Prop Talk!

Hi there! No recipe today, instead I’m starting my new biweekly series of posts called Prop Talk! Every second Wednesday from now on I’ll write a post about my favorite food photography props. Why am I doing that? Because I’m nuts about props, I think about them constantly and I want to talk about them. I hope the food bloggers and photographers among you do too so we can have endless prop chats together! Do you love props as much as I do? I think sometimes it’s the props, not the food, that make the food photo. What do you think?

I’ll start with one of my favorites, this rustic chair:

Food Photography Props Chair

I found this beautiful piece of furniture in an antique store in Denver and use it all the time as a “table” surface. Two examples of the chair in action are below. What makes this prop so great is its rustic look AND its dimensions. The seat is 15 inches by 13 inches, which makes it a perfect surface for small plates and bowls that would look completely lost on an actual table. Another nice thing about the chair is that it is easy to move around and doesn’t take up much space in the studio (and if you get tired you can sit on it too).

What about you? Do you photograph on chairs? Do you like it? What’s your favorite food photography prop?

I’ll be back here Friday with a new recipe!

The chair in action:

Roasted Chicken
From post Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Homemade Seasoning Salt.

 

Yogurt Ginger Mint Dip
From post Yogurt Ginger Mint Dip.

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Black Forest Trifles

Black Forest Trifles

 

Are you up for more trifles? I hope so cause these are really delicious. There are layers of good old vanilla whipped cream, layers of buttery chocolate cookie crumbles, some bittersweet chocolate shavings and a cherry brandy compote. I ate two of these guys in one sitting!

Black Forest Trifles
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate shavings (I just take a vegetable peeler to a chocolate bar to make them)
For the chocolate cake layers:
  • 3 large chocolate cookies, crumbled (just bake your favorites, I made these)
For the cherry layers:
  • 30 cherries, cut in half, pits removed
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons brandy
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
For the whipped cream layers:
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions:
For the cherry layers:
  1. Add cherries, sugar, brandy and lemon juice to a pan and cook on medium heat until the cherries start to break down and the juice thickens. Let cool.
For the whipped cream layer:
  1. Whip all ingredients to stiff peaks.
For the assembly:
  1. Fill the layers into tall glasses and sprinkle with the chocolate shavings.

 

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Beef, Broccoli and Plantain Stir Fry

Beef,-Broccoli and Plantain Stir-Fry with Crispy Shallots

I picked up a plantain at the store the other day and put it in a stir fry on a whim. This turned out so well that I deemed it blog-worthy so here it is, a beef, broccoli and plantain stir fry! The slightly acidic fruit worked perfectly with the beef and the spicy sauce and everyone loved it. Hope you will, too! Have a happy weekend and as always, thanks for reading! :)

Beef, Broccoli and Plantain Stir Fry
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • universal stir fry sauce (see notes)
  • 1 pound beef loin tri tip, cut into thin slices
  • florets from one head of broccoli
  • 1 plantain, sliced
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • vegetable oil
Instructions:
  1. Steam the broccoli to your desired doneness.
  2. Meanwhile mix all stir fry sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Fry the shallot slices on medium to medium-low heat in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until they are brown and crispy (about 20 minutes). Drain them on a paper towel and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile fry the plantain slices in a different pan in vegetable oil on both sides until they are brown (about 2 minutes on each side). Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  5. Fry the beef in a single layer on medium to high heat until brown on all sides. You will probably have to do this in batches. Wipe the pan with a paper towel after each batch to get rid of any burned material.
  6. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan after you finished frying the last batch of beef. Boil briefly, then turn off the heat.
  7. Mix everything together and serve with rice.

 

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Tiramisu Trifles

Tiramisu Trifles

When I bought the jar of instant espresso powder for the espresso pots de creme a few weeks ago I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave it alone for long. And indeed I didn’t so here is a another coffee dessert (and it probably won’t be the last one). These tiramisu trifles are super delicious, easy and very quick to make. One of the layers is a simple espresso-flavored whipped cream, another is the traditional flavored mascarpone cream, and the ladyfinger layer is moistened not by straight espresso but by a sweet coffee liqueur sauce. Enjoy!

Tiramisu Trifles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients:
For the ladyfinger layer:
  • 6 ladyfingers, crumbled
  • ¼ cup coffee liqueur (I used Kapali)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
For the mascarpone layer:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
For the espresso whipped cream layer:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • cocoa powder as garnish
Instructions:
For the ladyfinger layer:
  1. Add coffee liqueur, cream and espresso powder to a saucepan and bring to a very low simmer.
  2. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon keep the mix simmering until reduced to about ⅓ cup.
  3. Let cool to room temperature.
For the mascarpone layer:
  1. Beat egg yolks, sugar, espresso powder and coffee liqueur with an electric mixer for a few minutes until pale yellow.
  2. Add the mascarpone and continue to beat for a few more minutes until you have a nice thick base.
  3. Set aside.
For the espresso whipped cream layer:
  1. Whip all ingredients to stiff peaks.
For the assembly:
  1. Pipe the different components in layers into tall glasses. For the ladyfinger layer, add the crumbles and drizzle them with the coffee sauce. Dust with cocoa powder and serve cold.

 

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