Happy Thanksgiving

  It's a little bit late, but I wanted to share some photos from Thanksgiving and say how grateful I am to have had the time to spend with my family.  At the end of the day, I know that what I am most grateful for are a supportive family, a loving husband, and the time I get to spend with them.  But I'm also grateful for good food.  It's a close second :)  And nothing is better than Mom's cooking.



Amazing vegetables - Green beans sauteed with garlic (and butter of course!) and Asparagus lightly sprinkled with salt and sugar.  Unusual, but it's fantastic!




Roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams.


Fruit salad,                                                                                                                            Cucumbers and tomatoes with vinegar.



And not your traditional Thanksgiving meat, but since my Dad's from New Zealand, we grew up eating lamb with mint sauce for our fancy dinners and he was happy to cook it for us while everyone was in town.  It took a few hours to drive around and actually find a store selling it, but definitely worth it.




Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas!




Tiff's Treats, Tiny Pies, and Top-notch Planning

  Katherine has managed and organized all kinds of events and spent a lot of time directing theatre productions (we actually did a pretty impressive child's theatre camp together with a production of The Jungle Book at the end of the week.  She is an amazing director!) So she put together a reception was both well thought out and planned.  They thought of everything!  My favorite, of course, was the variety of food.  Not only was there a dinner, but also a whole table of treats.


I love this!  Instead of a wedding cake, they had a wedding pie.  And why not?  You can cut a pie just as easy as a cake.



...and extra little pies for the guests.




Amaaazing cookies from Tiff's Treats (where Katherine used to work).




A fruit bouquet.



And they had the incredible flowers done by Sherri Toler (Chelsea's mom - remember Chelsea and Dan and all their amazing flowers?)





It was also neat that they had so much history together (growing up together, dating as young teenagers) and they brought this into the reception.  There was a whole timeline of events and gifts given throughout the years.



And a life size chess set.  (I was hoping they'd let me take this one home... but I probably couldn't have gotten it on the plane anyway ;D)



And then the venue.  Vineyards at Chappell Lodge is just dynamite as a reception location.  So much character and beauty.  It looks good during the day, but my favorite (as usual) was when the sun started to set.  This patio was gorgeous in the blue hour!





It was an amazing party.








  We interrupt this engagement series for a very important message.  It's been a very long week, and I'm ready to go to bed.  But I gotta say...


I loooooove creme brulee. 


Creme Brulee










Sammy's Cafe: Pie Shakes = Heaven

  So here's a little background for this shoot:


A little over a week ago, we had to the opportunity to photograph Danica and Ryan's wedding. It was an awesome day, and one of the most relaxed wedding days I have seen as a photographer. However, it was HOT. Hot hot hot hot hot. We blazed through family group photos at the LDS Salt Lake Temple and got a few newlyweds, but then headed on down towards the Springville Art Museum for the reception. The reception was lovely, relaxed, and full of happiness- my favorite kind of event. One of the highlights for me was the catering.


As you might remember from the engagement session, Ryan and Danica spent a lot of time at Sammy's, one of the best burger places in Utah, and home of the Pie Shake. Of course, we made sure to get some fun shots showing off their favorite hang out spot.



With such a special place in their hearts for Sammy's they actually had the crew cater their reception.  All throughout their reception Sam, his lovely wife Nikki, and other Sammy's staff were handing out ice-cold happiness.  Thomas and I loved it!  Not only did we get some tasty treats to keep cool while we were working, but we got to chat up the big man himself (who, coincidentally, is cousin to our other favorite caterer, Ethan from Rockwell Catering).


Funny side note:  As we were driving down to the reception (and cooling off with the A/C on full blast!) and talking about what we'd do when we got there a bit early, Thomas all of a sudden says "PIE SHAKES."  I look at him confused, and said, yeah, they're going to be there (thinking about the fact that Sammy's was going to be catering it).  Thomas just replies, "We should get one."  Still confused I tell him that they won't be set up for a bit.  Turns out that Thomas had completely forgotten about who was catering- he just all of a sudden wanted a pie shake.  It was hot, we were driving south, Sammy's is in south Provo off the freeway and is sorta on the way to Springville.  It was all very logical, right? :D


But I digress....


As we were chatting, Sam and I got to working out the details for a product shoot for his food.  One thing led to another, and so the next day Thomas and I found ourselves holed up behind the counter in the restaurant busily setting up different burgers and shakes for their moment in the spotlight.  We'll likely need to do another shoot (Sammy's has too much food for just a couple hours to do it justice), and I haven't finished editing all of them, but I just had to share some of the photos from the session.




I literally got home about an hour ago from Provo.  I met up with my current intern Abby, and we had a business coaching session at Sammy's.  I had a burger, I split a pie shake with Thomas, and we had some of their awesome sweet potato fries.  I was full.  I am full.  But looking at these.... kinda makes me want to drive back and get another shake.




Stay tuned for another update with Sammy's goodness in the next month or so...












  A few of you have been asking for the recipes from the Chinese New Year cooking class that Thomas and I went to a few months ago at the Gygi cooking school.  Thomas loves to cook, and we both loved going to the class and making (and eating!) all the different dishes.  So now that we finally got to scanning in the recipes I figured I'd post the photos along with them here!



Orange Chicken

This was Thomas' favorite! The fresh squeezed orange juice and the zest make all the difference in the world.


Fire cracker shrimp

Stir Fry Noodle

Pot Stickers

I love pot stickers, and these were just great!

... and for the grand finale, my favorite from the day!!


Mongolian Beef




Saffron Valley

Hey, here's a few photos from the Grand Opening of Saffron Valley, a new Indian street food restaurant in South Jordan.

The restaurant is described as more "Indian street food", but it's more fusion with a few American elements as well (ala "naan-wich" etc).

Overall, I liked the aesthetics of the location, and the chicken was amazing!