I must confess that I sometimes go on egg benders. These are stretches of many months where I find it difficult to limit my egg consumption to no more than 2 decadent little eggs per day. They are a go-to breakfast, lunch and dinner staple in my house (even the dogs will cry and wail to lick the left over gooey yolks from my plate. Note that they do not do this for beef or any other food. weirdies). This post is a little bitty homage to a favorite food.


Bright creamy yellow yolks are the sign of a farm fresh egg. I’ll do back flips and drive to Burbank first thing Sunday morning for a flat of farm fresh eggs. Done deal. Personally, I’m all about the drippy, luscious goodness of the softest yolk possible. The art of the egg.

raw egg up close and incredible

So aside from the graphic visual delight of the raw egg, I’m constantly on the prowl for new ideas to make a poached egg a new experience. Today was a definite winner. It’s a perfectly poached egg (how-to secret to be revealed) atop brown butter baby portobella mushrooms with lemon thyme from our very own victory garden!

To perfectly poach an egg is easy peasy. Simply:

  •  bring the water in a shallow pan to a boil
  •  turn down to a simmer
  • add 1 or 2 tsp of vinegar to the water to help the eggs congeal and stay together for photo perfection
  • crack egg into cup and slowly slide it into the pan
  • turn off heat, cover and cook for 4 minute
  • remove gently with slotted spoon

VOILA! Beautiful, round poached eggs. Absolutely camera quality;)

For this recipe we made brown butter which is exactly what it sounds like, literally browned butter. It adds a depth of flavor and nuttiness to any old food you can imagine. No matter the dish, brown butter can make it sing.  Simply:

  • cook pats of butter on medium/high heat swirling or whisking frequently
  • it will begin to foam and change color to a rich brown and gain a nutty aroma
  • immediately take from heat and put in bowl to cool
  • (optional) cook the brown butter with sage for an even more complex and earthy flavor

Cooking any squash with brown butter is a real crowd pleaser. In this case, we used the brown butter to accentuate the earthiness of the mushroom and compliment the decadent richness of the egg yolk. Beautiful and mouthwatering.

Then we grabbed some lemon thyme from our trusty, organic victory garden (more to come on that in future posts) and pulled the teensy little leaves off to add at the very end.

thyme and sage from the Victory Garden


Saute the sliced mushrooms in the brown butter with some smashed garlic.

Poach 2 eggs as described above and sprinkle the tiny thyme leaves over the mushrooms. The difference is in the delicious details- the small nutty, lemony, herby details that make a simple breakfast something special. Enjoy!


poached eggs with brown butter baby portobella mushrooms

What’s your favorite way to enjoy the incredible, edible egg?

One part voyeurism two parts balls-to-the-wall visual hunt, flea markets aka “vintage antique markets” are an all out sensory explosion. The sounds of haggling ring through the air commingling with the gasps and squeals of marketers who’ve finally found that one piece they’ve been hunting for. In my case, my gasps and squeals are due to the 40 pound bags of plates and bowls I’ve been carrying on my shoulders through my 5 hour shopping spree! Despite the bruising my shoulders may suffer, a good flea market is a living, pulsing event and one of the only places I can reliably find rustic, vintage, well worn props. Where else can you find a vendor selling only retro Tupperware containers of all shapes, sizes, and functions!? Love it! Here’s a little peak (iphone happy snappy shots) at some of my fave grabs of the day. More to come as they make their way to the shoot table!

Where do you find your best pieces of inspiration?

Flea Market prop shopping

flooded with memories of yesteryear's school lunches

this might find a home on the wall before the shoot table!

cockadoo what a day, the sun is shining brightly!

long beach flea market

food photographer los angeles dessert crystal cartier

Mmmmm... just peachy

and shouldn’t all beginnings (…and middles, and sure, why not ends too…) begin with something sweet, tangy, full of texture and body. Something deliciously satisfying and slightly sinful. Well, I’ve got just the thing! Baked and food styled by Sienna DeGovia, an enormously talented food stylist and baker extraordinaire, this artisan peach pie is as tasty as it is visually delicious. Welcome to the beginning of posts about food, art, texture, culture, victory gardens and all the wabi sabi facets of deliciously visual living.

crystal cartier photography food photograph dessert

drooling over the details

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