Whenever I start to feel a little slow from a creative perspective, I often think back to a photography workshop that I attended in 2014 in Seattle. It was hosted by Aran Goyoaga and it was taught by Luisa Brimble. Two things really stood out to me from these incredibly talented women. One was how smoothly their workshop flowed because they teamed up together. The second was when Luisa said, "Don't be afraid to create your own opportunities." I think about this advice all the time and it recently inspired me to try something a little different.
I'm very excited to say that this is my first post where I teamed up with a very talented recipe developer on a photo shoot specifically for Up Close & Tasty. Her name is Elena Maglio Baroni and she's my sister-n-law. For years I have seen her work magic in the kitchen and I'm always in awe of the creativity that she expresses through food. Everything is always beautiful and everything is always delicious. She truly loves to cook and create and I decided to talk with her about combining forces for a few blog posts to start. Our excitement was instant.
For this shoot, I went to her house. When I showed up, she had all the ingredients laid out and prepped and was ready to start cooking. This moment was big for me because I knew it would have taken me a lot longer to do by myself. It's not that I don't enjoy this part of the process, because I know that cooking has made me a better food photographer. But, having the help was eye opening. We both learned from each other that morning and the best part was we got to eat the Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage and Crispy Pancetta for lunch. Will we team up again? Definitely.
The recipe is full of classic fall flavors that are so good, I can't stop thinking about them. The savory, creamy risotto melds so well with the butternut squash and sage. The salty bites of crispy pancetta might be my favorite part. It's genius. If you don't have pancetta, Elena says bacon works just as well.
I can't think of a better way to start off the weekend than with one of Elena's recipes and I'll be excited to share more with you soon. Tonight, I'm going to devour this risotto while I add new photography to my Etsy Shop. Then, Mike and I are heading to an annual chili cook off at our friend's house on Saturday. Maybe I should bring this risotto instead... Hmmm, could risotto be the new chili?
Enjoy and have a great weekend!