Sunday, September 26, 2010

Playing with my new camera

I finally got a new camera this month.  My old point-and-shoot was starting to add a pink tint to everything - fine when you're photographing flamingos, but that's about it.  After lots of thinking and even more research, I upgraded to a "real" camera, a Canon Rebel T2i and wow, do I have a lot to learn.

Wanted to share some of my first pics, and the fun I've been having with them in Photoshop.  This is a wild Montana rose that we have growing in a pot.  (My DH is the gardener, I have no skill.)

The rosebud was taken with the macro setting, but just a regular lens.  In Photoshop I applied Ila France's Ephemeral action, and a texture from Shadowhouse Creations called Prehistoric.  On the leaves I used the Small World action from Coffeeshop and the Soft Grunge texture from Shadowhouse.

Do check out these freebie resources if you're not familiar with them, these are very generous people.  And Jerry from Shadowhouse just lost his job, so make sure to buy him a beer if you can (or better yet, a whole six-pack).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cookbook Project: Mac and Cheese

Sorry I've been so absent!  A long weekend in Santa Barbara, work work work work work, and a whole WEEK of migraines, with a few more days to recover - not fun!  I'm finally feeling alive again, and we are finally having a gorgeous summer weekend here in San Francisco.

I've been working on a cookbook project.  I love to cook and I almost never follow recipes, but there are a few recipes I do use over and over.  However it seems like when I need one of them I can never find it in the mass of other recipes-to-try that I've collected, so I end up printing yet another copy.  I decided to do scrap pages of these recipes and laminate them so I could actually use them in the kitchen without worry.  CostCo recently had a great deal on a Purple Cow laminator so of course I snatched one up.  The pages are all 8"x8" and the recipes written the way I prefer (I have strong opinions on recipe writing and I do not like the standard format).  But never fear, I will be linking you to the original recipes so you don't have to deal with my shorthand.

Macaroni and Cheese.  Is there a more comforting dish?  I'm still a huge fan of the Kraft Original, but homemade is always better.  I've tried many different recipes, and I even have a mac-and-cheese cookbook, but the Three Cheese Pasta Gratin with Almond Crust from Bon Appetit is truly delicious.  Don't mess with the recipe, follow it exactly (something I have a hard time doing) - don't substitute cheeses or skimp on the crust ingredients.  You will be happy, trust me.

Isn't the background paper just the bomb?!  As you can see - I can't be bothered with detailed instructions:  make a sauce mornay, cook some pasta, make a crust and bake.  Easy! 

I borrowed the pyrex baker from Pyrex itself, printed on vellum.  The instruction tags are from a Numb Bumm kit.  Fork-knife-spoon stamped with Mustard Seed Distress Ink; American Crafts "Washer" stamp set with Memento Tuxedo Black.  (Still cant figure out why a kitchen-based stamp set is called "Washer.")  Font is called Lounge Bait, and the title has some Sakura glitter pen detailing.

Now go cook and enjoy!