London before Christmas

London before Christmas | Cannelle et VanilleLondon before Christmas | Cannelle et Vanille

Two weeks ago, I was invited by the Andaz Liverpool hotel in London to come experience the hotel and everything its neighborhood had to offer during the holiday season. It had been ten years since I had spent time in London and I had been eager to visit during Christmastime. The lights, the holiday markets, the hearty eats, mistletoe and wreaths in every corner… I loved the darkness too. Something so cozy about it although it did make it difficult to photograph some food and interiors. Such a magical time of year.

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pumpkin brown-butter cakes

Pumpkin brown-butter cakes | Cannelle et VanilleMontana | Cannelle et Vanille

I love winter for its silence.

I have this need to regenerate, so I hibernate. Partly due to exhaustion, but mostly because of darkness. I feel a lack of words lately and I mostly show the world around me through images. So I leave you with them. The images of snow and these brown-butter, spiced-pumpkin cakes.

And mostly, I hope you are enjoying the holiday season with all its bustle, peace and lights. xo

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Food styling & photography workshop with Sprouted Kitchen | April 11 & 12, 2015

Food photography workshop with Sprouted Kitchen | April 11-12, 2015

This year I had so many wonderful people come through the studio to teach and to learn. The collaborate spirit fuels me. Now I am very excited to announce that award-winning duo Sara and Hugh Forte of Sprouted KItchen will be teaching a 2-day food styling and photography workshop in my studio in Seattle on April 11 and 12.

They write and photograph one of the most respected food blogs. Their first book has the perfect combination of healthful, delicious and texture-filled recipes with photography that is warm, emotional, full of movement. And now their second book will be launching in March 2015. Hope you can join us!

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a guide to mushroom foraging

A guide to mushroom foraging | Cannelle et VanilleA guide to mushroom foraging | Cannelle et Vanille

I grew up in a family of mushroom foragers. It truly was a thing in the Basque Country – still is. Everyone I knew did it. Does it. Watched the weather for days, hiked for miles, returned furiously frustrated at the lack of funghi, always kept an ear open for by-passer conversations to see if they found something…. It is a big thing. I simply followed along. I walked behind my dad with a wooden stick in hand and wicker basket in arm. I really couldn’t tell you much about the different varieties but I remember the gigantic boletus that we sometimes found and the edulis. There were other varieties, their English names escape me. Gibelurdinak, in Basque. There was a level of excitement and even tension about the entire event that I loved, not to mention the beautiful hikes in the forest and time spent with family. It is always with the passing of time that I can appreciate how those days have shaped me.

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An apple, hazelnut and oat cake

Apple, hazelnut and oat cake | Cannelle et VanilleApple, hazelnut and oat cake | Cannelle et Vanille

I don’t have any tattoos although for a while I considered getting one. “What would it be?” Jenny asked. Like lightning, I felt an impulse… “a little tiny apple on my knuckle!”. No actual tattoo came out of it, but I do think about that spontaneous reply often. This simply to illustrate my love for apples and also this season. October is my favorite time of year when the bounty of summer collides with the preparation for winter. It is the nostalgia I feel for a childhood surrounded by apple and quince trees and rain boots.

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