This past shoot for Finlandia Cheese was so much fun. When your given the freedom to create the best sandwich using quality cheese the possibilities are endless. We got to spend the day making tasty heroic sandwiches using a variety of Finlandia’s new line of pre-sliced cheeses. They had great varieties and of course swiss! Working with Lisa Russell at her new studio was a great experience. The kitchen to shooting space is seamless. We had Apple TV wireless connection to show the shots large as we were shooting. Also the cool thing about the space is it’s inside center city Philadelphia’s String Theory School. We had high school students who are currently majoring in broadcast come in throughout the day to see what we do. The students were engaged and anxious to watch us work. It’s really nice when you can create work and give back to students at the same time. So rewarding!
What an exciting end of the year. It’s certainly not slowing down! I had a great shoot with a favorite past client of mine, Alouette Cheese between Christmas and the New Year. They have been putting out some great new lines of cheese and also creating some nice recipes with their products. We shot 2 days in studio photographing some fun and refreshing recipes using various cheeses of theirs.
A personal favorite I think was their brie wheel. It was wrapped and baked in a Pillsbury dough and came out like a pull-apart bread. The brie inside was warm and gooey. If you really wanted to take it up a notch dip it in the cranberry sauce paired with it. It really was tasty and a perfect choice for a holiday appetizer. Another recipe idea was using one of their cheese dips to fill the bottom of glasses then pair on top with some cut vegetables. It’s a cute and fun way to serve it at your next party.
Check out some B.T.S. having fun with cheese! :)
Happy New Year and looking forward to 2017 projects!
What a great crew to work with. This past shoot working with Cheese Connoisseur and Grana Padano from Italy was such a blast. These type of projects remind me how fun my job is! We created various recipes using Grana Padano cheese product for the next issue of Cheese Connoisseur and for use directly with Grana Padano. These recipes showed how versatile a savory cheese can be. Some of the recipes we photographed were quesadillas, farrow salad, and apple galette. The mixture of the melted cheese with these acidic foods really worked well. The cheese itself was good on its own and created beautiful toppings to the dishes. For the photo shoot these Grana Padano cheese wheels and cuts were hand picked from Italy and delivered to the states for this shoot. They take their product very seriously and are proud of what it is all about. That type of passion for food really speaks levels and made the day all that much better. The beautiful cheese rinds were apparent in every photo, so you know to use the best when making these recipes. To finish out the day we did a gorgeous stack of cheeses with a rich slate as the background and a huge rustic chopping block as the base. This translated to authentic Italian.
I was able to try and practice my Italian at the end of the shoot, and sure enough I still need practice.
Pesto is a great addition to any pasta dish. Pesto can be high in fat with the oils and pine nuts mixed into it so you have to take it in small amounts. To help lighten your meal use a whole grain pasta instead of a white pasta. In addition to pasta you can use pesto on chicken, crusty bread, or a spread for a sandwich. If you want to have pasta but a sauce that’s a healthier option it’s best to stick with a tomato sauce.
What goes into a basic pesto sauce?
Find a great recipe at Food Network.
Just in time for the holidays, a few quick cheese recipes I shot for Cheese Connoisseur magazine. These were prepared with Grana Padano cheese, which is similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is made in northeastern Italy. The recipes were really a nice selection to showcase how you can use this cheese. We made a simple quesadilla with roasted red peppers, a squash soup, and an apple crostata!
We had to make sure and leave room for titles and recipe text when these run in the magazine.
What a crazy, jam packed, long, restful weekend I had! We started by seeing the new movie Mad Max which I highly recommend. Also ordering the pretzel bites with cheese (that took me way back). I continued the weekend by cooking with Joe making a huge tray of lasagna for a really fun personal project I’ve been working on. I can’t say anything yet because I’m still working through it and don’t want to spoil any of the fun! Among the BBQ’in, drinking frenzy I managed to make some of my favorite eggplant.
It’s good because it’s so darn easy. For me eggplant is healthy candy. I could eat it all day anyway. If there’s one way though I would cook it for the rest of my life it would be pan seared with breadcrumbs. Just slice the eggplant about 1/2in thick or thinner and let rest on some paper towels for 20min. While the eggplant is resting scramble 1-2 eggs in a bowl and pour italian breadcrumbs in another bowl. Heat a all clad skillet with vegetable oil until it’s hot! Take a fork a dip the slice of eggplant in the egg than into the breadcrumbs till both sides are covered. TIP: You can add an extra step and do flour between the bread crumbs to add extra flavor and crunch. Repeat the step until you fit enough eggplant flat in the pan and cook each side until browned. Remove the slices from the pan and drain on a brown bag. Once they have cooled and the extra oil has seeped out enjoy a crunchy slice of goodness :)