Cooking With My Mel

My friend Melanie can cook like nobody’s business.  This is why I started hanging out with her in college.  That, and she’s a really good dancer.  So since her husband, Thurmeo, is on an extended business trip and the hubs is [supposed to be] traveling more for work, I concocted a sweet little plan.  We get together to cook dinner – I learn to cook and she learns more about photography – and we get to enjoy each others company with good food.  (Little does she know I got the better end of the deal.)

So this week we had a our first dinner and it was fantastic: Thanksgiving roll-loaf, mashed taters and greens.  I really wanted meatloaf and I thought about mixing it up with ground turkey instead of beef.  Mel thought this was weird but located a stellar recipe where you roll stuffing into the loaf.  Can we say delicious?  Yes we can.

Cooking With Melanie 1

I have about 15 pictures of Mel totally concentrating on rolling up that turkey… but I liked her smiling best.  She finally caught on the camera was going a hundred miles a minute and started laughing.

Oh how I love thee, Thanksgiving roll-loaf.  But the best is yet to come.

Cooking With Melanie 1

AHHH! BACON!!!!  You are about to be bacon-ized, Thanksgiving roll-loaf.

Cooking With Melanie 1

Cooking With Melanie 1

Bruno, the ninja-doggin, says “Where’s my bacon?”  Don’t let those “please feed me” eyes fool you.  You turn your back for one second and Bruno’s gone and stole your burger/potato salad/cake/beer.  He is a food ninja.  And he moves so fast you can’t catch him.

Cooking With Melanie 1

It took forever for this thing to cook.  But it was worth it.  I decided the only thing that would have made it better was turkey gravy.  I’m keeping that in my mental notepad for next time.  Because there will be a next time.

Cooking With Melanie 1

Internet, meet my dinner:

Cooking With Melanie 1

And meet my dessert.  I did not expect dessert but I wasn’t surprised either.  This here is a pumpkin cake or something.  I don’t care for pumpkin pie.  But this was not so pumpkin-y – it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  (recipe posted here)

Cooking With Melanie 1

Sweets are Melanie’s forte.  She’s seriously one of the best cooks I know but her cakes are TO DIE FOR!  And the community has caught on.  She makes cakes for friends, for birthdays, for baby showers… and has created a blog to showcase her sugary creations: Splendid Sweets.  She’s quite the art-eest, no?

So while we didn’t cover photography or blogging much, we I ate until my gut busted.  And I watch Melanie work her own camera magic with her “eye candy” for the photo challenge.

Cooking With Melanie 1

I have no flippin’ idea how she uses this hunk of a camera.  I messed around with it for a bit and it was fail after fail.  I guess you get used to your own equipment but jeez, this thing is not only huge but fussy too.  I know, I know… it’s operator failure.  I get that.  I don’t need you to tell me that.

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

November 5, 2009 - 7:39 pm

Caleb - Quality stuff here! I’m digging the DOF on the pumpkin cake and oven shot, and the first and last ‘action’ shots have very nice color and balance. I can almost taste the bacon!

November 5, 2009 - 7:56 pm

shutterboo - Thanks Caleb! I was pleased with myself because I tested my white balance first and after I changed it, everything looked good. So good I didn’t have to post-process.
And of course, Melanie is such a great model. :)

November 5, 2009 - 11:41 pm

junbelen - OMG! This looks deliciously pretty!!!

November 6, 2009 - 3:05 am

splendidsweets - I am super excited I finally made the blog! :) I want to steal your pic of the pumpkin pie cake so I can put it and the recipe up on my blog!

November 6, 2009 - 10:15 am

shutterboo - That is a LIE! Flat out LIE! Refer to the following link:

That’s dated 08/05/09 – only a week into my blogging debut. I know no other Mels, Mel. Try to make me feel bad… not gonna work sister… now fork over some more cake.

And by all means, you made the damn thing, you can use the picture. I want this recipe so I think this is a lovely idea. It’s got “Brooke can make a good cake from scratch” written all over it.

November 6, 2009 - 10:33 am

katie - SERIOUSLY?? This is how I start my Friday? Well great, now I’m hungry. Damn you shutterboo! Damn you!

November 6, 2009 - 3:10 pm

splendidsweets - Ok, my bad! Gotta go make some cake :)

November 6, 2009 - 6:21 pm

Andy G - sounds great. I made a bavarian/hungarian style goulash the other day with homemade spaetzle. it was awesome. however, this reminded me of a concept in bbq cooking known as a fatty (or a roll up). this one is called the bacon explosion

November 6, 2009 - 6:38 pm

amy937 - That looks soooo good. Is that oatmeal on the outside of the loaf?? You have to post this recipe – I need it!

November 6, 2009 - 6:42 pm
May 4, 2010 - 8:17 am

Not a Fan of Michigan « shutterboo - […] Cooking with My Mel is history.  Spending too much at the outlet mall in Edinburgh is a distant memory.  UFC fight nights and rounds of Catch Phrase… oh how I’ll miss those rounds of beating the mens at Catch Phrase.  No blackberry pickens at Huber’s Orchard this summer.  The fairy dust is finally beginning to settle in that kitchen of hers.  *tear* […]

S o c i a l
M o r e   i n f o