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Baked Eggs with Tomato, Goat Cheese and Thyme

Baked Eggs with Tomato, Goat Cheese and Thyme

Baked Eggs with Tomato, Goat Cheese and Thyme

We probably eat more eggs than anyone we know, so it’s lucky for us that we live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where we have no trouble finding farm fresh and organic eggs wherever we go.  Just two minutes up the road is Rick’s Egg Farm and our local grocery store Kimberton Whole Foods carries a wide variety of local eggs including Meg’s Eggs from pasture raised hens which produce the most beautiful multicolor eggs.  Alderfer organic eggs from Montgomery County, PA are also readily available in our area.

Baking eggs is a easy way to enjoy farm fresh eggs and keep the yolks just a little underdone and velvety so you can appreciate all that went into making them.  As with assembling savory tarts, the egg base here again gives us another savored opportunity to be creative as food photographers and stylists and paint our palette with herbs, vegetables, cheese and anything we want in the interest of art and good taste.

For these eggs we used sliced heirloom cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, goat cheese and a little minced garlic and thyme but we often experiment with other combinations depending on what we have around and what’s in season, like fresh chives for instance.  It’s worth noting that these are the ultimate Dippy Eggs, so get your favorite toast ready for dipping!

To finish these eggs right before the photoshoot, we sprinkled them with some adorable and peppery micro-arugula from our good friends at Blue Moon Acres in Buckingham, PA.

Scroll down below to get the recipe and photography notes!

 


 

Food Photography Notes:  Natural light at a 12 o’clock position was filtered through a white diffuser.  Two large black foam core boards were used on either side of the setting to provide more depth to the shadow areas.  The camera system is a Leica S Medium Format with a 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar-S lens.

Food & Prop Styling Notes:  We custom painted this tabletop surface with distressed white crackle paint to create a high key, light and airy feel.  Ingredients were dispersed around the setting in an energetic pattern to create a visual rhythm and provide a sense of organic liveliness to the shot.

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Baked Eggs with Tomato, Goat Cheese and Thyme
Author: 
 
Baked Eggs with Tomato, Goat Cheese and Thyme
Ingredients
  • 4 farm fresh eggs
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1 pint of fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves pulled off and stems discarded
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • Microgreens (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare two small baking dishes by buttering them lightly.
  3. Break eggs into prepared baking dishes, 2 eggs per dish.
  4. Sprinkle the eggs evenly with the heavy cream, 1 tbsp per egg.
  5. Sprinkle the eggs next with minced garlic and thyme, and place the tomato halves on top as well, as many as you like.
  6. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over all the eggs.
  7. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes until whites are set, and yolks are just starting to firm up.
  8. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Sprinkle with more thyme, some chopped parsley and microgreens if you have available.
  10. Serve with freshly toasted bread and a medium bodied red wine.

 

Black Velvet Cocktail

Black Velvet Cocktail - Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail – Guinness and Champagne

The Black Velvet Cocktail was created in 1861 London at the Brooks Club after the death of Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert.  The country was in mourning and they decided that the champagne should be in mourning as well and so dark Guinness stout was added.  In Germany the cocktail is also known as a Bismark, but the recipe is the same – a stout beer poured with a dry champagne.  A variation that uses a dry hard cider instead of champagne is called a Poor Man’s Black Velvet.

Today the Black Velvet has become more of a novelty cocktail enjoyed during celebrations and, because it’s decidedly Irish, on St. Patrick’s Day as a way to toast the occasion in an extra special way.  It’s great as a showy party starter, or as an alternative brunch cocktail to the traditional mimosa.  Allowing the drink to settle for a minute or two after pouring allows the Guinness and champagne to separately due to their different specific gravities creating an attractive layered look, but many mixologists prefer to mix the two together.

Whether the beer and champagne are blended or layered is truly a matter of taste, as is the cocktail itself not surprisingly.  Some hard core Guinness fans may find the addition of champagne to their beloved stout a sacrilege, but others find the cocktail to be a heavenly mixture and enjoy how the champagne brings out a surprising fruity side of the beer.  Personally, we have to admit we prefer our champagne and Guinness to be in separate glasses altogether, but we do love the look and appreciate the history of the cocktail which is why we truly enjoyed photographing it.  Scroll down below for the recipe and photoshoot notes and also check out our animated Instagram video of this cocktail!  Be sure to follow our Instagram feed for more behind the scenes posts.

 


 

Drink Photography Notes:  Lighting provided by 1 strobe with a grid, placed at a 2 o’clock position at about five foot elevation, to create dramatic detail.  Using strobe lights also allows us to capture the beautiful bubble details as the drink is poured.  A reflector card was added at a 9 o’clock position.  The camera system is a Leica S Medium Format with a 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar-S lens.

Drink & Prop Styling Notes:  Real Guinness and champagne were used to keep the subject matter authentic, as most of our photoshoots tend to be.  The story boarded concept was to have the cocktail poured and captured in various stages, with the final shot being an overflowing glass.  Several takes were done before the final photo session, to ensure that the cocktail would overflow over the side of the glass that we wanted, which can be a be a tricky accomplishment requiring patience, experience and pouring finesse.

Click on the video below to see the pouring in action!

 

Black Velvet Cocktail
Author: 
 
Guinness and Champage
Ingredients
  • Guinness Stout Beer
  • Champagne
Instructions
  1. Fill a champagne flute or highball glass halfway with Guinness.
  2. Top off with champagne.

 

Black Velvet Cocktail - Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail – Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail - Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail – Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail - Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail – Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail - Guinness and Champagne

Black Velvet Cocktail – Guinness and Champagne

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

We love savory tarts and quiches.  Not only are they a satisfying and easy to make dish, but they are great fun for us as photographers and food stylists.  The egg custard base provides a beautiful golden canvas allowing us freedom to decorate and style it with vegetables, herbs, meats and cheeses.

This is a pretty simple mushroom and chorizo tart, but other addtions we love to use include goat cheese, roasted red peppers, sweet onion, spinach, kale, ham, bacon and gruyere.  Scroll down below to get the recipe and photography notes.

Be sure to also check out some of our other savory tarts including our Heirloom Tomato Tart and our Shallot, Mushroom and Smoked Sausage Tart.

 


 

Food Photography Notes:  Natural light at 12 o’clock position was filtered through a white diffuser.  The camera was a Nikon D800 hand-held, with a 24mm-70mm F2.8 VR lens.   The main shot was taken from straight down to show off the tapestry of ingredients and the irregular shapes of the cut tart pieces.

Food & Prop Styling Notes:  The tabletop surface was custom-made for our food photography and was painted with distressed white crackle paint.  Extra mushrooms and peppers were sautéed seperately to use for final styling after the tart was baked to create more dimension.  The tart was cut in an unconventional grid pattern, instead of the usual radial pie cuts, to create a more interesting geometry.

Click here to see our behind the scenes Instagram video!

 

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart – food styling

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart
Author: 
 
Mushroom and Chorizo Tart
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen pie crust, thawed (or pâte brisée - see recipe here)
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • Assorted mushrooms sliced (we used cremini and shiitake)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ lb. chorizo sausage, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium bunch of thyme
  • Mixed spring greens for garnish / side salad
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare the pie crust in a pan by blind baking - (see recipe here on our Shallot tart feature).
  3. Lightly sauté the mushrooms, chorizo, shallots and red peppers in butter and set aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs and cream together for a minute until slightly frothy.
  5. Add a couple strands of thyme leaves to the egg mixture, puliing the leaves from stems and discarding the stems. Add ½ tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper, and whisk everything together for a few seconds.
  6. Pour egg mixture into crust, and place the mushrooms, chorizo, shallots and peppers around evenly, so it looks pretty.
  7. Bake at 400F for 15 or 20 minutes, or until the top begins to lightly brown.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and either sprinkle with fresh salad greens, serve with a side salad.

 

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

Mushroom and Chorizo Tart

Gin Martini Cocktail with Monkey 47

Classic Gin & Vermouth Martini

Classic Gin Martini

One of our favorite cocktails of all time is the classic Gin Martini.  For us the ethereal botanicals from the gin combined with the earthy brine of vermouth create one of the most perfect cocktails ever shaken or stirred.

Admittedly attracted by the label at first (yes we’re suckers for a pretty label) we recently sampled Monkey 47, a very unique gin, and were intrigued by its aromas of lime and of woody spruce and couldn’t wait to try it in a martini.  Made in Germany using 47 different botanical ingredients, we found this gin to be utterly entrancing when sipped on its own and it resulted in a lovely martini, paired with Dolin dry vermouth from France.

Truth be told, after auditioning several combinations over the years, Broker’s Gin and Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth have become our favorite pair for both the classic martini and Andrea’s most favorite variation, the Dirty Martini which will be featured soon in an upcoming post.  Although Broker’s and Noilly Prat are our own go to cocktail combo, we’d love to hear about your favorite Martini duo, and hope you’ll share your recipes and photos with us!  We know some people love to include a dash of orange bitters in their classic martinis and want to hear who else is hooked on this bitter addition too!

Scroll below to see the recipe for our version of the classic gin martini as well as our photography notes from this photoshoot.

 


 

Drink Photography Notes:  Lighting provided from 2 strobes – one with a grid placed back right at 1 o’clock position to create the high contrast lighting and one strobe light with soft box at the 3 o’clock position to help slightly bring back details and add better dimension. Pinpoint mirrors were used to reflect targeted light onto the bottle labels and olives.  The camera system is a Leica S Medium Format with a 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar-S lens.

Drink & Prop Styling Notes: Hand-stuffed Gaea green olives were selected.  Test cocktails were made ahead of time using just water to determine ideal olive placement in the glass, and to rehearse the pouring action shots.  Various antique or unique objects of interest such as books, a curio box, cocktail trays and a small elephant were placed throughout the setting to create the unusual visual narrative.

Classic Gin & Vermouth Martini

Classic Gin Martini

Classic Gin & Vermouth Martini

Classic Gin Martini

Classic Gin & Vermouth Martini

Classic Gin Martini – Monkey 47 Gin

Gin Martini Cocktail
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 3 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 2 green pimento-stuffed olives
Instructions
  1. Add gin and vermouth to a stirring glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir with a cocktail spoon until the mixture is very, very, very, very cold.
  3. Stir a little more. Is it really cold? If yes, proceed to below. If not, repeat above.
  4. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with two olives.

 

Classic Gin & Vermouth Martini

Classic Gin Martini

Almond Flour Pancakes

Almond Flour Pancakes

Almond Flour Pancakes – Click here to see more Food Photography

These pancakes are so luxurious that Paul and I staged this photoshoot just as an excuse to make this breakfast for ourselves. Luckily almond flour is a great substitute for wheat flour and makes this recipe far less of a carb catastrophe than regular pancakes. Also known as Almond Meal, it’s imporant to note that Almond Flour is really not a flour at all. It’s simply almonds ground up into a fine powder.

Food Photography Notes:  Natural diffused light was used for this photoshoot and the camera is a Leica S Medium Format with a 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar-S lens, at focal length 70mm.

Food & Prop Styling Notes: Dark toned plates and a very dark salvaged wood tabletop were selected to set off the golden color of the pancakes. Blueberries and teal napkins were chosen for their cool hues to complement the deep warm browns on this canvas.

Almond Flour Pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Pancakes made with almond flour (almond meal)
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups Almond Flour (aka Almond Meal)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Butter
  • 1 cup toasted almond slivers
  • Maple syrup or fruit preserves
Instructions
  1. In a medium to large bowl whisk eggs, vanilla, almond extract and water.
  2. Add to the bowl the almond flour, salt and baking soda then stir until thoroughly mixed together.
  3. Add a pat of butter to a skillet or cast iron pan and melt over medium heat.
  4. Pour about 2 tablespoon of batter at a time onto the pan, making no more than 4 pancakes at a time.
  5. Wait about 1 to 2 minutes to flip the pancake and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. The first pancake or two will be your "test" pancakes.
  6. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  7. Serve with butter, maple syrup or fruit preserves with toasted almonds sprinkled on top.