Digital photography has opened up new outlets of creative possibilities to use and display our photographs. We can not only create heirloom albums and large canvas wall prints but we can also use those digital files to create unique, fun gifts and home decor items while showcasing our family memories. Here are 5 ideas to get your creative juices flowing. For most of these projects, I used items that I found in my home or in my backyard to create meaningful and memorable photo-gifts.
Pancakes seem like such a quick, easy meal. And they are, except for the mess. All those little batter drips that get cooked onto the stove top..ggrr.
and waiting for pancakes to cook – it’s like watching paint dry!
I’d rather just pour the whole thing into one big pan and cook it.
Like I did here.
No drips, no mess. And with the addition of sautéed pears and walnuts, this is looking a smidge healthier than plain old pancakes.
(recipe to follow)
My daughter loves all those sparkly- glittery Styrofoam pumpkins in the stores.
But my inner environmentalist only sees a heap of plastic that has to be packed up and stored somewhere for the other 11 months of the year.
Store- bought- sparkly- pumpkin- request: denied.
She didn’t throw a fit.
she didn’t beg.
she didn’t cry.
She got creative.
She made a beeline for her art supplies and made one herself out of a real pumpkin that will eventually decompose back into the earth. (Whew)
Along with a hearty dose of glitter.
My 5 year old can’t type yet, but if she could this would be her Sparkly Pumpkin Making Tutorial:
You just paint the pumpkin your favorite color, then you hold it by the stem and sprinkle the glitter all over everywhere.
But make sure you sprinkle glitter on a piece of big paper so it doesn’t get on the floor.
I am shedding tears of pride.
I have been trying to photograph steam for some time now. I’m getting close, yes?
The sweltering northeast summers are steamy enough that the mere thought of drinking something with more steam has been completely out of the question for the past 3 months.
But now it’s fall and hot foods are inching their way back into the kitchen and it is possible to drink a cup of coffee outdoors and.not.melt.
Fall- I love you.
Steam- i love you too.
Wanna photograph steam? Strong directional sidelight and a dark backround.
It’s the last week at the markets for peaches…
and plumbs are on their way out, too…
But now is the best time to take advantage of fruit “seconds”. I just picked up two bushels of peaches for under $8.00.
Tips for freezing Peaches:
Dunk the peaches in a hot water bath for 30 seconds and immediately drop into an a bowl of ice water to cool.
The skins will peel right off. (Kids love helping with peeling the skins)
Split or cut in half and layer flat into freezer bags.
Perfect for smoothies all year round.
Were you a pool kid?
I grew up at the pool. I remember refusing sunscreen, getting stung by bees, lots of skinned knees, and that big wet spot on my shorts that was left behind from my swim suit. We wore those pool-wounds like badges of honor -as proof that we were having fun.
And some days we were even allowed to pick a treat from the pool snack bar that gushed Choco Tacos’, Push Up Pops and Screwballs.
And among a crowd of fancy frozen novelties were the old standbys -chocolate covered ice cream bars. So simple and understated, just like we were.
Here’s a refined but simple version of that snack bar classic.
1 quart of vanilla ice cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chocolate, coarsely chopped
Fill Popsicle molds with softened ice cream. Freeze several hours or overnight.
To make the chocolate sauce:
Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and heat on medium low. When warm, stir in the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
Allow to cool to room temp.
Gently remove the ice cream bars from the mold and arrange on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
Using a spoon, pour the chocolate sauce onto the ice cream bar. Lay the bar back on the tray and freeze until firm.
It was my first attempt at meringue.
And they flopped. They flopped the second and third time, too.
So I can’t sit here and tell you how to make meringue.
But I can tell you that even if you mess up, you can still make it look so pretty that no one will ever know.
Just call them Pavlova cookies, a sweet wafer like crust destined to be piled with roasted almonds, dark chocolate and fresh strawberries.
Send your meringue making tips my way!!
I was a die-hard diet soda drinker for years. I bled diet coke and breathed Camel Lights for over a decade. The funny part is, once I stopped drinking diet soda, I actually lost 8 pounds, with absolutely no other changes in my diet or exercise routine.
So forget the rum and coke. Try this simple sweet-tart-summery cocktail which works with either dark spiced rum or light rum.
Rum and Lime Cocktail
2 ounces Rum
1 ounce fresh squeezed Lime Juice
Simple Syrup, agave syrup or sugar to taste
club soda to fill the glass
Ok, maybe not ever. But as far as baked goods in pots go, it’s pretty cute.
Here are the directions for making the cupcake segment.
All you need after that is one mammoth bag of butter cream frosting and a few skewers with tiny paper flowers attached.
Happy Mother’s Day!!
Let’s face it, most food that comes in tubes are not healthy.
*But it’s a fact that kids love to eat frozen food from a tube.
(*indicates that it is not really a fact and more of an observation)
Luckily, there is an alternative to those sugar laced freezable yogurt tubes…
You can make your own and freeze them in small ziplock bags and your kids won’t even notice because they are just so happy to be eating sans silverware.
Homemade Freezer Pops
This being more of a technique than a recipe, the flavor possibilities are endless and they are super fast and easy to make.
Snack sized ziplock bags
Ingredients for natural yogurt pops
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup raspberries (mangoes, strawberries, pineapple or peaches can be substituted)
1/2 cup orange juice or pineapple juice
2 frozen bananas
1 Tablespoon maple syrup ( or more to taste)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Puree all ingredients in a blender and pour about 1/3 cup into each ziplock bag. Gently press the air out of the bag and seal. Fold the sealed edge over and secure with a piece of tape. lay flat on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bags and freeze for 3-4 hours. When ready to eat, snip one end of the bag.