A Happy New Year with The Inspired Plate! Caramelized Pork Shoulder & a Moroccan-Inspired Cous Cous Salad

Cheers to Year Two of my work with The Inspired Plate and its talented members. Here is a recipe using one of my favorite things on the planet: Cast Iron. Our additional challenge was to use a magazine format.

2013 has been fantastic for myself as a food photographer, joining forces with Edible San Luis Obispo Magazine as well as many other great clients. Looking forward to a new year of bigger challenges and lots of success and inspiration.



Pan-Caramelized Pork Shoulder & Moroccan Cous Cous Salad

Mix 1 cup of dried cous cous with 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup shredded carrot, and 1/4 cup each of pine nuts, chopped green onion and parsley. Add 1 tsp each of cumin and cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Cover mixture with very hot water (appx. 1 1/4 cup) for 5 minutes, fluff with fork.

Heat cast iron pan with 1 tsp oil until smoking hot. Salt and pepper pork steak and fry on 4-5 minutes each side or until caramelized. Top with a small pat of butter and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.


Don’t miss the rest of TIP’s posts, starting with the lovely Sabrina Wong, Perth Food Photographer and continuing on to Allison Jacobs, Orange County, California Food Photographer, Stacey Siegal | Kitchen Serendipity | Longboat Key & Bradenton FL Photographer , and our group leader Laurie Vengoechea | Southern California Food Photographer. Well done, ladies!!

Roasted Pork with Apple Gravy {Holiday Table with Edible SLO Magazine and The Inspired Plate}

Here is a savory main dish that will work for any of your holiday gatherings this season, Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Gravy. My recipe for this is featured in the current issue of Edible San Luis Obispo Magazine, a fun twist on some seasonal flavors. There is also a savory, creamy recipe for Yukon and Leek Gratin. My post coincides with The Inspired Plate‘s latest challenge of Holiday Food Fare, perfect timing.

Please check out my recipe and follow along to Laurie Vengoechea | Southern California Food Photographer to see what the rest of our TIP photographers have in store this month!

Seasonal Fall Dish with The Inspired Plate

I love this time of year and can’t wait to see what the rest of The Inspired Plate comes up with for our October Challenge, Seasonal Fall Dishes. I was recently inspired by some fresh shelling beans at my local farm stand, and a recipe from Martha Stewart Living, Pasta e Fagioli. Shown here are Cranberry, or Borlotti, beans. These Borlottis have beautiful blush-colored freckles which disappear during the cooking process, and are perfect for a warming early Fall soup.

I made some minor adjustments, using what we had on hand. For example, instead of ditalini pasta, I used orechette, and cut my cooking time in half by using canned diced tomatoes. However you make it your own, this is a simple, hearty, and delicious soup!

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

View the Recipe


Fall Drinks with The Inspired Plate

Celebrating the first days of Autumn with The Inspired Plate’s Fall Drinks Challenge! A Fig Martini with a fresh scent of lemon verbena…so refreshing during the Central Coast’s early Fall days.

Figs are in their last days in our area, and I’ve fallen in love with them just this year. This Fig Martini is a sweet and herbaceous send off to the late summer and the start of harvest season. Celebrate!

Please see the amazing Stacey Siegal | Bradenton-Sarasota Food Photographer to follow along with our talented group of TIP photographers!

Blackberry Pizza with Fennel, Goat Cheese, & Honey {New Seasonal Challenge from The Inspired Plate}

I’m back with our food photography group The Inspired Plate and our newest challenge: Seasonal. My family and I have discovered a nearby Pick Your Own blackberry farm, and at $1.50/lb I’ve had a lot of berries to experiment with in the kitchen!

Enter in Blackberry Pizza, with Fennel, Goat Cheese, & Honey. A fun way to celebrate the summer season.

Now pop on over to to the talented Tiffany Dahle from Peanut Blossom to see her seasonal Cherry Crisp, then keep following the links to see the rest of our blog circle with The Inspired Plate!

Keep on reading to see my recipe for Blackberry Pizza Continue reading →