FARMSTEADS OF THE CALIFORNIA COAST




Hi there! As some of you have probably noticed, I haven't been spending much time here, so I thought I'd take a moment to share what has been taking up all my attention. Farmsteads of the California Coast, just released by Yellow Pear Press, is one of four books I had the pleasure of photographing last year. What an amazing project it was, especially for a farm nerd like me.

Novella Carpenter says, “This book will make you want to milk a water buffalo or barbecue some oysters." 

Sarah Henry and I traversed the California coast visiting some of our favorite farms (Hog Island Oyster Co, Gospel Flat Farm) and discovering new ones (Double 8 Dairy, Good Land Organics).... Sarah penning the tales of twelve unique coastal farms and I telling the visual story with my photographs. I couldn't have asked for a richer collaboration.

If you'd like to read more about what folks are saying about the book, you can read here, here and here. And I'm especially excited to see the book featured in the newest issue of Cherry Bombe.

Here's a little visual taste of some of the farms we featured in the book... Or you can see more on my photography website.





CRISPY OVEN-ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS


Last January, I had the great pleasure of shooting Nathalie Fraise's wonderful new cookbook, The Whole Coconut (Ten Speed Press) which explores cooking with coconut in all its glory. Nathalie's book just hit the shelves and I couldn't be prouder to have been a part of its creation. You need this gem of a book in your kitchen!


Nathalie's technique for roasting chicken thighs was a revelation for me - the skin is perfectly crisp and the coconut oil adds a lovely hint of flavor. I now find myself making Nathalie's chicken thighs at least once a week - they're that good! Nathalie serves the chicken thighs with zucchini spaghetti, but don't fret that zucchini isn't in season this time of year... really the thighs are great with any tasty side.

INGREDIENTS - adapted from Nathalie Fraise's The Whole Coconut
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Lay chicken thighs skin-side up on a baking sheet and brush chicken with the melted coconut oil. Season each thigh generously with salt and pepper. Roast chicken thighs in the hot oven for 40-45 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the skin in wonderfully crispy. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Shooting Nathalie's book was one of those perfect projects where everything goes beautifully, and deliciously! Nathalie's recipes are simple, flavorful, and naturally gluten-free (!) and she's a sweetheart to boot. Working with Ashley Lima and Kelly Snowden from Ten Speed and my buddy and amazing food stylist Lillian Kang was dreamy - such a wonderful collaboration.

Here are a few more shots from Nathalie's book to whet your appetite...






BLACKCREEK MERCANTILE + FRIENDS


The celebration of friends is one of life's great pleasures, isn't it? Today I'm doing just that.... celebrating the creations of some amazing friends I admire and whose work I think you'll enjoy.

First and foremost, I'm so excited to tell you that Josh Vogel from Blackcreek Mercantile has a book on the way! Any of you who has spent time here knows what a fan I am of Josh's work. His lovingly made wood cutting boards, kitchen tools, stool, bowls and butcher block are some of my most treasured (and used!) items in my home. I have no doubt that our Blackcreek pieces will become heirlooms that Otis and Lilah will haggle over one day.

In The Artful Wooden Spoon, Josh looks at the art, craft and history of the wooden spoon - one of mankind's oldest tools. For those of you who fancy the idea of doing your own carving (I must say - I'm quite tempted!) Josh walks us through the steps to make our own spoons. Makers aside, this book is really for anyone who appreciates handmade beauty, craft and design. (Seth and Kendra Smoot shot and styled the book and it's a stunner.)

Josh, and his wife Kelly, are coming to Northern California to two of my favorite shops - so if you want to meet them and get a signed copy of their book, now's your chance. I'm going to their launch party at March on November 5th. And they'll also be at Shed in Healdsburg on November 7th. For more info, check here.


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Since I haven't been able to be here regularly these days (A full schedule of photography work is keeping me extremely busy. Happily busy!) I wanted to take a moment to continue this theme of celebrating friends by sharing a few other wonderful new books...
  • Emma Galloway's incredible first book, My Darling Lemon Thyme is finally coming to the US! Emma's cookbook is packed with amazing healthful recipes (and they're all GF by the way). I'm particularly fond of her Eggplant with Tomatoes, Feta and Pomegranate Dressing.
  • Homemade Memories is by another fellow blogger friend, Kate Doran. Kate's gorgeous book is all about modern recipes for indulgent (and nostalgic) sweet treats. My kids are drooling over this one.
  • Finding Yourself in the Kitchen, by my buddy Dana Velden, is a different sort of read. A former Zen priest, Dana writes with profound warmth, grace, and comfort about the pleasures (both mundane and sublime) to be experienced in the kitchen.
  • This is Camino is from one of our favorite local restaurants. Russell Moore, the chef/owner is magic in the kitchen and Camino's new cookbook welcomes us all into Russ' delectable world.
  • Heidi Swanson's latest book appeals to both the traveler and cook in me. Beautifully photographed as always, Near & Far takes us on a journey to some of Heidi's favorite places - India, Japan, Morocco, Italy, France - and luckily for us, we get to see and taste our way through her delicious pages. 

Disclosure: Some of the items in this post have been gifted to me but I wanted to assure you that all opinions and enthusiasm are my own!

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