Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Michael Psilakis - How to Roast a Lamb

A few weeks ago, my husband, our friend and I headed over to the Astor Center for a dinner inspired by the amazing Greek chef, Michael Psilakis. (Check out an article about the night here). I was a little apprehensive — after all, the menu started off with octopus! — but everything was magnificent and I enjoyed every second of my dinner.

Here's Michael at the helm:

Michael Psilakis

As part of the fee for the night, we all got copies of his new book, How to Roast a Lamb:

Michael Psilakis

I haven't cooked anything from it yet, but judging by the delicious dinner, I definitely will soon! The book has a lot of really beautiful color recipe photography done by Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton.

We started with Roasted Octopus with Salami, Apple & Anchovy Vinaigrette. I seriously thought I was going to dislike this, but it was delicious. The octopus was roasted and not rubbery or fishy at all.

octopus dish

Next, we moved on to the Sheep's Milk Ricotta Dumplings with Spicy Lamb Sausage, Spinach, Sundried Tomatoes, Pine Nuts & Feta. Anything with all of those ingredients is going to be spectacular, in my opinion, and this was even better than that. The dumplings were light in texture and very flavorful.

sheeps milk ricotta dumplings

Next was our main course, the Braised Lamb Shank with Orzo & Root Vegetables. I could eat this all day, every day. It was so good and the meat was perfectly tender.

braised lamb shank

Finally, for dessert, we had Yogurt with Quince spoon fruit & Jordan Almonds. The yogurt was Greek style, super thick and strained (the only kind I eat!) It was delicious and, although not super sweet, definitely satisfying.

yogurt with quince fruit

I had such a great time at this dinner, and I loved hearing Michael Psilakis talk about his past and the path he took, with no formal training, to become the NYC Greek cuisine pioneer that he is today. It is really incredible, and he is such an inspiration.

Here are some more photos from the event to inspire you!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season :)

wine glass abstract

lamb with steam

Michael on tv screen

our sommalier

Michael live and on TV

yummy sparkling wine


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Magnolia Cupcakes

During a recent engagement shoot, the future bride and groom and I headed to the Magnolia Cupcakes near Radio City. Here are a few pics of the baked goods that I wanted to share! It was so cute inside and not nearly as busy as I'd feared (no line wrapping around the outside of the store as the rumors go!)

Magnolia sign

mini marble cheesecakes

cupcakes on display

pumpkin spice cake

red velvet cake

Magnolia tshirt and apron

I tried a pumpkin spice cupcake and it was very tasty :) Can't beat their vanilla vanilla though, if you're in the mood for as-sweet-as-possible!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Ice Cream" Cupcakes

cupcake with 'ice cream' icing

This is not actually a bowl of ice cream, it just looks like it! :)

cupcake with 'ice cream' icing

Nope... it's a delicious, and more durable, cupcake. I didn't know quite what to make of these when I saw them in the case in my local Whole Foods, other than I had to get one!! There is some serious buttercream on these guys.

cupcake with 'ice cream' icing

And the chocolate shell was delicious ;)

cupcake with 'ice cream' icing

No recipe this time, since it's more about the decoration, but I would love to see if anyone gets around to making some like this!! I also wanted to leave you all with something sweet, since I'm heading out on vacation for the next couple of weeks. I'm sure I'll have a bunch of food pics to share when I get back!! :)


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blueberry Margaritas

I've been on a summer vacation of sorts from blogging for a while, so I thought I'd jump back in with something refreshing :)

close up of blueberry margarita

A. and I made some blueberry margaritas the other day, inspired by some strawberry and raspberry ones that we had at a local Mexican restaurant. They turned out to be pretty tasty!

blueberry margarita

We kept the ingredients simple: blueberries, lime juice, lemon juice, agave nectar, and teqila.

lime and lemonblueberries
tequilaagave nectar

A. got this new gadget, the Magic Bullet, that pulverized the blueberries for us. It's a neat little thing, great for smoothies.

blueberries pureed in magic bulletblueberries pureed in magic bullet

Blueberry Margaritas

(Since we didn't really keep track of the ingredients, and the proportions are really a matter of taste, I'm just putting down the ingredient list!)

-Blueberries, washed and pureed
-Fresh lemon juice
-Fresh lime juice
-Agave nectar (you can also use honey or simple syrup)

Mix all ingredients together and serve over ice, with or without a salted rim. Relax and enjoy!

blueberry margarita


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wedding Cupcakes

I was so excited to shoot my first wedding a couple of weekends ago! I haven't posted any of the pics on my other blog yet, but I just wanted to post a couple of sneak peek dessert photos for you:) They had mini cupcakes instead of a cake — they were so cute and delicious!

red velvet wedding cupcakes on stand

vanilla wedding cupcakes on decorative stand

They were made by Catering by Christine. My favorite was the vanilla :) It was so moist and yummy!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Website!!

I'm really excited to tell you all about a project I've been working on for a while... a new website and blog! Not for Scrumptious Photography (ahem... yet!), but for my food portfolio and new portrait blog!

website screenshot

I've been trying out portrait photography for several months now, and it's been so fun to interact with people rather than just food. My goal is really to shoot weddings... can't beat dressed-up people and gorgeous wedding cake (or cupcakes!) all in one place! :) I'm actually shooting my first wedding this weekend, and I'm both excited and nervous!

Links here: food portfolio and portrait blog :) Please check 'em out, I'd love to hear what you think!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Out of the office...

We're heading to Mexico for an overdue vacation! (I mean, actually overdue... we were supposed to go in May, but our companies put a travel restriction in place because of the swine flu!)

It's been busy around here, as my absence from Twitter and the like has probably shown... so I really can't wait to have some margaritas and eat guacamole on the beach! :)

umbrella drink with starfish

Happy 4th of July, all!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Macro Photography with Raspberries

No recipe this time, I just wanted to share some photos:) I was playing around with my macro lens and got some cool results!

super closeup of raspberry

With a macro lens, if you want a super close-up photo, you don't need to open up your aperture all the way to get that creamy blur (bokeh) in the background. The object is so close to the lens that the amount in focus (depth of field) is very small, even at smaller apertures.

super closeup of raspberry

And you can move back and use it as a regular lens, too ;)

If you want to get closeups but don't have a SLR with a macro lens, try using your camera's macro setting. It should have an icon like this: Just check your camera's manual to see how close you can get :)


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Parisian Apple Tartlet - Tuesdays with Dorie

apple tartlet side view

This is, simply put, the easiest dessert that I have made so far. Plus, it is seriously delicious! Jessica of My Baking Heart really hit a home run with this TWD choice.

[Parisian apple tartlet recipe]

apple tartlet top view

All you need to make this dessert (if you buy the puff pastry at the store, that is — I don't even want to contemplate making it at this point!) is a circle of puff pastry, a half of an apple, brown sugar and butter.

pepperidge farm puff pastry

Sorry, Dorie... no all-butter puff pastry in the grocery store, so I made do with this.

apple in cutter on pastry

The cutter was supposed to be 4" wide, but this one was a little smaller and it was the biggest cutter I had. Next time I'll make sure to make it a little bigger, because there wasn't quite enough pastry around the edges.

cut up appletartlets assembled
topped with brown sugar and butterbaked tartlets

There was a little burnt sugar action since the sugar and juices ran off the side of the tartlets. Could be because my pastry was too small... or because I added too much extra sugar ;)

close up of tartlet

Well, that's it! Easiest... recipe... ever. Love. I think this blog post is causing me more effort than actually making the recipe.

Parisian Apple Tartlet

1 1/8-inch-thick 4-inch circle cold puff pastry
1/2 firm sweet apple, such as a Golden Delicious or Fuji, peeled and cored
1 to 2 t light brown sugar
1 t cold butter, cut into 3 pieces

[full recipe instructions on Jessica's blog]

Nutrition Facts from
per 1 recipe
[click to show or hide]

I honestly thought it would be healthier, but that pastry is killer! I forgot to weigh my pastry, so I used a guesstimate of 40g of baked pastry per 4" circle to calculate the calories. Might be a little less.

close up of tartlet

Thanks to Jessica for making my life easy this week :) You can get the recipe on her blog: Supplicious. The rest of the tartlets can be ogled through the TWD blogroll!

half eaten tartlet

(Note: It's impossible to eat this without getting your hands dirty ;) )