tiny treats, taste & shoot

Chocolate Chips and Coating

Chocolate Chips and Coating, in the works.

When Nicole Axworthy of A Dash of Compassion and Lisa Pitman of Vegan Culinary Crusade asked me to assist with the styling and photography of their Tiny Treats eBook, I was thrilled and honoured to join the collaboration. I have a great amount of respect for these two very talented ladies and I knew the project would be a ton of fun and a smash success. After having sampled copious amounts of scrumptious treats for months leading up to the shoot via their other joint venture, the Raw Vegan Treat of the Month Club, I knew that each and every recipe in this book would be a winner.

Also, being the generous and compassionate spirits they are, Lisa and Nicole are donating one-third of all eBook proceeds to a charity close to their hearts, the Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand. Buy the eBook and you’ll be helping elephants and be rewarded with mouth-watering sweet treats all at once.

Convinced yet? Read on about what you can expect from this sweet little tome:

  • 25 deliciously sweet, whole foods based dessert recipes
  • no wheat, refined flours, sugars, soy, eggs or dairy
  • a delicious assortment of  cookies, bars, and cakes
  • recipes for must-have staples like nut milk, raw chocolate, and date paste you can make yourself
  • well laid out and super simple instructions
  • no need for fancy equipment (a blender or food processor and you’re good to go)
  • great tips and techniques to add to your culinary repertoire
  • large, full-colour photos of each recipe (including a few from yours truly)

The photographs in this post are some of my outtakes from the shoot and represent a small portion of the awesomeness you will find in the book: I feel truly honoured to have been able to contribute to its creation. Plus, not only did I get to spend a fun-filled weekend with friends, playing with props and styling to my heart’s content, a few of my photographs were selected by the girls (who also photographed their work) for the final product. Very cool.

Blueberry Cream and Fruit Tarts

Blueberry Cream and Fruit Tarts

Yogurt, Milk, and Granola

Raw Almond Yogurt, Cinnamon Bun Granola, and Almond Milk.

Hazelnut Brownies

Hazelnut Brownies with Maple Chocolate Ganache.

How does that grab you? You can read more about the Tiny Treats eBook, as well as preview and purchase it, here.

ohio adventures, continued

Berry Danish

Berry Danish and Soy Milk.

I recently traveled to Ohio for a second time. This visit, like the first, revolved around photographing food as well as affording me a long overdue catch-up with Kate. I traveled south by car with Lisa and Nicole, and what fun we had! We have a shared love of food, photography, and prop hunting—so deciding on what stops to make along the way was a breeze. The three of us, along with Kathy, stayed with Kate who generously hosted us. I hadn’t seen Kathy since last summer in Portland, so it was great to be able to give her a hug and catch up. On the night of our arrival, we dined in the garden—feasting on Lisa’s out of this world spicy Curry, Kate’s quinoa, and Nicole’s refreshing and filling Chickpea Salad. My contribution to dinner was dessert, of course: chocolate cake—made by the Irishman.

We spent a magnificent Saturday rubbing shoulders with a group of photographers who had come together to participate in a workshop run by Clare, hosted by Kate in her beautiful home studio. I love watching photographers do their thing—and it was fascinating to see how vastly different the work produced was despite the fact that the group was shooting the same food and using the same pool of props. I tend to like to take my time setting up shots, so for me the steady pressure of styling and shooting 7+ different dishes in the space of 4 hours was an excellent personal exercise. That’s an even faster pace than the one we set during the shoot for Jae Steele’s Ripe From Around Here. When I’m shooting or styling for clients, I will up my pace as needed. When I’m working for myself, I’m a little more mellow.

Kate baked nearly all of the entirely plant-based menu for the shoot herself, as well as a beautiful breakfast for everyone on the day consisting of vegan quiche, baked oatmeal, and berry danish. Even though my breakfast Danish (pictured above) wasn’t officially part of the shoot, it was the first thing I styled and photographed that morning and became one of my favourite images from the day.

The girls and I, wanting to take some of the load off of Kate with all that food prep, offered to help by making the tomato soup and quinoa salad which were on the to-do list for the shoot. We split into teams, with Lisa and I making the Quinoa Salad and Nicole, Kathy and Kate making the soup. The salad turned out extra delicious (under Lisa’s sage direction) and was really easy to throw together. All you need is cooked quinoa and some colourful, flavourful veggies to throw into mix. We used cherry tomatoes, chives, fresh peas, corn, and red pepper–seasoning it all with lime juice and salt. Fresh, simple and delicious—I plan on making it regularly.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad, à la Lisa et moi.

It was a delicious weekend filled with my favourite things: good food, friends, and cameras. I’m looking forward to having many more adventures with these talented ladies.


ohio musings, part 1.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

I know, I know—strange things are afoot at the Circle K. An extended period of radio silence, etc. Excuses, hmmm: let’s see. I had the flu. Twice. My laptop was force fed Gatorade. A camera lens decided it really wanted to get better acquainted with the floor. I traveled. None of that matters now. I missed you and I have news.

While in Portland for VVC last summer, I had the incredible good fortune to form a friendship will fellow photographer and Anthropologie aficionado, Kate. We hung out together for the balance of my time in PDX and promised to get together soon after. That visit happened last Fall when I traveled to Kate’s beautiful home in Ohio. Kate made sure that I had ample opportunity to go prop-shopping (a mutual obsession), showing me some of her favourite haunts and generally aiding and abetting. Let’s just say I had to borrow a large piece of luggage to make the bus trip home. She also made sure I got to taste some of the impressive local vegan scene: the VegiTerranean in Akron, The Flaming Ice Cube in Cleveland, and The Mustard Seed (Akron). I love Kate, her awesome family (including then newly adopted pooch, Cooper), and Ohio so much that I’ve already made a return trip—more on that soon in a separate post.

This first trip was a whirlwind week of prepping, styling, and photographing food, some of the results of which you can see right here.

I made the pumpkin pie using Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe, a favourite of mine from The Joy of Vegan Baking, which I highly recommend. Kate made the oat berry crumble using a recipe of her own genius creation—she’s a whiz in the kitchen. We worked together to prep and style each dish and then each of us photographed the work for our respective portfolios.

Oat Berry Crumble

Oat Berry Crumble

Kate and I make a dynamic creative team, I think, which is exactly why there will be many more creative projects to come.

Addendum: Kate reminded me that she made the crust for the pie using the food processor.