Hi friends! Just popping in to let you know Shopbop is currently offering 25% off full-price and discounted merchandise with their awesome Friends & Family sale. Remember these boots I was drooling over the other week? Well, I decided to hold out for a deal and yeah, they totally just happened. To take advantage of the discount too, simply enter code FAMILY25 at checkout through tomorrow, Thursday October 16th. Happy shopping!
One thing I love doing with friends is trading names of favorite Instagrammers. Oftentimes a conversation will begin after one of us glances at our feed. Someone almost always then asks, “Oh, do you follow so-and-so?”
I get really excited when I come across a new photographer, food or fashion blogger, interior designer, or really anyone with great taste, so I thought I’d start a new column called Instagram Favorites so we can share ours.
Since I’ve had food photography on the brain lately, here are 5 I’ve been drooling over lately (from top middle to bottom right):
@afroditeskitchen | Blog: Afrodites Kitchen
@tworedbowls | Blog: Two Red Bowls
@caitsplate | Blog: Cait’s Plate
@minimalistbaker | Blog: Minimalist Baker
@ashrod | Blog: Not Without Salt
Who are some of your favorite foodie Instagrammers?
P.S. If we haven’t yet connected on Instagram, come find me at @ellepennerRD
Just back from a busy, 3-week trip to Europe, I knew the hubs would love to dive head-first into a bowl of comfort food after a hot shower last night. So, this weekend I dug back into the blog archives for one of my all-time favorite cheesy, carb-laden recipes, butternut squash mac and cheese.
A fall favorite in our house, this recipe has evolved a bit over the years. In my opinion, it’s gotten better with age so I wanted to share the revamped version with you. This weekend I updated the ingredient list (now shorter and easier) and snapped a new photos using my improved photography skills while I was at it. This is, by far, the best looking and tasting version yet. Enjoy!
Serves: 8 (or 4 very hungry adults)
4 cups butternut squash, cubed and peeled
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup grated White Cheddar cheese
1, 16-ounce box elbow noodles or shells, cooked al dente
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large pot, combine butternut squash with chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until squash is tender.
Remove from heat. Stir in milk, dry mustard, salt, black pepper and puree until smooth using either an immersion blender or a traditional blender. (Note: if using a traditional blender, puree in small batches and hold the lid on tight. It can and will explode if you’re not careful.)
Stir in Gruyere and Romano cheeses until melted and then fold in cooked pasta. Pour everything into a large cast iron pan (I used a 10-inch skillet) or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish lightly brushed with olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn oven to a low broil. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over macaroni and return to oven for an additional 3-5 minutes until cheese has browned and some edges of noodles are crisp.
Ever tried adding veggies to your mac & cheese? I might never go back to the regular stuff!
Because it’s Friday, and also World Egg Day today, I pulled five delicious egg recipes that can double as dinner those nights you’re too tired to cook a big meal and have no desire to get dolled up to go out. Because let’s be honest, that happens more often than we like to admit on Fridays.
Why eggs? While typically thought of as a breakfast food, eggs actually make a delicious, fast and nutritious dinner solution, too.
1. Eggs cook fast and taste great with everything. Their mild flavor make them a great vehicle for just about anything you want to pair them with. Spicy salsa, salty prosciutto, sweet caramelized onions, earthy greens–you choose your favorite! And compared with other sources of protein, which can take upwards of 20-30 minutes to cook (or longer if you’re braising), eggs are quick and easy, usually done in under 10 minutes.
2. They’re a top source of protein. This is because eggs contain all nine of the essential amino acids our bodies need to build muscle. When eaten after a workout, protein helps promote muscle growth and tissue repair, which means stronger muscles and more noticeable muscle tone—great news for us runners, CrossFitters, and any other athlete!
3. They’re inexpensive yet nutrient-dense. Along with dried beans, eggs are one of the most affordable proteins out there–not to mention the healthy vitamins and minerals they provide, like Vitamins D and B12.
Without further ado, here are 5 delicious egg recipes that can double as dinner the next time you’re feeling too tired to deal with cooking or the idea of dining out:
Power Greens Skillet
One of my all-time favorites creations, this delicious skillet pairs power greens with power protein. For a super fast dinner, you can caramelize onions ahead of time. If you’re an of-the-moment kinda cook, you can always relax and have a glass of wine while your onions do their thing, too.
Get the recipe »
Baked Eggs with Ricotta Thyme Chervil
Baked eggs paired with fresh herbs, ricotta and lemon zest make for a simple, but satisfying meal. Just don’t forget the crusty bread for soaking up all that goodness at the bottom of the dish!
Get the recipe »
I was recently introduced to Chilaquiles over brunch a couple of months ago and my life has since been changed. This easy Mexican dish is essentially leftover tortillas simmered in a quick tomato sauce and is served with a fried egg (or three). Adding meat is completely optional–I actually prefer to keep things simple and sprinkle some canned black beans on mine!
Get the recipe »
Poached Egg & Crispy Prosciutto Avocado Toast
I saved the fastest for last! Another favorite egg recipe from this little blog, this one’s become a morning, noon and nighttime staple in our house. It’s a quick meal perfect for those nights you’re not super hungry but want something delicious that’ll keep you from waking up ravenous in the middle of the night!
Get the recipe »
A special thanks to The American Egg Board and The Good Egg Project for sponsoring this delicious post. Have a happy World Egg Day!
There are few things I love more than making look food as delicious as it tastes. I’m so fortunate to be able to incorporate this passion into my work, both at MyFitnessPal and the recipes I post here on the blog. But lately I’ve felt somewhat stuck. Looking back at some of my recent recipes, I noticed most were photographed on the same boring marble slab, in the same light, all on white dishes. Having just upgraded to the Canon 6D, I wanted to be able to tell a better story about the food I’m creating, and take my food photography from good to really good, if not great.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending an amazing food styling and photography workshop led by the talented Todd Porter and Diane Cu, who you may know as White on Rice Couple. Todd and Diane are professional food and lifestyle photographers as well as ridiculous recipe developers whose work I’ve admired since I first found their blog nearly two years ago. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that they occasionally will hold 2-day food photography workshops in their beautiful studio outside of Los Angeles.
So, I went into the weekend eager to soak up as much of Todd and Diane’s knowledge as I possibly could. Our 2, 10-hour days together began with a delicious breakfast and cappuccinos at 8, and went straight through until our group dinner at 6, with a short break for lunch in between. During the workshop, Todd and Diane demonstrated techniques which we would then practice. Hundreds, if not thousands of frames were shot that weekend as we learned everything from lighting, composition and food styling to lenses and photo editing. Todd and Diane even touched upon several aspects of the food photography business, including some tips for getting started and working with clients.
I plan to share some of what I learned (as well as a fun, behind-the-scenes post) but for now, I’ll let some of my favorite photos from the weekend detail just how much I took away from those two short, but amazing days with Todd & Diane.