Baked St. Alban’s Cheese with Candied Satsuma Peel

December 30, 2016

Before the night is out many a cheerful glass of champagne will be raised to toast the arrival of the new year and fondly send off the year just past.

I love this global celebration of time. This night dedicated to reflection and optimism. Stripping away the arbitrary pressure of resolutions, there seems something very special indeed about a night where a ripple of optimism makes its way around the globe. Behind the bubbles, the sparkles and tinsel is the brightness of positivism, the buoyancy of happiness. However, Its not just about the exhilaration of  looking to the year ahead, but also about finding the silver linings in the year we have just finished. In a world that constantly encourages us to reach ahead, to move forward with an ever fervered pace, I can’t help but relish the moments to glance back. To turn around to see, in plain view, the path the year has cut sprawling out behind me, twisting and winding to me to the exact spot I’m standing when the hands point to twelve. continue reading

Baked Oysters with a Black Pepper Cognac Mignonette & a WolfGourmet giveaway

December 21, 2016


It seems that many of my holiday traditions are wrapped up in the places from which my family hail, going back generations and to all manner of countries. Traditions and foods transplanted from our great and great-great grandparents. Though I would expect some sticky points in the translations have occurred over the years, in general, my holidays rely largely on the flavours of elsewhere.

This year,I wanted to add something to our holiday table and traditions which celebrated where we are right now; in this moment, season and of this place. Oysters are of course all about provience, about the place from which they hail. Luckily these chilly east coast waters produce some lovely varieties.  Even with just a few miles between them, oysters have the ability to taste different and distinct from their neighbors. This partially explains my great affinity for them, the other being that they are simply delicious. With winter’s short days and plummeting temperatures the waters have turned truly frigid, making it the perfect time for plump New England oysters. continue reading

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

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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 –

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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