Wednesday, June 30, 2010

raspberry ice cream and a dilemma

raspberry ice cream

The raspberries continue to ripen.

I put some in the ice cream I churned this week.

What goes with raspberry ice cream? Chocolate! Whipped cream!

raspberry ice cream

And a raspberry on top.


In case you find yourself with an overabundance of berries this season, here's the recipe:

Raspberry Ice Cream
1 pint fresh ripe raspberries (or any other berries will work)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup half and half
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the raspberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the berries to macerate in the juices for about two hours. Strain the berries, reserving the juices. Mash half of the berries.

In a mixing bowl, combine the half and half, 1/2 cup of sugar with a hand mixer on low speed, until the sugar is dissolved (a minute or two should do it). Stir in the cream, raspberry juice, mashed berries, and vanilla.

Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker and mix for about 20-25 minutes, or until it thickens. Five minutes before the mixing is complete, add the whole berries you’ve reserved.

The dilemma...

I bought this ice cream maker a couple years ago.

It worked great during its first season, but now it doesn't freeze the ingredients like it should. I usually end up with a somewhat soupy consistency when it comes out of the maker, and icy crystals form after freezing it. The texture is not ideal.

So this ice cream tasted delicious, but for me 80 percent of a dessert’s appeal is in its texture.

raspberry ice cream

You can see the little ice crystals that have formed. Bad ice crystals!

I want smooth, creamy texture please!

Does anyone have an ice cream maker they love?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

in my yard

Is it true that birds can hear worms crawling underground? It sure looks to me like our pullets can.




Just after I took this shot, she pulled a big juicy worm out of the grass, but I was too busy watching in amazement to snap a shot. So you’ll just have to believe me.

Okay, maybe she just had her eye on that innocent worm before chowing down on it.


I asked the girls about it, but they turned on their heels without a word and showed me this view. Then they marched off to eat some raspberries.


We’ve picked big bowls full of these beautiful red gems every day this week.


Today I discovered these red lovelies. They were still in plastic containers. Peaking out from amongst the plants still needing to be planted in the yard.

Summer is finally here!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

dance. dance. dance.

Last weekend I photographed dancers at the Yellow Rose Dance spring performance. I’ve been working every day since then to get them all edited. The day I shot these was a sunny day in Portland (very rare lately), and a small beam of sunlight placed itself onto the seamless creating a fair amount of Photoshop work. And... I did a whole lotta clickin’. Over a thousand images.

Here are a few of my favorites...













Wednesday, June 9, 2010

easy, delicious blackberry cobbler

blueberry pie

On cool, rainy spring days, when the berries appear at the local farmer’s markets, I love to bake pies. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I love to bake pies more than almost anything. Almost anything.

More than that root canal I had last week for instance. The one where I had my mouth open so big and wide for an hour and a half that when it was over I tried to talk and couldn’t. I couldn’t talk because I was not able to bring my top and lower jaws together. My mouth was stuck open! I panicked, but fortunately the dentist did not. He massaged my jaw awhile, which brought tears to my eyes, and then I heard a loud crack and all was right with the world again.

I even like baking pies more than going to my new chiropractor. I’m having neck and shoulder pain from all the computer work I do. That computer work... combined with blogging, facebooking, online shopping... has taken its toll on the connective soft tissues in my neck and shoulders. I’m sure it also contributes to creating soft areas on my body that shouldn’t be soft. I never knew my neck could make such interesting noises. More loud cracking sounds. That was amazing! He also showed me a few exercises to do, and told me that it’s essential to take a short break every 20 minutes. My thought was, “I won’t get anything done.” Actually, a quick 10-15 second walk around my office and a change in position isn’t as hard as it initially sounded.

Which brings me to why I haven’t had a lot of time for pie baking on these cool, rainy spring days. So, when I found this blackberry cobbler recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s site, I whipped it up pronto.


Fresh, local blackberries were $8 for a teeny tiny container at my local grocery store, so I picked up some fresh, local frozen blackberries.


Melted some butter


Poured in some sugar


Found some of this self-rising flour in the back of my cupboard


Whisked together all these ingredients along with some milk. Poured that mixture into this pie dish. Sprinkled more sugar on top. Put it in the oven and waited for an hour.


And it looked like this when it came out. It was soft in the middle and just slightly crunchy on the edges. Perfect! It doesn’t get much easier than that.

While it was still warm, we spooned out generous servings of it and added a scoop of ice-cream on the side.

Yum. Yum.

Thanks Ree!

Quick. Easy. Delicious.

Here’s the official recipe:

The Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cobbler #1

(this must mean there’s another blackberry cobbler recipe coming soon?)

1 stick Butter
1-¼ cup Sugar
1 cup Self-Rising Flour
1 cup Milk
2 cups Blackberries (frozen Or Fresh)

Preparation Instructions:
Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together. Butter a baking dish.

Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.


Monday, June 7, 2010


One. Two. Three. JUMP!
Photographing these dance students is a blast! I’ve photographed two of their performances in the past year (with a third one coming up this weekend). I’m also getting requests for other sessions. A father/daughter dance, a golf tournament, high school graduation portraits.

I set up a mini-studio on location and shoot around a thousand images in about three hours.

Coming up with unique poses for several hundred dancers can be quite challenging. I’m all for letting them choose their poses, but I also give lots of direction when those poses aren’t working or I visualize something that will work better.

What does it look like if I asked them to jump? I started to get fresh, interesting shots. The energy suddenly changed around me. Everyone seemed to be having fun. And it showed in their faces. Some incorporated their dance moves with jumping. Others simply jumped.

I thought this approach was so original until I did some online research and was reminded that there is no such thing as an original idea. In my research, I came across this man’s work... Philipe Halsman.. also known as the Father of Jumpology.


This one is from the Father/Daughter dance.







Some kids are natural hams in front of a camera. A few find the whole process somewhat intimidating. All the common inhibitions that come with being in front of a camera quickly melt away when they’re jumping. They focus on the jump and a smile forms across their face, and before you know it, I can’t get them off the background paper.

Try it. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is.

Hooray for jumpology!