When we first planned their photo shoot, Justin and Emily were just looking for a few photos to commemorate their vacation to NYC. However, a week or so before the shoot, Justin reached out to me to let me know some exciting news — he was going to propose to Emily! We hatched a plan to surprise her while grabbing a cup of coffee at the UES Irving Farm Coffee Roasters (much like Andrew and me, they're pretty serious about their love of coffee!). After the big surprise, we made our way over to Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, and caught some lovely engagement shots on the way. Enjoy!
It's been over a year since the last time I blogged, and it's about time I start updating with all of the exciting things I've been up to! I recently took the leap to make my photography business my full-time gig, and I've had a wonderful summer full of fun projects, amazing trips, and delicious food! So to kick things off, I'm sharing one of my favorite shoots — a fabulous rooftop pizza party to celebrate the wedding of two good friends.
Whitney and I met on the marketing team at Farmigo and we bonded quickly over our shared vegetarianism and love of cats and baby farm animals. Now we share an anniversary! She and Justin had their legal wedding on June 16, the same day as mine. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate 5 years of marriage than to party with such a fun, loving, and inviting couple! As the photos prove, this reception was full of so much joy — every single person is grinning ear to ear (plus, Whitney's smile is downright infectious). Their wedding party was not just a celebration of love, but also of their wonderful community in their home 'hood of Jersey City. The event took place on the rooftop of Porta Pizza, a super-delicious (and photogenic!) restaurant overlooking Grove Street in downtown JC. Thanks for including me, Whit + Justin!
We started off the evening with a crucial photo op with the Cat of Honor, Winston, who got dressed up for the occasion. He wasn't exactly thrilled about it, though.
Happy weekend! Can you believe it's already July 30?! I managed to wake up rather early today (probably because I fell asleep watching TV at about 10:45pm last night), so decided to get a little crazy with my morning meal. It's Saturday, after all. I didn't quite have all of the ingredients necessary, or the right quantities, but I more or less made a mini version of the baked oatmeal from Angela Liddon's Oh She Glows Cookbook. Since we were already getting wild, Andrew grabbed a container of Anita's Creamline Coconut Yogurt to top the oatmeal off, because while it's a little on the pricey side, the creamy, coconutty goodness is well worth it.
I don't really have a recipe for this one, since I kind of made it up as I went along. Here's a blog post with the original recipe, which uses apples and pears. In the notes, Angela suggests a variation with blueberries and bananas in place of the apples and pears. My banana was pretty ripe, so I also cut back on the sugar (and didn't add maple syrup, since I was out), used pecans instead of walnuts, and left out the applesauce. Then divided everything in half to fit my tiny casserole, and added some shredded coconut and a tablespoon of coconut oil to bring the whole thing together.
It was still tender, moist, and sweet, even without the missing sweetener, like a gooey, blueberry muffin.
I've been taking a lot of photos over the last few days, which is awesome. In particular, I've had the pleasure of doing a bit of work for one of my favorite clients, Natural Contents Kitchen. The food they make is delicious, made from hyper-local, good-for-you ingredients, and they're also absolutely delightful people!
Shoot days are always crazy days, and I have a tendency to get so wrapped up in my work that I forget to do basic things like eat or shower. I had only a moment to throw together some lunch. It's strange, I don't normally eat this much Asian food. I'm known to stick to the three major food groups: doughnuts, pizza, and burrito bowls. But a good stir fry is just so quick and easy, and requires so little time in the kitchen, which is ideal on these mega hot days. The spicy eggplant I made yesterday took all of 15 minutes and was completely delicious. I told you the baby eggplants would make an appearance!
After a long, sweaty week (and an equally sweaty workout this afternoon), I was in desperate need of some byChloe's mac 'n cheese. This photo is certainly not as pretty as the rest of this week's, since I snapped it quickly with my iPhone before shoving all those sweet potato fries in my mouth. It was finished off with my first Chloestess Cupcake.
Spicy Eggplant Stir Fry for One
1 TBSP coconut oil, divided
3-5 baby eggplants, cut into cubes
4-5 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 package baked tofu, cut into small cubes
3 swiss chard leaves, leaves and stems chopped and separated
A few basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
Chopped cashews (*optional)
Red pepper flakes (*optional)
For the sauce:
1/2 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
1 TSP rice vinegar
1/2 - 1 TBSP hoisin sauce
A pinch of cornstarch, to thicken
Sriracha, to taste
- Heat 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add in the eggplant, and cook until golden brown and soft, about 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. You may want to add in a sprinkling or water and/or soy sauce to help steam and soften the eggplant.
- While the eggplant is cooking, mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Once the eggplant is soft, add in the garlic and stir fry together for about a minute, until fragrant. Scoop the eggplant out of the pan and set aside.
- Add the other 1/2 TBSP of oil and the mushrooms. Cook until caramelized, 5 minutes.
- Add in the tofu and toss to combine. Cook for about a minute or two, and then add the eggplant back in.
- Add in the swiss chard stems and cook for a few minutes, until they begin to soften. Add in the leaves and toss to wilt.
- When the swiss chard leaves have wilted, add in the sauce and toss to coat all the veggies. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, until the sauce has thickened a bit.
- Remove the stir fry from the heat and add in the basil. Toss everything together and garnish with chopped cashews and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
There's a Vietnamese sandwich restaurant in my neighborhood called Cyclo and it's so amazingly delicious. Their tofu is really fragrant and flavorful, marinated in some kind of delightful, sweet and savory sauce — when you walk past the restaurant, you get a waft of the spices. Their lunch special is also very reasonably priced, so it takes a considerable amount of determination to keep myself from ordering a sandwich every single weekday. I got a big hankering for it today but considering that I had nearly all of the required ingredients for a bahn mi in my fridge, I guilted myself out of ordering take out and into making my own. Sure, it's on sourdough instead of a bun. Sure, I didn't have daikon and was too lazy to grate a carrot. Sure, I put too much sriracha on for the photo and ended up guzzling huge gulps of water after each bite. It still hit the spot.
Here's how I made it:
2 slices of whole wheat sourdough, toasted
2 radishes, sliced
1 slice of baked tofu
Some kohlrabi, sliced
Pickled jalapeños, to taste
Butterhead lettuce leaves
Sriracha, to taste
A few sprigs of cilantro
Layer everything onto your bread and enjoy! And go easy on the sriracha
Today we received an Amazon Fresh order full of delicious local veggies. We've been making use of the 30-day free trial, and their options for locally-sourced produce. Although there's no way in hell we're going to pay the outrageous membership fee to keep using the service, it's been a nice way to get fresh produce in a neighborhood severely lacking in it. I'm particularly a fan of the CSA box option. I miss being in a CSA so much, and it's a great price for what you get. Today, we got a big bounty of in-season produce: tomatoes, eggplants, chard, and green beans, just to name a few.
With some time on my hands this afternoon, I pulled out this recipe for Red Curry Green Beans from Vegan Richa. I happen to have all of the ingredients, and the multicolored beans made this dish awfully pretty.
The beans turned out perfectly crisp, flavorful, and spicy. I loved it paired with chunks of baked tofu, and topped with peanuts and cilantro, as per Richa's recommendation. Give it try!
As a food photographer and food lover, blogging has been a thing I've been interested in for some time. The question is, what will I blog about? Where's the hook? I'm a vegan, but there's a gazillion vegan bloggers out there with more creativity in the kitchen than I. Finding my voice was a challenge two years ago when I set out to write my first blog, which only yielded two or three posts. But now I have at least 50% of the skill set required for great food blogging — kickass photography skills.
That's where I'm going to start. I'm not sure where it's going to take me, but I'll use this blog to share my projects, and hopefully some recipes along the way. To start out, I've given myself a little goal — to photograph everything I eat for lunch this week.
So, today, I ate this cucumber avocado roll. I went out this morning, armed with my camera, to the Union Square Greenmarket with the plan to not only buy delicious produce, but also to photograph it. Except it was about 9,000° out today, so I opted instead to grab my food and run as fast I could for the nearest air conditioned store. The idea of cooking anything in my sweltering kitchen seemed unappealing, so I grabbed some sushi from the nearby Whole Foods before jumping back on the subway. I finished off the meal with a big bowl of market-fresh blueberries, which I realized perhaps should have made it into the photo for this to be an entirely accurate representation of my lunch, but hey, I'm still figuring out my methodology here.
Until tomorrow afternoon.