14 posts tagged photography
I almost deleted this.
Last night my daughter was eating some bourbon caramel sauce with a slice of Granny Smith apple when she called for me to come over to see the way the light was hitting her plate. I picked up my camera that was a foot or two away and took a quick shot. A few minutes ago I was looking through thumbnails and I almost deleted it but then decided to take a look. I love it when this happens.
Every crumb/morsel/drop was devoured after this shot. The pear was juicy and perfectly ripe. The bread was still warm, and the creamy, buttery St. Agur blue cheese was blissful.
Can there be a perfect food?
In my opinion this is about as close to perfection as it gets. We’ve had a good, long string of great food over the past couple of weeks and I can say that this meal right here was the best of all of them. From a taste perspective as well as a visual perspective, it hit it out of the ball park. When you dig your fork (or chopsticks!) into it, it has the taste and feel of something authentic. Each of the crunchy, sweet, sour, spicy tastes and textures help create a blissfully good flavor experience. Those succulent shrimp with the bits of crispy frond still attached were amazing all on their own.
Prepping this dish takes a bit of time, but I would highly suggest you set aside an hour and try this
Kudos to Andrea Nguyen from Cooking Light magazine for putting together such a stunning and delicious dish.
Vietnamese salt and pepper shrimp rice noodle bowl
- 5 ounces uncooked rice vermicelli noodles
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 5 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
- 4 cups (1/4-inch) slices green leaf lettuce
- 3 cups diagonally cut slices seeded Kirby (pickling) cucumber (about 2)
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup torn Thai basil leaves
- 1/4 cup torn mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1/3 cup (1/4-inch) slices green onions
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Soak vermicelli noodles in warm water for 20 minutes. Bring some water to boil in a saucepan. Add noodles. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Combine 1/2 cup lukewarm water and granulated sugar in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, and chiles; set aside.
Combine lettuce, cucumber, and herbs; set aside.
Combine cornstarch, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and swirl to coat. Add half of shrimp; cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are seared. Remove from pan. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to wok; repeat procedure with remaining shrimp. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to wok; swirl to coat. Add onions and garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds. Return shrimp to pan; stir-fry 1 minute.
Arrange about 1 cup lettuce mixture in each of 4 large bowls, and top each serving with about 1 cup noodles and 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts. Divide the shrimp evenly among servings, and serve each with 1/4 cup sauce.
Button, button, who’s got the button?
One of the things that makes Portland so special is that we’re not a huge city but we’re big enough to support a vast number of unique, interesting boutiques and shops. The creative energy that goes into these enterprises reflects the diversity of the people who live here.
I discovered the Button Emporium & Ribbonry many years ago and love going in there to gaze at their untold thousands of beautiful buttons and amazing ribbons and trims. It’s a cozy shop crammed full of treasures. If you sew or even if you don’t, visiting this place is a trip worth making.
Thank you! My camera is a Nikon D7000, which I love. Close-up shots, including most food shots, are taken with an 85mm micro Nikkor lens (my baby). For wide-angle shots I use an 18-105mm Nikkor lens. The other beautiful lens I use less often is a Nikkor 55-300mm, which is perfect for shots on the beach and when I need greater zoom.
My “studio” is my garage, where the natural light is almost always perfect, regardless of the time of year or weather.
Most close-up shots are taken on an old, cool, wooden crate which elevates almost everything to the right height. I bought it at Rejuvenation Hardware a year or so ago and can’t seem to live without it. Almost every picture I take of food is taken in the garage on that crate. You can see it pretty clearly here, but usually I cover it with something.
Even though my camera is a year old I’m still learning how to use it. It’s a huge temptation to just set everything on AUTO, because the camera is so perfectly calibrated it takes amazing shots all on its own. However most of the time I use the manual functions which makes photography more fun. I had a great time capturing the night sky at the beach a while back, which wouldn’t have been possible if I had used the automatic features.
Some of my most favorite shots taken with my camera using the 85mm micro Nikkor lens include these:
- Homegrown popcorn
- Individual Potatoes Anna
- Green beans and tomatoes in my enamel bowl
- Cherry tomatoes from the garden
- Raspberries with white chocolate chips
- Shrimp chilling in ice water
A few pictures taken with my 18-105mm lens include:
And my favorite picture taken with my 55-300mm lens is this:
Ask away if you have any other questions!
Baguette with avocado
This combination has appeared here over and over with slight variations. It’s a staple at our house.
I have several pincushions but this one’s my favorite. My oldest pincushion is one I got in grade school and it held my pins and needles for decades. Part of me wants to carefully cut it open to see how many needles have slipped inside over the years, but I can’t seem to make myself do it.
I learned to sew at an early age and made most of my clothes up until I went to college. We upgraded to an electric machine at some point, but most of those years I used an old treadle machine. Man, I was so fast I could make that thing fly! Despite the fact that it only sewed forward and only made straight stitches, I cranked out skirts, dresses, shorts, pants, a couple of coats and even a swim suit on that machine.
Over the past week or so I’ve spent long days at my sewing machine and this pincushion has seen some heavy use.
Our winter garden is sparkling this morning in the November sunshine.