food with friends

this has been one heck of a year! after competing on a reality show, i continued my pattern of jumping in the deep end, by pursuing a new career as a food stylist. it’s been awesome & i have been incredibly fortunate to be able to work and create with a number of talented people. one person in particular has been photographer manny rodriguez – who’s creative spirit is not only contagious but also miraculously zen. we had the best time working on the images & recipes for his holiday card this year. and with the help of kristen butler (art director extraordinaire!) they came out fabulous.

frozen blueberry smoothie with almond butter and granola

manny's roasted vegetable soup with a nest of toasted fideos

the rum rodriguez: mantecado with spiced rum and fresh nutmeg

maca elixir with mulled wine and grated ginger

i’m not sure what was more fun… cooking and testing all the recipes together or the sense of accomplishment we all felt when we nailed the final shot. whatever it was, it was simply awesome, as it usually is when you combine the 2 best ingredients: food and friends.

the fantastic recipes are all here:

frozen blueberry smoothie:

8 oz. frozen blueberries

1 cup granola

2 cups vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup honey

combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and serve immediately. yep, it’s that easy!

manny’s roasted vegetable soup with toasted fideos:

1 potato – cubed

1 butternut squash – cubed

1 celery stalk – sliced

1/2 yellow onion – sliced

6 garlic cloves

1 zucchini – halved and sliced

1 squash – halved and sliced

1 leek – halved and sliced

8 cups chicken broth (or to keep vegetarian, substitute with vegetable broth)

1 bag of fideo noodles

olive oil, salt & pepper

preheat the oven to 350. roast the vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper for 30 – 40 minutes, until tender. add all the vegetables and the chicken broth to a deep soup pot and bring to a simmer. in batches add the soup to a blender and purée to desired thickness. boil the fideo noodles for about 30 seconds and drain on a paper towel. sauté the fideos with a little olive oil until lightly crispy and place in a small nest on top of the soup.

manny’s rum rodriguez:

8 scoops mantecado ice cream* (mantecado is cuban ice cream with about double the amount of eggs as regular ice cream. it’s beautiful.)

3 ounces bacardi spiced rum

fresh grated nutmeg

add 8 scoops of mantecado ice cream with 2 ounces of rum to blender and blend. pour into a fancy cup and drizzle remaining ounce of rum on top. garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

*mantecado ice cream:

1 cup milk

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

10 egg yolks

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbspn vanilla

2 lemon rinds

in a small saucepan bring the milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon to a boil over medium high heat. lower temperature and stir until the mixture can easily coat the back of a spoon. in a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. once the cream has cooled, slowly whisk the cream mixture into the beaten eggs, rapidly so as to not cook the eggs. pour into ice cream maker and freeze for 2 hours before serving. (time may vary as each ice cream maker is different – just make sure the mantecado is super cold before blending as the heat of the blender will melt the ice cream some).

manny’s maca elixir:

8 drops of maca liquid extract*

2 tbspn of mulled wine spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise)

1 cup apple cider

1 bottle of your favorite dry red wine

1 orange – zested and juiced

4 tbspn freshly grated ginger

in a small saucepan bring the mulled spices, red wine, cider, orange juice and zest to a boil. reduce to a simmer and add the fresh ginger. pour into your favorite mug and 8 drops of maca liquid extract.

*maca root is an ancient herb that has medicinal benefits which can increase the libido.

About Jennie

i'm like you... a lover of food and life. i cook, i create, i photograph, i dream - i love.
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2 Responses to food with friends

  1. Ashley says:

    These look beautiful… Delish and stylized. Diggin the manny’s rum Rodriguez!