & Adam in NYC….I can’t exactly remember why we were there….but I do remember the Korean fried chicken, donuts and shopping at Fishs Eddy.

Fishs Eddy is paradise for inexpensive dinnerware and glassware, i.e. a candystore for food bloggers. By the way, window prop-shopping with Matt & Adam? Awesome. Except you want to buy everything. EVERYTHING. Whatever either one of them touched, I immediately took a photo of it.

Since I only brought a carry on bag to NYC, there was no-touchy only looky wishy for me.

Last week after reorganizing my dishes for the shoot, I remembered there were a few pieces from Fishs Eddy that I wanted to order, so I hopped onto their online store.

For food photography, dinner plates can be tricky. The standard 12-inch plate is a little too big – so much space to fill and there’s just too much going on for my style, so I use salad plates or ideally, 8-10″ plates.

They have every color you’d ever want in 8.5″ size, the ones with scalloped edges are gorgeous.

Giant shallow bowls – too big for food photography but work great for serving pasta

Whites with very pretty textures

and small glassware perfect for food photography – I’m always looking for small glassware because they fit better in a shot.

A fun small 6″ skillet shaped plate

Love Jadeite? So do I. But they’re expensive. Fishs Eddy is selling Jadeite-like products, not quite as gorgeous and transluscent as the real thing, but it’s American-made, durable and lovely.

These little colorful babies come in a set of 8 and are a couple of inches wide.

How can you shop at a store called Fishs Eddy and not buy fishy flatware?

I know you want to ask….”What’s up with the name Fishs Eddy?” (I did)

 

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Cookbook Shoot http://steamykitchen.com/20472-cookbook-shoot.html http://steamykitchen.com/20472-cookbook-shoot.html#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2012 18:08:02 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=20472 My head is still spinning from the past few days – we just finished a whirlwind session of photography for my next book (another easy Asian cookbook). This time, instead of doing it all by myself, I enlisted the help of Todd, Diane and Jenna to protect my sanity. Originally, I had planned on having T&D style and shoot the book ...

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My head is still spinning from the past few days – we just finished a whirlwind session of photography for my next book (another easy Asian cookbook). This time, instead of doing it all by myself, I enlisted the help of Todd, Diane and Jenna to protect my sanity. Originally, I had planned on having T&D style and shoot the book while I cooked and hid in the kitchen….but Diane insisted that I shoot my own book and that they would help me in the kitchen and with the styling.

Prior to them coming, Diane had sent me a list of things we needed for the shoot – number one on the list was a place to shoot near the kitchen that had plenty of natural light throughout the day. I originally had my prop room way out at a building in the back of the property – it’s a good 2 minute walk from the kitchen, through the living room, across the lanai, out the screen door, dodging the bitey red ants, balancing on large uneven rocks, up the deck stairs, across the deck, tiptoeing across the old (and unused) putting green riddled with more red ants and through the building door.

Can you imagine trying to do that for every single dish? And what if you forgot a garnish? You’d have to trek back and by that time, the food would have been very tired.

So we converted the already converted garage (the previous owners had made the garage a playroom for the kids) that was adjacent to the kitchen into my photography studio. It made sense, there’s plenty of large windows, double glass doors and it was steps from the kitchen.

With new paint and flooring, the space that used to be our junk/laundry room turned into a light-filled, bright, cheerful place to work. Wire racks from a discount warehouse store, Ikea baskets and bookshelves and a drop-dead gorgeous wooden table from Greentea Design, the number one requirement for a photoshoot was checked off.

I have plenty of dishes and props, but since I normally just shoot on white, the second item on my list was fabric.

Here’s a tip when fabric shopping: don’t go when you’re in a bad mood. Otherwise you’ll end up with drab colors.

Blah. So I left the store, went and got some coffee, scrolled through Failblog (hahahaaa!) and went back in a much better mood.

Ta-da! Happy! Bright! Cheerful!

They went organized by color in the Ikea wire baskets on a rolling rack.

Ikea Antonius system – $38.99 for the frame, I bought two of them and stacked on top of each other. Each wire basket was $6. Plop some wheels on the bottom ka-blam! It rolls around, out of the way.

Those are Billy bookcases, $49.99 each. Cheap, functional and even I can put it together. Once Todd and Diane arrived, we first worked on creating a workflow. Normally, when I shoot for the blog, I scout around the house for where there’s a good light. Candidates include: my office, outside patio, dining room table, breakfast nook, family room or the outside kitchen table. It’s a lot of work chasing light, huffin’ and puffin’ moving things around.

Instead, Diane said we were going to shoot in one spot and use white bounce, black bounce and scrims. For the book (i.e. print) we need to shoot tethered to the computer (that itty bitty tiny screen on the camera isn’t good enough!) and we hooked up a 15ft tether cord from my iMac to the camera.

I use Adobe Lightroom to manage and edit my photos, so we shot directly into Lightroom. The computer was anchored to a $159 rolling cart (yes, also from….you guessed it, Ikea) – Scott used 2 clamps and some plywood to secure it, though we’ll be looking for a more um, pretty solution soon.

I highly, highly recommend Lightroom for food bloggers – it helps me catalog and keep track of my photos AND makes editing so super easy. You can try out Lightroom 4 Beta for free right now.

You can see how awesome it is to shoot tethered – everyone can see immediately on the monitor the shot.

I should also mention that the computer is hooked up to two other things:  a 4-drive Drobo and a CyberPower battery backup. I keep my photos on the Drobo and not on the computer hard drive because I just don’t trust my hard drive (how many of you have had your HD crash!!????) The Drobo has 4 hard drives and if one crashes, the other drives can rebuild the data and you won’t lose YOUR ENTIRE COOKBOOK SHOOT. Alternatively, you could backup to a cloud every night, but what happens if you lose your hard drive in the middle of a shoot?

The battery backup is essential – those flimsy power surge bars are useless when it comes to protecting against massive power spikes, surges and outages. The battery backup we have gives me about 15 minutes of time so that I can save and shut down properly. Since we live out in the country (and in hurricanetopia), power outages are pretty common.

Okay, back to the workflow – We shoot with the camera on a tripod since I’m shooting with a macro lens which magnifies every little shake. I have a Canon 5D Mark II and a 100mm macro lens – my favorite food lens (but please don’t think you need this type of fancy camera equipment – I shot half of my first cookbook with a Rebel and a $100 lens)

I never understood why tripods varied from $29 to $2,000 until my $29 tripod broke and tipped over….with $1,000 worth of camera equipment on it. Get a good, sturdy, lightweight, quality tripod – I use a Manfrotto head and a Promaster tripod – though I am constantly fighting to adjust each leg the same height to make it level. I would LOVE a pneumatic tripod with a foot pedal that raises and lowers all three legs simulateously! Sadly, I don’t think they make one affordable.

The bounce was a $4.50 foam board held up with clamps secured to a block of wood. (That’s Jenna taking a picture of the hero wall!)

Sometimes, to get the perfect shot (like the egg swirl on Egg Drop Soup) we have teamwork — Diane and I swirl the egg and the moment we pull back….

Todd shoots.

Jenna was amazing in the kitchen – she can chop!-chop!-chop! lightening fast. She and Todd were in charge of prep and cooking of the dishes. Once a dish was ready, it was placed on a full sized sheet pan along with the garnish sitting in ice water and any other ingredients we needed to plate the dish. That was transported to a table right by the door (see above table behind Diane) and ready for Diane and I to style and shoot.

Once we were done with that particular dish’s shoot, everything goes back on the sheet pan, back to the same table ready for Jenna to pick up and bring back to the kitchen.

We had a crew member who served as the handsome security guard…..

and taste testers….

We had one wall that was our “hero wall” – all of our final shot arranged by chapter so that we could get an idea of how the book was shaping up.

When you’re doing a cookbook photoshoot, you inevitably end up with TONS of leftover chopped ingredients – which we used for our meals….fried rice, pizza, spring rolls, Vietnamese rice noodle bowls.

It was non-stop eating – not only did we eat all the dishes we made for the shoot, but we actually cooked MORE food every couple of hours. 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 snacks and 2 dinners was quite normal for us.

At the end of the week, we celebrated with a trip to the beach! Toes in sand, mojitos and a frisbee.

I wont’ lie – it was exhausting work – but working with good friends made it all so much more fun than attempting to do it all by myself! Big, big, big thanks to Diane, Todd, Jenna, Scott (he was our tech support), the boys, the hens (our official taste-testers) and our security guard Coco. The book doesn’t come out until next Spring, we’ve got a couple months of writing and recipe testing left – then off to the publisher for editing, layout and design! See more photos over at Todd and Diane & Jenna‘s blogs.

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Free Travel & Food Photography Class http://steamykitchen.com/15153-travel-food-photography-class.html http://steamykitchen.com/15153-travel-food-photography-class.html#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 15:26:06 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=15153 A free online travel and food photography class is being hosted by my friend, Penny de los Santos, who happens to be one of the most talented photojournalists I’ve ever seen. Her work moves people in such unexpected ways. She had me in tears and nearly speechless last year during her presentation at BlogHer Food. Penny shoots for National Geographic ...

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A free online travel and food photography class is being hosted by my friend, Penny de los Santos, who happens to be one of the most talented photojournalists I’ve ever seen. Her work moves people in such unexpected ways. She had me in tears and nearly speechless last year during her presentation at BlogHer Food.

Penny shoots for National Geographic Magazine, Saveur and Martha Stewart Living. Check out her portfolio – the photos will leave you breathless.

The 3-day course hosted by Creative Live is FREE to participate online live beginning 5/13/11 at 10am PT, or if you can’t watch live, the recording is only $99 to to download. If you’re interested in ATTENDING the class live in Seattle, Penny is looking for a few audience members – watch her video below and see her post for more details.

I’ve just purchased my “ticket” as I’ll be in California for a couple of days that week (though I’m so tempted to fly up to Seattle and attend the class if just for a few hours)

 

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Domains for Sale http://steamykitchen.com/14247-domains-for-sale.html http://steamykitchen.com/14247-domains-for-sale.html#comments Tue, 01 Feb 2011 16:10:48 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=14247   At one point, I owned 120 domain names. So I guess you could call me a domain-name hoarder, but seriously they were silly domains that people wouldn’t ever think of or want in the first place. Every time I think of a cool phrase or idea, no matter how strange, dingbatlike or just plain stupid, I’d go and buy ...

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At one point, I owned 120 domain names. So I guess you could call me a domain-name hoarder, but seriously they were silly domains that people wouldn’t ever think of or want in the first place. Every time I think of a cool phrase or idea, no matter how strange, dingbatlike or just plain stupid, I’d go and buy the .com, reasoning that “Oh one day this would make a fun site!”

Silly me.

I’ve only used 3 of them: Steamy Kitchen, Food Blog Forum and one that I can’t tell you about because then you’d read all my deep dark secrets.

My husband’s threatened to sell my collection of vintage Pyrex bought one by one from ebay if I don’t get rid of these domain names. Clearly, it’s gotten out of hand. I’m willing to part with a few of them (my hands are shaking as I’m typing this)….as I’m already experiencing domain withdrawal.

Keep in mind I’ve owned some of these for several years and hope to at least sell some of them for market value.

As the Hoe Turns (www.asthehoeturns.com and other various spellings) – great for a gardening blog

Bistro Go Go (www.bistrogogo.com) catering?

Go Go Bistro (www.gogobistro.net)

Deliciously Delightful (www.deliciouslydelightful.com)

Dinner To Door (www.dinner2door.com and www.dinnertodoor.com) catering or delivery service?

Diva of Delicious (www.divaofdelicious.com)

Food Fight TV (www.foodfighttv.com and www.foodfightv.com) great idea for TV show

Gourmet For Dinner (www.gourmetfordinner.com)

Gourmet For Everyday (www.gourmetforeveryday.com)

Mommy Blog Forum (www.mommyblogforum.com)

My Gourmet Chef (www.mygourmetchef.com)

Smoking Hot Fire (www.smokinghotfire.com and www.smokinhotfire.com)

Spicy Spy (www.spicespy.com)

Digital Doctors (www.digitaldoctors.com, www.digitaldrs.com) this is an old company we used to own. I’m currently getting a professional appraisal for this one.

If you’re interested in any of these domains, email me (my contact form is on my Contact page) and send over an offer!

 

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Food Blogger Camp 2011 http://steamykitchen.com/11907-food-blogger-camp-2011.html http://steamykitchen.com/11907-food-blogger-camp-2011.html#comments Fri, 05 Nov 2010 13:28:29 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=11907 I always say that the best way to learn is to do it while vacationing with friends…preferably with a pina colada in hand, lounging on a hammock and lazily gazing at the crashing ocean waves. If only college was like this. Well, if you’re a food blogger, come join our 3rd annual Food Blogger Camp! This year, instead of the ...

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I always say that the best way to learn is to do it while vacationing with friends…preferably with a pina colada in hand, lounging on a hammock and lazily gazing at the crashing ocean waves.

If only college was like this.

Well, if you’re a food blogger, come join our 3rd annual Food Blogger Camp! This year, instead of the Bahamas, Ixtapa Mexico, this year we’re headed to Riviera Maya in Mexico at the Grand Velas resort.

Food Blogger Camp 2011 Sessions

Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen – Two sessions on The Business of Blogging: How to develop a personal brand around yourself and your blog & monetization strategies

David Lebovitz from David Lebovitz – What’s my Blog About? How to break out from the crowd and get noticed

Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes – Build traffic while building the blog of your dreams

Adam Pearson from Adam Pearson – Food Styling: Learn the greatest hits of food styling

Matt Armendariz from Matt Bites– Food Photography- Learn how to photograph styled food and yes, bring your camera!

Diane Cu & Todd  Porter from White On Rice Couple – Food Photography – Understand light and how to use it (hands-on workshop photographing on resort)

Diane Cu & Todd  Porter from White On Rice Couple – Food Photography – Capturing your food story from a storytelling, lifestyle or photojournalistic perspective (hands-on workshop photographing chefs and food)

And plenty of food demonstrations, wine and tequila tastings by resort Chefs

Read the full schedule of Food Blogger Camp Agenda.

Read Bios of the presenters & Speakers.

Complete info at FoodBlogCamp.com

How to Sign Up: All Info can be found on FoodBlogCamp.com:

  • Food Blogger Camp Tuition is $1200 (based on double occupancy), covers the all-inclusive stay, activities, gourmet meals, alcohol/beverages and seminars.
  • All bloggers interested in attending the camp should complete a brief application.
  • Those who wish to bring a guest will receive the $1200 food blogger rate.
  • The camp runs five days, four nights, January 5-9, 2011 at the luxurious and all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico (close to Playa del Carmen).
  • Prices are based on double occupancy. Bloggers traveling alone find a roommate. Price is all inclusive – room, meals, activities, seminars, beverages, alcohol.

You can read about the last Food Blogger Camp from January here. And if you have any questions please make sure to visit the website!

Read about our past Food Blogger Camp adventures

2010: Food Blogger Camp in Ixtapa

Moments that Matter (Steamy Kitchen)
Food Blogger Camp: sad goodbyes (White On Rice)
Food Blog Camp (Michael Ruhlman)
Camp Tips & Insights (FoodWoolf)
Matt’s Top 10 Moments (Matt Bites)
Great Round-Up of Workshops (Recipe Girl)
Ixtapa Nights – (Good Food Stories )
Food Blogger Camp Re-Cap (Wasabimom)
Food Blogger Camp, Part 1 (David Lebovitz)
Food Blogger Camp, Part 2 (David Lebovitz)
All I Got From Food Blogger Camp… (Steamy Kitchen)
Food Writing, Photography & Styling Tips (worc)
Food Photography, Getting a Cookbook Deal & Zihua Market (worc)
Food Blogger Camp at Club Med Ixtapa (Dianasaur Dishes)
Clicking the Mental Refresh Button in Ixtapa (Foodspiration)
Food Styling with Adam Pearson (FoodSpiration)
Food Blogger Camp Part Uno (A Beach Home Companion)
Food Blogger Camp Part Dos (A Beach Home Companion)
Food Blogger Camp Part Tres (A Beach Home Companion)
Kickin’ It at Food Blogger Camp (Dianne Jacob)
Food Blogger Camp Tips & Insights (Dianne Jacob)
Sensuous Writing with Corn Pops (Dianne Jacob)
Eating in Paradise (Frantastic Food)
Sunset (Frantastic Food)
A Day at the Beach (Frantastic Food)
And He Said, “Let there be light” (Frantastic Food)
Constants (and Tequila) (Vanilla Garlic)
Zihuatanejo Market: A Short Tour (Vanilla Garlic)
Food Blog Camp Flickr Pool (Photos)

2009: Food Blogger Camp in Bahamas

From Jaden of Steamy Kitchen:
My blog will be heavier
What happens in the Bahamas stays in the Bahamas
When the chef’s fish shipment doesn’t arrive
HotAsianChicksMassageYouLongTime
Here fishy fishy
Stephanie Izard’s Steamed mussel and fennel escabeche (recipe)
Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Brown Sugar Glaze (recipe)
Dr. BBQ’s Coffee Crusted Pork Tenderloin (recipe)
Club Med Ixtapa: A Week of Gluttony
Club Med Ixtapa: Salsa Mexicana and Guacamole
(recipe)
Club Med Ixtapa: Grilled Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn and Pepitas (recipe)
Club Med Punta Cana
Club Med Punta Cana (family vacation)
Club Med Ixtapa: The Hotness Will Blind You

From Elise of Simply Recipes
Elise’s Club Med Bahamas photos
Chef Sean Bernal’s Sweet Potato Mash with Mint (recipe)

From Diane of White on Rice Couple:
Bahama Mama Cocktail (recipe)
Photoshoot crazy
Blogger pics and mango gazpacho recipe (recipe)
Fish and Cockburn Town
Green Flash Cocktail (recipe)
Deep sea fishing

From Matt of Matt Bites:
Bahamas
Walking around Cockburn Town, Bahamas
A Lebovitz Isle
Tan and Happy
Catching dinner in the Bahamas (video)

From David Lebovitz:
Coasting la Cote
Blogger Boules
The ones that didn’t get away
With Sprinkles on top
J’adore the beach!
Lost

From Deb of Smitten Kitchen:
Columbus Isle Bahamas

From Top Chef Stephanie Izard:
Club Med Chef Invasion!

From Steve-Anna Stephens:
Club Med Bahamas

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Food Blog Forum Atlanta http://steamykitchen.com/11197-food-blog-forum-atlanta-2.html http://steamykitchen.com/11197-food-blog-forum-atlanta-2.html#comments Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:36:50 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=11197 By far one of the best things about food blogging is being able to cultivate nuggets of moments where Scott and I can work side by side. We’re quite opposite in talents (he’s a computer programmer and professional poker player; I’m click-n-pray and way too spazzy and emotional to have a poker face), interests (he loves scotch, I think it ...

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By far one of the best things about food blogging is being able to cultivate nuggets of moments where Scott and I can work side by side. We’re quite opposite in talents (he’s a computer programmer and professional poker player; I’m click-n-pray and way too spazzy and emotional to have a poker face), interests (he loves scotch, I think it tastes like turpentine with hints of lighter fluid) and even eating habits (I live to eat, Scott eats to live).

Blogging has given us a way to work together (I mess up the blog, he fixes it) and we started Food Blog Forum events as a way to travel and speak together.

You see, Scott use to be a professional trainer and speaker, his gift is being able to lead thousands of people in personal and business development. I’m always still in awe when Scott gets up in front of the group and so naturally is able to throw out insight, ask hard questions and affect change.

You might wonder, how does personal development fit into blogging seminar? Quite well. Everyone in the audience was there to learn, and the purpose of Food Blog Forum is to teach as much as possible in a day. It would be easy if learning only required taking notes (I would have breezed through college if it was!)

But learning is so much more – from being in the right physical state (sitting up, alert, breathing well) to the right mental and emotional state.

And that’s what Scott does best. I tell everyone that Scott is 50% of Steamy Kitchen, even though it’s my face on the site!

Well, enough lovey-dovey, I want to share with you some photos!

Our event was hosted at The Shed (best fried tomato goat cheese slider ever) and we even live-streamed half of the event online (we are working on making the video downloadable.)

This is Lindsay, the most talented web designer in the world. She’s responsible for how professional and polished Steamy Kitchen looks (and also my cool logo). I wish I could have snapped her husband in this pic too – they are way adorable. I told them to hurry up and make babies!

I finally, finally got to meet Debra Smith of Smith Bites (and her husband, though not pictured). She and Rod helped me develop a little jingle that I use in the intro of my videos. Incredibly generous, warm and loving people. And on the right is the reason why we were in Atlanta in the first place….Gwen of Bunky Cooks…more on her later!

One of my favorite Atlantans is Broderick of Savory Exposure!!! How can you resist that smile!?

One of the secrets to my success has been working closely with brands and media outlets. I wanted to share my perspective along with panelists John Kessler of ACJ, James Andrews & Lauren Thomas of Everywhere agency in Atlanta (they rep Macy’s Culinary Council)

Then the ladies took over the stage to talk about Personal Branding – my hero Virginia Willis and very talented Alisa Barry of Bella Cucina shared with us their stories and strategies in creating a brand for their work. We also shared our “personal mottos” that we live by…mine is “magical moments”

But the real stars of the show were Todd and Diane – they spent the afternoon teaching about food photography, food styling and workflow. These two are simply amazing and I’m lucky to count them as part of my “family.”

Plus, they brought Scott a tupperware full of freshly baked Snickerdoodles. Score.

As with every single one of the food blogging conferences that I’ve been to, the most cherished time was meeting new friends, hugging old friends. There were quite a few couples who came together, here are the Holzers

And the Binders from Cowlick Cottage Farm (awww)

Smiles like this just make me happy…

Meet Amy of She Wears Many Hats (quick! go see her Chocolate Cherry Walnut Cookies!)

I was also very lucky to meet The Teacher Cooks (on the left), who’s been a long time reader of Steamy Kitchen and teaches junior high and high school (bless her!), Beth of Eat Drink Smile (this gal is beeeeaaautiful!), Debra of Smith Bites and Dr. Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen.

If you haven’t had a chance to read and cook through Virginia Willis’ Bon Appetit Y’all, head out to the bookstore or library! All I can say is Fried Catfish Fingers with Country Remoulade and Coca-Cola Glazed Wings.

Bakerella was in the house too! I think we have blog-lust for each other *blush*

Wait! Who are these two goofballs!?

Not only did Diane, Todd, Scott and I host an all-day seminar, but we sandwiched it in between two amazing parties at Viking Cooking School and Store and J-Vo’s Spice Market where we had more food than we could possibly imagine.

The chefs at Viking even taught us how to make potstickers in their teaching kitchen.

But it was this man, Chef Kevin Rathbun, who blew everyone away with his pork belly tacos.

Pork. Belly. Tacos.

I think I ate 5 of them when no one was looking.

The biggest thanks really goes to Gwen and Roger of Bunky Cooks. Gwen contacted me months ago about bringing Food Blog Forum to Atlanta. She and her husband coordinated everything and were the most amazing local hosts. They thought of every single detail and truly made the weekend a fun affair.

What a community! Read about Food Blog Forum on our fellow blogger’s sites!

p.s. All those beautiful photos on this post? Diane took them! All of the blurry, grainy ones? I took those. Thank goodness I didn’t teach the photography session! 😉

p.p.s. Yes, we’re doing more FBF events! Come chime in the convo and tell us where you want the next event to happen!

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Chanterelle, Bacon and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese http://steamykitchen.com/4887-chanterelle-bacon-and-plum-salad-with-blue-cheese.html http://steamykitchen.com/4887-chanterelle-bacon-and-plum-salad-with-blue-cheese.html#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2009 03:30:02 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=4887 It’s week 2 of the Summer Fest! Last week we played around with herbs and this week it’s time for fruit from trees. If you haven’t yet heard about Summer Fest, it’s a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best with my co-hosts White on Rice, Away to Garden and Matt ...

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It’s week 2 of the Summer Fest! Last week we played around with herbs and this week it’s time for fruit from trees. If you haven’t yet heard about Summer Fest, it’s a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best with my co-hosts White on Rice, Away to Garden and Matt Bites. Of course, It’s not a party without your participation! And I’ll tell you how in just a bit.

My contribution to this week’s “fruit from trees” is a warm salad made with juicy, sweet caramelized plums… barely sauteed fresh chanterelles, crumbly blue cheese and crisp savory bacon. This was a recipe that I made two nights in a row…it was such a hit.

Chanterelles may be hard to find, but any type of mushroom would do…from sliced, meaty portabello to velvety white button mushrooms.

And of course any type of stone fruit would work in this recipe. Please don’t limit this to just plums but experiment with peaches and nectarines.

The bacon? Oh honey, there’s no substitute for the bacon. Do 10 push-ups tomorrow.

My Friends at Earthy.com surprised me with a pound of beautiful trumpet-shaped Michigan chanterelles.

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After trimming the ends, the smaller ones get halved…and the larger chantrelles are quartered.

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Chanterelles are so beautiful that I’d hate to drown them in any type of sauce. Michael Ruhlman suggested that I keep them pretty simple with minimal ingredients so that I would enjoy the full flavor of the wild mushrooms. Simple? Sure, I could do that. Sauteed ’em in bacon drippings. Can life be any simpler than warm bacon drippings?

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Okay I’m going to teach you how to cut stone fruit into nice, even wedges. The problem with stone fruit is that there is a pit in the middle. And sometimes it’s a bitch to get out without tearing up the flesh. So here’s how I do it. Listen good, because it involves a highly technical term called plum asscrack. Find the plum’s crack – STOP LAUGHING – and hold your knife parallel to the crack, about a little more than 1/4-inch to the SIDE of the asscrack. See the crack? It’s just to the left of my knife.

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Now cut. The The seat of the plum is oval-ish and cutting it this way is the most efficient method.

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Now turn the plum around to the other side and 1/4-inch to side of the plum asscrack, cut again.  Now you’ve got two nice, big, plum asscheeks.

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Cut these babies into wedges.

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Oh but we’re not done yet! That middle section with the seed? Angle your knife and cut around the seed for two more wedges.

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Can you imagine me trying to explain this process without photos? You think I was nuts!

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Chanterelle, Bacon and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese Recipe

Adapted from scandinavian-cookbookThe Scandinavian Cookbook by Trina Hahnemann

serves 4

1/2 pound bacon, cubed
1/2 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, brushed clean and halved or quartered
salt and pepper
2 ripe plums, pitted and cut into wedges
4 cups mixed lettuce leaves (I prefer arugula)
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside. Put the bacon cubes in a large frying pan or saute pan, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the bacon starts cooking and crisping up, turn the heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring until crisp on both sides. Remove the bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings in the pan (discard the rest of the bacon drippings). Let bacon drain on a paper towel.

2. In the same pan on medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms for 4 minutes. Push the mushrooms to one side of the frying pan. On the other side, lay the plum wedges and cook 1 minute each side. By this time, the mushrooms will have cooked through. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.

3. Assemble salad by combining the bacon, blue cheese, chanterelles, plums and lettuce. Be light and gentle. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.

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What did my co-hosts make for the Summer Fest Party?

peach-clafoutis-3 Margaret Roach of Away to Garden ditched the flour and made a super simple Peach Clafoutis, that old friend Martha Stewart taught her.

ginger-peach-pandowdy Marilyn of Simmer Til Done shows us her gorgeous Ginger Peach Pandowdy…what’s a pandowdy? Go find out!

Paige of Hey Little Sister tells us a tale about The Perils of Pie…oh the pie crisis!

mattbites_apricots Only Matt of Matt Bites can pull off an Apricot Ice Cream while RAPPING to Supersonic.

peach-cooler1-576x863 Peach Cooler! Look at those perfect peaches from White On Rice’s garden! It’s even kid friendly (sshhh…I’m adding a bit of rum to that drink!)

gluten-free-fruit-crumble While Shauna is on vacation, Margaret snuck into her blog and pulled out a Gluten Free Fruit Crumble from 2007!

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The Ultimate Breakfast Pancake http://steamykitchen.com/4502-the-ultimate-breakfast-pancake.html http://steamykitchen.com/4502-the-ultimate-breakfast-pancake.html#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2009 17:47:17 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=4502 Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009! Looking at this photo, you can only come to two conclusions. Either I had way too much to drink the night before, and this was my hangover cure… or I must be pregnant. Sadly, neither are true. I was just hungry. They say never to ...

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Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009!

Looking at this photo, you can only come to two conclusions. Either I had way too much to drink the night before, and this was my hangover cure… or I must be pregnant. Sadly, neither are true. I was just hungry. They say never to go grocery shopping with an empty stomach, and I’d like to add to that rule. Never go blog surfing with an empty stomach.

I was looking around for some inspiration, a dish to cook for live television segment shot at my home. I asked my Twitter friends for some ideas and promised to make one of their dishes. The moment I saw Alice’s Breakfast Pancake, I knew instantly that I had to make it. How can you not resist layers upon layers of fluffy pancake, stuffed with ALL of my favorite breakfast foods?

If you can’t decide what to make for breakfast, why not just make all? I say it solves many problems, as I’m sure each of your family members like different things. Plus, this is a show-stoppin’ breakfast for realz.

The Fox 13 television crew arrived at my home at 6:00am. That early in the morning, I’m not pretty nor am I completely functional. But one thing I knew for sure – I’d be the gossip topic of the block. I love stumping my neighbors.

We were broadcasting live, so they brought out the big news van with a 60 foot tall satellite thingy. So my neighbors either thought something scandalous happened at the Steamy household or I finally got arrested for posing as Rachel Ray.

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The Ultimate Breakfast Pancake Segment

How to make the Ultimate Breakfast Pancake

It’s best to make all the layers fillings ahead of time. In fact, you can make EVERYTHING ahead of time, use the microwave or oven to warm up and assemble all at once.

The first layer is the roasted potatoes – it’s a nice solid base.

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Because I’m a dork and I paid attention during underwater basket weaving class in high school, I weaved my bacon when I made the cake for the photoshoot. Totally unnecessary, because only YOU will know that the a bacon has a beautiful basket weave. To make straight bacon, lay the bacon slices on a rack, then on a baking sheet. You’ll cook them 10-15 minutes in the oven and they stay pretty flat. Plus much of the grease drips down into the pan (the rest just blot off) which makes it easier to pour the grease out into a little bowl.

Not for health reasons.

I save my bacon grease.

To dip pretzels in.

You know you’re totally going to try it.

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Then use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the bacon nice and neat if you’re anal like me. But watch out for little hands who come swooping by and stealing the little bacon pieces. Andrew likes bacon too.

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Then after the bacon, is the egg layer:

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Then whipped cream, and an assortment of fresh fruits:

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The Photography

This was a hard one. I wanted to take the photo outside to get the beautiful natural light hitting the fruit. But I was using fresh whipped cream, so I only had 5 minutes to quickly shoot. Here are more photos of the final product, with some photo commentary…which is your favorite?

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The Ultimate Breakfast Pancake Recipe

recipe adapted from Savory Sweet Life

4 – 8? pancakes
1.5 cups of roasted potatoes
3 eggs, scrambled
1 lb. of cooked bacon
1 cup of whipped cream
1 cup of sliced strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 kiwi fruit, sliced
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
maple syrup, for serving

Instructions:
Lay the first pancake down on a plate or serving platter. Add a layer of roasted potatoes all the way to the edge. Add another pancake and add the scrambled eggs. Add the third pancake and add your bacon. Add the final pancake. At this point if everything is cold, you will want to microwave everything for 3 minutes right before serving. Spread a layer of whipped cream, arrange strawberries, kiwi, blueberries and mint. Serve with maple syrup on the side.

To make the pancakes:
recipe from Mark Bittman, NY Times

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
2 eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (optional), plus unmelted butter for cooking, or use neutral oil
Preparation
1. Heat an 8-inch frying pan over medium-low heat. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Beat eggs into 1 1/2 cups milk, then stir in 2 tablespoons melted cooled butter, if using it. Gently stir this mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten flour; don’t worry about a few lumps. If batter seems thick, add a little more milk.
2. Place a teaspoon of butter or oil on griddle or skillet. When butter foam subsides or oil shimmers, ladle batter onto griddle or skillet, making 8-inch pancakes. For this Breakfast Pan”cake” recipe, we’ll be making 4 pancakes) Adjust heat as necessary; usually, first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. Flip pancakes after bubbles rise to surface and bottoms brown, after 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Cook until second side is lightly browned. Serve, or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200-degree oven for up to 15 minutes.

To make the roasted potatoes:
1 pound of small red potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons freshly minced parsley
generous pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F. Scatter the potatoes onto a baking sheet. With your hands, toss with the olive oil, garlic and parsley. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Spread out the potatoes so that they are in a single, even layer. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and browned.

To make the scrambled eggs:
3 extra-large eggs
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat with the butter. When the butter is bubbling, swirl to coat the pan. Add the eggs and using a spatula, gently stir to scramble. Once the eggs are set, immediately remove from the heat.

To make the bacon:
1 pound uncooked bacon

Preheat your oven to 400F. Lay a baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Lay the bacon slices on top of the rack and cook for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

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A big thanks to Miss Attitude for making this whole thing happen and to Alice of Savory Sweet Life for the inspiration!

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Nobu’s Lobster Carpaccio http://steamykitchen.com/3449-nobu-lobster-carpaccio.html http://steamykitchen.com/3449-nobu-lobster-carpaccio.html#comments Sun, 24 May 2009 23:05:04 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=3449 Below is a slideshow of how I got my “money shot” for the Nobu’s Lobster Carpaccio dish. The first shot is the money shot – are you interested on all the other shots that led up to my favorite photo? Which one is your favorite photo? [imagebrowser id=14] This recipe is from chef Nobu Matsuhisa, a man whom I respect ...

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Below is a slideshow of how I got my “money shot” for the Nobu’s Lobster Carpaccio dish. The first shot is the money shot – are you interested on all the other shots that led up to my favorite photo? Which one is your favorite photo?

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This recipe is from chef Nobu Matsuhisa, a man whom I respect so much but damn, I can’t afford to eat at his restaurant in Los Angeles! When I was in college at UCLA, I had to drop out for a semester just to afford a meal there. And to think…all the learning that I could have had that extra semester in school I could have probably gone to graduate school, earned a piece of paper that says “MBA,” then gotten a fancy job somewhere in a big tall building with $3,000 expresso machines. THEN after 25 years of climbing the stupid ladder working 80 hour weeks, I’d retire with a ‘do of grey hair, stressed to the hilt and finally have time to stay home and pursue my passions….

which is cook, eat and blog.

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Lobster Carpaccio Cooking Tip

What I love about this recipe is that the lobster is actually flash-cooked in a mixture of super-hot olive oil and sesame oil. Instead of putting the lobster into a hot pan…hot oil is POURED on top of the lobster.

This ensures that the delicate lobster slices gets just a barely-there sear. More importantly, the chive/ginger topping gets flash-fried, releasing its flavors. This is the same technique that I use for my Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe Chinese Steamed Fish Recipe

Oh but wait….I think I need to explain something else…..

If you’re vegan or a member of PETA, just stop reading.

I bought a live lobster…and in order to kill it and to make it easier to extract the meat, I froze the lobster for 20 minutes to make it go nighty-night. Then I boiled the lobster for just 30 seconds and immediately plunged it into ice water. This will help you get the meat out without cooking the lobster.

The sizzling hot oil is a technique that Nobu loves to use – it really does release the flavors of the herbs and the lobster. Plus for all the sushi/sashimi scaredy cats, this is a great way to introduce raw fish!

Nobu’s Lobster Carpaccio

Adapted from nobu-west cookbook Nobu West Cookbook

2 pound live lobster
1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger
1 tablespoon Yuzu Dressing (see below)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1. Put the lobster in the freezer for 20 minutes, so it goes into a deep sleep and won’t be aware of the next stage.

2. Bring a pot of salted water large enough to cover the lobster to boil in. Plunge the lobster headfirst into the water for 30 seconds, remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool.

3. Remove the tail and claws from body and use kitchen shears to cut open the shell of the body. Gently extract the tail and claw meat. Slice the tail meat into medallions about 1/4 inch thick or less. Cut the claw met into 1/4 inch thick slices.

4. Place the lobster meat onto a serving plate. Drizzle the Yuzu Dressing on top. Garnish with the ginger and the chives.

5. Heat a small pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and the sesame oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, pour the oil all over the lobster to sear the top.

For the Yuzu Dressing
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon yuzu juice (substitute with combination of orange and lime juice)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 clove garlic, grated (or very finely minced)
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral flavored oil)

To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together.

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