Let’s talk about food

I’ve been inspired by many of my blogging friends to start creating some recipes of my own and posting them on my blog. Here is the first of what I hope will be many successful attempts at whipping up something new and tasty. :)

Yammy Pasta
1/2 of a 40 oz. can of yams (drained)
6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 C cream (though you could substitute soy milk easily enough)
approx. 1/4 C frozen chopped onions
approx. 2 C frozen chopped spinach
a couple shakes of Pumpkin Pie spice (which is just cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
a couple shakes of cayenne pepper
approx. 1 T brown sugar
Whole Wheat Pasta

Mash yams. Mix everything else in. Heat on stovetop until hot.
Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
Place yam mixture on top of pasta. Sprinkle parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (I would have if I had it) on top. Serve.

Makes about 5 servings.

I also found that you can add some soy milk to the mixture (without the pasta) to water it down a bit and make it into a soup, which was how Ava liked to eat it. I should clarify. She ate it only after making sure she spread some in her belly button and all over her chest. Glad I took her clothes off for this meal. ;)

Anyway, I thought it was pretty tasty and seemed like a good combo of veggies. I can only assume that Ava liked it. ;) I wish I could give you Jody’s take on it, but he hasn’t had any yet. He’s been out of town on business the past few days and gets home tonight. Yay! I’ll be sure and have him test out some of the leftovers.

Now let’s talk about Tings.
I’ve had a few people inquire as to what exactly Tings are, so here’s a pic to give ya an idea. (Don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya.) ;)

They remind me of Cheetos, but don’t have any cheese in them. (They are actually a vegan food.) However they do have nutritional yeast, which has a cheese-like taste to it. I recently found a Yeast Meets West website listing all of the benefits of nutritional yeast and I have to say, I’m quite impressed.

Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12.
One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.

So not only are Tings a yummy snack, they are good for ya too. :) I have to add that Ava LOVES them.

Thoughts on photography and sharing a few pics

Last weekend and this week were a blur. I did two photoshoots – one maternity and one of my friend’s son who’s turning two next week – and I spent a lot of time proofing the pics (because I am not good enough to take them straight off of the camera without much work yet). I was glad to read a lot of “The Better Photo Guide To Digital Photography” this week. It helped me better understand and utilize the rule of thirds. I knew about it before, but reading a more in-depth explanation in that book helped me crop my friend’s son’s pictures a lot better. It ended up being more work for me to go back in and redo them, but it was worth it to have a better looking finished product.

I’m happy and relieved to say that both parties were very pleased with the proofs. It makes me feel good and that I’m on the right track.

Friends have been asking if they can put up a link to my work on their website or telling me I should put up fliers and start advertising, but I really don’t feel ready to take that step yet. I am enjoying what I’m doing, but I know that I still have a lot to learn. One of my big issues right now is getting my focus down. It’s hard enough with a stationary subject, let alone with a baby or child who’s always moving. ;) I also want to come up with a backdrop that I can use in my house since winter is approaching and outdoor photography options will become limited. Backdrops are quite pricey, so I’m looking for a less expensive alternative for now. I’ve heard of using fleece or a vellux blanket and I’m going to look into that. Then the question will be – how do I hang it in my livingroom without buying a backdrop stand? I know you have to spend money to make money, but I don’t want to keep buying things I think I need and going further into the hole.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to stick with shooting with natural lighting for now too. I think my livingroom gets adequate natural light, though I’m a little worried about the skylights because I don’t want sun glaring down on people. Unfortunately for me, my house has to be one with the fewest number of windows ever. Eight windows in the whole house, plus two skylights. Crazy, no? Whenever we decide to move again, finding a house with great lighting will definitely be high on the priority list. ;)

Then there are also the business, tax and legal aspects to all of this. I want to get my ducks in a row before I really start doing this even semi-seriously. So far it’s all been friends or family of friends. When I venture out into people I don’t know, however, I want to be fully prepared.

I took Ava to the park this afternoon to get out of the house and do some more practicing with my manual settings. I haven’t taken the pictures off the camera yet, but I’m feeling more confident with my ability to go all manual. It just takes practice, practice, practice. Anyway, we had a fun time. She played with pinecones and sticks, we saw geese, and we stopped by a tree and had a snack of grapes and crackers. It was a nice day. :)

Here are a few pictures from my friend’s son’s photoshoot (taken at a local park):

Oooh, the presentation folders I ordered last week (for delivering prints to customers) just arrived via UPS. I’m so excited to see how they look! Feel like a kid on Christmas morning. ;) Gotta go.

Have a good weekend. :)