Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I love baking. I love the smells, the structure of following a recipe and the mess that becomes of the kitchen. There's always a story when I am baking and it's usually describing how my kitchen got as messy as it did.

I found this recipe on the food blog Add a Pinch. It's titled "The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}". And, it is. It's absolutely delicious and by far the best tasting cake I've ever made.

Behind the scenes, the actual structuring of the cake was pretty much a disaster. Not because of the recipe, but because of my lack of patience in waiting for the cake to cool "completely." 

The frosting started to melt and the top layer caved in, eventually splitting into four uneven pieces, leaving a gaping hole in the center of the cake (you'll notice no arial shots from this shoot).

After reassembling the cake and covering myself and the entire kitchen in frosting, the shoot ended up working out pretty well. I give all the credit to the gorgeous cake stand. 

Enjoy!
xo

Chocolate Cake Recipe
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

All Images © Regan Baroni 2014.

Posted on August 4, 2014 .

Lobster Tails with Mojo de Ajo & Grilled Corn Salsa

Mmmm...lobster.  When Mike and I were first dating, we were watching Rick Bayless make Lobster with Mojo de Ajo on tv and spontaneously decided to get a couple of lobster tails and make it ourselves that same night. Mojo de Ajo is basically a garlic sauce that you pour over the lobster... and it's absolutely delicious. 

Mike wanted to make Bayless's lobster recipe again and paired it with his own tasty riff on a grilled corn salsa. This was a challenge to shoot because I wanted to eat it immediately and will admit to sneaking bites throughout the shoot. I'm a sucker for all things seafood. If you are too, you'll definitely want to snag this recipe! 

xo

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Grilled Corn Salsa

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Lobster with Mojo de Ajo

All Images © Regan Baroni 2014.

Posted on July 27, 2014 .

Untitled

Salmon Belly Tartare with lava bean remoulade, seeded rye crackers & smoked roe

Salmon Belly Tartare with lava bean remoulade, seeded rye crackers & smoked roe

Crispy Squash Blossoms with house made ricotta & truffle honey

Crispy Squash Blossoms with house made ricotta & truffle honey

Pork Shoulder Spoon Bread with a runny farm egg & sriracha chow-chow

Pork Shoulder Spoon Bread with a runny farm egg & sriracha chow-chow

Striped Bass with house cured guanciale, white beans & dandelion greens

Striped Bass with house cured guanciale, white beans & dandelion greens

I am very excited to kick off my first restaurant shoot featuring a "hidden gem" in Chicago called Untitled. This place holds true to its name, located at 111 West Kinzie with two large, unmarked doors. When Mike and I walked down the stairs, we were blown away by the 18-foot tall ceilings and the dimly lit rooms that all seemed to have their own unique concept. There's even a whiskey library bar that has a wall completely dedicated to individual member lockers so that each can store their own bottles. There's a champagne & scotch room if you're feeling a little more fancy for the night. Oh, and if you're looking for live music, they have a room for that too. From the artwork and furniture to the carefully crafted menu, it's obvious that a lot of creativity was put into building a space that could feel open, yet intimate. The staff are all very friendly and knowledgeable and try to make sure that everyone has what they need.

As amazing as the space is, the food truly steals the show. Chef Joe Heppe & Sous Chef Bryan Collante are the duo behind a menu that features a variety of seasonal delicacies. Ranging from a daily oyster selection to a dry aged new york strip to whiskey ginger carrots, there is a little something for everyone. The chefs selected four items from their current tasting menu for me to shoot and each one completely blew me away. I really enjoyed using their space to capture their obvious love for food. I think I'll be dreaming about the salmon belly tartare for a while… 

Cheers! xo

All Images © Regan Baroni 2014.

Posted on July 18, 2014 .

Mike's Frittata

Hats off to my hubberino on this one. After visiting my Mom in MN and coming home with a bunch of gorgeous, farm-fresh eggs, I wasn't sure if we'd get through all of them. Mike decided to make a breakfast frittata inspired by Barefoot Contessa. (love her!)

I love everything about breakfast, but I don't always have the energy to whip something up the way Mike does. He's definitely more of a morning person than I am. I'm constantly impressed with his inspiration in the kitchen. It smelled, looked & tasted so good. Needless to say, it immediately inspired a shoot. The recipe is hands down delicious. Top it off with some amazing salsa for a little extra kick and a couple of mimosas and you've got yourself a brunch! 

xo

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All Images © Regan Baroni 2014.

Posted on July 15, 2014 .

Grilled Tomatoes

Mike was grilling up some tomatoes and yellow squash the other night and I wanted to play around with getting some shots of them. It was raining outside and the light was too gorgeous to pass up. I thought I'd share some of the shots since it's been at least a couple weeks since my last post. 

Thank you so much for sticking around with UCAT even with a delay in posts from time to time... the continued support means a lot to me! My fulltime job has been keeping me super busy these days and needless to say, I was soooo ready for the long 4th of July weekend to catch up on shoots again. I even rented a new lens to play with and it was a blast! Here are a couple of resources for lens rentals, if you're interested:

Borrowlenses.com
Calumet Photo

Overall, it was a really fun weekend of cooking and shooting and cooking and shooting... Mike really outdid himself and I'm very excited to share his recipes with you! Stay tuned!

xo

All Images © Regan Baroni 2014.

Posted on July 7, 2014 .