The Inspired Plate Challenge | July 2012 | Barbecue

Our 7th month issue of The Inspired Plate's food, photography and styling challenge came with excitement and anticipation for this being a joint team effort. I was so pleased to be able to meet up with three other members of our group who reside in Southern California.  Allison from Allison Jacobs Photography, Valeria from Zen Mind Photography and Kim Kelly from Liv Life food and travel blog.

The preparations for this "Barbecue" event had us towing boxes filled with props and boards, Duralogs.. that didn't want to light, a variety of main dishes and sides and our camera bags filled with memory cards and lenses. What I didn't expect was the high heat and humidity and the "oh-so-brite' light that streamed in, only softly diffused by the flittering leaves on the gorgeous trees at the park. I really wish I had brought a light diffuser because the brightness of the light gave me such harsh contrasts in my photo's.

Being that I had a VERY uncontrolled environment, I decided that I couldn't use the photo's I shot at our barbecue get together for my premier challenge photo's. I have put a few up at the latter end of the post just to show a little of our shoot.

I had such a wonderful time though, so I don't feel like I came away empty handed.. I made stronger friendships with the gals that I've already grown to love since we started our journey together in January, and I learned more about team work and what is desperately needed when setting up an on location food photography shoot. LOTS MORE HANDS!

My challenge photo's ended up being the most simple of item's, barbecued.. "ahem", I mean grilled :),  Marinated Mushroom Skewers. 

This meal came out of my craving a few day's ago for something quick and healthy.. something I couldn't find while out on the road with my daughter who was in desperate need of an In-N-Out Burger. I really don't know why simple and healthy items like this aren't added to fast food menus. Crazy right?? 

Simple marinade of olive oil, black pepper, sea salt, oregano and sun-dried tomato pesto. While it was grilling, I spritzed a little freshly squeezed lemon for a final depth of flavor.

Yes.. they were as good as they look!

My Barbecue meal was also yummy!
Grilled "Spinach and Feta Cheese Chicken Sausages" brushed with a fresh basil pesto. 

The garlic and shallots were pre-marinated with olive oil, thyme and black pepper. I placed therm in a tin foil pouch and barbecued them till soft and steamy. WOW.. the smell rocked!
Fresh mozzarella was drizzled with a small amount of pesto oil.

For the salad.. which I don't have a great photo of here, is my Marinated Garbanzo Bean Anti Pasta with cherry tomatoes, red onions and zucchini. I'll do a separate post for this salad.. because it really does deserve it! 

With all of our prepping and BBQing, I didn't get many photo's of my girls. Valeria had to leave early because her beautiful boy had a summer flu.. Kim also had to leave early.. I mean this girl is "always" jetting off to some gorgeous corner of the earth. As I speak she is on her way to Venice, Italy! :)

Now it's time to make your way over to my extremely talented and beautiful friend Stacey Siegal | Longboat Key FL Photographer to see her interpretation of "Barbecue".  

And I don't use the term "interpretation" lightly! Being that we all come from different parts of the country, each of us had different idea's of what BBQ meant to us.. and i'm especially excited to see Sabrina's, a bbq from "Down Under".. she is hopefully showing us the Aussie version of "Shrimp on the Barbe"..

So with that in mind, I leave you with this wonderfully amusing music video that may sum up the differences we all have of "Barbecue"!!