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

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January 2012


Paula Deen’s White Chicken Chili [In the Kitchen]

Is this even possible?  Can Paula Deen really create a healthy recipe?  One that’s not laden with butter and sugar??

I stumbled on this Food Network Recipe when I was looking for a hearty chili that used chicken instead of red meat.  I’ve made it again and again with a few changes that make it even simpler, if that’s possible.

One of the things I like about this recipe is the use of dried beans instead of canned.  Here’s a little article with the many reasons that dried beans are BETTER!

  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green chiles (about 2 cans)
  • diced meat from one whole rotisserie chicken
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Rinse beans well, cover with cool water, and soak for 2 hours. Drain. Put the beans in large pot with the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.  I make my own chicken stock by taking the meat off the bones and throwing the bones into a big pot of boiling water for about an hour.  I strain the broth and it makes way more than 5 cups.  I freeze the extra for future use.  I buy my rotisserie chickens at Costco…they are bigger than the grocery store variety (like everything else) and the flavor is great.

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for 5 minutes. Add chile mixture to pot with beans. Add the chicken, cumin, oregano, pepper, white pepper, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

I like to serve this meal with sour cream, shredded cheese and a little cilantro.  We also love it with tortilla chips, but they’re not pictured.


Flashback: Spring 2011 [Irvine Child Photographer]

Late afternoon light, baby boys showing their muscles, converse and long grass…these are a few of my favorite things.


To Sum it Up [Huntington Beach Photographer]

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week! 🙂


Sweet and Saucy Cake Lollipops [Long Beach Photographer]

One of my favorite places is just around the corner from my house.  The Sweet and Saucy Shop!  I met Melody, the owner, a few years ago through mutual friends and have loved working with her on various projects.  She’s one of those people that turns everything she touches into gold.  Her latest venture is cake lollipops to go.  If you don’t have prime real estate around the corner from her shop, you can have the pops shipped to you in the cutest packaging EVER.

Sweet and Saucy Cake Lollipop Website

Styling desserts for a photo shoot was a rough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!


Girly Pink Baby Shower [Long Beach Photographer]

I recently worked on the girliest, pinkest baby shower you can imagine.  Basically, I was living in fru-fru heaven for the last month.  The mommy-to-be loves DIY and all the details that make parties pop, so I crafted my heart out!

She wanted to incorporate baby photos, so I scanned them and put them in a polaroid template so the look was uniform.  They hung from a piece of vintage lace with handmade glitter clothespins.  I layered pink tulle on top of a credenza to display the amazing desserts by Sweet and Saucy.  Pink tissue paper poufs hung above the display.

I printed off this customized name tag and placed inside a mirror they purchased from Target.  It hung in the entry way.

More Sweet and Saucy desserts overflowed onto the neighboring hutch.

More vintage lace displayed some of Sofia’s outfits and shoes along with the favors:  OPI polish in Sweet Heart.

I loved how the baby pictures showed up again throughout the decor.  It adds such a great personal touch.

The kitchen bar served as the food/beverage station.  I hung large tissue poofs above the bar and faux pink marshmallows strung on hot pink embroidery floss in the doorway and under the bar.

Katie wanted her mom’s mac & cheese, so we used these paper boxes from Garnish to package it.  It’s tied with paper ribbon from Paper Source and a bamboo fork tied on the top.

Another favorite way to display fruit is skewered and served upright.  This time I used a piece of styrofoam from Joann’s and painted it pink then glittered it and tied it with a piece of pink tulle.  The skewers easily slide into the foam.  I gussied up the picks with little Martha Stewart punches.

Our beverages were individual pink lemonades and water bottles decked out with labels found on Etsy.  The cute little straws were also an Etsy find.

Katie wanted a candy bar, so of course all the candy would be pink!  We displayed her candy in vintage vessels next to paper bags with baby Sofia’s name.

It was so much fun to work on this shower with Katie and her mom Karen.  AND share their love for PINK!


Minestrone Soup [In the Kitchen]

So recently my body has been telling me that it doesn’t quite like all the junk I’ve been passing off as fuel.  All those Christmas cookies I had for lunch last month did not do a body good.  I started off 2012 with a juice cleanse and since then I’ve been eating clean and feeling sooo much better.  I called my sister, who is one of the healthiest eaters I know, to ask her for some dinner ideas.  Even though I’m digging vegetables, doesn’t mean my family is too, so dinners have to pass a certain taste test.

She says her family loves minestrone soup and it has all the nutrition our bodies will thank us for later.

Here’s the recipe that I used from the Food Network website:


  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Basil sprigs, garnish, optional


In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Garnish with basil, if desired.

This is such a great rainy day dish.  It wasn’t the type of soup where everyone left the dinner table hungry.  It’s super satisfying…especially with a piece of french bread.  You DID NOT hear me say that.  I mean my children had a piece of french bread.


Flashback: Summer 2011 [Orange County Baby Photographer]

Summer 2011…Hume Lake.  It doesn’t get any better than this!

It’s difficult to photograph babies that aren’t sitting up yet.  Especially with their older siblings.  In this case, I had a super sweet big sister that was able to hold him, but sometimes a big sister’s arms can get tired or sometimes you’re not so lucky to have a big sister.  So, I rely on baskets.  It’s the perfect way to prop up a baby.  Siblings can get close and interact without having the pressure of NOT BREAKING THE BABY. 🙂

If a basket isn’t available, I’ll have everyone lie down.  OR…if the baby falls asleep and is not longer able to sit up on their own.


To Sum it Up [Irvine Baby Photographer]

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately!  Oh yeah and when’s it gonna get warmer?  Isn’t winter over yet??

Love this guys swoopy hair and extra long eyelashes!!


Community/Featured: Party and Event Guide [Orange County Child Photographer]

One of the most popular ways people find my website is by searching ‘pirate party’.  Thank you google analytics for telling me this!  So, I was recently contacted by The Party and Event Guide to feature Cooper’s party from the summer of 2010.  Here’s the link to their feature:  click here

My favorite part is the cool photo board they put together!  It really tells the story of the party.  So fun!

I’m sure most of you saw the party details when I originally posted it, but if you haven’t click here to see all the fun!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Classic Valentine: Mini-Sessions [Seal Beach Child Photographer]

February 2  3:00-4:20pm  Classic Valentine Photo Shoot in Seal Beach

Details:  $100 for a 20 minute session ($200 minimum order required)  There’s only 5 spots available for this location.  Email me at to reserve your time slot.

15-20 images will be proofed for you to order from.  Each order will receive a complimentary valentine in digital form (5×7 size)  for you to print.  If you want to get all crafty, check out this handmade candy valentine you can make.  Click here.

Here are the choices for the custom valentines.  The color and the text is your choice.

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