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A gift for you!

Larry and I are so appreciative of your support. The fact that you take the time to read our blog, entrust us with documenting your special family celebrations and are ceaseless with your encouragement means the world to us.

We were recently sitting around thinking of ways that we could show you our appreciation in a tangible way and we hit upon the idea of gifting you with original Isabel Lawrence images for you to use as wallpaper, or desktop art.

Each month we will offer up two new photographs; a horizontal formatted for your computer and a vertical which will be perfect for your tablet or smart phone. These images may be comprised of a variety of subjects – anything from a favorite travel photo, to an image of an adorable pup from our pet division, Buried Bone Photo will be fair game.  Our hope is to surprise and delight you each month so check back often and download away! To access the wallpaper art, click here and follow the simple instructions.

 Enjoy & Thanks!

Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse, Part 2

Bethany and Tommy’s wedding at the Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse was such fun. As you can see from these photos, the bride and groom never left the dance floor. All night long, they and their guests boogied to a very eclectic musical mix – from Lady Gaga to the Texas Two Step. Also, Bethany and her dad shared one of the sweetest father daughter dances I’ve ever witnessed. Admittedly, they danced to one of my favorite songs of all time: Billy Joel’s Good Night My Angel, so I was biased from the very first note but seeing him emotionally serenade his little girl throughout the entire song was incredibly touching and I found myself welling up as well.

The night flew by in a whirl of dancing, laughing and cupcake munching.

Bethany and Tommy, it has been such a sincere pleasure getting to know you two. You are both as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. Larry and I wish nothing but the best for you both as you begin your journey together as husband and wife.

If you would like to see their engagement photos at Balboa Lake, click here.

Figueroa Mountain Farm, Featured on The Bride’s Cafe

We are so excited and honored to be featured on the beautiful blog, The Bride’s Cafe today! Larry and I had such a great time photographing Bethany and Tommy’s wedding. This was our first shoot at Figueroa Mountain Farm and we were over the moon with how gorgeous it is. Of course, having such photogenic and wonderfully sweet subjects made our day even more pleasant and don’t even get me started on those dogs!

 In addition to lots more images, our post in The Bride’s Cafe mentions all the wonderfully talented people who made this day so special.

Please come back here tomorrow to see images from Bethany and Tommy’s very fun and charming reception.

As American as cherry pie…

Happy Independence Day everyone! If you are looking for the quintessential American dessert to serve at the end of your July 4th BBQ, this will do the trick. The cherry filling is sweet and luscious and this pie crust will fill your mouth with its buttery goodness. The best part about this little cutey is that it’s really easy to make – even the crust! Once you’ve made it, you will never buy a store bought crust again.

 Here’s what you’ll need to make your crust:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon sugar 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed 
1/3 cup ice water

Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal, about 10 seconds. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture holds together when pressed between 2 fingers. Dough should not be wet or sticky. If dough is too dry, add a tiny bit more water and pulse.

 Here’s a little tip: while you are gathering, measuring and adding your dry ingredients to the processor, have your cubed butter and water in the freezer. This will ensure that these ingredients are nice and chilly when it’s their turn to be pulsed. 

Shape dough into 2 disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. This recipe will make enough dough for 1 large pie or 4 minis like the one in the photo.

To make the cherry filling, you’ll need:  
4 cups fresh pitted cherries 
1 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest 
Cooking spray

In a medium saucepan, combine the pitted cherries and 1 cup water over medium heat for 10 minutes. Cover and let the cherries come to a low boil. They should start to give a little. In a bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk together to remove any lumps in the cornstarch. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and lemon zest to the cherries. Cook cherry mixture until it comes to a roiling boil. The mixture should start to thicken. If it doesn’t after a few minutes, add a bit more cornstarch. This filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for a few days.

 Here’s another tip: if you need to add more cornstarch to the cherry mixture, be sure to whisk out the lumps before you add it in. Trust me, you’ll never get them out otherwise.

By now, your dough is nicely chilled and has had time to rest in the refrigerator. Spread a bit of flour on your work surface and on your rolling pin. Working from the center of the dough, roll your pin over it in a forward motion and rotate the dough a quarter turn. Keep doing this until it’s about 1/4″ thick. If you’ve made your dough correctly, it should be pliable and elastic. Rolling it out should be really easy.

 I like to make little individual pies so I use small tartlet pans (approx 4″ in diameter) with removable bottoms. But you can use any pie plate that you’d like. Just be sure to spray the bottom and sides lightly with butter cooking spray and gently prick the bottom and sides of the dough once you’ve laid it into your pie plate with a fork.

Add your filling and repeat rolling out the other disk of dough for the top of your pie. If you are using a cookie cutter to make a decorative element like I did here, dip your cutter in flour and press firmly into the rolled out dough. Carefully lay the top over your filling and crimp the edges.

To give your pie a lovely golden appearance, brush the top with either a beaten egg or a bit of cream and sprinkle generously with sugar.

 My final tip: with my pie being small, I had very little surface to work on and found it difficult to get an even amount of egg wash on my crust. The next time I make this, I’ll brush the egg on before I place it over the filling and while it is flat on my work surface.

There you have it, a simple, fool-proof cherry pie that is sure to make you and whom ever you choose to share it with very happy!

If you like this recipe, you might also like to try making Strawberry Nutella Panini


“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.”~Thomas Jefferson

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