Saturday, February 23, 2013

NY Times: Granola

I love granola. I have it every morning for breakfast, so when I got the call to go shoot The Granola Factory in Bethlehem, PA I was super excited.

So I spent the morning at The Granola Factory watching them hand turn the roasting oats in honey. They were weighing and packaging everything themselves. It was a real personal experience and is a family owned business. I met the generations and saw the real dedication to making the product perfect.

Here's a link to their site to learn more about the history and where it started:

Also Aimee over at Talula's Garden have their own granola dishes and was also featured in the story.

Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Make: Pappardelle Pasta by Hand

For Valentine’s Day I surprised Joe with a homemade pasta dinner (he thought we were getting Chinese)

What I always enjoy doing is making homemade pasta. The recipe I saw in Bon Appetit's magazine that I made called for Pappardelle pasta. It’s a wider than normal pasta that’s good for creamy and thick meat sauces. Joe really enjoys Fettuccine Alfredo but that was too boring to make.

The recipe I made was a Creamy Leek and Bacon sauce over the Pappardelle pasta.
You can find the recipe in the magazine or here:

Today I’ll show you it’s not hard to hand roll and cut pasta if you don’t have a pasta maker.

Basic ingredients for homemade pasta:
2 cups flour (extra for covering surface while rolling out)
2 tps of salt(kosher)
3 eggs

You can make your roll of dough right on the counter grandma style or in a bowl. You will take the 2 cups flour and salt and mix. Once that’s done you create a well or wall of flour with an opening big enough for the 3 eggs. Once you crack and mix the three eggs in the middle you can use your hands or a fork to mix in with the flour. Eventually it will become a dough and you will kneed it until all is well combined. If need be add flour as you go. Let the dough rest by covering it for 3 hours or even over night.

Once it has set, cut in half and roll out flat on a well floured surface. If it doesn’t roll out straight that’s OK. You can fold in sides until your satisfied. Once that’s done you then loosely roll dough all the way up. Cut with a sharp knife 1in or so cuts through dough. Each piece you will unroll and lay flat. That’s your pasta! 

*Using more flour during the last process is better because it won’t stick.
*To cook the pasta put in a rolling boil pot of water and cook 5-8 min

Friday, February 8, 2013

Miss Rachel's Pantry

Miss Rachel's Pantry on Passyunk Ave is tucked away in South Philadelphia. It's probably the best vegan restaurant in the city. You can't miss it with its bright yellow awning and flower boxes out front.

When you go in, directly to your left is a green shag rug and a beautiful hard wood communal table that seats 12. The kitchen is downstairs where Rachel cooks her tasty meals. They are open for dinner once a week, otherwise she offers catering and currently working with Real Food Works(new company in area offering fresh delivered meals)

My family and I went there for dinner about 2 weeks ago to celebrate my little sister leaving to study abroad in New Zealand. She is vegan so this was only appropriate and the rest of us are just adventurous.

For that night's meals we had a choice of two from a four course dinner.
My night consisted of: 
1. Open-face polenta and trumpet mushroom "taco"
2. Coconut-lime soup with shiitake mushrooms, curry spice and hearts of palm
3. The pot-less pot pie with mushrooms, root veggies, seitan "sausage" gravy, and flaky biscuits
4. (Dessert) Chocolate cashew napoleon

 Open-Face Polenta and Trumpet Mushroom 'Taco'


 The curry sauce had a perfect spiciness to it. Shiitake mushrooms were cooked perfect.

The Pot-Less Pot Pie was filling. Real comfort dish with the root vegetables and gravy


You could never tell the difference that this was vegan. The layers were flaky and the chocolate was super rich =:)

At the end of the meal Rachel came up and chatted with the group. Super nice and really good.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Behind The Scenes

Last week’s post is a good lead in for this weeks that went behind the scenes of my Beer and Waffle shoot with Geri and Brian.
Geri’s keen eye for props in the shoot was amazing. Every little thing she picked up added another dimension to the photograph.
The waffles were amazing! Brian tried several different variations of a Belgium waffle before he found the right one. The Waring Pro waffle maker was covered in batter(comical) but the end results were so perfect!
The glasses in the background really picked up the light nicely and added some depth to the table.
Starting out with one basic element, “breakfast” led us to these different images that told a story  
 creating this timeless series.