Kristin Eldridge Photography specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography servicing Long Beach, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

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September 2012

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30Sep

To Sum it Up [Long Beach Family Photographer]

Just wanted to share with you a bit of what I was up to last week!  Sometimes the simplest locations can be the best.  Even though the beach can be tricky with lighting, using the shade of the pier will take away the harsh light.  I love the soft look of these photos.  Parks are also a no-brainer for photo shoots.  I look for big trees to filter the light.  Again, no harsh light.  And a little bit of sunset back lighting doesn’t hurt either!

kids playing at the beach kristin eldridge photographs families at the beach finding a good park location for photographs using trees to filter light for your photographs

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27Sep

Tricks of the trade [Orange County Newborn Photographer]

I was all set to blog about a striped vase that I made today.  But, I thought I’d save that for another day and keep it real with you.  Sometimes getting ‘the shot’ is hard.  Sometimes you have to be creative.  That’s real life.

Check this out…

Doesn’t he look so excited to have a new baby sister!?  The truth is, while he is loving his baby sister, he really just wants to play.  Pictures were not on his to-do list for today.  BUT.  M&Ms were on the to-do list.  Soooo, I got creative.

M&Ms can be photoshopped out of pictures.  Smiles cannot be photoshopped.  So, we had a win-win situation here. :)

And this photo of Lauren’s beautiful family would not have happened without an awesome Nana working her magic behind me!

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26Sep

Raspberry Shortbread Tart [In the Kitchen]

I picked up a copy of Fine Cooking the last time I was at Sprouts.  There are so many recipes in the Oct/Nov issue that I want to try, but I started with a tart.  Tarts are just so fancy.  The article in the magazine talked about how this tart is a bar cookie in disguise.  I like that.  The same ingredients but wrapped up in a different package.  A fancy package.

The original recipe called for cranberries, but I’m just obsessed with raspberries and I know they won’t be around for too much longer.  So, I changed up the recipe and tiny bit and I love the way it turned out!

Raspberry Shortbread Tart

(adapted from Fine Cooking’s Cranberry Almond Shortbread Tart)

For the filling
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
16 oz. fresh raspberries
3 Tbs. blackberry jam (I think any type of jam will do)
For the shortbread
3-1/2 oz. (1 cup) sliced almonds
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-3/4 oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs.) fine yellow cornmeal
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 Tbs. packed finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
1 large egg yolk
Cooking spray
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish (optional)

Make the fillingCombine the sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, about 2 minutes. Ad the berries and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the jam and simmer until the jam melts, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Make the shortbreadPosition a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until warm and fragrant but not yet brown, about 5 minutes; let cool completely.

In a food processor (with at least a 10-cup capacity), combine the nuts with 2 Tbs. of the flour. Pulse until very fine but not powdery, 20 to 25 short pulses. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining flour, the cornmeal, and salt.

In the food processor, combine the butter, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract.

Pulse until creamy, 10 to 20 short pulses. Add the egg yolk and pulse a few times to combine. Add the dry ingredients and pulse, scraping down the sides as necessary, just until a soft dough forms, 30 to 40 short pulses. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic and divide.

Lightly coat a round 91/2 x1-inch fluted metal tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Press half of the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Form the remaining dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough and the tart shell until very firm, at least 30 minutes.

Prick the bottom of the tart shell all over with a fork and bake on a heavy-duty baking sheet until firm, dry, and just starting to turn golden brown around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. The shortbread will have puffed up during baking, so use the back of a spoon to gently press down the bottom of the crust to create enough space for the berry filling. Spoon the filling into the tart and spread evenly.

Crumble the remaining shortbread dough over the berries in pebble-like pieces, covering the filling. Bake until the topping is firm and golden-brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Carefully remove the tart rim. Slide a long, flat spatula between the pastry and the pan bottom and transfer the tart to a serving platter.

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24Sep

Back to School at Rascals to Rebels [Rossmoor Child Photographer]

I’m finally getting a chance to share a bit from my last visit to Rascals to Rebels in Rossmoor.  I chose a handful to share on the blog, but there were SO MANY cuties that came out for pictures at the beginning of the month.  I feel so lucky to be able to partner with the store.  It’s always such a great time!!

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20Sep

Simple Pleasures [Los Angeles Child Photographer]

Did you know a dollar can be exciting?  So much of life is how you look at it and how you live it.  I parent my kids under the rule that you can always let the reigns out a bit, but it’s a lot harder to take them in.  For example, sometimes we will visit the candy store in the mall.  You know with the big bins of sugar in every color of the rainbow?  I let them pick three pieces each and it’s exciting.  Each choice is thought out.  If I started off letting them get a half pound of candy and then decided it was too much and they really needed just a few pieces, I’d be hearing some complaints.  So, I guess my point is…start small.  You can always add more.

Find out what we did this summer with a dollar by reading the rest of this post on Modern Parents Messy Kids.  I’m guest blogging there today!

 

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19Sep

The humdrums [Style Findings]

Packing lunches for kids can lead to boredom and possibly even wanting to pull your hair out.  I always tell my kids, you don’t have to eat everything in your lunch, but you’re not allowed to throw it away.  At the end of the day, I just want to see what things you like (and eat all of) and what things you don’t like or don’t have time to eat.  These talks are serious.  You’d think it was an ABC after school special.  But, seriously, I want to be an effective lunch packer.  I hate throwing food away, but I don’t want them to be hungry at school either!  I’m sure some of you can relate.

I’ve learned that marketing is key.  And packaging is everything.  If I can ‘sell’ it, they’ll be excited about it and want to eat it.  Let me give you an example.  Vegetables in the lunches are not a big hit.  I wanted them to be able to dip their vegetables, but the individual ranch packets you can buy are a) way too much ranch for a kid to eat at lunch and b) expensive.  I went on the hunt for tiny containers to hold dips and found these Lock-Ups at The Container Store.  I saw them in the office section, so I think they are meant to be for office supplies, but they are the perfect size and also dishwasher safe (on the top rack).

Carrots are now a lunch favorite and we have plans to use them for celery and peanut butter too.  I’ve even been thinking pretzels in a yogurt dip would work.  The Lock-Ups stack too, so you could pack more than one dip and have the containers connect.

 

 

 

 

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18Sep

Beef Cider Stew

I wonder who came up with the term comfort food?  It perfectly describes the way food makes you feel.  It warms your belly and makes you feel all cozy.  This stew is comfort food in every sense.  Maybe it has special meaning because a very sweet lady from church made it for us when we had our first baby.  We came home from the hospital in an ice storm and she had a big pot waiting for us on the stove.

Later she gave me the recipe.  It’s unlike any stew I’ve had before.  The ingredients are simple and the flavors are bright.  The beef doesn’t get bogged down with heavy bland flavor.  As we transition to fall, make a big pot of this stew, get yourself a crusty loaf of bread and get cozy!

Beef Cider Stew

(serves 6-8)

from Linda Richardson

2 large onions, diced

3T. butter

2 lbs. beef, cut in small chunks (I used tri-tip)

3T. flour

2t. salt

1/4t. pepper

1t. thyme

2 cups apple cider

1T. ketchup

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks

1 1/2c. green beans

 

Brown onions in butter (in a large stock pot).  Set aside and brown meat in the same pan.  Combine flour, salt, pepper and thyme.  Stir gradually into the meat.  Stir in cider and ketchup.  Add potatoes, carrots and green beans.  Simmer for an hour, or until meat is tender.

 

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14Sep

At Home Baby Photo Shoot [Newport Beach Baby Photographer]

I love it when babies grab their toes for photos.  It’s the cutest!

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13Sep

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage & Brown Butter [In the Kitchen]

We live in anticipation.  Pumpkin spice lattes start arriving at Starbucks, Halloween decorations sit on all the end caps and Anthropologie is showing us the coziest sweaters.  When is it going to get cold?  Or at least chilly?  Okay, anything other than sweltering will do.

I’m trying to channel fall with my cooking.  Yesterday I made a stew and last week this butternut ravioli hit our table.  Butternut squash is one of my favorite seasonal foods.  It can be dressed up or down.  It goes sweet or savory.  It’s just the best.  I’ve cooked with the squash before, but I hadn’t incorporated it into pasta yet.  Turns out sage is a good compliment for our humble squash.  Also, sage cooked in lots of butter until crispy is pretty much heaven.  I found this recipe online and I was ready to go!

I made the pasta for this recipe, but you can just as easily buy sheets of pasta.  It was the first time I had made pasta from scratch.  In the past, I had used the pasta mix from Williams-Sonoma.  Cheater, cheater pumpkin butternut squash eater.

Here’s how it all goes down…2 cups of flour and 3 eggs go on to the cutting board.  Make a well for your eggs.  It’s less messy.  Use a fork to slowly incorporate it together and then start kneading it until it looks like this.  At this point, you need to let it rest for 20 minutes and then it will be ready to be rolled.  I did it by hand and I would not recommend it.  It was an arm work out to say the least.  And I never got it very thin.  I mean no one complained about my thicker pasta :) but thinner would have been better.  So, if you have a pasta roller, use it!

After making my pasta, I started the filling.  It was so easy!  Chopped butternut squash can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, so make your life easier and buy it pre-cut.  I also made my life easier by mixing in the other ingredients right on the baking sheet.  One less dish to wash!

If you want to be fancy, use a ravioli pan (pictured above).  If you don’t need fancy, just use a rotary cutter to make squares.

Here’s the full recipe as copied from Jenny Steffens Hobick’s website.  See the link at the top of the page to her site.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

1 pound of Butternut Squash
Olive Oil
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
salt & pepper
1 recipe of Homemade Pasta, rolled into sheets

1 stick of butter
10-12 sage leaves

Begin by cutting the squash into cubes and placing them on a baking sheet.  Coat them with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Roast the squash at 425 degrees for 25 minutes until it is tender.  Put it in a bowl and mash it with a fork.  Add parmesan cheese, nutmeg and salt & pepper, if needed.

Place tablespoons of the filling down the center of the pasta dough that has been rolled into long sheets.  Brush the dough around the filling with water, then fold the dough over lengthwise (making the filling of each ravioli be on one side, surrounded by dough on three sides.  Cut the ravioli apart.

Heat a large pot of water for the ravioli.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Add sage leaves. Cook on medium-low for 2-3 minutes, just until the butter starts to brown.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cook the ravioli in the boiling water for 2 minutes, until it is floating.  Remove from water and add directly to butter sauce.

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12Sep

[Long Beach/Orange County Photographer] Holiday Mini-Sessions at the Beach and Urban Mini-Sessions

Thanks to all of you who signed up for the first round of holiday mini-sessions!  I’m excited to do photo sessions at this new location!

I’ve opened up a 2 more dates and locations.  These are favorites from the past.  I love going back year after year!

Here are the details…it’s $100 for a 20 minute session.  You can click here to check out the pricing for prints and digital images.  Also, this year is the first that I’ll be offering digital packages!  Think Christmas cards and gifts!!

October 8 (it’s Columbus Day, so you may have it off work and school) I’ll be in San Pedro doing urban sessions from 4:00-5:40.  Email me at info@kristineldridge.com to book a session or call 562-980-6480.  These fill up fast!

Scroll down to see the other date and location…

On October 20, I’ll be in Long Beach at the bay doing sessions from 8:00-9:40.  This is another long-time favorite place to do photo sessions.  I love the calm water and the sailboats in the background!  There’s also a mini boardwalk across the street.

 

 

 

 

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