Happy New Year! I am thrilled to introduce you to the new design of Up Close & Tasty! Woo hoo! I see it as fresh and full of possibilities… much like the year ahead.
After my blog was recognized as a Finalist for Best Photography by Saveur last year, it motivated me to make some enhancements for 2017. These changes aren’t just for me, they’re for my readers and my growing partnerships as well. With the new design, I will now be able to feature the brands, places and recipes that I love. With the new structure, you’ll be able to discover recipes you’re interested in. And, although the layout is different, my focus is still the same: Approachable recipes for the home cook with beautiful photography to inspire a connection between food and art.
Along with a new look, I’m adding Travel Stories to the blog this year. Travel inspires so much of my day-to-day life with Mike as well as my photography, so it seems natural for me to build on this. I wasn’t sure if I should share it quite yet, because there is only one travel post that is officially live right now. But, after thinking about it, I decided to look at that “one live post” as motivation to grow. In fact, a new travel story will be coming in February, because Mike and I are heading to Ireland! Any recommendations?
A big shout out goes to Raine Dalusong, who was the Web Developer behind the new design. Without her help, I wouldn’t be ready to launch and I feel very lucky that we could work on this together. She is talented, patient, detailed and really good at communicating to a “non-developer” like myself. If you find yourself in need of web development, I highly recommend reaching out to her. She’s truly amazing at her craft.
Finally, let’s talk recipes! I’m going to kick off the new year with a series of soups that are delicious and dairy-free! I decided to start with this Zucchini Soup recipe that my Mom gave me. She always welcomes Mike and me with hot soup when we visit her and this has been a long time favorite of ours. It tastes so smooth and creamy it’s hard to believe that it’s actually good for you. If eating healthier is on your to-do list like it is for me, then you’ll definitely want to stay tuned.
You should also check out my Super Green Smoothie.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
3 large zucchini, chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. Sauté the olive oil, onion and garlic over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the pepper and the ginger and continue to stir.
3. Add the zucchini and the chicken broth.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until zucchini is softened, 45 minutes or so.
5. Using a Vitamix or immersion blender, puree the zucchini until the soup is creamy and smooth.
6. Garnish with pepper, olive oil, cilantro or other seasonings of your choice.
Note: I used Spice Merchant’s VooDoo Blend seasoning.
All images © Regan Baroni 2017.