Photos by Signe Birck

Happy August everybody! I promise my lack of posts recently hasn't all been because of rooftop rose-sipping. I've been hard at work on a bunch of really cool projects, which I'll be able to share with you all as they come out! Signe and I recently had the chance to shoot and style a story for Gourmet Live that just came out today. The "Burger Bash" edition features an all-American menu including a juicy bacon cheeseburger with caramelized onions, homemade French fries with five dipping sauces, and a decadent strawberry cheesecake milkshake. (In case you feel inspired to recreate this menu, the recipes are all on Gourmet Live's website.) Though these aren't my recipes, I got the chance to cook and style them for the shoot and–I can say from first-hand experience–everything was delicious!

Of course, there's always a story behind the photos. Like the fact that it was nearly 100 degrees the day of the shoot. Not exactly ideal conditions for deep-frying and indoor grilling! At one point the whole apartment was filled with smoke (I don't have a hood above my stove!) and we had to open all doors and windows and air the place out. We also had enough food to feed an army after the shoot – good thing I have a hungry husband with equally hungry burger-loving friends!!

It was really fun to pick out props for the shoot. I bought most of the stuff (linens, old-fashioned milkshake glasses, plates, colorful straws) from the amazing Fish's Eddy near Union Square, and we bought the striped fabric from Mood Designer Fabrics in the Garment District. We set up everything by the window where the natural light was best, and shot away. It is so much fun to be able to cook, style, and shoot everything in my apartment–I sometimes have to pinch myself to be able to do what I love right from home! And working with the ever-talented Signe makes it even more fun...

Photos by Signe Birck

A word to the wise: though you can't go wrong with any of the dipping sauces in the above menu, I'd highly recommend the Saffron Mayonnaise and the Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip. I served the saffron mayonnaise later with grilled shrimp and ate the red pepper dip on warm pita bread as an appetizer.

Here's to another month of summer entertaining!!