Tag Archives: foodandfoto

{homemade chow chow}

14 Sep

i had never heard of chow chow until i lived in the south a few years back. y’all know i’m a big fan of sauerkraut… and this has similar ingredients, but with a different taste and process. chow chow is not fermented, although i’m certain you could change the ingredients and i bet a ferment would also taste amazing!

what i enjoy about making stuff like this is you don’t have to be so specific. you can play around with different measurements and/or sizes of veggies, combinations of veggies, etc. being in the kitchen is all about exploring, and i love to “play” with my food… and that is something i will never stop doing! 😀

some recipes that i explored suggested adding green tomatoes and/or spices or hot peppers… but this is what i came up with :

simple ingredients :

  • cabbage
  • onion
  • green pepper
  • red/yellow pepper

simple brine :

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water

start by heating brine ingredients in a sauce pan on low-medium heat until salt and sugar dissolve, then allow to cool to room temperature.

if you find that you have extra brine, you can always save it for something else like pickles or whatever other veggie you may want to use.

meanwhile, finely chop up all of the veggies…

pour {slightly cooled} brine mixture over the ingredients…

take some pictures, if you fancy…

then, add lid and store in the refrigerator for about a week. you can also use this same recipe and then pressure can or water-bath can and store in the pantry.

i made it both ways and both were delicious! i have one more jar left in the pantry, and i have been using the jar in the fridge for all kinds of fun stuff! it is SO GOOD with sausage or on a pork roll/bun… it adds the perfect balance of sweet to the savory. and it’s also good as a little snack or adding it to a charcuterie board or on a cracker, etc.

one thing I do like about the “canning” method is that the texture is a little softer. heat-processing this does break down the veggies a bit more and although i like it both ways, i do prefer the canning method. the nice thing is, canning is always an option even if i start with the fridge method.


do you like and/or make chow chow?! please share your comments and/or recipes below!

 

{candy cane beets – aka chioggia beets}

19 Jul

these are one of my all-time favourite vegetables! i do enjoy beets, but i mostly enjoy these because of the way they look! from the outside, you wouldn’t know that they looked like this inside. but that’s part of what i love about them!

please meet the “candy cane beet” – also known as “chioggia beet” – aren’t they just magnificent?!

my two favourite ways to eat them are :

  • raw, sliced thin, with himalayan pink salt
  • steamed then cooled to room temp, just as is

fun food facts :

also known as “bulls eye beets” – this unique specialty produce item has a sweeter, more robust flavour profile compared to its other beet cousins. they are named after a region in italy, where they predominantly grow. chioggia beets are an excellent source of manganese, folate, vitamin c, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. the leaves of this vegetable are also edible, and serve well sautéed, steamed, or as a chard substitute. 

 

{blue cheese steak salad}

11 Jul

i love to enjoy food leftovers the very next day… and it’s even more fun when i create something different with the leftover item i’m using. for example, after making this meal, i use the steak the next day for a yummy salad with blue cheese. it’s one of my favourite go-to meals these days. light and refreshing, but still flavourful and filling. high in protein, and always a crowd-pleaser.

simple ingredients, as per usual {measuring with the heart and “some” of each :

  • leftover room-temp steak {i typically use grass-fed strip loin}
  • hard-boiled egg{s}
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • chopped crisp romaine lettuce
  • chopped scallions
  • blue cheese dressing
  • croutons {optional}
  • tomatoes {optional}


this is a staple in the food & foto household. it’s also a big hit at parties or gatherings and is packed with nutrients and flavour! it also makes a good lettuce wrap! i opt for grass-fed meats whenever possible… they are higher in nutrition and i believe they taste so much better! 

{inspired by : big salad, little steak}

4 Jul

oops, this email was accidentally sent out last month – my mistake… anyway, happy summer, y’all!

i found this recipe through an instagram account {@katherinewants} and i was inspired to try it.

it’s adorably called – “big salad, little steak.”

i have been eating this at least 1-2 times a week, lately. it satiates me in such a way, and it’s also easy to make {now that i’ve mastered it}. i used to be so intimidated by cooking steak… i would always overcook it and/or ruin the overall taste or quality. so i hadn’t tried making it in years. then i discovered this recipe and method for cooking steak, and i am proud to say i’ve been nailing it every time! i don’t have a grill, so using a cast iron pan is perfect for my apartment lifestyle.

i believe three key factors make the main difference in how this steak is prepared :

  • quality of steack
  • quality of butter
  • basting!!!

the best meals always start with some of the simplest ingredients : 

  • grass-fed strip steak
  • garlic
  • shallots
  • rosemary & thyme
  • grass-fed butter
  • romain lettuce
  • parmigiano reggiano
  • caesar dressing

the best meals also start with some of the simplest techniques :

  • bring steak to room temperature
  • season steak liberally with salt & pepper
  • add steak to a very hot cast iron pan and sear on one side for approximately 2-3 minutes
  • turn steak on its side to render the fat
  • flip steak to other side and add butter, garlic, shallots, and herbs
  • baste, baste, baste – approximately another 2-3 minutes or until internal temp of 110
  • remove from heat and allow to rest

slice steak to your desired thickness. serve with caesar salad {croutons optional} and a glass of prosecco {maybe-not-so-optional ;)}. Continue reading

{praying mantis hatching}

20 Jun

i thought this would be a good post to celebrate the summer solstice! 😀

i have always been somewhat obsessed with the praying mantis. for as long as i can remember, i just thought they were so cool, and when i was a kid i used to look for them everywhere i would go! i saw one giving itself a bath one time and it was just about the most amazing thing ever. until i saw THIS! something i have had on my “bucket list” for a while…

backtrack a bit – when i lived in north carolina, a friend of mine found a praying mantis pod {aka ootheca} and saved it for me. i, of course, totally freaked out about it and immediately went to read about how to care for it… then i took a bunch of photos of it and eventually put in my garden…

i did not get to see that one hatch at that time, but this year… i totally made up for it. i found at least a dozen of these in my garden earlier this year. and in late spring, they all began to hatch… and all of these baby praying mantids started to emerge!

IT WAS SO COOL!!!


fun facts :

baby praying mantids are called nymphs. they hatch by the dozens {or sometimes hundreds} a while after the mama creates her ootheca pod {which tranlates to “a place to keep.”} praying mantids are so good for the garden! they are beneficial predatory insects… which basically means they prey the harmful insects which would otherwise harm or eat plants! and i just totally adore them!

{strawberry full moon}

15 Jun

obviously i have a little theme going here, lately… 😉

all things strawberry!!!

upon waking {accidentally super early} this morning, i went down to the park and captured a few fotos of the beautiful full {strawberry} moon. while there, i made friends with a few ducks, and even finally got to see some baby ducklings for the first time this season!

please enjoy these lovely fotos!


i just love that gradient sky! good morning {and good night} moon! ❤

see the blue herring?!

i just love a pier on a summer morning…

mama and baby ducks… they followed me around for a bit… it was so cute!

baby ducklings splashing around…

aaahhhhhh, morning golden hour! the best!


how was your morning? have a great day!

{diy dehydrated strawberries}

13 Jun

speaking of strawberries… these are like nature’s candy!

i love to make dehydrated fruit of all kinds! one of my other favourite things to dehydrate is bananas. it’s a great way to preserve in-season foods and enjoy them later. it’s also easy and cost-effective.

strawberries are one of my top favourite fruits to enjoy when they are dehydrated. they are so sweet and so delicious! they curb my craving for gummy bears or gummy snacks, and obviously have way less sugar! the only issue is, they don’t last very long! 😉


{garden fresh strawberries}

10 Jun

aren’t these just the most beautiful strawberries you’ve ever seen?!

and i promise you, they taste better than they look, if you can imagine 😉

by the way, which background do you like better?! comment below…


fun food facts :

strawberries contain more vitamin c than oranges. they are also high in antioxidants and are super easy to grow! they self-seed and make a fun little patch to pick from. they are the only fruit with seeds on the outside. some strawberries contain over 200 seeds! they have a short season, so continuous harvesting is necessary for optimum enjoyment. also, to maintain the sweet flavour, strawberries are better served at room temperature.

 

 

{nature hike}

30 Mar

nothing like a stroll in nature to clear the mind, connect with the earth, and welcome the new season!

it’s been a little chilly here lately {boo!} but just recently, i took a little walk with my cousin through a beautiful trail nearby and we both had our cameras in hand.

here are a few of my favourite images from the day.

happy spring, y’all – hope it’s springing where you are!


stumbled onto this along the way!

had a little fun taking pics of it…

these trees kind of remind of me aspens

nothing like sunset over the water…


how’s the weather where you live?

{crab and veggie frittata}

7 Nov

oh and speaking of crab recipes… i made this yummy crab and vegetable frittata over the weekend and it was SO yummy! i made two small batches and i reheat them in my air fryer {one of the best investments ever!}

i hadn’t really planned to blog about this, but as i started making it i grabbed my camera and snapped a few fotos to document. as per usual, i try to use what i already have in the kitchen and in this case it was mushrooms, peppers, and onion.

so i chopped them all up and added in my crab meat.

i added a little dried chives, old bay seasoning, salt and pepper, and nutritional yeast, then heated the mixture up in a pan with a pat of butter on low until slightly cooked…

then poured the mixture into these cute little tins, and baked for 15 minutes in a 360 degree oven…

finally, i let the frittata cool for a bit, popped it out of the tin, and put it in the fridge so i could have them for breakfast/brunch in the mornings.

i love a frittata!

{autumn is for all things pumpkin!}

31 Oct

particularly on halloween, right?!

as you know, i prefer to eat seasonally so i’m on my squash and pumpkin kick at the moment. the farmers markets are closing this weekend or next, so i want to get out and stock up before they are done for the season.

contrary to popular opinion, i don’t do pumpkin lattes. they are too usually sweet for me. i do, however, tend to eat my weight in pumpkin seeds!

i simply cut a pumpkin open, carefully dig out the seeds, soak them for about an hour, then toss them with some olive oil and S&P and throw them in the air fryer for about 15 minutes. they don’t last long… they are so crispy and delicious! this was the firs time i tried making them in the air fryer. i have always baked them, but i’m so glad i tried it because they turned out amazing and in less time! i am eager to make more.

once i’ve devoured half of my pumpkin seed supply {haha!}… i scoop out the roasted pumpkin guts, add a little water, blend in the vitamix, pour in a large pan with some homemade veggie stock, add some spices, and serve with pepitas and mini toasts… NOM NOM!

i made a huge batch of this soup and so i froze some, canned some, and shared some…

both of these recipes are on par with my motto – KISS – keep it seriously simple. they are also healthy and support the 100-mile diet concept. i hope you enjoy and please comment if you try or have ideas of your own to share!

oh, and here’s the costume i wear every year – my “pumpkin king” onesie!

happy halloween!

{DIY up-cycled candles}

25 Oct

i love to repurpose things! do you feel the same way?

i know from personal experience that so many items get tossed out and/or thrown away, unnecessarily. i spent a large portion of my career in grocery retail trying to educate people on this subject… but i still don’t know if most people are acutely aware of where our “trash” goes. i feel like our society tends to have this mindset of “out of sight, out of mind.” that said, it is known that some of the highest physical peaks in parts of this country are not something like a mountain-top, but actually more like the tip-top of a landfill.

take that in for a moment… isn’t that crazy to consider?!

all of that said, i love to find ways to “up-cycle” items that would normally get thrown away or would end up in a landfill. recycling is a great option, but sometimes i think we tend to forget about the fact that we can also repurpose things. it’s easy to throw a decent glass jar into a recycling bin… but have you ever considered if you can reuse it for something else?

case and point : i have been loving these yummy french yoghurts that i have recently been buying at my local grocery store. i like them for many reasons… yes, they taste great! and that’s a major selling point! but the main reason i like them is because they come in glass jars. i LOVE to support and also repurpose products that choose to use glass… i’m all about minimizing plastic consumption!

i’ll get off my soapbox for now, but i encourage you all to think about what you throw away… and perhaps {re}consider a creative way to reuse some of the items you may normally toss out or recycle.

and now… onto today’s blog. 😉

a friend of mine gifted me some old candles that had been stored for a long time. the wicks were no longer usable, but the candles were in good condition and still had a great scent! so – i decided to take them home and reuse them to make some DIY {repurposed and up-cycled} homemade candles.

as i mentioned, i had been saving these yoghurt containers. i also repurposed some old candle containers.

i used my double-boiler that i scored at a local antique store {YAY!} i purchased the wicks and wick-holders online, and then i simply re-melted the wax and allowed it to cool slightly before pouring. this is not exactly a perfect method. there is a bit of science to candle-making, which i’ve recently discovered. temperature plays a factor, and in this case my DIY at-home method typically created a ‘sink-hole’. however, i also discovered that in my case, this issue was easily rectified with a second pour. plus, i’m not generally aiming for perfection with this project. {wow – can’t even believe i’m saying that!}

so – overall, i think they look awesome and i am proud of myself and the dedication to creation!


have you ever made your own candles and/or repurposed old ones? i would love to receive your feedback!

happy creating!

 

{funky fungi}

6 Oct

speaking of mushrooms and fungi – check out this fantastic wild funky fungi that was recently gifted to me. apparently it’s edible, but it was just a little passed its prime when i got my hands on it. this amazing thing grows wild on a tree in a friend’s backyard. i wish i could remember the name. perhaps she will remind me before i decide to post this blog. another good friend of mine said it looked like a brain – haha. {he’s constantly saying silly things like that}

i love the golden colour! it reminds me of {yummy!} chanterelle mushrooms, but i was informed that this is technically a fungi. so now i’m curious about which is which… how to distinguish the difference, if there is one?! i think it may have something to do with the underside – the gills?! i’m going to do more research, and i welcome any insight from my amazing readers and/or forager friends!

so without further ado, here are some artistic fotos i took of this fascinating creation from our incredible earth.


update 03/17/22 : i am pretty confident that this is a “chicken of the woods” mushroom”… 


 

it does kind of look like a brain in this foto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{thirsty thursday – homemade komucha on tap}

22 Jul

i totally need to make a detailed post about this very soon.

i have been making my own kombucha for about 3 years now and i love it so much!

my favourite flavour is ginger, which is what is pictured in this batch.

are you curious about kombucha? it’s so easy to make and it is a wonderful health tonic full of minerals, amino acids, and gut-supporting probiotics. i’ve been consuming kombucha for almost 2 decades and a few years ago i finally started making my own.

stay tuned, and i’ll post more about my scoby {lovingly named “scooby”} and all of the other fun things that go into brewing kombucha at home 🙂

{sunday (funday) snacks}

18 Jul

speaking of eating seasonally and such…

on sundays lately, i’ve been curating a platter fully of yummy and healthy snacks to eat in leiu of lunch or dinner. i’ll have it out while i am cooking or relaxing or whatever else and just kind of graze on the snacks… basically all day.

here are a couple of pics of how i spent my last 2 sundays :

chianti-wine aged salami, garlic-herb wafer crackers, fresh avocado, fresh pineapple, locally-grown cherries, blueberries, & peaches, super thin pretzels, roasted mixed nuts, truffle parmesan crisps, dehydrated apples, apricots, dates, various chocolate, and a homemade kombucha spritzer mocktail

homemade tuna salad, organic mini toasts, garlic-herb salami, smoked oysters, mixed nuts, homemade pickles, fermented radishes, locally-grown broccoli & cauliflower, fresh avocado, dates, apricots, locally-grown blackberries & peaches, and a ginger tonic mocktail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{thirsty thursday – beer journal #1}

15 Jul

i enjoy eating and drinking seasonally…

for example, you’ll hardly catch me eating asparagus in the fall or winter. and on the same side of that coin, you’ll hardly catch me drinking a porter in the spring or summer. i like having foods and beverages to look forward each season. it feels fun and better overall for me and my lifestyle to eat and drink foods that are in season, and drink beverages that blend well with each season.

in the summer – i prefer to drink ales, lagers, and IPAs.

here are some recent beers i’ve tried that go well with the season.

a classic all-time fav

a clean northwest style lager

i’m a fan of this one because i love galaxy hops

love this bright pale ale with hints of ginger

citric pale ale with hints of kaffir lime

easy drinking golden ale perfect for summer

another fav of mine though i tend to drink it more in spring

highly complex flavour profile in this unique APA

{i heart lighthouses}

15 Mar

hey y’all.

is anyone else experiencing spring fever?!! my goodness, i’m SO ready for warmer weather!!  and getting a small taste it this past week has me feeling the excitement of new beginnings and gardening season and all of the other wonderful things that spring has to offer!

in the spirit of daylight savings time, i took a short drive and a short hike to a little area close by to where i live. which reminds me… i have much to update on. your fellow gypsy queen has moved… again. i’m living back in maryland, where i spent many of my years as a youth. lots of reasons brought about this decision, and i am happy to be back and i love being so close to the water again.

all that said, i can walk to the river in 15 minutes, and i can drive to this amazing place in that same time. i feel most alive when i’m close to a body of water {preferably the ocean – which is still pretty close!}, and so i am loving living in this space again! given the 60 degree temps this past weekend, i felt inspired to get out of the house and take a drive to watch the sunset over the water. i brought my camera, so i’m sharing some of my favourite images… mostly it was me playing around with a bunch of filters and edits. i really love lighthouses!

i have so missed blogging and i look forward to getting back into a more consistent rhythm with it!

thank you to my loyal readers and those of you that engage with my posts, send me messages, and truly care about what i’m doing, and my life, and my art, and all the things. it means the world to me and i am so thankful to be back doing what i love so much! i hope you enjoy these fotos.

xxoo

signs of spring

signs of spring

mushrooms?!

sunset through the trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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{long time no blog…}

10 Feb

hello world! it’s been far too long since i have written a blogpost. i miss you!

my life has changed a lot in the past year. i realized that i haven’t blogged in over a year, and that is a record for me! too much time has passed.

the beginning of last year immediately started with extremely unpleasant news that was very hard on me and my family. i found myself retreating and not being online very much. then – as we all know, the world changed dramatically and we have all been affected by that, in some way. my heart has felt heavy and i have been grieving for many reasons. that said, i still hold a space of gratitude for so much. i am well and i have my health and i am thankful for many things.

it’s been so long since i’ve written a blog that when i logged on to wordpress today, i saw that everything had changed. i don’t even recognize this platform anymore, and i now have to re-learn how to do this. which is actually kind of okay with me. sometimes we can get stagnant in life and it’s good to learn new things… especially these days. i have always needed creative outlets and of course fotography has always been a great avenue for that, as well as writing. in today’s technologically-driven world, i find myself craving balance so that i’m not always in front of a screen. since i work on a computer during the day, it’s been a challenge to want to sit down and edit fotos or write blogs. but i’m finding ways to make that happen without feeling too unnecessarily connected to all things digital. and i currently feel very inspired to start blogging again.

SO much to catch you all up on! for now, i wanted to pop on here and create a quick blog to say hello and i look forward to getting back into the swing of things. lots of cooking and fun things happening and lots to share! i am going to include these fotos of some beautiful produce i found at a local farmers market… just because we all know how much i love and appreciate such things!

 

 

 

 

{homemade greeting cards by food & foto}

1 Jan

happy new year, friends, family, and readers!

2020 marks the 8th anniversary of foodandfoto.com! thank you for following along on my journey during all this time! it truly means so much to me to have you read, engage, comment, and support! i have loved hosting this blog and of course taking the fotos that go along with it. fotography is and always will be an outlet that offers my creative spirit tremendous amounts of joy!

i have missed you and missed blogging! sometimes time has a way of fooling us to believe that we are too busy to do things that really matter to us. i have been feeling this way over the last few months, and the holidays seem to have a way of exacerbating that feeling. in the spirit of the new year, i have been wanting to reconnect with my love of blogging and so i decided to start fresh today!

as you may already know, i make my own greeting cards which highlight some personal favourite images my eye {and camera} have ever captured. i have done this for years and enjoy it so much! it has been another fun way for me to continue creating, and people tell me they love to receive them as gifts for any occasion. in todays fast-paced world laden with gregarious social media, instant-gratification-induced text messages, perception-deceiving emojis, and the like… i find myself wanting to go back in time. perhaps i ought to use my typewriter to construct meaningful letters and perhaps one of those cool wax stamps with my logo on it, sent “snail-mail” style. my soul has always felt connected to a “simpler” way of life and that is why i still, to this day, send out greeting cards as a means of sending a simple “hello” or “thinking of you” to a loved-one.

don’t get me wrong, i love being able to blog and share things through this platform, but don’t you think there’s something to be said about a different means of correspondence?! for me, i believe it’s the idea of putting time and effort into something meaningful. i love hearing from anyone i care about via email, text, letter, face-to-face contact, smoke signal, or whatever… but i guess what i’m trying to say is i think the greeting card is something that should be appreciated and celebrated and that is why i continue making them. plus, it’s fun for me! ❤

though i am not generally very rigid about such things, as one of my new year’s “resolutions” i wanted to sort of “promote” my greeting cards a little better. i have never really done anything like this outside of selling them at art fairs. so, it is with {my introverted} humility that i ask for your continued support and consider investing in my art by purchasing some.

currently, i am offering my greeting cards as :

$6/each or $15/3-pack + $3 flat shipping cost

mix-n-match {pick your favs} or grab-bag style {let me curate for you!}

most of my collection includes some of my all-time favourite images and there are also some of my famous “door” images in the lot. some of my greeting cards are not yet featured, and if you choose to let me curate the package, you will receive some very special choices.

you can see some of the samples of my greeting cards at this link : greetings.

please contact me via email when you are ready to purchase and/or if you have any questions.

thank you so much for your love and support! here’s to the best year yet in 2020!

 

{praying mantis egg case : part 2}

3 May

garden season is finally here! which means my happiness meter just skyrocketed! 🙂

i recently gave my praying mantis egg case an apartment upgrade by relocating it to the community garden. i {safely} tied it to a trellis in my plot.

the praying mantis serves as a wonderful addition to any garden, since they are a beneficial insect. they prey on other insects that may otherwise be harmful to crops and soil.

plus, they are totally fascinating to admire and watch! and i am hoping i am able to witness the case hatch and capture it on film!

i will be checking on it regularly, so stay tuned for more updates!


#farmeraudrey

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