My Current Favorite Things

I've just posted pictures of my favorite things right now. I literally have been obsessed with these products and recipes and web sites. 

My Favorite Things: 

1) Pretty Geometric Patterns 2) Free People Earrings 3)  Homemade Kale Burritos {see my easy recipe below} 4) Amazing Sugar Facial Scrub  5) Target Sandals + Lace Shorts 6) Paso Robles Syrah wines 7) Everything you see in the last pic is from Fab.com - MY favorite site right now for buying stuff! IN LOVE for sure and you really should join. 8) Plui bath toys {these are so fun in the bath & look cool too}

I figured I would share this with you in case you were looking for something to obsess about this month! 

Kale Burrito Recipe

2 handfuls chopped kale
2 Tbls olive oil
2 pinches sea salt + pepper
1 small avocado or 1/2 large avo
1 tortilla {whole wheat or gluten-free or spelt}
2 Tbls garlic sauce
3 Tbls shredded organic parmesan cheese {optional}

In a bowl combine chopped kale, avocado, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat tortilla on stove. Coat in garlic sauce. Sprinkle on shredded parmesan. Let it heat for about 5 minutes. Once finished add kale & avo mixture. Roll it up and DEVOUR!!!!!!!

Mid-Century Boys Room & Our New House

Man, it has been a long few months for me and my family. We are living in a temporary condo waiting for the renovation of our other house to be finished. 

We were only supposed to be here for less than 2 months and it's been 3 with one more to go. We are living in a place that is just a tad too small for 4 people, which means VERY LITTLE sleep for any of us! BUT we are doing our best to stay positive and excited about this new house with a massive YARD for kids to play in.

I will take pictures when everything is done, but it's going to be a mix of modern, simple, vintage, mid-century and eco-friendly. Not everything we're doing is totally "green". But we are going to have an edible garden, the kitchen is totally "green" construction, tiles in bath will be stone and recycled glass, floors are concrete, entire house will have purified water, we're using old trees as furniture and refurbishing things that don't need to be thrown out. Blah Blah. But with our small budget we're trying to focus on most important things first. We're also setting up electric to eventually go solar but that won't be for awhile. 

I'm very excited about this and I thought I'd share a little bit of our new house ideas with you before the construction is finished. The above picture is a little peek into what our boys room will look like.  

Oh and these great bunk beds are "green" / eco-friendly, as well. In case you've been looking around for something {wink}!

To see a bunch more of my ideas and a few of the things we'll be doing, you should check out my NEW HOME INSPIRATION board on pinterest

Of course some of this is just me putting stuff together. Not all of it has been purchased, but it will give you a feel of the what we're doing! 

Hope you're enjoying your weekend and stay tuned for more food recipes to come!

A Peek Into Meredith's New Book

Writing a book is a major case of delayed gratification. By the time the book is published (usually close to 2 years after you sign the contract) you've almost forgotten how it happened. You are essentially in another phase of life. Still equally excited, but some of the nerves have warn off. You've sat with it, gained confidence about it, tweaked it, edited it, shown it to all your friends and family, bragged about it, bashed it, and when the book finally gets published you are pretty excited (ok, cant wait!) to share it. 

Within all of the waiting there are some spurts of major excitement- #1 is definitely getting back photos to share! 

Yesterday was a typical Tuesday, but it became A-typically exciting when I opened my inbox and found an email from Adrian Mueller with a link to his website and photos from my book shoot- which meant, I get to share some of the photos! 

We've mentioned Adrian before. He is the photographer with whom we've worked with on the last 3 books. This was the 4th time that Adrian and I have worked together - and you know, 4th times a charm ;-) Anyhow, Adrian is incredibly talented. I have learned so much about food styling and photography working with him. He is incredibly precise, meticulous, thoughtful and creative when it comes to his work. He has taught me to see things that I would have never before noticed- the details of details. I am so grateful for these experiences. 

I am so excited to share these photos with you! I really think that these might be the best yet. 

For more of Adrian's beautiful photography and some more of the work we've done together - check out his website 

happy earth day! & Kookie Karma Giveaway

A good day to:

+ bring your re-usable bags around with you
+ not use plastic
+ reuse and recycle
+ take a long walk outside
+ park your car for the day & ride your bike or walk instead
+ eat organic food
+ eat less meat
+ be thankful that you're alive breathing clean air {wink}

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

IN HONOR OF EARTH DAY, I'M GIVING AWAY SOME OF THE HEALTHIEST COOKIES AROUND! AND A BAG OF OUR FABULOUS KALE KRACKERS! 

HOORAY!!!

1) like us on facebook

AND

2) comment below { or send email to deliciouskookies @ gmail .com } telling us what you did today to help keep the planet clean!

PRIZE: bag of kale krackers, lemon fig kookie & chocolate chip kookie

Giveaway end tomorrow {MONDAY 4/23} NIGHT! I will announce the winner on Tuesday! Good luck.

GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED!

*Behind The Scenes* :: Meredith's New Book

BOOK SHOOT BUSY

Last week was a big week for me. I had the photo shoot for my first (official) book – although I am not a novice to the book shooting process, it is always a rather intense process. We are always trying to push the envelope for the next best thing- constantly and consistently making each book better than the last. Conceptually that can be easy, but when you start taking the photos and immortalizing your ideas – well… its tricky and kind of scary. Fortunately I have been lucky in having always working with an AMAZING team.  I was lucky enough to work again for the fourth time with photographer Adrian Mueller - who’s photography is totally a work of art and always better than I could imagine. Maybe fourth time is a charm? We totally got in to the flow. The results are stunning. When you first work with someone you don’t know their style and they don’t know yours – it really helps to have mutual respect and understanding when it comes to the creative process. Good communication helps- it makes things much easier! (duh) On the past three books our team has consisted of my good friend Jessica Acs (we missed you!), but this time it was one of my other most dear friends, Simone Powers. (I actually met both of them at Living Light Culinary Arts)  I feel pinch me fortunate to have good friends who will donate a week of their time to work their asses off. A week of shooting isn’t exactly a vacation. Last but not least of course my co-author and partner Matthew Kenney was always around for words of wisdom and guidance. He is an expert. The good thing about this team is that we are all friends so at the end of the day, we get to eat, drink and be merry!

So, I thought that I would share with you what a day of shooting a book looks like.

Pre-Game.

At the point of the shoot most of the recipes have been tested. If they haven’t been tested, I have a clear understanding of how they will turn out. Weeks (months) before we shoot I go over the outline multiple times and imagine what each dish will look like, and how it could be styled. Because we don’t shoot every recipe in the book it is important to be picky and choose the best looking dishes, what colors will fit well together etc. We also have to have the same number of photos for each chapter so it important to divided it all up so that it visually makes sense. If you have commitment issues, this can be a challenge ;-)

Props.

Props are huge. If you think that you have a lot of them, you probably don’t. Each year I am getting better and better at making sure that we have a variety of props and surfaces. We focus on a clean, modern look. Although I might be drawn to a gilded goblet to put on my table at home, I have to curb my enthusiasm. You have to make sure you can see the food, and that it looks attractive. Adrian and I always co-piolet the styling, and Jessica and Simone are always been hugely helpful in helping realize the vision.

The Day.

Each day before I plot out what dishes we will shoot. This involves coordinating ingredients, garnishes and trying not to waste ingredients. If we are doing a beet juice, we will probably do other beet dishes that day. The schedule also depends on the weather and lighting. Typically we try to shoot dishes consistently with the time of day they would be eaten. A smoothie in the evening light doesn’t have the same feeling as a smoothie in the natural lighting of the morning. (And of course we eat the leftovers so it’s nice to have things for breakfast and lunch!) All of these aspects are very important. 

So…. We wake up. Adrian brings the coffee, and we get started with the first dish by 10am at the latest. I will tell Adrian what I’m thinking and he will set up the shot while we make the food. Each shot takes about 45 min on average. Adjusting the lighting, tweeking the plating- it is all very precise. The reason that the food you make never looks like it does in a book is because you probably aren’t putting your mushrooms in your miso with tweezers. Not that the food is ever inedible or hyper styled, but you can’t make smudges, splashes or any mess. Blobs and globs of food look terrible behind the lens even if they taste good. Once the shot is set up, the surface is virgin territory and you can’t violate it. At this rate we aim for 6-8 shots a day. Some shots are easier than others.

In the midst of all of this is keeping the kitchen (and yourself) clean and organized. Super important.  

About 4-5 shots before a lunch break. We eat the goodies. After lunch we will get 2-3 shots in, but the lighting starts to fade and everyone’s eyes get tired.

Seeing the shots is the MOST fun. Gathering around the computer screen to see the days work is hugely satisfying. It actually makes me squeal with delight. HELLO. You are making food porn. How fun is that? Good times.

End of the Day

After we are done with the days shots it is back to planning for me. I go through the outline every night to make sure we are staying on target for the number of shots and how they will be represented in each chapter. We usually need extra ingredients and a few props, so this is when I’ll do my shopping. I have to stay organized. If we do 6 shots and I realize they are all from the same part of the book it is a total screw up. I’ve just wasted a lot of time and $.

Good food and wine is always on the menu after each day. We hang out, relax, look over the days work, and get inspired for the next day. It helps having 3 chefs in the house and great restaurants nearby. We usually eat dinner super late so that everyone has had a chance to unwind. 

Generally speaking it is a lot of work, and a lot of fun. Seeing published results is pretty incredible. I actually don’t look at the books much after they come out, because it is like looking at pictures of yourself, you see what you can do better. I guess that is the nature of achievement and improvement.

The calm after the storm of the book shoot is finishing all of the book writing which is a much different task- and needs be happening as we speak!

The book is titled Design Your Detox. It is about eating healthy foods as it suits your lifestyle. All of the recipes are easy and clean. I am super passionate about everything that this book is about. I promise that its not a book full of colon cleanses and starvation! I really can’t wait to share the message with everyone. It will be out Spring 2013.

{the lovely chevron rug print above courtesty of pinterest photo}