Can you believe it’s the last day of June? How does this happen? The busier I get, the faster time flies. Summer is truly the best though and I don’t want it to keep going by this fast! I hope to take advantage of every day I can and I hope you can do the same to savor the season.

I’m starting a new series of monthly picks: my favorite products, food, places, etc.. each month! Most will be local but some may not be, we shall see…! I’ve come to have a great love affair with all things local, farmy, and small business so this is sort of a way for me to give back to those who I love to support and hopefully will inspire you as well. It’s also a great way to keep up with some food photography and product practice and play around with new props and light!

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First off, I found this tea while perusing the Concord Farmers’ Market at the beginning of the month. It was so beautiful and smelled so amazing! There were a few different kinds there so it was tough to choose but decided on this one. It is made by Earth Made LLC / Blasdell Body Care LLC. I couldn’t find the tea on their website so you may just have to pick it up and see for yourself! I loved the fruity flavor but they told me it can be used as a potpourri as well.

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If you follow T.E.L.L. New England you know we recently featured this lovely company in our latest issue. Apotheker’s Kitchen is near and dear to our hearts because of the way they try to work and live locally and sustainably. You can read more about them in our article, but you must know that their products are just so, so good. Their chocolates are light and melt in your mouth and are made with honey instead of sugar (yay bees!), and their marshmallows are fluffy and subtly sweet. Each come in different flavors. I believe they are starting to offer more products to their line as well. We had an amazing time getting to know this duo.

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While perusing one of my favorite farms and places to get local produce, this lovely little product caught my eye. I was looking for something to snack on that was healthy and would keep me full, and it was just the right thing for both of those! It’s called Battenkill Brittle! Sometimes these kind of things can be too bland or too sweet but this really was just right. It is sweetened slightly with pure Vermont maple syrup and has a perfect crunch. It was really tough for me to eat just one instead of all of them right away. As you can see it is packed with seeds, great for some quick energy and keeping your hungry (or hangry!) appetite at bay.

I need to get back to pick up more!

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So these are my June favorites! Other than these, I hope you are out picking strawberries and enjoying all that this first month of Summer has to offer. If anyone has some suggestions for things for me to try, send em my way! jennbakos@yahoo.com

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One of my favorite parts about the beginning of summer is the local produce coming into season. The local farmers markets begin to boom and food possibilities seem endless once again. I love going strawberry picking because I get to have an experience while purchasing my food (The grocery store isn’t always as thrilling) and support local farms. I usually go to Apple Hill Farm in Concord, NH. which is a short drive from where I live and always has great fruit. They also do apples, blueberries, and raspberries when in season, as well as a range of other goods such as pies, breads, vegetables, etc.

The farm had just opened for picking so I knew I had to act fast before all the good berries were gone. I chose a rainy day since I had a feeling not too many other people would be out, but there were a handful or so there, and tons of amazing strawberries! It was hard to stop picking, as you can see from my box full of juicy red gems. Of course I had to make something after picking all of these. I decided on a healthier version of your typical berry crisp. Try this recipe! It uses greek yogurt in the crumble which I thought was neat. It also has no sugar (!!). It is supposed to be a strawberry rhubarb crisp but I wasn’t able to find rhubarb! It’s totally not the same taste, though my family says it’s good with just strawberries, but I recommend using rhubarb if you can find it.

The rainy weather made for some beautiful, moody light, which I’ve been loving lately.

What will you be doing with your strawberries??

 

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A few weeks ago I was excitedly getting ready for a weekend I had been waiting for since March. Upon first hearing about the First We Eat Workshops, I was a few months too late for their first one which had been in Vermont and looked like a dream! After seeing the posts about the dinners and the food and the company I made it my mission to be at their next New England hosted workshop! When March came along and they announced sign ups for Cape Cod, I jumped at the chance and made my deposit.

Over the last few years my love for New England has grown and grown alongside my love for food, farm to table, and small businesses. This workshop was really the combination of all of those things put together with photography. Does it really get much better than that? I mean, the description was: “Food photography, food styling, and cheesemaking workshop”. (!!!)

Um, yes. I LOVE cheese.

The other selling point to me was being able to meet and learn from some of my favorite food photographers/bloggers. The incredibly talented Carey Nershi and Eva Kosmas Flores were to be our instructors for the weekend. If you haven’t checked out their work, you really must, it is incredible!

So me and a bunch of other talented and fun women showed up on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, at this old saltbox cape home on Long Pond in Plymouth, greeted by these two photographers and a lovely setup of props, linens draped from twine, and a pretty little breakfast setup. Carey, Eva, and their assistant Renee, made us breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Let me tell you, there was no meal where you didn’t hear some one say, “This is the best meal I’ve ever had!” Everything was just that good. And even better was the fact that we all waited to take photos of everything before we sat down. Truly a room full of foodies!

One of the greatest parts about this workshop was talking and getting to know each person in attendance. Everyone came from an interesting background and had so much to share. These ladies were also so welcoming and hilarious so everyone felt very comfortable with each other. I truly had such a great time getting to know them all. (See their websites/instagrams here: BeckyJenniferBrandyLeslieOlgaCamaron, and C.J.)

Then there was the cheese.

I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten so much cheese in one weekend. We were able to taste all of the different types and learn about what goes into making them. There’s a lot of science involved, and it was very interesting! Our cheese making demo was great. Eva and Carey showed us how to make ricotta and mozzarella which seemed pretty simple and I’m excited to try it out very soon. Be sure to check out the photos of the cheese so you can really see all the different types we had…especially humorous were the two giant blocks of blue cheese!

It was amazing. Please check out more images on instagram tagged #FWEEVENTS and be sure to check out the little video I made at the end!

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Below is a list of the vendors and sponsors from our great trip which I copied from Eva’s site incase you are curious about some of the beautiful things in our images!

Luna Moss | Beautiful seasonal flower arrangements & installations |
Repeat Press | Custom letterpress menus |
Alma Chocolate | toffee bars for each attendee |
……
  • June 9, 2015 - 12:21 am

    Eva - LOVED all of these photos so much, Jenn!! I am so happy you came and had such an awesome time getting to know you! I will let you know the next time I am in New England so we can hang out again, maybe with slightly less cheese this time haha :)ReplyCancel

    • June 9, 2015 - 9:24 am

      admin - Thank you Eva! Would love to meet up with you again if you’re ever back in New England!ReplyCancel

I was lucky enough to get another spring senior portrait session in with Haleigh a few weeks ago. The apple orchards were in full bloom which made for beautiful photos along with the dress she brought with her. Farms and wooded areas around my home town are some of my favorite places to shoot and to see them like this was a real treat!

After the orchard we went to one of my favorite local spots, Beech Hill Farm, it’s great for shooting and even better for eating ice cream after ;) We had a great time and I really enjoyed our session and the fact that we got so many different shots around the area. I’m looking forward to many more sessions this year!

 

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Springtime outdoor photos in New England can be tricky! Sometimes it’s tough to plan but every now and then you get really lucky with weather and the flowers bloom and all lines up perfectly! We timed it right with this session as everything had just bloomed like crazy that week, it was lovely! I’ve never done spring sessions before so this was a treat. Sarah was wonderful to work with and had a great sense of humor. I love when clients are really laid back and up for anything!

 

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