Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's been a crazy week with all the work, fun & deliciousness of Thanksgiving. Which of course was followed by the recovery, cleaning up, enjoying of leftovers and then hitting the gym hard to work off those extra Thanksgiving calories.

So I haven't posted in over a week, I need to get cracking on this. I still have the third and final installment of "A Chef's Approach..." to write. It's an introduction of sorts I want to complete before addressing various specific topics individually.

I intend to have that finished later this week.

Right now though the topic is photography. I've been looking at some of my shots that use spoons to add a little pizzaz (I'm throwing jazz hands when I say that) to the picture.
Here are three that I've taken recently in which I chosen a spoon shot to the the pic for that dish.

The one of a Masala Spiced Chicken Stew that I made is probably my favorite of the three. This was simmering on my stove when I took the shot and I had to hold the camera and shoot with my left hand while holding the spoon with my right. That was tricky.
There was a slight bit of pour coming off the spoon but I think what it really added was some depth to the basically flat surface of the stew and the shadow beneath it added some nice bit of contrast & texture.

This is an OK shot of some apple crisp I made. It's nice but doesn't wow me.
The focus in on the spoonful of crisp and it's really needed here to show the apples in the dish. In this one I had my lovely assistant hold the spoon for me. That was much easier.

This is my newest shot of the Quince-Cherry Cookies I made the other night. I used the spoon in this one to try to create an active sense of preparation with the Cider Glaze. I think I was marginally successful with that but what really makes the shot, in my opinion, is the red plate against the featureless black backdrop. Amazing what a macro lens can do with a dark wood table and the night sky outside the window behind it.

This was a new cookie recipe I worked out the other night. Since you have been so patient as to read all the way through this, I'll give you the recipe if you wish to have it. I hope you relish it as much as I. :)

Quince-Cherry Cookies with Cider Glaze

1 cup dried tart cherries
½ cup bourbon
½ cup butter or margarine
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 egg
¼ cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
2 cups finely diced peeled quince

1 ½ cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons 1/6th apple cider reduction

1.Plump cherries in the bourbon over low heat until liquid is mostly gone.
2.In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in egg, milk and any remaining bourbon. Combine the flour, baking soda, and spices; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in quince and cherries.
3.Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks.
4.In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, salt and enough cider reduction to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

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