Saturday, December 28, 2013

Outtakes- Wolftree Recipes

Hello dear reader,

Today I just wanted to share some outtakes from a granola recipe shoot I did for Wolftree this past fall. Please check out the recipe and the story behind it, which can be found on Wolftree's Website! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas, and that you are gliding happily into the New Year!!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas and Sibling-hood

Happy holidays my dear readers!

Today I am sharing some portraits of my brother, and, as the holidays draw near (really really near!), I find myself thinking about the way in which holidays bring families together. I remember being a child and loving Christmas, because everyone was cheerful and we naturally balanced time together with quiet time alone (usually playing with our new toys). As I got older Christmas became more tense as my brother and I began to draw apart. As our relationship deteriorated so did our enjoyment in each other's holiday company. Fortunatly over the past few years my brother and I have been slowly rebuilding our relationship, and becoming... well I like to think that we have become friends. There are still rough patches and topics that we avoid discussing, but we have gotten back to the point where we can joke around and enjoy being in the company of the other. I am looking forward to this Christmas in part because it means I will be able to spend more time with my brother, and hopefully continue to get to know him better as a friend as well as a sibling.

Is there anybody you are looking forward to learning more about this Christmas?

May your holidays be filled with joy,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Taking Back Christmas

Hello everyone and happy holiday season!!

I love the holidays, and if you are like me, you are humming Christmas carols, checking people off of your shopping list, and waiting patiently for the Christmas season to start. This year I have three Christmas', which means lots of food, laughter, and lots of gifts to be swapped. I. Am. So. Excited. 0.0

However, if you had talked to me three years ago my outlook on Christmas would have been quite different. Growing up I loved Christmas, but after working the holiday rush at Target for three years I must admit that my holiday spirit was incredibly dampened. Instead of a time to enjoy people and connect, Christmas became something to dread and be critical of. Instead of appreciating the holiday giddiness that surrounded me, I grumbled and called the shopping stupid and got frustrated at all the little silly things people do when holiday shopping/returning their earlier holiday shopping. Christmas music became annoying- not so much because of the stress of working late night retail over the holidays, but more because I was in choir and we started singing holiday tunes in October and by December I had become tired of hearing holiday jingles.* In total, my holiday joy was crippled.

And the worst part was, it took me a while to realize it. I couldn’t see the changes, because, like many changes, these ones started out small. A grumble here. A murmur there. A shared laugh over a sarcastic Christmas themed joke with co-workers. I didn't notice that what I really loved about Christmas was slipping away from me. I still had fun buying gifts for those I cared for and spending time with my family. I told myself that I was still infused with the joy of the season, but I wasn't. It wasn't that I turned into a green Grinch or was cruel to those who hadn't had their holiday spirit dampened, but I had become blind to the magic and the joyful glimmer that surrounds the season. I no longer focused on the positives, and the negatives became a source of constant irritation.

But I did eventually realize it, and for the past two years I have been working to take back Christmas. Being out of direct retail has helped, but what really helped was me making a conscience effort to harvest the positive aspects of the season and use them to counteract the negatives. So this year I started humming Christmas tunes in July (which was probably a bit too soon) and started my Christmas shopping in August (the Christmas crowds stress me out a bit, so thank goodness for internet shopping). I am looking forward to my three Christmas celebrations, to spending my first Christmas with Bob's family this weekend, my second Christmas with my immediate family and with my 'not really blood related but you are my family' family (you know who you are), and my third Christmas with Bob, my dear friend Cathy, Anne, Darrin, and my parents. I am looking forward to learning the holiday traditions of others and enjoying my own. I am patiently waiting to see the looks of surprise on Anne, Darrin, Bob, Cathy, and Bruce's faces when they find their stockings and open their gifts. For the laughter and the "oh you shouldn't haves" and the "oh no, really I should haves." I am excited to team up with my Mother and Brother (if he makes it for Christmas eve *fingers crossed*) to convince my Dad that we really do open one gift Christmas Eve every year. To wake up on Wednesday and jump out of bed and race around the house excitedly calling everyone to the tree, to see my parents purposely insist on waiting to open anything until after they have brewed fresh coffee and had a cup and a bite to eat, to pretend to be annoyed by their purposeful delays. I am taking back my Christmas spirit, and immersing myself in everything the season has to offer.

How are you taking back your Christmas spirit?

(Sneak peek of a portrait series of my brother)

*P.S.: I loved being in choir and in no way am I trying to discourage people from participating in choirs or practicing Christmas music. I fully understand that choirs practice the compositions early because they want to perform them perfectly for their audience, and I think that is wonderful. Unfortunately, at the point in my life that I am currently referencing, I was struggling to remember those things and to appreciate the beauty and magic of the season.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meat Pie

Hello my lovely readers,

In light of the holiday season I would like to share with you the story behind my Mom's Meat Pie recipe. This story was written by my mother, who instilled in me a reverence for the written word from a very young age. When I think of my mom I remember the sound of her voice as she read my brother and I a bedtime story and sound of her laughter as she taught us how to find our way around the kitchen. I hope you enjoy her tale. 

Grandma Francios' Meat Pie 

It is the connections; memories, moments that resonate a strong emotion, or cause you to reminisce on a special event with an important someone, that make a recipe cookbook worthy.  In our family many meal conversations revolve around where we lived when we first had a meal, who shared the meal with us, or at what holiday or event we first experienced a particular food. 

Meat Pie is a French recipe that has was brought to America with the Francios family in the late 1800’s.  I am the 4th generation to carry on the tradition of making this recipe at Christmas in America.  Some things have changed due to “food technology;” we no longer say lard, or go to the butcher to grind up a chuck roast. Instead we use Crisco, and the cut of meat is determined by percentage of fat (80% for more fat or 93% is equivalent to ground chuck).

 Anyone who makes pies from scratch will agree the crust makes the pie.  In this recipe the crust recipe was never included.  The one I include is the best recipe I have ever encountered and was a gift from my dear friend Sue Klementz.  

As a child my Christmas began with Midnight Mass, followed with opening our presents.  While presents were being opened; Meat Pie was slowly baking in the kitchen.  The warm scent of cloves would slowly permeate the living room and suddenly someone would comment “I can smell the Meat Pie.”  As an adult my family opens presents on Christmas morning after reading the book of Luke.  Yet, the meat pie still bakes while we open presents, and when the smell of cloves reaches my olfactory senses I immediately think of my Grandmother Emma Francois and this family tradition. 

                                                                                                                               - Judy Klaus

The recipe can be found in Wolftree Magazine's ebook, "Five Pies and a Sugar Cookie," which can be purchased here. Also, please keep an eye out for more updates about a holiday series Anne, Molli, the Wolftree team, and myself collaborated on! The series will be published on Wolftree's website very soon and I am jazzed to share it with you! 


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pulla or Finnish Dessert Bread

Hello my dear readers,

Yesterday my family and I celebrated Friendsgiving. :) We invited those who weren't able to make it on Thanksgiving to our house for brunch, which consisted of Apple Pie, Apple Crisp, Peach Crisp, Pumpkin Rolls, Leftsa, and fresh Pulla (plus any leftover turkey, stuffing, or other leftovers from the Thanksgiving table).  It was a wonderful event, full of laughter and waves of those we love entering and leaving the house. We saw those who had been absent from our table for too long and those who we see almost daily gather around the table and connect. That's what this holiday season is about for me-it is about the people. The decorations are fun (and trust me, the Klaus house loves our holiday decorations), the food is scrumptious, but it is those who join you in decorating, baking, and eating that give the season its sparkle. So, this year, I invite you to focus not in the shiny tinsel and skillfully (or less thank skillfully) wrapped presents under the tree, but on the people who create and enjoy those items. Share dessert, make snow angels together, take walks through freshly fallen snow, or cuddle on the couch and watch a movie. Time spent with another person is a great gift, and this time of year is laden with opportunities to join in a discussion with an  acquaintance or with a dear friend. 

Below are images from the Pulla makin we did yesterday morning. The recipe came out of The Kinfolk Table, which can be purchased here. The recipe can also be found in a post on Kinfolk's website here

Wishing you the very best of the season,

P.S. All images in this post were taken with the Iphone 4s and edited with the Afterlight and VSCOcam apps. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

French Black Bottom Pie

Hello and happy Thanksgiving dear readers,

I hope that this post finds either you full of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie or waiting with anticipation for the meal ahead!! Today I would like to share the story behind my dear friend Cathy's Black Bottom Pie. The recipe was published by Wolftree Magazine in their e-book "Five Pies and a Sugar Cookie" which you can find here. Anne and I worked on compiling stories and creating images both for the e-book and for a series of holiday posts that Wolftree will be releasing in December, and I'm rather pleased by the result. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the tradition behind this wonderful family recipe.

French Black Bottom Pie by Cathy Field

            I have been lucky enough to have both my grandmother and my great grandmother actively participate in my life.  While these women have inspired me in many ways, none is more prevalent than in their style of cooking.  All of my holidays and family visits have been dominated by food, specifically good homemade Russo-German food.  This style of cooking is hearty and centers around two things, meat and dough. 
            My great grandmother Lillian lived her whole life in South Dakota.  She grew up on her parents’ farm and then, after marrying my great grandfather Henry, settled on her own farm just a few miles away.  Lillian’s sister Betty, however, married a military man and lived quite a different life.  Before WWII Betty lived with her husband in France, but when tensions began growing in Europe she was forced to return.  Luckily, she brought back this recipe for black bottom pie with her.
            The recipe has a fancier name that has long been forgotten by my family.  However, once you’ve made the pie and seen the beautiful distinction between the white fluff and the creamy chocolate, you won’t think twice about an inelegant title.  It has graced every family Thanksgiving I can remember, a fact that was insured by my refusal to eat any of the other pies my grandmother baked.  In fact this is the only pie I actually like (I am much more of a cake girl).
            While this recipe can be a little finicky, it turns out beautifully with a little patience and a few messy bowls.  French black bottom pie is just the thing to impress your friends, and will speak to those in your life who don’t traditionally love pie or the numerous pumpkin treats which populate the season.  I wish you the best in your baking endeavors and a merry holiday season.

 -Cathy Field

Outtake from Wolftree shoot :)

Have a fabulous rest of your Thanksgiving week(end)!


Friday, November 15, 2013

No-Shame November

Well hello dear reader,

Happy Friday! Most Friday's I post a photo on my instagram in which I share a random fact about me with the #thingsYouMayNotKnowAboutMe hashtag. I began this project because I wanted to allow people to get to know me, the person behind the camera, and also to challenge myself to trust you- the users of the interwebs- with personal details about myself. Well today I am going to devote this post to random details about my life and participate in No-Shame November.

"What is No-Shame November?" you ask. Well, I had no idea either until I read the post Molly Yeh recently created discussing the concept. From what I can tell, No-Shame November is a concept that encourages you to take the month of November and celebrate those guilty pleasures or behaviors that might normally lie south of the propriety line. So I've decided (perhaps unwisely) to participate in No-Shame November by sharing 10 slightly odd and possibly embarrassing details about myself. 

1) I spent my Wednesday night buying Christmas music on Amazon and Itunes.
2) I ran out of shampoo almost two weeks ago, and I've been too lazy to drive to Target and buy more. So I've been using the men's body-wash that my brother left behind when he moved out as shampoo instead (sorry Mitch). 
3) I also tried using dawn dish soap as shampoo- if you haven't tried it, and if you have another option, go with the other option. It will clean your hair, sure, but it takes ALL of the oils with it (including the nice ones that your hair needs).
4) I cut myself shaving for the first time ever this week.
5) I clearly spend too much time in the shower (3 out of the first 4 options are shower related... whoops)
6) I had a food fight in a bar last night, and we didn't get kicked out. 
7) Centipedes and millipedes creep me out- too many legs *yuck* 
8) I have been recording reruns of House to watch in the evenings in an attempt to lessen my addiction to the BBC show Sherlock. It hasn't been the most successful strategy.
9) I think dystopian novels are awesome, but I only read one a year (roughly) because they make me sad and I get so emotionally distressed over the characters and the society that is being portrayed that I literally get ill- my tummy starts to hurt and I get moody and tired.
10) I am terrified of the thought of people judging my grad school applications and expecting me to have aspirations to change the field of library sciences. I don't have huge, field-changing aspirations. I want to work in a library because books excited me, the inspire me, and they challenge me to view the world differently. For me knowledge is precious, and the idea of spending my days being challenged to learn and helping others locate information that will further their own quests for knowledge thrills me. The idea for my ISBN project occurred to me while I was working at the Chester Fritz Library, and many of my photographic inspiration comes from both fiction and non-fiction literary works.

What about you? What will you use No-Shame November to celebrate? 

Outake from a project I collaborated with Molly, Anne, and Wolftree Magazine on. Taken with my Nikon D60 and edited using VSCO film.

Long Live Libraries ;),

P.S. You can read more about No-Shame November here (Molly Yeh), here (Anne Gillie), and here (Free The Leash Children). :) 

P.P.S. UPDATE!! I DID GO BUY SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER TODAY! :) I thought you should know. ;) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Brianna on Film

Hello my fantastic readers,

It seems that winter has finally settled into the Red River Valley, and we received our first snow fall that didn't melt last Sunday! I know that many of my fellow North Dakotans are less than pleased by the chilly temperatures and frosted windshields, but I find myself humming Christmas carols and rejoicing in my ability to wear my thick sweaters again! Winter is my favorite season, and as the holidays draw nearer I find myself smiling more and more at the grey skies and the cold sting of snowflakes melting upon my nose. 

You may remember the blogpost I published earlier this autumn featuring images of my handsome best friend Bob! Well, on that same roll of Kodak Portra 400 I was fortunate enough to capture some stunning images of the lovely Brianna! (Can a girl get any luckier?!) These gems were taken while we were working on Brianna's image for the ISBN Project, and were totally unplanned. They were all shot on a Pentax K1000 using Kodak Portra 400 film and were processed by the FIND film lab. I hope you find them as special as I do. 

Drive safe and keep warm,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sleepy Saturday

Hello again,

I am writing you today from the Minneapolis area, and I just wanted to share a quick shot that I took this morning in between taking a nap and working on some images for Wolftree Magazine. If you haven't checked out Wolftree's new website you totally should! The series they published in V. 2 is now on their website! I hope that you are all having a nice, relaxing Saturday! Today Bob and I have done nothing but shoot, eat, read, and watch the wild game and Sherlock on Netflix. It has been fabulous and perfect day, just what Bob and I needed after the crazy busy (but amazing) past few months! :)

Till next time,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Hello my lovely readers,

I am technically writing this the day before Halloween, but I figure that most of you probably will read this tomorrow ( it is almost 10 after all! *gasp*) and plus, I wanted to wish everyone a happy Halloween a little early! (Wait till Christmas, it is my favorite holiday and I am already dreaming about pine trees and singing Christmas carols!) Anyways, I hope that you are all going to have an amazing Thursday and that you spend your All-Hallows Eve in good company! For some of you that might mean dressing up in crazy costumes and partying until the wee hours of the morning, and for others it might entail a quiet night at home watching Netflix and handing out candy to children, but I hope that whatever your choice you have a smashingly wonderful time! :) 

This photo was taken with Icarus (my Nikon D60) and edited using VSCO's 02 film pack in Photoshop.

Till next time, with wishes for your good health and happiness,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Itasca- The Film Shots

Hello my lovely readers,

Happy fall! Or should I say winter? We had snow today in North Dakota, and while it was beautiful I did feel a faint twinge of pain at the thought of fall being over already. I have been a busy bee lately, as I am partnering with Anne Gillie, Molly Yeh, and the wonderful people at Wolftree to make a holiday Ebook! You can fine more information about the Ebook Cookbook on Wolftree's blog, as well as read guest posts by Anne and I. I am super excited to share these yummy treats with all of you- the Ebook is set to release November 15! If you can't wait that long and want to spend your Saturday learning to cook with the talented Molly Yeh, consider signing up for Wolftree's cooking event on November 9th! All participants get a free early download of the ebook! That's right, you cook with Molly AND you get a free download of the Ebook an entire week before it is released!! :)

As excited as I am about the future, I would also like to take a moment to share some images from the past! Below are some of my film shots from Itasca State Park. I took these over the summer and sent them to the FIND lab about a month ago. I am thrilled with the way these turned out!

 Hope you all have a fabulous week!


P.S. If you want to see more film images that were processed by the FIND lab, check out this post.

P.P.S. All images were shot with a Pentax K1000 camera using Kodak Portra 400 film.

P.p.p.s. Sign up for the cooking workshop here: 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Chopping wood

Hello my dear readers,

Almost a month ago I spent a Saturday helping my best friend, Bob, chop wood. Bob's grandparents still use a wood burning furnace to heat the log cabin that they built from scratch. His Grandfather (also named Bob) used to chop all of the wood by himself, but as he got older and his kids grew older the family banded together to do the work. Now Grandpa Bob is able to supervise while the family chops and stacks the wood. :) 
I had never chopped wood before, and I wisely chose to avoid the sharp pointy axes and chainsaws. Instead, I gathered the chopped logs and loaded them into the bed of the truck. Once one truck was full it drove across the grounds where another crew waited to unload it and another truck pulled in to be loaded. 
We worked from 9ish (I think) in the morning until lunch, though I took a small break during the morning to go inside and have the most amazing cinnamon pull-a parts ever! Bob was laughing at me because I couldn't stop eating them- they were just too good! I didn't get the recipe from his grandma, but I saw a recipe in Kinfolk's new cookbook that looked similar. I am excited and a little nervous to try it out!   
Anyways, back from my digressing ramble about food, after that small breakfast break we returned to the yard and worked until lunch (which was potluck style and consisted of an assortment of homemade dishes contributed by different members of the group). With our bellies full we headed back out for the last stretch and chopped wood until 3ish. By this point clouds had begun to gather, and the Weather Channel was predicting a nasty storm, so we packed all the tools away and the family started catching up. We all sat and munched on apples and drank assorted refreshments and when the rain finally did hit I think we all headed home feeling like we had earned a good nights sleep. 

Overall the experience was fun and rewarding. It was really fun to jump in and help out, and it was more fun to see the men look surprised to see me working alongside them instead of watching the kids (or maybe they were just wondering who the heck I was- it was my first time meeting a lot of them). Plus there was that cinnamon bread- I don't think any event could be seen negatively if that bread was served at it. :)

Oh! Also I had people ask me if the tree that produced the apples used in my recently published spread "How to Eat an Apple" had survived (For those of you who are unaware, the tree produced so many apples that it split in two under its own weight!). I am pleased to report that not only did it survive, it produce delicious apples yet again! :) 

Also, I am currently working on an Ecookbook with the lovely people at Wolftree! It is set to be released on the fifteenth of October and I am super thrilled to be partnering up with Molly Yeh and Anne Gillie to do a bulk of the editing and photography! We are still looking for submissions however, so if you have a holiday tradition involving food please send us the recipe and the story behind it at! 

Below are photos I took with my iPhone- I hope to have the images from Icarus ready to be posted soon! 

I hope you are having lovely falls!


P.s. Hope to hear from you soon!! :)