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

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In the Kitchen

14Jul

Homemade Mayo + Clean Ranch Dressing // In the Kitchen

Have you seen the whole food eating trend?  If you look at social media it’s everrrrrywhere.  For months I kind of peeked around, thinking certain dishes looked good.  I dipped my toes in by trying a few meals with no bread or dairy and the next thing I knew I had jumped in head first and you couldn’t find a carb in my whole house!  The benefits of eating real (whole) foods are endless, but I gotta say, I do miss a cupcake from time to time.  So, while we eat clean at home, we do like to indulge in treats from time to time too.  I love this balance and also the new recipes I’ve found through this experience.

Homemade mayonnaise is something I had never tried before.  In fact, I didn’t even really like mayo all that much.  But, like so many food items, the difference between homemade and store-bought is significant.  The best thing is that it’s made in 2 minutes and has only 5 ingredients.

homemade mayonnaise recipe

You’ll need one egg, one cup light olive oil, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon salt and the juice of a half a lemon.

A note about the olive oil.  The first time I made this, I only had extra-virgin olive oil on hand.  While, this heart-healthy oil is fantastic, it is just too strong to be used in mayo.  Try looking for ‘light’ olive oil, or if you live by a Trader Joe’s, this brand is very light in taste.

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  • If you have a wide mouth mason jar, you can dump everything in and blend it.  High five for less dishes!
  • Use an immersion blender for about one minute to combine the ingredients in the jar.  You’ll notice it go from liquids to a fluffy solid.
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a hand mixer or a kitchen aid.  Make sure you use a room temp egg if that’s the case.  And add all the ingredients besides the oil.  You’ll slowly stream that in as you blend.

What do I do with homemade mayo!?  Well, I hardly even eat it straight on a sandwich.  I’ll use it as a base for ranch dressing or dip.  I’ll also use it as aioli by adding in sundried tomatoes, wasabi or different herbs and spices.

Taking mayonnaise to ranch dressing is much easier than you think.  This recipe is for ‘clean ranch,’ which means it doesn’t have any unhealthy oils or MSG.  You keep that creamy blend of herbs without all the bad stuff.

Start with one cup of mayo, half cup of coconut milk, one teaspoon each of garlic powder and fresh dill, half teaspoon each of onion powder and salt.  I also added a teaspoon of fresh chives after I took the photo.

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Carefully whisk together and chill for one hour.  The coconut milk sounds like a very odd thing to put in ranch, but none of the coconut flavor comes through.  It’s all tangy and crisp as ranch dressing should be.  Give it a try!

(recipe credit:  http://instagram.com/amazon_ashley)

 

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14Feb

Valentine Mini-Sessions // Orange County and Los Angeles Child Photography

A few weekends ago, I held photo sessions in Los Angeles and Orange County.  It was open to babies, kids and families.  Some chose to go all out with for Valentine’s Day..other kept it simple and just updated their child’s photos for home.  Either way, the weather was beautiful, I got to try out a new location and everyone that came was in a fabulous mood.  That’s the perfect equation! vintage valentine girl

valentine mini-sessions in orange county

valentine mini-sessions los angeles

little boy clapping

child photography

little girl kissing boy on the cheek

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kids laughing in photos

cute brothers in a photo

photographing siblings together

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little boy smiling

mom hugging her daughter

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06Oct

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Pie // In the Kitchen

Hey you.  I see how you’re working on enjoying the last bits of this weekend.  Do yourself a solid and make this pie tonight.  You might even have all the ingredients.  I’m not kidding, this is my favorite dessert ever.  Please enjoy it.  If not tonight, then sometime soon before an ice cream based pie is out of season.  Oh, wait.  It’ll never be out of season

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Here’s your list…

1/2 cup karo syrup

2T. brown sugar

3T. butter

Melt these 3 items either over the stove top in a small pan or in the microwave.

Add 2 1/2 cups rice krispies.  Spread this mixture in a buttered pie tin and freeze it for 10-15 minutes.

While it’s freezing, make the fudge sauce:

1/2 lb. butter

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

Melt these 2 things in a double broiler so the chocolate doesn’t burn.  Add 1/2 c. cocoa and 3 cups sugar.  Thoroughly stir together.

Cook for 10 minutes.  Add 1 pint heavy whipping cream and cook on low until smooth.  Take off the heat and add 1T. vanilla.

This is going to make a LOT of fudge sauce.  You’ll only need about 1/2 cup for the pie, so you can eat the rest for breakfast tomorrow.  (if you know what’s good for you)

Back to the pie…

Mix 1/4 cup fudge sauce with 1/4 cup natural peanut butter.  Spread this mixture over the rice krispy pie crust.  Freeze for 10-15 minutes.

Pack in 1 quart of high-quality vanilla ice cream.  Drizzle with fudge sauce.

**Here’s a little bit of history on this recipe.  My in-laws used to own the Naples Rib Joint in the Long Beach.  My mother-in-law created this recipe in the 80′s it was called Girdle Buster Pie.  Those were the days!  (When a name like that wouldn’t deter every female customer from ordering it!)  They wanted a dessert that would melt and quickly turn tables.  Now, it’s just a birthday favorite among the family.

 

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09Aug

Rosemary Citrus Spritzer

I think spritzer is just a fancy word for soda.  It is reminiscent of summer.  Sitting on a porch or in a backyard with a cool drink in hand is how summers should be spent.  I found this recipe while looking for something to serve friends at a dinner party.  It then morphed into a treat that I make for the kids on lazy summer days.  I don’t buy juice or sodas for the kids, so it’s definitely a treat at our house!

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The original recipe from The Kitchn calls for oranges and lemons along with sugar and honey.  So feel free to switch up the ingredients to your tastes.  I think the oranges make it sweeter, so I was able to cut back on the sweeteners and just use honey.

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Start with the juice of four oranges and stir in 1/2 cup honey.  Throw in four sprigs of rosemary.  You can either boil this mixture for one minute or microwave it if you’re in a hurry, like I generally tend to be.  Let the mixture cool and strain it into another vessel.  It will be a concentrated herbal scented juice, which is diluted by the club soda.

Pour 2-3 tablespoons of concentrate into each glass and top with soda water.  If you’re feeling fancy, you can top it with a rosemary sprig and a paper straw.  My kids like to be able to mix the glass themselves, watching the color crawl it’s way up to the top of the glass.

If you want to try another soda alternative, check out my watermelon cooler!

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08Apr

No Knead Bread [In the Kitchen]

No-Knead Bread?  That tastes amazing?  Sign me up!  My mom taught me this recipe a few summers ago and I’ve seen the No-Knead pizza dough floating around online and pretty much every where!  I made it here, so check it out if you want to see how this translates to pizza.

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No Knead Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  The dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl (covered with a towel) to sit for 12-18 hours.  This is where the magic happens!  Pour the mixture into an oiled cast iron skillet and bake it (at 450) covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes more.

 

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30Mar

Pasta al Pomodoro

Can we talk about carbs for a sec?  They’re best homemade.  I can pass by pretty much anything that comes from a grocery store, but if you bring me your freshly baked cookies, pie or bread?  Done.  I can gain 5 pounds on that stuff.

Homemade pasta is no exception.  It’s a simple combination of flour, eggs and water, but once kneaded and thrown into a bath of boiling water, it’s carb-a-licous!  Homemade pasta sings on it’s own, so a simple sauce is all it needs.  In this case it’s tomatoes, basil and garlic.  Scroll all the way down to see the recipe.

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Pasta: (Makes 6 servings)

2 cups flour

2 eggs

You can click here to see photos of making pasta.  It involves a big heap of flour with a well in the middle.  Put your eggs and a few tablespoons of water in the well.  Use a fork to toss and toss until the dough gets to the point that you can knead it.  It will be a dry dough, so use your muscles!

If you have a pasta roller, push the dough into flat ovals that you can push through the roller.  You’ll want to run the machine at thinner settings until you get the consistency you like.  I ran it through a level 5 then once again through the cutter to make the spaghetti.

*On a side note, I LOVE my kitchen aid attachment.  It’s so easy to use and pretty much fool proof!

Sauce:

4-5 ripe tomatoes

3-4 basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

This is a rough estimate for the sauce.  Make adjustments according to your tastes.  The key is to let it sit for at least an hour for the flavors to meld and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

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22Mar

Tropical Green Smoothie [In the Kitchen]

I try not to let Google Analytics determine my happiness.  But, it’s that page that tells me how many of you are listening.  Blogging can be a little lonely sometimes.  As in, tap tap, is this thing on?  One of my more popular posts was my Green Smoothie with Peanut Butter and Banana.  Thanks to a site called Oatmeal in My Bowl that featured 30 days of green smoothies, they’re my number one contributor of hits.  So, ALOT of you care about green smoothies!  As in thousands!

Where does that lead me?  A summer version.  A Tropical Green Smoothie!!  This recipe is just as good as the original, but has a much more summery taste.  Just try it, already!

The key to a good green smoothie is frozen bananas.  I like to prepare a few bananas ahead of time and then have them ready.  But, if I run out, I’ll slice a banana very thin on a plate and freeze it for 15-20 minutes.

I make this smoothie for the whole family, so this recipe will give you 3 large portions or about 5 medium size portions.  I add the banana at the bottom of the blender, top with another regular (unfrozen banana) add a sliced mango, a can of light coconut milk and a big handful or two of fresh spinach.  If you like your smoothies very cold, add a cup of crushed ice.  Blend until the spinach is thoroughly pulsed.

//photography by Kristin Eldridge in Long Beach

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14Mar

Honey Bran Muffins [In the Kitchen]

Wisdom comes in all forms.  And this time in came in the form of Aunt Ginger.  It was weeks before my wedding and the gifts were starting to pile up.  I made a comment about thinking I’d seldom use some of the nicer dishes and service items.  But, why not, she asked?  Why do we have to save our nice stuff.  Why can’t we use the nice stuff every day?  Since tomorrow may never come, I use the best I have today.

Along with life tips, Aunt Ginger also gave me recipes.  And many years later they are recipes I still use!  There’s one thing I remember her making that I never got the recipe for.  Those ooey, gooey, stick-to-your-fingers honey bran muffins popped into my head a few weeks ago, so I tracked down the recipe for you guys!

Honey Bran Muffins

makes 12

Bottom Layer:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 T. honey

2T. water

Beat butter and brown sugar, add honey and water.  Line muffin tins with the mixture.

Top Layer:

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/4 cup oil

4 T. honey

1/4 cup crushed pineapple

3 cups All Bran cereal

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup craisins

Mix all ingredients well and scoop into your muffin tins.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

**edited to add:  Two people commented they had trouble with spilling over and the sugar burning in the oven.  If your muffin tins seem very full, try adding less to each tin and making more muffins.  Also, turning down the oven would help with burning on the bottom of the muffin.  Each oven can heat differently.  Hope that helps!

Here’s that free lensing technique again.  I love it!  I need to do a blog post on it!

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