Archive for the ‘Food Files’ Category

Food Files: The Best Scones Ever

January 28th, 2015

The other day I took you on a tour of Yvonne Eijkenduijn’s lovely home in Belgium, telling you all about how she spent the day baking while I was photographing away. I was treated to a delicious lunch followed by the most heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth scones fresh from the oven. Soooo good, were Yvonne’s scones that I thought it almost unkind to not share the recipe with you. So folks, whip up a batch of amazing with Yvonne’s easy recipe below!

Food Files: Yvonne Eikenduijn's Best Scones Ever // Avenue Lifestyle FRESH SCONES FROM YVONNE’S KITCHEN

400 gr plain flower
25 gr white caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
50 gr unsalted butter (softened)
250 ml low fat yoghurt
200 gr raisins
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 200 C

With a spoon stir the flour, sugar, bicarbonate and salt until it’s one mixture.

Soften the butter in a microwave. Add butter, yoghurt and raisins to the rest of the mixture until it’s a fast and sticky dough.

Scoop the dough on a well floured surface, dust the top of the dough with flour. Pat the dough about 4 cm high and push a 6 cm scone cutter firmly through the dough.

Place on a baking tray (with baking paper) about 2 cm apart.

Beat the egg and lightly brush the tops of the scones with the egg.

Place for 12-14 minutes in the oven. Get the full scoop

Food Files: A Christmas Picnic

December 23rd, 2014

Christmas is upon us and I am excited to share with you this Christmas Picnic shoot I styled and photographed for SisterMAG‘s latest issue in collaboration with food stylist Ajda Mehmet. Click here to see the published magazine feature, and scroll below for the full collection of images. I hope this post inspires you to gather together your nearest and dearest and celebrate Christmas {or New Year!} together in laid back style!

A Christmas Picnic by Avenue Lifestyle / Styling & Photography: Holly Marder (} / Recipes and Food Syling: Ajda Mehmet {} Christmas Picnic // Styling & Photography: Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle} / Recipes & Food styling: Ajda Mehmet

Click on the image to view a larger version

This shoot was all about celebrating the holidays amongst friends in a cozy but casual way. Cushions, rugs and an easy picnic style Christmas menu set the tone for a festive and fun Christmas on the floor! The whole idea behind this shoot was keeping the food and styling as effortless as possible, offering up an array of ideas that don’t involve excess hours of prep in the kitchen or formal table settings. Get the full scoop

Food Files: Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

December 5th, 2014

As the year draws to a close and icy temperatures prevail, I am turning my energies towards the kitchen and creating meals that are easy, nutritious, substantial and beautiful. And though I’m no Nigella Lawson, I do love food and cooking and the creative process that lies therein. But every now and then I hit a wall {read: my husband starts complaining} and am in need of fresh inspiration. Cue, food stylist Ajda Mehmet. A couple of weeks ago I headed over to Belgium with Ajda in tow to shoot a sophisticated Belgian interior with a food element to accompany the shoot. It was a big day for us both with lots of work getting the place styled up and ready to photograph {with, like, a thousand stairs to run up and down}, which wasn’t helped at all by the glorious fumes of Ajda’s roasted squash and lentil soup wafting through the house. I’m not sure if it was that I’d been teased into total submission all day by the heavenly smells rising from the stove or whether I was just so hungry by the end of the day that I would have gnawed on my own arm, but this soup? It was good! Now, I’ve been witness to the magic of Ajda’s cooking on several occasions now, so I knew it would be good {just the other week I posted about her apple and pear crumble, which I’ve made twice since!} but this soup has changed the way I view soups forever.

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Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

You will need:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large carrots, peeled and halved

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

Handful of thyme

Olive oil

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 tsp garam masala 

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

200g red lentils

2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and cracked black pepper


To garnish:

Crème fraîche

Hemp seeds

Garden cress

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss all of the prepared vegetables and sprigs of thyme into a large roasting tray, drizzle generously with some good olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, turning halfway through, until all of the vegetables are soft and have begun to singe and caramelise on the edges. Get the full scoop

Orchard to Kitchen: A Fall Inspiration Shoot

November 14th, 2014

Fall is a wonderful time of year to get amongst the orchards at harvest time to pluck some crunchy goodness to take home and turn into something warm and sweet. All too often we forget to soak up these simple pleasures. So today I thought I’d take you from the orchards of De Olmenhorst into food stylist Ajda Mehmet‘s kitchen with a collection of dreamy, fall inspired images snapped by the awesome Anouschka Rokebrand, as part of a styled session we collaborated on recently. And the best bit? It comes with a gorgeous recipe for you that I demand that you try this weekend. Seriously.

View More: This shoot was all about celebrating the very best of harvest time in the fall, the crispness in the air, the appreciation of life’s simple pleasures, the perfection of imperfection. That sense of nostalgia that hits when you take the first bite of an age-old apple crumble, all conjured up in a beautiful set of images. The familiar, captured simplistically, yet beautifully and full of emotion. Get the full scoop

Food Files: Fig Salad

September 5th, 2013

It’s still warm here but there was a chill in the air last weekend and I feel autumn looming. Though I’m not quite ready to part with summer, I do love the fall for the gorgeous new produce that ripens with the cooler temperatures. I’ve got a slight love affair with figs, which are absolutely perfect at this time of year. We spent last sunday lunching with some friends and from the fig tree in their garden I was allowed to pluck the only four figs that were ripe and ready for picking to take home with me. Not wanting to waste my beautiful treasures, I came up with a quick and delicious recipe to get the most out of them. So my latest food column is all about this fruity salad starring fresh figs, peaches and goats cheese, drizzled with a honey mustard vinaigrette.



Mixed greens

Fresh figs, quartered

Fresh peach wedges

Goats cheese

For the dressing:

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

A squeeze of lemon juice

A bit of wholegrain mustard


Salt and Pepper

Quarter a handful of fresh figs, and prepare wedges from two fresh, ripe peaches. Add the fruit to a bowl full of fresh salad leaves. Toss and sprinkle with crumbled goats cheese.
Combine a generous lug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon or two of wholegrain mustard a squeeze of honey and some salt and pepper to taste in a glass bottle. Drizzle over your fig salad. Enjoy!


I adore salads, and really loved this combo. It’s a delicious combination of light flavours with some stronger savory accents here and there. The dressing is divine! I use that same dressing on pretty much all of my salads and love it. I don’t exactly measure the ingredients. I just add little bits of everything and check the flavour regularly until I like it, which is when it’s quite tangy. I served my salad with some crusty French bread.

The lovely plate pictured was hand made by talented potter Lee Wolfe. It has pretty rough edges and a light glaze over it. Pretty much everything I serve on it looks divine! Make sure you check out Lee Wolfe’s gorgeous collection.

Have a wonderful day, and let me know if you give this easy salad a try!

Holly x

* Image and recipe original to Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle

Food Files: Chicken Puttanesca

July 24th, 2013

So, I’m trying something new. A food column featuring delicious recipes. You see, for some reason, I have become rather predictable in the kitchen, a sad happening which hasn’t gone unnoticed by my other half. Strange, because I absolutely love to cook and have a ton of cooking inspiration to draw upon. But with a hectic work and family life, I sometimes forget to be creative in the kitchen. We do a weekly grocery shop and always come out with the same tried and true ingredients which then lead to the same tried and true meals. For the past few years, my Mum has been giving me a subscription to the gorgeous Australian Delicious magazine, and for a long time I have tossed up giving a food column a go because my monthly issues inspire me so much. So here it is. Finally, a food column to give me back my groove in the kitchen, but also perhaps to inspire you to get food happy too. First up is a gorgeously light Italian dish by Jill Dupleix for the March 2013 issue of Delicious that is not only low carb, but heaven to the tastebuds and ridiculously simple to whip up. What to know how?



You will need:

{serves 4}

4 x 180g chicken breast fillets

2tbs olive oil

2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

500g cherry tomatoes

3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and roughly chopped

2 tbs pitted kalamata olives

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tbs small salted capers, rinsed and drained

2 tbs flat leaf parsley leaved, chopped

2 tbs grated parmesan

How to:

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Brush the chicken with 1 tbs oil and scatter 1 tsp dried oregano and a pinch of dried chilli, then season. Place on a baking tray {I used a layer of baking baking paper beneath the chicken} and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.

Halve 250g tomatoes. Place all the tomatoes in a small saucepan with the anchovies, olives, garlic, capers and remaining 1 tbs oil, 1 tsp oregano and chill. SEason, then cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Stir in most of the parsley.

To serve, divide the puttanesca among plates, then slice the chicken and arrange on top. Scatter with parmesan and remaining chopped parsley.


I love dishes like this that are a cinch to make and are packed with tons of natural flavour. I served mine with baby new potatoes tossed in butter and fresh herbs from my garden, and it was delicious. It’s been the most sweltering summer day, so this fit the bill perfectly. Served on beautiful VerTerra dinner plates made from fallen palm leaves, it was a feast for the eyes, too!

Let me know what your thoughts are on the new column, and if you give this a try, I’d love to hear how it turned out!

Holly x

* Recipe by Jill Duplex for the March 2013 issue of Delicious Magazine Australia / Photography by Holly Marder