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Liz and Julie

When Liz and Julie contacted me about shooting their ceremony at the Old First Church here in Bennington last October I was really looking forward to it. Growing up in Bennington, Vermont, I had driven by that church literally thousands of times, but had never gone inside. The small ceremony was beautiful and the brides were glowing in the late afternoon autumnal light among the leaves, trees, and beautiful church as a backdrop.



Mixing it up with Hiram Walker

The studio has recently been transformed into a bar as I finished a fantastic project mixing and shooting 60 cocktail recipes for Hiram Walker, and these are just a few of my favorites.

Blue Hawaiian

Blue Hawaiian

2 parts Malibu Coconut;
2 parts Pineapple Juice;
1 part Blue Curacao

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice.

Cinberry Fizz

Cinberry Fizz

1 part Hiram Walker Original Cinn;
1 part Cranberry Juice;
2 parts Ginger Ale

Build in a Collins glass over ice.

Citrus Peach Fuzz

Citrus Peach Fuzz

1 part ABSOLUT Citron;
1 part Hiram Walker White Peach Schnapps;
1 part Cream;
Fresh Peach slices

Pour all ingredients into blender; cover with crushed ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a Hurricane glass and garnish with a fresh peach slice.

Ginger Basil Kurrant Martini

Ginger Basil Kurant Martini

1 Fresh Ginger Slice, Muddled;
1 1/2 oz Absolut Kurant;
1/2 oz Hiram Walker Triple Sec;
2 Basil Leaves, torn;
1/2 oz Simple Syrup;
3 Lemon Squeezes, discard

Lemon-Ginger sugar rim. Muddle ginger. Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass.

Hazelnut Cappuccino

Hazelnut Cappuccino

1 1/2 parts Hiram Walker Hazelnut;
5 parts espresso

Pour into a cappuccino or Irish coffee cup. Top with whipped heavy cream and grated hazelnuts.

Kir Royale

Kir Royale

1 part Hiram Walker Creme de Cassis;
4 parts chilled Mumm or Perrier Jouet Champagne

Serve in a champagne flute. Garnish with lemon twist if desired.

Melon Mojito

Melon Mojito

3/4 part Hiram Walker Melon Liqueur;
1 1/2 parts Dark Rum;
12 Mint Leaves;
1/2 Lime; 2 tbsp. Simple Syrup (or 4 tsp. sugar).
Top off with Club Soda

Muddle mint leaves and lime in tall glass. Cover with simple syrup and fill glass with ice. Add rum and club soda; stir. Garnish with lime and mint.

Peach Margarita


1 1/2 parts premium tequila;
1 part Hiram Walker Peach Schnapps;
1/4 part Hiram Walker  Triple Sec;
1/2 part lime juice

Shake or blend with ice (I added a few slices of fresh peach in the blender for color and texture), and pour into salt-rimmed margarita glass.

Raspberry Pom

Raspberry Pom

1 part Hiram Walker Pomegranate Schnapps;
1 1/2 parts premium tequila;
4 fresh raspberries;
2 lime wedges

Muddle 3 red raspberries and 2 limes wedges in cranberry juice. Add ice, then Pomegranate Schnapps and Tequila. Serve in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a raspberry and mint sprig.

Root Vegetable Stew

Another recipe from the Vibrant Rioja wine “At Home” recipe book project, and I have to give a major thank you to my friend (and fantastic chef) Michael Chesloff, who owns the sharpest set of knives I have ever seen!

Of the 12 recipes I shot for this cookbook, this recipe was by far the most tasty, and the entire time this stew was roasting in Michael’s oven my mouth was watering. The only thing I could add to this recipe, in addition to the Rioja wine of course, would be a rare standing rib roast. Just an amazing recipe by Jill Paradiso that will make your whole house smell fantastic.

I love to shoot food, but the color and texture of vegetables are my favorite, and these root vegetables are the type of photo that I like to hang in my kitchen, and probably will 😉

This satisfying, hearty dish truly highlights the various textures, colors and flavors of root vegetables. It can be served as a main course but would look especially beautiful as a side dish on a holiday table.
Note: This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated, but do not add turnip greens until ready to serve – they are best when they are bright green and lightly wilted.
6 cipollini onions, peeled
6 baby turnips, washed and halved (or 2 large turnips, quartered); turnip greens reserved
½ lb baby carrots
4 fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 leeks, washed, cleaned and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 parsnips cut in ¼-inch rounds
1 celery root, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup Rioja, preferably barrel fermented white or Crianza
2 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup olive oil
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Sea salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In heavy roasting pan, combine vegetables and olive oil; toss to coat. Roast turning every 10 minutes, until vegetables are browned, about 30 minutes.
2. Transfer pan to stove over high heat. Add wine, stock and herbs; cook 15 minutes. Add turnip greens; cook and stir to wilt; season with salt. Remove herb sprigs before serving.
Yield: 8-10 as a side dish
Rioja Pairing:
Root vegetables have a delicate creaminess and earthy flavor that would pair beautifully, but not be overwhelmed by the warmth and spice of a Rioja Crianza or the richness of barrel-fermented white.