Have you ever really wanted to do something and then talked yourself out of it? There are always reasons why something can’t be done, time, money, trepidations, money…and so it was for this IACP conference. Actually it started back in photography school, I met fellow student Heather Gill, chef and amazing photographer. We obviously had a common link and chatted.
Heather asked if I belonged to the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I said no, I’m culinary but not a professional, certainly not a chef like she it. Heather said it wasn’t just for chefs, they had specialty sections for writers (and bloggers), test kitchen people, food stylists and photographers, editors and publishers, etc. Well huh, how about that. I checked out their site and liked what I saw, I hemmed and hawed and then I noticed they had a sweet student rate so I jumped on it.
Back to the conference, I really wanted to go, who wouldn’t want to go to San Francisco! Love that city. But there I was hemming and hawing when Heather sent me a message, “are you going?” I said I wanted to, then I whined about the cost, blah, blah, blah. Heather then offered to let me stay with her at her time share. It seemed a sign, then I found out I could fly from Spokane for a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than here and a friend agreed to keep my car and take me to the airport. Well, it was getting to the point that I couldn’t say no.
Just a quick post today! I’m busy, busy, busy! I had a deadline moved up 3 months and with a trip to San Francisco coming up this week I’m scrambling! I’m going to the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference this week and I’m super excited. I’ll be bringing my camera along and taking oodles of photos, you can expect more of that to come!
Would you believe that I cooked and shot 5 dishes this weekend? I think every single one of them had dill in it. I picked up my Bountiful Basket on Saturday and ended up with two giant bunches of dill. I’ve made Flounder Olympia, baby potatoes in a butter dill sauce, dill vinaigrette for salad, yogurt dill dip, asparagus and dill quiche with a potato crust and this dish. And I still have half of it left! Continue reading “Deviled Ham Stuffed Eggs” »
Say what? Are my eyes really seeing what they see? Does that sign say ‘Heirloom Tomatoes’? It’s the middle of winter…must be a mistake. But they look like heirloom tomatoes. They have variegated colors and bumpy exteriors, they must be heirlooms.
Imported from Mexico….ahhh, that’s right, not every place in the world right now has two feet of snow. I just couldn’t resist taking home a little bit of someone else’s better weather conditions into my own home. Everyone deserves a reprise, and since a vaca to Hawaii is not in my near future, these tomatoes will have to do.
Plus they give me the perfect opportunity to discuss a little food photography. Sometimes it’s hard to decide how to photograph food. Picking out all the accessories is fun, but shooting food in a unique and different way, well…it’s difficult.
I knew that I wanted to keep my recipe very simple to highlight my wonderful tomatoes. I also thought they might look beautiful just shot by themselves. I put them in a gorgeous bamboo bowl and set them down on my hardwood floors, a nice tone on tone look so you only notice the tomatoes….that is until you get photo bombed by Summer (the dog).
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, what a story you tell.
Tall and green, glowing glory, crowned atop with an angel.
Decked with ornaments, current and past.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, what a story you tell.
One year I went out and bought giant department store style ornaments, ribbons and other trim that all matched. I decorated the tree in the most beautiful and perfect way. Seriously, it looked like it belonged in a magazine. I always wanted a matchy, matchy perfect Christmas tree. It was a far cry from my first Christmas tree that I ever had on my own. I was a young single mom, 20 years old with a 4 month old baby. I couldn’t afford anything. So I crocheted all my ornaments and strung popcorn and cranberries and topped the tree with a handmade paper angel. You can imagine how good it felt to have the perfect idealistic tree, I’d come so far.
Look at that, don’t you just want to take a bite out of that big juicy burger? Although I think that the burger looks appetizing I made some errors in photographing it. That’s what happens when you are a starvin marvin and want to snap the shot and get on with eating.
It’s a fabulous tasting burger, but I wasn’t happy with the photos. I decided to turn my negative into a positive. So this post I thought I’d go over some tips rather than entertain you with my bad puns and food inspiration stories. And now I have the perfect excuse to share the recipe even though I think the photo is less than stellar.
To start off I’m going to point out what I did right, because it makes me feel better to point out the good stuff.
It’s one week after Thanksgiving, how are you doing on your leftovers? Have you gobbled them all up, did you stash some in the freezer for later? This year there was only three of us and the smallest organic fresh turkey I could buy was nearly 14 pounds. That’s a lot of turkey for 3 people, even for my large appetite family. Needless to say, leftovers abounded.
The day after Thanksgiving I always boil up the bones and make turkey stock for turkey reinventions. Only this year, I didn’t do much innovating. My baby boy was here and he had offered to help me paint his old room to convert it to an office/studio for me. That took up more time than I planned…mostly because college kids on vacation don’t start functioning until after noon, sigh.
Anywho, I ended up a week later with some turkey and a lot of stock. It would have been easy to make a turkey noodle/vegetable soup, turkey chili, turkey pot pie, etc. You know the usual’s. But I wanted to do something different(ahh, the bloggers bane).
Plus I’ve been missing some friends from school, one of my friends, Richard (a fun-guy) is a mushroom (fungi) freak, see what I did there…! At lunch one day he told me that when he was dating, if a girl didn’t like mushrooms, it was a deal breaker for him. So I’m dedicating this recipe to my fungi/fun-guy friend Richard.
You won’t find a cream of mushroom soup as mushroomy as this one which should make Richard a happy fun-guy (ok, I’ll stop with the pun). It’s a combination of multiple recipes that I cogged together, it gets it’s wine and leek influences from Ina Garten, the dried mushroom and sage idea from Smitten Kitchen and I like how Elise at Simply Recipes chopped up her mushrooms first, making the soup a perfect cross between creamy and toothsome.
I finished mine with a crouton of stuffing. I simply cubed cold stuffing and browned it on each side in a little butter. The poultry seasoning in the crouton was a perfect match with the sage and thyme in the soup and it added that crunchy texture that a smooth soup just cries out for.
Ever wish you could get a do over? Where you could magically go back in time and right the wrong? Burnt biscuits…do over. Doing 80 mph in a 65 mph zone…sorry Mr. Policeman…do over. How about that conversation where you should have had a great comeback, but it only comes to you later. Wouldn’t it be great to go back and say that clever and oh so witty comment…do over!
I haven’t figured out the whole time space continuum, not that smart. Plus I know me, I’d be just like one of those dumb asses in the movie and change all of history by recooking my biscuits, or avoiding a speeding ticket or actually being super clever and witty at the perfect time. I’m also the goof who wouldn’t be able to go back again and make it right and put history back like it should be. Time traveling would be a bad idea for me.
I may not have a time machine or a blue police box (Dr. Who reference for you non-geeks) to take me back in time (the world should thank me), but I can cook and do recipes over and over. After all that’s how we perfect them.
I’m inviting you to climb in my imaginary time machine and go back nearly three years ago with me. We are going back to T KW’s first ever post. Oh how proud I was of that! I put my little WordPress blog together, took step by step pictures (I just got my brand new Nikon D5000 and I was photo crazy) (I also need to point out here that I thought a better camera would take better pictures, I gave no credit to the person taking the photos) and with a push of a button…err more of a click of a mouse I was published!
Anyone who’s ever blogged knows the feeling I’m talking about. My poor co-workers, I made every single person that I could drag into my office read my post. Oh and look at my pictures, don’t they look soooo good! Don’t you just want a bowl of that creamy chicken noodle soup NOW.
There are so many things in life that I wish were just a little better. Life is often not what we imagined it would be. By this time I was supposed to filthy stinkin’ rich and living the high life. On a more basal level I’d like to have less weight on this old body, I’d like to be an uber successful food photographer, I’d hope for some better things for some of my children, I want a bigger kitchen, a gardener and a maid. I wish that I didn’t have any debt and had invested better. I want more time, time to take care of that ‘to do’ list (or enough money to pay someone else to it), time to spend visiting family and friends…time, money and being a hot mama grandma. Yep that’s what I want.
The reality of life is so much different than what we think it should be. Life is work, hard work. Relationships take work, having a nice home takes work, having time takes work.
Nothing comes without work.
Things weigh heavy on the shoulders.
Then we go to the cabin, off the grid, to our little place. A wood fire burning in the stove and an apple tart cooking in the little camp propane stove. The snow falls from a grey sky, painting the trees and ground with a white wonder.
Last weekend I went to Bozeman, I was delivering a much anticipated microwave to my Baby boy/freshman college student. I had a lovely weekend, he showed me his room that he supposedly cleaned up for me (lets just say that I am grateful…). We went out to dinner, fell asleep at the movies, errr, I mean I fell asleep at the movies, we went shopping, antiquing and generally catching up.
I also met Janice from Everyday Healthy! Everyday Delicious! A fellow Montana food blogger, Janice has a lot more cooking chops than me…think Cordon Bleu in London and has published 5 cookbooks. Janice has been blogger for almost one year now so we had much to talk about. I think I did most the babbling, sorry Janice, you’re a good listener. I’m looking forward to seeing her again…there are so few of us here in Montana, food bloggers that is.
After a quick good-bye….boohoo…to my baby I headed out for my three hour drive to Missoula. I never leave as early as I plan, in this case that landed me right at Anaconda, MT during a smoke filled sunset. I’m not a landscape shooter and I generally don’t shoot sunsets….
Here I am in class, listening to Lindsay Adler a top fashion photographer, blogger, social network guru, Creative Live speaker, blogger, workshop maven and all around upbeat and fun person. She’s teaching us about setting up blogs, websites, and the importance of networking.
Then she gives us our homework:
Need two headshots, one that can/is cropped square
Need at least 3 images that best represent your work
Need to have the website url you want, decided on
Need to have logo/branding ready to go
Write a bio: 1 sentence, 1 paragraph and 1 longer
Write a short post on “Why I wanted to be a photographer”
The plan….class after next we were going to set up a blog/website and get our social networking locked in. Of course I am already halfway there and I’ve already written a post on why I chose to become a photographer, you can read about it in my Making Lemonade post.
When Kita of Pass the Sushi left a comment asking about tips for choosing a photography school, I thought that might be a great post. Here are my top selection criteria, listed in my personal order. What’s most important will be different for everyone.