My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Wednesday
Jul022014

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds {vegan}

Welcome to my new favorite dessert that I can’t stop spooning into my face.

Cannot stop.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds | edibleperspective.com #vegan #glutenfree

It’s the lemon, I swear. So bright + fresh + addicting. Oh, and it’s the coconut milk. So creamy + thick.

Combine the two and you get a light and refreshing dessert that is going to be your new best friend. And it’s pretty much a cinch to throw together, double or triple in quantity, and serve to a crowd.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds | edibleperspective.com #vegan #glutenfree

Every 4th of July growing up was always spent at my grandparents’ house. When we were still living in Michigan I’m pretty sure we made the trek to Ohio every summer. Also because my birthday is on the 3rd. Double celebration!

My grandparents made a big to-do about the 4th of July. The extended family would come over and my grandpa would tend to the ribs on the grill all day long. I remember waiting with anticipation just to get a little taste and then devouring as many as I could right alongside all of the typical cookout sides + desserts.

The neighbor across the street would go ALL OUT with fireworks, landing him in the back of a cop car a few times promising to not set anymore off. And then of course the show would continue. We would line up the lawn chairs on the driveway and then move into the garage after the inevitable firework took a sharp right turn whizzing by a little too close for comfort. I remember throwing a million of those little snappy popper things [uhh, what were they called?] at the ground and twirling around sparkler after sparkler.

4th of July was pretty much the highlight of the summer.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds | edibleperspective.com #vegan #glutenfree

Even though I’m not chowing down on ribs for the 4th anymore and sadly cannot spend the day with my grandparents, it’s still a day I look forward to each summer, cherishing old memories and creating new ones.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds | edibleperspective.com #vegan #glutenfree

I feel like good memories and traditions somehow always relate back to food. Good food shared with family and friends.

Because, really, what more do you need?

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds | edibleperspective.com #vegan #glutenfree

Print this!

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds gluten-free, vegan // yields 4 servings

Lemon Mousse:

  • 1, 13.5oz can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1/4-1/3 cup brown rice syrup, or coconut nectar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest from 1 1/2 lemons
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • fresh berries

Candied Almonds:

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 teaspoons muscovado sugar, or coconut sugar/sucanat/pure cane sugar

For the mousse: Scrape all of the solid contents from the top of the coconut milk can and place in a mixing bowl just until you hit liquid [about 2/3 the way down]. With a whisk attachment beat on med-high speed for about 1 minute. Add in the brown rice syrup, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and beat again for another 1 minute. Scrape the bowl and the lemon zest off the whisk attachment and beat again for about 30 seconds. The mixture will be thick with soft peaks. Taste and beat in more sweetener if desired.

Place in a sealed container in the fridge to chill and thicken for at least 3 hours or overnight. Can be made 1 day ahead.

For the almonds: Preheat your oven to 350* F. Place almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet and toss with melted coconut oil and the sugar. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Toast until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool fully. Store in a sealed container in the fridge once cooled.

Stir the mousse then scoop portions into small dessert cups [or shot glasses for bite-sized servings] and layer with fresh berries and candied almonds. Serve immediately. Mousse will stay good in the fridge for about 3 days.

Notes: For an extra boost of lemon flavor you can add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon lemon extract if desired. Do not use low-fat coconut milk or crystallized sugar in the mousse mixture. Honey will work if you don’t need it to be vegan but I do not recommend maple syrup.

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Berries & Candied Almonds | edibleperspective.com #vegan #glutenfree

What are you cooking up this weekend? Any yearly traditions?

Ashley

Tuesday
Jul012014

Food Photography Tip of the Week |16|

Food Photography Tip of the Week |16|

The first 5 edits I make in Lightroom.

Many of you have asked about editing tutorials and showing the basics, so I thought for today I would show you the first 5 edit I make in Lightroom with pretty much every single photo I use. *Note: I am using Lightroom 4. Also, this is a tutorial for editing RAW photo files, not jpeg. For information on raw/jpeg check this post.

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

Let’s start with 1 setting I change with every batch of photos I bring in to LR.

After clicking over to “develop” mode I always check the “Soft Proofing” box so the background behind the photo displays in white instead of gray. I feel the white background allows for much more accuracy when editing color temperature, exposure, and shadows.

When I edit with the gray background and then upload them to my blog I always end up having to go back and make more edits.

 

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

Okay. Now let’s get started with the first 5 edits I make in Lightroom.

1 // Crop – I start by cropping to get the photo set the exact way I want. Sometimes a slight rotate is also needed but almost every single photo needs some amount of cropping.

In this case I had a gap at the bottom of the photo where the wood surface dropped off. This obviously needed to be cropped out.

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

2 // Clarity – When you shoot in JPEG clarity is automatically increased in your camera but in RAW mode this doesn’t happen. This is something you’ll need to manually increase. Clarity adds contrast to the mid-tones in your image, which ends up creating a sharper looking image. For most of my food photos I set clarity to “50.” If the image ends up looking too harsh around the edges I’ll lower the number and every once in awhile I will increase it past 50. This is probably the most powerful editing tool in my opinion and it doesn’t negatively impact the image with noise.

In people photos it’s very common that I only bump up the clarity to about 10-15. With people you don’t want fine lines popping out as much. You want faces to [generally] look softer. It just takes some play to get the hang of it.

You want to be careful with the clarity setting in making sure the photos maintain a “real” look and feel.

3 // Saturation – Shooting in JPEG also automatically increases saturation and this is another setting you’ll have to manually adjust when editing RAW photos. I typically increase this to 5. You’ll see very quickly you don’t need to bump the saturation up much at all. Once in a great while I’ll increase the vibrance [the setting just above saturation] but it’s rare.

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

4 // Color Temperature – Once I have the clarity and saturation adjusted to my liking I then adjust the color temperature if needed. I almost always have to tweak this to some degree. If you’re adjusting your white balance on camera you may be able to skip this step. I always keep my camera white balance to “auto” mode.

I rarely use the dropper to capture “true white” as I find it to rarely be accurate. The white background helps here to compare whites in your photo. I find that my photos are typically too warm [yellow/orange] and have to be cooled [blue] a bit. In this particular photo I decreased the temperature from 5900 to 5750. The tinting [greens/purples] did not need to be adjusted and typically just needs a slight adjustment, whereas the temp settings may need to change by 100’s.

Color temperature is the edit that drives me the craziest. It’s hard to get it just right and I even keep my screen calibrated [which I highly recommend]. Your photos will look different on every computer, phone, etc. you view it on because each screen is calibrated to display colors differently. Using a calibrator for your editing screen will help adjust your monitor to true colors as accurately as possible.

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

5 // Exposure – I like to get the colors and clarity as accurate as possible and then go in and make exposure [light/dark] changes to the photo. Typically, I feel my camera shoots a bit dark so I almost always bump up the exposure to some degree.

Exposure takes a bit of practice to get right. You don’t want to overexpose the photo or make it so bright that the light looks fake. Adjust slowly and compare with your earlier settings to see what looks best. There are other “light” settings that can fine tune the overall brightness/darkness/shadows in the photo.

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

So that’s it! From there, I adjust a few more settings but those are probably the 5 most important edits I make to my photos.

Here is a closer look at the photos after each edit was made.

ORIGINAL

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

CROPPED [Got rid of the bottom gap where the wood ended.]

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

CLARITY + SATURATION [Note the difference in detail between the above + below images.]

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

COLOR TEMPERATURE [The original was a bit too warm.]

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

EXPOSURE [I brightened the exposure by +.15, which was a very small increase.]

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

BEFORE + AFTER

5 Edits in Lightroom for Food Photography | edibleperspective.com

I hope you found this intro to editing photos in Lightroom to be helpful! I always love hearing from what you want to see for these posts, so feel free to let me know in the comments!

Happy editing!

Ashley

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