I'm lucky to have worked with the same photographer for almost eight years, Juli Leonard.
Since 2007, we have shot many plates of food on the same wooden table in front of the large picture window in my 1957 Raleigh ranch home. Along the way, we dreamed of collecting Juli's photographs and those delicious recipes together on a website. We finally have done it.
We've launched The Recipe, a collection of our favorite The News & Observer recipes with Juli's photographs.
We want the site to reflect what Triangle folks are cooking and eating. So the site includes many recipes from our weekly food stories, as well as monthly Specialty of the House and Signature Dish columns. We also have three years' worth of winning recipes from our annual Holiday Treat Contest. I am also trying to make sure the site features our most requested recipes, including the Angus Barn's Chocolate Chess Pie and David Fowle's Chocolate Chip Cookies.
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The site also has a collection of step-by-step photo and video tutorials, including how to make pie crust, low-sugar jams and refrigerator pickles.
We also want to have some fun with the site and share some of what happens behind the scenes. We suspect folks imagine that Juli and I spend hours and hours cooking in the kitchen and styling plates of food before taking photographs. The reality is not so glamorous, but it's definitely humorous, especially with a dog - or dogs - underfoot during our food shoots. Juli has captured great images of my basset hound and beagle mix, Early, eying a plate of Acme Food & Beverage Co.'s fried chicken and even her Chihuahua terrier mix, Franny, trying to steal some pancakes.
Beyond our excitement about the site, we also want your feedback.
The website has more than 80 recipes. We're adding more each week, culling from the archives and posting what appears in the paper. Before we get too far down the path, we want to hear from readers about what they like about the site and what they would like to see. We'd like to make changes before the site gets too vast.
Please also tell us about your favorite N&O recipes so we can post them. Let us know how we're doing. Send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.