Beauty in the Ordinary

Friday, July 17, 2015

"I have this notion that if you put your mind to it, everything is possible, and once you begin doing what you truly love it all begins coming together." - Gintare Marcel

A visual storyteller and passionate dreamer, Gintare Marcel finds beauty in everyday life. And for not having picked up a camera until two years ago, she does a fine job portraying that beauty for the rest of the world to enjoy. A business graduate who spent seven years managing a European Commission funded project in the Netherlands, and then staying up at night to do what she really loved - art and cooking, Marcel finally made the leap to follow the path of her dreams in 2013. Now she and her French husband live in Switzerland where majestic snow-capped peaks and the morning sun rising over sleepy villages clustered along green slopes breathe inspiration into her work. While she admits it hasn't always been easy since starting her own business, she is quick to say it is the best decision she has ever made. These days, she climbs out of bed with a new energy, excited to embrace whatever the day holds as she explores various creative disciplines in a business focused on visual storytelling, food and portraiture.

It was her photography that first captured the attention of publishers, in her home country of Lithuania for a cookbook that came out last year, and then for her newly released book, L’Art de la Table: taste of the Mediterranean.  And, truly, one can't help but feel drawn into her light-filled photographs, longing to pull up a chair at that beautifully set table, to pick up a delicate linen napkin, or reach for the frosty glass on the tray, or enjoy a slice of that tempting cake. Marcel's passion for beauty turns a simple fig into a work of art.

Artist, photographer, dreamer, home cook and author of four cookbooks.

"For me, creativity and inspiration stream from crossovers, from an array of undertakings, from following to where your heart leans in the moment. For me, it can be writing, painting, styling food, running or capturing formidable light with a camera blink. 

"I believe that whatever brings us joy and smile to our face is worth pursuing. Different creative mediums are but means to find to beauty and magic in everyday life." - Gintare Marcel

Afternoon drinks with girlfriends and heart-to-hearts = perfect.

A simple rosemary sprig adds the perfect touch to a delicate linen napkin.

Gathering around the table with friends.

"I wouldn't want to live in a world where you can't have macarons for breakfast."

Slow living embraces slow dining.

Chocolate fig cake, anyone?

Red Wine Tarts from her new cookbook.

Tomato Pie. Yes, please.


Attention to beautiful details makes dinner guests feel honored.

Chocolate Tiramisu.

A delicacy that's frame-worthy.

Presentation is everything.

Summer is all about dining en plein ar.

Morning sun over sleepy Swiss villages is a recipe for inspiration.

"Mountains have a way of calming even the most restless mind."

Gintare's newest cookbook, L’art de la Table: taste of the Mediterranean will be released this year.  This lovely book "is an ode to slow living, gathering and enjoying life." Featuring 100 of her favorite recipes and stunning photography, this book is a must for every kitchen or coffee table. To order this book on Amazon, click here.  For more information and to visit Marcel's website, click here


Lime Olive Oil Cake 
with Cream and Strawberries

Serves: 8
   1 cup flour / 150 g / 5 ½ oz flour
   ½ cup almond flour / 55g / 2 oz
   ⅔ cup sugar / 150g / 5½ oz
   1 tsp baking powder
   1 tsp baking soda
   pinch of salt
   zest of 2 limes
   2 eggs
   ½ cup/120 ml extra virgin olive oil
   ½ cup/120 ml fresh lime juice
   Vanilla cream
   1 cup/ 250 ml double
   1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
   1 tbsp sugar
   9 oz/250g strawberries, halved
1.       Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
2.       Oil and line a 18cm/7-inch cake tin with baking paper, set aside.
3.       Sift and combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
4.       In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients and stir into the dry ones.
5.       Pour everything into the tin and bake for about 40 minutes, till a wooden skewer comes out        clean.
6.       Let it cool down for 15 minutes, then remove from the tin and let it cool completely.

7.       Whip cream with vanilla and sugar, spread on the cake and finish with strawberries.

Honey Yogurt Semifreddo 
with Muscat and Lavender roasted Apricots and Pine Nut Brittle

Honey yogurt Semifreddo
       3 egg whites
       pinch of salt
       3 tbsp honey
       250g/1 cup full yogurt
Roasted muscat and lavender apricots
      6 apricots, halved
      2 tbsp honey
      1 cup Muscat wine
      few lavender springs
Pine nut britle
      3 tbsp pine nuts
      3 tbsp sugar
1.   For semifreddo, place a heatproof bowl with eggwhites, salt and honey over simmering water and using a whisk or a mixer beat for a few minutes till they reach 65C/150F. Then take off the heat and continue to whip egg whites till the bowl has cooled down completely. Stir in yogurt and either pour into a single container lined with cling film or 6 small moulds. Place in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours.
2.   For roasted apricots, preheat the oven to 180C/356F. Place apricots in an ovenproof dish in a single layer, drizzle with honey, lavender and pour over Muscat wine. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, basting them with cooking liquid a couple of times.
3.   Heat the sugar in a non stick pan shaking occasionally till the sugar turns to dark caramel then pour over pine nuts placed on a baking sheet.
4.   To serve, de-mold semifreddo and serve a piece with roasted apricots, a bit of cooking syrup and pine nut brittle.

Violet and Sweet Potato Creme Brulee recipe, click here.


All photographs by Gintare Marcel and used with permission.

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