A couple of Favorite Salads. Fennel, Pomegranate Arugula Salad and A Duck Breast and Fig Salad
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Little by little, I am settling in my new digs. Every evening after work has been taken by something to get, something to set up, nail, paint, something to be delivered, something to be returned. Moving ain't easy...! But it's terribly fun and I am enjoying the process. I finally have a bed. Still seating on the floor until Wednesday that a sofa gets delivered. Little by little. The house takes shape.
I have lovely neighbors all around me and the neighborhood is very dog friendly. This motivates even more my decision to bring old pup Tippy back with me after I teach a couple of workshops with Clare in a week. He'll love the yeard and huge reduction of stairs to climb. At almost 16 years old, he's ready for some comfort...The labrador next door might need a buddy too.
Work has been intense and absolutely wonderful. I am having a blast. As a true Dujardin, I tend to keep my expressing of emotions in check but inside? Oh inside, I am doing a happy dance. A very happy one. I had lots of hopes and dreams about this position and where I would envision possibilities, I now truly see full realizations.
I am working on really fun cookbook covers shoots for publications such as Cooking Light and Weight Watchers as well as tons of interior shots. Never a moment to get bored. Some of my shoots this week will be out on location while others will be in the natural light studio. I love the challenges and opportunities comin my way. I love how each shoot pushes me to give 200% of myself, whether in the difficulty of execution or in the complete different styles and photo requirements.
This complete change of scenery, pace and time spent without Bill and our immediate circle is made easier by the kindness and thoughtfulness of the people in Birmingham. The town is buzzing and I am happy to check as many places as I can. Restaurants, antiques, music venues, etc... Birmingham definitely has a lot to offer if you let it.
Cooking in my new digs has been fun too. I am still re-arranging cupboards and items and how to make it efficient for the way I prep and cook. I love the kitchen set up and the concrete countertops so making is a real pleasure there and I christened the space by making a couple of my new favorite salads the other week. Nothing tremendously difficult but good, nutritious food I was craving after so many months on the road.
My first official dish in the new house was a fennel and arugula salad loaded with pomegranate seeds, radishes and red onion. I make this salad at least once a week, sometimes adding some crumbled cheese (feta, goat, blue work really well) or some chickpeas. The dressing is a simple lemon vinaigrette with a little mustard for a but of tang and creaminess.
A couple days later, a phone conversation with my brother about food and potatoes roasted in duck fat (instead of olive oil which we do often) prompted a sudden craving for duck breast. There is a certain amount of fat being released from the cooking of the breast itself (to be kept for potatoes!) but the breast itself is a sweet combination of juicy and tender lean meat. Paired with a few fresh figs, some roasted golden beets and a drizzle of vinaigrette and you have one tasty dinner salad.
Before I go...the winner of the "Marmalades" cookbook are: Lindsay E. and Elin Woods. Please email me at mytartelette @ gmail . com with your add so we can get the books off to you!
Marmalades...A Cookbook Giveaway
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
The last five months have turned into a blurr. Many destinations. Workshops. Two cookbooks shoots. Fifty recipes for other clients. A job proposal. An acceptance. A house hunt. A bare bone move (seriously moved with three boxes labeled kitchen, clothes, toiletries and office. Oh and some props, linens, reflectors and strobes...)** And my first day working with amazing talent propping and styling the recipes I will be shooting.
A wave of emotions is taking hold of me as I reflect on the years gone by. I am sitting in an empty living room. It's an unsually chilly day for Birmingham, I am told. I have a fire going. Some hot soup on the stove. A glass of wine. This is it. What comes to my mind, very clearly, though is how I would have never imagined the winding roads of this career would take me to this moment.
Yet, how everything I did in my work was never by chance but always from a place of hard work and desire of a job well done. How goodness comes to one's own heart by just trusting yourself onto others. How just opening up your guts and heart to the universe gives you ten times the hopes you sent out there. How leading lights of desires, friendships, mentors and aspirations, inspirations lead one to just pack up and go seek a better life for the ones you love.
Good people working on fun projects always make for a fun day at work. That is one if the reasons I wanted to share this book I photographed a few months ago, Marmalades by Elizabeth Fields (Running Press). It just came out and while I take a little time getting situated in my new life, I wanted to share with you some good old fashioned and modern marmalades recipes by giving away a couple of copies of the book, courtesy of Running Press.