Feast on the Farm : Salmon Safe, Hitchcock Restaurant and Oxbow Farm

This year Stewardship Partners, Oxbow Farm and Salmon-Safe teamed up for the 4th annual Feast on the Farm. Founded by Kate Bayley and headed by David Burger, Feast on the Farm is a not for profit fundraiser which promotes awareness of local farms that participate in environmentally conscious and healthy farming. YES! …and it’s real purdy.

The wonderful food was prepared by Brendan McGill of Hitchcock who was recently named “Peoples Best New Chef” by Food & Wine Magazine, and his supportive team. Fragrances of fresh caught barbeque salmon, barbeque chicken, farrow with romanesco florets, wine, and seasonings wafted around Oxbow’s beautiful field all evening. I ate vicariously through my camera lens and then for realz later, yes the food was fabulous.

Shelby Earl, who is receiving tons of great press, serenaded the feast with her bold voice and wonderfully catchy songs. Her song “Sea of Glass” was KEXP’s song of the day on Thursday. Keep it up girl!

The dreamy setting, the fantastic food and the supportive individuals made for a very fun evening which raised 15,000 dollars for an awesome purpose. Thanks to everyone who put in an effort to make this special event happen!

I sure had fun snappin and I hope you enjoy the photos! To see more come visit me at my website.

Cheers!

Tomatoe vies and sighn at Oxbow Farm Oxbow Farm Bee Hive Sign at Oxbow Farm green bean vies with red flower at Oxbow Farm People touring Oxbow Farm waitress and a straw hat at Feast on the Farm Sarah Cassidy, Luke Woodward, and Adam McCurdy giving a speech at Oxbow farm Hilary-McMullen-Photography-24 white wine and a grape vine at Oxbow Farm Beautiful Table set for Feasts on the Farm at Oxbow Farm People heading to the field to eat Hitchcock Restaurants team at Oxbow Farm Flowers and people smiling at Oxbow Farm Brendam McGill of Hitchcock Restaurant cooking lentals Oxbow farm raod and pamphlet for Feast on the Farm 2013 Grilled chicken People at Stewardship Partners fundraiser Davis Burger and Brendan McGill Person in Salmon-Safe siut at Oxbow Farmsigns and foods for Feast on the Farm   Shely Earl singing on Oxbow farm Bendan McGill grilling salmon for Feast on the Farm Waitress bringing plate of food to table Grilled zucchini at Feast on the Farm Brendan McGill, BBQ Salmon people talking about stewardship partners on Oxbow farm veggie stars at Oxbow Farm Salmon safe sign Kate Bayley at feast on the farm 2013 Poeple sitting at the long table in the field at Feast on the farm Woman wearing cowgirl boots Cherry Tomatoes and sweet pea flowers at Feast on the Farm Sign of Oxbow Farm food and wine on a table at feat on the farm Brendan McGill cooking salmon green tree frog

Endless Organic Eggs

My mother has 7 Bantam Silkie hens and they are crazy adorable.  They all have equally adorable names, but so help me, I’m always getting confused as to who’s who, except for Mrs. Button cause she’s the fattest and oldest, so I mostly call them all Fluffy. Anywho, I went out to collect the morning bounty to discover that Mrs. Button was the only one left in the coop and was hunkered down for the ages in a giant pile of straw… broody again.  When I got close to coax her out into the sunlight she greeted me with soft peeping noises and moved a bit to reveal at least 20 mini brown eggs.  Apparently, when the other gals leave for the day to begin their bug and plant foraging, Mrs. Button scuttles around the coop collecting and pushing all the eggs she can find into her carefully made straw nest. CUTE! I felt a little guilty snatching her treasure but the fact that she had been sitting in this one spot for a week made me think she probably needed some nutrition from the great outdoors, and poor girl, the eggs are never going to hatch! She soon decided that it was indeed time to hit the lawn and almost instantly found a juicy caterpillar thing, ew. The nice size pile of pretty brown speckled eggs inspired me to have a little fun behind the camera and here’s what came out of it! Happy Saturday!

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Hilary.McMullen_Seattle.Food.Photographer.900.

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The Whale Wins :: Seattle Restaurant & Seattle Food Photographer

What wonderful food!

I had the pleasure of photographing at The Whale Wins a bit ago and what a treat it was. Painted with captivating designs of seafaring lore, the building in which the toggles turn sits on a corner of Stone Way in Fremont, Seattle.  The atmosphere was light and airy with a hint of rustic meets sleek, riddled with well thought out woodsy decor. I was greeted with a shower of smiles from the ladies and gents of the floor and soon after a bit of chit chat, out came the food! I am told the cuisine draws influence from chef, Renee Erickson’s favorite places in Europe. The dishes showcase local veggies, seafood, meat and dairy with complimentary ingredients that mingle just right in your mouth. The drinks are great also! Manager Jeremy Price recommended a cocktail deemed The Thyme Bandit which was… frikken amazing. I was truly delighted by the food, space and people and can’t wait to go back! Feel free to stop by my portfolio to see more yummy adventures!

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

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The Whale Wins: Hilary McMullen : Seattle Food Photographer

Ravishing Radish Catering

Last week  I had the pleasure of working with the amazing Lisbet Mielke, owner of Ravishing Radish Catering and Ravish Restaurant in Seattle.  What a gem of a place indeed!  Nestled at the end of Eastlake Ave, Ravish sits with inviting bright green chairs and a vintage chic decor to match.   They specialize in finding fresh, local ingredients and have a great seasonal menu not to mention wonderfully friendly staff.  Naturally I got excited right away and couldn’t wait to shoot some of their delicious food.

Product photographer Casey Lam agreed to be my amazing assistant for the day and we started bright and early at Ravishes’ catering location which is conveniently one street below the restaurant with Lake Union as their front yard.  If ever you need a beautiful spot to bring lots of people together, this is the place!  After several beautiful dishes including seared halibut with multicolored tomato basil vinaigrette and seckle pear crostinis with thyme and honey, I was drooling all over the set….. Just kidding!   What really happened is Casey, Lisbet, business developer Vickie Peterson  ( both of whom are amazing stylists!) and I  were lost in a creative world of food and photography.

The day continued on after a short lunch break and we moved up to the restaurant location to finish up.  Here, Lisbet whipped up some baked mac and cheese and some beef sliders speckled with fresh carrots and purple cabbage.  They have a full bar so we decided to add a beautiful bright cocktail as well.  Why not?!  That always makes things fun!

So, all in all, a really fantastic day filled with amazing food, really great people and lots of laughs!  Thanks Ravishing Radish for such a great experience!

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Ravishing Radish Beef Sliders w Hilary McMullen

.Ravishing Radish Seared halibut, Hilary McMullen

.Ravishing Radish Seckle Pear Crostini w Figs, Hilary McMullen.

Ravish Restaurant in Seattle. Hilary McMullen

.Ravishing Radish in Seattle w Seckle Pear Crostini with Thyme and Honey

.Ravish Restaurant in Seattle, Beef Sliders, Hilary McMullen

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Thanks miss Casey for the set shots!

Casey Lam Set shots w Hilary McMullenCasey Lam Set shots w Hilary McMullenCasey Lam Set shots w Hilary McMullenCasey Lam Set shots w Hilary McMullen

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Sorry for the long stretch dear readers.  Every year our photo program goes away to beautiful Port Townsend for the second years to finish their portfolios and for the 1st year to assist them.  This year it was my turn to finish up my portfolio which was intimidating but I had a great time and shot some fun images to boot!

And so, on this beautiful sunny day I bring you lemon tarts!  I bought these at a cozy bakery/restaurant called Sweet Laurette’s which sits atop a hill by the sea in a quaint old building with lots of character. (sorry! no photos, next time!)   Their food and pastries are very delicious with strong, unique flavors and a beautiful presentation.  I was quite happy when I walked in and saw lemon tarts sitting in the pastry case as they are one of my favorite desserts, or snacks… 🙂   They proved to be not only photogenic, but all kinds of tasty amazing!!

I experimented with using the 85mm 1.2 lens this week just to switch it up from the 45 tilt shift and the 100mm L IS.   Oh my word, I am all about it!   This lens is one of my new favorites because it gives tack sharp results on whatever one is focusing on.  It also has a excellent weight to it, meaning it’s a hot beast with a dainty, crisp look.  These photos are both shot with natural light and two white cards both on camera left.  Settings are 85mm at f/1.2,  1/500, ISO 125.  If you have a rental place close by,  I recommend trying this one out!

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It’s Tea Time!

There is a certain romance around tea…

Worth a mention/nostalgia:  The whistle of a steaming kettle (one of my favorite sounds), measuring tea leaves into an empty teapot, tiny silver stirring spoons, a designated tea cupboard that smells like a dream when opened, sterling silver strainers that look as if they might walk over to you, the ever changing pattern of steam flitting up and away from your mug, the eclectic variety of tea cups and saucers, beautiful colors of tea leaves and spices, and last but certainly not least… the opportunity for good company and conversation…in other words, “nuthin like a good old fashioned tea party!”

One of my favorite kinds of tea hands down is Earl Grey.  I love the hint of bergamot oil which makes Earl Grey tea, well, Earl Grey tea!  Bergamot is citrus fruit, yellow in color and about the same size of an orange.   Apparently, this was the favorite tea of the British prime minister in the 1830’s, Charles Earl Grey 2nd.  …and so… It was named after him, hhhmmm… who woulda thought?!

I take mine with a bit of cream, sugar, a good book and/or good company.  I usually buy loose leaf tea because I enjoy the preparation of the “good cup-a-tea” process and for the freshness factor.  I suppose it is personal preference as to how strong you like your tea but here’s a little suggestion given to me by a lovely soul who works at one of my favorite tea shops; “One scoop for me, one scoop for you and one scoop for the pot!”    Suggested amount for 2 or 3 tea drinkers. Let steep for 3/4 minutes.  Enjoy!

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A Plentiful Supper

What a lovely day it was today in the pacific northwest.  I was so happy to be awakened by the warm rays of sun shining through my curtains.   I could truly smell spring in the air.  Finally!  It’s amazing what a bit of bright sunshine and a brisk morning walk with the pup and the daffodils can do for ones mood.  With that said , my inspirational troubles vanished and off to the market I went, in search of a small fowl.  For, this weeks assignment was to photograph to the theme of yellow/orange and and I had decided upon roasting a chicken with organic carrots and fingerling potatoes.

I stuffed the bird with half a head of garlic, 1 shallot and 1 lemon cut in half, then into the glass baking pan it went.  I also added a good amount of whole carrots and potatoes, 1 sweet white onion spread around and the other half of the garlic.  Top it off with some salt and pepper, a dusting of fresh thyme and a few hefty swigs of olive oil, then into the oven it all went!  With that roasting away and making the the house smell all kinds of amazing, I started to set up for my shoot.  A Q-flash camera right for a little fill light, a couple of white cards camera left for some bounce and the rest day light.   Dishes here, no, there… fork here, or perhaps there… you get the idea; it’s all about placement and styling until you reach the look you like.

About an hour and a half  of roasting at 425 F later,  I pulled a purdy chicken roast out of the oven and took it over to my set.  It took just a bit of shooting to get what I wanted since I had a good deal of time to think on it while it was baking away.   Then for a plentiful supper and a sunset!

 

 

Ahhh… The Power of Cheese

Okay, I’m going to repeat my self.. Ahhhh, the power of cheese.    A cliche title I know,  but it’s true!!  Cheese goes with so many things.  Atop a heaping plate of hot spaghetti with a rich tomato sauce, thinly shaved on fresh salad, sprinkled on a warm baked potato, sliced on an open face sandwich with cured meat, sweet cheese and fruit for dessert, or just on its own!

There is another major factor of cheese… it’s so rustically beautiful.   There is nothing perfect about the appearance of cheese and this is one thing that I love.   It is a little different every time it’s made.  Each wedge or crumble has a character of its own which for me is shown by color, texture, smell, oh… and taste!

So… when my professor gave us an assignment to shoot something with a blue theme, I instantly thought cheese!  I’m not quite sure why but I just decided to go with it.  I went to my local market and probably spent a good, ohhh, 45 minutes looking at different cheeses.   I’m sure you fellow photogs, stylists and perfectionists can relate.  Needless to say, shoppers passing by must have thought I was a little off my rocker with my constant picking up of different cheese wedges and eyeballing them closely only to put one down, pick up another one and do the same thing.  I ended up with four different kinds that I thought worked nicely together for my shoot: Vella Doy Jack, Maytag Blue, Pyrenees Montcayal Onetek and Taleggio.  Wow… I don’t speak cheese, so I’m not quite sure what they all mean or the exact origins of each but I can tell you one thing…. I had a great time with my shoot and afterward with a snack of cheese, honey and crackers!  It’s always a bonus when you get to eat your props!  ( That is, if they’re not sitting out too long… )


Hermit Mode


It’s a cold and rainy day here in the city.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain and the opportunities it brings to slow down and start a new project while drinking a cozy cup of steaming tea.  One of my favorite things to do on such a day is bake a batch of hot cookies which I then pop into my mouth right out of the oven.  Among my long list of cookie favorites are, oatmeal raisin, snicker-doodles and the classic chocolate chip.  You just can’t go wrong!

After a long but very productive day at school, I decided to go into hermit mode and let my baking side have a go.  After a quick inner debate about which kind to make I settled on chocolate chip, because… well, dark chocolate melting in my mouth just sounded divine.  Lucky for me, no cookie mishaps occurred.  They have been known to happen; such as my lovely kitty cat walking in the flour, then sneezing due to sniffing and making a floury mess, or me accidentally turning the oven a wee bit too high and crisping them just a liiiitle too much.  No worries this time, they came out great!   I enjoyed a couple of them with a cup of earl gray tea all the while being serenaded by the pitter patter of rain on the windows.  I have no idea where the recipe comes from; a very nice woman gave it to me while I was traveling in Europe for a spell.  It shall forever be a mystery, but that makes them all the more enjoyable.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cups butter (room temp)

1/2 cups shortening

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla ( I usually add 3 to 3 1/2 tsp)   😉

2 1/2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2-3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (if you want!)

– In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugars until light, beat in eggs and vanilla.

– In separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and soda; then add all to large bowl. Mix together and add chocolate chips.

– Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.

– Bake at 350 for 8 – 10  minutes or until edges are golden brown

…..and… Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients