For the Love of Rhubarb!

_DSC0296

Kim Klassen ‘kk_true’ preset applied

Brian & I love rhubarb so this is one of our favorite times of the year, when our garden explodes with red stalks and large leaves. Even if we didn’t love to eat it, we would still love its contribution to the garden. It grows well in the shade and the leaves look fantastic!

_DSC0314

Kim Klassen ‘kk_whisper’ preset applied

So a few days ago I set about harvesting rhubarb stalks to cook with.

_DSC0336

Kim Klassen ‘kk_oldendays’ preset applied

I was able to pull 3 bunches like this out of the garden (don’t you just love my fancy gardening outfit?!)

_DSC0242

Kim Klassen ‘kk_greymist’ preset applied

Once the leaves were removed (you don’t want to eat those – they will make you sick) and the stalks cleaned, it was time for some chopping.

_DSC0259

Kim Klassen ‘kk_BurntAlmond’ preset applied

I was inspired by Cathy Sly’s (the link is to her blog – which is awesome!)picture on IG for a rhubarb spritzer made with simple syrup and Pellegrino. So good. Thanks Cathy! I found a recipe for Rhubarb simple syrup HERE

_DSC0275

Kim Klassen ‘kk_true’ preset applied

Then some rhubarb jam that would go into ice cream. This jam would also be good on a piece of toast!

_DSC0263

Kim Klassen ‘kk_MatterFact’ preset applied

This came together pretty quick. Then came the ice cream.

_DSC0376

Kim Klassen ‘kk_pastelhaze’ preset applied

This was my first time making rhubarb ice cream. Delicious! Found the recipe HERE for both the jam and the ice cream.

Then some more chopping

_DSC0369

Kim Klassen ‘kk_truffle’ preset applied

to make a rhubarb crisp (click HERE for recipe)

_DSC0384

Kim Klassen ‘kk_withcare’ preset applied

Of course all of these items make a great stand-alone dessert, but I like to do what I call “composed” desserts, when there are a few things served at once and each item have at least one ingredient in common, like rhubarb!

_DSC0426

Kim Klassen ‘kk_litely’ preset applied

I still have more rhubarb in the fridge so will be soliciting ideas from you all as to what to do with it!

So, do you love rhubarb? What do you do with it?

IMG_3195

Kim Klassen ‘kk_moodswing’ preset applied to an iPhone picture that was processed with Brushstroke app.

Linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday. Hope you can pop by and check out everyone’s fabulous photography. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

xo

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Mini Gather at the DBG

_DSC9896

On the 2nd day of our “mini-gather”, Barbara Hurst, Terri Porter and I headed out to the Desert Botanical Garden. This place is a special treat for me as we do not have these types of plants here in Washington. The colors and shapes are amazing.

_DSC0080

Intriguing textures like the cactus above

_DSC0112

These insects were so busy with one another, they didn’t even notice me!

_DSC0119

Kim Klassen ‘greymist’ preset applied

The spiky thorns create such amazing patterns

_DSC9915

The contrast between the desert wildflowers and the cactus is mesmerizing

_DSC9964

Kim Klassen ‘greymist’ preset applied

I think I could stare into this cactus for hours!

_DSC9979

The cactus flowers blooming amid the thorns is a metaphor of life itself; the world can be a harsh, dangerous place, and yet beauty springs forth.

IMG_3181

After taking many, many pictures, we had a lovely lunch. And then, just like that, the day was done. Such fond memories. Many thanks again to Barbara Hurst and Terri Porter for our lovely time together.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Linking up w/ Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday today.

xo

Posted in Gardening, photography | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Cookbook Review – The Kinfolk Table

_DSC9580

In the month of April I tried some of the recipies in The Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to cook all the recipes I wanted, but the ones I did were superb. First was the Citrus Lentil Salad

_DSC9610

This was super easy to make and quite tasty. I substituted Blood Orange Olive Oil for the regular EVOO, just to put my signature on it. This is a light salad, perfect for the summer days to come. After that I made the Sweet Potato Biscuits

_DSC9633

I rolled out the dough a bit too thin so that’s why they are not as high as they should be (my bad), but that didn’t adversely affect the wonderful flavor. I am now a fan of sweet potato biscuits! Then there was a fun play with the Hummingbird Cake (you may remember an earlier post on this related to a new prop I had found)

_DSC9766

I can’t say YUM enough! Brian loved it so much he wants it for his birthday cake this year, which will take place tomorrow. The last recipe I had the chance to make was a very simple  Cucumber & Fennel Salad

_DSC9811

Another simple to make and light salad that would be perfect paired with a grilled salmon (which is what we did.)

The book’s tagline reads “recipes for small gatherings”, so quantities won’t overwhelm. The book is also beautiful and the portraits of those who presented recipes in the book are posed in ways I haven’t really seen before. Just wonderful. I would recommend this book highly.

For the month of May I will be exploring recipes from this book that I learned about on Kim Klassen’s website (shown here without its jacket)

_DSC0172

A Kitchen In France by Mimi Thorisson. The book is full of gorgeous photography – I think it would make a great coffee table book even if you never cooked a thing out of it. Recipes are intriguing and am looking forward to seeing how they work out. Will let you know next month. Until then, Bon Appetite!

Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

xo

Posted in Cooking, photography | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Mini Gather

IMG_3182

It all happened here, at Barbara Hurst’s home. Isn’t it beautiful? The tree frames the house  perfectly. Terri Porter drove up from Phoenix and we spent the entire day doing still life photography, eating lunch, playing in Lightroom together, eating dinner, laughing, and smiling. I can tell you we didn’t starve!

IMG_3172

Meet my new friend, Sasha! She is Barb’s faithful companion who watched us all like a hawk while we took pictures.

_DSC9859

Kim Klassen’s ‘moodswing’ preset applied

These chocolate croissants were left over from the breakfast Barb & I had Saturday morning before Terri arrived. She gets these from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s. You must pull them out the night before and the puff up and then you put an egg wash on them and bake for about 20 minutes. They are delicious! Barb also had the idea of using a tea ball to sift the powdered sugar on them. Smart lady! Barb picked up the gorgeous plate at the swap meet that she, Brian, & I attended after the Gather event in November. Serious prop envy here!

_DSC9869

Kim Klassen’s ‘moodswing’ preset applied

Everywhere you looked there were vases of flowers in Barb’s home. These lovely hydrangeas made wonderful subject matter, along with the wooden letter (H is for hydrangea, Hurst, and Hart!)

_DSC9876

Kim Klassen’s ‘still’ preset applied

Terri brought things to play with too like this fabulous spool of thread.

_DSC9884

Barb had several of these fun little air ferns, which I thought paired nicely with shells she had in a blue birdbath outside.

_DSC9890

Kim Klassen’s ‘chocolate’ preset applied

I needed to pull away to start preparing lunch (Paella) and thought Barb’s cool cutting board with the garlic would make a nice still life. Isn’t the background awesome! It’s one of those canvas printed ones from Swanky Prints.

IMG_3169

It took a little longer than planned to get the lunch made, but finally it was ready and Barb set a lovely table for us outside.

IMG_3170

The Paella turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! It was kind of Barb to let me cook in her kitchen.

IMG_3171

Barb & Terri doing their thing!

IMG_3179

Kim Klassen’s ‘greymist’ preset applied

As I was clearing the table after lunch I saw this lovely set up that Barb created and had to stop to take a picture of it. It was one of just a few pictures I took w/ my iPhone.

IMG_3173

The three of us met at Shutter Sisters Oasis 3 years ago. Who would have guessed back then that we would develop this beautiful friendship. My life is richer because they are a part of it and I am grateful for their love and light.

The next day we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens, but that’s a story for another post!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I am linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday. Hope you get a chance to stop by and check out all the links to blogs belonging to very talented people. Cheers!

xo

Posted in Inspirational, iPhoneography, photography | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Nasty Spam Attack

Just a quick post to let you know that my email account was hacked (they got in through my blog site) and as a result many people I know received bogus spam email. My apologies if you were one of them. The problem has been resolved and the hacker has been blocked. Sure wish those hackers would get a real job!

Cheers, xo

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A New Prop Inspires A Photo Shoot

_DSC9746

I walked into Sur La Table last Saturday and look what I found! Isn’t this the cutest wire pedestal & cage cover you’ve ever seen?! I actually screamed when I saw it.

_DSC9752

The pedestal is only about 6″ in diameter. I’m thinking this is a good addition to my prop stash as it was like getting two props for the price of one!

_DSC9758

After taking these pictures I decided to make a cake from the cookbook I’m currently working through (The Kinfolk Table – review on my blog in a couple of weeks) and use my new little prop…

_DSC9763

Hummingbird Cake. The recipe calls for 3 – 8″ layers, but since the pedestal is only 6″ I decided to use my mini cake pans, which are 6″ but a bit deeper than the larger cake pans. This made for a rather tall cake, which I thought looked pretty awesome!

_DSC9765

I also added little viola flowers as a garnish, which are edible though we didn’t eat them.

_DSC9769

Slicing such a tall cake was a bit challenging, but I got the job done!

_DSC9771

The cake was absolutely delicious! Brian’s birthday is coming up real soon and he’s already told me he wants this cake. Geez, same cake a couple of weeks apart! I probably won’t make the tall version though.

It’s not often a prop inspires a whole photo shoot, but when it does it needs to be shared, don’t you agree?

Thanks a lot for stopping by. Linking up with Kim’s Friday Finds HERE. Have a great day!

xo

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Beautifully Broken

_DSC9715

Kim Klassen ‘pastel haze’ preset applied

It fell. It broke. I cried…

Not for the loss of the plate, but because the remains were so lovely.Tears began to well up as I realized…we are all beautifully broken.

_DSC9727

Kim Klassen ‘litely’ preset applied

Linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your week is off to a good start.

xo

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Practice

_DSC9497

Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘dreamy flowers’ preset

There comes a moment in every life when the universe presents you with an opportunity to rise to your potential. An open door that only requires the heart to walk through, seize it and hang on. The choice is never simple. It’s never easy. It’s not supposed to be. But those who travel this path have always looked back and realized that the test was always about the heart. The rest is just practice. ~ Jaime Buckley

They say practice makes perfect. But I’m not looking for perfect. I’m looking for joy. To find it I will practice; through patience, trust, love, listening, exploration, and expression. Will you join me?

Linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

_DSC9502

Applied Kim Klassen’s ‘dreamy flowers’ preset

Posted in Inspirational, photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Cookbook Review – Sunday Suppers

_DSC8978

In the month of March (which flew by, right?!) I cooked out of Sunday Suppers, by Karen Mordechai. The recipes are not just about supper though. The book is named after the communal kitchen Karen runs in Brooklyn, NY. Their intent is to bring together food, gatherings, and community. Learn more about them on their website HERE.

I found the book at Petals & Pop in Seal Beach, CA. More than just a floral shop, you can find all kinds of lovely things in there including cookbooks and magazines. So many recipes fill this book’s pages, along with eye catching photography. Find the book HERE as well as on the Sunday Suppers website.

I began exploring the cookbook with this recipe for Shakshuka

_DSC7380

The recipe called for Harissa sauce. Normally I don’t go out and buy a little known ingredient just for one recipe. I usually substitute something I already have on hand. In this case I did buy the Harissa, and am glad I did. It is deeply flavorful, but not too hot, and is now a regular item in my fridge. Next up, I made the Fig Tart with honey…

_DSC7635

This was delicious. I did add a bit of Agave syrup to the filling to sweeten it slightly. It was fun taking pictures of this too, and if I may have a little braggadocios moment, my photo is better than the one in the book! Then we tried the Whiskey-Glazed Ribs with Winter Slaw, and thick fries with Pink Peppercorn Aioli…

_DSC8987

Brian made the ribs and they were cooked to perfection! I would serve this for company. The winter slaw recipe worked well also, but I did add a touch of Agave syrup to sweeten just a tad. We decided not to prepare the fries per the recipe in the book – we’re not big on fried foods. So, we used sweet potatoes and baked them. For dessert this same night I made the Date Cake with Toffee Sauce…

_DSC8992

This was sooooo good! One small note. The recipe calls for soaking the dates in some hot water for 30 minutes, then puree. However it doesn’t specify whether or not to strain the dates first, and there was quite a bit of water. So, I did strain the dates, reserved the water, and slowly drizzled the water into the dates when processing until the mixture was the thickness of baby food. Worked perfectly. Next up was Tortilla Soup

_DSC9081

This was my first time making tortilla soup and this recipe turned out great. Wonderful fresh flavor. Note here, the soup does cook down quite a bit so that’s something to keep in mind when thinking about the number of portions. It also had a bit of heat, which we love, but if you don’t, you could either reduce or eliminate the red pepper flakes. The cookbook also includes a recipe for Everything Bagels. I had never made bagels so decided to try my hand…

_DSC9087

Brian couldn’t get enough of these right-sized babies! This is going to be a regular thing around our house maybe once a month on a Sunday. Such a treat! Then Brian decided to try the Mustard And Peppercorn Roast Beef with Tomato Gravy…

_DSC9162

I wish I had taken a picture of the roast as it came out of the oven, but Cest la vie! One thing let to another and before I knew it, Brian was dishing up our meal. It was beautiful! This was delicious and I made a root vegetable gratin to go with it. Yum! Next up was Chili, Texas Style…

_DSC9196

The recipe calls for both Ancho chili and Chipotle chili in adobo sauce. I thought this was going to flame my lips off, but it was just the right amount of heat. I decided to top each serving with a little grated cheese. Easy to make and I will go back to this one again.

There was only one recipe I attempted that didn’t work out, which was their Apple and Olive Oil Cake. I actually think there’s something wrong with the recipe. It calls for 5 cups of sugar for a 10-inch springform baked cake. I knew this wasn’t right, but followed the recipe anyway. The center of the cake never baked through. In addition to that, the picture of the cake that accompanied the recipe in the book that I found a bit misleading. It shows some sprigs of thyme in the picture, hinting that there is thyme in the cake, but there isn’t. However that would be a good idea. Also, the apples slices on top of cake reveal a red edge, indicating the apples were not peeled, but the recipe calls for peeled apples. The idea of this cake is good though and makes me want to go back to it and fix it’s problems. Will get back to you on that!

Overall, a solid cookbook that I would recommend. Now for the month of April I will be exploring this book that I found at Anthropologie

_DSC9581

The Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams (shown here without its book jacket). The recipes read well and the photographs are awesome! I’ll let you know next month how it all went. Until then, Bon Appetite!

Hope life is treating you well. Thanks so much for stopping by.

xo

Posted in Cooking, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Homework – In or on a Crate

_DSC9570

(applied Kim Klassen’s ‘moodwsing’ preset)

The assignment this last week was to create a still life in or on a crate. I was gonna take a pass on this assignment. I don’t have a crate and wasn’t about to run out and buy one. I had some woven bins but they were small. But then I got to thinking, My still life objects could be small enough to fit so decided to give it a go.

_DSC9571

(applied Kim’s ‘days of old’ preset)

Once I set up my scene, I decided to take pictures from different points of view and try out some of Kim’s presets.

_DSC9574

(applied Kim’s ‘within’ preset)

_DSC9575

(Kim’s ‘within’ preset also applied to this one, which I tweaked a bit…well maybe more than a bit!)

 

At the end of the day I’m glad I didn’t pass up on this assignment. It gave me a chance to think outside the box…or I guess inside the box in this case!

Thanks so much for popping in! Have a great day.

xo

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments