Monday, October 22, 2012

7 Amazing Hours

I'm still taking in everything that happened this weekend, but to start off with the basics, I spent seven incredible hours with Joy the Baker and Tracy Shutterbean at Teahouse Studio. Michael was there as well! 

Although I still can't believe how lucky I was to spend this past Saturday with Joy, Tracy and everyone else at the workshop, I cannot express how much I enjoyed meeting two women that have given me so much inspiration and motivation. They were the nicest people I have ever met and I was so thankful for how nice they treated me as awkward and shy as I am. They are incredible role models and I am so thankful for their decision to start and keep blogging. I love reading their blogs, listening to their podcast, and just absorbing as much as I can from my two favorite bloggers. Finding their websites has led to so many incredible things and I will never forget how much these two girls mean to me and the knowledge they have shared. They have made me a better baker, cook, and now, photographer and food-styler.

Also, I am so grateful for how nice everyone was at the workshop. I was blown away by the kindness that every single person expressed on Saturday and how much fun I had.

This blog has been such an odd mix of so many different weird elements, and I have definitely been lacking on the photography and styling front. So many of the tips and tricks Joy and Tracy taught were so simple, but made such a difference in the finished product and look of the photo. 

Michael also gave us so many tips about the actual camera and I am hoping to get a new lens sometime soon! 

Teahouse Studio could not have been a happier and brighter place for such a fun day and I absolutely loved the warm atmosphere that surrounded us all day.

So many happy elements!

Tracy and Joy also gave us goody bags! I have been eyeing these paper straws that seem to be everywhere and now I finally have some! I can definitely tell that I am going to need to buy more soon, though, because they are so perfect for styling.

Now, onto the photos that I took and styled!

For some info first:
Joy styled a cutting board of granola ingredients and how she would place and photograph the different components of the recipe. Then, Tracy showed us how she would set up the same ingredients for the same granola recipe. They gave us each a jar of granola that they had already made in our goody bags.
Then, Tracy made pumpkin milkshakes with and without bourbon.
Lots of picture taking occurred to say the least! Here are the photos that I took along with the recipes:

Maple Pecan Granola 
makes about 12 cups
adapted from Sugar and Salt

1-1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 heaping cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup gogi berries

Preheat oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Toss together the coconut, pecans, rolled oats, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
Stir together the oil, maple syrup, and honey in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until these ingredients are melted together. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients all at once to the oat mixture. Toss to coat all of the dry ingredients in the maple syrup mixture. Divide the mixture between the two prepared baking pans. Spread until the mixture into an even layer on both sheets.
Bake granola 45-60 minutes, tossing once or twice during baking. Once evenly browned and toasted, remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Add the dried fruit and store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature.
Granola will last for several weeks.


Pumpkin Milkshakes (with or without bourbon) 
serves 8 
adapted from Sunset Magazine 

4 1/2 cartons (14 oz. each) vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
sweetened whipped cream 

Whirl a third of the ice cream, pumpkin, milk, and bourbon in a blender until smooth. Add the sugar and spices to the last batch. Pour into a large bowl and stir to combine. 
Ladle this mixture into 8 glasses and top each with a dollop of the whipped cream. Serve with straws! 


Again, I cannot express how much I enjoyed spending time with everyone this past Saturday and how happy I am to have learned everything I did and meet these two amazing women. 


  1. Kristin @ w/milk and sugarOctober 22, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    sounds like an amazing day! I would love to get actual training on food photography. Your pictures look great! {}

  2. i'm a little jelaous! i woul love to meet Joy and Tracy. and your photos look stunning!

  3. Love the milkshake pictures with the black background. Glad you had so much fun

  4. And of course my favorite is the picture of you and Joy and Tracy

  5. How amazing does that workshop sound?! I, too, love the pic of the pumpkin milkshake with the black background, + the bird's eye shot of the granola in the mug. Gorgeous!

  6. Elizabeth - for the pumpkin milkshake is t four half cartons of ice cream or four and a half cartons?

  7. I'm pretty sure it was four half cartons that are each 14 oz. that would ultimately be 56 oz., a little less than a half gallon.

  8. What a great workshop!

  9. Amazing Saturday and I am so happy to have met you! Happy Birthday again! I love your granola shots and the black backdrop behind the milkshake. So creative!

  10. Elizabeth! this is just an amazing post! i LOVED meeting you and spending time together. you are so talented. such a gem! please keep in touch!

    love to you,

  11. You are the best! I am so so happy that I was finally able to meet you and Tracy. It was actually one of the best things that has ever happened.
    Anddd I'm really trying to get my brother to come to your Boston book signing since he lives in said city. I hope I can make that happen!
    Hope to see you sometime soon!

  12. I loved meeting you as well! It was amazing to meet people in real life that love to do the same thing as I do.
    talk soon!

  13. Beautiful photos!! So happy that you got to meet those two, looks like an awesome day :)

  14. You are SO talented, Elizabeth! Maybe this is cheesy, but I teach a LOT of 16-year-olds and you are so mature and lovely. It was wonderful to spend a day with you!

  15. Elizabeth, this is a wonderful post! It was so nice meeting you and your Mom and I hope you had a wonderful birthday weekend! Take care!

  16. I'm so glad I got to meet you! Thank you for compliment; I don't really connect with too many people my age, and I'm sure you can see why!

  17. Paola@{love+cupcakes}October 24, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Great to meet you on Saturday!! You blew me away! I love your dedication and ambition and I can't wait to see how you blossom :) You've got yourself a new reader!! Fabulous photos, btw! Love the milkshake in front of the black backdrop!

  18. Thank you so much, Paola! I'm so glad we got to meet!

  19. Thank you so much, Ellen! I was actually sooo nervous beforehand but that obviously went away instantly since they're such amazingly kind people!

  20. You ladies have no idea how much joy this post has brought to my heart! I just started my own recipe website and its been so hard not having any one around me with the same interest or have no idea how much i truly adore sharing recipe's! You have not only given me the kick i need but also showed me that it is possible that one day my website will be more then just recipe's but filled with love and awesome people! Thank you for sharing this post and i LOVE your blog! Keep up the great work! You have truly inspiried me:)

  21. Thank you sooo much, Ambar!! I have gained so much motivation and inspiration from other's blogs and cookbooks and am always amazed by much push a blog post or a comment such as yours can be to keep me going and learn more. I'm so incredibly thankful for all of it.
    keep cooking and blogging! xoxo

  22. You totally did the same for me! I'm so excited to fix up my blog a little bit and really dedicate more time! Thank you for your kind words! You rock!



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