"POP UP" WORKSHOP with WEST ELM PHX || FOOD + LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


Hello Friends, 

Come hang next week! Details below,

-Cheers, xx Nicole

PS FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW IF YOU'D LIKE TO ATTEND! 


We’ll bring the drinks! 

Come join us for an evening of messy fun. We've partnered with West Elm PHX  to host a “POP UP” Workshop. We'll be preparing a simple dish, style food scenes, photograph and edit beautiful shots with our IPHONES. 


 March 8th, 2018
  4pm-6:30pm

         West Elm PHOENIX        
Cost: $25

We'll be learning;
IPHONE Photography   
                               Styling Tips + Tricks
                                
                                                                                                                                                                                            
 BONUSES;
PDF Guide of recipes, IPHONE photography + editing,
Styling + Prop TIPS! 
Swag bag + Potted Succulent   
                                    
Bubbly drinks + food to nibble on during the event!                                                               

Number of spaces are limited so Grab your seat! 


GUACAMOLE 2small*.jpg


Name *
Name

Strawberry-Basil and Coconut Popsicle Recipe// Arizona food Photographer Nicole Lee



Hi! Lets start there. I wanted to take a moment and reintroduce myself. I’m Nicole. I am a photographer, home cook, Mother, jack  Jill of all trades kind of girl. Last year, I started pursuing photography full time, I had no idea “what” "where" or "how" I was going to get there. Becoming a Photographer that is. Looking back I was quite the hot mess, sometimes I still feel that way ha. But Over the last 6 months I have found some clarity in it all.

When you first start you have a hundred people chiming in your ear, which I am thankful for. They say words like branding, Marketing, Direction, Specialize, Who are you? What are you, how are you going to be successful? What do you charge? Can you do a headstand, then 100 jumping jacks, and snap a shot of me doing one to?

Then you have doe eyed me, blank faced and speechless…queue the crickets please…

I had no idea how to answer any of those questions. I just thought, well I have a camera, I like to take photographs, I like food, and I like people. It is that simple. (But it wasn’t) So many other creatives make it look so simple, truth is I wasted too much time focusing on how to ‘make it' I missed all the key steps to getting there. I just got in the way of myself! I’m sure you have been there.

Then Last April, I ended up taking the most amazing trip out to Seattle and attended the Survival Guide Workshop, by John Keatly. It saved me. I am not kidding around here folks.

He taught us how to market, do business, charge people properly, become a real sustaining brand, and he taught me how to take a risk, to start putting my feet on those stepping-stones. We also had killer food, and pop quizzes. It’s not your average workshop. Plus, I walked away connecting to some supportive friends, some game changers who being the new girl, and they didn’t stomp all over me, they embraced the underdog.

For the last year, I have been able to put myself out there, gain some confidence, say I’m the girl for you, (or not). I’m getting clear on who I am which; in fact you do need to know if you are a creative. What am I willing to say no and yes to, as well as be humble enough to do the odd jobs while I get my feet off the ground.

So where am I going with all this? Well I am saying, If you are struggling creative, don’t give up, figure out what you need to get better at and find someone, anyone, or you tube how to get from here to there. Second, I’m just so freaking excited that all the little steps are coming together.

Now go make some popsicles!!



Strawberry Coconut Popsicle Recipe

 

Makes 12 Popsicle molds

Ingredients:

4 cans full fat coconut milk (chilled in refrigerator)

2 lbs strawberries (fresh or frozen)

3 eggs

1-tablespoon vanilla paste

1 bunch fresh basil

2- 3 cups raw sugar

1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 trays of Popsicle Molds

 

Directions:

 

Clean and Cut the ends of the strawberries, set aside. Measure out the sugar, the vanilla. Open the cans of coconut milk and separate the fat. Measure the fat out to 2 cups. Set aside the coconut water from the cans. Prep the basil, cut off stems and gently chop up.

Put a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove, place a small tsp. of olive oil, and cook the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice together. You will want to stir frequently, until all the water comes out of the strawberries. (About 5-10 min) Add in the basil and vanilla paste. Cook for another 5 min.

You know it will be finished when the strawberries aren’t as tart, with a strainer take out the strawberry mixture from the pot, place in a blender and blend until smooth.

Set aside the left over liquid from the mixture.

Put the coconut milk into the pot, add in the strawberries, cook until everything is smooth and no lumps are shown.

Take the strawberry coconut mixture off the heat, stir in the 3 eggs, taste to see if needs more sugar, or strawberry, or even more coconut. You want a smooth creamy strawberry flavor to come through.

Once finished, add your mixture to your molds. Freeze for 6-12 hours depending on your freezer, and enjoy!!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fancy Prosecco Cointreau Ice Cubes, Recipe


When I think of Champaign, Prosecco or Rose` I can't help but want to channel my inner Lady GoLightly. Aka Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Call it cliché’ call it typical, I don’t mind. Back in the day I used to watch that movie so many times. If I can be really honest, probably every other day! Fantasizing about how amazing her life would be to just have for a day. Live in New York City, wear fabulous clothes, be an actress.  You know what I mean right?

The thing is when I grew up I finally figured out what she did in the “Powder Room” with those men each evening. I’ll let your imagination run away on that one. Some how the charm of her glamorous lifestyle, of chic clothing, fancy parties and her tiny apartment seemed to take my breath away. (Although, Currently speaking it doesn’t look like it was all that fabulous after all.)

This shoot wasn’t fully inspired by Audrey, but after staring at my screen editing I couldn’t help but think of the movie. Of her, Of the Scenes of fancy parties with great music, and of Course Paul Darling. (Insert British accent from his mistress) How can we forget him?

I am sure she would have been smart enough to make fancy ice cubs for her drinks as well, or maybe she couldn’t afford an extra bottle of Prosecco to make them? Either way, I have a wonderfully easy way to spice up your Prosecco, or to keep your glass chilled. And while your making them, maybe channel your inner Audrey, you know she is in there! 




Prosecco Ice Cubes, with Fresh Blueberries and Cointreau, Recipe

Ingredients and Materials:

-2 rubber ice cube trays, (I find these are the easiest to use, the ice cubes pop out really easy)

-1 bottle of Prosecco (Lamarco is a great one!)

- 1 bottle of Cointreau, orange liquor

-1 bunch of fresh BlackBerries, or any that is in season

- A tea towel to wrap the Bottle of Prosecco with when opening

Directions:

First make sure to chill your Prosecco in the fridge for at least an hour, to speed up the process you can throw it in the freezer. Just don’t forget it, I have totally done that before and ended up with ice of course.

Take the tea towel and wrap it around the chilled Prosecco, pull the top off straight up away from your face. Go slow! Unless you are a pro and use a saber. Grab your ice trays; fill them with the Prosecco leaving room for the Cointreau and berries. Then add in a splash (about ½ tablespoon) of Cointreau in each ice cub spot, and fill to top. If desired add in berries to each cube.  Freeze for a good 6-12 hours. (Depending on your Freezer. This also works if you choose to leave the berries out.

When serving the Prosecco, add in one or two ice cubes to your glass and enjoy!





Cheers Friends! 

-Nicole 




Recipe: Building a Cheese board 101



Lets chat about cheese. Interestingly enough I am allergic to dairy, a devastating discovery I was in denial about for the first 26 years of my life. Until I found an allergist, what he explained to me was astounding. You crave what you are allergic to. What? Really? No way! I love Cheese, Butter and all things dairy. I love the creaminess, I love the way it makes a dish savory, or adding a pat of grass-fed butter to olive oil in the sauté pan and watching it do a magical dance to the vegetables I am cooking.

Now cheese does not equally feel the same about me, as it gives me chronic migraines, ear infections, sinus infections, brain fog and well the list goes on. Since my discovery of my dairy allergy I have given up dairy completely. Much to my surprise life has been smooth sailing without it. These days I find myself entertaining with Cheese instead of eating it, channeling my inner love of it towards others instead. Making cheese plates is a great communal food, conversation food most of all its an easy thing to throw together for any occasion. When it comes to putting together a cheese plate there are basics to follow, but you don’t have to be rigid about putting something amazing together!  



Cheese board Building 101: building your board

So we don’t over complicate things I will simply stick with the basics here. This will be a simple single cheese board with 3 cheeses, for about 2-4 people. If you have more guests and are having a dinner for a party of 6- 8 people I would just simply do the same for one more board of 3 cheeses, or one more with 5 cheeses. It really depends on if you will be serving other food later in the evening. Sticking to 3 to 5 cheeses keeps it simple and doesn’t overwhelm anyone.

Materials and Ingredients:

-Wood, Slate or Marble cheese boards. 

(Note: Sticking to these surfaces makes the food look lively and appealing.)

3 – 5 Different Cheeses, a Goat, a Sheep and a Cow

(note: these could consist of: sheep Brie, grass-fed cow cheddar, and soft goat chevre. Or if you are unable to find a mix of GOAT –SHEEP- COW, stick with a regional theme. You could get All Irish cheeses, French cheeses, or an assortment of local cheeses. Remember their aren’t any “rules” and whatever you choose will be great!

-Layering items: Fig Jams, Raw Honey, or even fresh preserves. Salted nuts, Olives, or Other antipasti like cured meats or wild Alaskan smoked salmon items work well. Fresh berries, or seasonal fruit is a nice touch.

 (Note: The key here is use what you have in the fridge first, then hit the store.)

1 loaf of Bread, or Crackers or both:

(note: Sourdough, French Baggett’s or Country loaf bread. Hearty Crackers such as Mary’s superseed (which are gluten free). Water crackers or artisan crackers are a nice touch.

Mix of Red/ White Wines and Beer:

(Note: handy staples; French Pinot Noir, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and either Prosecco or a bubbly Rose’. These are all easy sipping wines that aren’t too heavy or light. There is no need to fuss over the perfect pairing wine, just grab your favorites. Or even encourage your friends to bring their favorite to share! Beer: Local brew, or Stella Artois is always a hit.)

Extras: Cheese knifes, table cards with cheese labels on them, Pellegrino (sparkling water), basil or mint herbs to garnish.

Directions; Building a cheese board

Take your cheeses and place them on the plate. Assort them a few inches apart from each other. Then add in your honey or jam. Place your berries, nuts, garnish around the cheeses, mostly to one side of the plate, most people place these items to one side, because people are cutting their cheese in the other direction. Then place cards of the names of the cheeses around them, you can add your olives or meats to the same board or in bowls next to it. I usually try to make the board so full that its almost running off the board, or you could do the opposite and do it really simple and minimal. Either way I try to add a garnish to give it some color!


cheese boards how to

Final Notes:

When picking out your cheese, head to places like Trader Joes. If you are on a budget, you can get your whole spread their for under 100; including wine, bread, crackers, cheese and so fourth. If you aren’t on a tight budget head to a local cheese market or even whole foods, they tend to have a larger section to choose from. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions! There are lots of friendly people there to help you along your way. Good Luck Friends, happy entertaining!

-Nicole 


sources : 

(This is not a sponsored post )

Mary's Gone Crackers : http://www.marysgonecrackers.com

trader joes : http://www.traderjoes.com

whole foods : http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com