This week we take five with the very talented Giedre Barauskiene, food stylist and photographer, author of four cookbooks and food editor at one of the most significant fashion and lifestyle magazines in Lithuania ‘Moteris‘ (@moterismagazine). Giedre also shares a wonderful cake recipe below from her latest cookbook “Regale with a Writer”.
Where is your favourite travel destination and why?
Italy, Spain, Greece – countries were I usually go every year. Warm weather and water, delicious food, beautiful nature and architecture – all these good things are accessible in two to three hours by plane from Lithuania. This June I had my dream life holidays in Puglia (Italy), lived nearby in Polignano a Mare, visited amazing Matera and Ostuni. At the end of August we went to Corfu (Greece), visited wild beaches by motorboat, admired the wonderful old town of Corfu which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Family, sunshine, good food, adventures and a lot of objects for photography – perfect ingredients of happiness. My next destination – Portugal. In my country every year we go to the Curonian Spit – this is our Lithuanian holiday destination. This tiny part of Lithuania is a gem – wide and long white sand beaches, pines, few people and exceptional calmness and tranquility which I only get there.
What is your go-to recipe to cook at home?
Thrilled to be sharing a delicious autumnal recipe from my newest cookbook “Regale with a Writer” filled with recipes, inspired by the greatest works of literature as well as some recent bestsellers. The novels for the book were chosen by my colleague, a specialist in bibliotherapy. During the last three years we have photographed 79 dishes, one per each selected piece of literature. We have made these dishes based on both well-known and less common recipes, we have also interpreted and improved them using our own fantasy and intuition, as books are often the result of authors’ impressions, too.
This is a collection of delicious recipes as well as rewarding and satisfying books. We are secretly aiming that those, who have enjoyed the recipe will read the recipe-related book, whereas those who have already read the book, will go to the kitchen and cook the book-related recipe. We invite readers to a culinary and literary adventure. The dishes described in this book are fun and easy-to-make at home. One of them is an easy and delicious no flour Austrian cake, inspired by Robert Seethaler’s “A Whole Life”. This cake is our family weekend fav.
150g soft butter
250g brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g cottage cheese
100g ground almonds
2 organic lemons juice and rind
1 spoon powdered sugar
Heat oven to 180 C/160 C Fan/Gas 4. Beat butter, sugar and salt for 5-6 minutes. Add ricotta cottage cheese. Beat mixture again. Add egg yolks and beat well. Stir in almonds, semolina, sultanas (washed with hot water and drained), lemon juice and thinly grated rind. Then beat egg whites until stiff and spoon in to dough. Pour the dough in to a baking tin lined with a baking parchment. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Then cover the cake with foil and bake for the next 30-40 minutes. After that take the cake from the oven and leave it to cool, remove parchment. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
What can’t you live without in the garden?
Herbs (lemon thyme, oregano, sage), zucchini, pumpkin, beans – you only need to put seeds in the soil, water them from time to time and they grow themselves even though you are on your holidays. Talking about trees I can’t live without apple and plum trees. All these and other heroes from my garden appear on my Instagram feed. I like to visit local food markets when we are on our holidays abroad. There you can find a lot of still life accidentally created by farmers – everything is already done (products, styling), you just wander around and take photos.
What inspires you?
Travelling, nature, people who are doing something different and their works. And also an inner desire to try my best to pursue my dreams and goals. I adore what I do. Once I read photographer’s Ansel Adams quote, it illustrates very well what I mean: “You don’t make a photograph with a camera. You bring the act of photography to all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved”.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day means living at my own pace. Usually no two days are the same in my life except the morning coffee, taking pictures and the evening herb tea. One day can be calm and slow, another – full of hard work, pressure and constant need of creativity. Despite all of that I try to get pleasure not only from my work result but also from the whole process as well and stay in my own pace.
To see more of Giedre’s beautiful work and recipes visit her Instagram page here. Want more interviews? Click here for our interview with Elisabeth Denk from Rose and Abraham Flower Farm and here for our interview with Justina Ramanauskiene from Sugar to Dust.