Kale Cranberry Salad

And so it begins. Planning gifts and holiday cards. Ending farewells with “See you next year!”. Emptying the fridge, freezing whatever can be frozen, giving away everything else that can’t. Shelving 2011’s planner, putting up the 2012 calendar. Closing bank accounts, paying bills, putting the mail on hold, sacrificing sleep to finish projects, whatever the cost. A hectic rush to the finish line where the (cramped) space of an airplane seat awaits, free of the shackles of the Internet.

We leave in four hours for our vacation in France, and while I’m really excited, the full prospect of the journey hasn’t had the time to sink in. That’s partly because I’m still sitting here, blogging, trying to delay the inevitable task of packing that awaits. Ah, packing. It’s a good thing that M’s a wonder packer. Can you imagine how horrifying trips would be if I had married someone who was as inept at packing a suitcase as I am?

I shudder at the thought.



PhotoMuse Austin 2011

Somewhere over New Mexico


I hope you had a wonderful start to your holiday season


I hope as well, that you don’t mind the gaping silence since the last post.

PhotoMuse Austin 2011

Morning light, Hyde Park, Austin

Truth is, the trip to Austin exceeded expectations in every way, and then some. Here I am, three weeks later, still decompressing and working through all the ideas, inspiration, anxieties, hopes, dreams and fears that came up during the week. It was intense, exhausting and powerful, and these words that I’m conjuring do little justice to express the depth of the experience.

As my silence showed, we didn’t have alot of time to post scenic “postcards from the road”. Every ounce of energy went into talking, doing, living and breathing all things photography, from ‘boring’ stuff like photo archiving and backup options to getting awestruck at a presentation of George Krause‘s work. The week was billed as a “spiritual and creative tune-up”, but oh, it was more than that. So much more. PhotoMuse was my coming out party – as a creative person. I came home realizing that I no longer wanted to be ‘theoretically creative’, to paraphrase Hal Fields in Beginners, that it’s time to stop living in my mental space of “If onlys” and start living in the world of “Whys, Hows and Why Nots”.

PhotoMuse Austin 2011

The "Penny Sandwich": Ed Zwadzki, Penny De Los Santos and Denise Woodward


  • Looks like you had a blast. Welcome home. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful post, D. Can’t wait to go check out the band photos on your site. It has been a pretty monumental year — don’t you remember just sitting (was it at Out the Door or??) and you saying you think you want to work on your photography more?! Now look at you! Truly amazing. xox.ReplyCancel

    • Danielle

      @Megan: Oh my, Out The Door feels like a lifetime ago. Look at our lives now! Totally right about a monumental year, I wonder what the next year has in store for us 🙂 xoReplyCancel

  • What a gift. I felt a simliar creative rejuvenation where I had a week we me and my camera in a place that was completely new to me. It was so inspring and fulfilling.
    So happy you had this time and that is is pushing and growing you. Thank you for sharing your experience.ReplyCancel

    • Danielle

      @Ashley: Those are the best times aren’t they? Spiritually nourishing moments.ReplyCancel

  • That had to have been an unforgettable and incredible experience. I wanted so badly to sign up, so I’m thrilled to live vicariously through you. I’m looking forward to spending some time browsing through the links. The idea of embracing my own creativity is something I’m working on as well, so your intro really resonated with me. I’m looking forward to seeing your site and creativity evolve. I’ve really enjoyed it so far. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Danielle

      @Kelly: Wow, this has got to be one of the sweetest comments I’ve received. Thank you, and I look forward to following your creative journey as well.ReplyCancel

  • Awesome photos, always great to learn new ways of seeing. Looking forward to more of your posts!ReplyCancel

  • I really liked reading this post, Danielle—so much so, that even though I read it this morning, I’m still thinking about it and still processing what exactly I think about it. Here’s to seeing, really seeing the world around us and the people in it and to making photos as we do. Love that.ReplyCancel

    • Danielle

      @Shannalee: Yea, there’s a lot of stuff in here that takes time to process. The learning never ends, and thank god for Instagram!ReplyCancel

  • […] Love love LOVE this post about being creative. […]ReplyCancel

  • Whoa! I just stumbled on your site and now I am truly crying in my cup of tea as I read this. I signed up for this workshop in advance and had to cancel, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I will be following your blog, and am so grateful to be able to glimpse your experience.! I hope to be able to take a week for myself and my camera in 2012. In the meantime, I will feast my eyes on your images and just keep on taking baby steps. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • So inspiring! I recently embarked on a new career path as a writer and consultant and definitely relate to the challenges and rewards associated with coming into contact with and then articulating one’s own vision. Scary but so satisfying tosee what comes from exploring it. Your photography is beautiful and I am glad that this experience was so rewarding for you. Keep up the good work.ReplyCancel

  • […] to introduce you to the work of my friend, Pauline Stevens, based in Austin, TX. I met Pauline at Photomuse last November and became a big fan of her work. She has an eye for capturing the essence of a […]ReplyCancel


Pumpkin Soup & Chanterelles

After a rather calm and easy-going Summer, the last quarter of 2011 is turning out to be a rather hectic one, as I find myself hustling to wrap up the year before the holidays arrive. Fall has, so far, been full of trips, projects, new clients and challenges, all of which I love and thrive on, but which have also taken me away from blogging as frequently as I would have liked. I hope to make it up to you as best as I can in the coming weeks. I’m off to Austin on Sunday to spend a week immersed in photography with Penny, Scott and Lynn, and while there’s not likely to be many recipes coming out of that, I do plan on sharing a couple of snippets and images through the week, schedule-permitting. It’s going to be intense and fun, and my first time in Austin. I can’t wait.

Also, I’d like to take the chance to thank Saveur for featuring this blog as one of their “Sites We Love” profiles, as well as the UK’s Fork Magazine for including me in their blog round-up for their Christmas issue. If you’re here because of these recommendations, welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

Chanterelles and Thyme


  • Stunning, D. I can’t get enough chanterelles and pumpkins in my life these days.. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Hi Danielle. I discovered your blog a little while ago and I have been looking forward to your next post.
    I have been drooling over the wonderful food you feature here but I LOVE this dish. The buttered chanterelles are the cherry on top. This is my kind of comfort food!ReplyCancel

  • Oh how marvellous! Two of my favourite things in one bowl: pumpkin and chanterelles! The photos are just gorgeous too 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I just cooked some chanterelles, but ended up using them with some pasta, in a soup they would be wonderful.

    I love baking butternut squash with some shallots as a side dish to meat, delicious!

    I just looked through your portfolio and recognized Chad, a sous chef I used to work with, small world. And is it the pie ranch in one of the photos?

    Loved the close up with the thyme, the colors are so vibrant.ReplyCancel

  • beautiful Danielle 🙂 I too have my socks, fleece and a cup of chai hehe. Have so much fun with Penny! Jealous.ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous post! The soup looks warming and delicious- perfect even for the Thanksgiving table. I always include a squash or pumpkin soup on Thanksgiving as an easy side that can be kept warm on the stove top or in the crock pot.ReplyCancel

  • My two favourite Autumn foods, squash and chanterelles! I used the same ingredients to make a risotto, prepare the chanterelles as you did, make the risotto in the usual fashion whilst roasting the squash (called courge here in Provence) with garlic olive oil and some wild thyme. Add to risotto and top with chanterelles and some chopped parsley, delicieux if I say so myself!ReplyCancel

  • It looks like you made excellent use of your pumpkin. Delicious. Enjoy your class.ReplyCancel

  • This looks just divine! It’s definitely going on my (ever-growing) list of soups to make this winter.ReplyCancel

  • This recipe looks delicious and your pictures are beautiful! I really like the addition of the Chanterelles. I think you’ll enjoy my spiced pumpkin soup… check it out: http://bit.ly/spicedpumpkinsoup


  • I love pumpkin soup and I adore chanterelles. I will surely make this soup, so conforting! Italy ahs turned gray and cold, too, so nothing would be better that this soup for lunch these days.ReplyCancel

  • Meg Finn

    How stunning! Found your blog via the excellent turkey post.
    Have a lovely weekend,

  • This is stunning. Adding it to my recipe queue. @Angela, I like the idea for risotto.ReplyCancel

  • […] Pumpkin soup w/Buttered Chanterelles […]ReplyCancel

  • I love turning pumpkins and squash into soup – but with buttered chanterelles?? Wowzers! Your photos are gorgeous too. Just lovely.ReplyCancel

  • What a delicious look dish! Id never really thought of the mushroom and pumpkin/ squash combination before! I love the way squash and roasted tomatoes go together sooo much – but they’re not a very seasonal combo so I think I might need to give this a try! Lovely, lovely site – I was raised in Berkeley and miss the Bay Area sooo much!ReplyCancel

  • This looks delicious and comforting, awesome photos!ReplyCancel

  • This looks absolutely divine. I am so glad I found this before Thanksgiving, as it will definitely find a place on the dinner table! Thank you for the inspiration and the outstanding photography.ReplyCancel

  • […] Pumpkin Soup with Buttered Chanterelles […]ReplyCancel

  • Looks like delicious comfort food for fall! Great photos!ReplyCancel

  • […] had pumpkin soup topped with buttered chanterelle mushrooms and cream biscuits for our starter. If you’ve never had cream biscuits, I implore you to […]ReplyCancel

  • Wow those pictures just made me hungry for some tummy-warming soup!ReplyCancel

  • Julia A

    Great recipe! I am sure it goes well with Acme’s Pan Epi 🙂 I miss their bread…ReplyCancel

  • Stunning! I stumbled across your blog about 2 weeks ago. Now it’s my drug. Thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • Pei

    Stumbled upon your site via Etsy, and am delighted to have found a fellow Singaporean who has such an incredible way with words, pictures and food. This soup is GORGEOUS, I can’t wait to try my next batch of pumpkin soup with buttered chanterelles!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen

    Absolutely gorgeous food photos. Looks like you have good recipes on your site too. Thanks for posting for us.ReplyCancel

  • sara

    Awesome recipe I really enjoyed this.
    Here’s another recipe you might like.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • This looks delicious, thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Brooke

    We should make this for ourselves!ReplyCancel



Halloween’s not really my thing. I don’t do the whole dress-up thing very well, partly because I get really self-conscious about it. But this year, I think I may have found an activity that really gets me in the mood for this not-quite-a-holiday annual event: PUMPKIN CARVING!

A few weekends ago we decided to check out a local pumpkin patch to see what it was all about, for a lark. We trundled home with a hefty and auspiciously orange fruit which we promptly transformed into Ernie. Unfortunately, he didn’t last very long before developing a white fluffy inside and had to be thrown out. So we got another one to carve, which we christened Harry (above). But we still had a bunch of images from our short time with Ernie, so I thought it’d be fun to do a visual essay of sorts. Presenting: From Pumpkin to Ernie, With Love.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Pumpkin Patch Halloween

  • haha! You did great! My pumpkin skills are….very weak! Happy Halloween!ReplyCancel

  • You’re a natural. I hope this post got lots of hits because I’m sure there are millions of people out there who could really benefit from this very clear visual tutorial!ReplyCancel

  • Well done! It looks like you had some fun and the pumpkin turned out great. Did you roast the seeds?ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    @Tracy: Mine aren’t that much better – this is all M’s work! 🙂

    @Cheryl: Thank you! We gleaned a lot of good tips from Extreme Pumpkin Carving.com as a matter of fact.

    @El: No, we’re just drying out the seeds then shelling them for future use. Do you have a good recipe for roasting them?ReplyCancel

  • What a darling pumpkin! I did one too! http://www.thefunkykitchen.com/2011/11/07/halloween/

    And roasting the seeds is so worth it, that’re a lovely snack!ReplyCancel

  • Nice model you have there 😉ReplyCancel


The view from Penner Ash Wine Cellars at dusk

I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear the word “community”, I cringe a little, no matter how well-intentioned its usage. For me, the word has become a contrived tactic for persuading a group of people with shared circumstances to avoid conflict and get with the program. It took a weekend in Oregon to show me that it isn’t half as bad as I think it is, I just need to experience the right examples.

We spent the last day of our Full On Oregon weekend with a selection of the state’s artisans and chefs, learning about what they do, their philosophy and their stories. It was a trip down Oregon’s “Main Street” of food. From chocolate-making to preserving vegetables and meats to tea-tasting and ice-cream making, we got a glimpse of Oregon’s artisanal culture, one rooted in hard work, pride and a sense of connectedness.

Steven Smith Teamakers

Steven Smith Teamakers

I signed up for a tea tasting at Steven Smith Teamaker, the latest project by the founder of Tazo Tea specializing in small-batch, high quality teas. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a tea tasting, but when you’re presented with 12 different teas at once and sip and sniff as you go, it starts to grow on you and the game of ‘spot that flavor’ begins.

Steven Smith Teamakers


  • Amazing. I feel so bad that you had to eat so much delicious food in one day. Next time, you should take me with you to shoulder such a heavy burden 😛

    Your post title reminds me of the Virgin America in-flight video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx3aotNvlHsReplyCancel

  • I can definitely see how community can be interpreted that way. Seems most important in times of crisis or catastrophe. That said, it looks like there’s quite a food community in Oregon. What an incredible adventure you had. I especially love the ice cream tasting.ReplyCancel

  • MaryT

    We have seriously considered getting a vacation rental home in Oregon over the years. Maybe it is finally time to give in! If I had known we could eat so well there, I would have pushed for it years ago.


  • great read, great photos!ReplyCancel

  • Nice read here. How true that by helping the community to grow, you;re actually reaping the rewards in the long run. After all, no man’s an island.ReplyCancel

  • I loved this entire post. But what I really liked is how I can actually feel the sense of community througout the post and the photos. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for showcasing Oregon so beautifully. It’s so lovely to see such gorgeous images of the places we take for granted as native Oregonians. Glad you enjoyed your stay.ReplyCancel

  • […] looks like, and what it means to be a part of a community, in a real and honest way. Considering my historical aversion to the ‘C’ word, its use in this context is no small thing. I saw it at work in Oregon, and I saw it at work here […]ReplyCancel

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