focus shift

coffee beans | Sarah E Crowder Photography

 

I started this blog over three years ago, during which time I have published 120 posts. More notably, once you take out life updates and freelance recaps, you’re left with about 25 recipes – not a lot to have accomplished between fall of 2012 and now. You see, about three months after I published my first recipe on Punctuated, I got my first freelance gig. From that point on, I had a hard time finding the motivation to create just for this space. Between babies and my sanity, I spent any spare energy on work that paid.

For a long time, I thought I wanted to be like the food bloggers who drew me into this world in the first place, but I’ve finally realized my career path is different. In 2015, I had found new sources of inspiration, in both the food world and the entrepreneur community more generally, that helped me zero in on what gets me excited and expand my thinking about how I might be a successful freelancer and business owner.

I’m still freelancing as a recipe developer and writer, but this year I also launched Sarah E Crowder Photography, where I capture audience-building images for food-related businesses to use on their websites and social media. I feel like I’ve found my stride with the business and am looking forward to hitting the ground running in 2016. I’m working with dreamy clients, pushing myself technically and artistically, and spending spare pockets of time working on a photography ebook for food entrepreneurs.

All this to say I’ve stopped kidding myself that I’ll ever dedicate enough energy to Punctuated to make it worthwhile, and this will probably be my last post here. If you’re interested in following Sarah E Crowder photography or my freelance food blogging, I will continue to be active on Instagram and my new Facebook page. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you around the web.

apple salad with cilantro dressing

apple salad with cilantro dressing | punctuated. with food

 

One of the reasons I’ve considered discontinuing the blog is I get so much satisfaction from my time on social media, especially Instagram. I’d rather be hanging out there, including posting actual recipes on those outlets so you can get all the details where you are, too. On the other hand, it’s nice to have this journal of recipes to refer back to and bookmark from, and I have the freedom to post several photos.

I had an AHA! moment this morning when I realized the obvious: I can do both. So, going forward, I’ll be posting blog recipes directly to Facebook and Instagram, as well as recording them here. I suspect this is one of several changes I’ll make to how I use this space in the coming months to make it work for me (and hopefully, you too).

apple salad with cilantro dressing | punctuated. with food

 

I borrowed the idea for this cilantro salad dressing from my friend Viney, who whipped it up during our apple picking trip a few weeks ago. Making do with random odds and ends in our rental kitchen, she combined fresh cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and sour cream to make this tangy, creamy, herbaceous number. I can think of a few different salad combinations where this application would be particularly great, but we’ve been sticking with one version in particular. A big bowl of greens, apple slices, and salted peanuts tossed with the cilantro dressing makes

 

apple salad with cilantro dressing | punctuated. with food

 

Cilantro Dressing

1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 lime, juice and zest
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all the ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Add the olive oil and process until just incorporated.

Toss with baby greens, sliced apples, and salted roasted peanuts. Serve immediately.

 

apple salad with cilantro dressing | punctuated. with food

apple pie smoothie

apple pie smoothie l punctuated. with food

 

Things have been busy around here (or, as Kathleen would say, “wildly productive and living the dream“), but I wanted to pop in here to wish you a happy fall¬†with this simple, satisfying, autumnal smoothie.

Last weekend we went upstate¬†with friends for our annual apple picking trip. I left my camera at home so as not to pressure myself to document the experience, only to thoroughly document the event with my cell phone. Of course, we came home with a lot of apples, so I’ve been tucking them into every meal I can manage.

This apple pie smoothie is the way to keep my smoothie habit alive as we transition to cooler weather. It’s cold yet cozy, thanks to apple pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg; it’s creamy yet vibrant, thanks to the marriage of soaked cashews and sweet-tart apple. I bumped up the nutritional value with maca powder, its maple-y flavor a wonderful complement to the dessert-themed snack.

Now, back to living the dream…

(PS – I’m sending out a newsletter tomorrow with another fall-inspired recipe. Sign up below if you’re not already on the list.)

apple pie smoothie l punctuated. with food

 

Apple Pie Smoothie

1/4 c raw cashews
1 medium apple, quartered and cored
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp maca
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c water, plus more for soaking
handful of ice

Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover by an inch of water. Soak 4 hours or overnight.

Drain the water from the cashews and move the nuts to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately.

Serves 1

apple pie smoothie l punctuated. with food