2017 Rhode Island Photography Workshop

December 8, 2016

Join us in Paradise! A three-day photography and styling workshop in Paradise Valley, Rhode Island with Betty Liu and me!

This January (20th – 22nd) we will call a beautiful  home. With sweeping ocean views and picturesque fields as our background we will nurture the creative spirit and delve into the photographic and creative process.

Tucked away in the beautifully updated Paradise Farmhouse at Norman Bird Sanctuary, we will exploring the art (and mechanics!) of photography and styling. You will learn how to and create, shoot & style food and still life scenes. We will discuss the use of natural light, camera mechanics, prop selection and scene creation continue reading

every day dressings for winter


Balance; both the idea of it and what it actually means in practice has been rolling through my thoughts recently. Like a stone with rough pocked edges, my mind seems wanton to tumble and turn balance into something smooth and polished; digestible, achievable.  continue reading

a thanksgiving meal: wild rice stuffed pumpkins, a kale salad & almond apple cake

November 19, 2016

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-14Setting the table, is one of those rituals I cherish.  As a child I was tasked with collecting the flatware, polishing and carefully laying each piece beside the plate, in its designated place. Now, it has become a part of the process of eating together, whether it’s a weeknight, dinner party or holiday, that I love deeply. It has become something of a meditation, a pause at the end of the day (though some days a much more hasty pause than others) when the rhythm of everyday life takes over and I know exactly where I’m meant to be and what I’m meant to be doing.  And it is a routine which, unlike many others, has the ability to nearly effortlessly expand, or adapt to the moment. What is most weeknights two place settings at the table easily accommodates more weekend or holiday settings, and I find myself happily making room, shuffling about, sitting elbow to elbow.

I have shared many tables over the years, with family, close friends, new friends, and total strangers. Each meal has been uniquely its own, with some more memorable than others but each one creating and then possessing a certain magic all its own. Ephemeral, perhaps even sublimely theatrical.   cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-2

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-7

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-3

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-10
cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-8

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-5 walking the fields I’ve found myself collecting and pocketing little bits of things – subconsciously brainstorming the thanksgiving table – the shiny side of chestnut leaves, dried pods from flowers gone by, a few gourds left from october. Pieces of fruit which will become part of dessert later in the night, sage which is still wonderfully abundant in the garden, pale gold maple leaves. I have been amassing a color palette in my head, a stack of miss matched dish linens could act as napkins and a collection of glasses sitting on the counter to dry become an unexpected grouping. All of these bits individually unremarkable but collected, something different all together. This is the essence of the table too. cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-11

Below are a few recipes which make a meal. To me they are the quintessential flavors of autumn; of new england. Thought hopefully presented in a newish sort of way. They hold in their flavors, ingredients, indeed their very make up, same sense of place that the smell of apple wood smoke winding up from a chimney on a cold autumnal conjures in my mind. They are about the ingredients available and abundant at this moment and few spices borrowed from other places to make this meal a little more remarkable, a little more festive.

The little sugar pumpkins take on a gorgeous starch richness when baked and stuffed with the beautiful long grain black rice they are visually just as appealing. They carve nicely, and can be served in thick slices mounded with the fruit, nut and herb laden rice. The rice naturally has an aroma of summer hay and when cooked it reveals an intense nuttiness and gorgeous texture.  Save the seeds from the pumpkin and roast them up for perfect snack with a glass of wine or for munching during a football game – they are delicious.

The kale salad is simple but continues the play of sweet and savory so well accommodated by autumn. Pears are still sweet and juicy this time of year and the ruby-red jewels of the pomegranate seeds elevate this otherwise simplistic salad. A mustard dressing ties it all together.

And the almond cake, inspired by one I had in Portugal and adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe is dense and stick to the roof of your mouth good. Caramelized apples, hints of cardamom and cinnamon, It’s a cake to make you linger at the table –

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-6

For the Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkins

serves 12

  • 3 small sugar pumpkins (aprox 2lbs each)
  • 2 cups / 400g long grain wild rice
  • 2 cups / 250g toasted pecans
  • 1 cup / 165g yellow raisins
  • 1 cup / 135g tart unsweetened dried cherries
  • zest from three large oranges
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups mint loose packed then chopped
  • 8 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 3 tsp corse salt + a few more pinches for the pumpkin cavities
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. rinse rice in cold water and soak overnight
  2. rinse and drain the rice again, add it to a large pot with enough water to cover the rice by an inch
  3. bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer rice for 30 minutes. Drain off any liquid that remains and set the rice aside to cool
  4. toast pecans in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned, being careful not to burn. remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, roughly chop. then set aside
  5. in a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients and let them stand while the rice cools
  6. with a large sharp knife, cut the top off the pumpkin, horizontally and about 3 inches below the stem. reserve and set aside
  7. using a spoon remove the seeds and stringy insides, hollowing out the pumpkin. then add a generous pinch of salt to each cavity
  8. when the rice has cooled (it doesn’t have to be cold and can be slightly above room temp) add it along with the pecans to the rest of the ingredients. Toss to combine all flavors and set aside for 45 mins
  9. Preheat the oven to 425
  10. divide the mixture evenly between the three pumpkins and stuff each cavity with the rice mixture. Replace the lid (wrapping any stems in foil so they don’t burn) and place in a shallow baking dish, along with 2 cups of water.
  11. Bake for 1 hour or until the skin of the pumpkin is easily pierced, blistered and browned. check the pan periodically to ensure there is a bit of water in the bottom
  12. remove pumpkins from the oven and serve immediately or at room temp. Slicing each pumpkin vertically into 4 large wedges and scooping rice on top

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-9

For the Kale Salad

serves 12

  • 3 large bunches of lacino kale
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 small firm green or bosc pears, cored and sliced into 1/4 slices
  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cranberry jelly (or red currant)
  • 3 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. wash and dry the kale, strip the woody spine from each leaf and discard, and tear into 4″ pieces
  2. add kale, salt and apple cider vinegar to a large bowl. Massage with clean hands until the leaves have broken down and softened, 2-3 minutes.
  3. add pear slices and pomegranate seeds
  4. in a small bowl whisk together the cranberry jelly, mustard and olive oil. If the mixture is a little thick add a splash of water and whisk until emulsified
  5. drizzled dressing (as desired, you may not want it all) over salad and toss well to combine

cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-4

For the Apple Cake

adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson

serves 12

for the puree

  • 3 large tart cooking apples
  • 1 tbsp juice lemon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp sugar

for the carmelized apples

  • 1 extra-large or two large apples of your choice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground green cardamom

for the cake

  • 8 large eggs at room temp
  • 325g almond flour
  • 275g sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp pure almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. for the puree  peel, core and roughly chop the three tart cooking apples. add to a small sauce pan along with the lemon juice, three cinnamon sticks and sugar
  2. bring the pan to a bubble over medium heat, then reduce, cover, and simmer over low heat, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apples become very mushy or breakdown all together
  3. remove from heat and let cool to room temp. then discard cinnamon sticks. there should be a heaping cup of puree
  1. for the caramelized apples – peel core and slice apples into 1/2 slices
  2. melt butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat, once bubbling add the cardamom and stir constantly until fragrant
  3. add brown sugar and stir until dissolved
  4. then add the apples in a spiral starting from the outside of the pan so that the face of each slice has full contact with the pan. Cook 2- 3 minutes or until browned, turn and brown the other side.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  1. for the cake –  preheat the oven to 350
  2. lightly oil the inside of a 10″ spring form pan with a tasteless oil and cut a circle of parchment to fit in the bottom of the pan. dust the inside with almond flour
  3. separate the eggs. reserve whites in a large bowl, add yolks to food processor
  4. along with the egg yolk,add to the food processor the cooled puree almond flour, sugar, lemon juice, pinch of salt and almond extract
  5. arrange the caramelized apple slices in a single spiraled layer at the bottom of the spring form pan
  6. in a separate bowl beat the egg whites to soft peaks, its ok if the tops flop over a little. then, gently fold in the mixture from the food processor until well combined
  7. pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, over the top of the apple slices and place in the oven immediately
  8. bake for 35 – 45min. checking after 35 for doneness
  9. remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. once cool, run a thin knife along the inside edge of the pan to ensure the cake is free before carefully removing the mold.
  10. Invert cake onto a plate or platter and dust with powered sugar. serve that daycottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-13cottagefarmthanksgiving-krissyosheaphotography-2016-12

kuri squash pancakes: a breakfast at home

November 10, 2016

jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016-12

jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016-4jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016-6jmclaughlin-krissyosheaphotography-2016-8Things are truly winding down at the farm. The last vestiges of summer, a few unripened green tomatoes clinging to the vine, have been picked. The garden has surrendered and will lay dormant now until next season. The hens are laying less. The dark mornings, chilly wet days and early evenings give them no motivation and they seem preoccupied with foraging in the field anyway. The shorter days mean less time spent outside and with the daylight growing more scarcse, I am looking forward to bright mornings and seeking out the warmth of the indoors.  continue reading

a new england culinary festival

September 22, 2016

cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-13cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-5

cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-4This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 WGBH Food & Wine Festival. A Boston based 4 day event filled to the brim with the promise of live music, toothsome bites, local and global libations, cheeses and a veritable assortment of cooking demonstrations.cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-12It was a lovely surprise to be invited by Wolf Gourmet to partake in this annual food-centric festival.  With a tent full of amazing local restaurants, breweries, cheesemonger, ice-cream makers and vintners, I knew it was going to be a day of ineffable culinary delights

After quite literally stopping to smell the roses, I made my way into the  Artisan Taste tent. Row after row of tasty little bites and a veritable collection of beverages were laid out in long inviting lines down the tent. cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-6cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-1My first stop to the Wolf Gourmet & Fine Cooking table where I picked up the two latest copies of the magazine and ogled the elegant cookware on display. Simple clean beautiful stainless steel lines …. need i say more?

There was truly a profusion of talent under this particular roof! I  diligently worked my way up and down there aisles looking, smelling, chatting and or course tasting! So many wonderful and creative treats but, a few standouts. One an exquisitely crafted spoonful of creamy uni panacotta, fresh local welfleet oyster and delicate ikura from Ben Steigers of Pabu Izakaya. It showcased all the sweet briny goodness of the Welfeets and the texture of the panacotta was out of this world and was so unexpected! I’ve never had anything like it. I had two on Saturday, in the name of research!cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-10The other wildly unexpected treat was the FOMU icecream. I’m not normally one for icecream but the nondairy no sugar added pitch intrigued me. I’m rather glad it did as the Tahitian Vanilla with toasted walnuts was a showstopper. And FOMU have a shop locally – danger!cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-9cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-2The other highlight for me were the cooking demonstrations.  Throughout the day, and with the assistance of the aforementioned Wolf Gourment cookware, chefs taught and cooked for engaged audiences. I loved this backbone of the event allowing those of us attending to really participate with the chefs and learn more about their methods and ideas. Truly inspiring and a really fabulous addition to the event.

All in all a wonderful day out and one I hope to attend again next year!cottagefarm-krissyosheaphotography-2016-7

this post is sponsored by wolf gourmet. all opinions are my own

chilled zucchini and yogurt soup

July 30, 2016

wolfgourmet.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-8wolfgourmet.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016 wolfgourmet.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-9wolfgourmet.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-7 It is firmly mid summer now. The long hot days and torrid nights tell me so. That, and the welcome sound of crickets and cicada wings and evening skies that twinkle with the light of fireflies. I love that summer effortlessly evokes a childlike sense of freedom. Something that seems to lie quiet the rest of the year. Even as an adult summer is the season of no rules; staying up long into the evening, neglecting chores in favor of spontaneous beach trips, swimming out deep into the cool green waters of the atlantic.

And there is part of me that thinks perhaps this clarity of inner child on these sweltering summer days affords me the opportunity to see things in a simpler light. To unpack and uncomplicated the life I live the rest of the year. Leaving it behind in favor of salty beach hair, bare feet, and lazy outside dinners. continue reading

two summery sips cocktails & a masonshaker giveaway

July 22, 2016

masonshakergiveaway.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-8masonshakergiveaway.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-9masonshakergiveaway.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-6 masonshakergiveaway.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-5 I can envision dappled sunlight filtering down through the leaves of the apples. Their branches bowing under the weight of a thousands of young bright green fruit. There is a table under these branches and pitchers of water are dotted along its length, catching the light and throwing it in large angular patterns across the surface. An easy-going Sunday sort of music can be heard and people are wandering about the garden nibbling on various crostini, cheeses and fruit. Some have cocktails in hand as the stoop to admire a flower or reach toward one another in greeting.

continue reading

rye berry salad and an event recap

July 13, 2016

cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-7 Cooking for a crowd is something for which I have the very greatest affection; the menu planning, ingredient shopping, kitchen prep and especially, those last few moments before the meal begins and everyone is seated together at the table. I even love the clean up. Washing and putting away all the plates and flatware and large platters; I ones I only ever use when serving a crowd.

Unsurprisingly, the Wednesday before my recent Boston workshop which I hosted with guest teacher Betty Liu, in the midst of all the bustling and prepping, I felt that familiar infectious excited happiness I always feel before an event. I could feel it bubbling up as I was driving back to the farm, windows down and heady hay scented summer air rushing in and a load of beautiful Five Fork Farms blooms in tow. I began to feel intoxicated with happiness . In less than 24 hours, accompanied by two of the loveliest food bloggers I know, Betty & Valentina, I would be standing in my kitchen, cooking for a crowd. We were preparing a lunch which relied on fresh ingredients, prepared simply, and using as much gorgeous produce from my gardens at CottageFarm as possible. Our gardens at the farm have been producing at such a rapid rate it was wonderful to have an excuse to cook up a big meal to share! To showcase without overworking or overcomplicating things is always my desired method of preparation. I simply want the food to be at its best and freshest and for this to shine through.  continue reading

grilled radicchio with olives and anchovy over egg fettuccine

June 13, 2016

cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-59 Food, and gathering together at the table have an undeniable ability to create the greatest sense of comfort. Easy, unfussy food and a convivial attitude are the perfect catalysts to entice us to relax into the experience and linger at the table. When I dream of the perfect evening it is one full of the ebbs and flows of chatter and laugher over music, around a table laden with dishes and a distinctly unhurried feeling. Nothing brings me greater pleasure than seeing the table in the morning strewn with the odd dish or two and that new pair of taper candlesticks having all but burned away to tiny nubs.

The recipe below is one I have been making rather a lot lately, due in part to its ability to encourage a sense of comfort and invite us to linger at the table just a bit longer. The other reason for its successive appearance is that it includes moving the kitchen from the indoor ovens to the open fire of the outdoor grill. There is something about cooking over the open flame; it brings new flavor and possibility to ordinary foods. Grilling is also an excuse to stand outside, something I never miss to opportunity to do, with a glass of wine or the ubiquitous summer g & t in hand and enjoy the beauty of the season and the company of friends and family while you cook. It seems all the more social to cook on the grill, with people strolling up to chat and refresh drinks and take a turn maneuvering whatever is cooking over the flame. As the cook you can be in the center of the action as opposed to cordoned off away in the kitchen.

cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-56 cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-57 Finally I love this dish because it uses one of my favorite ingredients, radicchio. Grilling the radicchio, it’s as if it gives up its secret. Over the fire it transforms from a bitter stiff leaved chicory to something so much sweeter becoming supple and delicate . I am always amazed at how simply dressing it with a bit of salt and pepper and olive oil is so transformative when coupled with the grill. Even without pasta , the radicchio is worth making. It is lovely over a garlic white bean puree, or mixed in with simple greens for added texture. Its sweet smoky flavour also lend well to being smothered in chopped egg and drizzle with a bit of dressing and capers. I just love grilling up large deep red quarters of radicchio and watching as they turn to a beautiful deep plummy caramel.cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-60

Use a fresh egg pasta. Cook it until it is only just tender, you want it to retain its toothsomeness.  Coupled with the tender smoky sweet radicchio and the richness from the olives and the brine from the anchovy this dish comes together in a way that is so satisfying I can only name it as true comfort food.

A little note on the olives and anchovies – if possible try to get cured olives rather than brined. they will be dark and wrinkly, not the prettiest, but their flavor is deep and dark and wont compete with the salt or brine of the anchovy. For the anchovy, I use the white fillets – they are brined rather than salt packed and have a fresh bright taste and do not require the same prep as the salt packed. I also love a tangy slice or two over a piece of baguette.

Egg fettuccine with Grilled Radicchio

serves 2

  • 1/2lb or 250g fresh egg fettuccine
  • 1 medium head of radicchio
  • 3 white anchovies  (brine preferably)
  • 1 Tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • zest 1/2 lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup cured black olives
  • salt and pepper

Remove the outer leaves of the radicchio and trim the stem end. then cut the radicchio in half along the vertical and agin into quarters. you want to ensure that you have cut each wedge with a bit of the stem still on so that they hold together on the grill. Coat in olive oil then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and turn every few minutes until sides are beautifully charred and the radicchio is tender. aprox 6-8 minutes. Let stand until you are ready to serve

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil add 2-3 Tbsp salt and return to a boil

In a small saute pan warm 3 Tbsp olive oil and add the smashed garlic cloves stir until fragrant. Then add the chopped fresh rosemary and saute again until fragrant. Then add the anchovy filets and saute until slightly crisp, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon as you go. Remove from heat and discard garlic cloves. Then stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Let it stand-off the heat while you make the pasta.

Add your fettuccine to the boiling water. Stir and test after 1 minute for doneness. Depending upon the freshness of your pasta, it may take anywhere from 1 -5 minutes to cook. Be careful not to over cook. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

Then add it to the saute pan with the anchovy mixture, toss well to coat. If needed add a little of the cooking water, bit by bit, until the noodles are coated well and evenly in the mixture. Then stir through the olives and plate the pasta. Add grilled radicchio quarters to each plat and sprinkle with fresh chives and a good crack of fresh black pepper cottagefarm.krissyosheaphotography.2016-58