Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, or 2-3 ripe tomatoes, roasted in the oven
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (if you want a mild salsa, try 1/2 pepper)*
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp lime juice
small handful cilantro leaves (about 1/4 cup or a little less)
dash of salt only if your tomatoes had no salt added
Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the spices to your preference.
*if you're looking for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce at the supermarket, check the Mexican food aisle and look for a small can--I transfer these to a resealable container and keep them refrigerated since I only use them one at a time
This is my base recipe. Sometimes I play with add-ins, such as:
- peaches or pineapple
- black beans
- onion (use less than you think you need--the onion flavor gets really potent)
The chipotle pepper and roasted tomatoes give this salsa a rich, smokey flavor, and the cilantro adds a fresh aftertaste. If you've never had chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, I highly recommend them! They taste sort of like what you might imagine a spicy, Mexican barbecue sauce to be.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The damage was kind of gross. (It's rainy today, by the way, so that's not all squirrel slobber.)
I also heard a loud noise on the back steps and looked out to see this...the last of my giant zinnias toppled over. Although it's rainy today, it's certainly not very windy or stormy...I think the squirrel did it under the guise of bad weather. At any rate, they are completely severed, so that's the last of them.
I still have my thumbelina zinnias although as you can see they have almost run their course.
I'm really sad that winter is almost here, and that this squirrel is ruining my last precious few moments in the garden.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
It included three collage drawings, a Holga photograph, stickers (I love stickers!), and a note. I am still putting together a few things to send to her in return...I want my package to be as exciting!
Corey also received mail from Elizabeth on the same day...he ordered her chapbook! It is excellent and comes with some goodies inside, like the little sea drawings you see here. Get yours today, she is almost out!
Monday, October 24, 2011
I took all of my Pumpkin Show pictures with my trusty 35 mm Canon, so you'll have to wait until I pick them up at the lab to see them (probably Wednesday--I have night classes today and tomorrow)...so for today I'll leave you with a few fall pictures I took with my Holga last year.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
These pictures are from last year's Pumpkin Show, but we're going back today to check out this year's festival!
Did I mention the official mascot is a Pumpkin Man who goes around the fair on roller blades?
And school is canceled for all of the local children for days due to the Pumpkin Show!
The largest pumpkin pie in the world was in that bakery! There was a pretty long wait to see it though, so we didn't go in.
I only wish I had a photo of the town's water tower...which is shaped like a pumpkin!
More photos after today's adventure...
Friday, October 21, 2011
But this week I wanted to make something sweet and was tired of cookies. I was going to make this brownie recipe which is my go-to vegan brownie recipe. I don't have it memorized like the cookies but I've made it a number of times. If you make this recipe, you won't be disappointed. It's very good.
However, as much as I like making something delicious quickly with a recipe I trust, I also like stepping out on a limb and trying new ones. So I looked up "vegan brownies" on Pinterest (which I love for finding recipes!) and found this recipe: Gooey Vegan Brownies.
I can appreciate a recipe with the word "gooey" in the title. When I was in elementary school, every year we had a back-to-school picnic at a local park, and one game that was always there was the cake walk. I played it every year and only won once! But I still remember the dessert I won: ooey gooey butter bars. Sounds like a heart attack, doesn't it? The bars came with a recipe card, which my mom let me recreate once before declaring there was simply too much butter in them to make again! Googling that exact recipe title now confirms that what my mom told me was true.
But gooey vegan brownies have no butter in them. They are not the most wholesome thing you will ever eat--as most brownies are not--but I believe in having a few sweet treats here and there. They turned out amazing and as you can see I didn't even get a proper picture of them but instead had to photograph the last one left in the pan! Oops. I have a tip if you want your brownies to be soft and fudgey: don't wait until the middle is done. The recipe says a toothpick will come out clean in the middle but for me they never do. I just take them out of the oven at the time the recipe says they will be done, and let them set up for at least an hour. There are no eggs since these are vegan, so you don't have to worry about that. I added 1 Tbsp ground flax to the recipe to ensure that they wouldn't fall apart, but I don't know if that was necessary. However, they held up well.
These are the best vegan brownies I've made. I would dare say you would not even realize they were vegan if I didn't tell you!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I've been working on several of these custom garden illustrations as of late! They are so fun to make. I love doodling food, so it's definitely right up my alley. If you're reading and see yours, it should be arriving in your mailbox any day now! If you're reading and wish you saw yours, it's the perfect thing to get yourself as a little pick-me-up for when the first frost arrives soon (or has already arrived? you poor thing!) or for a holiday gift for that special gardener or vegetable-lover in your life. You can do so here.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
One of my favorite methods of relaxation...or maybe I should say meditation...is film processing. You have to slow down for it, and really pay attention to the materials and the clock, or you'll mess up your film. It's also gratifying to get all the way from shooting the photograph to having the negatives in your hands without going to a professional lab. This weekend I spent some time processing film and making black and white enlargements. I know a lot of people see it as outdated these days, but I wouldn't recommend any other way of learning photography.
p.s. Check out that hazardous material...an old crossword puzzle and lots of film backing paper (found in medium format film). Looks super hazardous to me!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Tiny peeks into my new studio space. More to come... Loving the big windows, bright white walls, white furniture, and colorful, mostly vintage decorations, supplies, and props! I just got some clothes hangers for my rack of backdrops and costumes, so that will be better organized soon.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
How to make a stop motion movie documenting the process of making a mosaic paper collage. This can be however short or long you want it to be. This is an investment of time.
1. Find a picture you would like to work from. I created my own from my film pictures. Here: ( fish / lights )
2. Gather magazines, a glue stick, scissors, and a square piece of cardboard, matteboard or cardstock or anything you have that will suffice. You will also need a digital camera and a computer to upload it to.
3. Cut shapes out according to color from your picture. Arrange the shapes where you want them to resemble your picture.
4. Set up and mark a specific spot where you will place and photograph your collage each time you add a new piece. You must put it in the exact spot every time for this to work. Set up your camera to where the view of your collage in its marked off spot is in the frame. Your camera must remain stationary so that all you have to do is press the button. This will keep your photograph placement of your collage process consistent.
5. Set your blank collage in its marked off spot take a photograph of it. Glue your first piece on. As you glue each piece at a time, set your collage in your marked off spot, photograph it. You will do this as many times as you have pieces. I probably did mine 50 times at least, but it's worth it I promise. So to reiterate, you glue a piece of magazine clipping to your collage, set it in your marked off spot, photograph it and repeat. You can also just leave it in the spot without moving it and photograph it that way. I had my camera on my work desk facing my collage spot on the piano.
6th: After you have completed your collage (and photographed it each time) upload your photos to your computer in one album in the order you took them. You can scan through them so see how it will look. Make them into a video and watch as your collage builds itself through stop motion magic.
This is my first attempt at a stop motion collage. I used iMovie, but you could use any video editing software. I was commissioned to create a choice video for the New Zealand band Wet Wings. I would suggest using a 1-1.5 second gap between photos.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
On the bright side, look at these beautiful fall tomatoes! Okay, I posed them outside in the grass for good light and color, but let me tell you a secret...I picked them when they were still green and ripened them in a brown paper grocery sack to keep them safe from the squirrels! Tomatoes ripened on the vine have a slightly better flavor but these are still delicious, and by the sad remains of a few I let turn red on the vine, I did the right thing. I have another bag ripening now and should have a few more before the frost hits.
I am sad to see a cold but relaxing weekend end. A few things I did:
- Indian food
- Catch Me if You Can
- art openings
- tomato sandwiches
- lots of coffee (to stay warm!)
- and chili (for the same reason!)