Poached eggs, pancetta and spinach toast

I’ve been naughty lately.

To be specific, I’ve been spending a lot. On what? Food photography related items of course. Most food bloggers and photographers/stylists will understand the dilemma of budget vs want. When it comes to colourful spoons, vintage pots or an extra lens, it’s always easier to buy first and think later. Well, for me anyway.

My latest lens addition is the Sigma 30mm f1.4 which I’ve been looking to buy for the longest time. I usually take out my Canon 50mm f1.4 to restaurants because it’s compact, light and works like a charm. Being a prime lens though, sometimes it’s just a bit too cramped in the restaurant to even fit a full dish in. I haven’t had the chance to try Canon’s 35mm f1.4 but due to its hefty price tag, I opted for the cheaper Sigma version. And the verdict? I love it! It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting. It’s a tiny bit heavier than the Canon 50mm but not enough to make much difference.

The food photos in this post were all taken with the new Sigma lens.

I will be using the Sigma instead of the Canon 50mm at restaurants from now on but of course, I still love my Canon lens…I’ll still put it to good use in other ways. :)

Like many food bloggers and amateur photographers, I’m a big fan of Tartelette, Cannille et Vanille and La Tartine Gourmande food blogs. For people who are familiar with these blogs would probably be familiar with the following vibrant, plastic cutlery.

Yes, I was so in love with their photos that I purchased the whole 12 sets of this lovely DeLuxe 2000 range from Pandora Designs in Italy. It wasn’t easy making the purchase, both in terms of letting go of the money (12 sets costed a hefty 99euro plus 80euro for shipping to Melbourne through DHL, total costing $230AUD) and the fact that their website was completely in Italian. It became easy enough when I emailed them at info@pandoradesign.it, Daniella who helped me with the purchase was very efficient and nice.

I used the orange fork in the above and below photos, but in terms of prices, that’s up to you to decide if they’re worth it. I love them so I’d get them again if I had the choice.

So I have my eyes set on the Canon 5D MarkIII as well but that’s a little too out of budget at the moment. Hopefully by end of the year I’d get my hands on one. πŸ˜›

Question time: Do you have an addiction to purchasing food props or camera gear? What’s on your wish list at the moment?

RECIPE: Poached eggs, pancetta and spinach toast

Makes 4 servings

4 eggs
4 pieces of toast or other bread of choice
Handful of spinach
4 pieces of thinly cut pancetta
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

1. Boil half pot of water in a medium pot
2. Turn heat down to medium/low, or until you see tiny bubbles rise to the surface
3. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Use a spoon or anything long to twirl the water in a clockwise direction until the water is spinning.
4. Let the water settle slightly, then carefully slip the cracked egg into the centre of the pot, keeping the bowl close to the water surface as you do so. The twirling water will keep the egg white close to the yolk.
5. Let the egg sit in the water (which is on low heat) for around 4 minutes and then carefully remove from the water.
6. Toast bread and place spinach (slightly blanched or raw), 1 piece of pancetta and poached egg on the bread.
7. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

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23 comments… add one
  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 18, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Great purchases! Love the new sets and they look stunning! I wouldn’t know which to choose so I’d probably buy all of them! πŸ˜›

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 19, 2012, 9:52 pm

      Thanks Lorraine! I’ve had quite a few people tell me otherwise, including my boyfriend…but what’s done is done πŸ˜›

  • Ames May 18, 2012, 8:42 pm

    Whoa, that’s a lot of cutlery! But love all the colours and the style :). I’m still newish to the food blogging scene but I guess if there was something that I’d like to splurge on one day is a KitchenAid πŸ˜€

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 19, 2012, 9:53 pm

      I just bought a KitchenAid not too long ago and I love it! It’s a fantastic addition to any kitchen. :)

  • love2dine May 19, 2012, 1:44 am

    I fall in love with your photographs a little more each time I see them

  • bakingaddict May 19, 2012, 9:00 am

    Your photos are beautiful and that cutlery set is gorgeous – I want one too!! I tend to spend on baking paraphernalia rather than camera gear – my photography is terrible and I need a new camera. Love the poached eggs toast too :)

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 19, 2012, 9:54 pm

      Thanks so much! If I could bake half as well as you, I’d be splurging on bake ware too…I’m not sure if I should be thankful that I can’t really bake or not…:P

  • Nic@diningwithastud May 19, 2012, 10:41 am

    I adore you styling on this. Stunning job :) I want to devour all of these haha

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 19, 2012, 9:54 pm

      Thanks Nic! πŸ˜€ Still very bad at lighting and post processing…but one day I’ll get there..:)

  • Hotly Spiced May 19, 2012, 2:51 pm

    The cutlery is stunning. That will be so useful for your photo shoots – great props. I love the look of these poached eggs on spinach and pancetta. You cook great poached eggs! And yes, I have so much photography gear and yes, there’s always something else on the wish-list xx

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 19, 2012, 9:56 pm

      I just hope I can do them justice by taking better photos πŸ˜› That was actually the first time I made poached eggs!! Shows that it’s not too hard. :)

  • Ali May 20, 2012, 10:19 am

    Thanks for dropping by my blog :) Your photos are great, the cutlery sets are great and those poached eggs look great! Now I wish I had had eggs for breakfast this morning!! There is always new camera-stuff on my wish-list :)

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 20, 2012, 10:16 pm

      Thanks for dropping by my blog too! I’ve been having so much eggs these few days…it’s great πŸ˜€

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook May 22, 2012, 4:09 pm

    I was just telling you about the photography…and here the lens! You know what, I have the exact same lens. We have another sigma brand so we were okay with this brand…. but do you like 30mm? Sometimes 50mm doesn’t fit, and I just locate myself farther than the object. So my husband thought 30mm is necessary so he bought it. I used probably 1-2 times for photo shoot and I didn’t really like that much. Okay that comment is said by armature food photographer…but now that you really like it, I will challenge myself again with this lens (I almost try to re-sell it… lol). Love your poached eggs. Should make this on weekend!

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 23, 2012, 1:31 am

      I totally understand why you don’t like this lens, I primarily use this lens to take photos at restaurants which often doesn’t have the space for me to back up so that’s why the 30mm is better than the 50mm for me. I don’t think it’ll be very useful for you in the kitchen πŸ˜€ I really loved my 50mm…it might be better if I got a 5D MarkIII because then it wouldn’t be the crop body my 550D is…

  • angela@spinachtiger May 23, 2012, 2:39 am

    Hi there. Yes, we are both using thesis. I love this picture and poached eggs. I understand exactly what you mean in restaurants with the 50mm and now I’m thinking of getting a new lens. I usually have to push the food to the far side to get the pic. As for the plastic cutlery, that’s a lot of cash, but I’m sure you’ll put to good use.

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 23, 2012, 2:47 am

      I find I still have to push the food to the corner of the table even with the new lens, can’t imagine how I surprised with the 50mm up till now…

  • lquasem May 23, 2012, 2:51 am

    This looks delicious! I cant wait to try it!!

  • choux choux May 23, 2012, 10:08 pm

    You did really well for your first time making poached eggs. The first time I did it was a disaster! I just bought a 50mm lens and I’m really liking it for portraiture and general “things on table” photos. It’s better in darker conditions than the zoom lens.

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 24, 2012, 1:14 am

      I admit, I had some help from my boyfriend. πŸ˜› I did most of them myself though. πŸ˜› It’s really not as hard as people think. :)

  • Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) May 25, 2012, 4:26 am

    oh man, this sounds so delicious! and i love that cutlery set! your photos are so beautiful :)


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