L’Auberge Del Mar Wedding, The Film
Nick and Stephanie

Receiving film images from the lab is like a surprise extra day of vacation on an already epic trip - you're ready to pack it up and head back home when the airport calls, delays your flight, and you're suddenly granted another sweet day at the beach. We've already gotten to enjoy so much goodness from Nick and Stephanie's pretty-in-blush wedding, but then these film beauties have come along as a last sweet taste of lovely swoon-sauce. The flowers, the details, the dresses, the couple - oh my!

Enjoy this set of medium format film images - I know I'm simply overjoyed with the result and want to hug my Contax 645 camera and never let go!

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Hugs,

Erin


Wedding Photography : The Youngrens | Ceremony Location : L’Auberge Del Mar | Reception Location : L’Auberge Del Mar | Event Design : White Lace Events | Floral Design : Ashley Elizabeth Floral Design & Styling | Cake : Sweet and Saucy Shop | Shoes : Steve Madden | Bridesmaid Dresses : Joanna August | Make-Up : Misha Nesselrod | Hair : The Living Room | Band : West Coast Music | Reception Lighting : Tim Altbaum Productions | Gown Boutique : The White Dress | Linens : La Tavola Linen | Wedding Videography : Campbellicious | Rentals : Hire Elegance | Rentals : SD Interior Foliage | Stationery : Details Design Studio |


    

Jon Youngberg - Just wanted to say, I really enjoy your photos! Super memorable/classy/inthemoment. Such a find. Bookmarked!

Belmont Park Engagement, Part Two
Edric and Julia

The fun fun FUN continues today with Edric and Julia's engagement session at Belmont Park - the cute carnival area that's located at San Diego's most loved shoreline, Mission Beach. Julia and Edric were looking for a lighthearted engagement session that would feature their less-than-serious side and make them smile for years to come, so there's no better place for this than the bright and cheery Belmont with it's carnival rides, ice cream shoppe, extensive arcade, wooden roller coaster, and vintage carousel.  This session makes me smile just thinking about it, and if their engagement session was this fun, the wedding is going to be dynamite!

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What would a day at the carnival be without a waffle cone?

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After getting our fill of carnival fun, we walked over to the Mission Beach boardwalk and then down to the beach to watch the sun slowly disappear.

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These are definitely my favorites from the session. These next two feel so them.

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Such a sweet ending to a perfectly sweet day...

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Edric and Julia: It was nothing short of a blast hanging out with you two, and while we were excited to be a part of your wedding before, we are now officially STOKED. Your sweet and fun spirits are going to make our cameras very happy when the big day finally comes! Until then, keep laughing and don't quit being silly together!

Hugs,

Erin

    

Belmont Park Engagement, Part One
Edric and Julia

Love should be happy. I mean, why do we take it so seriously all the time? It's always joyful and fulfilling and challenging, but sometimes I feel like we lose the happy in the midst of all of the thinking and serving and pursuing of each other.

Edric and Julia are two silly souls with a dash of nerdy, and they make absolutely no excuses for it. And I love it. They are two busy people with fulfilling but demanding careers in education, but in the end, they come back to one another because they have fun together. They laugh and they smile when they're near one another. They love tea and indie video games and theater and cooking (Edric) and baking (Julia) - all activities that you shouldn't take too seriously in order to truly enjoy them.

And ever since we got to spend a few hours observing these two wonderful people through our cameras, I feel the same way about love. It's something that we shouldn't always take so seriously. Sometimes, we just need to spend time playing an arcade game or two and just have a few hours of fun.

Eric and Julia were looking for an engagement session that wasn't too serious and wanted a location could express their silly and upbeat personalities, so what better place than the colorful carnival of Belmont Park to bring out the kid in all of us?  The park has been recently updated to a fresher look, which was so fun to photograph with such an adorable coupleIt was the kind of session that kept me smiling for daaaaays afterward, and I'm totally smiling from ear to ear right now as I once again relive our wonderful afternoon.

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I adore the fall outfits that these two chose for their session - particularly Edric's tweed jacket. Such a classy-yet-charming look!

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We couldn't resist going inside the arcade and playing some old school games. Donkey Kong anyone? Frogger perhaps?

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LOVE. This is a favorite of mine from the session.

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Of course, we couldn't pass up the Claw and some Skeeball...

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Winner! Winner!

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Eric and Julie did so awesome at their games that they won some sweet prizes.

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We've got a whole lot more carnival cuteness coming to the blog tomorrow with the continuation of Edric and Julia's engagement session. See you in the morning!

Hugs,

Erin

    

Spatchcocked Turkey with Anise and Orange

So Jeff and I spatchcocked a turkey yesterday... and yes, we giggled every time we said the word.

A spatchcock is a turkey, chicken, or other poultry that has been flattened for grilling or roasting. Yes, flattened. There is no better descriptor, folks, than flattened. You remove the backbone of the bird, then stick your hand on the breastbone, and press down - hard - until it flattens like a little furry bear rug. Then you roast it.

I found an article and recipe on this method in Bon Appetit, and just couldn't resist giving it a try for Thanksgiving this year. The article said that flattening the bird allows the meat to cook faster at a higher temp, so the skin becomes crispy without drying out the meat. It's supposed to give the perfect balance of juicy breast meat, well done dark meat, and delectable skin, and it only takes about 90 minutes to roast! So Jeff and I picked up a turkey for a practice run, and took a stab (more like a slice) at spatchcocking. Of course, you can also have your butcher do this for you, but we had to try it ourselves at least once... Also, I should note that you need to use a small turkey for this method, about 12-14 lbs. Larger turkeys don't do as well.

Just a note to everyone that we used the entire Bon Appetit recipe to season and cook the bird, but you can use any recipe you'd like once you've flattened your turkey. If you're going to go with the BP recipe, though, keep in mind that it asks you to chill your bird overnight for 6-18 hours with the salt seasoning applied, so this is a day-ahead recipe and definitely NOT a day-of. We also made the Roasted Poultry Stock for the Rich Turkey Gravy (both from Bon Appetit) using the parts from the spatchcocked turkey, and it was DELICIOUS (put fresh thyme in the gravy at the very end - BONKERS GOOD).

Another quick disclaimer dear bloggy-blog - because spatchcocking is a form of butchering, there are going to be photos below of raw poultry and a turkey with a missing backbone. Normally, I wouldn't show these photos, but well, it's kind of the point of today's post. So if you have a sensitive stomach and are reading this while eating breakfast or snacking on brunch or enjoying an afternoon tea or otherwise tasting delicious food, consider yourself fully warned before reading on...

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Ok, I promise I'll make this part quick. After removing the neck and giblets from inside the bird (put them aside), grab a pair of strong poultry scissors or an electric knife to cut down both sides of the backbone.

spatchcocked turkey, bon appetit thanksgiving recipe, unique turkey recipe, spatchcocking, easy turkey recipe, small turkey recipe, flattened turkey recipe(Again, gross photo alert...) Cut from one end of the bird to the other, removing the backbone entirely. After I made a few cuts myself with the scissors, I made Jeff get out the electric knife and do the rest for me while I cringed from the corner of the kitchen. The scissors definitely weren't strong enough.  Put the backbone with the neck and giblets, and set aside.
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Once the backbone is removed, look inside the turkey and find the dark, oblong keel bone. It's right in the middle of the breast, so poke around until you feel it - it's surrounded by soft meat and I was actually surprised at how easy it was to identify (I didn't do so well in anatomy class). Use the tip of a sharp knife and score along both sides of the keel bone.  Cutting along both sides of this bone help the bird to flatten.

Now comes the fun part... Turn the turkey around so it's skin side up, place your hand in the middle of the breast, and press down HARD - like you're giving the turkey super overzealous CPR. In the polite words of Bon Appetit, "You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way" as the bird flattens into a shapeless pile. I just about fainted into a shapeless pile when Jeff flattened this guy.

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Ok, now we're ready to season and cook the bird, so we get to enjoy some innocently pretty photos with delightful colors and textures instead of dead poultry skin and cracked bones. First, you'll make your spice rub for the skin of the turkey, so start by zesting an entire orange and then half of another, keeping enough orange peel in tact on the second one to cut four big strips off tomorrow. You'll also need to toast the anise seeds in a skillet for 2-3 minutes until they're fragrant and remove the rosemary and thyme from their sprigs (keep the sprigs though - you'll need them the next day with the veggies. Aren't you glad I'm around to tell you these things?).

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Toss all of the seasonings (kosher salt, orange zest, brown sugar, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and 4 tsp of the aniseeed) into a food processor and finely chop.

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Now you have a delicious spice rub to slather all over your turkey.

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We made the mistake of rubbing the turkey with the salt rub while it was still on the cutting board and then transferring it to a baking sheet to chill overnight. Next time, I'll get the turkey in place on a short rack on a baking sheet first, and then rub it with the seasonings. A bunch of seasonings fell off during the transfer, and we had to re-rub a bunch of it on anyways. Let your turkey chill for 6-18 hours (I LOVE do-ahead recipes for holiday meals. In fact, all of my holiday recipes this year are do ahead, which cuts down on day-of prep and stress a TON.)

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Side Recipe: Once you put your turkey in the fridge to chill, use the backbone, neck, and giblets to make the Roasted Poultry Stock for the Rich Turkey Gravy. The stock is insanely delicious and definitely worth the effort instead of using a store bought stock. This was the first time Jeff and I made a homemade stock (it was a day of experiments), and we are officially believers in the process! The stock is a make-ahead recipe, and can be chilled for three days or frozen for up to three months.

When you're ready to start roasting your turkey the next day, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and chop your veggies, placing them in your roasting pan with the sprigs from the herbs and three heads of garlic cut in half. Take the turkey out of the fridge and rinse it completely, getting rid of the spice rub entirely. Put the turkey directly on top of the veggies and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

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Once your turkey has rested and your oven is heated, heat up a half cup of olive oil with the four zest strips from your orange and the remaining toasted aniseed. Cook until the oil is sizzling - about two minutes. This is the oil that you will brush on your turkey while it's cooking.

spatchcocked turkey, bon appetit thanksgiving recipe, unique turkey recipe, spatchcocking, easy turkey recipe, small turkey recipe, flattened turkey recipeBrush your turkey with the oil, put a half cup of water in the bottom of the pan, and put it in the oven to roast for 30 minutes at the high heat. This will do the initial crisping of the skin.

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Once the turkey has roasted for 30 minutes at 450 degrees, turn the oven down to 350 degrees, and continue to roast until it's reached an internal temp of 165 degrees, which should take at least another hour. Brush the turkey with oil every 20 minutes. It should come out perfectly golden and crispy brown! Once it's out of the oven, tent the bird with foil and let rest for 30 minutes. Please don't cut into the meat right away, my friend, or you risk losing all of the juiciness you've worked so hard to achieve. I'm begging you on this one. Use the drippings in the pan plus the Roasted Poultry Stock to make your Rich Turkey Gravy, and you have a Thanksgiving meal folks will be raving about for years!

Side note: If you're having a large number of guests, Bon Appetit recommends purchasing another small 12-14 lb turkey and roasting two birds instead of buying a bigger turkey. Again, larger turkeys don't do as well with this method. 

The verdict: I love that this turkey takes about 90 minutes to roast and produces the juiciest meat with insanely delicious crispy skin. So awesome! We'll definitely be making this turkey and gravy for our upcoming Thanksgiving, and now that we've had a practice run, I think it's going to be a dialed-in success. Fingers crossed!

I hope you enjoy your spatchcocking experience, and please let me know how it goes!

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Spatchcocked Turkey with Anise and Orange

(View original recipe from Bon Appetit)

  • 5 teaspoons aniseed
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup finely grated orange zest, plus 4 wide strips orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, sprig reserved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, sprigs reserved
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12–14-lb. turkey (neck, giblets, and backbone removed and reserved)
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 4 large carrots, peeled, halved
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 3 heads garlic, halved
  • ½ cup olive oil

Directions:

1. Toast aniseed in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool; finely grind in a spice mill or a mortar and pestle. (Alternatively, chop with a knife.) Finely chop salt, grated zest, sugar, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, pepper, and 4 tsp. aniseed in a food processor.

2. Place turkey, skin side down, on a cutting board. Use a knife to score down long oblong bone in the center of breast. Turn skin side up and press down on breastbone to flatten. You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way. Rub all over with salt mixture; place turkey, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill, uncovered, 6–18 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 450°. Arrange onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme and rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan. Rinse turkey, pat dry, and place, skin side up, on top of vegetables; let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat oil, orange zest strips, and remaining aniseed in a small saucepan until oil is sizzling, about 2 minutes; let cool slightly. Brush turkey with oil, add ½ cup water to pan, and roast turkey 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to roast, brushing with oil every 20 minutes, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°, about 1 hour longer. Transfer to a platter; tent with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

Hugs,
Erin

    

Sourdough, Sausage, and Chestnut Stuffing | The Youngrens | San Diego Photographers - […] on the menu is a spatchcocked turkey –  flattening the bird for maximum juiciness (if you haven't seen our post about spatchcocking […]

Leucadia Chiropractor - That looks delicious, and a great recipe for Thanksgiving. I’ll probably ask a butcher to do it for me, cause I know I’ll mess up the turkey one way or another. Do you have recipe ideas for leftover turkey meat?