Category Archives: Food Tips

NYT Essential Thanksgiving…

GOOD_APPETITE_21Julia Moskin and Melissa Clark compiled all of the essentials for a successful Thanksgiving Feast in this sprawling NYT interactive. We shot for a week and then ate like it was already the holidays. Go check out all the goodies before you plan your holiday meals.

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Filed under Food Tips, Food Writing, General, Photography, With Recipes

creativeLIVE…in Two

So, today we had a really great Google Hangout with the folks at creativeLIVE and Foodista. We had excellent questions from the audience and it was a lot of fun as a warmup to my creativeLIVE workshop

One day left to enroll. It’s still FREE!


Here is another stir fry from Martha. We’ll be talking about how to noodle around with noodles on Day 1. See you there.


July 18, 2013 · 7:15 am

Six More Days…creativeLIVE

8C5A5769The creativeLIVE countdown continues today with a shot of seeds that appeared in Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cookbook last year. Keep your eyes open for her new e-title Crazy Silly Kids…shot by yours truly. Don’t forget to enroll. Can’t wait to get going.




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1 Week to Go…creativeLIVE

So, a week from today my FREE creativeLIVE workshop will begin. Still time to enroll. One of the things I’ll discuss is the use of the diptych, like this one for this apple, fennel and endive salad by Martha Rose Shulman.



Filed under Food Photography Workshops, Food Tips, Photography

Reclamation Recipes # 2 Scrappy Tuna Salad

I was home and under the weather. Hungry. Cranky. Not a whole lot in the fridge and even less motivation to make lunch or leave the house to find something to eat. I scanned the cupboard and only found a little of this and a little of that…a handful of walnuts, a few dried cranberries, half a Granny Smith apple left from the Recipes for Health Apples shoot and some bread. Through the haze of my head cold I had some inspiration. I am really fond of the tuna salad with cranberries and apples that I get at the Whole Foods prepared foods section, so I crossed my fingers and searched for some canned tuna in the cabinet. I was in luck… and here is my approximation of that dish. I was a little less grumpy after lunch.


Half a small onion cut in small dice

1/4 C. walnut pieces

1/4 C. dried cranberries, chopped

1/2 Granny Smith apple, cut in small dice

2 6 oz. cans of Albacore packed in water, drained

2 Tbsp. mayonaise

salt and pepper to taste

toasted whole wheat bread

Mix all ingredients, add more mayo if you feel it’s too dry for you, serve on toasted bread and add some lettuce and tomato, celery, carrot…whatever you have laying’s ok. Enjoy.

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Filed under Food Tips, Food Writing, Reclamation Recipes, With Recipes

Modern Love…

Last week we took Melissa Clark’s Appetite column out of my studio and to a dinner party. It deserves a night out once in a while. Melissa hosted a Modernist Cuisine inspired soiree and I was there to document all of the the mad scientist activities. Check out the article and the accompanying slide show of my shots.


Filed under Food Tips, Food Writing, Photography, With Recipes

Reclamation Recipes # 1 Odd’s & End’s Chicken Soup

One of the things that I often have to contend with in my kitchen, particularly after a shoot, is what to do with all of the leftovers and odds and ends in the fridge. I hate to waste food. In fact, it bothers me at a cellular level. I often feed my extended family, my neighbors, friends who have office jobs and their co-workers…basically whoever will take the food off my hands. Even with all of these outlets, I still end up with all manner of things in my fridge that need to be eaten or more often re-purposed. I realized lately that I have evolved into a different type of cook. One who more often than not reuses ingredients and makes things from the scraps. I’d like to think I’m like the artist who uses found objects to create rather than starting with fresh, new materials.

So, after a discussion with friend recently about how to re-incorporate recipes into this space…something that has been sorely lacking…I want to introduce a new recurring feature called…Reclamation Recipes. I will be posting recipes that I concoct out of what is in my fridge after a shoot. Should be fun.

RR# 1: Odd’s & End’s Chicken Soup

At the end of the week I always seem to be left with a mish-mash of things in the vegetable crisper…2 carrots, a leek, a couple of celery stalks…This time I also had a poached chicken breast and a handful of small Yukon gold potatoes. Realizing this stuff had about another day of life in the fridge before their replacements arrived from Fresh Direct for the next round of shooting, a chicken soup was in their future. Here is how I put it together but you can substitute, add or delete items based on what you have in your fridge. No protein? Vegetarian? Vegan? Add a can of beans instead of the chicken.


2 Tbs. Olive oil

1 large Onion, diced

2 large Carrots, diced

2 Celery Stalks, diced

1 large Leek, halved lengthwise then sliced thick

4 cloves of Garlic, smashed and peeled

6 small Yukon Gold potatoes

1 poached Chicken Breast, diced

Bouquet Garni of parmesan rind, thyme and parsley tied with string

1 Qt. of Chicken Stock

Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat and add the onion, leek, carrot and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for an additional minute.

Add the stock, the potatoes, chicken and the bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Lower heat to bring pot to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for about an hour or until potatoes are starting to fall apart. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

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Filed under Food Tips, Food Writing, Reclamation Recipes, With Recipes

Food Styling Elements: On DJ

Today on the NYT Diner’s Journal I discuss some tips and tricks to styling for food photography.  Jump on over and check it out.

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Grinding It Up with Bittman

This was a really fun shoot and I was very happy with the images. Pretty pictures aside,  you really need to read Mark’s article.  His advice is to give your food processor a hallowed home on your kitchen counter and I would second that emotion.  Go check it out.


Filed under Food Tips, Photography

Wok-ing it out…

For thousands of years people on the continent of Asia have cooked their food in woks.  A single wok could have been used to cook thousands of meals  over several decades.  One pan, perfectly constructed and seasoned could be used to feed several generations of one family.  A wok is a family treasure, a practical necessity and requires constant care to retain its function.

I owned 2 woks until yesterday. Both are rather jazzy numbers made of shiny stainless steel and are scrubbed clean after every use.  The only resemblance they hold to a traditional carbon steel wok is their shape.  With the money I spent on these two pans alone I could have fed several villages in the Szechuan Province.  Asian people would not call what I have a wok.  That changed yesterday.

I am working on an assignment that requires me to cook, and show cooking, stir-fry recipes in a flat-bottomed, carbon steel wok with wooden handles. I set out yesterday, on one of the hottest days of the year to find one.  Home Goods, of course not, but it was worth a shot.  Five different Chinese kitchen stores on Bowery…lot’s of woks…not the one I wanted.  Finally, in the basement of the Sur La Table store in SoHo they found me the wok I needed.

I brought it home to begin the seasoning process…did I mention it was 95 degrees yesterday…which requires standing with this huge hunk of metal over an open flame until the entire pan was caramel in color and then scouring it with steel wool while it’s still hot.  I did not realize I was going to be working in a blacksmith’s shop for this assignment.  The purpose of this is to remove the protective coating that was covering the bare metal.  It took me close to an hour of heating, scrubbing and sweating to get to the shiny silver payload.

Next, I had to re-heat the pan with a thin layer of oil (vegetable oil, not olive oil) until very hot…let cool…wipe out the excess…and repeat 3 times.  Now, after close to two hours of hard labor my new wok was seasoned and ready for use.

This morning, I used my wok for the first time and it was a noticeable difference from my fancy All-Clad yuppy woks.  everything heated quicker; my stir fries were all 3-5 minute recipes and were perfectly on their cook times.  It was bigger, deeper and kept my stove from being covered in ingredients…and…of course…the food tasted better.  Veggies were crisper, meats browned more evenly and noodles cooked perfectly.  It was a revelation.

I  cleaned the kitchen and saved the wok for last.  I carefully cleaned it with warm, mildly soapy water, wiped it dry and meticulously applied a new, thin coat of oil before proudly hanging it on my pot rack.  I felt a bond with my new wok…we had been through a lot together in the first 24 hours of our partnership.  I look forward to my new wok becoming blackened with use and having a beautifully browned interior from years of lovingly feeding my family.  I looked to my daughter as I was putting it away and began to explain why it’s so important to take good care of your wok…and the history of the wok…and the bond the wok has with traditional Asian cooking…and on and on…She looked at me, rolled her eyes and went back to playing with her yo-yo…another ancient Asian invention….hmmm…Hey, Julia….did you know that the yo-yo…


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