Category Archives: Photographing Food

Fresh Ginger-Fruit Tea

I am not a water drinker. I love coffee and tea. I need flavor. 
Last summer, for example I had been drinking LEMON CUCUMBER (or LEMON RASPBERRIES) water and that worked just fine for me. This year I am trying a new discovery.

Fresh ginger.

I call it a “tea” because it requires boiling water. 
It takes little time before it’s ready but the waiting is definitely worth it. 

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So far I have made those flavors:

- strawberry ginger

- blueberry ginger

- lemon ginger

- peach/nectarine ginger

and my favorite it strawberry and peach, but actually they are all delicious.
As I am writing it a raspberry ginger tea is brewing on the counter :)

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This recipe is pretty strong in flavor so if you’re not accustom to ginger, you might want to cut the amount of ginger in half and try it that way first.

I make them in “ready-to-drink-from” jars

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Because of that it’s good to pour just a little of the boiling water on the bottom of the jars and wait a minute or so. If you don’t do that, and pour full jar of boiling water the glass will most likely crack. 

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waiting… just a minute or so… not too long…

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carefully filling it up… 

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lid on…

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patiently waiting an hour or so before moving it to the fridge.

BEFORE MOVING IT TO THE FRIDGE ADD HONEY!!!

It should sit in the fridge until it’s completely chilled or overnight. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor.

Shake it well before drinking!

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Have a good one, everybody! 

Honey Sweetened Coconut Oil Peanut Butter

I finally did it. 
I made peanut butter and now I curse myself why I hadn’t done it earlier. 
Easy. Fast. Cheap. Delicious. 
It takes me 5 minutes to make it. 

it has 3 ingredients. 

and if I let them, my kids would devour it in one sitting. 

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I buy my peanuts in bulk: roasted and salted

Unsalted will do, too but you will need to add a pinch of salt to the recipe. 

Depends on how thick you like the peanut butter you can adjust the amount of coconut oil. 

So there are no precise measurements in this recipe. 

It all depends on how sweet you like it and how much coconut oil you want in it. 

My last recipe looked like this:

2 cups roasted salted peanuts 

2 TBSP raw honey

2 TBSP coconut oil 

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Because I run out of coconut oil the last batch came out a little too thick. Still delicious, though. 
My kids were fighting over it, and the younger one didn’t let me finish with the pictures.

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She is a little piggy when it comes to food. She eats my dinner and then what’s left from her sister’s plate so this delicious creamy stuff was just too much to say no to! 

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As for the directions how to make it, well… 
You will need one of those super powered ( :) ) blenders: Vitamix or Blendtec
I have Blendtec and I am LOVING IT 

Directions: 

1. Throw the peanuts and blend on “ice crushing” mode.

2. Scrape the sides and blend it on “ice crushing” mode again.  

3. Scrape the sides and blend on “smoothie” mode. 

4. Scrape the sides add coconut oil and honey. 

5. Blend on “smoothie” mode again. 

6. Adjust the flavor adding more coconut oil or honey.  

7. ENJOY

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Avocado Cucumber Spinach Smoothness

This smoothie was meant to be mine. Just mine. 

You know, these days I can’t eat in peace because whatever I take there is 3 drooling mouths (No.1, No.2 and the dog) watching me carefully with those begging eyes. 
No.1 is very particular about the color or texture of her food. So if there is something that looks or feels suspicious (like green food) she won’t even try it. 

That’s why this smoothie was meant to be mine. 

I made it… 
… and I barely ate a few spoons before the kids got to it.  

They just devoured it and were asking for more.

So here is the recipe to successfully sneaking some greens into your kids diet. 

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1 cup greek yogurt (honey or vanilla flavored)

1 TBSP honey

1 medium soft avocado

1/2 english cucumber 

handful fresh baby spinach

1 tsp. coconut oil

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Blend and Enjoy!

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You might also like this green smoothie I made a long time ago. (click here for the recipe)

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So, Happy Blending my friends! 

Coconut flour Coffee Cake aka I can’t believe I made gluten free cheesecake and I loved it!

So, my last adventure with coconut flour was a disaster. 
I made pancakes and they were actually awful.

So the rest of the flour there was left had been sitting in my kitchen for months now, until last week my husband went to the store and bought 3 dozen eggs. Yes, this is what happens when you send a guy to the store and write “eggs” on the shopping list – you get 3 dozen of them. Too bad it doesn’t work like that when I write “ice cream” or “chocolate”.

Anyway, in order to use up those eggs I remembered about the coconut flour which always requires a lot of eggs.

I found a perfect recipe to try. Gluten free cream cheese coffee cake

I did made a few changes. I didn’t have pecans or maple syrup. And I used greek yogurt in place of the regular one (I think that what they meant in the original recipe). 

I think I found my new favorite cake and I do not feel guilty feeding it to the kids, also. 

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INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

  • 4 ounces queso fresco whole milk cheese ( I used it not because I wanted but because I didn’t have enough cream cheese)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature) – 8 oz (or more) if you don’t use queso fresco! 
  • 4 TBSP raw honey (more if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP dutch cocoa 

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mix dried cranberries and raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease one 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Beat together all ingredients for cream cheese filling. Set aside.

3. Combine the first five ingredients for cake then add the dry ingredients through the salt. Mix well.

4. Pour cake batter into pan and drop cranberries and raisins on top of the batter.

6. Top with cream cheese filling and use a knife or tooth pick to swirl it around.

7. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool before slicing.

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After one bite hubby described it: “well, it tastes different“, and he didn’t eat any more. The thing is that if we all ate by his taste buds we would be eating cheeseburgers, BBQ pulled chicken, chilli and apple pie for 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

That meant that the whole cake is for me and the kids only, and I shouldn’t be so happy about it, as my pants are getting surprisingly smaller on me lately.  

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Have a great weekend my friends.

3 ingredient homemade chocolate pudding

I had planned to share this recipe for a long, long time. 
I made it for the first time about a year ago and I am hooked since. 

Never was a big fan of chocolate puddings but I never had it made from scratch either. 

To make it takes about 15 minutes, no eggs, butter, and no sugar. 

This recipe is for one serving only but to make more just double/tripe the ingredients.

home-made-chocolate-pudding-mom-photographer-collage

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 (60 g or 2.15 oz) bar dark (or milk) chocolate 

1 cup whole milk

1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch

DIRECTION:

Over low heat melt the chocolate in 3/4 cup milk. 

Do not allow it to boil. 

Stir the corn starch in 1/4 cup milk until dissolved. 

When the chocolate is melted and the mixture is starting to simmer add the dissolved corn starch and stir constantly until thickens. 

The next step is to enjoy it. 

It tastes the best HOT! 

home-made-chocolate-pudding-mom-photographer

Enjoy your week, my friends!

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 46th)

If you celebrate it… – Happy Thanksgiving my friends! Those who wonders – No, we do not have Thanksgiving in Poland ;) (answer based on a real question.lol)

Anyway, this week is full of me and my hand(s) doing something with the food. I don’t know how that happened but it did. 

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On Friday we had orange honey chicken stir fry for dinner. This dish is not the easiest/fastest to make but it is super delicious and my entire family loves it.   

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On Saturday I had a photo session. It was great! The weather forecast said it’s was going to rain so we were prepared with umbrellas and the right kind of boots, but it actually didn’t and we had fun improvising :)

and there was a plenty of time to play with my favorite thing: reflections!   

Sneak peak from this session is on my new website: here and here.

It’s my new baby; I have decided to go public with the photography business. I am very excited  about it!    

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On Sunday I took the picture of my boots (the blue ones) after being partially cleaned… I could not think of a better picture, not only because from the minute I woke up I had the most painful headache ever, but, because that day I was re-living the previous day over, and over again… especially while looking through all the pictures  I had taken. 

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The next day, fixing pasta salad for lunch, with a terrible headache (again) and no energy to think of a better self-portrait.

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Very recently we have started introducing solid food to No.2. 

She does not like it.

I don’t like it.

She is very stubborn and does not want to eat it.

So I give her a face cloth with which I wipe her face. She likes to play with it and bite it, so while she opens her mouth to bite the cloth I shovel the food in it. It does not always work. Most of the food ends up on me, on the floor, on her…  Maybe finger food would be a better idea in her case.

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Getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Making cranberry sauce in orange juice, with some brown sugar, cinnamon and orange peels.

The cranberry sauce is the only dish I really enjoy. I do not care for the rest of the dishes served during the Thanksgiving dinner.   

This year there is only us celebrating… without being  guests, having guests (or the in-laws).       

And because of that I am not cooking a lot and I am not stressing myself out. 

I had the time and the energy to bake two cakes:

- Polish cheesecake, using mix of Mexican and American cheese (now you can call it a multinational dish !!!)

- apple pie for my husband

using Bonnie’s texture: “Signed & Sealed”

Photo Art Friday

 

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Hmm… Instead of a turkey, we roasted a wild duck, and a chicken in case if the duck failed (which of course did fail). Today was the first time I roasted whole chicken and duck. The chicken was delicious while the duck didn’t cook through and it made terrible, greasy mess inside the oven (our dog is going to be very happy in a few minutes).

Right now we are all making a room for some desert and a cup of tea.

I hope you guys enjoyed your Thanksgiving at least as much as I did. 

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday ”Kleinworth

Trail mix. In other words, a jar full of goodness.

Trail mix does and always will remind me of those sleepless nights after our No.1 was born. She was a good sleeper but for the first several months, like most newborns, she would wake up once or twice for feeding during the nigh. Most of the time, while nursing, I was watching tv, mostly news… they would bore the heck out of me, so I would get hungry.

Trail mix was always a great resolution to my problem. I ate pounds of trail mix during those months. At first I was buying already mixed  stuff. Then, one day I run out of it but having a few different nuts, raisins and some leftover chocolate chips I made my own trail mix and from that day I have not bought another trail mix.

Now, every time I go to the store, I make sure to get some seeds, nuts and dried fruits in bulk… just in case of a craving, which I always have. If there are a few chocolate chip left somewhere, it is an extra  goodness… but it is not necessary.

     

This time I had everything… nuts and dried fruits, and chocolate chips.  

Ingredients: 

Fistful of walnuts

Fistful pecans

3 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup dry cranberries

1 Tbsp. dry cherries

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

The concoction was wonderful! A little tart from all the dry fruits with the wonderful flavor from white chocolate chips; So good I thought, I should share it !

Have a wonderful day, my friends.

Hearth & Soul Hopkimklassencafe

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 43rd)

This week was crazy. It feels like my brain is boiling. There is so much going on inside. One would say that thinking is not a bad thing and that it actually doesn’t hurt… Well… I wish I could agree. I’ve been up, up on the very high level of a happiness scale  just to get down to the lowest levels of self-love, energy and acceptance. Everything within hours. Ugh… It is so tiring.    

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Entry for Bonnie’s theme this week: Cobblestone Road texture.

Photo Art Friday

Some of you may remember than two weeks ago I had a friend visiting us for a few days. When she was here we had spent one whole day in the kitchen, cooking and baking. After her visit I was left with all the cabbage rolls in delicious tomato sauce, Polish cheesecake, salads, and several cups of this delicious dessert (made with strawberries instead of raspberries). No wonder my clothes are getting smaller on me.        

 

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On Saturday we went to a pumpkin farm. There were animals to pet, ponies to ride on…

 

… and one cute (not) piggy ;)

as for the self-portrait, here it is. Please don’t ask questions. I just feel so dumb sometimes!

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One of those days without any idea for self-portrait. To make it more interesting I played with it a little adding one of Kim’s Klassen textures called “nested”

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Shower time. 

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Being a bit playful. 

The picture of the keyhole is not mine, I took it from here.

The face behind it is mine, though. 

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Halloween, of course. 

No. 1 was a kitty cat and No. 2 a flower.

No. 1 was wearing her costume since early morning.

 

After dinner we went trick-or-treating and NO.1 just LOVED IT. 

Her first door opened a woman who I though will scare the heck out of No.1, but after the few pieces of candy she got from the lady all was good. Something clicked in her tiny brain and, man, it was hard to stop her.

 

Door to door, she was running, yelling: “I want my candy!“. 

With her sister they’ve gather a pretty impressive amount of candies. 

Despite that No.2 slept for the most of the time:

I was able to take two pictures of her fully awake and  making new friends:

We were out for at least an hour until my leg was ready to go home:

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Today we’d spent all morning talking with my family in Poland. No.1 had a blast goofing off with her older cousins. Now she is at the age that she can talk back a little, and she understands what is said to her. She was answering questions (with my help) and was playing with my niece in making animal sounds… oh… she was loving it!

Have a wonderful day, my friends. 

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory FridayKleinworth &Co

Coconut Oil Giveaway (+amazing recipes how to use it)

Today I’ve got something special for all my readers and guests.

I’ve got something what I truly love myself.

COCONUT OIL!!!

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.

Let me explain to you why I love it so much and share with you a few of my favorite recipes with coconut oil in them.

It’s been 2 years since I bought my last body lotion or facial cleanser.

A year from my last purchase of deodorant or shampoo.

For a few months now I’ve used home-made body wash as well.

Body scrub, Eye cream, face cream, diaper rash cream, all home-made.

For a long time I had made body lotions based on olive oil or almond/hazelnut oil, where the emulsifier was an emulsifying wax. At some point I have decided to try to make something that do not require any artificial ingredients.

Then I found out about coconut oil and about how wonderful it is for our bodies.

I’ve made a coconut oil-cocoa butter deodorant and I was hooked. This deodorant is the best one I have ever had in my life. (download the recipe in pdf from here).

After that I made a coconut oil eye cream which has become a face cream and a diaper rash, since then (pdf file with the recipe here).

Later I discovered something called whipped coconut oil and have decided to experiment with it. I was able to make whipped coconut oil-cocoa butter body butter and I loved it (download the recipe in pdf here)

Just for this post I have made something special:

Ingredients:

2/3 cup coconut oil,

1/2 cup fresh brewed strong coffee, cold *

4 capsules vitamin E

* coffee can be substitute by GREEN TEA. In this case this cream is great to use as a baby body lotion.

Directions:

So, I am going to tell you from my experience how it works for me EVERY SINGLE TIME I make it.

The coconut oil HAS to be in its hard state. Preferable if you put it in the fridge for 10 minutes before starting to work with it.

Using KitchenAid whip the coconut oil like you would beat egg whites, until stiff peaks form. It might take time and you might have to put the bowl with the oil to the fridge for a few minutes once or twice.

When the oil is whipped and have a silky gloss, add 1/2 cup cold coffee. At this point you will have to cover the mixer with a towel if you don’t want to get yourself and everything around splashed. 

Turn on the mixer on high-speed and whip for another 3 to 5  minutes stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. For sometime it will look like the coffee is separated from the oil and it doesn’t want to combine well.

Just keep mixing and it will all come together as a wonderful mocha coffee scented cream.
When the cream is almost ready, with a sharp knife, poke a hole in vitamin E capsules and squeeze the content into the cream. Mix the mixture for a few more seconds.

Done!

With a clean spoon transfer it to a clean glass jar. Preferably if the jar and the spoon were sterilized (5 minutes in a boiling water will do).

Store the jar in the fridge. The cream will get hard like butter.

For all my home-made cosmetics I use plastic spoons to scoop it out whenever I use it.

I reuse those spoons (washing them in a dish washer).

For easy use take the jar to the bathroom every time you go to take shower or a bath. While in the bathroom it will soften and get easier to scoop out. I NEVER PUT MY BARE FINGERS INSIDE THE JAR. That way I limit the amount of bacteria that can get inside the lotion/cream and cause it to go bad quickly. As you need to realize those lotions do not have any artificial preserves!

This butter melts almost immediately on skin. It applies easily and absorbs wonderfully.

It smells like heaven, too!!!

Using COCONUT OIL in homemade cosmetics is not the only way I use it. 

Here are a few of my my favorite ways to use it in foods:

- in pasta salad instead of dressing. It gives it an amazing and light coconuty flavor.

- drizzled over a mango-avocado salsa!!!gosh! it is DELICIOUS!

- 1 tsp to my morning cup of coffee – check my previous post with the link-up. Gabby@veggie nook shared her recipe for it!!! it is awesome!!!

- or to my apple cider vinegar detox drink

There is many more uses for coconut oil but I’ll stop here as I have to get to the point of this post. Thanks to Tropical Traditions

I am giving away, here on my blog:

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.

1 quart of Gold Label
Virgin Coconut Oil!

How to participate in this giveaway:

- You MUST subscribe to Tropical Tradition’s email sales newsletter here

- Follow TT on Twitter @troptraditions and @ttspecialdeals

- Follow TT on Pinterest

- Add TT to your Google+ circles

- Like TT’s page on Facebook

- Like Mom Photographer on Facebook

- Follow @MomPhotographer on Twitter

- Twitt about this giveaway

- Post a link to this giveaway on your Facebook page

- For each thing listed above leave a separate comment under this postTHE WINNER WILL BE PICKED FROM THOSE WHO LEAVE COMMENTS, so THE MORE COMMENTS YOU LEAVE THE BIGGER IS YOUR CHANCE TO WIN

Want to know Tropical Traditions better? Here are some information about them:

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want Tropical Traditions to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Feel free to check out this video about “How to use coconut oil“:

or click on to read about Frequently asked questions about COCONUT OIL

THE WINNER WILL BE CONTACTED within 48 HOURS after the giveaway ends.

PLEASE COMMENT WITH A VALID PROFILE (wordpress, blogger, facebook or twitter) or EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you after the giveaway is over.

This giveaway is open to to U.S. & Canada citizens. 

Note for Canadian bloggers: Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge for your sample or your readers’ prize.

I wish you all GOOD LUCK!!!

Disclaimer:

Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

 

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Spinach and Beet Cornbread Muffins

I love cornbread, there is no question about it.
Using the little time off from our No.2, who is finally sleeping on her own, IN her own bed, I want to share one of my favorite cornbread recipes EVER.
This can be baked in 9 inch pan

or in muffin forms

For some reason I prefer muffins. I think, it’s because with those muffins I can limit myself more and control myself in eating them all in one sitting. No matter what shape this cornbread has it is still delicious.
The spinach kind has no spinach flavor whatsoever, I would say it’s even sweeter than the one without it, while you can surely taste the beets; not a lot, though.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup baby spinach, rinsed*
1 very small beet, steamed
If you want to make JUST spinach or JUST beet cornbread then double the amount of the veggies (1 cup of spinach, and 2 small beets or 1 medium).
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a blender, puree the butter, sugar, eggs and evaporated milk for about 30 seconds.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. Add the dry mixed ingredients to the blender and blend until just combined.
4. Pour half of the batter out leaving another half in a blender.
5. Add the spinach to the batter left in a blender and blend until the mixture is evenly green and there is no big pieces of spinach left.
6. Pour the batter into muffin forms to about 3/4 full.
7. transfer the remaining batter into the cleaned blender and add cut into small cubes steamed beet. Blend until well incorporated.
8. Transfer the batter to muffin forms.
9. Bake for 25 minutes.
Print the recipe:
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