Pull Apart Pumpkin Herb Bread

I love bread. I love pumpkin. And I love sage. All three of them together is just ridiculously good.

You will want to get a loaf of bread that is at least a day old for this recipe. If the bread is too soft cutting it into this pattern becomes tricky. I bought a loaf two days before making this and let it sit out on the counter until it got a bit stale. If you are too impatient to wait, just look for a harder bread when you are at the store.


  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 can of pumpkin, no flavoring
  • 3 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 loaf of bread
  • 1-2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 big pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a the oil in a medium size skillet.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin and 1 cup of the vegetable broth and heat till warm. You may need to add a bit more veggie broth. The pumpkin mixture needs to be thin enough to pour between bread slices.
  5. Stir in the salt and sage. Season to taste.
  6. Set the pumpkin mixture aside to cool.
  7. Cut the bread lengthwise and then widthwise. Don’t cut through the bottom crust. The widthwise part can be kinda hard so be careful.
  8. Place loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  9. Pour or scoop the pumpkin mixture between the cuts of bread.
  10. Brush the surface of the bread with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  11. Wrap the bread in foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  12. Unwrap the bread and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Or until the bread is toasty.

I’m in a bit of a hurry so I don’t have time to say much but I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who took time to write such kind words in my last post. I’m so touched and overwhelmed by how kind and supportive everyone is! Thank you!

I had a ridiculously good time doing the photos for this one. And, seriously, this bread is delightful. I highly recommend it. If you aren’t a big fan of pumpkin and/or sage, feel free to swap out the gourd/herb combination!

Oh, and I post a lot of in progress photo on my facebook, instagram, and twitter account. So, if you are at all interested in seeing how photos come together, check it out. =)

Till next time!

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Lana Pribic - I have kind of just been in awe for the past ten minutes since landing on your homepage.

Beautiful, inspiring work.

anne - What size can of pumpkin?

Mandy Clyatt - Oh my goodness, this looks incredible!

Kristen - AGain – wow….!

CSA Box Week 18* - [...] Pull Apart Pumpkin Herb Bread from V. K. Rees Photography [...]

Caitlin - this seems so simple so do, and so delicious! i love the photos, they are so “you” ;)

Red Star to Lone Star - Wow, these photos are beyond amazing. The contrast of orange and charcoal is striking. And I like how despite the dark background the objects are brightly lit. Beautiful.

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com - Oh my yum! That looks incredibly delicious!! Love the pumpkin and sage combo :)

Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy - wow this looks seriously delicious!

Rounding up the bread basket | VeganMoFo - [...] shot by the super talented photographer Vanessa Rees. Girl can cook, too- check out her beautiful pull-apart pumpkin herb bread if you don’t believe [...]

Jes - I love that I don’t actually have to make the bread for this pull-apart bread recipe! And, yes, pumpkin & sage are just the best together!

Federica - Your photographs are magnificent!

Julia Moran Martz - I am so in love with your photography! Amazing! And awesome recipes too!

Roy - This was extremely tasty! :D

Tiffany - Whoa. That looks delicious!

Crackers and Dips

After wrapping a photo shoot for BUST magazine (check out the Feb/March issue of BUST to see what we worked on!), amazing food stylist Lauren LaPenna and I decided to do a test shoot. For those of you who may not know, a test shoot is basically when photographers and stylists collaborate on their own project to build up a portfolio and test out ideas. No one gets paid for this.

Side note: I’m always up for testing! Just shoot me a message if you have an idea.

I was stoked when Lauren told me she wanted to do a shoot with dips. She ended up making a White Bean & Sage dip, Olive Tapenade, and a delicious hummus. For me, a vegan, this is classic bar food (am I right fellow vegans?). I knew almost immediately I wanted to do a rustic bar scene with fun lighting and lots of textures. With that in mind I channeled my inner Anna WilliamsKQD, and Anders Schonnemann (specifically his breathtaking drink shoot in Issue 29 of Jamie magainze).

Lauren and I turned on some good music, cracked open a few beers, and got to shooting…

Lauren is not only an amazing food stylist, she is an incredibly sweet person. Whenever we work together she goes out of her way to set some food aside for me to try. These dips she made were downright delicious. I’m not going to post the recipes here since they are her own creation but they are up on her blog! You can find the recipe for the Olive Tapenade here. The hummus here. And the White Bean & Sage dip here.

I’m going to talk about myself for a second. Feel free to just ignore this paragraph if you could care less!

If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed that the look and the vibe of the photos in my past few posts have been really inconsistent. You could even say they have been drastically different. Lately I’ve been feeling very eager to narrow down and define my aesthetic as a photographer. To be clearer, you know how sometimes you see a photo or a painting and you can say without hesitation who the artist is because all of their work has a similar aesthetic?  That is what I’m looking for. I am proud of the work I do but it’s admittedly inconsistent in its overall tone. I find it difficult to nail down a look because there are so many things I still want and need to try. The point of this ramble is to say that the month of October is all about me trying all the things I’ve been wanting to try and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. What I like and what sucks. I think the only way to find what I’m looking for is to make lots of work and try different things. So bear with me and my inconsistent photography for the time being! I’m going to be experimenting like crazy.

I think that is the most I’ve ever said about myself on this blog. Back to food photography…

The fun thing about doing test shoots is you can try a lot of different things. Here is an entirely different approach to the same food.

Natasha - The dips look delicious! Love the bar scene too, the photos are amazing :-)

Mandee - I can’t believe it’s taken me a whole week of VeganMoFo before I’ve managed to visit your blog, Vanessa! Your shots look amazing, as always, and I often see photos online (twitter/pinterest) and I know they are yours right away. I hope you enjoy experimenting this month and that you find the signature look you’re going for :)

Also, dips – YUM!

christelle is flabbergasting - I’ll just be repeating what others said before me, but I do think that you have your own style- recognizable from other photographers! That’s fun because I was talking about the same subject with a fellow photographer yesterday and we finally agreed that you -the photographer- is probably the last person who’ll see that you’re consistent in your work. I was finding her style consistent (and I find yours too!) but mine, not. But people tend to say to me ” yeah, I recognize your pictures!” (whhh-hhhat?)
That being said, I am firm believer of “you have to try and experiment to know your style and push your limits” so I couldn’t agree more (and look forward!) on this month of food photography exploration on your blog!

Kelly - I’m a huge fangirl of your photography, and I think you do have a very distinctive aesthetic! I always recognize your work, whether I’m scrolling quickly through my Google Reader or flipping through VegNews. :)

Athena - As some of the other commenters have said, I too think you have a distinctive and recognizable style and aesthetic… something I’m still striving to achieve but is quite elusive. For me it’s sometimes hard to look at others’ work… one day it can be inspiring, other times, inhibiting. Anyway, I think you’re doing a great job. Your enthusiasm and all that you put into your craft and trying to get better through testing and trying different things is something to look up to. Now I’m going to look through my Jamie issues and find that specific shoot by Anders S. :)

Angela - I just had to comment on this post. :) I actually think you do have a very distinct style, as others have said. In fact, I was just showing my husband your website last month gushing over this very same thing! I do think it’s hard for photographers to see their own style, while it’s easy to spot in someone else. I have always felt that way about my own photos (and I’m not even close to the level you are!).

With that being said, I think it’s totally cool to play around with different styles. Do you think it’s possible to play around with other styles but still keep your own feel/aesthetic in them at the same time? I’ve often wondered this myself.

Keep up the great work!

Cathy Pyle - I agree with other commenters, I think you do have a distinctive style, which I love; your use of colour, texture and light are always gorgeous. An inspiration!

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com - Your test shoots are amazing!! You need to provide food photography lessons. How about to me? :D

Divya - Sounds and looks like a very successful “experiment”! As for your aesthetic as a photographer, I think you do have your own style/signature look. I can always recognize your photos on Pinterest even though they might be done with different “vibes”.

Look forward to more experimenting!

FoodFeud - You know, it’s funny what you say about trying to find yr YOU in the photographs you take; I was honestly thinking the other day that you really do have a specific aesthetic! It’s something about textures and layered lighting and organic materials.. I don’t really know much about photography but I do like yrs a lot. maybe you not finding yr photographic voice has something to do with shooting other people’s work more than yr own lately. Anyway, I hope it works out for you.
That said, you probably go to fancier bars than I do. The spreads don’t really scream “bar food” to me, but the photos work anyway.

Evan Thomas - Wow, these photos are freaking gorgeous. I would say you have a pretty definitive style. I’ve definitely been scrolling through my pinterest dashboard and seen photos that I knew off the bat were yours.

Roy - for an “experiment” these photos look fantastic!!!

Caitlin - it’s so fun to see all of your test shoots! thank you for sharing. and no matter what aesthetic you have, it’s gorgeous. i love all of them ;) and look forward to seeing you test different ones out this month.

It’s my birthday!

Zucchini Chocolate Cake, Vanessa Rees, V.K.Rees Photography

Today is my birthday. I’m turning 26! So much has changed in the past year. Most notably, I quit my day job and (so far) am successfully working as a freelance food and still life photographer. I feel ridiculously lucky! =)

I haven’t been able to update the blog much this summer so I thought I’d take minute to  share some of my most recent projects. I believe work will calm down in fall allow me to get back to some blogging. I’ve missed it!

A few of my favorite shots from Isa Chandra’s newest cookbook “Isa Does It.” Coming to Barnes & Noble in fall 2013. These recipes are so good!

A few of my photos have made it into magazines this summer. Check out the cover photos, cheese feature, and taro feature in the July/August and September/October issues of VegNews. The July issue of BUST magazine has a great article on canning that I was lucky enough to work on. I love BUST and VegNews oh so much!

A few shots from a holiday shoot for Catdaddy moonshine.

Till next time! xx


Emily von Euw - Needless to say – gorgeous and stunning photos. You are one talented lady.

Angel Legume - I think every year I feel more excited about life. Reading stories like yours only adds to this! Hope you enjoyed your day! Your pictures are vivid and seriously beautiful. Congratulations!

moonsword - Happy Birthday! Best cake drippage I’ve ever seen…I hope you got to eat it, not just photograph it! :)

Elizabeth - Happy Birthday, and congratulations! You deserve your successes, you are so talented!

Amy | Minimally Invasive - Happy birthday, and congratulations on the photography-front! Very exciting news!

Jade Sheldon - I already said it on twitter, but I have to say it again, happiest of birthdays to you! I love birthdays so much. Looks like this past year has been an amazing one for you. Hopefully 26 will be even better!

Jojo - Happy Birthday! Amazing pictures as always!

vkrees - Thank you for all the happy birthday wishes! =D

Natasha - Happy birthday! Congratulations on having your photos published, that’s so exciting! But your photos are always gorgeous so no surprises there : )

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com - Wohoo!! Happy happy Birthday Vanessa!! And congrats on your endeavors!!!

Susan - Happy birthday. :D
And congratulations on your photography business – everything you show always looks gorgeous.

jasmine - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you had a wonderful day and enjoyed that cake because, oh my goodness it looks delicious. It was my birthday yesterday – go Virgos!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Happy Birthday! I hope this next year is even more successful than the the last one. All the best!

Jes - Happiest of days!! Definitely has been a big year for you–congrats!

Anna - Happy Birthday! Much happiness and inspiration to you.

Angela Walley - Wow, now that’s a cake! Happy 26th Birthday! Congrats on going freelance – I know from experience how rewarding it is to follow your passion and make it your career. Looks like you’re doing amazing, keep up the great work!!

Michelle {LiveLoudly} - HaPPy BirTHday! Hope you have an awesome day. Congrats on a great year and wishing you all the best in your 26th year :)

Evan Thomas - Happy birthday! And congratulations on your success! With photos like yours that does’t surprise me at all.
Holy freaking yum at that cake.

Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy - happy birthday!! i hope you have a great day!

Ashley - First, happy birthday!!! Second, congrats on your amazing success! You are a huge inspiration to me!

Erica { EricaDHouse.com } - Happy Birthday! 26 was a fantastic year for me – here’s to hoping the same for you!