30 Jul

DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards

Hey everyone!

Recently I’ve been trying to upgrade my blog a little bit– making things look more professional and clean cut. I knew I needed to start working on my food photography! For the longest time I wanted to make some plank boards for food backdrops, so a couple weeks ago I finally got to it.

I went to Lowe’s and found the craft board section. The boards I chose are 1/4 inch thick, 2.5″ wide, and 2′ long. I used twenty of them to create a 2′x2′ board with different colors on each side. I also bought a solid 2′x2′ wood board (with no planks) to paint a solid color on each side.

The bottom picture is another version of planks I was considering with 4″ wide boards– but I decided that for food photography, the smaller planks would look better, as you’d be able to see the separation in between the planks in pictures better than the larger ones.

12 638x1024 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards
I also bought wood glue, paint brushes, and an assortment of colors. I got yellow, white, brown and light blue. Just FYI– use the foam brushes. The one with bristles tended to break off and get stuck in the paint.

2 932x1024 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards
First, I painted ten planks white and ten planks light blue and let them dry.

Then I laid four perpendicular boards down on the back of the light blue boards and glued them into place, and then glued the white planks directly on top in the same direction as the light blue. Picture shows better than words can!

3 1024x576 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards
After gluing everything down, I stacked some heavy books on top and let them dry overnight.

5 1024x576 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards

Now with the white and light blue boards out of the way, I painted my solid 2′x2′ slab of wood yellow on one side and brown on the other, letting it dry before flipping it over.

61 1024x576 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards

9 1024x699 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards

Voila! Finished product. Four different colors on only two boards.

7 1024x576 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards
I’m a HUGE fan of the white and teal boards. I love the planks, they make the pictures look awesome. I have a feeling I’ll be making more plank boards in the future!

8 1024x576 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards
Here’s a pic with the teal board:

Cranberry Salad 10 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards
And with the white one:

Blueberry Banana Muffins 4 576x1024 DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards
What do you guys think? What colors should I do more plank boards? Have you made wooden photo boards?

namaste DIY Wooden Food Photography Boards

29 Jul

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites

Hey everyone!

So today I wanted to share  a great way to use up leftover blueberries. I made these Banana Blueberry Chia Streusel Muffins last week for my birthday and I had a whole pint of blueberries left!

Lately I’ve been buying frozen blueberries and eating them sprinkled with a little sugar for a sweet treat after dinner. So delicious! A much better alternative to high calorie ice cream and chocolate desserts.

This anti-reflux diet that I’m on for the next two months doesn’t allow chocolate, citrus, red wine, or high fat foods. Frozen berries have become my go-to when I need something sweet. I wanted to share a new favorite recipe of mine for frozen blueberry yogurt bites!

Frozen Yogurt Blueberries 22 1024x823 Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites
To make these, I used Yoplait 100-calorie Greek yogurt in vanilla. I hadn’t tried Yoplait’s Greek yogurt yet, and I was pleasantly surprised! I am normally a Fage girl, but this flavor was amazing. Plus, it only had 13 grams of sugar. Could I be breaking up with Fage? Who knows…

Frozen Yogurt Blueberries 7 1024x861 Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites
Making these treats is really simple. Basically, you mix the Greek yogurt with powdered sugar (to thicken it a little), then stick a blueberry with a toothpick and swirl it around in the yogurt. Drop onto a baking sheet and freeze, and you’re done!

I totally ate a whole bowl-full of these during last night’s Bachelorette finale. #teamjosh anyone?

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Frozen Yogurt Blueberries 11 1024x775 Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites
Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites
Frozen Yogurt Blueberries 11 1024x775 Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites
Yields 1
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pint blueberries
  2. 2 containers of Yoplait 100-calorie vanilla Greek yogurt
  3. 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  4. toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the blueberries
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt and powdered sugar.
  3. Stick a blueberry with a toothpick and swirl into the yogurt mixture.
  4. Drop onto baking sheet, repeat!
  5. Freeze for about an hour, or overnight.
Zen & Spice http://www.zenandspice.com/
 
What’s your favorite healthy-yet sweet treat?

namaste Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites  

26 Jul

Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins

Happy Birthday to me!

Blueberry Banana Muffins 9 576x1024 Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins
Actually, my birthday is Sunday, but I’m posting today so I can fully relax and enjoy my day! I’ve been celebrating all week with these Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins. This recipe made 18 muffins and no lie I’ve definitely eaten three in one day. Hey! It’s my birthday birthweek!

Side note: For those of you visiting over from The Lean Green Bean, thank you for stopping by! Be sure to check out my healthy recipes, motivation strategies, meditation tips, and things that make me happy. I’d love to be friends!

So usually, birthdays for me means I get to have a margarita. And/or beer. And wine. And some sort of chocolate-y dessert. But this year due to my doctor putting me on a strict anti-reflux diet for two months (you can read about that here) my favorite birthday-type foods aren’t an option– no alcohol, chocolate, citrus or carbonation! What?! How could I possibly celebrate turning 24?

Blueberry Banana Muffins 41 576x1024 Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins
I have been seriously loading up on fruits lately as it seems it’s the only tasty thing allowed on my plan. Tons of strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, blueberries and bananas. I made these muffins because everything in the ingredient list is allowed on my plan! I even substituted applesauce for half of the butter to make it lower in fat.

Chia seeds are mixed into the streusel topping and they really added a nice crunch!

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These tasty muffins make a good breakfast, snack, or dessert! Here’s the recipe!

Blueberry Banana Muffins 41 576x1024 Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins
Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins
Blueberry Banana Muffins 41 576x1024 Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins
Yields 18
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 c. butter, softened
  2. 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  3. 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  4. 1 1/2 c. (3 lg.) mashed very ripe bananas
  5. 1/4 c. milk
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 2 c. all purpose flour
  9. 1 tsp. baking powder
  10. 1 tsp. baking soda
  11. 1/4 tsp. salt
  12. 1 c. fresh blueberries
Topping
  1. 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
  2. 2 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  4. 2 tbsp. butter
  5. 2 tbsp chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a muffin tin with 18 baking cups.
  3. In large bowl beat butter, applesauce and brown sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add bananas, milk, vanilla and eggs; mix well.
  5. Add 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently stir in blueberries. Divide between 18 muffin cups.
  6. In small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and chia seeds.
  7. Using a fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
  8. Sprinkle over batter.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Adapted from Cooks.com
Adapted from Cooks.com
Zen & Spice http://www.zenandspice.com/
 

What are your favorite birthday foods?

namaste Blueberry Banana Chia Streusel Muffins

 

24 Jul

Combating Social Overeating

Let’s chat about our eating habits today!

I know for sure that one of my biggest challenges is overeating at social occasions. Since this weekend is my birthday weekend, I thought it would be an appropriate topic!

There’s the holidays like Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas that tempt us, but then there’s going out to dinner with significant others, drinks with girlfriends, barbeques, cookouts, potlucks at work, happy hours with colleagues. It can seem endless at times! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all of these occasions, but sometimes I don’t pay any attention to how much food (or drink) I’m putting into my mouth. Anyone with me here?

I tend to overeat sometimes because I’m distracted by the company of my family or friends and unlike at home where I am surrounded by healthy choices, I am surrounded by tempting unhealthy choices.

So how can we solve this conundrum?

Read More

Copyright 2014, by Emily Hein