Monday, May 3, 2010


One thing that I have been doing lately is making the weekends my time to work out ideas for paintings. That involves the idea, the shopping, the cooking, and the photo shoot. Getting imagery that I am happy with and ulimately paint, does not come simply.  I have realized the best way to do that is a great deal of trial and error. That means photographing many different foods so I have a large pool to pick from. My goal is to shoot 3-4 different foods every weekend. That also means I have to learn how to cook any given food as visually perfectly as I can. I love food, and I love to cook, so I do have fun on this side of the painting process. My family also enjoys the spoils of the effort.

One dessert I worked on this weekend was Strawberry Shortcake. I had a previous shot of one that was not a "real " strawberry shortcake because it was not on a shortcake. This had to be authentic, so I found a recipe for a glorious shortcake, this was so good I could eat the dough raw. I used local strawberries from Mc Leod Farms in Mc Bee S. C. They were so red, juicy, and sweet for the filling, and of course lots and lots of whipped cream.  When I put this dessert together, it was WOW. My poor family waited and watched until I took a zillion shots of it. Once I had confirmed I had winner shots, my family had the green light to eat it, and it was gone very quickly .I came back with my fork for a taste and I was too late. Luckily I made a back up shortcake, and  I got to taste that, and it was the very best strawberry shortcake I have ever had!
Here is the recipe for the shortcake. If you make it, (you won't be sorry) make sure to use the sanding sugar on top before you bake it, it sparkles like a diamond when finished.

1 C All Purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter - cold and cut into little cubes
3 oz heavy cream
extra cream and sanding sugar for the biscuit topping

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper  and set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix.
- Add the butter and cut into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal 
- Add the cream and stir to mix until the dough comes together. Use a light hand, and don't overwork.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and press together into a flat square shape, and roll out dough to 3/4 inches thick. Cut the dough into quarters, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the tops with a little heavy cream and sprinkle with a little sanding sugar.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on baking rack to cool.

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