Monday, December 26, 2011

The Wedding of Janice & Zane

Thursday December 15th, my husband and I landed in the big state of Texas. Many shrieks of joy and overdue hugs from friends and family. Through the flurry of last minute preparations, we made it to the big day. Saturday December 17th, we toasted to Mr. and Mrs. Martindale! Congrats to a beautiful couple!

Last Minute Preparations: Making purple tissue paper flower balls for the pews!

Girls Night Out: Bride with her Bridesmaids at Benjy's

Getting Ready for Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony

Getting Ready for Wedding Day

Wedding Reception at Safari Texas Ranch

Mr. Zane Martindale
Mrs. Janice Martindale

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wilson Family

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of photographing the Wilson family. We had perfect weather and beautiful smiles! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Camera Purse

I have been dreaming of a camera bag that doesn't look like scream "tourist" or "going hiking." I have those bags and love them for their purposes but I wanted something ... different. There are many camera handbags out there now beautifully designed by amazing artists. What can I do with what I have? With less than $15 (not including the handbag), I bought foam, purple ripstop (lightweight rip-free nylon), Velcro, and purple thread and got to work! It's very "freestyle" and a little rough along the edges in terms of not being the prettiest of handiwork but it works for its purpose and makes me extremely happy! Mission accomplished!

Fits SLR with lens, extra lens, and flash. A little room for a pen, skinny chap stick, credit cards/ID, keys, and phone.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunset Lake Infinity Scarf

These colors remind me of a sunset over a lake. Neutrals layered with warm and cool hues. 

Followed a similar pattern to the Trifle Infinity Scarf and The One for the Blue Coat - Infinity Scarf.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Excited to use eggplant from the last harvest, in the mood to avoid washing pots and pans, and looking for something cheesy but with texture, a bruschetta comes to life! Marry together roasted eggplant and sweet peppers over a generous helping of warm goat cheese drizzled with garlic infused olive oil and you're in for an easy appetizer or dinner (depending on how many you eat!)!

Time: ~30 minutes
Oven: 350 degrees F
Yield: amount below are for 4 appetizer servings (I ate all 4 for dinner)

2 English muffins, sliced in half
1 small Black Beauty eggplant
4 small red/orange/yellow sweet bell peppers
1 large chunk of goat cheese (it was probably about 4oz?)
olive oil (I used garlic-infused olive oil)
  1. Preheat oven. Line sheet tray with aluminum foil. Drizzle on some olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Wash and slice eggplant in 1/4 inch thick rounds, no thicker. Place in a shallow dish and sprinkle on salt. Set aside and let sit while you slice the bell peppers. Salting the eggplant draws out the liquid and any bitterness. You can avoid this step if you're in a hurry and don't mind potential bitterness.
  3. Wash and slice bell peppers into 1/4 inch thick rounds, no thicker. Spread on one side of prepared sheet  tray. 
  4. Slice English muffins in half, place on another side of sheet tray. 
  5. Rinse eggplant slices, pat dry. Place on whatever empty space is left on the sheet tray.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over peppers, eggplant, and English muffins. 
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. When the English muffins feel drier with a crunch, pull out the tray, evenly spread goat cheese on each half. Put tray back into oven and broil for a few minutes. 
  8. Assemble bruschetta by placing a few slices of eggplant, topped with peppers.
  9. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Apple Pear Crisp

What goes better with a dinner of chili and green chile corn bread on a rainy winter day than an apple pear crisp? The beautiful golden Asian pears are from my in-laws' garden.

Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Oven:  375 degree F
Makes: 8 servings

5 cups diced and peeled apples and pears
2 T granulated sugar
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c butter
1/4 c walnuts

1. In a mixing bowl, stir diced fruit with granulated sugar. Pour into pie plate.
2. For topping, in a medium bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and spices. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle topping over fruit.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, topping should be golden. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 75th Anniversary Edition.

Chili and Green Chile Corn Bread

Chilly days call for chili and green chile corn bread. Finish it off with a warm fruit crisp of pears and apples!

Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: ~5 servings

1lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
15oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
15oz can corn (unsalted, no sugar added), rinsed and drained
8oz can tomato sauce
1 T brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, sweet peppers, and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, basil, black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

While chili is simmering, get your green chile corn bread going! Traditionally in the south, one would make this in a cast iron skillet. Without a cast iron skillet, I used a square ceramic baking dish.

Green Chile Corn Bread 
Total Time:
Makes: ~9 servings

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c cornmeal
3T granulated white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 T butter
2 beaten eggs
1 c milk (I used soy)
1/2 c melted butter
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
4oz can diced green chile peppers, drained

In a medium bowl stir together four, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Add 1T butter to baking dish and place in 400 degree F oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove dish from oven and swirl butter around to coat bottom and sides of the pan. In a small bowl combine eggs, milk, and melted butter. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until moistened. Fold in cheese and diced green chile peppers. Pour batter into hot dish and bake for 20 minutes, wooden toothpick inserted near center should come out clean. Top should be crusty with a moist inside. Serve warm with honey.

Recipes adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 75th Anniversary Edition.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Vintage Neck Tie - Sweet Grass

Similar to the Vintage Neck Tie - Paprika, this one is made with larger hooks and Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn in Lush.