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santa cruz adventures | family beach day


Just a show of our bright shiny faces. yes we live in a place where the kids can where skirts and t-shirts in the middle of winter. I’m not complaining.

Love these faces!

Black and White | Square Classic

Pineapple Upside Down Cake | Vintage Betty Crocker Cooking

This post is straight from vintage betty crocker cooking. I was blessed to be given this cookbook from my husbands family. The cookbook dates back to before the 50s and was previously owned by Nate’s grandmother. The cook book is in amazing shape, obviously well cared for. I have always wanted to make an upside down cake, and so here was my chance. Let me tell you this recipe does not disappoint and it has everything to do with the full stick of butter that goes into the sticky caramel topping!

I decided to add a bit of my own cooking sense and added some bananas to the mix. I think I am wanting a tropical vacation or a mai tai or both. The bananas cook down to add subtle sweetness and make the topping lovely and gooey!

What I just can’t get over in this cook book is the reference to womenly life when it was written. It reminds me so much of my grandmother and great grandmother. All the bits on how to entertain and serving etiquette. Cooking in dresses, pearls, and heels, and the immaculate set dinner table. It harks back to a time when I think life for women was hard, but in so many ways much simpler.

Grilled Apricots with Creme Fraiche | Kitchen Adventures

Its the last of the summer fruits. Ripe. Soft and squishy if pressed to hard. This night, for dessert I paired them coconut milk infused creme fraiche and thyme. Sweet and Savory. Warm and Cool.

I’m gonna use this post to give a brief recap of our summer, as we see Fall just beginning to drop the first leaves and the cool winds begin to pick up and bluster.

Summer was baseball camp, all-sports camp, clay animation, magic, family camp, derby car races, roasting s’mores, visits with grandma, visits with grandpa, travels to germany, swimming with in Gigi’s pool, Giants games, running, swim lessons, TV in the morning, baseball at night, riding bikes, sleepovers with the cousins, basketball camp, lazy days at home, trips to the beach, root beer floats, kayaking, long bike rides, karoke, wine tasting, last days of pre-K, saying goodbye to best friends, lots of sunblock, green hair, chlorine burned eyes, and cuddles past 8:00 pm

Summer was good. And we will grow into Fall.

Slice and pit apricots. Grill until golden brown in cast iron pan with coconut oil.
Mix creme fraiche with a bit of coconut cream and and thyme leaves.
Scoop a dollop of the creme fraiche mixture into the center of the grilled apricot.
Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Serve warm.

Joining me in the pursuit of good food, and beautiful photography is my friend Tricia Bovey. Please check out what she has made this month.

Summer Fennel Slaw | Kitchen Adventures

It’s been a while. Almost the entire summer without a post. It doesn’t mean I haven’t been shooting, cooking, and having a wonderful summer. It just means I’ve spent little time in front of the computer. Which is a good thing. I spend so much time in front the computer for work, that the idea of blogging, just gets pushed aside. But I do miss my blog. I miss my food photography friends, Allison and Tricia. But today, we are together again. Posting together our latest and greatest from our kitchens. Sharing our adventures and taking pictures along the way. Each telling our own stories.

This summer fennel salad is one I adopted from, The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook. This is one of my favorite cookbooks that I grab often. The salad is super easy to make and taste awesome alongside a beer on a hot evening. Now you might wonder, why I shot a picture of my Good and Plenty treats. Well, the taste of fennel reminds me of black licorice, and as a child these candies were one of my favorites. I could always find a hidden stash of these candies tucked away in container in my Grandpa’s Oldsmobile. I love it when a certain taste, or smells takes you back to wonderful memories. Of times and places. Of people. Things that make you smile. Things that you just want to come back to. Kind of like this salad.

1 Large fennel bulb, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of fennel fronds
Zest of 1 Meyers Lemon
Juice of 1 Meyers Lemon
2 – 3 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to coat the fennel
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss gently.

Shot on Portra 400, Nikon F100. Developed and scanned by The Find Lab

Coconut and Kahlua Iced Coffee

What should you do with your left over coconut milk after you’ve made this delicious Coconut and Lime Loaf? My suggestion for a hot summer night pick me up is to try this Coconut and Kahlua Iced Coffee. It is not too strong, but has a nice subtle nutty flavor. Enjoy, I know my husband did

1.5 oz strong espresso
1 oz coconut milk
1 oz Kahlua

Shaken over ice, and strained into a chilled glass.

For something maybe a bit stronger, add in 1 oz of your favorite vodka.

Coconut and Lime loaf | The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

This month I am sharing with all of you my continued adventures through The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. The more I make my way through Sara Forte’s cookbook and blog, the more in love I fall with her recipes. This weeks cooking adventures through The Sprouted Kitchen took my senses on vacation while preparing and baking a toasted coconut loaf. This loaf can be a snack, a breakfast pastry or an after dinner treat. While preparing this recipe, I whistled, “Put the lime in the coconut…”, and so to complement the subtle coconut flavors I added fresh lime zest to the loaf. The tropical vibe just kept sweeping through the kitchen with the addition of a mashed banana, and a preparation of a coconut milk and lime juice glaze. This fantastic coconut loaf was generously soaked in the lime glaze and topped with toasted coconut. And on this particular night, the loaf was enjoyed as a BEFORE dinner snack.
Life is short, so eat dessert FIRST.
Joining me this month is my friend and food photographer Tricia Bovey

a shared recipe

Would it surprise anyone that I have a love affair with Paris, and pretty much anything french? It’s true, I do. I love the city of Paris, and the surrounding countryside, the language. I can’t wait for the day for my daughter and I to explore it together. And so when my daughter came home a couple of months ago saying, her new friend at school taught her the phrase “ooo la la” I was intrigued. It turned out her sweet friend’s family is from France, and her friend is teaching her all of the fun French phrases! Trying saying those last few sentences fast 3 times…Oy!

Soon after, I had them over for a playdate and when I explained to her mother that I love to bake and take pictures, I felt a bit foolish. It turned out she works for and is the assistant to one of the executives at La Boulanger here in San Francisco. Needless to say she loves good food and knows her pastries! Over several strong expresso and engaging conversation she shared with me in her very wonderful french accent that, “every French girl knows how to make this cake!” Explaining that she uses it to make all of her daughters birthday cakes with different fruit and cream toppings. Reciting from memory she captured it on a scrap piece of paper wedged inside one of my cookbooks.

And here we go…my shared recipes, that “Every French Girl knows how to make!”

So I found the vintage hand mixer at a nighttime garage sale this past September and purchased it for 25 cents. Best ever hand mixers, and so robust. My husband looked them up and it was made in the early 20th century, somewhere around 1915 – 1918. I am not into vintage items, except in the kitchen! Things were just made better back in the day, I think (but what do I know)

So in addition to having secret love affair with Paris I also have a very known love affair with shooting film. So I am not sure, if many people know but I shoot film for all my photography at this point (exception being the iphone). Film fits me and it fits how I like to shoot the adventures in my kitchen. One frame at a time. One shot to capture the moment. This afternoon as I was working my way through this recipe was not exception. A confetti of moments in between mixing batter, there was face painting to be a warrior fairy, bug hunting among the strawberries, and cake decorating 101. Simply captured in 24 frames. I love the my little kitchen with its big East facing windows, and I love to capture the shared interactions as I work in my kitchen. All on film. Even if these images are technically not perfect, they are mine. They are my collection of moments in my kitchen. Now if only I could get back to Paris with my film camera…that would be a dream :-)!

To end this beautiful recipe, I could part with ‘Au revoir’, but my french is rusty and my accent is horrible. The recipe is fantastic and worth trying. I recommend using vanilla yogurt with the cream on top. It adds a richness of flavor. For my topping I used freshly made whipped cream with sliced strawberries.

Lastly, I am thrilled to share a link to my friend Tricia Bovey. She is an amazing and talented photographer and I can’t wait to see what she shares with all of us this month.

Blueberry Scones | Kinfolk Cookbook

I took the day off to today to catch up on the things that I need to do to take of me, which includes putting together a blog post! Often times I am moving from one task to another, cleaning up, rushing from meeting to meeting, picking up kids at school, that by the time I get home in the evenings the last thing I want to do is sit in front of my computer and write a blog post. But my blog is important to me. It feeds that creative side of my brain. It allows me to journal and to share my photos.

Currently, I am enjoying cooking through several cookbooks that I received this past Christmas. I am learning so many different baking and cooking techniques. One of these books is the Kinfolk Table Book. There are some really easy and no fuss recipes in this book and I love it! While cooking my way through different cookbooks I am also enjoying wielding my camera in the kitchen too, though I am a little concerned at the fine layer of flour that I just can’t remove from the housing.

Today I am sharing with you my first attempt at making blueberry scones. The recipe is on page 303, and is cited as being adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe for Blueberry Scones. In truth, these scones are the best that I have ever tasted, and I think the secret to them is the fresh Meyers lemon zest and firm crisp blueberries.

All shot using Portra 400 Film. Developed and scanned at The Find Lab.

Almond and Cacao Nib Cookies |The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

Its a new year and I have several new cookbooks (and old ones too) that I am working my way through. My goal to feed my family well, and to learn new things in the kitchen, and enjoy my time with my family along the way. I am also hoping to to improve my eye and vision for photographing food and storytelling.

This month, I am sharing a project with some wonderful friends (Allison Jacobs and Karen Porter). We are working our way through the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook. Picking recipes that speak to us, fit our families tastes. Maybe even improving upon them. But the important part of this shared project is that we are photographing our adventures along the way. Capturing our love for food, photography, and even the people that put up with our crazy passions.

This month, made and photographed the recipe for Almond, Coconut, and Cacao Nib Cookies. These are gluten-free, but that is not the reason I chose them. There were simple and fast to make. The crazy thing is that I didn’t have to go to the grocery store for any of these ingredients…even the cacao nibs. I had these in my pantry. I bought them at a boutique chocolate shop on a trip to Santa Barbara and I had never used them. They were perfect in this recipe and gave the cookies a wonderful earthy nutty flavor.

My littlest has been joining me in the kitchen, which I love. Learning to cook, weigh, measure, make a mess (wait she already knows how to do this). We have wonderful conversations about what preoccupies her sweet little mind. I cherish this time in our kitchen and the images captured along the way.

After you are done drooling over these fantastic cookies, please head on over to my friend Karen Porter of Salt City Art to see what she has cooked up!

All shot on Fuji 400h film. The film was pushed +1 stop in developing and processed and scanned at The Little Film Lab.