Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I wish you all a Happy Halloween!

Love,
Petra

 

P.S.: Sorry for the high spookiness factor of the picture. But don’t you get too scared, it’s still a merry dough ball from my kitchen!
 

Read Full Post »

These bite-sized cookies are perfect for having with tea.

(Psst, coffee is all right too.)

They taste wonderful and are very, very simple to make.

I like to prepare them when my sugar craving strikes out of the blue. Or when friends call unexpectedly saying they will come soon.

These cookies just save lives.

 
 

Here’s the list of ingredients.
 
 

1. To make your own Tea Cookies, first preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Sift the flour and sugars into a larger bowl.
 

 

3. Add the softened butter, two egg yolks and lemon zest…
 

 

4. …and use pastry cutter or just a plain fork to turn the ingredients into a crumbly mixture.

 

5. Then use your hands to form a ball.

 
 

Like this one.

Though creating a face is not necessary.

But it helps.

Kidding!

But it really does.

Kidding again!

 

Now I’d like to tell you this: Please, be patient when you find yourself in the phase in-between the crumbs and the dough ball. It only takes patience and trust that those crumbs will eventually come together. Give it five minutes or so and you’ll see success!
 

 

6. Place the dough ball on a very, very lightly floured surface.

This dough is almost not sticky at all so you really need very little flour, if any.

And besides that, the more flour you’d be using the firmer the cookies would get. And we don’t need that.

 

7. Using the palms of your hands, roll the dough until you form a log which is about 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) wide in diameter.

 

8. Then cut the log into about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds.
 
 

9. Place the rounds onto the sheet and bake in the preheated oven (350 °F – 175 °C) for 10 minutes.

The cookies should still be very pale in color when baked.
 
 

10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Enjoy, dear friends.

(This recipe makes about 30 cookies and will take you about 40 minutes to make.)
 

Read Full Post »

I am writing this post for one reason.

I’d just like the whole world to know how much I love Photoshop.

Among millions other things it helps me with every day, it is a real hero when it comes to correcting shadows.

Especially in food photography, eliminating the underexposed areas (aka shadows) and showing their true structure and color is a very precious thing. It makes the food so much more appetizing.

Just let me show you something…
 
 

This is the original picture from my recipe for Farfalle with Tomato-Cheese Sauce.

I like the picture, but not as much as…
 
 

… I like this one.

This picture has undergone one simple Photoshop procedure.

As a result, the most wonderful shade of red color I know has appeared. Mere looking at that color has strong therapeutic effect on me.
 
 

This is how to do it:

1. Open the photo is Photoshop (I am using Photoshop Elements 8).

2. Click EnhanceAdjust LightingShadows/Highlights in the upper bar.

3. A smaller window will pop up with the first (Lighten Shadows) slider dragged to 25 automatically.

You should already see that your picture has improved substantially. If you don’t see any change, make sure you have selected the Preview check box.

You can move the first slider left or right to find the right amount of correction.

4. If you are happy with the result, click OK.

And that’s it.
 
 

Just give it a try and enjoy the beautiful changes it brings.

Love,
Petra

(To learn more about my quest against shadows have a look at this.)

 

Read Full Post »

See the picture?

I’ve taken it.

It proves that I don’t write and think about food only. Sometimes I leave my kitchen for a little while to go for a trip and visit some strange places. (Hm, now that I think about that trip, I just remembered that I had a really awesome sandwich prior to taking these photos. It was yummy!)

Anyhow, in my life there surely are other issues than food that catch my attention.

Like, food photography, for example.

Oh, yeah, you’re right. That’s still very much about food.

Hm, there has to be something else that interests me. I am a sensitive and caring human being, after all.

YES, now I remembered!

The next thing I really care about are my personal issues.

They are fun!

Not!

 

For example, I like to climb onto very strange vehicles.  They carry my high in the mountains. But that’s not the issue. This one is simple to solve. I’m too lazy to walk and too eager to take nice pics from high above.

The issue that I want to talk about is my nervous breakdown that I seem to go through each time I find myself in a stressful situation.

The breakdown lasts for about five minutes.

And it’s wild.

And beastly.

And on this particular trip it started right after they had sat me in the blue chair that you see in the picture.
 
 

Right now, when I am taking this picture, I am cursing the day this insane passenger ropeway was built. I am cursing the grass below for not being more soft and cushy. I am giving my man a threatening look because he dares to breath and rock our seats as a result. And most of all, I am cursing myself for not wearing a parachute on my back.
 
 

Mere five minutes later I am the king of the world. I am enjoying the cool fresh air, I am reveling in the beauty around and I am tapping my man on the knee saying: “Lovely, huh?”.

 

I can’t reverse that thing although I know it is coming.

When the stress begins I get convinced that I am a goner any time soon.

When the five minutes have passed and I come to my senses a wide smile appears on my face and you wouldn’t find a more careless person in the whole wide world.

But those five minutes – you don’t want to be near me when they are happening.

You just don’t.

 

Which makes me think of my man right now. Poor him, he gets to be near me all the time.

Lord, bless his kind and precious heart.
 
 

I doubt this guy has his 5 beastly minutes.

Though, he might – when he meets a photographer who takes photos right IN HIS FACE.

Luckily, we were heading in opposite directions. Which is the only occasion when I dare take pictures of strangers.

I am that courageous.

Hm, I think I’ve just revealed my next issue…
 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: