Jun 29, 2012

Another Look At Our Singapore Food Styling Course

Harriet of Shade Hopping assisted Denise while she was teaching in Singapore in May. She was beyond delightful. Here is her recap of the class and of the many, many things they ate (and didn't eat).



The purpose of my trip was to assist Denise Vivaldo with her Food Styling & Photography Portfolio WorkshopLA-based Denise has a wealth of experience and knowledge which she loves to share, and as an added bonus she is very, very funny. 
 
I spent a couple of days before and after the workshop hanging out with her, Heather Gill and Jazreel Chan and we had a great time shopping and preparing for the class, eating local food, and sight-seeing. It pays not to be hungry when you play with photographers and food stylists; every meal we ordered had to be comprehensively examined, tweaked and then photographed before we could eat!
 
Click here for the full class recap.
 
Click here for additional Singapore culinary goodness.

Jun 4, 2012

Never-Fail Pie Crust (& Heavenly Blueberry Pie)



Just in time for the summer months, our tried and true pie crust is the perfect compliment to your blueberries, peaches, strawberries, cherries...whatever sunny sweetness you can imagine.

Equipment: One or two 9-inch pie plates

2 cups all-purpose flour
1tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
5 tbsp ice water (approx.)

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle with 4 tbsp ice water and pulse until most of the dough comes together and forms a ball. If dough remains crumbly, sprinkle with remaining water and pulse briefly, just until dough comes together.

Divide dough in half and form into flattened balls. Cover with  plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, until chilled, or for up to 3 days.

If Making a Double-Crust Pie

On a floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to a 14-inch circle. Fold dough in half, and in half again, to make moving it easier. Place dough over pie plate, unfold and gently press into pan. Trim edges, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang.

On a floured piece of waxed paper, roll out second piece of dough to a 14-inch circle. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Cover both the baking sheet and the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled, or for up to 3 days.

If Making 2 Single-Crust Pies

On a floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to a 14-inch circle. Fold dough in half, and in half again, to make moving it easier. Place dough over pie plate, unfold and gently press into pan. Trim edges, leaving a 1/2 inch overhang.

Repeat with the second piece of dough and another pie plate.

Cover both pie plates with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled, or for up to 3 days.

Heavenly Blueberry Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie

1 recipe Never-Fail Pie Crust
All purpose flour for dusting
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Divide pastry dough in half. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick and place in a 9-inch pie pan. Trim any dough that hangs over edge. 

Refrigerate.

Roll out remaining dough and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Place strips in refrigerator to chill.

Place sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutmeg and blueberries in a large bowl and toss to combine. Pour into prepared pie dough. Weave pastry dough strips over top of pie to make a lattice. Pinch edges of lattice and pie dough together to seal.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and thickened and crust is a deep golden brown. If edges brown too quickly, cover with foil and continue baking.

Remove from heat and let cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.



Pie Crust recipe courtesy of The Entertaining Encyclopedia, Robert Rose Publishing

Jun 3, 2012

Being Inspired


The lovely Harriet Harcourt, who assisted me in Singapore, decided to master her camera during our workshop and hasn't put it down since.

I've owned my camera for about five years, and never really bothered to get the hang of it - the automatic setting makes everything too easy… however since I have moved to WA I've started to want to understand more about how it works.  And since half the workshop was focused (excuse the pun) on the photography aspect of food styling, it was time to challenge myself to move out of my comfort zone.

Click here to enjoy Harriet's botanical exploration with me, Heather, and Jaz!