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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Foodographs Volume 1

I love to read food blogs, get great recipes and drool over their images of the food as they make it...but what baffles me is who has the time to stop and take beautiful photographs in the midst of cooking?! My kitchen gets pretty messy and so do I for that matter, so getting my camera out is the last thing I want to do. Yet, I have always wanted to create some images that make you want to lick the screen in hopes to get a taste of what your eyes are enjoying. I have decided to call said images..."foodographs!" (not sure if I coined that word, but either way, I like it and will use it!)

So...yesterday I had my chance to take some foodographs! I help out with a women's group for high school girls, and three of the seniors of the group are heading off to college next week, and after tasting my homemade hummus they asked if I would teach them to cook. I, of course, said SURE! None of them had much knowledge of cooking at all, so I was excited to impart some of my humble wisdom onto them.

I taught them what I have learned over the years from my parents, friends, reading in magazines and watching all those fun cooking shows. (I am listening to the season finale of Master Chef in the next room as I write this). Therefore, while they cooked and got messy....I took foodographs!

So, we will take full blame if you feel the desire to lick your screen or if you are drooling after looking at these pictures, because I must admit, it all tasted pretty yummy! I think we went through 2 full heads of garlic, and I might still be tasting garlic in my mouth as I write this! (Italian and proud!)

To get the full affect of the foodographs, click on the image to enlarge it.
I also added the links to the recipes if you can't help yourself after seeing the foodographs.

I printed recipes of what we were going to make, had ingredients and utensils
all laid out for them when they arrived--aprons tied on and ready to go!

The girls said that you really know how to cook if you can bake bread!
With Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day, anyone can bake bread!

Making homemade pasta is one of my favorite things to teach people.
My great uncle invented the homemade pasta machine, so I feel like I am carrying on our family history and heritage every time I teach someone. The girls were so fascinated by how we made dough and then cut it into pasta.

Nothing beats homegrown tomatoes, except the recipes you make with them.
Thanks to my father-in-law's abundant crop, we made some amazing
brushetta, on the homemade bread of course!
Keeping with the Italian theme, we had to make some meatballs to go with the pasta.
Again, with so much enthusiasm and excitement, the girls couldn't wait to get their hands in the bowl to mix up the ingredients for the meatballs.
And who doesn't love some chocolate cookies for dessert! (Please don't judge my imitation vanilla, I must have been low on food budget money at the time. I prefer pure vanilla extract!) The reason I chose these cookies to make was because I wanted to teach the girls simple recipes that would be easy to follow and create some food that is quite tasty. These are cake mix cookies and can be whipped up in no time when you have a craving for chocolate and only take the ingredients that you see in that bowl! (and any additional mix-ins you want to add--we went for reese's pieces)

We then had the rest of the women's group over to sample all of our hard work and all mouths were happy! The girls were so proud of what they made and were so excited to share the information that they learned.

I had a blast with these ladies yesterday and can't wait to do it again with the next batch of seniors, or anyone who asks..."Will you teach me to cook!?" I am no Master Chef, or Iron Chef...just a woman who loves to share her love of food with others. I did win the way to my husband's heart through his stomach when I made him homemade lasagna with homemade noodles just a month after we met!

As my mother says..."anyone can cook....If you can read, you can cook!" And of course, it just takes practice, practice, practice!

Mange! Mange!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saying YES!

I had the honor of being the photographer for two beautiful women as they took their first vows of profession for the Franciscan Sisters of the Third Order Regular.

This is the 3rd time I have been asked to photograph an event for the sisters and every time it is such a joy! These women exude so much love and joy you can't help but be in a good mood when you are around them.

So many people think that living the life of a sister, taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience is bound to be a life of boredom and sorrow. I mean how much fun can you have being poor, chaste and under the rule of someone else, right?! WRONG! What is so beautiful about them is that it is not about saying no to money, or possessions. It is not about saying no to having a husband or children. It is not about saying no to being able to go and do what you want when you want. It is about saying YES to so much more.
Yes, to having all of your needs taken care of. They have a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food on their plate. They may not have a savings account full of cash, but they have everything they need to be sustained and do not concern themselves with the prestige of gaining material things. They live a simple life as to be able to devote their time towards what God is calling them to.

Yes, to giving their lives totally to God as their spouse. God fulfills them in a way that we will never understand. Just as a husband wife compliment each other so that they can fully be the person that God created them to be, the same is with the sisters....God as their spouse compliments them to be the woman they were fully committed to be. While they do not have biological children of their own...the many people they serve become their spiritual children. They are able to love and serve an abundant amount of God's children in whatever their needs are.

They say yes to trusting that God has placed them under the direction of others who will make decisions that is best for them. If the Mother Superior gives a sister a role in the community, the sister will know and trust that the Mother Superior has prayed about that position, not just arbitrarily placed her there. There is freedom in knowing that someone is looking out for you and your best interest and how you can best serve God and the community. It is not a master and slave relationship like so many people can perceive "obedience" to be, rather it is a loving relationship that is fulfilling for both the sister and the community.

That being is so beautiful to witness these women on their journey to saying "YES" to what God has called them to. You can't help but jump for joy when you see their you can see...they do!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Too cute!

My brother and sister in-law came over to visit the other day, while they were in town. (They are currently living in Topsail Beach, NC). They have a son, Grant, who is almost exactly one month older than Luke. We had a fun little play date with Cousin Grant! Jacob was very excited. He sees pictures of Grant on Facebook all the time and says "GRANT!" So to finally see him in person was really fun for him.

I, of course, had to get the camera out to see if we could get some good pictures of the boys...the little guys wouldn't cooperate so much for me to get a good picture of the two of them together, so here are some individual shots.

And a nice one of Grandma with her son and grandson!
Then taking one of the three of them...was amusing! Jacob would get all excited to hold them both and give them a big bear hug, and then drops them like hotcakes after about 3 seconds....he pushes them away and backs outta there! So, as you can see Grant and Luke were not too thrilled after about 4 attempts! They were catching on to his tactics! We all had a good laugh and so will they some day!