Commercial food photography for The Canadian Cottage

Canadians are recognised internationally as a friendly bunch so as I’ve got to know a local Wirral-based business called the Canadian Cottage, working together made a lot of sense. The Canadian Cottage aims to bring products popular in Canada to British tummies – and in my case Canadians tummies living in Britain!

Laura, who is the brains behind the business, asked me to shoot some pictures of her lovely goodies – without eating them first. Well, she didn’t actually say I couldn’t eat them but I cleverly realised that if I ate everything there would be nothing to shoot so I adopted the “no eating policy” as a basic code to abide by…

We started out with a few profile shots of Laura and then moved onto the goodies – starting with the maple cookies. I’ve ordered from the Canadian Cottage a couple of times and Laura asked me what my favourite is… Without even thinking I said the maple cookies.  These double layer custard cream-esk cookies with their maple buttercream centres take some beating in my mind.

Then there were the Nanaimo bars. When I make them they taste quite nice but are all a bit of a mess with ragged edges and crumbly bits – Laura’s were perfect to look at so after envying them (and then photographing them) we moved onto the peanut butter truffles.  And then the butter tarts, maple pecan tarts, chocolate chip cookies, ginger cookies, peanut butter cookies and the banana bread.  Is your mouth watering yet?  In the Canadian Cottage shop there are a couple of selection party packs you can buy so I took some photographs showing what these looked like as well.


We worked outside in the garden under the shade of an umbrella so the lighting was lovely and soft and the weather was fantastic. So there I am outside in the sun, enjoying being warm, photographing some of my favourite things to photograph while being able to discuss Canadian things to someone that understands.  We both agreed that this work stuff took some beating.

And to top it off, when we were done I left the shoot with a little care pack of cookies. Oh my goodness – the Peanut Butter cookies.  Are these my new favourites…?  I just ordered some.  And some of the ginger ones too.  I mean it would be wrong not to give this lovely company my business, right…?! 😉

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edinburgh again….

I’ve been busy in my new job taking trips up to Edinburgh to support a project we’re working on up there.  There are worse places to go for work, that’s for sure – but Sunday evening when I was on my way there I begrudged cutting my weekend short a wee bit…. And I have to do the same next weekend.  But it’s only short term and it means by the time Thursday night rolls around, I’ll have done my hours for the week.

Stella went for her first hair cut on Friday which I don’t think she was too impressed about but you’re supposed to do these things to get them used to lots of different experiences when they’re young.  And the matted bit behind her ear is gone and her ears don’t drag in her food when she eats now.  It’s funny actually because the groomer is the daughter-in-law (Andrea) of my Mum’s cousin (Bebe)  (are you following here….?) but I hadn’t seen her since Grandpa died.  I’d been thinking about the groomers but when I exchanged a few emails Bebe and found out that Andrea does grooming, I went for it.  She is a good contact in the doggy world – into agility training and home boarding too.

Saturday we took Stella with her new hair cut to Delamere and then to see Julie and Stuart and their chickens.  We ended up coming home with bags of apples and plums picked from their trees too which was a lovely surprise.  On the way home, we went to see Paul’s sister and the kids and heard the stories and saw pictures and videos of their time in Euro Disney.  They had a great time and they all have memories of the trip that’ll last a lifetime.

Sunday I baked up a storm with all the apples that I’d gotten from Julie’s trees the previous day: apple crumble, apple flapjack, apple sauce.  Rather than Paul and I eating them all ourselves, I will inflict these deserts on future guests!  So that’s why the freezer looks so full!

the history of the sweet calzone…

I enjoyed the weekend that’s just gone.  My friend Emily came over on Friday night for a sweet calzone feast….  The history of the sweet calzone started when some of us (myself and Emily included) went out for a meal to an Italian restaurant and were tempted to try this when we saw it on the desert menu.  It was very yummy and since there have been a number of attempts to replicate this desert which consists of chocolate spread, mascarpone cheese, sweetened pizza dough and maybe the odd marshmallow or two thrown in for good measure.  My efforts I think were reasonably successful but neither one of us managed to finish ours off.  I made a small one for Paul who wasn’t as excited about the extreme sweetness as we were…. To each his own, I guess!

On Saturday, Emily and I took a little tour around Liverpool and popped into a few shops and had lunch at Delifonseca.  Emily headed off but not before Stella managed to destroy one of her shoes.  Stella was inadvertently left unattended with the shoes and realised quickly that she was really very fond of them.  She came to find us and was all pleased to show us her new toys but only after the damage had been done…. It was my fault for not being a bit more on the ball but Emily assured me that the shoes were on their way out anyways.  Stella hasn’t really destroyed anything she wasn’t allowed/supposed to (i.e. toys) until now.  Guess she was saving herself…

On Saturday afternoon, Paul, Stella and I headed over to see his sister and the kids for a bit of garden/ball madness.  On Sunday we had a nice walk at Parkgate followed by a drink at a dog friendly pub called the Harp right on the estuary in Ness.  That was a neat place. Stella had a great run around with another spaniel in the beer garden.

I’m off on my travels to Edinburgh for a couple of nights this week so that makes a bit of a change…  I’m sure I’ll be glad to get back Thursday, though.  This coming weekend I’m looking forward to seeing Brent who is coming up for a camping trip to Delamere.  He’s just got back from Canada…. Hopefully another good weather weekend with opportunities to sit outside, go for walks and just generally catch up.