Cheffed Product Photo shoot

Finally! The photos from Cheffed’s Sex on the Table product line! This was such a fun shoot and the best part was eating afterwards…

To learn more about Cheffed and Sex on the Table click here.
You can buy Cheffed products here.

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Asparagus and Basil Soup

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This is such a simple, natural, and delicious soup. It’s so flavorful and savory, it’s hard to believe there are so few ingredients and it only takes about 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large leek (white and light green part only), sliced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 pounds medium asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Using a dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat, add the leeks and cook. Once leeks have softened, add chicken broth, asparagus and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste, turn up heat and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until asparagus is tender. Transfer soup to an immersion blender, food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a fresh refrigerated goat cheese ball and basil leaf.

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Spring in Boston

I spent this past weekend visiting friends and family in Boston. It was wonderful being back in the city I lived in for years, especially after the tragic heartbreak it has recently endured. As I took my camera for walk on a gorgeous spring afternoon, many Bostonians spent their day downtown to support their city and bring the neighborhood back to life.
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Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

DSC_0103I have an insatiable sweet tooth, which can often get me into trouble while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Carrot cake has always been one of my absolute favorites, so I decided to combine healthier, (mostly) organic ingredients to create delicious mini carrot cakes. These cakes are rich, nutty, sweet and savory with a hint of spice, perfect for an after dinner treat.

For the Cupcakes:
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 cups coarsely grated carrots

For the Frosting:
8 ounces bar cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon honey

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, and egg; fold in the carrots, walnuts and ginger. Add the carrot mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined and evenly moistened (do not overmix). Spray a standard 12 muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray (you can use any kind of cooking spray or if you prefer, use paper liners). Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, salt, honey and orange zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Refrigerate the frosting until slightly stiffened (about 20 minutes). Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle frosting with ground cinnamon and chopped walnuts.

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Moments in Black and White

 A black and white collection of truly honest moments. All photographs taken in New York City.

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DIY: Painted Terra Cotta Pots

I first saw this idea on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess (check them out!) and I decided to give it a try. It has been a personal mission of mine to have an urban garden in my New York City apartment, however, I haven’t had the best luck keeping my plants alive:/ This year i’m giving my not so green thumb a second chance and I kick started it with this lovely project.
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Choose 3 colors for your pot. Paint the whole outside of your pot one color (I used white). Let dry, apply a second coat. Once dry paint the bottom half of your pot (two coats). Once the outside of your pot is dry, paint the inside using two coats. That’s it!
DSC_0021DSC_0024Click to see how A Beautiful Mess did theirs! 

 

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Cooking with Aphrodisiacs with Cheffed

This past Saturday my friend Melanie and I had the pleasure of attending a a unique and inspiring cooking class called Sex on the Table. This cooking class combined aphrodisiacs with simple fresh ingredients to create bright beautiful dishes that will not only satisfy your hunger, but will awaken your senses. The class is led by award winning Chef Fed, who believes “food and love are the two most life affirming things”. His romantic dishes are not only delicious, but also visually desirable. We made three amazing dishes which I cannot wait to recreate at home! Chef Fed combined his unique recipes with a welcoming and beautiful atmosphere to make his class truly enjoyable. You can learn more about Cheffed’s classes here: www.cheffedny.com

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DIY: Kitchen Cookbook Letters

DIY Kitchen Cookbook LettersIt has become a goal for us this year to cook more at home and eat out less. To help encourage this goal, we have been trying a ton of new and exciting recipes from cookbooks and food websites. In honor of this new life change, I thought it would be fun to add some DIY decor to our bare white kitchen walls. The main inspiration for this project was a cookbook that belonged to my mother. I loved the traditional 1950′s recipes, the font, and the aged pages (I also felt comfortable cutting the pages out because she had two copies of the book!)

DIY Kitchen Cookbook Letters

What you’ll need:
-Large wooden letters (mine were from Michael’s)
-Modge Podge
-The cookbook of your choosing
-1 felt brush
-1 Exacto knife

Instructions:
1. Cut out strips from your cookbooks (mine were generally 1 inch by 2 inches). 2. Coat your letter with a layer of Modge Podge.  3. Begin to place your strips of paper on the letter coating each individual piece with Modge Podge. 4. Cover your letter completely and don’t worry about making sure the paper fits perfectly on your letter because you are going to cut off the edges once your letter is dry. 5. Once your letter is completely dry, place it paper side down onto a cuttable surface. 6. Using an Exacto knife, cut along the edges of your letter and remove all excess paper.

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Blueberry Thyme Collins

Since Spring is right around the corner, I wanted to make a fresh, bright cocktail to welcome the new season. The Blueberry Thyme Collins is the perfect combination of fruity, sweet and fresh.

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Ingredients:

1.5 oz. of your favorite Gin
.5 oz. of St. Germaine
1 oz of regular simple syrup
2 oz of apple thyme simple syrup (instructions below)
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Chilled club soda
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh blueberry preserves
4 fresh thyme sprigs

Instructions:

1. Begin by making your apple thyme simple syrup. In a small saucepan add 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 1/2 cups of 100% apple juice and 1/4 cup of sugar.
Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, remove thyme sprigs and refrigerate until cool
2. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add gin, St. Germaine, simple syrup, apple thyme simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and blueberry preserves. Shake very well and strain into glass over ice
3. Top mixture with club soda
4. Garnish with fresh thyme sprig and lemon wheel

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Arizona

This past week I had the pleasure of going to Scottsdale, Arizona to visit my family. After leaving on a cold and rainy New York City Morning, I was thrilled to be welcomed by Arizona’s dry and sunny weather. I spent most of my time catching up with family, lying in the sunshine, and EATING! I am blessed to have many wonderful chefs in the family, so as you can imagine there was no shortage of delicious food.

The first and last photo were taken on the plane right before I landed. The photos in between are from a stroll through Old Town in Scottsdale. DSC_0004DSC_0044DSC_0018DSC_0034DSC_0093DSC_0098 DSC_0126DSC_0080DSC_0144DSC_0131DSC_0007

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