My favorite food styling tools

Ok, today I want to share a little behind the scene story. That is one thing I am always curious about, I just love to read and see how other people work. What is their favorite setting, what are their favorite tools… I learned a lot over the years, reading those shared informations and I want to give back a little. I guess it is nothing new, but everyone works a bit different and maybe you’ll take one idea out of this article – I would be happy about this!

So let’s have a look what I ALWAYS want to have close to me, while shooting food!

KofferCleaners

Windex and Q-tips: they can be a life saver. You want to have them around on every set, not only with food I guess (maybe not while shooting portraits…). But shooting food and interior always comes along with dishes and glasses or windows and you don’t want to see any fingerprints or any dust on them. I also always have a roll of Paper Towels right next to the set and in the kitchen – it is really handy. Q-tips can save you a lot of time. Imagine your whole set is prepared, light is fine and you fill your soup into the bowl and ups, one little drop goes the wrong way and ends up on the edge of your bowl. Instead of cleaning the whole bowl, a q-tip with some windex will let the drop easily disappear. But be aware, sometimes if there is no way to clean it this way, you have to go the long way and start over… Or you are a Photoshop lover and spend some more time editing the drop out…

A can of compressed air can also save you hours. Every time you work with dusty ingredients like flour, salt, crushed pepper, dusted sugar… you’ll have kind of a mess on your background, or sometimes it is just to much and you want to get rid of it. Instead of taking all the props away to clean the background, you can spray it away. It is a little bit like magic! Like this you don’t have the chance to rub anything into your surface, it is just a very easy way to clean up :-). Please make sure to follow the manufacture’s instructions on how to use and store it.

 

MesserGood knifes are fun to work with. For me they are even essential tools, I carry them with me to every set. I don’t think you need a whole bunch (even though it is great to have special knifes for special needs), but I suggest you get two or three high quality knifes – and you are set. Just try out which knife feels good in your hand and which one you use most of the time. The more confidence you have while cutting something fragile, the easier it gets. My favorite knifes are the japanese one you can see above, the universal one in the middle (perfekt to cut tomatoes) and I like to have a bread knife with me as well… To have a clean cut can be tricky and here, a set of really sharp knives will be extremely helpful! Make sure to sharpen them once in a while. If you don’t have the equipment to do it at home, ask the butcher of your trust :-)

PinzetteTweezers are another must have while styling food. They’ll help you to get pieces of food exactly where you want them, you can nestle in different parts of food ( for example, let’s say you want to shoot a cherry cake – unfortunately my time was to limited, I would have loved to bake one to show you what I mean and to eat a little piece right now…). You cut out a piece and place it on your dish and everything looks great except that you are missing a tiny piece of these juicy cherries in the left corner of your cake piece! Well you can start and try to find a better piece ( and this is often a good option), but if you end up with nothing better you can make a tiny whole into the cake and fill it with a tiny piece of a cherry. Can you see what I mean? And for this I can promise you, a tweezer is great! There even is a great blog, called “Running with tweezers“.

Apple or Potatoe?Half an apple or some mashed potatoes (instant), are great fillers. You just have to decide which one you like more. For me it is a clear decision. Most of the time I go with the mashed potatoes, but this is really a personal choice. They both have advantages and disadvantages. Take a look at the images below: if you have dry food, like nuts, or granola, or even let’s say a bowl of rice and you want to get this “tower” shape, then the apple is brilliant. You can build your food around it and your food will gain interest… But if you want to shoot for example a nice bowl of soup and want to show some croutons on top, or like in the picture below maybe some yoghurt with fruits, then you need a flat base! Take the instant mashed potato flakes and add as little water as needed to get a compound. Like this it is not a messy thing at all, use your fingers to mix it together and then make a nice fundament for the pieces you want to show. Cover the mashed potatoes with a little bit of soup and decorate as you desire!

ApfeltrickKartoffelbrei

Pinsel

Toothpicks and Paint brushes, are great helpers. You’ll need toothpicks to hold things together. Like in a sandwich or burger you can pin the ingredients and even the bread together, so that every piece stays where it should stay. And brushes are alway handy to push this tiny little piece of pepper one mm more to the left or right… just make sure to use really high quality brushes, You don’t want them to lose a single hair on your set!!

salt, pepper & herbsCoarse Salt, Peppercorns, Colored Salt always travel with me, because sometimes they can make the difference. Coarsed salt or even colored salt like this is so much more interesting then normal salt (which by the way you can hardly see on food…). Often it is nice to add a tiny bowl with salt to your arrangement, it makes it more lively. I add some crushed peppercorns to almost every savory dish. Just make sure to not “over crush” it. You want to see these little pieces!

Fresh Herbs, I guess I don’t have to explain it, but sometimes I am still surprised how much of a difference they make. Fresh greens are always a winner!!! So maybe you can get some nice plants on the farmers market or in a nursery and keep them on your kitchen window bench. Again, alway check them before you use them. There a nasty little flies, who can appear overnight and leave eggs under the leaves of your herbs. Nothing you want to see in your macro!

Backtrennspray

Seperating Spray for baking is something I don’t use really often. I want to have my food as natural as possible (and my whole family wants to eat it after the shootings). But it can kick in very handy, when you are just preparing a plate of pasta, a salad or some meat and are disturbed. For me having my 1 1/2 year old little one around me most of the time (when shooting for myself at home of course :-)), this happens once in a while. The nonstick cooking spray can “re-animate” your food. It gives back a little shine so the foods instantly looks juicier and it can catch the light a little bit better.

 

So that’s it for today. This post was on my “want to write a post about it” list since I started this blog and today my lovely instructor Christina was saying a sentence that stuck with me right away: “I prefer action to perfection!” How great is this.

 

 

 

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Apple Love

Take a look at our youngest: he is in apple heaven :-), eating straight from the tree. I was picking flowers for a shooting (I’ll show you some results the next days), when I found him eating his apple with indulgence… Maybe we should have named him Adam?

Schaut Euch unseren Jüngsten an: mit Genuss isst er einen Apfel – direkt vom Baum! Vielleicht hätten wir Ihn Adam nennen sollen?

AppleLove

Happy Friday

I am still in Heidelberg, the town were I grew up. Each time I am here, I enjoy meeting friends, wandering through the old town, and I am still feeling home. Sitting on the playground with my boys, there is always someone coming by, sometimes it is quiet funny to meet each other after many years and suddenly surrounded by the own kids… It is good to have some quality time with my family. It can be challenging as well, though. We had warm and sunny days until today – now it is raining cats and dogs and autumn is around the corner. Next week our oldest one has to go back to school, daily routine will kick in fast. So I feel slightly wistful today, saying good bye to the summer and Heidelberg (with all the family and friends staying here). But I’m also looking forward, because I kind of like autumn and I can’t wait until we’ll do our yearly fall family hike in the mountains. Have a happy friday, here are some pictures from the last days…

summer in HeidelbergNoch immer bin ich Heidelberg, meiner Heimatstadt. Wann immer ich komme freue ich mich hier zu sein, alte Freunde zu treffen, bummeln zu gehen… Sitze ich auf dem Spielplatz (auf dem ich selbst quasi groß geworden bin), treffe ich Leute, die ich jahrelang nicht gesehen habe. Und auf einmal haben wir alle Kinder! Lustig! Heidelberg heißt Familienzeit, gut und freudig und auch herausfordernd. Wir hatten herrliche warme Spätsommertage, seit heute regnet es in Strömen, der Herbst steht vor der Tür. Nächste Woche geht die Schule wieder los, der Alltag wird uns ruckzuck wieder haben. Ich fühle mich ein wenig wehmütig, dem Sommer und Heidelberg Ade zu sagen. Aber ich freue mich auch auf den Herbst, der hoffentlich golden wird, und indem wir jedes Jahr eine herrliche Herbstwanderung in den Bergen machen! Habt einen happy Freitag, oben ein paar bildet der letzten Tage!

 

Happy Friday and Rosemary Plum Crumble

Ok, I swear, no rosemary in my next post!! But when i opened my fridge and saw that there still was rosemary desperately waiting to be used. I’ll be out of town the next two weeks, and I had the feeling the rosemary was almost shooting out loud: “Don’t leave me behind!”. And as – without any doubt – autumn has arrived in Munich I decides to make some quick plum crumbles and add my favorite herb to it…. But no, I am not addicted to it, no way!!!

Ok, ich verspreche es feierlich: in meinem nächsten Post kommt kein Rosmarin vor! Aber als ich heute den Kühlschrank öffnete schauten mori ein paar Zweige davon entgegen, in Erwartung noch vor dem Urlaub verkocht zu werden. 2 Wochen bin ich weg und fast schien es mir als rief mir der Rosmarin direkt zu: “Lass mich nicht zurück”! Und da hier in München ja der Herbst eingezogen ist – ohne das der Sommer so richtig da war- habe ich schnell noch ein paar Gläschen Pflaumen Crumble gemacht. Mit Rosmarin! Aber ich bin nicht süchtig danach- nein! Ich gaukele mir nur den Geschmack des Sommers vor… 

Plums

Pflaumen Crumble

 

There is not a real recipe behind it. I just cut the plums into small pieces, added minced rosemary and mixed a handful of flour with some butter and cane sugar to make the crumbles. 15 minutes in the oven, and thats it…

Ein richtiges Rezept gab es hierzu nicht. Ich habe die Pflaumen klein geschnitten, etwas frischen Rosmarin gehackt und dazu gegeben, und aus Mehl, Rohrohrzucker und Butter die Streusel gemixt. Das ganze in kleine Gläschen gefüllt und für 15 Minuten in den Ofen – voilà! 

So I’ll be away for the next two weeks, and maybe there’ll be a post – but maybe not. Please be patient with me again…Have a good time and hey it’s happy friday today!!!

Ich bin nun also für zwei Wochen weg – vielleicht gibt es in der Zeit einen Post – vielleicht auch nicht. Bitte habt erneut Geduld mit mir! Ich freue mich schon darauf wenn’s weiter geht!

 

Happy Friday and Zucchini-Spaghetti

A happy meal on a happy friday!

I was inspired to try some vegan food, after spending the weekend with friends, who enjoy healthy good food! And seriously I was so pleased. I never made zucchini spaghetti before, have you ever tried it? It is delicious. And if you want to slow down a bit with carbs – here you go! They have an amazing consistency, and you almost have the feeling to just eat a nice plate of pasta. Yummy! I always disliked the fact or the wish to just substitute meat and dairy products to get a similar vegan dish, like in my case here to use the name Bolognese for the sauce. And now I did it on my own??? Well I was reading in Attila Hildmanns book “Vegan for fit” and took his Bolognese recipe as a base. I was out of onions (how can that happen???) but I had some leek and I used fresh rosemary instead of oregano, because I love the taste so much! But as a referral to the original cook I used “Bolognese” to title this post…

Nach einem Wochenende mit Freunden, die sich bewusst und gesund ernähren, habe ich mich aufgemacht ein veganes Rezept zu testen. Und ich muss sagen, ich war entzückt! Zucchini Spaghetti – habt Ihr die schon einmal gegessen? So, so lecker und wer ein bisschen Kohlenhydrate sparen will, der kann hier super damit sparen! Ich habe bei dem Gericht die echten Nudeln kein bisschen vermisst. Die Zucchini hat einen guten Biss und in Kombination mit der Soße schmeckt das Gericht hervorragend und schön herzhaft. Ich störe mich ja daran, in Rezepten Fleisch und Milchprodukte auf Teufel komm raus zu substituieren, um dann ein möglichst ähnliches aber veganes Geschmacksergebnis zu haben. Und nun nenn ich dieses Rezept selbst Bolognese… Ich habe in Attila Hildmanns buch “Vegan for fit” gelesen und sein Bolognese Rezept als Grundlage genommen. Ich hatte nur Lauch und keine Zwiebeln mehr (wie kann das denn passieren???) und habe statt Oregano lieber frischen Rosmarin genommen, ich liebe den Geschmack davon einfach so sehr. Aber als eine Referenz an den ursprünglichen Koch, heißt das Rezept eben vegane Bolognese…

Zucchini SpaghettiZucchini SpaghettiZucchini Spaghettieaten up

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Zucchini-Spaghetti with Tofu-Bolognese
 
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If you want to cut down on carbs, here you go! It is delicious and juicy and healthy!!
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: vegan
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 200 g Tofu (natural)
  • 1 piece of leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 dried tomatoes in oil
  • ½ bundle of basil
  • 1 tablespoons rosemary needles
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 200 g tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 80 ml red wine
  • 4 Zucchini

Instructions
  1. Take the tofu and smash it with a fork in a bowl to little crumbs.
  2. Dice the leek and mince the garlic into small pieces. Let tomatoes drip from the oil and cut into small pieces. Chop the rosemary.
  3. Heat 6 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and fry the tofu until golden, add the leek, the garlic and rosemary and roast together for 4 minutes. Salt and Pepper. Add the tomato paste and the agave syrup let caramelize for a minute and deglaze with the red wine.
  4. Wash the zucchini and cut with a zucchini-spaghetti cutter. Mix it with 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat it up for a minute in the sauce.
  5. Cut the basil and sprinkle it over the pasta – enjoy!

Notes
I really enjoyed this dish and so did my hubby! If you want you can substitute the wine with vegetable broth, it still tastes really good!

Chia seed pudding with mango

This recipe is nothing brand new, but I love it so much, I just wanted to share it. I think it is perfect as a delicious, healthy breakfast as well as a perfect dessert after a nice dinner. Kids can have it for lunch if they grave for something sweet… There is no cooking involved, but it needs to be refrigerated overnight or at least 5-6 hours. Chai seeds belong to the super foods, they are an excellent source of omega fatty acids. And they come along filled with plenty of minerals, vitamins and fiber. They look unspectacular, and they don’t have much of a taste, but if you combine them with more tasty ingredients they turn out as the perfect healthy snack. You can use them not only to make puddings – no you can basically add them to every meal or drink you want. I like to add them to my smoothies, or into homemade bread and muffins and you can always find them in our cereals. Again just play around with the ingredients. The possibilities are unlimited. Berries go very well with this pudding as well and you can change the liquid for different tastes…

Heute gibt es Chia Pudding. Lecker! Und einfach und gesund und man muss nicht einmal kochen dafür! Nein wirklich ich mag dieses Rezept auch so gerne, weil es herrlich unkompliziert ist, und dabei auch noch so, so gesund! Zum Frühstück, als süßes Mittagessen, als Nachtisch – irgendwie passt es immer und ist dabei dann auch noch vegan!! Chia Samen gibt es im Bioladen und sie gehören zu den so genannten “super foods”. Sie sind cholesterinfrei, reich an essentiellen Omega-Fettsäuren. Sie enthalten hochwertiges Protein, Antioxidantien, Mineralstoffe und sogar auch noch Vitamine! Noch Fragen? Her damit, oder?  Die Möglichkeiten sie in der Küche inter zu bringen sind grenzenlos. Ich gebe einen Löffel zu smoothies dazu, in selbst gebackenes Brot oder Muffins und natürlich wandert auch immer ein wenig in unsere Müslimischung!

Mango

Ingredients: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk ( or 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup almond milk), 1 ripe mango, diced, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, 4-6 drops stevia ( or sugar/honey to taste).

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a container, mix well and close the container. Give it a good shake and let sit for 15 minutes. Then shake it again and refrigerate for at least 5-6 hours, better overnight. That’s it! Seriously! Enjoy!

Zutaten: 240 ml ungesüßte Mandelmilch (oder z.B. 120 ml Kokosmilch und 120 ml Mandelmilch), 1 kleingeschnittene Mango, 2 Esslöffel Chia Samen, 1 Esslöffel getrocknete Kokosnuss, 4-6 Tropfen Stevia (oder Zucker/ Honig nach Geschmack).

Zubereitung: Alle Zutaten miteinander vermischen, gut verrühren und in ein verschließbares Glas geben. Schütteln, 15 Minuten quellen lassen, erneut gut durchschütteln. Für mind. 5-6 Stunden in den Kühlschrank stellen, am besten sogar über Nacht. Und das war’s auch schon! Am Morgen ist aus der Mischung ein wunderbar cremiger Pudding geworden! Hex, hex! Wer will kann die Früchte auch erst am kurz vor dem Verzehr zu dem Pudding geben.

Kokos-Mango-Chaiseed-Pudding

Apricots

I was talking to a friend recently and she told me about all the apricots she needs to harvest… We were wondering what she could do with all these beautiful fruits. So once I start thinking about a special ingredient, or a dish I want to cook, I can’t stop anymore. I decided to do a really quick dessert or even snack  with the apricots I had at home. I just cuttet them into halves and sprinkled them with some cane sugar. I aromatized the sugar with a few leaves verbena, which turned out nice and added some freshness to the taste. And as well a vanilla bean found it’s way into the sugar. I am a bit addicted to vanilla once in a while! I baked the apricots for about 10 Minutes (200°C), until the sugar starts to caramelize. Mh, I like the smell!!

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VorbereitungAprikosen

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AprikosequadratischFor some extra freshness, I blended some frozen pineapple (you know, as the ice cream lover I am, I always have frozen fruits in my freezer…) with 5 leaves basil and put it over the apricots. Nice!

20140813-_45A0031

20140813-_45A9984While taking out the frozen pineapples, I stumbled over some tarte forms I had frozen the other day, when I had to much dough. It is a perfect way not to waste leftovers, and to have little tartes in about 10 minutes!! Just freeze the dough in little tarte forms already. You can take them out whenever a little treat is needed. Just prebake the dough for 5 minutes, add fruits or whatever you desire and a mixture of egg yolk and cream and bake until golden! And then be proud to be such a fast and easy baker!

Aprikosentarte

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Happy Friday

Make happy

 

… every single day since I met you! This needs to be said! Because this friday is an especially HAPPY friday for me. When I was waking up 10 years ago on a friday morning, I was instantly happy. But also wondering, who was this guy from upstairs on the party last night. I can be romantic, but I am a really realistic person as well, so after my heartbeat calmed down a bit I was telling myself: come on Tina, he was nice (and handsome, and funny, and energetic, and, and, and) BUT he is just a guy living in the same house as you, don’t think to much about him. It was like little devils wanted to keep me away from being happy- but it didn’t work. He was in my head or better said in my heart from the very first moment! I never believed in love at first sight, but he captured me right away! It took us 3 days to become a couple (3 days!!!! Like thursday I was still thinking you need to know a guy for at least 2 months to start a relationship…friday morning I changed my mind. 3 days!). Since then I never ever had an even tiny moment of doubt! He is just the one! He is the love of my life! I don’t want to miss a moment from the last ten years. I mean, not everything is always easy. We do struggle too, but to feel love growing and growing and growing makes me extremely thankful and HAPPY!!

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