10.31.2012

Happy Halloween!!!

So I'm way late in posting today but I have a good excuse.  We got up super early for the Giants parade, spent most of the day downtown, then came home to start packing for our trip to DC!  So super excited for the trip, not so super excited for waking up at 4am tomorrow...

Anyway, since we have to get up crazy early, we're staying in tonight to hand out candy to trick-or-treat'ers and watch something Halloween-ish.  No dressing up for me this year.  But I still wanted to share a costume photo with you so I'm bringing out my fave from the archives.  I usually opt for clever over sexy and my Pot Brownie costume from a few years ago is one of my all-time faves.  I borrowed an old girl scout sash from a friend, paired it with a t-shirt and skirt from Goodwill (that I never wore again), and drew cannabis leaves on green poster board then attached them to the outfit.  I was a broke law student at the time so my costume was less than 10 bucks.  Score!



Hope you guys have a fun, safe, and spooky Halloween!!  Can't wait to see all your photos :)
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10.30.2012

Creative Daddy

Have you guys seen the photos by Jason Lee floating around the internet lately?  Every time I see them, I can't help but laugh.  Jason is a professional photographer who began taking fun photos of his two daughters when his mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  Like most kids, his two girls were constantly getting coughs and colds so they weren't always able to visit their grandma.  He wanted his mom to be able to see her granddaughters without worrying about catching those colds so he started a blog featuring photos of his girls (and they happen to be the cutest sisters ever).  But these are not your standard "hey, look, it's my kid" photos.  Oh no, these are funny, creative photos that I'm sure his entire family with cherish for generations.


 What big sis hasn't wished she could send her little sis off on a rocket?

 Of course, my personal fave is the Super Nintendo shot:

You can check out more of Jason's work here on his personal blog.
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10.29.2012

On My Mind This Monday

THE GIANTS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOO-HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

san-francisco-giants-world-series-2012

As soon as Buster Posey caught that ball, the city went nuts.

We stood outside our front door and could hear the honking and cheering (and the occasional fireworks) coming from the Mission - almost two miles away from our 'hood.

It was like urban surround sound.

But I have another, very selfish, reasons to be extra-pumped about this win.

We get to go to a parade.  A parade, people!

I love parades.  (I used italics right there so you know I'm serious.)

And this one will be an orange & black Giants parade on Halloween.

When the White Sox won the World Series in '05, I missed a pretty awesome ticker-tape parade in Chicago.

Because I had to work.

I was totally bummed about it.  And I'm not even a White Sox fan.

When the Giants won in 2010, I missed another pretty awesome parade.

Because I had to work.  You guessed it - bummed again.

I have to work this year, too, but I'm not missing this parade.  No siree Bob.

Lucky for me, my boss is a Giants fan, too. :)

LET'S GO GIANTS!!! *clap clap clapclapclap*




What's on your mind this Monday?
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10.25.2012

Car-ma


Karma is a funny lady.  Some even say she can be a bitch at times.  Sneaking up out of nowhere and smacking you in the face with a lesson in morality.  The fools get frustrated and rue their bad luck.  The wise pay attention and course correct.

Last week, The Boyfriend and I went out to play for the afternoon.  We had lunch at our favorite food truck then wandered around the city looking for great photos and undiscovered treasures.  While walking back to the car after lunch, we noticed a couple of cars being towed from their parking spots.  We had the typical response of any city dweller: "Man, that sucks."  After a brief moment of sympathy for the unsuspecting car owners, we followed it up with giving props to ourselves for paying attention to street signs.

"People just don't know how to follow directions.  Just read the signs!  Duh."

We got in our own legally parked car and headed off to another neighborhood to find a new view of the skyline.  I'd done shoots in the neighborhood before so I had a good idea of streets that might have parking.  We found a tiny spot just a few blocks from our destination.  The street was packed with cars but The Boyfriend worked his magic and fit us in.  Lucky us.

We wandered a bit, marveled at the architecture, then headed off in search of a better view.  We stumbled upon the Intercontinental Hotel and headed up to Top of the Mark.  The views took my breath away.  Fog hid the Golden Gate Bridge but Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, and the Transamerica Pyramid were all visible against the overcast skies.

As we wandered around the bar to soak in the full 360 views, The Boyfriend spotted our car.  It was the only one on the street.  Hmm...  I immediately became suspicious.


We decided to head back and, on the way, we saw another car being towed.  Was no one reading street signs that day?

"Geez!  What's going on today?  People must be distracted by the Giants game or something.  It's not that hard to just read the signs!"

The tow truck pulled away and headed up to the next block, with the parking cop following closely behind.  They started to slow down as they approached our car.

"Wait.  Babe, I think they're gonna tow the car."

"No way.  Why would they tow me?"

"Babe.  I think you need to run ahead and get to the car,  just in case."

"Oh, shit."

Sure enough, the tow truck pull in front of our car just as we approached the parking cop.

"Is this you?"

After a lot of apologies and "please, please, please," he let us leave on our own, without being towed and without a ticket.  We breathed a sigh of relief as we drove away.  We thought we were so lucky getting away with that.  Oh man, we must have really earned some good parking karma.  That was a close one.

At least, that's what I first thought.  I was smug enough to believe that I'm such an awesome driver there must be some karmic force working to protect us from the negatives everyone else has to deal with.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what a horribly self-centered view that was.  Maybe instead of rewarding me, karma was teaching me a lesson of my own.  I fully admit I was a little judgmental of the owners of those towed cars.  I mean, obviously they were dumb and didn't read the signs so they deserved to be towed, right?

Whelp, it's time for me to swallow a big ol' chunk of humble pie because the truth is, we didn't get lucky that day.  We got smacked in the face with a lesson about being judgmental a-holes.

Instead of Karma saying, "You're such a smart driver, I'm going to let you off the hook on this one" maybe she was really saying "You're such a judgey beezy I'm going to show you how easy it is to be in that position yourself."

Next time I see someone being towed or getting a ticket, they'll get no judgment from me.  Only sympathy.  I mean, it can happen to anyone even the most cautious and careful.  Lesson learned.
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10.23.2012

The Great Cookie Experiment

Sometimes, I take things a little too far.  The length of this post is a good example of that.  Last week, I got a craving for chocolate chip cookies.  I suppose I could've gone to the store, or maybe the coffee shop down the street, and just bought one.  That's probably what a normal person would do.  But I wanted a real, homemade chocolate chip cookie.  And then I realized, I don't really have a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It's by far my favorite type of cookie so, what gives?

To remedy this anomaly, I set out to create my very own chocolate chip recipe.  When I was little, chocolate chip cookies were one of the first things I remember being allowed to bake by myself.  Not knowing any better, I just followed the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips.  The one deviation from the chocolate chip bag recipe was a little piece of advice from my mom: always refrigerate the dough for "a few hours" before baking.  But ... why?


Well, for starters, if your butter is too warm (e.g. room temp) when you put the cookies in the oven, they'll spread out before they've had time to set.  That results in a thin, rubbery mess of a cookie that probably melds into all the other cookies to become a brown blob on your baking sheet.  We've all experienced these disasters and if you're anything like me, you probably ate the cookie blob mess anyway.  But there's an easy fix to this.  A few hours in the fridge and the problem is solved.  You see, the colder the butter, the longer it takes to melt.  The longer it takes to melt, the more time the cookies have to set, which means you get a nice fluffy cookie not a scrawny anorexic cookie.

Another reason chilling is good for the dough is moisture absorption.  If you leave your cookie dough in the fridge, even just for an hour, you'll notice the dough firm up and start to get a little crumbly.  It'll still shape up fine if you form it into a ball but just scooping it with a spoon is no good.  The dry ingredients need some time to relax and soak up the moisture in the cookie, particularly the eggs.  The more it soaks up, the crumbly it gets, and crumbly dough makes for a lovely, chewy-but-not-rubbery texture in the baked cookie.  So the longer you leave the dough in the fridge, the chewier the cookie will be.


The last reason -my own personal theory- is related to the chemistry of pie dough.  When making pie dough, you want to use cold ingredients - cold water, cold butter, etc.  Like straight-from-the-fridge cold, none of this room temp business.  As the crazy cold butter melts in the oven, it releases steam.  The steam gets trapped within the dough as it bakes, resulting in a pie crust that's airy and flaky.  My theory for cookies is that the same thing happens in cookies and results in more moisture and lightness despite a dry, crumbly dough.  The steam released by the butter on the outer edges of the cookie will evaporate, making the outside a little crisp.  But the steam on the inside of the cookie has nowhere to go.  Instead, it gets trapped in the cookie, adding moisture and a bit of lightness.

Because I tend to take things too far in a totally nerdy way, I couldn't just bake some cookies.  I had to create an experiment to test my theory - the longer the dough chills in the fridge, the better the cookies will be.  I made a basic cookie dough (with a few twists) and baked three different batches over the span of 48 hours - a 4-Hour Cookie, a 28-Hour Cookie, and a 48-Hour Cookie.  Let me tell ya, staring at delicious cookie dough every time I opened the fridge for a full 48 hours took extreme will power.  I felt like a crack whore forced to babysit -but not sample- my dealer's stash.  All in the name of science.


My hypothesis was that the 48-Hour Cookie would be the best cookie in both texture and flavor.  If my assumptions were correct, this cookie would be moist and chewy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside, with a variation in color from the edge to the center.  Because the flavors would have a longer time to get all friendly with each other, the brown sugar and butter flavors should be much richer and more distinguished in the 48-Hour Cookie.

All three batches were baked for the same amount of time, at the same temperature.  The only variable was the chill time for each batch.  So, did the baking gods prove me wrong?



The 4-Hour Cookie
It's a good cookie.  Just fine (said in a slightly higher pitched voice).  The texture was chewy without being rubbery.  There was plenty of time for the dough to set so it puffed up nicely.  The edges and bottom of the cookie were slightly browned but the rest of the cookie was an even light golden color.  The chocolate chips definitely dominated as the main flavor but there wasn't really much depth to the cookie.  There's nothing wrong with this cookie, per se, but there's also nothing special about it.

The verdict: a good solid cookie.

  
The 28-Hour Cookie
I actually meant for this to be 24 hours but I got home later than expected on Friday.  It's okay, though, because something beautiful happened for this cookie.  The Boyfriend even noticed a difference.  It was much more moist than the 4-Hour cookie.  And chewier, too.  So delightfully chewy.  The chocolate chips were nicely complemented by a subtle brown butter flavor and the sea salt was more distinguishable (it was non-existent in the 4-Hour Cookie).  In fact, this cookie has me convinced that every batch of chocolate chip cookie dough should rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours before baking.  Otherwise, you're just doing yourself an injustice.

The verdict: a pretty darn delicious cookie.



The 48-Hour Cookie
I had high expectations for this one.  I thought it would blow my mind.  I thought it would rock my world, shiver my timbers, melt my butter, and float my boat.  Not quite.

Now don't get me wrong, it was a freaking delicious cookie.  The flavors really came together with the extra chill time, which resulted in an a caramel flavor complementing the chocolate chips.  The butter and sugar really loved having that extra time to get to know each other.  But the texture of the 28-Hour Cookie was better in my opinion.  I much prefer a cookie that's crisp on the edges but soft and chewy on the inside.  The 48-Hour Cookie was mostly chewy from edge to edge with not much variation.  (A couple more minutes in the oven might have helped this but I really wanted to keep all three batches to the same cooking time.)

Basically, this cookie was equally delicious as the 28-Hour Cookie but the extra day of chill time cost it some points.

The verdict: a pretty darn delicious cookie, too, but not worth the extra day of waiting

So, all in all, I was right and wrong.  The flavors were definitely better in the 48-Hour Cookie but the texture wasn't what I expected.  For me, that trade off isn't worth the extra day of waiting before I can eat those yummy things.  If you prefer chewy cookies, though, then the 48-Hour Cookie is absolutely the one for you.  But don't take my word for it.  Bake up a batch using the recipe below and see for yourself (just stay away from the fridge while the dough chills...)!


What You Need:
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 sticks of butter (1 cup), room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

What You Do:
1. In a medium/large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2. While that's mixing, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) in a separate bowl.

3. Once the butter and sugar get nice and fluffy, add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.

4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and when it's all nice and mixed up, fold in the chocolate chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 48 hours, depending on what kind of cookie you want.

5. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop a spoonful of dough and gently shape into a ball roughly the size of a golf ball.  Place dough balls on the cookie sheet at least an inch apart and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just start to become golden.  Remove from the oven and let them couple for a few minutes on the baking sheet.  When they're cool enough to handle easily, move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: The center of the cookies might look unfinished when you first take them out but by the time the cookies cool completely, they'll be perfect.  If you prefer a more crispy/less chewy cookie, bake for an extra couple of minutes.   Also, this recipe makes about 36 cookies.  We ate them all before I could take pictures (which is why you only see 2 in most of these photos).


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10.22.2012

On My Mind This Monday


I predict potential radio silence this week.

Lots of editing to do and deadlines looming.

Looming.

Like the storm clouds outside my window.

Threatening, promising rain.

Let it rain.  I'm ready for it.

My rain boots are yearning for some puddle jumping.

My umbrella hasn't seen the light of day for months.

Bring it on, Mother Nature.

Bring.

It.

On.

Just don't rain out the Giants game this afternoon.  Pretty please?




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10.18.2012

Awkward & Awesome

AWKWARD
- Ok, I finally saw part three of RHONJ's reunion show.  Teresa's new name should be Teresa O.M.Gi-udice.  That beezy has lost her damn mind.  It's so sad to watch.  And it's sad not just because you're watching a family fall apart.  It's sad because you're watching a family fall apart on national TV.  I mean, every family has drama at some point but they are broadcasting their family drama and preserving it for all eternity.  Her daughters will be able to watch her call their aunt a stripper and a whore.  They're going to see their dad call their mom a C-U-Next-Tuesday...in front of cameras and millions of viewers.  I can't even believe people put this stuff on TV.  Is nothing private anymore?  I mean, your family is collapsing and cameras are capturing every bit of it.  It doesn't get more awkward than that.

 via

- The sidewalk in front of our apartment was replaced this week.  This will be awesome once it dries but right now, it's like navigating an obstacle course.  They literally tore up our front door step then left a big ol' hole there overnight.  Yesterday they poured the cement and I was trapped inside until they finished.  The workers all went across the street and sat in the shade eating hamburgers while it dried.  But me?  I just stood in my doorway staring longingly at the beautiful world I couldn't be a part of.  Or maybe I just spent that time catching up on the aforementioned horrible reality TV...  The world will never know.

AWESOME
- A new Target opened in the city.  It's the first Target in San Francisco and it's one of their new City Targets.  I have to say, it was pretty cool.  While there, I caved into peer pressure and purchased the uniform of a San Franciscan - a plaid shirt.

- I have mad cravings for chocolate chip cookies so I'm working on a recipe today that I can (hopefully) share with you next week!  There will most likely need to be many taste tests involved in order to perfect the recipe before I can share it.  I guess I'll just have to force myself to be the taste tester.  It's one of the sacrifices a blogger has to make for good post content...

- And my final awesome of the week is ... YOU.  Seriously, you guys are awesome.  Your response to my self-employment posts always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for all your support and encouragement through my latest adventure.  You guys rock.
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10.17.2012

Shades of Fall

It's all about the nails in here today, people.  I love pastels and neons as much as the next gal but when autumn rolls around -when the days get shorter and the wind a bit chillier- I want deep rich shades reminiscent of the season.  I have these five on constant rotation throughout fall & winter (I'm rockin' Russian Navy right now...).  For me, they are the ultimate in fall sophistication.



1. Lincoln Park After Dark (OPI) - My go-to for fall nails.  This one is my all-time fave.  Sometimes I spice things up by adding a little gold glitter on top.

2. Russian Navy (OPI) - I just discovered this color last fall and I was surprised by how flattering it was!  I thought it wouldn't work with my pale skin/blue veins but I was wrong.  Oh so wrong.  It's a beautiful deep blue that would look great with almost any skin tone.  That photo definitely does not do it justice.

3. Black Platinum (Sally Hansen) - This is a new fave.  (I bought it on sale at Target.)  It's very chic, sophisticated, and urban.

4. Wined Up (Sally Hansen Insta Dri) - This one seems like a more traditional fall color at first glance but in the sun, it has a slight golden shimmer to it.  Very pretty and ladylike, and very classically autumn.

5. Pronto Purple (Sally Hansen Insta Dri) - Purple is my favorite color so of course I have to paint my nails in this lovely, rich shade from time to time.

By the way - Have you tried the Insta Dri line by Sally Hansen?  If so, what do you think of it?  I have a really bad habit of doing stuff right after I paint my nails and messing them up because they're not completely dry yet.  This polish dries in literally just a few minutes and actually lasts longer than I expected.  It sometimes looks a little more matted than I'd like but a quick top coat fixes that right up!

What nail polish shades are you loving this fall?
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10.16.2012

Self-Employment | Months 8 & 9


Ok, the fact that two months are in one post -and the post is being written in the middle of month 10- should give you a glimpse into how busy things have been lately.  The scary part is, it's all about to slow waaaaaaaayyy down.  My last wedding of the season is in just a few short weeks and I don't have much booked after that.  As scary as it is, I'm also kinda looking forward to it.  I'd like to book a few family sessions during that time but I'm also planning on spending time working on a new part of the business.

I want to start focusing my portrait work on photographing women.  Almost in a modern-day glamor sort of way.  But when I say "glamor," I mean magazine-worthy glamor not big-hair-soft-focus-early-90s glamor.  In other words, these aren't your mom's glamor shots.  I'm talking about editorial, fashion-inspired, glammed up portraits of women looking and feeling their absolute best.

So many of us struggle with insecurities and body self-consciousness.  Everyday, I think about whether a certain outfit hides my jiggly bits or emphasizes them.  Whether the cut of a particular sleeve makes my arms look fat.  Whether anyone else can see those little lines under my eyes.  What I wouldn't give for a couple of hours and few photos of me at my most confident.  My ultimate best.  I want to give that to other women.

I think this type of work will compliment my wedding photography as well.  Brides-to-be can come in and have a session with their mothers, their sisters, their best friends.  Imagine coming into a cozy space where you'll get your hair done, a little make-up, maybe have a glass of wine.  Put on your best outfit - you know the one.  The one that makes you feel like you could take on the world.  Then spend an hour or two taking photos worthy of a magazine cover.  Photos you'd be proud to show the world because, let's face it, you look damn good!  Then go out for a night on the town, a hot date with your Love, or your bachelorette party.

Or maybe you want to do a shoot on your own.  You want something more directly connected to your wedding day.  Well, you love your dress, right?  You love it so much, you wish you could wear it again.  But when?  Where?  Why not come on over, have your beautiful bridal look recreated (or play with a new look) and rock that dress like it's a shoot for Modern Bride?

The thought of pursuing this genre of women's portraits and figuring out how I can make it all work is beyond exciting - but also a little scary.  There are about a million steps to get it going - not the least of which is finding a studio space and figuring out how to actually afford it.  When I started the business, I thought I'd get a studio in 3-5 years, not after just 1 year.  I have no idea how it's going to work out.  But I pretty sure that, somehow, it will.

And now - if you've actually read this far - you know what I've been doing in between shooting, editing, marketing, accounting, meeting with potential/current clients, stressing about upcoming taxes, and trying to still work out, have a personal life and play with Molly (of course).  It's been crazy.  I feel like I'm behind in life and there aren't enough hours in the day for me to catch up.  But I love it all and especially the potential it brings with it.  Even if it means I get a month or two behind on posts. :)
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10.15.2012

On My Mind this Monday


To chocolate milk or not to chocolate milk.

That is the question.

Normally, I drink it every morning.

And every evening.

And after my workouts.

Because Lance Armstrong drinks it after his workouts.

But Lance Armstrong also dopes up pre-workout (allegedly).

So maybe that's not the best reason to drink it.

The best reason is that it's so sweet and smooth.  So creamy and delicious.

So satisfying in every way.

Almost like a drug.

No wonder Lance loves it...




What's on your mind this Monday?
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10.12.2012

Friday's Fancies | Anthro in Autumn

Oh man, you guys.  When I saw this week's Friday's Fancies theme -Leaf Love-  I got really excited.  Fall colors are my fave.  In case you haven't noticed, I'm a little on the pale side with dark hair and dark eyes.  This means the warm fall tones really work for me.  I hopped on over to my favorite store for fall clothing (or any clothing, let's be honest) and then ... I couldn't make a decision.  There's just so much good stuff at Anthro right now!!  I had to go all maverick on {av} and do a full Anthro post this week.  I couldn't help myself.  Every click brought a new little treasure.  And I didn't even get into the home goods people!  If I win the lottery, I'm buying out the nearest Anthro.

 12  |  3  |  4

1  |  2  |  3  |  4

Also, the shoes.  Color block knee high boots that are perfect for every outfit?  Strappy sexy booties in an unexpected color?  Rain boots with a pop of bright orange?  Oxford wedges?  I die.
12  |  3  |  4

1  |  2  |  3  |  4

Any fun plans for the weekend?  For me, it's a big work weekend - wedding tomorrow and family session on Sunday.  Hopefully the leaves will cooperate and show a little fall love for the photos!

Happy Weekend!!!
xo

PS - This post is NOT sponsored by Anthropologie and I am in no way affiliated with them.  Kinda wish I was though...
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10.10.2012

Pumpkin Biscotti (With or Without Chocolate Chips!)

Happy Wednesday lovelies!  'Tis the season for all things pumpkin and I have a nice little pumpkin recipe for you today.  I happen to prefer my pumpkin with a little sweetness rather than savory so when the calendar flips to October, my brain flips to pumpkin treats.  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a glimpse of my most recent treat - pumpkin biscotti.  These biscotti are like a little taste of autumn with every bite.  Because of the pureed pumpkin, they're a bit chewier than you might be used to for biscotti, but they're totally worth it.  And, of course, you can make them with or without chocolate chips if chocolate isn't your thing (in my world, chocolate chips are rarely optional but I made both versions just for this post because I love you).


What You Need:
2 and a half c. of flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
A few shakes of ground ginger and ground cloves
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. chocolate chips - or more/less if you want

What You Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together to combine all the spices with the flour & sugar.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.


3. Mix everything together and until combined.  The mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly.  I usually get a little frustrated with this step, throw down my mixing spatula, and just knead everything with my bare hands.  Bare (clean) hands are the ultimate kitchen tool.

4. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.  Place the dough onto the baking sheet and form it into a large log, roughly 1/2 to 1 inch high.


5. Bake the log for about half an hour or until the center is firm.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 15-20 minutes.  Once the log is cool enough to handle easily, use a serrated knife to cut it into 1-inch wide pieces.  Arrange on the baking sheet so that they're standing upright.


6. Lower the oven to 300 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until crisp.  Once they're all crispy and golden, remove the biscotti from the oven and try to resist the temptation of eating them until they've cooled completely.


PS - If you just can't get enough biscotti, you can check out my other recipes for traditional almond biscotti and chocolate hazelnut biscotti!

PPS - Totally unrelated to pumpkin biscotti but if you're curious about my transition from law to photography, check out my interview with Samara of Deconstruct the Girl.

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10.08.2012

On My Mind This Monday | It's a Link Up!

Fall in California


I wonder when it'll finally start to feel like fall.

I know it's cliche but those pumpkin spice lattes are calling my name.

And my new boots, too.  I can hear them now, tempting me.

They're feeling restless after being pent up in my closet for so long.

I still haven't been able to where them anywhere.  It's been too warm.

Oops.  That was the wrong 'where.'  Darn homophones.

I distinctly remember having a whole spelling test based on homophones in elementary school but I have no idea what grade that was.

Why am I thinking about homophones on a Monday?  Is this what the rest of the day is gonna be like?

Guess that's why they call it 'Monday Funday.'  Those are not homophones, by the way.

But it rhymes.  Sorta.





What's on your mind this Monday?  Link up below and let us know.  That rhymed too.  Whoop-dee-doo!  (Ok.  I'll stop now.)
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10.05.2012

Friday's Fancies | Monochrome

Happy Friday, y'all!!  I am super excited for this weekend.  I have lots of work to do, but no weddings to shoot, which means I can enjoy some of the many free things going on around San Francisco this weekend!  We're planning on checking out the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival tomorrow with a few friends.  Not gonna lie - a lot of the bands are ones I've never heard of before.  But there are a few that I am a fan of (like The Lumineers) so I'm looking forward to hearing them live.

The Blue Angels are also doing an air show tomorrow.  I heard/saw a lot of fly-overs yesterday and today but the big show tomorrow is happening at the same time as the concert so we'll probably skip that.

And if that weren't enough events for one weekend, there's also a Cheeses of France Pop-Up Cafe with lots of free samples of cheese and live demonstrations happening tomorrow, too!  If you're in San Francisco, there's no shortage of fun, free things to do, that's for sure.  I wonder if anyone at City Hall thought, "Hmm... maybe we should schedule one of these for a different weekend?"

It's supposed to be in the mid-60s for all these fabulous free events, so my monochrome Friday's Fancies outfit might be a tad too warm but I love it and would totally wear it anyway.  If only I had $1600 (and no moral issues) to blow on that lambskin leather jacket...

What do you have planned for the weekend?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Happy Weekend!!!
xo
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10.04.2012

The Parenting Instinct

You guys... I'm reading this book called Marketing to Women right now and it's pretty fascinating.  I'm learning a lot about marketing to women (obvi) but also a lot about why I do the things I do, too.  I'm only about 1/4 of the way through but the first section details the biological differences between men & women then goes on to explain how those biological differences lead to behavioral differences that influence women's purchasing choices.  Pretty interesting stuff, right?

Well, a few days ago, I came across this little gem discussing the effects of progesterone in a woman's body and when its released:

"When a woman sees any "releaser shape," something with short stubby arms and legs, a round plump torso, an oversized head, and large eyes ... progesterone is released and the parenting instinct is triggered."

Anything with that shape triggers that parenting instinct!  Not just your baby or babies in general ... anything!  How crazy is that??

And then it dawned on me.  I am biologically predisposed to treat Molly like she's my child.  I mean, that description basically sums up a guinea pig perfectly, doesn't it?  Finally, my ooh'ing and ah'ing over her is justified ... by science.  Bam.




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10.02.2012

Couscous with Roasted Corn & Veggies

UPDATE: If you'd like to make this dish gluten-free, it's great with quinoa or long-grain brown rice, too. :)

We had a whole mix of things in our CSA share last week but not a lot of any one thing in particular.  So I combined a few of the veggies - cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh dill, corn - added a little couscous and crumbled feta, and dinner was served!  As we were eating, The Boyfriend asked if I took any pictures so I could post the recipe.  Guess that means he liked it!


What You Need:
1 and a half cups uncooked couscous
1 - 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, sliced
2 ears of corn
1/2 c. pine nuts
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Crumbled feta cheese (goat cheese would be good too!)
Fresh dill for garnish

What You Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Roast the corn for half an hour.

2. When the corn is ready, peel the husk and remove the kernels from the cob.  I just used a knife and scrap it down the side to slice off all the corn.  (Sorry, I didn't get photos of this part!)  Set corn aside.

3. Prepare the couscous according to the instructions provided on the package.

4. Heat a separate pan and toast the pine nuts for a few minutes until slightly golden.

5. When the couscous is fully cooked, add the toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, and all the veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, and roasted corn).  Stir to fully combine and season with salt & pepper.

6. Add the feta (or goat cheese), garnish with some fresh dill, & enjoy!


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10.01.2012

On My Mind This Monday

- It's supposed to be 85 degrees today.  Someone needs to tell Mother Nature it's October 1 already.

- Speaking of which, holy crap it's October 1 already!!  Where has this year gone??  I feel like the older I get, the faster time goes by.  What a cruel trick.

- Molly used to be shy in front of the camera.  She'd literally run and hide when she saw me with it.


Now, that pig has no fear.  This is a typical shot of Molly these days.  She's totally ready for her close up, Mr. DeMille.


-  I think I've perfected my pumpkin biscotti recipe.  The first batch was a little bland & chewy so I tweaked a few things and now they're so much yummier!  I'll post the recipe soon.

- RHONJ reunion, part 1.  Holy jeez.  It's bad enough the thing is being aired in three parts - but they started things off on the crazy train and it just kept getting worse.  Did anyone else watch last night?

So, what's on your mind this Monday?
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