Sugar + Shake evolved out of my galleries of “Facebook Food Fotos.” When Shake and I first moved in together, I wasn’t the best cook. We ate a lot of packet sauces and pre-prepped Costco items—and as for plating? Are you serious? As my cooking improved, Shake started telling me I should record my dishes on Facebook since he was sad that I would forget things I made and they would disappear into kitchen oblivion, never to be repeated again. I started posting just to keep a visual catalog of the meals and cocktails we had at home. Since people were now looking at my food, I began dolling it up, garnishing and using the pretty plates we got for our wedding but never used. And the more I photographed my food, the more I wanted to learn how to do it properly.

Things snowballed—one Facebook gallery became a second gallery, and little side galleries of cocktail creation nights and special dishes found their way online. Friends asked me to e-mail recipes. And after somewhere between one- and two-hundred dishes and cocktails had been slowly added to my Food Foto collection, I decided that maybe a more robust photo gallery and blog would be worth the effort.

So here it is: Sugar + Shake.

It’s mostly me, with a dash of Shake. I do most of the photography and cooking, but I’m neither a culinary nor photography professional. Just a dabbler. (Update: Several years in—eesh, nearly a decade! Let’s not talk about that—I do now get paid to take pictures of food. Yay!) 

About the Food:  I believe in recipes as inspiration, as guides to first-time-making-a-dish and to understand ingredient ratios. And for baking. Don’t fiddle with baking recipes. Too much. Therefore, recipes you find on this site may or may not have actual measurements. Recipes have been inspired or adapted as noted. If a recipe hasn’t been altered significantly, and it’s readily available from its original source, you will be directed to find the recipe there. Shake and I respect the effort it takes to create a recipe and write out the instructions for others to enjoy and believe the creators deserve to have your eyeballs on their site or a copy of their book purchased.

I do have a full-time-and-more job, so as much as I would like to indulge in made-from-scratch stock and crazy Martha Stewart-esque projects of that ilk, yeah, that’s not happening. I occasionally embark on insane ideas like starting a roast chicken for dinner at 7:30pm, but on the whole, most dinner dishes can be accomplished between arriving home at 7pm and eating by 8:30pm. Maybe sooner, if you’re more organized than I am, which is entirely likely.

About the Photography: I use a Canon T2i 6D DSLR camera, generally fitted with either the 18-55mm kit lens or a 50mm f/1.8 lens or a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8. Very early gallery photos were taken with a Canon SD 880IS point-and-shoot which was loved to death. (Really, it keeled over and died a week after the DSLR came home—maybe it was jealous.) Shake uses a Canon G12 technically-a-P&S-but-almost-a-DSLR. Sometimes I steal it because I get tired of carrying a 15-lb. purse around.

About This Other Thing I Do: I launched Put It On My Plate in 2015 to offer content generation, marketing services and project assistance. I am also available for editorial freelance writing and photography.

Thanks for reading!


PS: Want to chat about something? Email us.