Food Photography – Bright Red Velvet Cake

red velvet

Pictured: Mini bright red velvet cake with cream cheese drizzle and whipped cream.

Food Photography – Fun with Cake Toppers

Here are some photos of an ocean-inspired triple layer mocha fudge birthday cake made for me this past summer.

cake top

The cake was heavenly, but what gets me is how real that crab on top looks!

closeupcake

No slices were wasted.

mochachocolateslice

Food Photography – Blueberry Pie!

bberrypie

Pictured: Blueberry pie that I made for my husband’s birthday last month. Blueberry filling from Simply Recipes and lattice crust from The Art and Soul of Baking.

blueberrypie

Food Photograhy – Some Exotic Fruit!

It’s my birthday this weekend (oooooold) and as a gift, my sister sent me some fruit I had never heard of before: lychee. It’s an asian fruit with a thin rough shell that holds a white, jelly like pulp. To me, it tastes creamy; almost like coconut.

lychee

Asking around, the most popular way to eat it is just raw after peeling away the shell. I’ve done this with a few, and it’s good, but I really want to try an actual dish with them. After doing a bit of digging through my cookbooks, I’ve decided to try either a custard or a pudding with them (maybe both). Of course, I had never done a custard before so I thought it best to try that first.

custard

With any luck, I’ll have some delicious results this weekend!

Food Photography – The Inn at Little Washington

Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner at The Inn at Little Washington, a foodie haven about 70 miles from Washington, DC. If you’re not familiar with The Inn, check Wikipedia for a listing of the many, many awards it has received.

It’s a pretty spectacular place; I guarantee it’s the most decadent meal you’ll ever have. It was actually my second time there – the first time was to celebrate the anniversary of my in-laws, and last night was a celebration for me and my sister-in-law. Of course I brought my camera and tried to snap away at everything we ordered. We had dinner at one of the two tables in “the kitchen,”

bread in kitchen

“The Inn’s new kitchen, often referred to as “the most beautiful kitchen in the world” was added in 1998. Inspired by the dairy room at Windsor Castle, the kitchen features an enormous Vulcan range. Built to order in France, it is topped with a copper and brass hood that looks like King Arthur’s tent. Two kitchen tables — we call them the inner sanctum — allow guests to watch the action ringside.”

canape2

For starters they brought us a sampling of canapés.

cheese canape

I believe this one was cheese.

risotto canape

I grabbed this one, filled with risotto.

shrimp canape

Shrimp canape

truffle popcorn

Herbed popcorn topped with shaved truffles. Morgan informed me that this is how he would like his popcorn from now on.

sorrel

They brought this between the canape and our first course. They referred to it as “sorrel,” and it did, in fact, taste a lot like grass!

oyster slurpees2

A Quartet of Island Creek Oyster Slurpees.
This was by far my favorite thing all night. I’d never had anything like it, and it was amazing. The oysters were each filled with a dollop of either cold grapefruit, passionfruit, cucumber puree or wasabi slurpee. Amazing.

beet fantasia

Beet Fantasia: Three Varieties of Roasted Beets, Beet Mousse and Citrus Salsa.

foie gras

A Marriage of Hot and Cold Foie Gras with Ice Wine Jelly and House Made Quince Preserves.

ravioli

ravioli cut

Spinach and Cheese Filled Molten-Gold Ravioli with Shaved Summer Truffle.
I wanted to love this, but there was a lot of runny egg inside that overpowered it a little more me.

lobster with gnocchi

Fricassee of Maine Lobster with Potato Gnocchi, Green Grapes and Curried Walnuts.

scallop

Pan Seared New England Diver’s Scallop with Black Olive Tapenade and Gazpacho Salsa.

rabbit

Medallions of Rabbit Loin Wrapped in House Cured Pancetta Surrounding a Lilliputian Rabbit Rib Roast Resting on a Pillow of Pea Puree.
I peered through the giant water chalices to take this photo. The rabbit was amazing.

maine lobster

Pan Roasted Maine Lobster with Braised Baby Bok Choy, Grapefruit and Citrus Butter Sauce.
This was my main course selection – very excellent but at this point I was very stuffed!

tuna

Pepper Crusted Tuna Pretending to be a Filet Mignon, Capped with Seared Duck Foie Gras on Charred Onions with a Burgundy Butter Sauce.

lamb2

Elysian Fields Baby Lamb Loin with Parsley Risotto, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Garlic Custard and Minted Bearnaise Sauce.

Sweetbreads

Crispy Sweetbreads with Grilled Local Peaches, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Virginia Country Ham.

After dinner and before dessert – some kind of delicious blackberry drink with tapioca.

sorbetsorbet4

sorbet3

A Painter’s Palette of Seasonal Sorbets.
I didn’t get to try as much of this as I would have liked. My husband ordered it, and he said he would almost eat the glass it was sitting in to get every last drop.

sevendeadlysins

sevensins

mint

Seven Deadly Sins, A Sampling of Seven of Our Most Decadent Desserts.
What I picked – of course!

mini cobblers

A Trio of Summer Cobblers: Local Blueberry, Peach and Cherry with Buttermilk Ice Cream.

cheeses

For a Selection of Today’s Cheeses, Just Ask for Faira the Cow.
We did.. and they brought it!

cookies'

A favor box of assorted cookies and chocolates to end the night, in the shape of The Inn.

As you can see, I will not be eating for the rest of the week!

Food Photography – Our Wedding Cake, One Year Later

I think my husband knows by now that I have a bit of an obsession with the photos of our wedding cake. I have no good response for this.

wedding cake

Sunday marked our very first wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a lot of packing, the movie Watchmen, a bottle of red wine given to us on our wedding day from two friends who had been in France (we were instructed not to open it until our first anniversary) and the top of our wedding cake that had been on the top shelf of my parents’ freezer all year.

cake

The packing went as you might expect, the movie was still just as good as we remembered in the theater, the red was quite nice and the cake was still remarkably tasty!

f1719

The buttercream frosting had hardened a bit and tasted a little freezer burned, but the cake itself was great! I couldn’t believe it, so I had to eat most of it to be absolutely sure.

f1929

For the short time the cake existed last year before being devoured, it was four tiers. The layers alternated between yellow cake with blackberry filling and chocolate cake with chocolate filling – all frosted with french vanilla kiss buttercream and decorated with white chocolate curls and purple hydrangea. The cake sat on a 14″ silver cake plateau purchased online by my mom; we hope to keep it in the family for awhile.

wedding cake slices

The cake was designed by Teri Edwards at Cakes Unlimited, who we can’t recommend enough if you’re planning a wedding in Charlottesville.

topcake... one year later

The same is true for Meredith Montague Photography – Meredith took all of the amazing wedding cake photos that I’m over-enthusiastically sharing with you today (minus, of course, this last photo of our cake top one year later, looking, well, a little sad!).

Food Photography – Hazelnut Gelato

Ahhh, summer. Home of hot weather and cold treats. When I was in Europe last year I spent a few days in Rome taking in the sites and the cuisine. One of the highlights was the gelato. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a gelato stand there and I definitely took advantage; often partaking several times a day. Soooo good.

Recently, a gelato stand by the name of Pitango opened in the Reston Town Center; a walk from where I work. I sampled a small cup of their hazelnut flavor this week and I have to say it was amazing. Creamy but not heavy, cool but not brain-freezing cold, and the hazelnut flavor was so simple and yet so delicious (as a child of a German mother, I can tell you I know my hazelnut). I fear I may fall into a familiar multi-visit patter as I did in Rome.

Gelato!

So this is pretty exciting – today’s Food Photography is all thanks to a lovely DinnerCakes reader, Grace Thoreau, who actually sent me cookies! All these years of wishing that people would send me baked goods, and it finally paid off!

key lime cookies

These little beauties are coconut-lime sugar cookies.

Sugar cookies are not usually among my favorites for two reasons – they always seem to be too hard and too dry. So my jaw dropped (luckily no cookie fell out) when I bit into these soft, moist and totally flavorful coconut cookies with cute flecks of lime. Grace tells me it’s the unsweetened flaked coconut run through a food processor that keeps them so soft, and the fat in them (don’t tell my bathroom scale) keeps them moist.

keylimecoconut

Itching for the recipe? Well, you’ll have to consult Grace. Grace is a fellow blogger, and though she’s not a food blogger she’s definitely a foodie! Hop over to her blog, Fumbling with Grace, for some fun and quirky quick wit and humor about getting through life as a young working woman (maybe she’ll bake you cookies, too?).

Bittencookie

Food Photography – Oatmeal Raisin Scone

I’m not much of a breakfast person, usually grabbing a quick bowl of cereal or skipping altogether (yes, I know, horrible). Occasionally, however, I do enjoy something a bit more. This is a oatmeal oatmeal raisin scone is from a simple and delicious recipe in the Joy of Cooking. Mmm…

Oatmeal Raisin Scone

Food Photography – Cold and Sweet Cherry Ice Cream

cherry ice cream

It’s hard for me to resist eating all the frozen cherries before adding them to the ice cream… but I try!

(Pictured: Tiny Lotus Cup Filled with Cold and Sweet Cherry Ice Cream from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More by Bruce Weinstein)