Jul 29, 2010

HANDMADE : A Craft Trunk Show, August 14!

Please join us Saturday, August 14, 2010 from 10am to 4pm for the opportunity to buy beautiful handmade items.  Cindie Flanagan will be selling her amazing handmade jewelry, and Miss Denise will be offering an eclectic assortment of odds and ends.

Other artists selling their wares include jewelers Ana Osgood, Weina Dinata, and Christin Ayotte.  Tris Wasserman will be bringing her wonderful hand painted glass and wood.  Mimi Mayer, of Mimi’s Canyon Kitchen, will have yummy tapenade and other scrumptious delights to please your palate, and Dawn Henney will be bringing all of her handcrafted paper items, including blank journals, and some charming vintage items.  Come and get your holiday shopping done earlier than all of your friends.  They'll be so jealous!

1753 S. Shenandoah Street
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Located east of Robertson, west of La Cienega, north of Venice, and south of Pico.

From the 10 freeway, take the Robertson Blvd. exit going north. Make a right on 18th Street and a left on S. Shenandoah Street. 1753 is about the middle of the first block on the left (west) side of the street.

Please call or text 310-562-0625 if you have any questions.

We hope to see you there, and in the meantime, here are some samples of Cindie's work!

Cindie's trusted assistant, Peanut.

Jul 22, 2010

The Final Product

I got this beautiful image in my inbox today and had that familiar feeling of, "Aaaah yes, it's all worth it". I think making books is akin to making movies. You have all these little pieces (which you agonize over), you toil, you fuss, you edit, you send the pieces off to various people in various departments, and there is always a point in the process where you honestly believe it is a complete disaster and will never result in anything but a pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces (of which the dog ate three).

Then you get the email. Or the first copy arrives, and it's like Christmas. I'm always a proud mama.

Helping with Cecilia with her book was a delight, as was working with photographers Jon Edwards, Heather Winters, and Arve, the publisher.  It honestly was a dream project, and I can still taste that rice pudding...

Jul 21, 2010

ABC: Tricks to Create a Beautiful Plate of Food

Denise, Cindie and Matt Armendariz discuss plating tips, both for the camera AND for our life. We eat with our eyes first, after all...

Jul 19, 2010

Matt Armendariz in Bon Appetit!

We are SO excited to share a sneak peek at Matt Armendariz's article, "How to Take Perfect Food Photos" in Bon Appetit's August issue.

Click here to download the print version.

Click here to view the online version.

On newsstands now!

Congratulations, Matt!

Jul 15, 2010

Rocking Spain this Fall at the Food Photo Festival

 Photo Courtesy of FoodFestival.org                                                 

Denise and Cindie are going to Spain!  They will be presenting the "Dos and Dont's of Food Styling for the American Market" on October 2, 2010.  This is part of the very first Food Photo Festival in beautiful Tarragona.

Click here to download a complete description of all the exciting happenings.  Need a better excuse to join us in Spain?  We didn't think so...and you might just meet Tater and Tot!

Jul 7, 2010

Review: Eat & Beat Diabetes with Picture Perfect Weight Loss

 This book came our way awhile back and we were impressed.  This is not your average diabetic cookbook.  Authored by a doctor (Howard M. Shapiro) and a chef (Franklin Becker), this book both educates AND provides interesting and innovative recipes from renowned chefs, including Lidia Bastianich, Michel Nischan, and (Cindie's VERY favorite) Eric Ripert.

The book is beautifully illustrated with hundreds of examples of what NOT to eat, and what to eat instead.  For example, at 760 calories you can eat 1 cup of ice cream, or 19 sugar-free fudge pops.  That's a no brainer!  I will say that this book advocates artificial sweeteners.  I personally would rather eat less of the "real thing" on occasion than ingest chemicals, but that's just my opinion.  To each her own.

I was inspired by the creativity of the recipes, and am going to make this one very, very soon.

Cauliflower Almond Puree

2     heads cauliflower
1     garlic clove, chopped
1     leek, white part only, cleaned and chopped
2     tablespoons olive oil
1/2  cup almonds, toasted
2     tablespoons almond oil
1/4  cup creme fraiche
1     teaspoon kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon freshly milled white pepper

Discard thick stems of the cauliflower and separate the heads into individual florets, and clean.

Place cauliflower, garlic, leeks and olive oil in a Dutch oven, and add 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer.  Cook until fork tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain veggies over a bowl, reserving liquid for later.

Add veggies to a blender, along with toasted almonds, almond oil and creme fraiche, and process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the consistency with reserved liquid until the desired consistency is achieved.

Serves 4

Note:  To toast almonds, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and cook at 350 degrees for until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Jul 1, 2010

Don't Mess with Texas Brownies

Don't Mess with Texas Brownies

These crowd pleasers are perfect to take to your Fourth Of July gathering.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Use an 8-inch square baking pan, lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

8       oz       good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/2    cup     all-purpose flour
3       tbsp    unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4    tsp      baking powder
1/4    tsp      salt
1       cup     granulated sugar
1/3    cup     unsalted butter
4                  eggs
1 1/2 tsp      vanilla extract
1       cup     milk chocolate chips
1       cup     chopped walnuts (optional)

Place dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on High for 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until mixture is pale and creamy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla until just blended.  Fold in flour mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).  Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Make Ahead Tip
These brownies freeze very well.  Let cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil, and freeze for up to one month (they're not bad right out of the freezer, either!).

Recipe courtesy of The Entertaining Encyclopedia, Robert Rose Publishing.