Ancient Grains – Heavy Metal Detox Oatmeal Smoothie

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With a title like heavy metal oatmeal smoothie, you’re probably expecting an article that discusses either a smoothie made from oatmeal and heavy metal, or one you would drink while listening to Metallica or Megadeath.  I have been known to turn the volume up to eleven while listening to many metal songs in my car, but this article is about the wonders of not only that ancient grain known as oats, but a super hero fighting tandem known as parsley and cilantro.  Not quite as exciting as those Marvel super hero’s, but then again can Ironman Tony Stark remove lead, copper, mercury or aluminum the way cilantro and parsley can?  Come on, his name is Ironman, he’s more likely to give you heavy metal poisoning than help lower it.  Can Captain America lower your blood pressure or give you the dietary fiber that oats can?  No way Jose’.  Oh sure they’re macho and cool and all that stuff, but when you need help fighting off those enemies of your body naturally, those guys are nowhere to be found.

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All kidding aside, heavy metal toxification can be a serious issue for many people.  Lead and mercury can find it’s way into the body many different ways.  As we’ve seen on the news, the water we think is safe can sometimes be loaded with it.  Just ask the people of Flint, MI what they think about lead.  As someone who grew up in an age where lead was in everything, it can be easy to enter your body and never leave.  So what’s the big deal with your body having heavy metals?  Well, lead, mercury and aluminum can cause chronic health issues.  Mental confusion, muscle and joint aches, headaches, memory loss, digestive problems, food intolerances, allergies, vision problems and fatigue are just a small list of symptoms caused by heavy metal poisoning.  Trust me, I just found out I had high doses of lead in my body and it has been there quite awhile.  Hey, maybe I can use that as my excuse on why I did so poorly in school as a child?  Must have been all that paint I was eating.  Ha, ha.  Well, now I have a natural herb that just might help get the lead out, and I’m not talking about zeplin.  Cilantro’s benefits don’t end with helping remove heavy metals.  It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, helps reduce bad cholesterol, eases hormonal swings during menopause, promotes liver health, and a host of other benefits.  Parsley helps support kidney function, can help inhibit cancerous tumors, relaxes stiff muscles and a number of other benefits.

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We decided to combine some leftover oatmeal,(you can use quinoameal, or buckwheatmeal as well) in case you still had some, with cilantro, parsley, coconut water, almond milk, fresh apple, honey and ice to create a healthy smoothie loaded with super hero powers to help your body fight off those annoying villians.  It tasts good, it’s refreshing, cheap and easy to make and a great way to finish our ancient grain month with a healthy bang.  So the next time your feeling a little sluggish, confused, or have annoying muscle aches, pick up some ancient grains, cilantro and parsley and throw them in a blender with some milk, fruit and ice.  It may just keep the doctor away better than that lonely apple.  It certainly can’t hurt.  For more information about how to use cilantro as a heavy metal remover, check out this article from Natural Society.  Until next time, remember to cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena

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Heavy Metal Oatmeal Smoothie
This cleansing powerhouse is a great way to help the body flush heavy metals from the body, while adding fiber and healthy fat.
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Breakfast
  • ¼ C. leftover oatmeal, quinoameal, or buchwheatmeal
  • 1 C. Almond coconut milk or skim milk
  • ½ C. Cocunut water
  • ½ C. Green Apple (1/2 C.)
  • ¼ C. Fresh parsley
  • ¼ C. Fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. Raw honey
  • 3-4 Ice cubes
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until well blended and smooth. Transfer to a glass and enjoy.
This drink is best when consumed early in the morning on an empty stomach.




marcie - I grew up when lead was in everything, too, and I’ve been known to crank up the music when Metallica and Megadeth come on. 🙂 This smoothie sounds fantastic and I love all of the greens and oats!

Katrina - Looove all the good stuff in this smoothie! It sounds wonderful!

Eleni paipeti - I will try that

Kimberly - “Leftover oatmeal”… does that mean the oatmeal has to be cooked first? This sounds amazing but I’d like to make it the correct way.

47 Las bebidas de desintoxicación para la limpieza y pérdida de peso - My Blog - […] Desintoxicación de metales pesados La harina de avena Smoothie – La poderosa combinación de la avena con el perejil y el cilantro hierbas ayuda a liberar el cuerpo de metales nocivos como el plomo, el cobre, el mercurio y el aluminio. Así como la desintoxicación de metales pesados, esta bebida súper también reduce la presión arterial y le da una buena dosis de fibra dietética. […]

Ancient Grains | Healthy Bites

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Finding a healthy snack to keep you going during the day can sometimes be difficult. You can only eat so many almonds before you start feeling more like a squirrel than a person. What about dark chocolate you say? Oh sure, pounding down one or two dark chocolate peanut butter cups is pretty awesome. Right up until the sugar rush wears off and you find yourself needing a blankie and a nap.  You can’t be napping when you’re in a killer Fit Bit step challenge with your girlfriend, who happens to be high energy and very motivated. What you need is not just two great tastes that go great together, but maybe eight great tastes that happen to also be very good for you and give you lots of energy.

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We’re talking Energy Bites. A protein packed combination of old fashioned oats, almond butter, dried cherries, pistachios, orange zest, toasted coconut, honey, mini dark chocolate chips with some chia seeds and ground flax meal for added protein. These tasty bite size balls taste delicious, and are guilt free. They’re also very easy to make. 15 minutes from start to finish. As a matter of fact, I was craving some while writing this article, so I went down to the kitchen, made a batch and ate two before coming back up to finish writing this article. Want a healthy snack for the kids? Check. want some homemade energy bars for your next camping trip? Done. Need that boost of energy to get you to 10,000 steps so you can keep up with your motivated girlfriend? Got it.

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Don’t thank me, thank the ancient grains. Because once again they came through in the clutch. See you next week, when we’ll show you how to use that leftover oatmeal with a popular herb to help rid your body of heavy metals. Until then, remember to cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena


Healthy Bites
Prep time
Total time
These powerhouse bites of yumminess will recharge your battery and tantalize your taste buds at the same time.
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24-30
  • 1 C. Old fashioned oats
  • ½ C. Mini dark chocolate chips
  • ½ C. Unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ½ C. Ground flax meal
  • ¼ C. Dried cherries, chopped
  • ¼ C. Pistachios, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. Grated orange zest, optional
  • 1 C. Creamy almond or peanut butter
  • ⅓ C. Honey
  1. Combine oats and next seven ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add almond butter and honey and stir until all ingredients are combined and the mixture can be formed into a ball.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled.
  3. Form into balls and place on a wax paper linen cookie sheet.
  4. Refrigerate until firm. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Feel free to substitute sunflower or pumpkin seeds for the pistachios if desired. You can also omit the cherries or replace them with dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots or raisins.


Megan - These look amazing and are the perfect size. I usually feel more squirrel than human when eating really nutty bars so I love the balance.

Ancient Grains | Buckwheat Breakfest Soufflés

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It’s week two of ancient grains month, and for this week we are showing a few examples on how to use that leftover ancient grain meal you made last time. In case you forgot, we discussed how easy it was to add some basic ingredients to a slow cooker before you go to bed and by morning, you have creamy quinoameal, oatmeal or buckwheat meal.

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I made some buckwheatmeal recently by mistake and found out it tasted pretty darn good. Buckwheat groats, when cooked like oatmeal, has a very hearty and nutty flavor. It’s also very filling. So I wasn’t surprised when I had some left in the crockpot. Leftover buckwheat meal does not reheat very well. Once it cools, your more likely to have success using it as mortar for building a house, then enjoying a warm, creamy bowl of it.

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I was just getting ready to throw it away, when I thought to myself “self, why not add some eggs, and a few other ingredients, and make little soufflés with it?” A filling, healthy breakfast again sounded like a great idea. Especially since the outside thermometer was showing 5 degrees above zero. In the past, I would prepare individual egg strata’s for the kids in the winter. They are leftover cubed bread, eggs, cream, cheese, sausage and bacon. The mixture gets baked in small soufflé cups, then drizzled with maple syrup. They are in no way healthy. But what if the bread, cream, cheese, sausage and bacon were eliminated and replaced with ingredients such as brown rice flour,a little baking powder and a few other items that would give these updated stratas flavor without the fat or calories?

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Jena and I experimented with a few versions. We used ingredients like olives, fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes for an Italian version. Green onion, cilantro, green chiles, pepper jack cheese and Mexican seasoning for that south of the border flair. Canadian bacon & pineapple for a Hawaiian treat. Generally, you can put anything you want in this mix, and it will workout. Spoon the mixture into well greased muffin cups or molds, then bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Top with assorted coniments and enjoy.

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Sometimes, it just takes a little thought to turn a cardiologists nightmare into a healthy, satisfying and inexpensive breakfast or brunch treat that will keep your whole family full and happy. We’ll be back next week when our ancient grains go into snack mode. Until then, cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena


Buckwheat Breakfest Soufflés
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These protein packed egg soufflés are similar in texture to muffins, but without any gluten. It's a great way to use up leftover oatmeal or any grain meal you have leftover.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: International
Serves: 4
  • ⅔ C. Leftover quinoameal, oatmeal, or buckwheatmeal
  • 4 lg. Eggs, beaten
  • ½ C. Brown rice flour
  • ¼ tsp. Sea salt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine leftover meal and eggs in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in rice flour, baking powder and salt until well blended. Pour mixture into well greased molds, soufflé cups or custard cups until half full. Add desired ingredients such as cheese, meat, veggies, herbs, or seasonings to each cup until almost full. Place filled cups on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool until cool enough to remove. Run a knife around the edge if they stick. Serve.
These can be made in advance, cooled and frozen until needed up to two months ahead.


Lilia - Hi Guys,
this is a lovely idea to turn the buckwheat groats into souffles. They look gorgeous. The shots are beautiful, as always.
In my country, where buckwheat is quite common, we eat it for dinner with some deliciuos beef stew. The leftovers are used as a stuffing for pierogies. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Guess I will be making the pierogies soon. Xoxo, Lilia

Ancient Grains – Crockpot Quinoameal Recipe

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Ancient grains have been around a long time. I’m sorry, but that’s funny; of course they’ve been around a long time. You don’t get the title,“ancient grains,” unless you’ve been around a few hundred millennia. Those words have been showing up a lot lately. It’s kind of the new “all natural.”  Food companies are throwing those words onto their products as a way of attracting those consumers who are looking for healthy options in the grocery store. In order to understand whether “ancient grains” are good for us, we need to look closer at what is considered an ancient grain.

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Basically, any grain that has gone unchanged for hundreds of years can be considered “ancient.” For example, einkorn wheat is considered ancient, but the wheat we get in products today is not because it has been bred, changed and altered over the years. So, in general, things like barley, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, black, red and wild rice, farro, kamut, teff, and a few others are all considered ancient.

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Well, Jena and I decided to highlight a few of these ancient grains this month. Since many people out there, including myself, are supposed to be eating a more healthy diet due to those annoying New Year’s resolutions, we should of course be interested in these grains. Funny, I don’t remember seeing any ancient grains in those blood orange margaritas or the Chicago style hot dog I had last week during my week of food debauchery. Oh well, I’m sure they were there or I wouldn’t have ordered them.

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We are starting the month of February off with a basic recipe for crockpot oatmeal that I’ve been using for about two months. I love crockpot oatmeal, because you put all the ingredients in a small slow cooker at night, before you go to bed, and when you wake up, you are greeted with the wonderful smell of fresh oatmeal and everything you decided to embellish it with. Personally, I like apples, cinnamon, maple syrup and walnuts. It tastes like apple pie. Yummy!! Because it takes about seven hours to cook completely, it becomes necessary to plan this in advance. I’m not always big at planning and sometimes just want to eat. I came up with a good alternative: using quinoa instead of oat groats (the whole version of oats) for the oatmeal. I guess you could call it quinoameal. Quinoa, which comes from the Incas in India, cooks quicker than oat groats or steel cut oats. In fact, it cooks similar to cous cous, another ancient grain, which cooks in about five to ten minutes. We used a Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa, which has a nice color and taste to it.  Feel free to use whatever quinoa you prefer though.

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Simply add all your ingredients to a small crockpot. One part quinoa, two parts liquid. I used a combination of almond coconut milk, water and apple cider because I love apples, and dairy is not nice to me. However, you can use water or regular milk instead. Maple syrup, cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt were added, as well as some chia and flax seeds to boost the protein. I skipped the nuts, but feel free to add almonds, pecans or walnuts. They are all tasty. Stir up the mixture with a spoon, cover and cook for about one hour on high or until the quinoa has been soaked up and is cooked through. One last stir and you have a delicious alternative to oatmeal. Top with fresh berries, a little cream and a drizzle of honey or syrup and a few pistachios and you’ve got a delicious, healthy breakfast that took you five minutes to make and cook as long as it took me to write this article. Thanks to being a hunt and peck kind of typist, that means about an hour and some change. Of course you can make it much quicker if you make it on the stove top or in the microwave. That’s your choice; don’t sweat it.

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So you say you don’t like quinoa? No problem, the recipe below works with oats and buckwheat too. There, now you can say you know how to cook with ancient grains. It will make you sound smart in front of your kids and friends. Plus, it will make you feel better following that night of chicken wings and beer with a nutritious breakfast of ancient grains, fruit and nuts.

See you next week, when Jena and I will show you what to do with that oatmeal/quinoameal/buckwheatmeal you have left over from this week. Enjoy and don’t forget to cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena


Crockpot Quinoameal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This slow cooker quinoa recipe is great for those looking for a healthy breakfast, but might be sick of oatmeal.
Recipe type: Slow cooker recipe
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: 4
  • 1½ c. Quinoa
  • 2 C. almond milk
  • 2 C. filtered water
  • 2 C. Apple cider
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. Flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 C. fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries), optional
  • ½ C. chopped or whole nuts(almonds, walnuts, pecans or pistachios), optional
  • ⅓ C. fresh cream, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. honey, optional
  1. Combine all ingredients in a 2 qt. slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover, then set cooking level knob to low. Cook for 7 hours or overnight. Stir mixture. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with fresh fruit, nuts or a little cream, a drizzle of honey and butter. Serve.
You can substitute oat groats, steel cut oats or buckwheat groats for the quinoa.

Feel free to experiment with different additions like dried fruit, fresh apples or pears,

Adding a touch of pure vanilla extract at the end adds great flavor

Brown sugar, raw sugar or maple syrup can also be drizzled on top.


Bethany @ Athletic Avocado - This quinoameal looks delicious and the pictures are beautiful! I need to make this in place of my oatmeal asap!

Sugar et al. - These stunning close-up photos can make anyone fall in love with quinoa!

Summer - This looks so good! Delish ♥

Summer - Your photography is amazing! And this really looks yummy ♥

Pang - Stunning photos 🙂 They make me want to make this breakfast the next morning.

Aisha - I’m confused. This looks fantastic, but you said in beginning that it takes about 7 hours to cook, then in your instructions to cook it on high for one hour, then in the recipe itself you said to cook for 7 hours. To which are you referring in each instruction? I would love to make the quinoa overnight but if that would be too long I don’t want to try that.
Thanks in advance, and I’ll be following your blog after seeing this.

Aisha - Sorry for a second comment, I couldn’t figure out how to receive the emails for new posts except by leaving a comment and since I didn’t click that button the first time, I had to leave another comment. Lol.

Ani {@afotogirl} - This looks delicious. I often make quinoa porridge for breakfast because it cooks up so fast. Just a quick FYI, though, that the Incas were from what is today, Peru. Quinoa hails from South America, not Asia (India).

Calendar Photo Shoot for Kerry

In the three years since Jena and I have been doing LRL, we have been fortunate enough to have other businesses so happy with our blog photography, that they hire us to do the same for them. Companies like Fromm Family Foods, Rhodes Frozen Bread Dough, The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, and Harvest Mill Grain Company are a few that come to mind. Recently, we were also asked to do a calendar project for a local company in Beloit, Wisconsin. Kerry specializes in ingredients, flavorings, and services catering to food companies as big as Tyson, or as little as a start up mom and pop company. They asked LRL to help them create a new look that would not only show their capabilities, but would also do it in a way that was real world and not too product driven. This was a fun project, because it involved some organization, planning and feedback from clients. I thought it might be fun to go through that process for this project while showing off our work at the same time. As a professional food photographer and stylist team, we sometimes assume that every aspiring blog writer knows what is involved with doing food photography of great quality, and maybe they do. However, we thought we’d share some of the behind the scenes thoughts that went into the making of this calendar so people can get a sense of what we do as a food blogger team. I’ll go first with my thoughts, then Jena will add her own thoughts on the same project from a different perspective.

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Since it was a calendar, every month was represented. Although January is first in the year, it was one of the last shots we did. For this shot, the focus was breakfast, so we wanted to show variety. Waffles with berries muffins, coffee, milk, breads and baking ingredients were shown to emphasize Kerry’s vast capabilities. The breads and waffles were all made the day before. When styling baked goods, it doesn’t matter if it is fresh. It matters if it looks fresh. Making them fresh the day of the shoot was not an option due to shoot schedules. Plus, when it comes to styling waffles, you never want to show them hot. Powdered sugar melts immediately on hot waffles, so cold waffles are used and cornstarch is used in place of powdered sugar so it lasts longer. The berries are places exactly where we want them, but with a sense of casualness to give the appearance of a “real life” look. Adding a few bubbles on top of the coffee at the end adds to that feeling. We also add a few crumbs coffee beans and spilled powdered sugar to make it look like mom made it all that day.

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The goal of this shot was to give it a restaurant feel. Like plates were being prepared and served by chefs. Actually doing that kind of a shot at a restaurant can be almost impossible in a casual restaurant because the food rarely looks good enough to photograph, and chefs are rarely willing to have people in their kitchens during open hours. Plus, lighting in never ideal in “the real world”, so in this case, we created the atmosphere in a test kitchen. All the food was in place for quite awhile before we were ready to shoot the final image. Melting the cheese, adding drops of water to the condiments and mayo on the burger were all added at the last minute to maintain that fresh out of the kitchen look. The end result is fabulous. Jena really captured that live feel of a restaurant by showing action in the background but still emphasizing the beauty of the food in the foreground.

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Photographing this calendar we did a mix of shooting outdoors, natural window light and strobe. This one was taken using strobe lighting from one direction. A fill card was added to wrap around the light and highlight the yogurt. We loved adding the human element to this shot! Rusty did a wonderful job modeling for us while we did multiple takes to get it just right.

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From a food stylist perspective, this shot was the most challenging of them all. We all wanted to capture the feel of a backyard barbecue, by showing various smoked meats and foods that one would find in a backyard barbecue. The problem was that it needed to be shot on location first thing in the morning and it was the end of October, so it was fairly cold. There was no power, grill or tables anywhere near where we shot it, so everything you see in the shot had to be transported by car, then unloaded and set up. This meant that all food needed to be made in advance, yet look like it was fresh off the barbecue for the final shot. Since it was shot in October in Wisconsin, we could not get smoke to naturally appear in the final shot due to temperatures and timing, so we used a smoke machine to give the appearance of smoke. It adds motion and that real life barbecue feel that really sells this shot. Homemade pickles, corn, onions, water and beer added enough color and visuals to help tell the story.

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Photographing this rustic fall image was one of my favorites. With our tight schedule we realized we would not be able to go to a location with this look and feel. I brought in the windows, table as well as the other props to set the stage. Our assistant, Rusty and I placed the windows in front of the existing window and blocked the rest of the light coming in with black cards.  The afternoon light was beautiful but we had to be quick on the trigger as the sun was setting.

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Have you ever made an entire Thanksgiving meal in less than four hours from scratch? Me either, yet we needed to achieve that goal when we did the shot above. Luckily, I had a staff of talented chefs from Kerry at my disposal, or it would have never happened. In order to create a photo worthy turkey it requires a fair amount of time, coloring and luck. Having styled many a turkey for companies like Jenny O Turkey and Taste of Home, it is pretty easy to me. However, when you add mashed potatoes, stuffing, and all the other trimmings, it can be a little overwhelming. It is always a lot of fun collaborating with corporate chefs when working on a project this big. Their talent and help are what made this shot look so great. That and Jena’s incredible propping and photography, which make the whole shot come together. The added motion of people serving the dishes give it that real look. Makes you want Thanksgiving all over again doesn’t it?

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Raschell | - These photos are stunning. Congratulations!

Lori - This is such an excellent post. Thanks so much for sharing. Such beautiful work! There looks to be motion in the grapefruit juice as you captured the shot. How did you all accomplish that?

littlerustedladle - Thank you so much Lori! We used an eyedropper tool about the same hight as the lens and dropped it in as I took some captures.

littlerustedladle - Thank you Raschell!

Lovoni Walker - Such a great post you two. Love the shots. May was a particular favourite for obvious reasons. Cheers! Nice job!

littlerustedladle - Thanks Lovoni.

Dolphia Nandi-Arnstein - Breathtaking!

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