Last month I had the chance to visit New Orleans for my friends at The Kitchn, and while it was not my first encounter with this magical city, I’m never bored with it. NOLA has a special way of making you enjoy going with the flow and creating new experiences. What started off as a trip with goals and plans ended with my flight back home being grounded, extra time in the Crescent City, and a masquerade ball and dinner hosted by Mario Batali for the Link Stryjewski Foundation (an organization that supports local youth empowerment groups). I scrambled to find something to wear, but it was totally worth it as the Bal Masqué featured an amazing array of dishes by some of the best chefs around the country. My favorite dish of the weekend was a boozy, citrusy, Baked Alaska type thing called “Satsuma Business,” born from the minds of Babbo’s Rebecca Deangelis and Nick Morgenstern. In typical over-the-top New Orleans style, The Kitchn’s Managing Editor and I stole a whole one from a nearby table and dug in with spoons after finishing our own slices. And though I may not rock an evening gown with high tops again for the foreseeable future, I’m grateful for another wonderful trip, surprises included.
I love eating in season for different reasons, chief of which are a more delicious flavor and minimizing my carbon footprint. In winter in the Northeast, it's a bit tough with fruit of course--it's just not being grown nearby. In order to get my vitamins from real food, I'll make some concessions and eat things from a bit farther way than I do during the rest of the year. California and the South offer some of the winter fruit in this story I shot for Parents Magazine, which in winter is pretty much the best I can do! Check out the issue for more info on why these fruits are good for you as well as how to shop for and prepare them. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva and food stying by Jerrie Joy.
Welcome to the second installment of favorites from my fall trip to Europe with prop stylist Martha Bernabe! Check out some of our Barcelona finds--captions are below the images.
From left to right, top to bottom: 1. Cortados from Satan's Coffee Corner (they also have great chia pudding if you’re in the mood for a healthy breakfast) // 2. Architecture in el Born // 3. The original tile floor in our room at Casa Bonay // 4. Catedral de Barcelona // 5. Pastries from La Colmena in el Gótico // 6. Razor clams and pimentos de padrón at Casa Ricardo in Barceloneta // 7. Treasures at the Encants flea market // 8. Snacks from el Mercat de la Boqueria // 9. Figs from a shop in Barceloneta // 10. Fruit from a shop in Barceloneta // 11. Architecture in el Gótico // 12. Tapas from El Xampanyet // 13. Interior of Gaudí's la Sagrada Familia // 14. Detail of flowers placed over a Miró mosaic on la Rambla // 15. Gaudí architecture at Park Güell
I'm excited to share my latest travel story in the current issue of Afar Magazine. This was my fifth time in Jamaica, which never ceases to inspire me with its robust culture. The colors, textures, smells, and sounds of the island continue to layer on top of each other during each visit, and the sum always keeps me wanting more. In this article, writer Mark Byrne is shown a new perspective on Jamaica by one of the island's most famous proponents, Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell. Chris gets Mark out of the resorts--which is what I too would recommend to anyone wanting to visit this island nation. There's so much to discover from the mountains to the sea and honestly, the driving isn't any worse then on the BQE. You know you've gotta get out of here in February or March, so perhaps a Jamaican road trip? There's plenty of great coffee to keep you fueled.
I enjoyed four beautiful fall days in Amsterdam last month with my travel buddy, prop stylist Martha Bernabe. Here are some of our favorite discoveries, with captions below the images. (Definitely rent bikes--it's the fastest way to see all of the neighborhoods!)
From left to right, top to bottom: 1. Architecture along the canal, The 9 Streets // 2. Our room at The Hoxton (ps—they have the good coffee, from Lot Sixty One Roasters) // 3. Bar Bukowski (they have gluten-free beer!) // 4. Coffee at Ree7 // 5. Gluten-free date bars and other goodies at Pluk // 6. Bicycles in the 9 Streets // 7. Healthy lunch from SLA // 8. Architecture along the canal, City Center // 9. Picnic supplies from Marqt, enjoyed in Vondelpark // 10. The cozy bed at The Hoxton // 11. Croissants (not gluten-free!) from Petit Gâteau // 12. Globes and plants in a window, City Center // 13. Pigments at Rembrandt House Museum // 14. The Rijksmuseum // 15. Dessert at Bak // 16. Tabletop goodies at Shuka // 17. Vintage clothing mixed with new stuff at The Darling // 18. Bike riding in Westerpark
If you’re anything like me, dreams of having a fireplace come into play this time of year. Lean into that by opening up the latest issue of Country Living and check out a fantastic 200-year-old New Hampshire saltbox I shot last fall.
I had a really fun time collaborating with Beardwood + Co. on my latest branding and packaging project. Little Secrets are candy-coated chocolates that come in really nice adult flavors like Sea Salted Peanut and Toasted Coconut. They're made with fair-trade chocolate, fruit and vegetable extracts for coloring, and don't contain corn syrup. My kind of treat! Our images showcase each flavor with fresh ingredient cues and are being used across all packaging and Little Secrets' new site.
Food styling by Cyd McDowell
Last week I went upstate to the Catskills to take care of my friends' animals and garden. Their place, Ravenwood, is like my dream country retreat. My dog ran free, we ate the freshest eggs ever, raided the garden, and swam in waterfalls. Not bad. Thank you, summer (and Chris and Dana!)
Last fall I photographed The Soup Cleanse Cookbook, written by Nicole Centeno of Splendid Spoon. It was the perfect time of year for this project, with so many fruits and vegetables beautifully in season and so many colors and textures to inspire our photographs. The book doesn’t come out until the end of August (pre-order it here!) but Nicole has been sweet enough to let me share one of our favorite chilled soup recipes. Her Raw Cashew and Cucumber Soup is a great partner for summer—refreshing and full of vegetables and herbs currently bountiful at the farmer’s market. It’s a riff on Turkish cacik, is very simple to make, and is both dairy- and gluten-free.
4 cups water, divided
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
4 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup loosely packed and stripped fresh dill
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch of ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1. In a small pot over high heat, bring 2 cups of the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the quinoa, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the scallions and garlic, stirring, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is very soft and sweet.
3. In a countertop blender, combine the scallion mixture, cashews, cucumbers, dill, mint, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Puree until very smooth, slowly
adding the remaining 2 cups water as necessary to achieve a thin milkshake consistency. Cover and cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Gently mound a quarter of the quinoa into the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup on top.
I have a new advertorial out in the most recent issue of Real Simple! This shoot was for Lorissa’s Kitchen, a great company who makes gluten-free jerky. I’d never had jerky before this assignment (I know, I know) but now I see what the fuss is all about—such a good snack! Food and prop styling by Chris Lanier.
Sometimes I get an assignment that feels so perfectly suited to my personal interests that I think: yes—this client really gets me! Parents Magazine gets me. Put me in a backyard in Montréal with chickens, produce spilling out of raised beds, and kids getting their hands dirty, and I’m a happy photographer (and person). Add to this a handful of gorgeous recipes by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque and it’s a pretty ideal day. Check out Aimée’s blog Simple Bites for some fun behind-the-scenes shots and a well-written peek into our experience.
It's sort of an understatement to say that I was obsessed with dying Easter eggs as a kid. I loved the bright colors and the smell of vinegar, so coloring eggs was a perfect craft in my book. In my family, we definitely did not do anything more fancy than Paas tablets and I'm okay with that because now as an adult, I get to shoot stories like this one with beautiful crafts by Sarah Cave.
Starting the year off with a job in the Caribbean is always nice. Discovering a new island that feels so different from others I've experienced is extra special. Martinique is French and has a distinctly European feeling in its port city, Fort-de-France. The language and architecture set the scene for Europe and yet when you look above the storefronts and homes, you realize you're nestled up against beautiful, lush, mountains that spill into a deep blue sea. It's as simple as Europe meets the Caribbean and for me, it felt disorienting in the best way possible.
I'm very spoiled by having so many talented studio mates at the Dobbin Mews. We collaborate on projects, we wear each others' wares, and we're constantly inspired by seeing everyone's process and creations. I've shared a space with surface designer Helen Dealtry for five years now and am always amazed at the seeming ease with which she lays down color to make her gorgeous floral designs. Helen makes beautiful patterns for brands like Loeffler Randall, Of A Kind, and Madewell. She also has her own scarf line and teaches insightful and fun painting classes. British craft magazine Mollie Makes just ran a feature profile on her and I got to take the photos. Here are some favs and a peek into our space:
I'm really excited that my work will be included in the American Photography annual this year! Happy to be sitting with the best of the best and even happier that the image chosen comes from my ongoing personal project, Wild Apple Journal. This photo was part of a story created for the final issue of Anthology Magazine. See the whole thing here.
I've spent some time now with this cookbook: up late at night in bed, lounging on the couch, and dirtying it in the kitchen. And although I'm completely biased for having worked on it, I have to say that Cooking Solo, due out on March 8th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is such a fun and useful book!
Author Klancy Miller is funny and smart, and her recipes are considered yet very do-able. I think that she and I share a lot of sensibilities both in the kitchen and aesthetically, and I've really valued getting to work with her on this, her first cookbook. Check out some sample images below and go pick it up to see it in person. The design is fresh and clean, and it printed beautifully! Prop styling by Martha Bernabe, and food styling by Carrie Purcell.
My work is featured in the latest issue of Parents in a story about healthy, whole grain cookies you can bake at home. Now, I realize that this is Parents and recipes are often meant for kids, but these will surely please family members of all ages. I highly recommend the gluten-free Fudgy Brownie Sandwich Cookies. They're like an adult Devil Dog and way better for you! You'll be happy you ripped that recipe page out at the doctor's office (it wasn't me who said to do it). Food styling by Liza Jernow and prop styling by Carla Gonzalez-Hart.
by Lina Watanabe
Skin can feel drab and dry in the winter due to indoor heat, reduced water intake, or lack of breathability from clothing. A great way to give your skin a tune up or just a well-deserved spa moment during these winter months is by making a homemade scrub. The scrub will exfoliate any dead skin cells as well as moisturize your skin in a lasting, non-greasy way. The best part is, it can be made with standard kitchen ingredients and can be jazzed up with your imagination.
5 parts salt or sugar
2 parts oil
1-2 part herbs/spices
2-3 drops essential oil per ½ cup of batch if desired (use sparingly!)
Measure out your base salt or sugar into a bowl. Grind any larger herbs/ingredients that need to be a finer consistency and add to bowl. Stir and add oil to desired consistency (a little goes a long way). Add any essential oils in small drop doses and mix. Put in your container and cover immediately. Scrub away and use as frequently as you like!
Hints: I like to use small wide mouth canning jars but any jar with a lid will work—use what you have! Any type of salt (even Epsom), oil, or sugar will work, except extremely fine varieties. If using coconut oil, you will have to melt it on low heat. To determine the parts, I like to start out with 1 part equaling 1 tablespoon and go up or down based on the quantity I want to make. Use herbs from your spice cabinet, or if you don’t have dried herbs on hand, simply just open up some tea bags. Things that are slightly gritty, like small seeds such as poppy or sesame, ground cocoa nibs, and even quinoa work as exfoliants. I use a coffee grinder to crush any dry herbs, seeds, oatmeal, or any larger ingredients to a finer consistency before adding them to the mix. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and should always be diluted in a carrier oil or with other ingredients in drop doses. They can be irritating to the skin, so use them sparingly for added scent, only if desired. This scrub is not advised for use on the delicate skin of your face. Take extra caution as the oils may make the shower floor slippery.
Below are two of our favorite recipes—we love that every ingredient is medicinal in some way. Since the skin is our largest organ, all medicinal ingredients used will be absorbed, so try to use the best quality ingredients and opt for organic whenever possible. Feel free to play around with the ingredients based on what is available to you.
WAKE UP! BLEND
Sea salt is less processed than table salt and has 82 essential minerals and trace minerals from the ocean that can be absorbed through the skin. It is also great for drawing out toxins and improving circulation. Coffee is of course stimulating due to its caffeine content and sometimes all you need to perk up is its smell. Although it has a slew of actions internally, its astringency topically on the skin helps to constrict the pores. The acidity of the coffee can also help to exfoliate the skin. Jojoba oil is comprised of long chain fatty acids similar to our skin sebum so it is absorbed rapidly on contact. Peppermint has a stimulating smell, is antimicrobial, and soothing to the stomach.
5 parts sea salt (fine to medium coarseness)
2 parts jojoba oil
1 part spent coffee grounds
1 part dried peppermint leaves
2-3 drops organic peppermint essential oil per ½ cup of batch
WIND DOWN BLEND
Sometimes you need a wake-up boost and other times you need to recuperate from the day and relax. This recipe is perfect for winding down the mind and body. There are so many benefits to this one: sugar can help maintain a proper electrolyte balance, oatmeal is soothing, and rose petals are astringent and tighten pores, while the aromatics are very relaxing. Chamomile reduces inflammation and anxiety and sweet almond oil is emollient to the skin (please swap it out if you have tree nut allergies). Honey is a humectant, which seals in moisture to your skin creating a protective barrier to the outside world. We all know the lovely smell of lavender, but did you know it can also be sedative, and antimicrobial? Studies have shown its chemistry truly is relaxing on mind as well as the body.
5 parts sugar
1/3 part oatmeal
1/3 part dried rose petals
1/3 part dried chamomile flowers
1 part sweet almond oil
1 part honey
2-3 drops organic lavender essential oil per ½ cup of batch
Lina currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She is the proud owner of two small businesses: Wild Rose Healing herbal consultations & reiki on people and pets, as well as Botanica Apothecaria handmade herbal products. She is also co-owner of a bi-monthly herbal surprise box company called Florilegia. For more information or to schedule an in-person or distance session, please visit Wild Rose Healing.