Asparagus Ribbon Salad

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“Mama… Look at all of the asparagusses!! Can I pick them?”

This summer is going to be the summer of the garden, though it’s not exactly my garden.

For the past few years, we’ve had a small garden in our backyard. I’ve grown a few tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in three small raised beds. But, this year, we’ll be gardening on a slightly larger scale. Continue Reading

{Photography} Setting Goals

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A few years ago, I saw Penny De Los Santos speak (a few times, actually) about assigning yourself projects. It’s an idea that has stuck with me and been in the back of my mind for a long time. It’s brilliant, really. When it comes to photography, as with many things, I find that the best way to grow is to set a goal and just jump in there and challenge myself.

A few summers ago, I did just that. We were headed on vacation and I decided that I was going to start shooting in manual mode. All the time. I had previously shot almost exclusively in the Av (aperture priority) mode on my camera. Why? It was convenient. And, I got decent results, but I wanted to get better. So, I switched my camera to manual and didn’t turn back. Continue Reading

On Chicken Stock and Becoming My Mother

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“3 – 2 – 1…”

I’m told that I have become my mother.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I think it might be true.

I blame the kids.

When in doubt, always blame the kids.

Really, I’ve had no choice. After all, someone needs to warn the kids that the fun and games will end promptly when an eye is lost… Or that the car will be pulled over without hesitation. And, let’s not forget the drama that is counting backwards from three. Continue Reading

Turkey Potpie with Leeks, Apples, and Cranberries

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Sometimes I crave cooking.

No, I’m not talking about craving food.

Sure, I like to eat. But, for me, I find the process of creating a new dish, something that requires a few steps and some creativity, to be far more fulfilling than actually eating it.

Everything seems to slow down a bit when I’m in the kitchen. There’s something therapeutic about chopping and sauteeing, mixing and stirring.

I love to breath  in the aroma of butter browning and listen to the sound of leeks sizzling away in the skillet. Freshly chopped sage serves as aromatherapy like no bottled fragrance can. Working cold butter into flour with my fingertips melts away the stress of the day.

Yes, it’s true that we always need to eat. But, sometimes, I just need to cook. Continue Reading

Cinnamon Rolls for a Crowd

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This didn’t start with me.

I can still smell the warmth of the kitchen on a brisk December afternoon. We would arrive, bundled in our coats, stomping snow from our boots.  The layers of hats, gloves, and scarves would peel off as we climbed the stairs to say hello.

Though she was busy at work, bustling in front of the stove, scurrying to put dinner on the table, she always had time to greet the family, especially her grandchildren. After all, we were the ones she was baking for. Continue Reading