Post Your Recipe for a Chance to Win My Book!

By | 2016-12-18T17:01:13+00:00 March 15th, 2011|28 Comments

Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4L IS lens, 1/30 sec at ƒ/5.6, ISO 100

As many of you may know I’m currently in the middle of writing a new book on food photography (available this August-ish). The fun part about this book is that I get to create a BUNCH of new photographs with all sorts of delicious food. It’s definitely been a pretty tasty last couple of months! :)

One of the fun parts is planning what food I’m going to prepare and photograph and I actually keep a separate binder filled with recipes, and also use services like Evernote to add ideas to the (ever growing) list. Then, every so often while working at my computer I’ll see someone post a recipe on Twitter, or mention a favorite food and I immediately imagine what that food would look like in a photograph. Then I started thinking that it would be really cool if I had some of you, my wonderful readers, offer your own ideas and possibly see a photograph of one of your favorite meals, or from one of your family recipes, in my book!

So, here’s the deal … post a comment below with a recipe, a link to a recipe, or just a basic food idea in general, and if I end up using it in my book then Peachpit will send you a copy of it once it’s release (sometime this summer)! Here’s the catch: it’s totally not going to be random. I’m picking the food that I think would look amazing in a photograph, something that might possibly show a unique styling technique, or maybe even just taste really, really good.

Here are some more details and FYI:

  • Please post the recipe, the link to the recipe or food idea in the comments below for it to be considered. Also, if you have a story about the recipe or a reason why you like it so much then feel free to offer that information as well!
  • There is no specific number of winners. It all just depends on what “fits” in the book around the other photographs and how many photos I need.
  • I would prefer if you don’t link to something with just a photo in it; if it’s already posted with the recipe that’s okay, but I want to go off of a written idea mostly and then create the visual part myself.
  • The recipe itself won’t be posted in the book, just the photograph.
  • Please keep your recipe postings limited to two.
  • This contest is on-going until I finish the book. Basically, if you can still comment below then you have a chance to win. I’ll lock the comments when time’s up, probably sometime in late May of this year.

Good luck!

The contest is over … Thanks for all your recipes! I used two delicious recipes from the comments below and will be blogging about the winners shortly. :)

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website,


  1. Dennis March 15, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Make Cheddar Jalepena Bread and a batch of chili (tons of chili recipes out there, I prefer a southwest twist).

    Jalepena Cheddar bread:
    1 teaspoon active dry yeast (less than a 1/4-ounce package)
    1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105-115°F)
    4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, including seeds and ribs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, without seeds and ribs (from 3 medium total)
    5 ounces coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
    1 1/2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup)
    1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

    Instead of cookin in loaf, make round bowls. Hollow out, add chili, sprinkle with cheese and top with small whole Jalepena or red chili pepper. Place top and bowl contents on plate to be “dipped” in chili. Southwestern spoon and plate add atmosphere, maybe a frosty mug of beer behind.

  2. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots March 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Here’s a couple of my favorite dessert recipes from my blog:

    {Secret Ingredient} Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

    Nutella Souffles

    Cookie Dough Truffles

    Oreo Truffles

    Classic Chocolate Truffles

    White Russian Tiramisu Cake

    Almond Joys

    Oatmeal Lace Cookies

    Double Chocolate Pecan Pie with a Whole Wheat Crust

    Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

    Or, either one of my three favorite breakfast foods:

    Homemade Granola

    Whole Wheat Pancakes for Two

    Whole Wheat Lemon Blueberry Scones

    Thank you for the opportunity to be in your food photography book! :-D I know it’ll be great…I can’t wait to read it!

  3. Lynne March 15, 2011 at 11:44 am
  4. GayleV March 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I have really been enjoying all your food photography posts. Thanks for sharing your tips and setups! Here is my favorite cookie recipe.

  5. jkiel March 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Not only are her recipes yummy, she’s pretty handy with a camera too.

    (hm. food photography mashup? I’m there!)

  6. Iza March 17, 2011 at 5:07 am

    This is one of my favorite recipes recently -baked doughnuts:
    I also think it photographs great :). Good luck with finishing the book!

  7. Bryan March 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Soup is a tough food to photograph, but this one has a nice color and the dark black color of the rice adds a nice texture. The recipe is designed for camping. At home, you can use canned cream of chicken soup. It’s best with wild rice harvested from Minnesota. This would make a cool picture being cooked over a campfire. That’s why you should use it in your book.

    Here’s the link:

  8. Jeremy Hall March 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Nowhere near your amazing food work, but my wife and I have enjoyed collecting some family favorite recipes on our family blog. It’s a great collection of recipes chosen for their yummy factor, and I try to make a decent photo of them for the post.

    You can browse the selection of all good choices:

  9. dusanmal March 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Lemon Tarragon Lobsters

    – N 1.75-2.5 lbs live lobsters (smaller or larger not fit for recipe)
    – N 1/2 sticks of butter
    – N regular size lemons
    – 2N+1 teaspoons of dried tarragon
    – 2N+1 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives
    – 1 teaspoon of dried majoran
    – 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
    – 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
    – 2 teaspoons of black pepper
    – 2 dashes of salt
    – N cobs of corn
    – 14 or less quarts of water

    Cookware required: 16 Qt pot, N baking trays, …

    -Cut all butter in 1 inch chunks and place in microwave safe bowl
    -Collect zest of all lemons used an place over the butter
    -Squeeze juice of all lemons and pour over butter (save lemon shells)
    -Add 2N teaspoons of tarragon, 2N tablespoons of chives, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and dash of salt to the butter.
    -Microwave butter mixture for about N/2 minutes. Mixture should be just melted, maybe with few small butter chunks still around, stir and they should dissolve. Adjust for your microwave power.

    In 16 Qt pot bring water, majoran, thyme, oregano, 1 teaspoon of tarragon, 1 tablespoon of chives, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, dash of salt, all squeezed lemon shells and N cobs of corn to rolling boil and keep it there, preferably at full power.

    Add one live lobster at the time to the boil. Cook for number of minutes equal to individual lobster weight in lbs (ex. 2 min for 2 lbs lobster). Remove, let it rest. Finish all lobsters. Leave pot boiling until corn is done to your taste.

    Preheat broiler at high setting. Put grate at top level.

    Split each lobster in half. With hammer smash cracks and holes in claws and leg segments but do not take apart or smash too much. You are just providing place for sauce to seep in and easing effort needed for these parts to be eaten. Place both halves of each lobster in one baking pan shell side DOWN. You may line pans with foil, lobsters are to be served in them… Put one corn cob between lobster halves. Repeat for all lobsters. (Definitely remove all rubber bands from lobsters :) ). Twist claws and tail section so that lobster halves are laying nice and flat.

    Stir melted butter sauce and pour carefully equal parts of it over each lobster. Pour over tail meat and over smashed holes in legs and claws.

    Place one lobster baking tray under broiler at the time. Check frequently. Expect about 2 minutes per lobster but trust your eyes. Lobster shell should not get overly charred, that’s too much. Little black here and there on the shell is perfect. Corn will char somewhat too, as intended.

    A lot of sauce will migrate into the pan. Have heat resistant vessel ready. After each lobster is done, pour most of sauce that have migrated to the pan into the reserved vessel and than from it back over lobster parts, evenly.

    Repeat for all lobsters and serve in baking trays.

    Suggested drinking: Kumeu River Chardonnay, La Cana Albarino, Martin Codax Albarino, Gaujal de Saint Bon Languedoc,… (whites, all recent years are friendly to this lobster recipe).

  10. Martin Joergensen March 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm


    Just discovered your blog recently. Nice works and some great reads as well as really nice photos.

    My submission for a dish is both very good looking with some great colors still being subtle, very tasty and my very own too.


    Fish in creamy sauce
    This one is my own and one of the favourites in the family. It’s simple and fast, requires little preparation and tastes wonderful.

    You need:
    * Olive oil
    * A couple of leeks or one or two bundles of spring onions
    * A couple of fresh, sweet carrots
    * 2-3 deciliters (1-1½ cups) of full cream
    * Mustard (strong French Dijon is good)
    * ½ deciliter (1/4 cup) of capers – pickled berries of the caper bush
    * 3/4 kilogram (1½ lb.) of lean fish fillet without bones and skin. Cod or similar white fish is best, but trout or salmon can do.
    * Lemon juice and zest
    * Salt, pepper, nutmeg

    You do:

    1. Cut the fish fillets into regular serving size and remove all bones
    2. Chop the leeks or onions and carrots into thin slices
    3. Sauter (fry while stirring, giving no color, just softening) in oil on a deep frying pan for a couple of minutes. Put in the carrots first.
    4. Add a teaspoon salt and a bit of pepper
    5. Add the cream and boil for a while (5-10 minutes) till it starts thickening
    6. Add two tablespoons of mustard
    7. Add the pickled capers 3-4 tablespoons
    8. Stir and let boil for a minute
    9. Lay the fish carefully on top
    10. Put lemon juice, salt and ground nutmeg over the fish
    11. Let boil under a lid until done, which is approx. 5-10 minutes for most lean fish
    12. Shake the pan a bit from time to time. Don’t stir!
    13. Grate a bit of lemon zest over the fish before serving to add color and fragrance
    14. Serve with boiled, white rice and lemon slices

    I generally start boiling water for the rice at the same time that I start frying the vegetables. Giving the rice approx. 10 minutes boiling and 10 minutes to rest under a lid to finish will synchronize things almost perfectly.

    You can vary the strength of this dish a bit by using more or less mustard and capers. You might also want to add different supplementary vegetables. Carrots work very well and my friend Jens says that mushrooms do too. I personally prefer winter vegetables such as parsley roots, celery (the root as well as the stems), fennel bulbs and parsnip, Always sauter the hard vegetables first and the softest last before adding cream, and keep preparation time short in order to keep the vegetables slightly hard–al dente.

    And never, NEVER overcook the fish. As soon as it’s changed its color on the top, you serve the dish.

    Serve with a chilled white, not too crisp and dry. The dish does give some punch, so the wine needs to be able to punch back.

    I have often thought of shooting some pictures of the dish, but once the it’s ready, I’d rather eat than shoot…


  11. Andre Aguiar March 24, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Mariscada (post a pic on your twitter feed a week or so ago).

    Its essentially a put of seafood added to sauteed onions, garlic and peppers. The seafood can be anything you want but we typically add clams, shrimp, scallops, sole and a lobster or two (lobster is precooked, tail cut in half and claws broken off). This is cooked in a light tomato stew and can be served with linguine.

    Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale Soup)

    There’s the traditional way of making this soup or the easy way. Traditional way is boiling up some potatoes and then puree the potatoes using some of the water that it was cooked in (should be left with a stock that is not too thick). Place a piece of chorico (Portuguese sausage) and let it cook a bit more. Then add some Kale cut up julienne style.

  12. Kara E. Murphy March 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Here are my two favorite recipes – both desserts, of course. :)


    Prep: 15 min.; Bake: 1hr., 5 min.; Stand: 10 min.

    1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
    1 cup evaporated milk
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 package butter-flavored yellow cake mix (Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix)
    1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
    1 cup butter, melted (equivalent of 2 sticks)

    Optional for garnishing
    Whipped cream
    Ground nutmeg

    Stir together first 5 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture; sprinkle evenly with pecans. Drizzle butter evenly over pecans.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with Whipped Cream if desired. Sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired.


    For the Cookies:

    2 cups of all purpose flour
    2 tbsp cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    8 tbsp. butter
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 buttermilk
    1 egg
    2 tsp. vanilla
    red food coloring

    For the Frosting:

    8 0z cream cheese
    5 tbsp. butter
    2 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
    2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    Also…You will need some parchment paper, some scrap cardboard to make a heart template, and two cookie sheets.

    – Tear two pieces of parchment paper that fits the two cookie sheets.
    – Create a heart template from a scrap of cardboard. My heart was about 2 1/2″ horizontal and 2 3/4″ vertically. (Using cardboard makes it easier when tracing)
    – Trace hearts onto the parchment paper. I used a thick sharpie marker to make the lines easier to see
    – Place the drawn side of the parchment paper downwards on the cookie sheet.

    – Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    – In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
    – In a separate, larger bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy. (about 2 minutes)
    – Beat in egg
    – Blend in vanilla
    – Place the electric mixer on low, add 1/3 of dry mixture and beat, then add half the buttermilk and blend (repeat adding a little of each component, back and forth, until all mixed)
    – Add red food coloring until it turns the desired color
    – Put cookie dough into a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill in traced hearts on parchment.

    Bake for 7-9 minutes.

    They may not look “done” but they will continue to cook after removing them from the oven.

    Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack.

    – Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Next, add the vanilla. Lastly, incorporate the powdered sugar into the mixture in small amounts at a time.
    – Put frosting into pastry bag (same as with the cookies) and put frosting on half of the cookies. (*See picture #1 for example).

    ***Before I started frosting, I paired up the cookies according to similar size. This creates more symmetrical looking cookies.

    All that’s left to do is to put the sandwiches together!

    To do this, lightly press a frosted cookie and an unfrosted cookie together.

  13. Aparna March 26, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Difficult to choose just one or two recipes but a panna cotta ( or a parfait ( would be interesting to me because of the layers and textures.
    Always have difficulty shooting gravies so would like to see how you would approach achilli (

  14. Jeremy Korwek March 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    A single serving pie in a jar. My sister is using them for her wedding in September, and I get to be the test dummy. Making sure that they are “safe.”

    The Recipie

    The Photo

  15. Stephanie Frey March 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I am looking forward to the release of your new book. I purchased the “Canon 7D From Snapshots to Great Shots” and absolutely love it!

    This first recipe is a family favorite. With two daughters in college and a busy 4 year old, this one is so quick and easy to make.

    Asian Pasta Salad

    8 ounces cooked angel hair spaghetti
    3/4 cup carrot, julienned
    3/4 cup zucchini, julienned
    1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
    1/2 cup green onion, and tops chopped
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1 tbsp lime juice
    2 teaspoons brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (or flakes)
    1/4 cup seasame seeds, lightly toasted
    1 garlic clove, minced
    coarsely chopped peanuts or cashews
    fresh cilantro

    When you cook the spaghetti, break it into thirds upon dropping it in the boiling water. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Mix spaghetti and vegetables in a large bowl.
    Set aside.
    In a small bowl mix the oil, juice, soy sauce, sugar, pepper (or flakes), ginger root and garlic. Whisk to combine. Add dressing to pasta and vegetables. Stir well.
    Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to combine flavors. Right before serving stir well again and then garnish with chopped peanuts or cashews, green onion and cilantro.

    This one I just love because it is so delicious!

    Garlic-Herb Vegetable Bake

    Serves 4
    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Baking time: 30-40 minutes

    2 Zucchini, thinly sliced
    2 Large tomatoes, thinly sliced
    2 Baing potatoes, thinly sliced
    10 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    1 Whole garlic bulb, with outside skins removed and tops to each clove cut off
    2 tbsp olive oil
    10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange vegetables in a lightly oiled shallow 12 in circular casserole dish. Place the whole garlic bulb in the center of the casserole dish and alternate the slices of vegetables around it in overlapping circles. Sprinkle with thin garlic slices and chopped basil leaves.
    Lightly brush the vegetables with olive oil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
    Garnish with fresh whole basil leaves if desired. Sprinkle with sea salt or garlic powder to taste. If you baked the whole garlic bulb, then spread the paste from each clove on the vegetables or on toasted bread slices.

  16. Deanna March 28, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    What about “kid food”? Grilled cheese or chicken nuggets with a side of tater tots. I bet you could make that look really cute and delicious! :)

  17. This is my absolute favorite:

    Broiled Salmon with Marmalade-Dijon Glaze

    4 servings


    1/2 cup – orange marmalade

    1 tablespoon – Dijon mustard

    1/2 teaspoon – garlic powder

    1/2 teaspoon – salt

    1/4 teaspoon – black pepper

    1/8 teaspoon – ground ginger

    4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets

    Cooking spray


    Preheat broiler

    Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well

    Place fish on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray

    Brush half of marmalade mixture over fish and broil for 6 minutes

    Brush fish with remaining marmalade mixture and broil for 2 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness

    What I do…

    I don’t like using the broiler so I bake the fish until its half way done (half the pink looks opaque) and then I put half the mixture on it

    Then I bake the salmon another 10 minutes and then, put the remaining mixture on it

    Then cool salmon until it’s completely done

    The last time I used the broiler, my condo filled up with smoke, it was the dead of winter and I had to keep the windows open fanning the ceiling with a throw pillow until the smoke alarm shut the heck up.

    Stats per Cooking Light: Calories 377, Fat 13.4g, Protein 36.6g, Carbs 27.3g, Fiber 0.4g

  18. Larry Rosenstein March 30, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Last Christmas we were having friends over for dinner and I made a broiled salmon with an orange-miso glaze. The inspiration was an item on the menu at a restaurant near work. There are a number of recipes online, and I sort of combined several of them. For example:

  19. Lindsay Ostrom April 1, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Banana Monkey Bread: Biscuit dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked with bananas.

    Nuevo Cubano Panini: A cuban sandwich with black bean puree and mango slices.


  20. Ray April 22, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Hi Nicole,

    I love your food photography post as I’m also love food photography… Can’t wait for this book to come so that I can continue perfecting my craft!

    Last year, I made a Bagel Pesto Chicken Sandwich (you can see image here)


    * 1 pack of Chicken Sliders (I cooked in the grill)
    * 1 ripe tomato
    * 1 Avocado
    * Hand full of Baby Spinach
    * 1/4 cup of Pesto (homemade), but you can use store bought
    * 1/4lb Provolone Cheese
    * 1/4 Sliced Red Onion
    * Slightly toasted Wheat Bagel

    Served with some Chips..


  21. David April 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Orange Blossom French Toast- A favorite for brunch

    4 eggs
    1/2 cup of milk
    dash of fresh nutmeg
    dash of ground cinnamon
    Zest of 1 orange (or you can use orange extract :-P)

    Cut large loaf of italian bread at 45deg angle so you have lots of surface area to work with. Let set over night on tea towel.
    Whisk batter ingredients together.
    Quickly dip bread in batter (once each side)
    Place in non-stick pan with 1 tab of unsalted butter.
    Brown- flip- repeat remove

    1lb room temp unsalted butter
    1sm jar of orange marmalade

    Whisk/mix together until fully incorporated

    Garnish with 1 round scoop of butter mixture on top of 3 carefully arranged slices of hot french toast, dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!! Warm delicious syrup- optional :-D

    There isnt a link for this recipe, its one that we came up with while writing a brunch menu for a cafe I worked at back in college. Never wrote it down either, we always would eye-ball it till it was right. But thats pretty spot on for amounts according to the last time I made it (2 weeks ago…so tasty)

    All the best!

  22. Carrie April 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    These are not much to photograph but I bet you’ll be hard pressed not to eat the entire thing all by yourself.


    2 cups flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    2 cups Buttermilk
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    ¼ cup honey
    1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
    ½ cup chopped pecans
    ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
    ¼ cup sesame seeds
    ¼ cup poppy seeds **
    ¼ cup sunflower seeds **
    ¼ cup flax seeds, ground
    1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

    Preheat oven to 350º
    In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt…. Add buttermilk, brown sugar and honey. Stir a few strokes.
    Add cranberries, pecans, pumpkin-sesame-poppy-sunflower-flax seeds and rosemary. Stir.
    Pour batter into two 4”x8” loaf pans.
    Bake approximately 45 minutes till golden and springy.
    Remove from pans, cool on rack (even chill in freezer) – the colder they are the easier it is to slice them very thin.
    Slice loaves very thin, place in single layer on un-greased cookie sheet. (I use an electric meat slicer)
    Reduce oven to 300º
    Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake maybe 10 minutes more till golden.
    Keep in airtight container once they are cool.

    ** These are not part of the original recipe, but I like to add them anyway.


  23. Marcie April 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    YUM. Would love to see some beautiful photography of a veggie sandwich — sprouts, peppers, avocado, cheese, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, lettuce and more served up on some lovely artisan bread :D OR a lime or lemon tart. So yummy and so very pretty too! I think I have spring food on the brain …

  24. Jordan May 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    1 Pork Shoulder 4-6lbs (Place in cooker fat side up)
    1 Jar of Chili Sauce
    1 Can of Tomato Paste
    1 Cup of Chopped Red Peppers
    1 Teaspoon Salt
    ~ Cook on high for 5-6 hours. With 30 minutes left before taking the pork out, pour a 12oz bottle of dark beer over the meat.

    Take the meat out and let it stand for 15 minutes. Before serving, trim the remaining fat from the pork and slice accordingly. If you want, put some of the left over juices in a pan, add flour and stir for a thick gravy. ENJOY!

  25. Nick M June 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Wonder if it’s too late to enter the comp… prob is… but heres my wonderful recipe for Tabbouleh.

    • Nicole June 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Sorry, yes … but your recipe looks delicious!

Comments are closed.