Rosemary Maple Spiced Nuts

maplespicynuts39902 2maplespicynuts39903 1These nuts make a nice gift during the holidays. These nuts have a nice sweet and salty with a touch of heat to make them memorable. They have sweet maple syrup combined with a kick of cayenne pepper, then there’s fresh rosemary and flaky sea salt added to the mix.  That whole sweet-salty-spicy thing gets me every time, and the rosemary makes this festive for the holidays as well as all winter long.  These Spicy Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts have got it all.



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Marbelized Easter Eggs with cool whip

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  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cool Whip Original Whipped Topping
  • glass casserole dish or muffin tin or cookie sheet
  • Food coloring
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Bamboo skewers or tooth picks
  • Spoon
  • Large bowl


  1. Spoon Cool Whip into casserole dish, and spread evenly with a spatula.
  2. Mix food coloring with a few drops of vinegar, then drip mixture randomly over the surface of the Cool Whip.
  3. Lightly swirl food coloring into the Cool Whip using a bamboo skewer.
  4. Place hard-boiled egg into the dish, spaced evenly apart.
  5. Coat each egg with the Cool Whip and food coloring mixture, using a spoon to ensure even coverage
  6. Let eggs sit for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Remove each egg and rinse in a bowl of cool water.
  8. Enjoy

    This is a fun way to color easter eggs it creates this nice pastel marbleized effect.  We did not use the distilled vinegar in our food color and it seamed to work just fine.  Get cracking easter is right around the corner.SV_bowl_112

Fall Harvest Dinner Menu



Harvest Salad with Pears and Pepitas

1 lb baby spinach mix blend, 2 bosc pears, 1 cup pepitas, 4 oz goat cheese

To roast pepitas, toss them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 13-15 minutes in a 325°F oven

Add salad leaves to a large serving bowl. Top with sliced pears, roasted pepitas and crumbled goat cheese. Toss with a 1⁄2 cup vinaigrette and serve.


Apple cider vinaigrette
3⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons raw honey
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
combine ingredients in small bowl and whisk to combine. Continue reading

Fun with Cucumbers

Hot Off the Press: a new magazine start-up called Our Green Plate—focused on farm to table and food culture in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. #ourgreenplate

I had the opportunity to do some recipe photography for the magazine. It was so much fun to work with the art director Brian Donahue at BeDesign Inc. and Karla Spies the amazing food stylist and set design collaborator.  cucumberMartini_heroThe recipes are delicious and perfect for the bounty of cucumbers harvested from the garden.


Cucumber Martini

1 serving

7 1⁄2 tablespoons or a scant 1⁄2 cup vodka, preferably organic

1 1⁄2 teaspoons cucumber simple syrup*

1 cucumber 1 lime

lemon bitters (optional)

Peel and thinly slice the cucumber. Cut the lime into eighths. Place 4 cucumber slices in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and add the simple syrup. Squeeze in one of the lime pieces and muddle them together.

Fill the shaker with ice, add vodka, cover and shake for about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add 2 or 3 drops of lemon bitters and garnish with thin slices of cucumber.

*For cucumber simple syrup, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water together in a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat, add 6 or so cucumber slices. Pour in glass jar and store in the refrigerator up to a week.


Tzatziki Dip

This is a very flexible recipe; you can make it with or without the herbs, and omit any herb you don’t like or don’t have. If you just have parsley, that’s delicious too. If you like it extra garlicky, add another clove. Bottom line: it’s basically impossible to mess this recipe up!

4 servings

1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1⁄2  cucumber, English preferred
  • 1⁄2  tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste or put through a garlic press olive oil

Peel and grate the cucumber on the large holes of a grater. Place in a small sieve and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then squeeze out all the excess water. Mix the cucumber in a small mixing bowl with the Greek yogurt, garlic, chopped herbs, and lemon juice. Allow to rest in refrigerator for an hour or more before serving to develop flavors. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve on a plate or in a bowl with a little olive oil drizzled on top (optional).



Maple Pecan Pie


recipe from Wild Country Maple Syrup

Recently I had the opportunity to do some photography with Wild Country Maple Syrup  working on their new web site which required all kinds of photography. Shooting on site at their maple tree farm and maple syrup facilities in Lutsen MN was a lot of fun.  The beautiful rustic log cabin buildings set in the north woods off of lake superior is inspirational.  The maple syrup is the finest quality.




Napa and Sonoma CA Wine Makers

Mac_Sum13_cover_RL Mac_Winemakers_p16-23-1Mac_Winemakers_p16-23-2 Mac_Winemakers_p16-23-3 Mac_Winemakers_p16-23-4This Spring I had an editorial assignment with Macalester Alumni Magazine, it was an awesome opportunity.  We went to Sonoma and Napa California to photograph four alumni working in the wine industry. We drove the hills and valleys of wine country met some interesting talented people living and working in the area. From winegrape growers to wine makers in small family run business to the large wine-producing companies.  It was beautiful driving on the twisting roads with the vineyard-laced hills as far as the horizon. Reminiscent of Tuscany the area has over 400 wineries, lined up along side the roads. Everyone was very welcoming and generous, I would love to go back in the fall for harvest.

These are the tears pulled from the magazine, designed by Brian Donahue of BeDesign.  I even made the cover:)

Macalester College Student Cafeteria recipes

The editorial photo assignment was for Macalester College Alumni Magazine. The story is recipes from the students who come up with creative food ideas with the cafeteria offerings.  For the most part the recipes are fancy junk food. But isn’t that part of the college lifestyle?  I thought the Desperation Apple Pie was pretty creative.

The Macalester Magazine also came out with an Ipad App version of the magazine that you can download for free. The graphic design is done by BeDesign and is very well layed-out with nice flow through the pages with excellent design.  The theme of the magazine is all about food, “Macalester alumni are at the forefront of the organic farming and global agriculture movements.  As part of my photo assignment I did some animated gifs that could be used in the Ipad App version.

The Illustration of the cover art by Mark Hoffman/ i2iART.COM