Food & Wine, Dill seed biscuits, Curried Winter Squash Soup

Food & Wine, Vegetable Stir-Fry, Roasted Cod with Orange and Fennel

Food & Wine, Tuna Tabbouleh, Tomato-miso soup

Clockwise from top left: Dill seed biscuits, Curried Winter Squash soup, Roasted Cod with Orange and Fennel, Tomato-miso soup, Tuna Tabbouleh and Five-vegetable stiry-fry.

Goodness has it really been more than a month since my last post? Sorry about that, time really does fly when your schedule is packed with assignments, playdates and the joys (read: soul-sucking) tasks that come with running a business. Book-keeping anyone? I’m happy to pay you in cookies, donuts, or if you prefer, some Nutella?

That’s not to say that I haven’t been writing or photographing at all. On the contrary, many projects have been underway, lots of ideas are being shared, tested and executed, and I wanted to share some images from recent projects. Read More >>

  • congrats on the food & wine project! looks like you had a nice spread to share with friends. i’m still waiting for mine to be posted, seems like so long ago i worked on that.ReplyCancel

    • Danielle

      Well clearly, congratulations are in order for you too sir! So exciting, I can’t wait to see what everyone came up with. Promise me you’ll share when it’s up??ReplyCancel

  • Eileen

    LOVE the piano portrait!ReplyCancel

  • so delicious! it stir my appetite, and the child is so lovely.I like child very much.ReplyCancel

  • What an awesome post packed full of great stuff. Congrats on the F&W project, that sounds perfect for you.ReplyCancel

  • Such lovely pictures and a big congrats to you on the Food and Wine project!ReplyCancel

  • so pretty! love how you capture real life. Your food+wine photos do just the same. so nice!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    Thanks so much for your kind words folks. @Eileen – I have a host of other piano images, most of which involve the book falling on the kids’ faces 😉ReplyCancel


Pear Frangipane Tart

I thoroughly enjoyed Midnight In Paris. Apart from being set in Paris, of all places, I loved the script, the costumes and the plot, and how sentimentalism – a potentially heavy and tired subject – was treated in an entertaining way without being trivialized.

I thought I knew why I enjoyed it so, until a dinner at Magali et Martin in Lyon, when the staccato notes of gypsy jazz came piping through the speakers as I dug into what is possibly the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. Tapping my feet in time, M remarked, “That’s what Woody Allen used in the movie”.

The penny dropped. It dawned on me that the whimsical, syncopathic beats of this genre were the real reason why I count the film as one of my top favorites of 2011, for its ability, above all, to transport me to a different time and mood.

Pear Frangipane Tart


  • […] Django Reinhardt/Pear Frangipane Tart from Danielle at Beyond the Plate […]ReplyCancel

  • HI Danielle, nice to meet you for #LetsLunch! This is a drop dead gorgeous tart. I also loved the flamboyant sentimentality of Midnight in Paris.ReplyCancel

  • I loved Midnight in Paris for the same reasons! The soundtrack is great! Django, as well as a lot of classic jazz and gypsy jazz musicians provide such a warming and nostalgic feel, I cannot get enough of it. There are some really great jazz radio stations of all genres on iTunes radio. If you haven’t poked around I suggest you do. I always listen to jazz when I cook and bake!ReplyCancel

  • Great LetsLunch post. Loved the music in Midnight in Paris, so much, that we (I) downloaded it the day after. It definitely takes one back to that magical place called Paris. I am happy that we were able to sample taste this delicious tart; have been thinking of it ever since. And Kate’s tart dough recipe is the best!! I enjoyed that cool summer day, in her Gascon kitchen, learning the proper way to make the dough. Perfection!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    @Linda: Likewise! Happy to meet other M.I.P lovers through this post 🙂

    @Sweet road: Thanks for the jazz recommendations. I listen to Pandora and Spotify most of the time – create a “Django Reinhardt” station and off it goes!

    @Chez Us: You’re lucky to have had the chance to learn from Kate herself. We have more than enough slices for the both of us, drive on over 🙂ReplyCancel

  • […] Beyond the Plate: Django Reinhardt & Pear Frangipane Tart […]ReplyCancel

  • I can happily imagine dancing round the kitchen cooking as I listen to this! The tart looks wonderful – it’s hard to beat the combination of tart pears and sweet frangipane.ReplyCancel

  • If you like Midnight in Paris and the music of Django Reinhardt then you’ll adore this other film by Woody Allen (whom I loooove), Sweet and Lowdown. Have you seen it? It’s about a jazz guitarist, played by Sean Penn, whose idol is Django. Great soundtrack as well.

    Your tart looks incredible. I have never made frangipane but have always wanted to give it a try. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • […] Good Things Put the Lime in the Coconut Macaroons ~ from Emma at Dreaming of Pots and Pans Pear Frangipane Tart ~ from Danielle at Beyond The […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Beyond the Plate: Django Reinhardt & Pear Frangipane Tart […]ReplyCancel

  • yum! I have been tons of apples and pears in my csa box and am running out of ideas. They usually turn in to quick breads or muffins but this looks like a real treat!ReplyCancel

  • A beauty! I hereby vote you: prettiest tart maker!

    And I agree with the comment above re: Sweet and Lowdown. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, but I remember loving it.

    Hope you’re having a good week. Miss you!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    @thelittleloaf: Yes, it’s a combination that’s pretty hard to beat 🙂
    @My Little Expat Kitchen: No I haven’t heard of it, I’ll have to check with the husband who’s a big Woody Allen fan. You may just have given us our movie selection for Valentine’s Day!
    @sara: Oh this will use up your fruit in a pinch, hope you enjoy the recipe!
    @Megan: Aww you’re too sweet my friend. Hope the settling in is going well xxReplyCancel

  • Miam miam. Délicieux ! A table !ReplyCancel

  • Anything with fruit and frangipan wins me over every time…this looks like such a classic elegant tart.ReplyCancel

  • This looks absolutely delicious, and awesome photos!ReplyCancel

  • Oh I just loved this post and thanks for the fabulous and fun music. Coming home is always a time for reflection, to digest where you were, what you gained and what you want to hold on to. And what a gorgeous Pear Frangipane Tart. You set the bar pretty high on this one, I may just have to leave it on this page!ReplyCancel

  • I love your site! Beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

  • I love Django Reinhardt. If you get the chance you should listen to Paris Combo – Living Room. It’s a contemporary approach but the guitar in it is heavily influenced by Django. Yes, I’ll have a slice of that delicious looking tarte aux poires too. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Visiting from Etsy–what wonderful photos you have. I hope to have enough almond flour left to make this tart.ReplyCancel

  • I loved that movie, too. It caters to so many things that artists of many kinds love – and plays with them – but without, as you point out, trivializing them. What a treat.ReplyCancel

  • Mi

    oh, your pear tart is absolutely amazing – delicious! thank you and have lovely weekend:)ReplyCancel

  • […] Beyond the Plate: Django Reinhardt & Pear Frangipane Tart […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Get the Sweet Potato Pear Soup recipe from Love and Lemons 16 Pear Frangipane Tart   Get the Pear Frangipane Tart recipe from Beyond the Plate 17 Vanilla Bean Pancakes With Maple Butter Pears Get the Vanilla Bean […]ReplyCancel

  • Stefanie

    Just wanted to say thank you! Loved the music, will bake the tart tomorrow!ReplyCancel


After landing at San Francisco on New Year’s Eve with just enough energy to shower, share a glass of champagne and crawl into bed, I went through a phase best diagnosed as “Europe Withdrawal Syndrome” (E.W.S.). You won’t find this condition anywhere in the DSM IV, but it’s happened to me often enough that I feel qualified to label it as such. The lament begins at SFO’s baggage carousel, worsens with the drive South on the 101 and really hits home the next day, waking up a view of Silicon Valley suburbia instead of a picturesque French countryside. And so it goes on for the first week, then the second…reuniting with good friends over a meal certainly help with the post-holiday transition, but the best remedy, I’ve found, is time.

Another side effect of E.W.S. this time around too, is a stronger inclination towards saying less and doing more. Part of that came from a compulsive motivation to sort through mounds of paperwork ahead of tax season (oh joy!), egged on by the prose of Stephen Pressfield’s books, a call to action so compelling it would rouse even a sloth from its perch.

But this desire for silence, I have come to realize, was a product of our vacation as well. Stepping out of the Silicon Valley bubble to a place where people don’t check their phones every two minutes starts to have an effect on you after a while. It was strange, at dinner, to leave my iPhone out of sight (quelle horreur!!) and resist the urge to scratch that “itch” of pressing the home button every five minutes. It was a powerful lesson in being present, of lingering over a meal and taking one’s time. We’ve brought that practice home, and, five and a half weeks into 2012, I’m happy to say that the majority of our meals have been iPhone-free. And we plan to keep it that way.

All this is a rather roundabout way of reconnecting on the blog and an excuse for me to share some of the photos from the trip. Thanks to the iPhone’s excellent camera and apps like Instagram, the Nikon got a lot less attention than it deserved. I’m thinking twice now, about lugging it around on our trips, because, as I hope these photos show, these smartphone cameras do the job pretty well. In tandem with photo-sharing apps like Instagram, I’ve found that the iPhone has actually helped me become a better photographer (Penny sums it up perfectly in this post).

Bref, I won’t keep you from the photos any longer. Enjoy them and I’ll be back soon enough with a recipe. Promise!

  • Welcome home. I’m glad you had a relaxing trip away from everything. The photos are beautiful (and I agree the Nikon is heavy). I love the photo of the chef with the giant pan- amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Welcome back, my friend. I know, so painfully, what you mean about not wanting to come back. Being away from your everyday makes you realize just how much you check your email, Facebook, Twitter, your phone, etc…I’m trying to be more present myself, spending more time away from my computer (when I can) but it’s hard 🙁 I can’t believe that those photos were all taken with your iPhone camera. It’s truly phenomenal to see how far technology has come. It’s nice to see you back here again. xoReplyCancel

  • Thanks for sharing what I have experienced first hand since moving to Europe, Germany to be exact. I too use my IPhone less while at dinner and with my family. And you know what, IT’S OKAY, the world didn’t come to an end because I was having dinner. Life is more relaxed here, and I for one, love it! I won’t experience EWS until I venture back to America in June. Instagram I can’t live without…VeronicaReplyCancel

  • Such incredible photos. Even though I enjoyed those you posted in real time on Instagram, I’m delighted to have an opportunity to see them here again. Your series on doors really drives home that a talented photographer with an open mind and a careful eye can bring visual magic to everyday objects and scenes.

    Bien fait.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    @El: Thank you El. My right shoulder is still sore thinking about those days spent lugging it around while I snapped endlessly with the iPhone. Sigh.

    @Kasey: Thanks, it feels great to be back 🙂

    @Muy Bueno: I checked out your blog and…wow, from California to Germany? That must be a huge transition, climate-wise at least. I can live without Instagram for a day or two at most, ha!

    @Cheryl: Merci mon amie!ReplyCancel

  • Nickie Gorsky

    That first photo (the large one) is truly incredible! Are you telling me that it was taken with an iPhone? Where in Silicone Valley? Lovely blog…I check in often…ReplyCancel

  • Glad you had a great trip! Lovely photos! I can’t wait to visit Europe one day. Its been my dream to go to France for as long as I can remember.
    I love my iphone too. The camera is great for travel pics. What are your favorite photo apps?ReplyCancel

  • Danielle:
    I agree with you. It is hard to let go. But in time we miss so much while taking care of so little. I really enjoyed your last post. While listening to the music, I was right there with and your family bobbing my heard to the sound of it.ReplyCancel


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

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