Seattle Magazine: Comfort Event

Last month I was asked to photograph at the Seattle Magazine Food and Wine Experience: Comfort Event, which I have to say was really fun and a great learning experience for me. I also went to the next day’s event, the Food & Wine Experience: Grand Tasting, and while it was really impressive and mostly fine dining, the food at the Comfort event was more up my alley. It was simple yet delicious, and may have veered toward homey but was never boring. It really was so good! And with all of the vendors, it would have been really hard to try them all even not shooting.  Luckily, I was definitely encouraged to try samples in between shooting and even during. 😉 I will definitely be going next year. A few of my favorites were Ezell’s, Rhien House, Trophy Cupcakes, Smith Brother’s, Brave Horse, the super cute wall of doughnut by Top Pot. And of course the Hot Toddy Bar, the S’mores station put on by Hot Cakes and the Bloody Mary bar were all huge hits. Hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite shots.

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Venice Beach

Last month my sister and I went down to LA for our annual sister trip and stayed in Venice with the plan to get some sun. To our surprise and dismay it was the worst storm that they had seen in 10 years. There was flooding and it rained like crazy  (torrential downpour) with only a tiny bit of sun the first day we landed and the day we were leaving. Since we hadn’t planned for it, it threw off our plans slightly. We had a great hike planned in Laurel Canyon and were going to be riding bikes each day, which obviously neither happened. We did have a great time still, but the flooding was pretty crazy and even a sinkhole opened up in studio city.

The first night we went to dinner at Bar Marmont and the duck breast I had was phenomenal! The next time I will definitely try to get a reservation at Chateau Marmont. I had hoped to catch the glimpse of a star, but I think you have better luck in the restaurant. We also had breakfast at Gjelina again, which was so good. We did try to get reservations there for dinner, but I think it has a few month waiting list for dinner, not so hard for breakfast though. We also got to try Salt & Straw right on Abbott Kinney and we both, after tasting all the ice cream flavors settled on the black olive brittle & goat cheese. OMG. We also had dinner at the Rose Cafe. I would say the dinner was ok. The pizza was great! However there was just one pizza on the menu.  The restaurant has so many different things you can try there, and it’s gigantic and almost takes up the whole block. You can basically order anything you might be in the mood for.

My favorite place we went to eat was Cafe Gratitude where the waiter came up to us and told us the topic of the day, which that day was how were we making a positive impact in the world? And then the food items all had names like Brave or Courage, and then he would say, YOU ARE COURAGEOUS.  It was pretty amazing. And the food was fantastic too. We of course always go to was Moon Juice, I actually made my sister go twice and I picked up some Spirit Dust for the road. For our last night we went to this amazing dinner at Erven in Santa Monica which is basically fine dining vegan food. We got to try kimchi gnocchi and black truffle chickpea fritters.  It was really quite an experience! Until next time LA! Well hopefully the next time I go it won’t be flooding. 😉

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Gather Seattle: Design Your Plate Luncheon

About a month ago, (I can’t believe it has been that long!) I attended the Gather Seattle: Design Your Plate Workshop at Aran Goyoga’s studio. It was so great. Gather Seattle, founded by Chloe puts on workshops and lunches that bring together women in the PNW food & design industries. They have women speak at each event and share their stories. I was so inspired, and not only that, I met some really fantastic and successful women creatives that I am sure I will be in touch with for a long time. I had fun photographing too, since the studio was set up so beautifully.

The speakers were wonderful. Caroline Hinchliff spoke on nutrition and the importance of savoring your meals. Ashley Rodriguez, author of Date Night In and the blog Not Without Salt, spoke about how that book and her blog came to be. Kari Brunson, owner of Juicebox & Frankie and Jo’s, talked about how a dancer became the owner of two successful restaurants (of which I am obsessed with both). I loved hearing their stories, and can’t wait for the next one. It was really fun and came complete with a fully vegetarian meal and vegan dessert.

It seems fitting that on International Women’s Day I am posting about an event put on by women, at a women owned photo studio, where successful women spoke to a group of (mostly) women.

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Winter Hiking in Snoqualmie

My sister and I went hiking a few weeks ago along the Snoqualmie Middle Fork River. As a word of warning, even though my car has AWD you may want to take a truck to get out there if you want to go down the whole road. We ended up stopping before the actual trail head because there were so many potholes. It was so pretty though. I really love hiking and being able to get outside during these dark, cold, winter months is really important to me. I love Seattle but have always had a hard time with the short days and wet, cold winters here.

A few other things that are saving my sanity are my upcoming trip to LA in a few weeks, and I have more restaurant shoots coming up for Amazon Restaurants. I also signed up for a few classes. One is at Gather Seattle, it is a plating class which I am excited for.  I am also excited about taking a class at Book Larder, I just have to pick one! I am pretty sure it will be the Spring Vegetables Class. I also have signed up for a Creative Live class.

In work news, I am super excited to be a second shooter at an upcoming event I was already looking forward to. Eek. And also, I found out that the book that I am a contributor to will be published this Summer, rather than this Fall! I am so excited to see the final product soon!

 

 

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Homemade Pasta Shoot with Beth Batson

I had the pleasure of shooting with Beth Batson a few weeks ago. We always end with with such pretty images! I am obsessed with the images of the pasta and the egg process shots. She definitely took on a project with making the pasta from scratch (twice at least) since she tested it prior to our shoot. Thanks Beth! They turned out so good. I hope you enjoy them as well.

In other news, I am glad things are getting more busy so I have been working on a few upcoming projects and back shooting for Amazon Restaurants. Also I am really looking forward to going to LA in a few weeks. I have my list all made of which restaurants to go to and have reservations for a few I have never been too.  Can’t wait to do a post on that when I get back. So far I have Moon Juice, The Rose, LudoBird, Bar Marmont, Gjelina, and Shake Shack.  Phew! I think it can be done in 4 days. 😉 My sister and I will have to go biking, jogging, and hiking while we are there.

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Canning & Pickling

Before Christmas I had a few friends over to work on a canning/pickling project. I know this is from something I did over a month ago, but since the holidays there has been a lot going on. I found some pickling recipes in a few of my favorite cookbooks, Twenty Dinners, Gjelina, and Hartwood. Most of these recipes call for a quick or cold brine, which didn’t work for what we were doing because one of my friends was going to have to travel with them.  The vegetables would have to be preserved for at least a few weeks and not refrigerated, so we did need to find a recipe in which we boiled the jars to seal and sanitize them. I did use the books I had on hand for wonderful photo inspiration! Here is a link to pickling different types of vegetables if a cold brine is ok for what you are doing. Here is another link on how to do the canning with the sealing process, if you do chose to go through the preserving process. I am certainly going to do this next year because I have a great garden plot and I ended up with a lot of extra vegetables, particularly peppers and would love to give them away. I also think a great idea I read to sterilize the jars is run them through the dishwasher. Super easy! We boiled ours which was a bit tedious since the pots would only fit a certain amount of jars to boil at a time. I would say that we used a ready made canning spice when we pickled our peppers and for me that turned out a bit too sweet for me with their being cloves and allspice in the recipe. I might just use individual spices like a few of the recipes I posted above, or this one from the Hartwood cookbook.

In other news I am super excited to go back to LA next month. I am already started on my list of places to go and things to see. Including Gjelina, listed above! Time to make reservations. I can’t wait to be biking down the beach in Venice and eating breakfast on the beach.  Particularly after just seeing La La Land. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should!

Also, I went to the Women’s March yesterday and it was amazing! I couldn’t be there for all of it, because of some other volunteer obligation that I had. But it was so amazing, and I am vowing to try to do this 10 actions in 100 days. It is great because it is not an unrealistic goal to achieve and it makes it really manageable by breaking it up that way.

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New Year’s Eve Hike and 2016, looking back

Last weekend I went to Franklin Falls (or tried to) with 5 of my girlfriends on New Year’s Eve Day. We thought it would be the perfect way to spend the last day of 2016. We headed out and first had brunch at Twedes, otherwise known as the Double R or RR from Twin Peaks fame. We did have a damn good cup o’ coffee but it was too early, at least for me, for some cherry pie. 😉 We then made our way to Franklin Falls but by the time we got there we were still about 2 miles from the trail head and the road was completely backed up with cars stuck in the snow. We headed the warning and turned around midway. We decided to do a nearby shorter hike, since hiking from where we would have to park would have been 12 miles round trip with a one year old. It wasn’t going to happen. However, the short hike we took was so lovely! I wish I knew exactly what the name of it was, near Denny Creek? I have a few shots from it. I really love being out in nature, but I don’t do well in the cold, so being all bundled like we were was perfect. I was so happy to be outside in the snow!  I hope for at least a few more winter hikes and maybe even some snowboarding this year. We ended the day going to dinner at Tamarind Tree, it was really nice and mellow for New Years. Exactly what I wanted.

Well 2016 was filled with travel, I went to the Treefort Music Festival in Boise Idaho, LA & Venice Beach twice. I went on two trips to visit my brother in Phoenix. I also photographed a few more magazine covers and several more magazine stories. I worked for some new and old clients. I started working a lot more for Amazon Prime’s restaurant delivery service, as a photographer. I went hiking and paddle boarding frequently over the summer, and went camping. I took 6 week mediation and yoga courses. I went on a girls weekend to Lavender Lake. I went to San Diego for Comic-Con International, which was amazing. I turned 40. I also fell in love and my got heart broken and one of my closest friends unexpectedly and suddenly passed away, and then you know, the election. Oh did I mention I sprained both my ankles at the same time??? WTF So this past year was filled with a lot of growth and exploration, and also with a lot of loss, recovery, and healing. It was filled with learning about who I am and what I want from life and who I want to be.  It has brought me more closeness and solidarity in my current relationships and so much appreciation for them. I also have a new found focus for what my goals for this coming year are.

For 2017 I really want to refocus on my photography, and continue to travel. I have my eyes on Mexico, Italy, and/or Morocco right now for far off places and New Orleans or the Everglades for closer trips. I want to keep up with my yoga and take another meditation class. I would like to shoot a cookbook this year and keep photographing for more magazines. I want to redesign my website and logo for one project that might take a bit longer. I also want to keep hiking and do a few more camping trips over the summer, but mostly I want to try to be more present and enjoy my everyday life. Not a lofty goal at all. Haha.

 

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Cranberry Cake and Wintery Almond Cookies

Each year I try to do at least one winter themed shoot.  This year I know I did more than one, but I saw this really cute cranberry cake listed in Real Simple Magazine and these almond cookies in Food & Wine and wanted to try them out.  I will say this, the cranberry cake was really good and pretty easy to make. The almond cookies however, I substituted the almond flour with coconut flour which didn’t really work, so I added eggs & rolled them out and cut them into the cute star shapes you see. I am not quite sure you could roll the dough with the recipe they list, so you might not want to try it.  😉 Also, what was I thinking baking two things and shooting them before I had to go to a baby shower. Good one Amy! It worked out though and I had plenty of cake to share.

I really do love winter, and as I sit here typing looking out the window I can see snow! I am doing another winter/christmas/gifting project/shoot tomorrow which should be pretty fun.  I am going to try my hand at pickling with some friends. I haven’t done it before but found some great recipes in a few of the cookbooks I have. I will be sure to do a post on how it works out. Then we are going to look at lights, an annual tradition. We usually go to to Olympic Manor and Candy Cane Lane. I can’t wait. This definitely is the time of year to get cozy and watch some netflix, drink some hot cocoa, relax and stay indoors. Since I love what you would call “non-traditional” Christmas movies like Die Hard & Gremlins, here is a list of fun x-mas movies to watch and get you in the spirit! Another list here. And if you don’t want to stay indoors, well snowboarding season is here. Just as soon as my ankles fully heal from a little spill I took a month ago I will be headed up too.

As far as work goes, I have been doing a lot of shooting for Prime Now, which is Amazon’s food delivery service from restaurants around Seattle. It’s been a lot of fun, I get to meet people from all over, and I get to try tons of different kinds of food. Plus I get to change locations all the time and that keeps it interesting.

I went to Phoenix for Thanksgiving, that was so nice to see my brother and family and get a little sunshine in while I could. I think my niece and nephew are the cutest things ever, and I know everyone says that, but it really is true about them. And now I keep thinking of where I will be off to next. I think it might be for my annual sister trip.  We might go to Mexico in February this year. Seriously, just look at this place in Sayulita!  And then I am thinking about a road trip in the south with a some friends, from North Carolina to New Orleans. I have never been to the south, but my Grandma’s side of the family was from there. I swear that’s why I love southern food so much. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the picture and are having nice holidays so far too.

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Wintery Holiday Shoot

A few weeks ago I got to work on a test shoot with Rachel Grunig again. I absolutely love working with her. She wanted to do a holiday styled shoot without it being too traditionally “holiday” and I think the images turned out wonderful, as always!  Every year I look forward to the holidays, spending time with family, looking at lights, having holiday parties with friends.  It’s funny that the older I get the more I get into the traditional sides of holidays, or maybe it is just embracing the best of each season. Maybe this year I will go see the Christmas Tree lighting in Leavenworth. 🙂

In other news, this week has been really hard for me and for many others around me. Hopefully we can just all band together and try to shut down all the hate and violence that is flying around. Lots of love! Maybe these pictures helped to cheer you up and brighten your day.  xoxo

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Cozy Fall Cider Shoot

A few weeks ago I did a test shoot with Liz Herrera who I work with over at the Amazon photo studio.  She is such a talented stylist, and I always love working with her.  When we started talking about doing a shoot we both wanted to do something with a Fall theme, and Liz suggested doing a cider shoot. I absolutely love how the images turned out, particularly the cider drinks with the salted caramel.  I am looking forward to the next time we shoot. The images always turn out so cute.

In other news, I have just been working a lot lately. I have been doing a lot of shooting for Amazon Prime Now photographing restaurants for their app.  This has been keeping me really busy lately. Actually today I have worked 15 days in a row.  Good thing I am a virgo (aka workaholic/perfectionist) and enjoy what I do! I also really enjoy the variety it adds and talking with restaurant owners.  Many lately have been feeding me too, sending me home with all kinds of interesting food, from Indian to Hungarian, Mediterranean, which is never bad. Ha!

I also am really enjoying this time of year. It is one of my favorites, probably after summer. I really love Halloween and watching scary movies with friends (check, check, check) and going to the pumpkin patch (tomorrow check), forcing coworkers to listen to Halloween playlists (check).  I wish it lasted longer, but luckily by the time it starts to get unbearably dark and cold here, I will be off to Phoenix. Phew!

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