Strawberry Peach Rhubarb Tartlets - Chicago Food Photographer

So many people asked for the recipe for these sweet little tartlets so I figured I’d just do a blog post on them! I kind of made up my own thing, as I’m not one to really follow recipes strictly, and I am definitely not known to use exact measurements. I wing things when I cook and bake - life’s just easier that way for me!

I’m also thee messiest person in the kitchen and I am horrible at remembering to take photos of all of the steps, so this isn’t your traditional food blog post but that’s ok because I’m not a food blogger, right?! I just document it - my recipes are a hot mess and follow no protocol. Ever! It’s kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure deal whenever I’m in the kitchen and that’s where I thrive. You’ve been warned.


The Key is to Use Fresh Fruit!

The fresher the better and it’s currently strawberry AND peach season. Even found some fresh rhubarb at the grocery, and although I’d never used rhubarb with peaches before, I was amazed at how lovely this tasted. The bitterness of the rhubarb blends so well with the sweetness of the peaches & strawberries.


Jazz it up with Your Spices

I used nutmeg, cinnamon, ground ginger, agave and salt. Also used lemon zest, coconut sugar and a bit of orange extract (my favorite secret weapon in the kitchen!)


Cheat - Use Pre-Made Dough

I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells and it made life simple. I baked them like the package said, and then scooped out the top so I could add the fruit filling. I then put the “top” back on over the fruit filling and baked a few minutes longer to seal the deal. Like a little fruit sandwich snack. Let cool for a while and then top with greek yogurt, whipped topping or ice cream. I garnished with mint & thin slices of peaches & strawberries. Finally, devour. The best cheat you can make, though, is to find someone to make it FOR you while you just get to sit back and take in all of that summery flavor. At least that’s what I would love for someone to do for me…



Ingredients - This only makes 6 pastry cups so if you want more, double or triple the recipe!

1 package Pepperidge Farm Pastry Shells

1 longer stalk of rhubarb - sliced

1 cup strawberries - sliced

1 peach - sliced

Sugar - I used coconut, just a bit (maybe a quarter cup) because I also used some agave nectar for sweetness.

Agave nectar - Maybe 2 Tablespoons. I don’t measure & there’s already so much sweetness in the fruit- don’t judge!

A couple dashes each of cinnamon, nutmeg & ground ginger.

Half of a lemon - zested

A couple squirts of orange extract

Yogurt, Whipped Cream or Ice Cream for topping. (I used Lemon Noosa yogurt - so tangy!)

Strawberries or peaches - sliced for garnish

Steps to mouth-watering goodness

  1. Bake the pastry cups according to package. Like the package states, once done baking, scoop off the top and inside part. But don’t toss those beauties & keep your oven on after these are done baking!!! I used mine at the end for a little extra sweet crunch on top.

  2. In a large saucepan, combine all of your sliced fruit with all other ingredients except the toppings (ie yogurt/whipped cream). (You could put it all in a bowl and stir just to transfer it to the saucepan but I am an energy efficient baker and this saves a step and a dirty dish!) Stir really well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low heat and cook the fruit down til it’s “saucy” but not too runny. I think it was about 10 minutes.

  3. Once all good and saucy, spoon the filling into your hole-y pastry cups. I added mine to the top but not overflowing. Replace the tops of the cup that I told you not to discard, and bake another 5 or so minutes to seal the deal.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool. If you can’t wait to devour, add your topping of choice and eat shortly after out of the oven when it’s not so-hot-it-will-burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth hot.

Enjoy. If you liked this, and make it, tag @courtneylaperphoto on IG and show me your creations.

Homemade Granola - Recipe from Courtney's Kitchen - Chicago Food Photographer - Chicago, IL

It’s no secret that I love pretty photos, especially of food. My dream is to photograph a cookbook in the future. Or to work as a freelancer for a travel magazine. *Anyone want to hook a girl up with her dream job?* When I’m cooking or baking, though, it’s usually so I can photograph it! I’ll obviously eat it too, because I can’t turn down a delicious snack, drink or meal! But the end goal of my kitchen artistry is to document it. And now to share with you!

Full disclosure: I don’t always measure things when I’m creating something and I will often wing it!

Homemade Granola from Courtney’s Kitchen


2 cups old-fashioned oats

½ cup nuts, chopped (pecans, almonds, cashews, etc)

¼ cup raw seeds (pumpkin, flax or sunflower are my favorites)

2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey (or a combo of both)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 large pinch fine sea salt

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

1/2 cup coconut chips


Preheat the oven to 300º F.

Combine all ingredients except coconut chips in a mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix well and toss to coat. If your coconut oil is solid, melt it in the microwave a few seconds or your hands will warm it up and melt it into the mixture.

Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, until very lightly toasted.

Stir the mixture while baking, and add the coconut chips. Continue to bake an extra 10-ish min.

Cool before serving or storing.

This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator. Get Creative! My granola is never the same and depends on what I’m in the mood for. I might add dried fruit, many types of nuts and different seeds. Experiment with different flavors and combinations!

This granola is awesome on its own, with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit. Enjoy and be sure to comment below with your favorite renditions of this treat!

Much love!


Coconut Pecan Popcorn - Recipe below!

I was craving a sweet snack after I got home from photographing an event last night. Currently I am extremely low on groceries since returning home from a week of dog-sitting. Alas, I raided the pantry and found some popcorn kernels and wondered what I could do with them. I tend to get the most creative in the kitchen when I'm faced with limited options! I wondered what would happen if I popped the kernels in coconut oil. To my amazement, they popped perfectly! While the popcorn was still hot in the pan, I threw in a little slab of butter, sprinkled in coconut sugar with a dash of Pink Himalayan salt and tossed it all around. Test bite was satisfying but I wanted something a touch sweeter so I melted a few semi-sweet chocolate morsels and poured it over the coconut-coated popcorn, tossed in some toasted pecans and shook it all up. Voila! Just the right amount of sweet and sassy. Kind of like me!

Now, who wants to go grocery shopping for me since I can't live on popcorn the rest of the week?!


  • Pilot Knob Hull-less Ruby Red Popcorn
  • Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Madhava Unrefined Coconut Sugar
  • Butter
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Chocolate Chips 
  • Toasted Pecans

I popped the popcorn in a pan and didn't follow any recipe or measurements. I just tossed the coconut oil in to coat the bottom of the pan. Popped the kernels and added all other ingredients while it was still hot. No measurements here either, just to taste. Tip: I did melt the chocolate chips with a little bit of butter, and then poured it over the popcorn. Toss to mix and enjoy!