please welcome 513{eats} and the first holiday issue

i have already written about this on my kiwi street studios blog...but of course i must write about it here...it's about food! i admit i am going to post the very same post as it is what i want to say!

i am so excited about this! i’ve talked openly for quite a while now about my love of photographing food. little did i know what would come of it. i already had my foodie blog here, so why add another? because i could;)
i love the twist on this one…tying in all the food and lifestyle delights that reside in our own 513…and, maybe a little outside our state lines from time to time.
i’m happy to introduce 513{eats} and our very first online issue…our 2011 holiday gazette!
i hope you enjoy seeing and reading about the holiday cheer that we saw and experienced in the last two weeks!
that’s right. we put this all together in two weeks!
thank you to all the people, places and businesses that invited us in to visit, taste, ask questions and photograph.
of course, i did and could not have done this alone. i am so grateful to have the most creative friends collaborate on this with me. thank you ilene ross, nora martini and anne see.
you are all so wonderful and i am so blessed.
happy holidays and please welcome 513{eats}!

i will still be posting my foodie shoots here as this is my personal space where i can experiment and let my shoulders down a bit. there will most likely be some overlap...we'll just see how it all goes.


green and brown/half and half

a couple shots from today and a little play on tones and compositions. (i like to have fun like that;)
plus...one of these shots also serve as a little peek of some food goodness to come.

can you guess which one?


tarragon creme turkey pot pies {post thanksgiving day fare}

leftovers in our home are usually not a problem...my husband, spee, sees to that. thanksgiving...well, who doesn't overcook just a little for this holiday? what to do with the leftovers? i started looking around for a new recipe when i remembered this one, although last time i made it i used chicken~my family loved it. (am i the only one who completely forgets about past recipes that were wonderful?) so, even after plenty of turkey sandwiches all weekend, we still had a decent amount of meat left, thus, turkey pot pies were on. i love tarragon, so i added that as well as the creamed onions from thursday's meal, roasted up some fresh carrots, shallots, yellow onions and baby redskins, tossed in some mushrooms and peas and let it simmer in the creme and broth before filling the bowls. and...it's always more fun in the kitchen when you have help and/or company. thank you gabriella for making the cut out leaves and spee for kneading the dough for the crust. love in the kitchen equals love in the food. xo


peppers and cranberries

after getting so upset at our three legged black lab, marley, for eating lexi's miniature pumpkin cakes before i could style and shoot them...clealry, three legs are not a deterrent...i still wanted to shoot something. after all, things were already set up and the light was gorgeous. i walked outside to see what sb had gathered from the last of our garden harvest and was happy to find mounds of peppers. wonderful, peppers it would be. after shooting them, i stopped to eat a little snack of fresh cranberry leftovers from our thanksgiving day meal and thought...alright, cranberries too. why not.
so, here is the outcome of the initial failed subject matter replaced by standby's.


tarte de prune

i miss my wonderful belgian neighbors for so many reasons...
i will admit that her cooking and baking was one of the reasons.
laurence shared so many of her family recipes with me.
this was one.


rustic heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart {on a rosemary infused crust}

my tomato plants are happily growing and full of baby heirloom tomatoes...but none quite ready for us to pick yet. simple fix, a leisurely trip to the farmer's market yesterday took care of that.
i may have overdone it a bit, but no worries, i can always think of something to do with sweet, summer tomatoes.

i came across this recipe last week on a wonderful food blog called bella eats (and is now happily pinned to my pinterest foodies board.) i think i wrote...must try this.
today was the day.

no surprise, i tweaked the recipe a bit. i added basil as a topping and instead of spreading the goat cheese over the entire bottom, i sliced and arranged it alongside the tomatoes. either way, goodness awaits.

a surprise slice ready to go for ilene.

want to make your own? 


crossroads and asparagus

this post is perhaps what started as...the coming out post...
{as re-posted in full from my kiwi street studios blog.}

this post is a bit overdue, but i had to think about how to write it. i admit my blog has been a pretty lonely place lately.  i have been busy, but not sharing too much of it, i am working on that.
does the word crossroads mean anything to you? yes, of course it does. is it fair to say that everyone reaches one (or more) once or twice (or more) in any given career or lifetime for that matter?
i think so. you get where i’m going. i’m here. again. but i must say that each time it’s more directed. still, why is trying to figure out where you really really want to go so difficult? when you start anything new, you dive in and just go, like in overdrive and you soak it all up.
then, you start pausing more often and the beginnings of the hard questions start. am i doing what i really love? am i supposed to be doing this? which path should i take? i have choices, i have dreams, i have wish lists, i have stacks of pages of sketches and ideas. why can’t i just do it all? how much time is there is a day again? does this sound familiar? at the end of the day does it just make you…dizzy, frustrated and paralyzed?

so, yes, there are lots of choices…we all have them. we teach our children this ongoing life lesson. there are always going to be choices and then there are consequences to those choices, some good, some not so good.
so choose wisely.

now what? we’re still at those crossroads. what do you do?
here’s another thought. everyone learns and grows as they do their ‘thing’ more and more. we know (hopefully) that we are getting better all the way around. but. do you ever look back to where you started and think…i like that better than where i’m at right now. it just looks and feels more like me. i wasn’t trying so hard or looking around so much.
i was just doing my own thing. yeah.

so, i’ve been taking a step or three back from it all and revisiting that place. it feels good and real. it is not that i haven’t tried to be real and authentic with everything i’ve done to this point, but one can veer (play). we all veer (play). and veering (playing) can be wonderful. as long as it’s still authentic. your authentic.

ok…now what? i don’t have all the answers, but here’s something i do know:
life is too short to not be doing what you most love. if you’re not, change it. you have a choice.
and here are some other things that i know:

i love being with my family.
i love being surrounded by other creative souls.
i love using my bare hands to dig in my garden.
i love the words ‘lovely’ and ‘delightful.’
i love and miss film and my film cameras. look for more of them both.
i love photographing children…real life messy or dressed up pretty.
i love documenting the connections between people and for that matter, the light within all people.
i love pretty. can’t and don’t want to help it. i just do.
i love creating and embellishing things. nothing is safe.
i love all the design/graphics and marketing parts of my business.
i love styling. i am a stylist. fashion, still life’s, products, interiors, flowers, give me (most) anything and i can style it.
i love shooting food. there, i said it. i love to cook and i’m finding that i love to photograph the process, the people and, of course, the food. it’s amazing actually. all rustic and organic in feel, simple, natural light, crumbly and real.
i love shooting commercially. there, i said that too. i swore i wouldn’t do it. but i love the projects that have come my way. and i want more. lots more.
i love my ongoing projects. they keep me exploring and growing creatively.
these are the some of the things that i am looking and reaching for and really trying to fit into my business and my life as they make up my world. and…they make me happy.

what about you? i would love to know what you love.


a little food . a little styling {just for fun}

another repost:

one fine day, one phone conversation and two minds spinning turned into
three days later, an afternoon, two girls, a long table of props, fabrics,
colourful foods {nothing went to waste}, beautiful window light and our
own creative ideas. this is what happens when it’s winter and all of a
sudden there is time to work on some of the things you’re always talking about doing.
my most talented set stylist friend, nora, {you may remember her help with this shoot} is working on putting her website together.
i’ve been playing around with shooting food here and there and really
wanted to do more of it. perfect. something for each of us.
next time we just need to plan a longer afternoon.
can’t wait for our next play date. we started inside and simple...textures and colour.

i’m in love with the stack of the wooden plates that she found.

for the rest of the story go here

the bonbonerie goodness

another repost from my kiwi street blog...

oh yes.
the pure sweet goodness of the bonbonerie
some sweets, treats, smiles and eye candy from my last few sessions…just because

for the rest of the post
go here

a {key lime} kind of night

i'm going to transfer a few blog posts from my kiwi street blog to their new happy home, right here.
the first...

an innocent trip to the market.
a produce bin full of baby key limes in that green that i love.
three girls in the kitchen…


rosemary + redskins

organic red potatoes.
extra virgin olive oil.
kosher salt.
fresh rosemary.
toss and roast at 450 degrees.
so simple. so good.


mom, can we make...

that desert that has the crumbles on top?
yes, sophia, of course we can.
and can we use blueberries?

sophia, do you mind if i shoot it as we go?
sure mom, as long as i can eat some as we go.
...but of course, sophia.

it's all good.


foodie friends {athena}

a journey is almost always better when you are on one with another person.
athena and i met in the fall of 2009 at a portrait photographer's workshop. she was flying in from hawaii (yes) and i was driving from cincinnati (unfortunately yes). we were paired up from the beginning, and let me say now, life is filled with wonderful gifts. athena is one of them. beautiful, mild mannered, sweet and oozing with creativity.  we've kept in touch since then and as fate would have it, our interests have paralleled each others quite naturally, and have somehow led us down many of the same paths. now we find ourselves sharing even more with our food photography.
athena has great style and a fabulous aesthetic that produces the most beautiful imagery. you can visit her blog here to see what i mean. she inspires me and has made this food journey even better simply by sharing in it together.

i received a package from her a couple days ago and it was filled with goodness. fresh homemade strawberry jam goodness, and 'food propage' goodness. thank you athena. i'm so lucky and grateful that we met in cold and windy grand rapids, that our friendship has grown and that no matter where this part of the journey takes us, we are having fun on the way...together.


i didn't have any freshly made biscuits on hand, but we were having grilled chicken sausages that night and i love fruit with grilled meats. we regularly serve apricot jam with sausages, but i've never paired strawberry jam with any meat, until now. it was fabulous. such a sweet addition to our meal.

thank you my sweet foodie friend.


peaches & thyme

it's hot out. really hot. maybe that's why the peaches this year are...
well, perfect.
the kind of perfect that means you'd better have a napkin close by...or just let that sweet nectar drip down your chin.
i ate one that way and then cut one up and ate it this way...a little greek yogurt and some thyme.


welcome, i'm gretchalina and...

i am excited to have a special place for this new journey.
i'm not sure where it's headed, but i do know i am having fun on the way.
whatever journey you might be on, i wish for you the same.
and anyway, isn't that the whole point.

let's start this blog off with some baking...
you know those cute little cookbooks that you pick up on a whim {usually while on vacation somewhere} and then they somehow end up amongst your prized cookbook collection. this recipe came from one of those little books, worn, dogeared,
and smeared with ingredients. i've been baking my same favorite recipes from it for...years. today, gabriella and i made one of our favorites...
annabanana bread. 

while we were baking, a huge, dark storm moved in.
i love storms ~ as long as the computers are shut down and, of course, everyone is safe.
so, sitting down with a warm slice of annabanana nut bread, a hot cup of tea and
watching the rain...