June Favourites List, My Props Organized And A Big Catch Up.

by | Jun 13, 2013 | 24 comments

June Favourites - Cook Republic
Hello everyone! How are you all doing today? Hope you have all been well. Things are starting to slow down for me, finally. Life is getting back in perspective and the thing I have missed the most is talking to you, not at you, but to you. I read every single comment here, I follow many of your blogs, I see your Instagram pictures and Facebook posts, I stalk you all in my own completely non-threatening way. I may not always write, reply or like (I am working on it) but I am watching you people! So keep doing all the amazing things you do, because the beauty of life is that it is long and you have plenty of time to do things you love over and over again.
Hayden Quinn And His Camera - Cook Republic
Hayden Quinn - Cook Republic
I have been busy. I am not just saying it. I finally wrapped up the second phase of the Food & Wine Photoshoot. The pictures turned out great and I can’t wait to share them with you. I also shot an e-book for Vitamix (did you enter the great Vitamix giveaway?). I fit in an amazing 3-day media trip to the Barossa Valley for some great food and wine adventures. I partnered with Nespresso and Darren Purchese to introduce their newest limited edition permanent flavours. I did interviews. I wrote a series of posts for Kidspot Village Voices. I spent an amazing day collaborating, cooking and chatting with the ever awesome Hayden Quinn at home (I am so excited for his cookbook to be released later this year). He cooked a gorgeous eggplant dish from his upcoming cookbook and I made my Lunchbox Couscous. We swapped notes on cameras, lenses, food, culture and life in general. A great day!
A Day With Hayden Quinn - Cook Republic
I met the lovely Jude Blereau (who surprisingly reads my blog) at her book launch tea (My signed copy of Wholefood Baking looks amazing!). And finally I met Brandon VanOver, the managing editor of Random House for a mentoring session. It was a simple but powerful experience that I will always cherish. The 45 minutes were a blur. But like a strange dish you try for the very first time and one that you reminisce about later when you piece the flavours together, my meeting with Brandon still pops up in my subconcious every now and then. I am resolved to get closer to the stories bubbling within me.
Food Photography Props - Cook Republic
Lately the pile of new unread cookbooks on my shelf has been steadily growing, my Kobo has acquired many new books I hope to read, my lemon trees are starting to bow really low with heavy ripe fruit that no one has cared to harvest, my veggie patches are as bare as my chicken’s bottoms (although some fluff and feathers are growing back on the ladies) and I have missed a few evenings of college. I have the intent for all of these things but not the time. I want to reclaim my time without splitting myself in half. I have started the process by organizing my props. I took inspiration from this Prop post on Matt Bites. I bought a shelving unit, mobile drawers and clear boxes from Officeworks ($178) and coupled with my two existing shelving units, a vintage tallboy, three massive industrial boxes and a big wooden crate; all my props now have a structured home. I find clear boxes are versatile and light enought to carry around. They also don’t need to be labelled as you can see the props inside. Non-pretty objects like uninteresting bakeware go in opaque boxes so I don’t have to look at them constantly. Most of the time I buy props that I can also use in daily life and things that are a pleasure to look at in interesting clusters of display. I like to group my props by colour and material. Trolley drawers house knives, silverware, wooden spoons, scissors and tiny bits and bobs as they are easier to move around while shooting. I am sharing some pictures of my (no-normal-home-should-have-so-many) props. This is by no means all of it because I haven’t even begun photographing my boards, surfaces, linens, boxes, crates and bottles. But I love them all dearly (wherever they are lurking in my home and garage) and could tell you the story behind each and every one of them. I get asked a lot about my props, so here are some pictures for all you busybodies (just joking!).
Food Photography Props - Organizing
Food Photography Props - Cook Republic
I now also have limited self-managed advertising (see left bar).  There are 5 spots in all.The big ad is currently booked until August. If you feel your business/blog/product fits well with the Cook Republic demographic, do consider these lovely spots. I want to send a shout out and love to my first few sponsors. Thank you for your support!
French Navy Stationery is a gorgeous stationery store dreamed up by ex-advertising-diva Miss French Navy. 
Kookery tea towels are so quirky and so delightful, I might just wrap them as a cravat to keep my neck warm and have a conversation starter handy. 
Down That Little Lane is a gorgeous site selling bespoke things from wooden camera earrings to stunning vintage furniture and also some of my Tasty Circus necklaces.

Lead Photo – The opening photo was shot earlier in the morning sun at an extra workspace I have set up in my little home studio. I love the view and the light. I now have five tables in my studio (I think I could fit in a couple more). In the picture you will find a small collection of my favourite French linen tea towels, my little ceramic egg tray that has fresh eggs laid by our four hens this morning, a white Reidel enamel milk pan that I use for almost everything, my granite and marble mortar and pestles, garden scissors for herbs and flowers, vintage wire basket for picking fruits and veggies from the backyard, Bialetti Moka Express that makes the most delicious cup of coffee, black pepper grinder and my favourite knives all with weathered wooden handles that have a story to tell. Food & Wine magazine will be doing a small feature on me in their September 2013 issue and this is one of the pictures for that feature.

And now for a list of my favourites for June.

– Manger is one of my most favourite blogs. I have talked about Mimi Thorisson’s lovely work before but I must share her two recent posts about Strawberries and Acacia Flowers Fritters. I want to make both. I want to live inside the pictures. And oh those chickens peck-kissing just made my day!
– It is warmer in the Northern hemisphere and it is evident from these posts about edible flowers and flowers in general on 101 Cookbooks, Call Me Cupcake and La Buena Vida
– We cooked Nettle Pasta in the Barossa in a dear little place called Casa Carboni. Peter captured the mood of the day.
– I bought Gwyneth Paltrow’s book recently and I think it is quite something. It is clean and peaceful. I found this a very interesting read – I tried Gwyneth’s diet and got rash on my face.
– You can totally start a garden in a tight space.
– When I get back some of that time, I would like to make this and this  and this.
– This potato roll recipe. 
– This awesome photo idea. 
– This Polish blog has very interesting recipes. 
– This stunning Tasmanian blog
– Whipped cream with a difference.
– This beautiful Parisian blog.
– Tunes I am trying to brainwash myself with on my train journeys – Paramore. Bastille. Ellie Goulding

Find More Recipes By CategoryFavourites Journal



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Egle

    And thought I was busy… well, not enough I guess..
    love love love your blog! Can’t wait for the next post.

  2. Nisha

    Wow Sneh, compared to you I think me telling people I am busy means nothing! You have a more adventurous one fosho – meeting so many people, traveling, blogging, photographing, cooking, and taking care of kids and home. Okay I think I’m exhausted just by the thought of it 😛

    And my husband has been complaining I ‘waste’ money on too many props and stuff for the kitchen instead of buying something to adorn myself. Since I own, like, just 10% of your collection – I have, HAVE to show him this post. My husband does not believe his wife until he sees other wives doing the same thing! 😀

    • Sneh

      Ha ha, you show him Nisha! Although this is officially my work so really a business investment ( lucky me! ) 🙂

  3. kulsum@journeykitchen.com

    it’ss the kind of busy you should really be proud of! So happy for you. LOVE the photos here. xo

  4. Rosa

    Great to hear that you are busy! Ah, I’d love to own so many props. Great shots.



  5. Martyna @ Wholesome Cook

    Hi Sneh, wow, here I was thinking I was flat out… all exciting things though for you, so once you do get that moment to sit down, relax an take a deep breath count your blessings and smile. To do all this and be a Mum is a great achievement indeed.

    • Sneh

      Thanks Martyna. I will remember that. Really appreciate it 🙂 xx

  6. Pauli

    That’s a huge props collection, wish my was so big :)))

  7. snappystreet

    Look at all those amazing props! And they all now have a home 🙂


  8. Eha

    Well, Sneh: now that I have regained my breath have also filed this for the weekend – I’d love to reread all ‘your story’ again but also get busy looking up some of those interesting links! Thanks 🙂 ! Yes, you have been awsomely busy, but I daresay you may have not felt that because of the wonderful stimulation . . .

  9. JJ - 84thand3rd

    So many wonderful things happening for you! I hope you get a spare moment for yourself soon to sit down and sip a cup of tea 🙂

  10. Courtney Butterworth

    Thank you so much for referring to Mimi Thorisson’s blog, Manger, her photos are simply stunning and recounts of life in regional France inspiring and entertaining. Thank you!!

  11. Lisa the Gourmet Wog

    What gorgeous props! I’d so love to buy more but I have NO room! I can’t wait to hear about your Barossa weekend 🙂

  12. crummblle

    Thank you for putting me on your favourites list and best regards! :-*

  13. Colette @ JFF!

    Congrats, Sneh!

    Next time my hubby complains we have too much stuff,
    I’ll have to declare they’re my PROPS. 😉


  14. lockmaker1012

    I’m new to your blog, Sneh, but it’s gorgeous! Lovely pictures – I’m jealous… 😉 I’ve already bookmarked many recipes to make!

    P.S. – you have one of the coolest names ever.

  15. Puja @ Indiaphile.info

    I’m completely in love with your prop collection! And best of all it’s so well organized! One of my favorite things about becoming a food blogger is that I finally have a legitimate excuse for hoarding of all things pretty. P.S. your boys are adorable! 🙂

  16. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I have serious prop envy! Love the behind-the-scenes peek at your collection.

  17. Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy

    Ah! Love this post. Your blog makes me so happy. I am so excited for you with all the wonderful things that are happening – and they are well deserved!
    Are you on college holidays now? I am and it feels fantastic to reclaim just a little bit of time to work on other projects 🙂

  18. Archana

    Could you tell me what tripod you guys use? I have been looking for one.

  19. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    So many wonderful news, Sneh. Congrats on everything and looks like it’s been pretty busy for you. Love that you shared your beautiful prop collection with us all 🙂

  20. Nic @diningwithastud

    Your prop storage is my dreeeeeam 🙂 I def need a bigger house haha. Congrats on everything Sneh!

  21. Daisy@Nevertoosweet

    WOW i would love to see you style food and see you use all those wondeful props that you have!! how do you keep track? hehe I don’t have as many props even then I have trouble finding what I need hehe

  22. cheryl

    Such pretty plates miss………

    what a magically busy time your having….. I’m sooo happy for all your success……


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