Canning & Pickling

Before Christmas I had a few friends over to work on a canning/pickling project. I know this is from something I did over a month ago, but since the holidays there has been a lot going on. I found some pickling recipes in a few of my favorite cookbooks, Twenty Dinners, Gjelina, and Hartwood. Most of these recipes call for a quick or cold brine, which didn’t work for what we were doing because one of my friends was going to have to travel with them.  The vegetables would have to be preserved for at least a few weeks and not refrigerated, so we did need to find a recipe in which we boiled the jars to seal and sanitize them. I did use the books I had on hand for wonderful photo inspiration! Here is a link to pickling different types of vegetables if a cold brine is ok for what you are doing. Here is another link on how to do the canning with the sealing process, if you do chose to go through the preserving process. I am certainly going to do this next year because I have a great garden plot and I ended up with a lot of extra vegetables, particularly peppers and would love to give them away. I also think a great idea I read to sterilize the jars is run them through the dishwasher. Super easy! We boiled ours which was a bit tedious since the pots would only fit a certain amount of jars to boil at a time. I would say that we used a ready made canning spice when we pickled our peppers and for me that turned out a bit too sweet for me with their being cloves and allspice in the recipe. I might just use individual spices like a few of the recipes I posted above, or this one from the Hartwood cookbook.

In other news I am super excited to go back to LA next month. I am already started on my list of places to go and things to see. Including Gjelina, listed above! Time to make reservations. I can’t wait to be biking down the beach in Venice and eating breakfast on the beach.  Particularly after just seeing La La Land. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should!

Also, I went to the Women’s March yesterday and it was amazing! I couldn’t be there for all of it, because of some other volunteer obligation that I had. But it was so amazing, and I am vowing to try to do this 10 actions in 100 days. It is great because it is not an unrealistic goal to achieve and it makes it really manageable by breaking it up that way.

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New Year’s Eve Hike and 2016, looking back

Last weekend I went to Franklin Falls (or tried to) with 5 of my girlfriends on New Year’s Eve Day. We thought it would be the perfect way to spend the last day of 2016. We headed out and first had brunch at Twedes, otherwise known as the Double R or RR from Twin Peaks fame. We did have a damn good cup o’ coffee but it was too early, at least for me, for some cherry pie. 😉 We then made our way to Franklin Falls but by the time we got there we were still about 2 miles from the trail head and the road was completely backed up with cars stuck in the snow. We headed the warning and turned around midway. We decided to do a nearby shorter hike, since hiking from where we would have to park would have been 12 miles round trip with a one year old. It wasn’t going to happen. However, the short hike we took was so lovely! I wish I knew exactly what the name of it was, near Denny Creek? I have a few shots from it. I really love being out in nature, but I don’t do well in the cold, so being all bundled like we were was perfect. I was so happy to be outside in the snow!  I hope for at least a few more winter hikes and maybe even some snowboarding this year. We ended the day going to dinner at Tamarind Tree, it was really nice and mellow for New Years. Exactly what I wanted.

Well 2016 was filled with travel, I went to the Treefort Music Festival in Boise Idaho, LA & Venice Beach twice. I went on two trips to visit my brother in Phoenix. I also photographed a few more magazine covers and several more magazine stories. I worked for some new and old clients. I started working a lot more for Amazon Prime’s restaurant delivery service, as a photographer. I went hiking and paddle boarding frequently over the summer, and went camping. I took 6 week mediation and yoga courses. I went on a girls weekend to Lavender Lake. I went to San Diego for Comic-Con International, which was amazing. I turned 40. I also fell in love and my got heart broken and one of my closest friends unexpectedly and suddenly passed away, and then you know, the election. Oh did I mention I sprained both my ankles at the same time??? WTF So this past year was filled with a lot of growth and exploration, and also with a lot of loss, recovery, and healing. It was filled with learning about who I am and what I want from life and who I want to be.  It has brought me more closeness and solidarity in my current relationships and so much appreciation for them. I also have a new found focus for what my goals for this coming year are.

For 2017 I really want to refocus on my photography, and continue to travel. I have my eyes on Mexico, Italy, and/or Morocco right now for far off places and New Orleans or the Everglades for closer trips. I want to keep up with my yoga and take another meditation class. I would like to shoot a cookbook this year and keep photographing for more magazines. I want to redesign my website and logo for one project that might take a bit longer. I also want to keep hiking and do a few more camping trips over the summer, but mostly I want to try to be more present and enjoy my everyday life. Not a lofty goal at all. Haha.


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Cranberry Cake and Wintery Almond Cookies

Each year I try to do at least one winter themed shoot.  This year I know I did more than one, but I saw this really cute cranberry cake listed in Real Simple Magazine and these almond cookies in Food & Wine and wanted to try them out.  I will say this, the cranberry cake was really good and pretty easy to make. The almond cookies however, I substituted the almond flour with coconut flour which didn’t really work, so I added eggs & rolled them out and cut them into the cute star shapes you see. I am not quite sure you could roll the dough with the recipe they list, so you might not want to try it.  😉 Also, what was I thinking baking two things and shooting them before I had to go to a baby shower. Good one Amy! It worked out though and I had plenty of cake to share.

I really do love winter, and as I sit here typing looking out the window I can see snow! I am doing another winter/christmas/gifting project/shoot tomorrow which should be pretty fun.  I am going to try my hand at pickling with some friends. I haven’t done it before but found some great recipes in a few of the cookbooks I have. I will be sure to do a post on how it works out. Then we are going to look at lights, an annual tradition. We usually go to to Olympic Manor and Candy Cane Lane. I can’t wait. This definitely is the time of year to get cozy and watch some netflix, drink some hot cocoa, relax and stay indoors. Since I love what you would call “non-traditional” Christmas movies like Die Hard & Gremlins, here is a list of fun x-mas movies to watch and get you in the spirit! Another list here. And if you don’t want to stay indoors, well snowboarding season is here. Just as soon as my ankles fully heal from a little spill I took a month ago I will be headed up too.

As far as work goes, I have been doing a lot of shooting for Prime Now, which is Amazon’s food delivery service from restaurants around Seattle. It’s been a lot of fun, I get to meet people from all over, and I get to try tons of different kinds of food. Plus I get to change locations all the time and that keeps it interesting.

I went to Phoenix for Thanksgiving, that was so nice to see my brother and family and get a little sunshine in while I could. I think my niece and nephew are the cutest things ever, and I know everyone says that, but it really is true about them. And now I keep thinking of where I will be off to next. I think it might be for my annual sister trip.  We might go to Mexico in February this year. Seriously, just look at this place in Sayulita!  And then I am thinking about a road trip in the south with a some friends, from North Carolina to New Orleans. I have never been to the south, but my Grandma’s side of the family was from there. I swear that’s why I love southern food so much. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the picture and are having nice holidays so far too.

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Wintery Holiday Shoot

A few weeks ago I got to work on a test shoot with Rachel Grunig again. I absolutely love working with her. She wanted to do a holiday styled shoot without it being too traditionally “holiday” and I think the images turned out wonderful, as always!  Every year I look forward to the holidays, spending time with family, looking at lights, having holiday parties with friends.  It’s funny that the older I get the more I get into the traditional sides of holidays, or maybe it is just embracing the best of each season. Maybe this year I will go see the Christmas Tree lighting in Leavenworth. 🙂

In other news, this week has been really hard for me and for many others around me. Hopefully we can just all band together and try to shut down all the hate and violence that is flying around. Lots of love! Maybe these pictures helped to cheer you up and brighten your day.  xoxo

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Cozy Fall Cider Shoot

A few weeks ago I did a test shoot with Liz Herrera who I work with over at the Amazon photo studio.  She is such a talented stylist, and I always love working with her.  When we started talking about doing a shoot we both wanted to do something with a Fall theme, and Liz suggested doing a cider shoot. I absolutely love how the images turned out, particularly the cider drinks with the salted caramel.  I am looking forward to the next time we shoot. The images always turn out so cute.

In other news, I have just been working a lot lately. I have been doing a lot of shooting for Amazon Prime Now photographing restaurants for their app.  This has been keeping me really busy lately. Actually today I have worked 15 days in a row.  Good thing I am a virgo (aka workaholic/perfectionist) and enjoy what I do! I also really enjoy the variety it adds and talking with restaurant owners.  Many lately have been feeding me too, sending me home with all kinds of interesting food, from Indian to Hungarian, Mediterranean, which is never bad. Ha!

I also am really enjoying this time of year. It is one of my favorites, probably after summer. I really love Halloween and watching scary movies with friends (check, check, check) and going to the pumpkin patch (tomorrow check), forcing coworkers to listen to Halloween playlists (check).  I wish it lasted longer, but luckily by the time it starts to get unbearably dark and cold here, I will be off to Phoenix. Phew!

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California, Santa Monica & Venice Beach

I went to California last month with my family, in part for my parents 50th wedding anniversary and also for my brother & sister’s (and my) birthday. Yes we are triplets.  My parents really wanted to go to Disneyland which they thought would be especially fun for my brother’s two little kids.  I really love Disneyland, so I was pretty excited for the trip. And it was really fun with one exception, my niece got really sick one of the days which would be the precursor to many others of us getting really sick as well. I had to have my sister bring over her anti nausea medicine from Cambodia the day after getting back! Ack! We are all much better now though. 🙂

On one of the days that we weren’t at Disneyland my sister, & brother-in-law, & I went to Venice, Santa Monica, & Malibu. I love Venice and go there frequently when visiting LA, which seems to be at least once a year.  I had never rented bikes in Venice before, which we did, and I will fdo now every time. It seems like the only mode of transportation which makes sense.  We biked along the beach from Santa Monica, and went up to the Venice Canals.  Some of the highlights were hitting Moon Juice, which I make sure to do every time I am there. We also went to Sidecar Doughnuts in Santa Monica.  I had never been there but on the plane I watched a short about the best donuts in LA and Sidecar was one of the places listed, and it did not disappoint! I ordered one of the maple bacon donuts and one of the huckleberry.  OMG my mind was blown.  It was warm and crispy and tasted like it has just been made, which it probably had. One of the best donuts I have ever had, by far. We ended the day by going to Surfrider beach in Malibu and watching surfers and having dinner.  It was a really fun day and I can’t wait to go back.

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At the beginning of September I was super excited to shoot for Paseo especially since they are basically THE iconic sandwich shop in all of Seattle and after they closed in Seattle temporarily there was rioting in the streets.  That may be a bit of an exaggeration but not by much. They just announced they will be opening up a new location on Capitol Hill, along with their new SODO location which everyone is really happy about. When you go you have to try the Caribbean Roast!

In other news, I just got back from a family vacation in California last week, which was beautiful and pretty much my last ditch effort to hold on to summer before cozying up to fall. I love fall but I really hate being cold. So time to pull out the sweaters and head to the nearest pumpkin patch, a pretty hike, or local movie theater and start enjoying the endless gray 50 degree weather we will be having for the next few months.  I really do look forward to all of those things each year but I try to break up the weather with a trip to visit family in Phoenix at which point their weather will be perfect! Ha.

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Cidercraft Magazine, Tailgating Pairing

About a month ago I worked with the team again over at Cidercraft Magazine for their featured cider pairing story, and this time it had a tailgate theme.  Thanks as always to Kristin Ackerman, Erin James, Randi Karabin, and chef Jason Scherer for making it all come together to look so great. All of the recipes are appropriate and geared for a fall game day, complete with cider picks for each recipe.

Everyone always asks if I get to eat the food on shoots and the answer always is sometimes.  Of course it depends on how long things are sitting out, but in this case I admit I did have about 6 of the deviled eggs in a row. 😉

In other news, I am super excited about a few new projects in the works which I will be able to talk about soon. One of which is being a part of Adobe’s Creative Jam.  Eek!

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San Diego, Comic-Con International

My friend Josh has volunteered at Comic-Con for years and in April I thought, could I go? Should I go?  It is practically impossible to get tickets to Comic-Con since they sell out in minutes and one of the perks of being a volunteer is you are guaranteed purchasable tickets.  So knowing this most likely would be my one shot to go, I did it!  Comic-Con International happened a few weekends ago, and it was even better than I had ever anticipated.  I really love sci-fi TV & movies, and it was everywhere. I was in sci-fi nerd heaven.  Even if you can’t get a ticket, I would say it would be worth it to go because the whole area of San Diego near the convention center is transformed for Comic-Con and there are tons of booths outside of the event, parties you can attend and even celebrities walking among you. I have a few funny stories of my run-ins with celebrities down there.  I even conquered the dreaded Hall H and it wasn’t that bad (if you don’t go Saturday).

We even got a little sight seeing in.  We went to Coronado, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Sunset Cliffs.  I am pretty obsessed with the beach so that is where most of my photos are from.  I didn’t take too many at Comic-Con because I just felt there was no way to do justice to what I was seeing, it really is an experience!  We did go to eat at the Great Maple which I would highly recommend. I particularly would want to go back for their beignets with a side of lemon curd dipping sauce.  Yum!


One Response to “San Diego, Comic-Con International”

  1. Uncle Bill

    Glad you got to experience San Diego. You didn’t get to Balboa Park which is extremely beautiful, but maybe on your next trip.
    See why Patti and I spend 3. Mos a year there.

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California Walnuts

Back in June I was lucky enough to work with California Walnuts photographing images for their school lunch program.  I was also able to photograph a few recipes for their home cook collection, like this Thai Chili & Garlic Walnut Noodle Salad.   I included a few of my favorites from the shoot which was styled by the wonderful Jean Galton. Hope you enjoyed the photos!

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