Sunday, August 28, 2011

Linky Party

Just added a submission to my first "Linky Party"!

If you have a recipe you want to share publicly, post a link to your recipe's blog post on this site:

Good night!


Maple Pear Ginger Pie

The pears from the farmer's market weren't quite ripe when I brought them home. But, rather than stick them in a brown paper sack and let them ripen for 5 days (did you know that technique really works?!), I decided to take advantage of letting the oven do the ripening for me... with a few added flavors, of course.

This recipe was slightly adapted from this recipe over at Simply Recipes. The grocery store did not have candied ginger, and though Simply Recipes recommended substituting ground ginger, I thought that fresh ginger would give the pie a little bit of spice, and bring out the ginger flavor more so than ground ginger that has been sitting in my pantry for 2 years...

This pie was a hit! It definitely helps that the pears were grown a mere 30 miles from Houston, and thus could be picked ripe from the tree :) The crisp pears, the tangy lemon, the spicy ginger, and sweet maple syrup created a flavorful pie without the sticky, gooey, gloppy innards that pies can be accused of containing.

What you need:

1 pie crust (I use my grandmother's recipe, but use your favorite crust!)
6 cups of roughly chopped pears
1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

Crumb topping
2/3 cup of flour
1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of cold unsalted butter, cubed

What to do:
1. Roll out pie crust and place into 9" pie dish
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chopped pears in a large bowl and mix with the cornstarch, ginger, brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt
3. Place the pear mixture into the pie crust and smooth over the top
4. Place pie on the center rack of the oven and bake for 45 minutes (after 30 min, cover the outside rim of the crust with foil to prevent burning)
5. While the pie is baking, combine the crumb topping ingredients in a bowl and mix with your fingers until crumbly and refrigerate until use
6. After the 45 min, decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees, sprinkle the crumb topping over the pear mixture and place back in the oven for 15 min
7. Take out and let cool for at least an hour
8. Serve with ice cream and EAT UP!

Sugar on my lips,


East Downtown Stripes

Scott picked out this shirt for me on a recent shopping trip to Forever XXI. I think it's because he picked it out that I like to wear it... a lot :) It's super comfortable, breathable, soft, and the colors are lovely.

After church this morning, we headed to East downtown Houston for Scott to take some photos for a photo assignment that is due this week. After he took his required 24 shots, he offered to take some of me for an outfit post! Such a sweet heart :)

I would tell you that I am wearing dark skinny jeans because it compliments the loose, brightly colored shirt I'm wearing. BUT, if I was being completely honest, I would tell you that I am wearing pants in 100+ degree weather because I have not, in fact, shaved my legs in over a week.

I'll let you decide which to believe...

Shirt: Forever XXI
Pants: Levi's
Shoes: gift
Necklace: gifted chain, charms from my mom
Earrings: gift
Sunglasses: my husband's

Sweat drops on my forehead,


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Who Says Coral is for the Beach?

I can't resist purchasing flowers at the grocery store! The first thing you see immediately to the right when you walk into HEB is the floral section, thoughtfully placed there for people such as myself who cannot seem to walk by without picking up a few stems.

To my credit, I always go for the cheaper $4.00 bundles and mix-and-match a few to create a bouquet that I love :)

Today, I was drawn by the pinks and corals. The Gerbers were bursting with pink radiance and the "Rice Flowers" were looking quite spritely in their coral wonder. Toss in some tiny white flowers and I had my selection!

I used my red-orange tea kettle to bring out the coral tones of the flowers even more.

Sunshine in my window,


*Domain Name Change!*

ATTENTION: I have changed the web address for my blog! It is now....

Makes more sense, right?

I thought so, too.


Urban Harvest Farmer's Market

I had a craving for fresh, local produce this morning. Particularly tomatoes and fruit. Any fruit. I called my friend who shares a passion for local, healthy goods and we made a date for 10:30 at the Urban Harvest Farmer's Market located at the intersection of Richmond and Eastside here in Houston, TX.

Mind you, even though it was 10:30 a.m., it was still a ridiculous 95 degrees outside... the high today is 107!! WHOA. Bring on the rain!

I, of course, had to bring my camera. Farmer's markets are one of my favorite places to shoot. The vibrant colors, the assortment of shapes, the array of textures, the variety of people, the friendly vendors.... it just screams culture and community, and I just love to capture moments created at these little bits of loveliness.

I am still learning how to shoot all my photos in full manual, and I think I am really getting the hang of it! The following photos were shot with my Canon Rebel T1i, 18-35mm lens:

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400
Pears from Lightsey Farms

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400

ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/800

ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/1000

ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/640

ISO 200, f/3.5, 1/400

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500
Tomatoes from Atkinson Farms

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500

summer squash
crimini mushrooms
butternut squash
peach lemonade

Cost: $19-ish

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Not Quite 1 Year Anniversary Shoot

As many of you know I am a budding photographer, and have recently found the time to practice my skills (since I'm not in graduate school anymore!). I purchased a photography book called Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson (highly recommend this one if you are new to photography) and I have already become more confident in shooting in FULL Manual mode (ah!). But, like anything worthwhile, practice makes perfect. And boy, do I still need lots of practice! And it's difficult to practice when you don't have a subject. I would have enlisted my husband, but I wasn't really interested in having lots of photos of just... well.... him.

So I called up Melissa.

Melissa and I have been close friends since college. She got me through college. I was MOH in her wedding, and we (thankfully) still live in the same city. She got married in December of 2010 to a wonderful man, named Payton. It's not quite there 1st anniversary, and I definitely missed the opportunity to shoot their engagement photos by... oh.... a year and a half. But, being the dear heart that she is, when I called her last night at 10:00 p.m. asking if she and Payton would be willing to pose for me this morning, she said "Sounds fun!"

Thank you for letting me practice on you guys :)

Dirt on my feet,


Monday, August 15, 2011

Baby session part 2: Meet the Parents

We went out Sunday morning before it got crazy hot and had a photo session with Mom and Dad. The photos capture perfectly how much this couple loves their sweet baby :)

Thanks again for being my guinea pigs, J and K.

Little toes,