greensgrow update


As always, Greensgrow is an amazing place to hang out. I'm lucky to get to photograph this place.

street style: brooklyn


Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work. 
Living in the city of Philadelphia, Brooklyn is just a quick bus ride north and an escape that I make often. I love this little city of mine, but every once in a while, you need to break out of the routine.
Brooklyn is a way to mix it up. Each visit leaves you brimming with inspiration. I love walking the streets and observing the people; I love checking out the shops and restaurants filled with unique ideas. Everywhere you look it’s something different – a playground for the visual thinker.
This past weekend, I made a Brooklyn trip. To bottle up that infectious, inspired feeling Brooklyn tends to leave you with, I decided to capture a few street style images to share with BLDG 25. Let these transport you to that land where you can be anything you want:

everyday minerals: collection 2


Collection Two:
This time, I was inspired by Japanese design. I played around with soft fuzzy shapes and shadows that reflect the image of cherry blossoms. I left the overall aesthetic simple. I wanted a feeling of purity.

everyday minerals: collection 1


I just started doing freelance product shots, and have been enjoying the process. Styling the image is a tug and pull between negative & positive space.  Having entire control over the image, you can really seek to achieve balance in creative ways. 

For me, this particular series was all about making the make-up feel romantic, natural, and soft. The collection is Everyday Minerals' color corrector series, all made with a jojoba oil base, and all natural ingredients. I wanted the attitude of the shots to reflect the ethos.

It was a fun artistic experience to take a product and translate it into a photograph. How do you make the photos evoke something? It's a fun game to play around with. I'm all about bringing the inanimate to life. 

sweet and savory breakfast mini-tartines


Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work, and was written by my darling boyfriend, Adam. 
This week’s CSA provides the makings—gloriously fresh and local as always—for a truly awesome breakfast. With this recipe we departed from the conventional in an attempt to class-up the most important meal of the day, and made breakfast tartines. These dainty little morsels are a supremely elegant way to enjoy your Philly Muffins.

For the first tartine, we riffed on the classic lox breakfast, using smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers.  We pureed beets into the cream cheese to create a spread with vibrant visual appeal and sweet earthy flavor.  We added orange juice (squeezed from oranges we picked up at the farm stand) to drastically enhance that beety flavor we all love.  The addition of citrus also helps to brighten the salty profile of the lox.

Next we used our CSA onions to make a caramelized onion marmalade, and paired it with Greensgrow-sourced Cameo apples and Milkhouse Creamery’s Witchcraft cheese.  This marmalade packs a potent punch of flavor, and would be great company with your CSA bacon.  We garnished with orange-zest and rosemary to really tart up these tartines.  
Beet Cream Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

3 baby beets
8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 oranges, juiced
Salt to taste 

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Toss beets in olive oil and salt and roast for 30 minutes or until tender.  Allow them to cool, then peel off the skins using a paring knife.
Squeeze the oranges into a blender (we use a Magic Bullet) and puree the beets.  Add a splash of water if the beets are reluctant to puree.
After the puree is smooth, add the cream cheese spoonful by spoonful to slowly incorporate it into the puree.
Transfer from the blender and season with salt to taste.
Onion Marmalade

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

3 medium onions
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbl white wine vinegar
3 cubes candied ginger 
2 cloves black garlic

Slice onions and sauté in olive oil over medium-high heat.  Cook hard, stirring frequently until they begin they brown and caramelize.  Add splashes of water occasionally to deglaze and loosen the fond (the brown stuff that collects on the bottom of the pan).  Scrape the fond using a wooden spoon and stir back into the onions.
After 15 or 20 minutes the onions should be fully caramelized.  Add the orange juice, vinegar, black garlic, ginger and honey and cook for another few minutes until it the liquid becomes syrupy.
Transfer to a food processor and buzz with the orange zest until it has a jam-like consistency. 

weekly scenes


What is life? Life is moving from one meal to another. Picking up a fresh artisan loaf on your way home. A fresh-brewed espresso. The thoughtful gentle taste of fresh herbs. It's about the delicacies that make the hardships a little bit easier. Sharing moments with friends and letting time stand still. Because food has a way of lighting life up and making it great.

eggs three ways: a tutorial in egg-cookery


Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work, and was written by my darling boyfriend, Adam. 
There is no other ingredient as versatile, ubiquitous and universally-loved as the humble chicken egg.  Japanese, Moroccan, Italian—name a cuisine and there’s undoubtedly an egg at the center of it. 

Above all no culinary culture is more egg-centric than French.  A French chef’s tall pleated hat (picture Chef Boyardee’s headgear) traditionally has 100 folds in it, each one representing a way to cook an egg.  It’s also said the great classical French chefs held eggs in such high regard that they evaluated a prospective new hire based on his or her ability to cook a simple omelette.

Indeed, egg-cookery is deceptively nuanced, requiring precision and finesse to do well.  And with the incredible eggs from Sandy Ridge Farms available in our CSA’s, there’s always opportunity to practice. Below are some tips to help elevate your egg game.
Perfectly Poached Eggs
1. Fill a 4-quart pot nearly full with cold water and bring to a gentle simmer.  Sprinkle in some salt and stir in about 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar.
2. Stir the water vigorously in a circular motion to create a vortex. Crack the eggs (no more than two or three at a time to avoid crowding) into the center of the vortex.  The centrifugal force—coupled with the slight acidity from the vinegar—will prohibit the eggs whites from dissipating, keeping the eggs, well…egg-shaped.
3. Allow the eggs to cook in the simmering water for two to three minutes.  Gently spoon them out with a slotted spoon and check to ensure the whites are set.  You can also carefully prod the yokes with your finger to feel how cooked they are.  If you’re like us, and like your yokes runny, you’ll want your poached eggs to give only the slightest resistance.  For a harder cooked egg, poach until the yokes feel springy or firm.
4. Carefully spoon the eggs onto some paper towels to sop up any excess water and serve immediately.

The Perfect Sunny-Side Fried Egg
1. Place a non-stick sauté pan on low heat and give it a few minutes to get hot.  Drop a tablespoon of butter into the pan.  If you’re at the proper temperature, the butter should froth and foam almost instantly.  If it doesn’t, increase the heat slightly.  This foaming action of the butter is your cue that the pan is at the ideal temperature to fry the perfect egg.
2. Crack an egg carefully into the pan.  The whites should be able to spread out a little before they set.
3. Turn the heat down as low as your stove will go, and let the whites cook slowly from the bottom up, until they are fully set. Pay particular attention to the denser portion of white (called the internal albumen) surrounding the yolk, this will be the last part of the white to cook. Be patient, this will take about five minutes.
4. After the internal albumen is set, carefully transfer the egg from the pan using a spatula.  Inspect the bottom of the egg. Is it perfectly white, with no browning whatsoever?  If so, congratulations; you cooked the perfect sunny-side up egg, which is no easy feat.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 medium onion
2 large portabella caps
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold water
1/2 all purpose flour
1/2 unsalted butter, cold

For the crust:
1. Dissolve the salt into the water and place in the freezer to chill.
2. Cube butter into 1” pieces and scatter on top of the flour in a large mixing bowl.  Using a pastry blender, break up the butter until it creates pea-sized pieces.
3. Remove water from freezer and incorporate it into the dough, using a fork to work it around.  Add the water incrementally until the dough appears shaggy and not fully mixed. The biggest mistake you can make with pie crust is adding too much water to hold it together. This will detract from the crust’s flaky texture. 
4. Lay out a 2’ piece of plastic wrap.  Form the dough into a ball, smushing it together with your hands, and transfer it from the bowl to the plastic wrap.
5. Fold the sides of the plastic wrap tightly around the dough ball and wrap it up like a burrito to help bind the dough. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
6. Roll the dough 1/8” thick on a floured surface.  You should be able to see little pockets of butter in the crust.
7. Press the dough into a 12” pie dish. Fold the extra trimmings around the edges and pinch closed.Pre-bake for 25 minutes at 375 F.

For the quiche:
1Dice the onion and sauté in olive oil over medium heat.  As the onions begin to brown, add sliced portabella caps and cook until nicely browned.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Transfer into precooked pie crust.
3. Whisk together eggs and milk and pour over mushroom and onion filling into the pie crust.
4. Bake at 375 F for 35 to 45 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center.