Behind the scenes of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bountiful-Recipes-Inspired-Our-Garden/dp/1617690481/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382474916&sr=8-1&keywords=bountiful+cookbook” target="_blank">"Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden"</a>
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Cookbook authors’ ‘Bountiful’ edible garden

White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bountiful-Recipes-Inspired-Our-Garden/dp/1617690481/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382474916&sr=8-1&keywords=bountiful+cookbook” target="_blank">"Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden"</a>
Todd Porter and Diane Cu wanted a garden-to-plate lifetsyle when they purchased a home in Costa Mesa with a sprawling -- and neglected -- backyard. They ended up transforming not only the yard, but also their careers. They started a blog, White on Rice Couple, to document their dream. That in turn led them to work as food photographers, which in turn led to their newest venture, the cookbook “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden.” We asked them to share a visual tour of their backyard.  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
When Porter and Cu moved in, the lawn was dead and a towering pine tree dominated the backyard. So they cut the tree down and started from scratch. Now the sprawling backyard is home to more than 38 fruit trees, including an archway heavy with pomegranate. (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bountiful-Recipes-Inspired-Our-Garden/dp/1617690481/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382474916&sr=8-1&keywords=bountiful+cookbook” target="_blank">"Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden"</a>
The couple entertain regularly, planning menus based upon what’s fresh in their garden. Cu said they’ve learned that the key to entertaining is to keep it simple, so the focus can stay on the guests and on the food. “Paper napkins!” she said, laughing.  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Cu said the most important part of entertaining is keeping the focus on your guests. “We used to slave over a dinner party. We realized we were making it too complicated.... It’s really just about being together with people we like. We’ve made our meals less complicated, but the overall richness of the experience is tenfold, if not twentyfold, because we’re not running around trying to make everything perfect.” (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
The garden’s harvest includes tree fruits such as figs, pictured here, as well as crops in beds that change with the seasons. Going in now? Lettuces and other leafy vegetables. (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Todd Porter said the couple started with a list of what they would like to grow, then they turned to magazines and books for more inspiration. Their kitchen counters often are brimming with fresh produce from the garden, dictating that night’s menu -- and cocktail offering.  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
If the basil is coming in like gangbusters, pesto is on the way. When the lemons are going crazy, Porter and Cu make lemon and cream spaghetti, or Meyer lemon-iced brown butter madeleines -- all recipes they share in the cookbook.  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
The couple love tomatoes and grow about a dozen varieties.  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Those tomatoes later make an appearance in a roasted cherry tomato and goat cheese dip. (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Dessert can be as simple as serving freshly picked plums still warm from the sun ... (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
... or a berry slab pie, still warm from the oven.  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Citrus trees are a favorite. Todd Porter said gardening is like a puzzle: When some pieces don’t fit, they just backtrack and try to figure out where they went wrong. (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Yard work is almost always done under the watchful eye of their two dogs, including Sierra.  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Sometimes, Sierra gets to the fruit before Porter and Cu. (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
There’s a good chance these will end up in a cocktail concoction that Porter dreams up on the fly, drawing on his years in the restaurant business. (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
With Sierra supervising, Todd Porter plucks fresh fish mint, a Vietnamese herb named in part for triangular leaves that look like a fishtail. Before Porter and Cu had room for a garden, he said, the couple were limited to growing herbs on a sunny windowsill. “Just that little bit of fresh herb made a difference,” he said. “You don’t need a big garden to be able to grow something, and that little accent will make the meal special.” (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
White on Rice Couple">Behind the scenes of “Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden”
Lexi joins supervising duties. “It’s never done,” Porter said of the garden, which changes season by season. “It just continues to develop and evolve.”  (Todd Porter / Diane Cu / White on Rice Couple)
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