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

Lemon Ideas – Seattle Food Photographer

There is no recipe that goes along with this post.  The only inspiration I had for this shoot was that lemons are pretty! I think that’s inspiration enough, don’t you?

The bright yellow color of lemons captures my attention and makes me want to cook everything under the sun that involves their zingy complimentary flavor.  Sometimes I get so overwhelmed and can’t put my finger on what I want to cook, so I cook nothing and become inspired by their true form.

I’m always looking for new recipes, if you have any that you love and hold dear and want to share, please do! They are so much more fun to cook when they have a story behind them.

🙂

Lemon ideas:

Lavender Lemonade

Lemon Stuffed Chicken (don’t forget the garlic and rosemary)

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon-herb Vinaigrette

Limoncello

Lemon Salmon

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Scones

-Thanks for stopping by!

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Hollow

…Is not so very hollow at all.   In fact, quite the contrary.  Stuffed fashionably with rustic trinkets, fresh soap, tasty goodies and cozy low watt light bulbs, Hollow is true to its quainter meaning of the word; A tiny nook tucked underneath a traditional San Francisco apartment on 16th and Irving.  I might have walked right by if not for the wafting sent of Ritual coffee and it’s abnormal cuteness.  As you walk in through the old green door you are greeted by 3 small wooden tables, a friendly smile from behind the espresso machine, warm ambient light and organically crafted walls and low ceiling adorned with variety hanging paraphernalia.  Also true to its name, the Hollow is tiny.  Not too tiny in my opinion, but rather adorably comfortably so… that’s hard to beat!  Yes, Dawn, owner and graphic designer, nailed this idea: Hollow is a cafe dream!  So, if you’re in the area and want an amazing cup of steaming espresso, a pastry or cookie (the Guinness cupcakes caught my gaze), and eye candy galore come and take a peek!  Happy Holidays!

All images shot with natural light and 1 white card camera left. 24-105mm

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Hilary McMullen and Hollow SF.

Hilary McMullen and Hollow SF.

Hilary McMullen at Hollow SF.

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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

Perfect Endings Cupcakes

Here’s another project from Port Townsend.  I had the great pleasure of working with owner LaTrecia of Perfect Endings Cupcakes for a day while I was in this lovely part of the North West.  She makes the most wonderfully beautiful and tasty cupcakes! Her shop is located right on the main street of PT in an old brick building.  The enticing eats and pastel colors of her shop through the windows will certainly catch your eye and pull you in to try a sweet treat.  I had to try four; carrot cake, raspberry chocolate, classic vanilla, and lemon =)   All AMAZING!  If you are ever in the area, be sure to check out this gem of a place.

These were all shot with natural light and one white card camera left.  Lens: 24-105mm & 100mm Macro

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Perfect Endings Cupcakes

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.Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

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Lemon Cupcakes

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Carrot Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes

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Carrot Cupcakes on a chair

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Cupcake Holder, Vanilla Cupcake

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Simple and Healthy Fried Eggplant

The eggplant is such an interesting vegetable and one of my favorite looking (giant purple raindrop with hair).    Whether eaten as a snack, or as the main attraction in a hearty meal, eggplant is something I enjoy frequently.

A great and really simple way I like to prepare it is fried or grilled with just a dash of salt/pepper and a good lug of extra virgin olive oil.   Sometimes things are just best plain and simple!  I eat this as a snack or as a side dish with dinner or lunch.

Get a couple good sized eggplants as they shrink when cooked and slice them into 1/2 centimeter thick round slices.  If you want the eggplant to have a denser consistency, rub coarse salt on the slices and let them sit in a colander for about 40 minutes to an hour.  This draws the water out so you won’t end up with soggy eggplant.  I have done it both ways and like both; it doesn’t get gross soggy if you fry on a med high heat and crisp the edges.  Just personal preference I guess.    Then salt and pepper to your liking, drizzle with some nice flavorful olive oil, or butter if you prefer, and you’re ready to go.  Heat up your skillet or throw some coals on the barby, and cook each side until golden brown.   To take this a step further, you can dip the slices in an egg batter and then rub them with bread crumbs.  Eat up!

More Eggplant ideas:

-eggplant lasagne

-stuffed, baked eggplant with meat, veggies and spices (kinda like stuffed peppers)

-grilled eggplant panini

-eggplant parmesan

-roasted eggplant soup

Images shot with natural light.  4 black cards; 3 camera left to bring in shadow, 1 camera right to block light.  3 white cards; 1 directly camera right, 1 camera back right, 1 camera back left.  24-105mm lens at 100mm. iso 125

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Sliced Eggplant on wooden table

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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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What’s Your Fancy: PORT

Happy Friday!

It has been a productive, long week and I am so happy to have a couple of days to recuperate.   A pastime that I enjoy is sipping on a glass of port with friends, or while meandering about the house in the evening.  It has quite a sweet pallet, if you enjoy that sort of flavor, and definitely is something to sip on slowly and responsibly.  I find Dow’s to have a nice well rounded flavor with a good depth to it and an affordable price tag.   Most port wines come in quite large bottles, and has the potential to go bad before one can finish its contents, no worries, port is great for cooking!  You can pour a bit in the frying pan when sauteing onions to get a caramel-y flavor or into a marinara sauce for added depth and intensity of flavors.  It’s wonderful to use as a reduction atop steak and other red meats, or perhaps to give subtle sweetness to a dark chocolate cake.  Yes please!

I used natural light and manipulated it with 3 cards.  2 White: one right in front of the camera and the other camera left.   1 Black card camera right to give depth and shadow.  Shot at F4.

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