Archive for May, 2014

 

Yep, I’m bored today. I mean, I have about a million things to do and 3 projects in the works, but I cannot get the creative juices going. I was feeling blah all day, and I finally just had it. I put on some powder, pulled on a pair of comfy jeans, and took the tripod outdoors. Sometimes, I like to do these self portraits to put things back in perspective. It’s different than taking a look in the mirror. It’s like seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes, through a photographer’s eyes. Taking self portraits that are not camera “selfies” is a little challenging, especially on a DSLR where the focus will not be correct if you’re not in front to meter and focus. I took a light stand, and placed it in the spot where I would pose. It took a couple tries to get the focus and height correct, but it’s a good exercise to do. You have to compose the image without the subject, and on top of that, you have to pose yourself once you’re in front of the camera!

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May 18
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I’ll let the art and photos speak for themselves.

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I made these for the kids and their moms before we all trooped off to see Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson, the Immortal Tour. We scored good prices and tickets from TravelZoo, which took us all the way to the FRONT ROW! If you haven’t seen the show, you must. They were amazing and the music of course took us back to our elementary school and teenage days of watching Michael Jackson marathons on MTV. We were out of our seats for half the show, dancing along to Thriller, Bad, Beat It, They Don’t Care About Us and many more favorites.

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Spring rolls are one of my favorite foods of all time. They are so easy to make, tastes so fresh, and incredibly healthy to eat all the time! My mom use to pick herbs from the garden, just throw them all in a basket and put them on the dinner table. Julienne some veggies like fresh lettuce, cucumbers, jicama, carrots, add whatever meat or fish you’re making that day,  and voila…a spring roll. She usually makes a fish sauce for dipping, but I tend to prefer peanut sauces with spring rolls.

I’ve been wrapping spring rolls my whole life, and I have a few ways of doing it. My old favorite was just having my wet rice paper on a small dish, throwing everything into the middle lined with good fresh lettuce leaf without the rib, and fold in the sides to not have any open ends until you bite into them. This is my dad’s way of rolling them because he makes the BIGGEST spring rolls filled to the rim with everything and everything. He also says that he gets lazy and doesn’t want to roll a lot so just do a few enormous ones to save time. I learned to love that way of rolling from him, but for photography and aesthetic reasons, this open ended way by Steamy Kitchen is much prettier!

I usually make a peanut sauce with hoison on the stovetop learned from Ravenous Couple because I LOVE Bo Bia and they haven’t let me down on a recipe yet… but Jaden of Steamy Kitchen caught my attention on my Feedly blog roll with her recent post on Vegetable Spring Rolls and in particular, her feature of The Blender Girl’s Orange Almond Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls [her cookbook is a bestseller on Amazon]. Sorry, that was a lot of links, but I’m a firm believer in citation due to law school. The sauce is easier to make because you don’t have to heat anything up. Instead, you can use a blender or food processor to mix all your ingredients. I made some adjustments to the sauce to cater to my taste: I used regular JIF peanut butter instead of almond butter [because I just love the pure peanut taste], and I almost doubled the amount of peanut butter from the suggested amount, and I used less lime juice. The sauce is quite thick with just 1/4 cup of water, so I added little bits of water as I blended until I was happy with the consistency. 

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May 10
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I am uber happy [and shocked] to see my herbs not just alive, but thriving!!! I’m  harvesting a lot of these today to make spring rolls. I’m having some trouble with my mint. They are growing like crazy, which is great because I use so much of it, and I contained them into one pot on its own….but it’s getting these tiny flies and slight fungus or mold. I think I’m watering it too much, but does anyone know how to treat this? Should I just let it dry out a bit and see what happens?

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Here is the link and picture of what my herbs looked like when I first got them: Home Project – Planting Flowers

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my harvest on 5/10/14

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Happy Birthday to one of the best girls I know. I’ve known Tamara for over 10 years, and now that I’m in Atlanta close by her, we get to hang out all the time. Her husband threw a great poker party with her closest friends and we all had the best time learning / playing poker. We have to do this more often even when there are no birthdays! The pictures are a hot mess and combination of everyone grabbing my camera throughout the night, but I did manage to snap some fun pics since Amine brought over the rope lights to hang out on the balcony while we smoked some arguileh.

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 anyone going to sing me a birthday song? 😉

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