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
Sep102014

Loaded Baked Potato Skins

Some days I just want to show you food and not talk your ear—errr, eyes—off. Today is one of those days.

Let’s get our grub on. You in?

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Print this!

Loaded Potato Skins gluten-free, vegan option // yields 12-14 filled potato skins

Potato Skins:

  • 6-7 medium russet potatoes, varying 3-5 inches in length + scrubbed clean
  • 2-3 tablespoons refined avocado oil, or other high heat safe oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped lacinato/dino kale, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed + drained 
  • 1+ tablespoons chipotle adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • sharp cheddar cheese, optional

Avocado Crema:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice from 2-3 limes
  • salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 400° F and prick your potatoes a few times each with a fork. Place in the oven on the rack for about 50-65 minutes, or until fork tender and soft to the touch. Prep all veggies during this time.

While the potatoes cook place your avocados, lime juice, and a healthy pinch of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and add more lime juice and salt if desired. I used 2 1/2 limes and a generous amount of salt. Scrape into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 450° F.

While the potatoes are cooling, heat a large pan over medium with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot add the onion and a pinch of salt and let cook for about 5-7 minutes until just starting to soften. Stir occasionally. Then add the chopped bell pepper and corn and let cook about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Then add in the kale, black beans, adobo sauce [it’s spicy, so start with less], oregano, salt, and pepper. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until the kale starts to wilt, then taste and add more adobo sauce, salt, or pepper if needed.

While the onion and peppers are cooking carefully slice each potato in half [lengthwise] with a sharp knife. Holding the potato in your palm, gently scoop [from one end to the other] out about half the potato and place in a storage container. Repeat with all potatoes. [Keep extra potato sealed in the fridge to eat another time.] Rub or brush all sides of the potatoes with oil. Place the cut side down on a large baking sheet and sprinkle each with salt. Place in the oven for about 5-7 minutes. Flip over to see if the cut side is crisped and browned. If so remove the potatoes from the oven [keep the oven on].

Flip all potatoes over and lightly salt. Fill each with the bean mixture and top with freshly grated cheese if desired [leave the cheese off to make vegan]. Bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve with avocado cream, hot sauce, cilantro, etc.

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Notes: Chipotle adobo sauce can be found in a small can in the ethnic aisle of your store. Do not use the chipotle peppers in this, just the sauce. If you can’t find it you can sub 2 tablespoons of smoky salsa or regular salsa with smoky hot sauce drizzled in.

Loaded Baked Potato Skins | edibleperspective.com

Chow time.

Ashley

Monday
Sep082014

Food Photography Tip of the Week |22|

Food Photography Tip of the Week |22|

What’s inside my camera bag?

When I was just starting out learning photography—and really still today—I was always interested in the gear other photographers were using, especially which lenses. One things for sure, camera gear is expensive. My collection has been s.l.o.w.l.y. growing over the past 5 years.

It all started with a bunch of gear Chris bought. I’m sure you’ve read the story but here’s the Cliffs notes version. Chris bought an entry level dSLR and 4 lenses to start learning photography when we lived in Charlotte. After moving to Denver and starting Edible Perspective I basically hijacked the camera after previously swearing off ever learning how to use it. One of the lenses he first bought was the “nifty fifty” which is the Canon 50mm 1.8. It’s basically the lens everyone buys because it costs $125 and takes pretty dang good photos.

I rolled with this setup for about 2 years:

I then upgraded to the Canon 50mm 1.4 which may seem kind of silly after already having the 1.8 but it’s a much higher quality lens and is still fairly inexpensive [$399]. The quality of the lens body is more durable, the lens is noticeably sharper, I felt the colors were a bit more vibrant, and it also operates much more smoothly and quietly when hunting to focus on the subject. Plus you get a little boost in aperture capabilities going from 1.8 to 1.4. The 50mm 1.2L jumps up significantly in price [$1550] which wasn’t in the cards at that point.

I pretty much stopped using the Tamron because I wasn’t impressed with the sharpness and only used the 50mm 1.4 for about 1.5 years.

The Rebel body was limiting, though, with the max ISO at 1600 and really only usable to 800. It was great to learn on but I needed an upgrade. About 2.5 years ago I researched and bought a refurbished Canon 7d body and used that with the 50mm 1.4 until March of this year when I bought the Canon 35mm 1.4L [it was $100 off at the time for $1330]. My first L-series lens! I landed a sizable freelance job and made the purchase immediately after deciding that was the next lens I wanted.

photo 3

My current body + lens setup:

  • Canon 7d
  • Canon 35mm 1.4L

[I also have the Canon 600EX Speedlight flash for wedding photography and I’ve also used it for product photography.]

Pretty dang simple.

Since buying the 35mm lens I have yet to put the 50mm back on. The sharpness and wider frame are such a huge upgrade that I’ve never had a reason to switch it back. Plus, the 35mm is awesome for portrait photography. The wider frame makes a big difference and you don’t have to stand back nearly as far to get your subject in the frame.

I absolutely love the Canon 7d but would love the extra ISO boost [among other features] with the 5d Mark iii. That’s still a ways off, though.

So what other gear is stashed in my bag?

Food Photography Tip of the Week - Inside My Camera Bag | edibleperspective.com

  • This shoulder sling camera strap is amazing. The camera hangs right at your hip and you can easily slide the camera up to your eye. I don’t use this much at home but when I’m out or shooting families, weddings, etc. it’s a mush have.
  • Memory cards [compact flash] – You may not need a 32GB card if you’re just taking food photos for your blog but that one is a must have for wedding photography. I think the 16GB and 8GB are good to have for food and general purpose. I always role with the SanDisk brand and have never had any issues with them. I always reformat the cards after uploading to my computer.
  • Lens Cleaning Kit – You’re bound to get dust and smudges on your lens or lens filters. Never wipe them with a towel! The air blower [not pictured] is key to blow dust particles off so you don’t brush them into the lens glass.
  • Extra batteries – I have 3 batteries which I always have rotating in the charger and ready to go. It’s the absolute worst if you’re in the middle of a shoot and your battery is dead with no backup. I’ve had really good luck with the off brand battery I linked to.
  • Camera Level – This is such a useful tool when you’re using a tripod! It slides right into the hot shoe slot.
  • Remote Shutter – I talk about this awesome tool more in this post but it basically lets you activate the shutter away from the camera, which is super usual for motion shots. Be sure the remote shutter you buy is meant to connect to your specific camera.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - Inside My Camera Bag | edibleperspective.com

I’m still using the original tripod Chris bought years ago. It’s a Velbon brand tripod, but I can’t find the exact model.

So what bag do I put all of this gear in? When I’m traveling or doing a simple portrait photo shoot I usually roll with the bag below. I found this on Etsy years ago and it has held up amazingly well. It’s very comfortable to wear and not at all cumbersome. I absolutely love it!

Food Photography Tip of the Week - Inside My Camera Bag | edibleperspective.com

There are two pockets [in the back and front] to hold small items like batteries and memory cards and then 3 areas in the center to hold a camera with a smallish lens on and 2 other lenses or lens and flash, etc. It’s also great at holding 1 camera and a lot of airplane snacks.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - Inside My Camera Bag | edibleperspective.com

When I shoot weddings the Domke bag below is what I use. Chris bought this for me about three years ago. It’s not as “everyday” as the bag above but is meant to serve a different purpose. It can hold 1 camera body with 1 lens, a second camera body [I rent a second when shooting weddings], 1 more lens, and external flash. The thick canvas material is super durable and although larger it’s still comfortable to wear.

Food Photography Tip of the Week - Inside My Camera Bag | edibleperspective.com

So what’s next on my gear wish list?

  • Canon 5d Mark iii
  • Canon 24-70 2.8L
  • Canon 100m macro 2.8L

What’s in your camera bag or on your wish list?

Ashley