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Entries in spring (9)


Jordan Hipson's SPRING Playbook + Food Photography 101

I was contacted by Jordan Hipson in November about my food photography as he was just about to film his live episode of 'How-To For the Holidays' at Lighthouz Furniture in Burnside.

'Hi Kelly - Would you loan us a few framed photos we could include on our holiday set? We could sell them on site for you! I would adore to have some of your photos in the background - they are fantastic!! Also, would you be interested in being the photographer for the cover of our Spring Playbook?'

Since that conversation began over 5 months ago, Jordan and I have messaged each other at least 100 times - and we still haven't met in person! That's all about to change though, as the Spring Playbook is released this week with a fabulous launch party happening Wednesday night.

Jordan was absolutely amazing to work with and gave me full creative control over the styling and photography for the cover. I sent him a few ideas of different food to feature and he chose Naan Bread Personal Pizzas. I thought they'd be great for spring - cute, colourful and a way to feature spring vegetables even though I was shooting in January. I made three versions - Asparagus and Pinenut with Lemon Ricotta - Pea, Pancetta and Feta - Prosciutto, Radish and Goat Cheese - and ate all three for dinner after I photographed them.

The photo background on The Playbook's cover is a piece of plywood that I painted white and then painted Robin's Egg Blue. After the blue paint was dry, I scratched it up to show the white paint underneath.

Jordan's reaction to the proofs I sent was awesome - 

'OH MY GOD. Where do you live, I am coming to kiss you!'

'So you like it then?', I asked.

In addition to the cover shot, I also contributed my photo and recipe for Rhubarb Curd,

and I wrote an article called 'Food Photography 101' featuring 5 food photography tips and tricks that I use on a regular basis. Along with each tip, I featured a little 'side note' to the accompanying photos. Below are the photos I chose for my feature along with the side notes I just mentioned. To read my full article click here.


1. Play With Your Light

Classic Lemon Bars - The highlights on the white linen in the bottom left corner were completely blown out so I propped up a piece of black foamboard, just off camera, facing the fabric, to absorb some of the light. Doing this reduced the light in the highlights and brought back some of the texture back to the fabric.



2. Don't Be Afraid To Get Closer

Cardamom Vanilla Brown Butter Spread - A tight close-up allows you to capture the essence of a simple recipe. Flecks of ground cardamom and vanilla bean, crunchy sugar crystals and the burnished hue of brown butter really stand out when you get closer.


3. Straight-On vs Overhead

I tend to photograph food with height from s straight-on perspective and food that is flat from an overhead persective. It works well for me.

Straight-On - French Sablé Cookies


Overhead - Blood Orange Marmalade


4. The Colour Wheel

I often refer to the colour wheel when I'm deciding on which props to feature in my food photography. Google 'colour wheel' for an absolute ton of information if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Gluten-Free Blood Orange Coconut Cake - The warm pinks and oranges of this photograph are all closely related on the colour wheel.


Six-Minute Microwave Lemon Curd - the deep blue in the background fabric is the opposite to bright sunny yellow on the colour wheel.


5. The Camera Doesn't Always See What You See And That's Ok

Juniper Berries - My personal policy is to capture as much quality as possible in-camera and keep editing at a minimum, however, I refuse to feel guilty about processing images when things don't quite look the way I want. I believe that honing my post-processing skills is necessary both to my creative vision and my business.


You can read the full issue of Jordan's Playbook here - http://issuu.com/jordanhipson/docs/playbook/1?e=11279994/7218636

For more information visit www.jordanhipson.com or @jordansplaybook.


Julia Child's Cherry Clafoutis

As the wet damp Nova Scotia spring fades into the long, and hopefully hot, days of summer, things start to happen. One of my favourite things is when cherries go on sale.

I keep my eye on these plump shiny little red fruits from the time they make their first appearance at $10.99/lb, until around now, when they're $3.99/lb and sometimes less.

Ok, great. I've got two pounds of fresh cherries. Now what? 

Pie would be the obvious answer, especially in my house, where my husband Sean will eat practically anything with the word 'pie' in it.

I feel kind of bad.

Cherry pie is Sean's favourite.

But I didn't feel like making pie.

I felt like making Clafoutis.

(Is it Cla-foo-TEE or Cla-FOO-tee?) 

I don't really know, but either way, it's friggin' good.

I read somewhere that if you leave the pits in the cherries, they'll have more flavour when baked so I did just that. Plus, I don't own a cherry pitter and I didn't feel like pitting 60 cherries by hand.

You know.

'Cause that blows.

I didn't really know what Clafoutis WAS. Is it cake? Is it custard? Is it flan? 

Turns out it's kind of all three but more on the eggy custardy/flan/crepe side of things.

Warm Cherry Clafoutis dusted with powdered sugar. A small delight in my hectic life.

I used Julia Child's recipe for Clafoutis posted on Epicurious

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Keurig MINI Plus Brewer and Van Houtte Vanilla Hazenut Coffee Ice Cream

This is my brand new Cobalt Blue Keurig MINI Plus Brewer. Isn't it cute?

I've been toying with making the switch to Keurig for a while now. Every time I would go to the store to buy coffee, I would stand in front of the Keurig section, staring forlornly at the amazing selection (over 100 different flavours of K-Cups to choose from!!) that is available to Keurig owners. 'I want to drink Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut!', I would think to myself, but NOOO, instead I would head home, no K-Cups in my bags, because I didn't own a Keurig.

I live in a one-coffee-drinker household. And THAT is why I'm so thrilled about this adorable efficient little machine. It takes up hardly any space on my counter, I have TONS of selection for coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate, or apple cider and more!), it's so easy to use my Grandma could figure it out and it's PRETTY which means it's MINE.

As most of you know, I can't just make a cup of coffee and call it a day - I like to play! - and so I thought, what would be fun to do with GMCR's Van Houtte coffee? Then it hit me - ICE CREAM.

Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee Ice Cream with Toasted Hazelnuts and Chopped Milk Chocolate (recipe adapted from Not Eating Out In New York)

1.5 C 35% whipping cream

1.5 C whole milk

0.5 + 0.25 C sugar

3 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

3/4 C water

2 Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut K-Cups

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C hazelnuts, skinned, roasted, chopped

1/2 C milk chocolate pieces

- heat whipping cream, milk and 0.5 C sugar in a saucepan over med-low heat until sugar dissolves and steam starts to rise

- in a med-large bowl, whisk 0.25 C sugar, egg yolks and whole eggs

- pour 3/4 C water into Keurig MINI Plus Brewer - brew one Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee K-Cup - discard brewed coffee to keep 0.5 C - peel lid from second K-Cup and add fresh grounds to brewed 0.5 C - steep

- whisk 1 C hot milk mixture, very little at a time, into egg mixture - once 1 C hot milk is whisked into egg, add everything back into the pot of hot milk - cook over med-low heat until custard coats the back of a wooden spoon and you can draw a clear line through it with your finger - remove from heat

- strain steeped Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee through a fine mesh strainer TWICE - add to custard with 1 tsp vanilla - stir well - cool then chill in fridge 3-4 hours

- churn in ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's directions - layer ice cream in container with chopped hazelnuts and chopped chocolate - freeze 3-4 hours


*Please note that although I did receive a free Keurig Cobalt Blue MINI Plus Brewer, a Keurig K-Cup Carousel, Van Houtte House Blend, Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut, Bigelow Green Tea and Café Escapes Hot Cocoa K-Cups from Keurig, they did not specifically ask me to write a blog post promoting their product. I just really love this little machine and would have bought one anyway at some point! Thank you Keurig!!

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