Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

holiday session 2010

August 9, 2010

I am so excited to announce my 2010 Holiday Portraits Session.  To make this year more meaningful, I had organized a virtual food drive for Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.  Two session sitting fee will be donated to Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.   An 8×10 print will be given to individuals who donate $50 or more to my virtual food drive.  Please join me in the efforts to support LA Food Bank and spread the holiday spirit to the people in need.  You can directly make contribution to the food drive on the official website.  It’s tax deductible.  You can find out more information here:

Here’s the info for 2010 Holiday Portraits Session:

  • Session Sitting Fee: $250 per family (4 subjects, $25 per each additional subject)
  • 90-minute session, on location or at client’s home. please contact me for location options
  • 24 custom design press print holiday cards in 5×7 (flat) with envelops, available till November 30th, 2010
  • 15 high resolution images, 300 dpi in 4×6 on dvd
  • Private online gallery to share with friends and for print ordering

Additional cards, prints and custom design photo books can be purchased at regular rates.

I usually shoot portraits on weekends so session openings are limited.  Please contact me for availabilities and session locations.  Reserve your spot by emailing me at photos [at] joyceloo [dot] com

I may be in Buffalo/NYC area from October 20th thru 27th.  Please contact me if you would like to have a holiday photo session in the surrounding areas.

Looking forward to seeing you all in the next few months.  Thank you.

tavern | brentwood ca

May 26, 2010

I love Sunday morning family portrait session.  I am not a morning person and I always want to catch up some sleep on Sundays but Sunday is a perfect day to hang out with lovely kids and their family.  No matter how tired I am, I can always wake up early and head to the location with great anticipation.

Getting brunch is my favorite thing to do after Sunday morning session.  It’s the perfect time and setting to do a quick review on the images while waiting/enjoying the food.  This is my favorite way to start my day.  It was brunch at Tavern in Brentwood after I finished a portrait session for a lovely 10-month-old baby girl. Her images are coming up next.

I ? Gjelina.  I love their food and ambience.  It’s rustic and simple but hip and modern at the same time.  

Gjelina –

Architectural Design - Studio Peel and Modern Arc Inc

Spring is here.  It is warm and sunny outside but it’s still a little bit chilly in the evening .  I’m craving for something satisfying without the meaty heartiest.  Grilled cheese sandwich comes to my mind and I think it’s perfect for the season. 

Here are some of my favorites from my latest “study”.  

Grilled cheese with aged Cheddar is the classic.  I love to serve this with creamy tomato soup and a side salad.  Any type of Cheddar cheese will do the job.  If you are looking for something a little bit fancier, the sandwich can be dressed-up by crispy bacon, grilled onions, sauteed mushroom, or sliced tomatoes.  Make sure all the ingredients are as dry as possible before you assemble the sandwich.

I love Brie cheese.  Pick French Brie if you prefer less fat content for your diet.  Nuts can be a great complement for this sandwich.  Coarsely chopped toasted hazelnut or walnut will be awesome.  This sandwich can be simply served as is or with a glass of champagne.  Another variation for this sandwich is to use fig preserves in place of sliced granny smith apples. 

This is one of the new recipe I tried recently.  I love beets salad with crumbled goat cheese and fresh snipped dill.  So I think it will be great to make a grilled cheese sandwich with the same concept.  This sandwich is on the hearty side which I would prefer making this as finger sandwiches as part of the grilled cheese sampler.  If a more creamier sandwich is preferred, you can simply fold in some creme fraiche or sour cream with the crumbled goat cheese in a bowl before spreading the cheese mixture on the bread.  Or you can use chevre, the cremier goat cheese.  

Yes… I posted this before but I am addicted to this grilled cheese sandwich with Brie cheese, bittersweet chocolate and minced basil lately.  It won’t hurt to post this again if it is that GOOD.  It is adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.  I use minced basil in lieu of sliced fresh basil because I hate having too many things sliding around in the sandwich when I am eating.  This sandwich is perfect with a glass of full bodied red wine.

Have fun and enjoy!

{ image source: }

I don’t watch TV anymore, especially reality shows.  However, I am eager to check out Jamie Oliver’s new show on ABC  this Sunday.  Produced by Ryan Seacrest and Craig Armstrong, the show reveals the negative impact of highly processed cafeteria food on our children.  Jamie is showing us all the simple changes we can make that can lead to a healthier life way and a better future for our children.

I admire Jamie, not only because of his cute smile and messy hairdo but his passion and effort in educating the community healthful eating.  We have been disconnected from our food source.  We seldom question about where our food really come from and how they are processed.  All we get from the grocery stores are “things” in styrofoam trays in saran wrap or packaged “things” in boxes or bags.  I pick up Jamie Oliver’s food magazine from the bookstore occasionally and notice that he puts a lot of effort in showing us how to pick the best seasonal ingredients and how to use them to their full extent.  He is not only putting pretty pictures with recipes on his publication.  There is a kids cooking section on every issue which is fun for you and your kids.  He is trying to make cooking and eating fun for all age group. 

This school cafeteria food campaign is only Jamie’s first step in his food revolution journey.  He already took few steps forward, educating the public on healthful eating that doesn’t cost much to our wallet and to the earth.  His approach is powerful, accessible, and adaptable.  It’s all about moderation.   The choice is ours.  You can be a hero for yourself and your children.  Are you willing to take the initiation to make these healthful eating habit changes for yourself and your family?    

The series premiere of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution will be aired on ABC this Sunday at 10pm (pacific time).  Regular show time is scheduled to air on Friday evenings.  Check your local TV listing for details. 

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC:

Jamie Oliver’s official website:


February 20, 2010

Don’t think it’s too late for the Chinese New Year greetings.  We celebrate new year for 15 consecutive days, wrapping up with the Chinese Valentine’s Day on the 15th day when we celebrate the first full moon of the year.  Today is the 7th day of the new year and it is known as “everyone’s birthday”.  Wish you all have a wonderful and productive year. 

Enjoy the festivities!

One of my favorite traditional food of the New Year – Steamed Chinese Turnip Cake topped with Chinese sausage and dried shrimps

chocolate love…

February 14, 2010

Who can resist chocolate?  Indulge your love ones and yourself with special chocolate treats on Valentine’s Day.  They are simple to make (no baking required), delicious and perfect for your sweetheart and kids. 


Mr. Z:  Wish you have a great time reading and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with your little ones.  Happy Valentine’s Day. ? 

Bittersweet Chocolate & Brie Cheese Grilled Sandwich recipe was adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’s recipe:

How good is it to bring sweet and savory together?  That will become one perfect world.

I found a really good recipe on I did make some alterations after reviewing the comments online. This is one great easy recipe to try if you got a little bit too excited and bought too much delicious strawberries from the farmer’s market. Brown sugar compliments well with the balsamic vinegar while the cracked black pepper adds some kick to it. Serve this strawberry preserves with goat cheese on crackers or crostini and you will be in heaven.


Strawberry Preserves with Balsamic Vinegar & Black Pepper

1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup brown sugar
3-1/2 Tb balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

In a small heavy saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil. Mash the strawberries slightly and stir frequently as the balsamic vinegar will caramelize at the bottom of the pan easily. Skim foam occasionally. Simmer mixture in low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the consistency to your liking. Remove pan from heat and cool preserves completely in a heat proof container.

Preserves will slightly thicken when it cools down. You can drop a dollop of preserves on a chilled plate to check consistency.

(adapted from recipe on,

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