The number one question people asked me when I said I was going to Alaska was “Why Alaska?” Actually, it was more like “Alaska? WHY?” There were a few key things that played into the decision to visit Alaska:
Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
I’ve been a little MIA from the blog-o-sphere lately – but for good reason. I am getting construction done on my office space (remember #7 from my 10 in 2010?) and so my computer has been under a tarp and it hasn’t been too easy to work. I will admit though, it’s been a welcome break. I wrapped up all my essential tasks before the demolition started (yes, I said demolition, this is huge!), and it’s given me an excuse to kick back and enjoy the holiday season. I’ll definitely be sharing lots of before-and-after photos once I have the studio all set up.
In the meantime, I just wanted to send out a quick note to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season in the best way I can – through pictures! Click here to view my holiday greeting. See you all in 2011!
Here we are in Q4 of 2010 and I thought it might be time for an update on my 10 in 2010 progress! I still have 2.5 months to go…getting down to the wire.
1. Run a 5K without stopping to walk. Ummm, yeah…well I did DO a 5K, I just didn’t run the whole thing. What I’ve discovered is that I hate running and that I pretty much cap out at 2 miles, then I all but pass out. Running’s not my thing. I’ll stick to pilates thankyouverymuch.
3. Try a new recipe at least once a month and blog about it. After those yummy stuffed peppers, I guess I felt like I couldn’t top myself…and plus I’ve been so busy I haven’t tried anything new. Boo for me. I am including one of my FAVORITE yummy-in-my-tummy recipes below though, so make that 3 for the year. Woohoo!
4. Travel to a country I’ve never visited. I overachieved on this one. I was afraid I wouldn’t accomplish it and then the opportunity came around to visit 3 countries that weren’t on my list before – Ireland, Germany and Austria. My beer gut thanks me. Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to run more than 2 miles.
5. Upgrade to a full frame camera. Well I could have paid down my mortgage, or I could have bought a new camera. I went for the latter. My Nikon D700 and I have been happy together ever since. Also, *camera nerd alert* a full frame and a crop sensor are a wicked combo. It’s like having 2 sets of lenses for the price of one.
6. Learn how to accessorize better. I STILL don’t own a belt, but my friends have been on my back about this one. I do have some new funky jewelry (thanks to my friends who buy stuff for me to make me more fashionable), and a few pairs of shoes that are NOT brown or black.
7. Make my office cozier. Ok, this has turned out to be a bigger project than expected. Instead of just reorganizing and hanging up some pictures (my original plan), I am now doing major construction by knocking down a wall and making my home office into an office/studio space. I am SUPER excited about it and am still trying to get it done before the end of the year!
9. Further define my branding with stationary, packaging, and other Suzanne Tenuto Photography goodies. I have some new packaging for my client CDs, have some new gift ideas, and working on some other fun goodies!
10. Learn more about off-camera lighting/flash. *More camera nerd alert* Bouncing flash has changed the way I light reception photos – they have so much more depth now, and are, well, prettier! Before that I just used a diffuser, haven’t touched the thing since. Plus I am taking a lighting workshop next month…so I am on the road to not being scared of artificial light.
So I have 4 that are totally complete, 4 in progress, and 2…well, nice try.
Here’s the yummy pumpkin soup recipe I mentioned above – I wish I knew who to credit this to, but I found it years ago online and have been making it every fall ever since (and so have half the people I know – it’s THAT good!).
1/2 lb. onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. curry powder
3 cups chicken broth
1, 16-oz. can pumpkin
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 cup half & half (mixture of whole milk and heavy cream)
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
small amount of butter for flavoring, and an equivalent amount of olive oil
to bring total amount of oil up to 2 tbsp.)
the mushrooms & onions.
3. Gradually add chicken broth, mixing thoroughly with the roux.
4. Add honey, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
5. Bring to a gradual boil over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken.
6. Add pumpkin, mixing thoroughly, and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
7. Slowly add half and half and heat to mixture, but do not bring to boil.
Top with sour cream, croutons, and fresh parsley or chopped green onions.
My friend Michael sent this to me last year and by the time I got around to posting it spring was already over…so here it is, some spring photography humor for you. Who can resist bunnies? Happy spring everyone!
Excuses for not doing a February recipe:
- The Olympics were on.
- It’s a short month so I didn’t eat much.
- The dog ate my homework.
I was starting to get a little nervous that the first quarter of the year is almost over (this is the “corporate” in me talking) and I haven’t made any progress on my 10 in 2010. And I thought the easiest thing on my list would be to blog a recipe every month! I will make up February at some point – I’m thinking the summer will be chock full o’ new recipes with all the fresh veggies and stuff, so I’ll double up one month. Also, my mind was put at ease tonight when I reviewed my 10 in 2010 list and found that I am making progress on more than HALF my list already, but just haven’t officially checked anything off yet. Whew! Was starting to think I was slacking. Stay tuned.
I invited my mom over to share in my March recipe of stuffed peppers! These were SO easy to make and delicious, not to mention SUPER DUPER healthy…bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C and I don’t think there is one ingredient in this dish that isn’t good for you. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Epicurious, as well as some pics of my masterpiece! A couple of things to note: If you make this straight from the recipe you will have enough leftover stuffing for about 2 more peppers (or you can just eat it leftover as a cold salad, which is what I will do). Also, I had some quinoa on hand and made 2 peppers with that and the other 2 with couscous, both tasted about the same but quinoa is way more nutritious and loaded with protein! Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350°F F. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the couscous, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the stems and top half inch off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Boil trimmed peppers for 5 minutes, then drain them upside down. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion, zucchini, yellow squash, fennel seeds, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and chickpeas. Using a fork, scrape the couscous into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in the crumbled feta. Place peppers upright in the baking dish and fill them with couscous. Bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
I guess I hadn’t quite had enough of the snow on the east coast…because a couple of weeks ago I went to Colorado to see more! I figured since cold and precipitation were following me around the country, I’d try my luck at Colorado where I actually WANTED snow. My friend Michael and I planned a last minute long weekend at Breckenridge and Copper Mountains and hoped for lots of the white, powdery stuff. The Rockies didn’t disappoint – we got about 1.5 feet of snow in the first 2 days, perfect for skiing!
Because I don’t quite trust my skiing skills enough to lug my SLR onto the mountain, these were all taken with my Canon point-and-shoot. Be sure to check out the video I took from the lift at Copper, just love the HD video on this camera!
When the clouds finally cleared, this is what we saw. For the last 2 pictures, let’s play “Can you spot the difference?” I think it’s pretty obvious…oh the things one can do with Photoshop! If any of you are interested in how I did it, send me an email!
Maybe one of my 10 in 2010 goals should have been to not procrastinate. Here it is the end of the month, and I was scrambling this week to get my January recipe online! I’ll blame it on the fact that I’ve been away most of January (I know, excuses, excuses).
Part of the reason for doing the monthly recipe is to learn how to make things that I typically order in a restaurant. That’s right, restaurant quality food in the comfort of my own home…by doing the work myself…and having no one serve me…or clean up…why did I decide to do this again?
This month’s recipe is a roasted beet salad. This was my first experience roasting beets, and I quickly learned the following:
a) Beets stain everything. My kitchen looked like a crime scene afterwards.
b) They look like the mandrake plants from the Harry Potter movies.
c) Beets scream when you cut into them (see point b).
This recipe is delish, the freshly roasted beets turned out firm, sweet and oh-so-tasty, and really, adding goat cheese to anything just kicks it up a notch. I would totally make it again, even just beets, cheese and dressing for a quick fix. And beets are super high in antioxidants – bonus! Here is the recipe (courtesy of Epicurean) followed by some photos of my beet masterpiece. YUM!
(makes 6-8 servings)
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 medium beets, trimmed and washed
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lb fresh spinach leaves, de-stemmed and washed
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Combine the walnuts with the olive oil, salt and pepper, mixing well to coat the nuts.
3. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, about 7-10 minutes.
4. Set aside to cool.
5. Wrap the beets individually in foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
6. Bake at 350 degrees until tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
7. Let cool for 20 minutes, then peel the beets by holding them under cold running water and rubbing off the skins.
8. Cut into 1/2-inch wedges, and place in a large mixing bowl with the walnuts and onion.
9. Combine all the dressing ingredients, taste and adjust the seasonings.
10. Pour over the beets and toss well.
11. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour.
12. Just before serving, arrange the spinach leaves in individual bowls or on a large platter.
13. Arrange the beets on top and crumble the goat cheese over.
Well folks, it’s 2010. Welcome to the future. How WEIRD does 2010 sound? At the stroke of midnight I was hoping to all of a sudden have the ability to travel through time, or be able to beam myself to South America (a very attractive thought given it’s summer down there right now)…but alas, nothing has changed, except that I will inevitably screw up the date the first time I write it down.
So, at the start of this new decade, I have decided to turn over a new leaf. I have never been one to have new year’s resolutions or write down goals. Typically when I decide to do something I just do it…or not, but really no one knows about the things I want to do and thus I am not held accountable. Not this year! You can call them resolutions, or goals, or objectives, but I am just calling them my 10 in 2010. I’ll keep you updated on my progress throughout the year, and if I don’t accomplish these things, well, 50 lashes with a wet noodle as my friend Jeannette says. So here they are, my 10 in 2010!
1. Run a 5K without stopping to walk. (What good is a list like this without a workout goal?)
2. Shoot a destination wedding.
3. Try a new recipe at least once a month and blog about it.
4. Travel to a country I’ve never visited.
5. Upgrade to a full frame camera. Perhaps this one. Oh Nikon, how you insist on putting me in the poor house.
6. Learn how to accessorize better. Seriously, I don’t even think I own a belt…however I did just buy a sweet pair of boots and a headband with a flower on it.
7. Make my office cozier.
8. Volunteer my photography services to a charitable cause.
9. Further define my branding with stationary, packaging, and other Suzanne Tenuto Photography goodies.
10. Learn more about off-camera lighting/flash.
There you have it, my 10 in 2010. Any help is welcome (a referral for that destination wedding will get a very nice thank you, especially if it’s somewhere tropical). And if you have any goals, resolutions, whatever, to share, let me know below and I will hold you to it!!
Can’t end without a photo of course! This one is of a long-running Philadelphia tradition on New Year’s Day – the Mummers Parade! For those of you not in the Philly area, read up about it here. Best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy 2010!
I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house for the second year in a row. Last year was a practice run as it was just 4 of us, but this year I am hosting not only MY family, but my friend Karine’s family from France! Yep that’s me, embracing the spirit of Thanksgiving! Wait until they taste those sweet potatoes – they will never go home!
So what are you thankful for? I could go on for days about all the things that I have to be thankful for in my life, I am truly lucky (and I try to remember this when I get in a bad mood about something stupid and meaningless), but here are 10 random things just for fun!
3. Random people who help me when I have car trouble (helps to give that “damsel in distress” look)
5. The Muppets for always making me laugh
7. Philadelphia Film Society for giving me at least one free movie preview a week for the past few weeks
8. Rainstorms in the middle of the night
9. Thanksgiving Eve – seriously the most fun night out second to Halloween IMHO.
10. My incredible, wonderful, supportive family and friends who I don’t tell enough how much they mean to me. Telling you now.
Ok that last one wasn’t so random. Every post is better with a photo, so here’s one I snapped in Central Park this week, I just love the fall colors in the background. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!