Monthly Archives: May 2011

30-Day Photography Challenge

So… I’m going to do this.  30 day photo challenge from White Peach Photography.  I need to start using my camera and figuring it out more, and I like the idea of something a little structured that will keep me on track.

Plus, posting this here kinda means I have to do it…I know if I just kind of ‘say’ that I’m going to do this, I probably won’t.  It will definitely be a challenge, as work takes up most of the daylight (and time) for me, but I’ll figure something out.

And, to actually make sure I learn something, I’m going to shoot in manual. So I’m sure there will be some bad ones and a lot of outtakes, but hopefully they’ll get better as the month progresses.

I also have a photography workshop that I bought via Living Social that I have to use…so maybe this will kick my butt into gear.

I think I’m going to post to Flickr (if I can figure out my account…I know the username but can’t figure out how to log back in. I feel very technologically un-savvy right now, but have a help ticket out to Flickr) and here.

Here are the topics:

Day 1: Self-portrait
Day 2: What you wore today
Day 3: Clouds
Day 4: Something green
Day 5: From a high angle
Day 6: From a low angle
Day 7: Fruit
Day 8: A bad habit
Day 9: Someone you love
Day 10: Childhood memory
Day 11: Something blue
Day 12: Sunset
Day 13: Yourself with 13 things
Day 14: Eyes
Day 15: Silhouette
Day 16: Long Exposure
Day 17: Technology
Day 18: Your shoes
Day 19: Something orange
Day 20: Bokeh
Day 21: Faceless self-portrait
Day 22: Hands
Day 23: Sunflare
Day 24: Animal
Day 25: Something pink
Day 26: Close-up
Day 27: From a distance
Day 28: Flowers
Day 29: Black and white
Day 30: Self-portrait

I’m looking particularly forward to the Day 2/What you wore today, Day 6/From a low angle, Day 9/Someone you love, Day 10/Childhood memory, Day 18/Your shoes, Day 22/Hands pictures, and Day 25/Something pink. I think I might be a little over my head for some of these, but I’m sure a lot of Googling/advice asking will commence.

Check back in June for the photos!  Anyone else want to join me?

Advertisements
Tagged ,

Lemon Curd

I know that long ago, I promised a recipe for lemon curd. Because I had made it to go with scones, and it was really, really, really good.

But I got distracted by these and these.

And then there were tornados in Raleigh, and I felt very, very grateful that neither I nor anyone I know was seriously hurt.  One of my coworkers put together an art auction to help benefit those affected by the said tornado, and so I baked some goodies (like these brownies, this cake, and the aforementioned caramel rice crispy treats) to sell.

With all that plus a million other things, this post…just didn’t get written. And even when I started writing it, it sat in my “Drafts” folder for two weeks. But enough excuses.

The ingredients for lemon curd are simple: lemons (duh), eggs, butter, sugar.

First you zest and juice the three lemons (have I ever mentioned how much I love my zester? It’s amazing).

Add the sugar and lemon zest to a mixer with a paddle attachment, and mix on medium-low speed till the sugar and zest are mixed thoroughly.

Add the softened butter, and cream till light.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Then add the lemon juice and salt, and mix till blended.

This is where it gets funky.  Pour the mixture into a saucepan over medium heat.  It starts to kind of curdle as the butter starts to melt, and it’s a little bit weird looking (kind of matches the “curd” in the name).  But eventually, as the curd heats up slowly, it smooths out and starts to thicken.

I hooked up my instant read thermometer to the side of the pot with a clothespin (very fancy, I know) so I would know when the curd had reached the correct temperature (170 degrees).  You can also tell it’s done when you can drag your finger across the back of the spoon and it doesn’t fill in. But as soon as it reaches the right temperature, you take it off the heat.

Mine took a VERY long time to reach the right stage, and I think it’s because I had the heat on too low.  The original recipe says low heat, but I would recommend medium heat, unless you want to wait an HOUR for your curd to thicken.  Which you probably don’t want to do. Especially since you can’t just leave it for an hour…you have to pretty much stir it constantly.

Whenever you’ve reached that magical thickened stage, be it after 20 minutes or 60, you pour the curd through a mesh strainer to get rid of the lemon zest and any eggs that curdled (although this method of creaming the sugar and eggs together first helps prevent curdling – I didn’t have any) and make it super smooth.

I got about 2-1/3 cups of curd from this batch, which is a LOT of curd – a little bit goes a long way.  So feel free to halve this recipe.  It was also a tiny bit sweet for my taste – I’d like to try this with 1 cup of sugar, instead of the 1.5 called for.

Lemon Curd

Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

  • 3 lemons
  • 1-1.5 cups sugar (to taste)
  • 1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Zest and juice the three lemons.
  2. Add the zest and sugar to a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until the zest and sugar are mixed thoroughly.
  3. Add butter to the sugar mixture and cream till light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  5. Add lemon juice and salt and mix until combined.
  6. Pour mixture into a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and cook till the mixture thickens and reaches a temperature of 170 degrees (right before a simmer).
  7. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove the zest any curdled eggs.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: