Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon

What an exciting event!

A Blue Moon to close out 2009 and ring in 2010! Twenty - Ten! Thank GOD we are starting a new decade! I know for many people 2009 was pretty terrible - and for me the past few years have been dreadful in many ways - but we are starting anew tonight!

I get to ring in my New Year by photographing a friends wedding! How great! To be around friends - watch 2 people who love each other get married and get to photograph it for them as well! I am pretty psyched!

I am also as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs - but that's besides the point right? I mean this is a special event and I am in charge of documenting it! Official wedding photographer! Weddings bring a while list of things to worry about as a photographer and a mess of challenges - but now add in that it will be at NIGHT and OUTSIDE! Yikes.

Flash don't fail me now!

Flash and bracket kit - check
Both camera batteries charged - check
Many extra batteries for external flash - check
Extra Memory card - check

And that is a good one - I deliberated over the additional $80 memory 8 gig memory card(I already have an 8 and a 16gig) but went for it - only to come home and find that my 16 gig card has a small piece of of the front that cracked off - so thank GOODNESS I bought a spare!

Fully caffeinated and ready to rock - check!

Happy New Year and don't forget to go outside at midnight and make a wish to the Blue Moon - it only happens once in a .....well you get the point!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another Holiday Pet Session

The Ryan Family Pets. Maxine, Haley and Stan.

Try getting an excited 70 pound lab to sit still in front of a Christmas tree and then add a Mini Australian Shepherd and a half blind kitty....hence we had to go with individual was comedy but I seriously don't think I could shoot pets for a living - except the ones I know.

Then again...

Stan (Who's an annoyed Kitty?)



Pamelas Products!

Pamelas All Purpose Gluten Free Flour! It may be pricey but it was worth it!

You really can not tell the difference and although I thought my cookies were not that pretty they tasted pretty damn good - according to the cookie tasting panel from last night!

And the baking adventures continue....with photos next time.

Next up - Grandmoms famous Manicotti recipe!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Son of a Nutcracker!

I just paid $16 for a bag of All Purpose Flour!!!! Now granted it is Gluten Free All Purpose flour and seems to be considered the best product out there that can mimic baked goods with Gluten in them - but REALLY? $16???

And I don't even BAKE that often!

Which is interesting because I have brought that up before and something began to dawn on me. Prior to Celiac - I almost never baked. Now I realize it was because I would just buy cookies or pies and bread of course - without much though other then the calorie and fat content (sometimes). Now if I want baked goods that don't taste like sawdust or even worse super sugary sawdust - I need to learn to make things.

So tonight's annual cookie exchange holiday party courtesy of the Ryan sisters - aka our very own Martha Stuart and her sister so of course they would be bakers - I needed to find a gluten free cookie recipe and I was not psyched about it.

Then a friend told me about Pamela's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour - and told me to make a regular cookie recipe and just substitute the flour. So that is what I am embarking upon at the moment - while I type this my hand candied pecans are baking in the oven, and I am trying to figure out where to put the borrowed behemoth of a Kitchen Aid (also courtesy of the Ryan sisters as they of course had 2 when they moved in together)

Why do I for see more baking in my future?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So last season a group of friends introduced me to Top chef on Bravo. It was during a dinner party - and the conversation went from taking bets on who the Top Chef would be - to plans for our own "cook-off" for the season finale party. It was a tough match as this a group of people who like food - and damn if everyone doesn't have some kind of cooking talent!

The theme was New Orleans (for the finale of the show) I pulled Vegetarian - which was REALLY difficult - but I did ok. Came in second under the 2 who tied for first - and people liked my dish.

So this year for season six - the host threw a curveball at us (just like in the show) and we had to prepare dishes inspired by music. A song, an artist, a genre etc...and bopnus points for a playlist that went along with your dish! We had a set pannel of judges (who were pretty amazing with the notes and critiques and personalities etc. We had our own "Price Waterhouse" counting team and we had a crew of chefs who were all bringing their A game - no doubt.

I pulled Fish as my protein and due to some serious family issues and having to move over the weekend I was feeling pretty stumped and un-inspired. But while working on editing some photos my iTunes was on and the Slumdog millionaire Soundtrack came on. started to click. After many many years of going back and forth to England - i was introduced to Indian food properly and must admit I do enjoy it. However I have NEVER made any Indian food from scratch - so of course that's what I chose!

I found a recipe for Fish Pakura - a fried fish popular with street vendors and served with chutneys or tomato sauce. So I found a few recipes - really gambled by picking and choosing my favorite elements of them all AND chose corn flour to make it Gluten Free and decided to take a chance.

Made the tomato mint chutney, (bought the mango ginger one) got 3 huge beautiful fresh Cod fillets and headed on over. It was a bit stressful having NEVER made the dish and frankly have never done a lot of deep frying in the past either - but it turned out quite well and got a great response.

There was some REALLY great food, desserts and specialty cocktails - but when the points were added up - I pulled it out! TOP CHEF! Oh YEAH!

Waiting for a picture of my dish from a friend to post - and the hostess and I (she came in first last year and second this year) have a feeling we will be going head to head in the future - all in great fun.

So you think you can cook? Come see what we can do!