Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Drop Off

One thing I love about what I do, is the relationships I get to form with the little ones and the parents that I photograph. Sometimes after I've been taking them for a while, the parents know me and trust me enough to just drop their kiddo off and go shopping, or have their nails done, or train for a triathlon for a couple hours. I LOVE this kind of shoot. It gives me free rein and normally the results are amazing.
For example...this little one in the following shots has never smiled for me. I've been photographing her since she was 4 months old. Well today it happened. I had a break through.

But don't let me fool you...I absolutely love her seriousness. It's just her.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dessert for the Day

I adore berries in the summer. I adore orange liqueur marinated berries even more. Berries here are extremely expensive as compared to the places in the country where they actually grow. I would love to be near a place that has u-picks. I would be u-picking every other day. So, the berries I do eat, I savor every last bite.

Today's recipe of the day: Angel food cakes with Berries Marinated in Orange Liqueur.

Be sure to leave some berries for the kiddos so no one mistakenly gives them some or they don't feel left out. I can't imagine the treatment I would get if I ate this in front of would be disastrous!

For the cake: Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cups egg whites at room temp. (this makes 8 little cakes)

1 1/14 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/8 cup sifted flour (this is important, I skipped it and you really shouldn't)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and continue whipping until soft peaks form. With the mixer still running, gradually and 1 cup of the sugar and continue whipping until stiff and the sugar has dissolved. Sift the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the presifted cake flour 3 times, to aerate the mixture. Fold into the egg white then fold in vanilla.
Spoon into extra large muffin pans (I used the mini-bundt pans, I think they look cuter!) Bake until golden brown at 375 degrees. Turn upside down on lifted cooling rack (It keeps the tops from getting squishy. Let cool for about ten minutes. Run butter knife around them and then knock out.

Marinated Berries

1 pint of strawberries or more if needed
1 pint of blueberries
(You can use any berries that you want really)
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 mint leaves, julienned (this makes it sooooo good)
Whipped cream for garnish. (I used fresh because I had it)

Mix all the but the last ingredient and let set for about 1-2 hours before serving. Spoon over cakes and then top with whipped cream.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Meals Menu

Someone asked me recently if I cook a big meal every night....I had to giggle at that, because I don't. It's not possible. Besides, "grazing" is more fun some nights anyway. And to be honest, a two year old doesn't appreciate my cooking as much as I would like him to.....

I'm bound and determined to use ALL my rhubarb. Since grocery prices are going up I really want to use everything I've grown. So I made a beautiful tangy sauce for chicken, turkey or even steak. With fresh garden lettuce it was perfect. I topped it off with Bacon Beans. The beans were given to me and you can bet I had to find a fantastic way to cook them. (I'm also going to try my hand at canning, we'll see how that shakes out) It's not the healthiest recipe on the block, but yowza...are they good!

Rhubarb Sauce

1 1/2 cup rhubarb (give or take a little)
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour over meat and enjoy!

Bacon Beans

4 or 5 cups of fresh beans
(this one is real specific guys, it all depends on personal tastes!!)
4 or 5 slices of bacon chopped into little pieces
2 or 3 tablespoons butter
1/2 chopped onion
3 garlic cloves chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon a few minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. Add everything else and let cook on medium until beans are tender. It helps to cover them so they steam a little faster. It takes about 30-40 minutes for them to be's completely worth the wait!!!

Can You Guess Where We've Been?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Her dress was hand embroidered in Ecuador where she met and married her husband for the first time on the beach. I met him shortly after his arrival here in the states, his English was a bit broken and today I watched him sing to his wife in front of his friends and family, not once but twice, in perfect English. And instead of handing the microphone over he proceeded to tell us how he had changed his whole life, came to a different country, different culture, learned a new language, joined a new family....because he loved her. It was a quaint garden wedding (their second) Small and perfect, and beautiful.

oh, and for those that don't spend a lot of time with my kiddo....if there is a pretty girl within a 20 mile radius, he will find her and make friends.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I know most of the time I paint a beautiful picture of perfect days that I have. To be honest, most days are pretty close to perfect with my little one, just for the simple fact that he's here with me. And then there are the other kind of days. The days where every nerve in your body is twitching, and a mother like me might quietly ask God for the strength to survive the behavior of a crazed two year old. The kind of behavior that a mother like me knows she exhibited as a child as is just being repaid the favor. The "no wanna this" and the "no wanna that" or the "don't look at me mama" or "don't talk to me mama" or the "I no want to eat a peanutbudder samich" or the "don't sing or dance mama, I only do dat" each of which gets a stern reaction to......because being the Enforcer is also a job that rides hand in hand with easy going mamma jobs. (And Enforcer is pronounced with a voice reminiscent of Darth Vader....) There are days where timeout is a permanent station. Where wobbly bottom lips don't phase me, or at least that's what I pretend. There are days when "I'm sorry mama" is said to me 100 times followed by a lengthy hug. There are days when crocodile tears can't distract and simply aren't allowed to make me feel bad. (though they always do)

And then, as I clean up the graham cracker that has been broken into what seems like 7 billion pieces and scattered about my house, I come around a corner and find a bucket wearing little boy staring peacefully out the window......and my day returns to perfect.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What a Way to End a Day

As I finished up a game of "mommy, get me again", which consists of me chasing my two year old all around the yard until I fall down and he tackles me and then I tickle him until he screams "no more, NOOOO more mommy....get me again now", with an ornery gleam.... I saw this ominous mass flowing over my fence walls. The sun was setting and it was the most perfect color. I laid and watched it until it was colorless and dark. It didn't change form, and it didn't roll by quickly. It stayed just for my enjoyment, at least that's what I believe. The most simple things are so beautiful to me, and at times, the most entertaining.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Easy As Pie...

I love it when my job is so easy. This couple was amazingly easy to photograph and they were willing to go where ever I wanted to go. Aren't they adorable?

Monday, July 21, 2008

My heart and home are quiet and lonely without you my little butterbean.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Giving It a Good Home

Sometimes when I peruse antique shops or flea markets I feel sad for some of the things living there. Much like I do when I go to the pound or a pet shop. Sometimes I just can't bear to leave things there that need a good home. This little chair looked like it was pretty back in the day. Like it had a good life and stories to share with I took it home. I'm constantly doing things like this so there is constantly different furniture showing up in some of my rooms. I spent the last couple of afternoons making it different. Giving it color. The wood was too worn to redo, so it got painted. So welcome to my home little chair. I'm sure my cats will love you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cranberry Carrot Saute

I found this recipe in a back issue of Taste of Home earlier this month and decided that today was the day to taste it. And you know did have the taste of home. It was zesty. It was tangy. It was sweet. It was vegtabley. It was beautifully orangey to look at.

Cranberry Carrot Saute

1 pound carrots, cut into sticks
1 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup craisins
1/3 chopped pecans (optional)

In large saucepan, combine carrots and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook 10 minutes or until carrots are fork-tender; drain. In a small bowl, combine orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, mustard and remaining salt. In a large skillet melt butter. Add carrots and orange juice mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes or until carrots are coated, stirring frequently. Add cranberries; cook until heated through. Sprinkle with pecans if desired.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We had an arty afternoon here. Full of all the colors of the rainbow. I needed some new artwork for my office so I decided that my son was the perfect artist for the job. He's probably the only one I know that paints in his underwear. (though, probably not the only one out there that does so....) All he had to do was make whatever he wanted with whatever color. Not a lot of guidelines. He went for the more abstract style. I love it. It might even sell for millions some day. Never can tell.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Couple of Summer Clad Girls

One has stick straight hair the other has curls galore. And they each have beautiful deep ocean blue eyes.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda....

To look at me, or meet me on a regular day, you would never know that I kinda like, every now and then to roam around in the wilderness with a fishing pole (mostly a camera now though) and live off the land for a day or so. It's true. I do. I spent my weekend at Camp Jack. A place I've been visiting for years. A place I've become acquainted with and respect. A place that I now bring my child. I place where he fell asleep in my arms next to the campfire.

Found a tree just for me.

A tear tree.

I let him get as dirty as possible.

This is my grandfather's creel. I've been carrying it for 15 or 20 years. It's the only thing I have of his. He loved to fish near Saratoga.

Good food even in the wilderness. Shore lunches only taste good on these days. Oh and I started that fire. In under three minutes. I hated girl scouts, but it didn't mean I didn't learn anything.