Saturday, September 29, 2012

Perfect Timing, Fall, & Snack Time

When I sat down to contemplate what to write about (especially since it has been quite sometime since the last post), the most obvious came to mind - food & photography (revelation, right!).  Since this is what my blog is about in the first place.  But, hold on to your hat, I have several other things on my heart and mind.

The first thing on my mind were the words 'perfect timing'. I will attempt to explain what I am talking about.  When I graduated from college, which will be a year as of December 14th, 2012, I was ready to make my way in the world (as people often say).  My thoughts were - if I can purchase the perfect lighting, the perfect camera, the perfect accessories - back drops, props - (well, you get the idea).  My work would be perfect and I would have a great business.  I also felt the same way about other things in my life.  

I soon found out you can have the best equipment in the world but it doesn't make you a better photographer, a better cook, and so on, and so on.  What I did find is that you grow into what you love to do.  You must first practice, practice, practice . . . .and then practice some more.   As far as equipment is concerned - it takes more skill and creativity to produce beautiful work from what you have (and that my not include the most expensive equipment in the world).  So, I continue to practice - taking my photos, cooking, and creating.

The second thing on my mind is - Fall.  I must admit I love fall but, hate winter.  Truthfully, I am a fence straddler on the subject.  I love the fall with the crisp mornings and the changing colors, cool-weather recipes, apple festivals, Halloween, and plethora of corn mazes to visit.  But, these wonderful things are marred by my thoughts of the on-coming of cold weather and all it brings.  My backyard and the brown grass, no flowers, my pool with its ugly cover, too cold to do anything outdoors, and having to wear all the bulky clothes (coats, sweaters).  

Cool Fall Morning
 People would say - move; move to a place that is warm all the time.  Yes, that would be nice - that involves money and I have obligations here, and the fact that I am that fence straddler.  I can't imagine celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in 80 degree weather.  And there would be no Spring, no rebirth, no seed catalogues.  

With all that said - I will, as best I can, focus on these beautiful fall mornings and cool evenings with home-made soup and bread; celebrating the fun at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  And I will find the beauty in winter.





 Now, to finish with Snack Time:  
I have 3 recipes to share.  They are great snacks that you can make ahead and have when you need a little something.




         Herb Cheese Dip
(a simple recipe made with homemade yogurt - if buying the yogurt I suggest Stonyfield Organic yogurt)

Ingredients:
(makes 1 cup)
1 cup non-fat yogurt cheese (drain yogurt for 24 hrs. to drain out the liquid (whey) and the yogurt becomes the consistency of cream cheese)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp finely minced fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne (ground red pepper), or to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl and whisk until well blended.  Cover and chill.  Serve as a dip for fresh vegetables.




(The next recipe is hummus.  I know that there are many recipes for hummus, but they all seem to add the ingredient 'tahini'.  Since I am not a fan of this it will not be in this recipe.)


 Hummus
(this is very simple and inexpensive to make.)
Ingredients:
1 can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 Tbls lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth and  creamy.  Serve with vegetables, crackers, pita chips, wedges of pita bread. (Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)


  
 (The final recipe is for a smoothie that I have discovered.  It has wonderful flavor and very filling.)

 
(This recipe involves juicing and using the juice as an ingredient in the smoothie)

Ingredients for juicing:
1 apple
2 oranges
1 juicer
Cut the apple into 4's.
Cut the peeling off the orange and cut into 4's.
Place the fruit in the juicer. Put juice aside for mixing in the smoothie.

Ingredients for the smoothie:
(for this you will need a blender or a personal blender.  I have a Tribest Personal Blender; their website is tribestlife.com.)

apple/orange juice
2 1/2 oz.  of plain yogurt
a few ice cubes
add a scoop of protein powder, if desired

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

These snacks are my go-to for my mid-morning and afternoon snack time.  As I said in my last blog I am working on loosing weight for knee surgery.  It seems to me that it was much easier to put on the weight than it is to take it off.  But, I will keep working at it.  

Everyone have a wonderful weekend!