Tuesday, March 30, 2010

i ♥ faces week 13 "dramatic b&w" photo challenge | nappanee photographer

this week's theme at i ♥ faces is "dramatic b&w" photos. "b&w photos that are dramatic, sensational and/or moody in the way they are presented".

wow, that's intimidating! i don't normally look at my own work & say 'whoa... that's sensational!'

personally, capturing a good photo of my 13 yr old, in itself these days, is sensational!
so i'm going for it

it's not like i'm going to win or anything... but the guest judge this week is none other than my very favorite photog out there, the fabulous tara whitney. her work is one of the reasons i constantly strive to get better at this picture-taking thing!

and this kid... he is so darn handsome.
any reason to post another photo of him *sigh*

so here's hoping that my entry's not deemed as just "a typical portrait photo that has been converted to b&w".

i'd love to have it passed along to be judged by one of my greatest inspirations in photography. ♥

Monday, March 29, 2010

baby #6 | nappanee pregnancy photographer

my sister-in-law is due as we speak.... yesterday, to be exact.
but her babies like to cook extra long like mine did, so no new babe yet.

i was very excited to do these belly shots with her because this is probably the last one & these are the only photos like this that she'll have.
and personally, i think she has the perfect baby belly, don't you agree?

these are a few of my favorites...

see what i mean about that perfect belly?

this was fun jamie, can't wait for the baby next!


Friday, March 26, 2010

italian wedding soup

a new recipe here at the deeter residence.

we 3 amigos decided it was good. (sadly, dad is mia at dinner these days)
even the people who normally turn up noses to the cooked spinach like it in soups. go figure.

check it out.
see what ya think:)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

this guy

i'm completely psyched out of my mind about...

this 13 year old, 5' 10 1/4" tall, spore crazy, always hungry, mythbusters loving, piano playing, star wars fanatic.

yep, that's him. he's the lucky one.
the one his mother is always after... always honing this one she is.

it's all because i love ya boy.
l.o.v.e. love.
don't forget it ♥


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

very pretty, very pregnant | nappanee photographer

if you heard it, you heard right...

i had a very pretty, pregnant lady in my house last week having her belly pictures taken!

this is just a teaser 'cause i'm not quite ready to share more, but look for them soon - hopefully before the bun's out of the oven☺

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

cheddar buttermilk biscuits

normally, i don't really cook on sundays.

i know... for shame, for shame... sunday was always the "big meal" day when i was growing up.

but i do cook all week long, and at our house, sunday's the only day that dad's home aaaand it's a chill out sort of day for us. normally we have frozen pizza or leftovers or maybe on a whim i decide i want to cook. after seeing some biscuits posted on a blog i thought "hey, that looks good... i think i'll make bacon, egg & cheese biscuits on sunday!"


sadly, the sandwiches got wolfed down before a photo could be taken, but really, the star of the show is the biscuit. this here's the recipe i use:

buttermilk biscuits

2 1/2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh grated or restaurant style pepper
1/2 cup chilled butter
3/4 c. + 2 Tbs. (or a little bit more) buttermilk, or sour milk which is what i use (milk + vinegar= sour milk)
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar

combine dry ingredients. cut in butter with pastry blender. add cheese and stir into mixture. add buttermilk and mix with fork. on lightly floured surface, gently knead dough just a tad, enough to press it out with you hands without getting all gooey. (press it out, don't roll it...unless you want flat biscuits, then go ahead and roll that puppy out!) cut out biscuits & place on baking sheets, bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 mins. till light golden.

*i use this same recipe minus the cheese & pepper when i want plain 'ole biscuits.

Monday, March 15, 2010

simple joys

simple joys are my favorite.... they keep me going

a clean house....

good music...

a finished project...

a yummy meal...

creative kids....

who are always thinking...

love that!

Friday, March 12, 2010

logic, justification & chocolate chip cookies

ok... so i tried out a new version of a chocolate cookie recipe because i think it's sort of the duty of any so-called baker to make the very best version of the chocolate chip cookie possible. this should be a required part of the baking arsenal.

that's how everyone feels, right?

amidst schooling & hounding people to do their chores, i fit in my cookie therapy. this recipe is really close to my standard, made-a-few-adjustments-over-the-years tollhouse recipe. there are a few tweaks here & there, but i think they made a real difference.

and just because i need to tell you, i always lean toward my oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies as my standard cookie for these reasons:

  1. i have bananas that need using. at this very moment, there are no less than 15 bananas in my freezer & that's kind of a norm. i buy about 10 lbs per week, but in warmer weather, they turn before we get em all eaten.

  2. the standard choc chip cookie recipe uses 1 cup of butter & yields less than 3 dozen cookies. (no need to package those babies up, they'll get eaten before the day is over) so i have to double it to make it worth my time. see, there's no way i'm making 60 cookies with 2 cups of butter between them. buuuut... i can sub in bananas for some of the butter if necessary. and this, i like☺

so if you like are really nice, really soft for several days, guaranteed, chocolate chip cookie, give this one a try

Thursday, March 11, 2010

groceries, meals & things...

i think i've mentioned it before, and i'll say it again: meals are not my favorite responsiblity.

now i realize that in a world of lots & lots of terrible things, it's just a good thing that we are all healthy, we have a job & a roof over our heads and we're able to have good food to eat pretty much every day.

but i still hate the whole meal planning, food buying, meal preparing grind.

i will admit that i do plan out a menu each week, making it easier to shop & keeping me from last minute runs to the store (which i hate).

i'm also listing my menu each week over in the sidebar for anyone who might be a bit like me, trying to find some inspiration anywhere they can when it comes to meal planning.

my favorite sources for recipes have been (in the past) old recipes passed down from home & the old red & white better homes & gardens cookbook(circa 1961) , the good housekeeping illustrated cookbook & taste of home magazine.

today, i find myself turning to allrecipes.com, tasty kitchen and (a current kick) the pioneer woman. i have found some other good sites too, especially for baking, but more on that later.

this week i made split pea soup. now i know what you're thinking.... yee-uuuck! well, think again. don't judge before you taste. seriously. back in the day before children, i used to make this for the two of us. we loved it. somewhere along the way, i stopped making it. but i've been on a serious, soup-once-a-week kick for months, so it was on the rotation. although the mere idea of pea soup was not appetizing to the guys, after tasting, they were in agreement: it's good stuff!

pure perfection, i am telling you. pure perfection.

{something about cooking with peppercorns & ham hocks. you just don't do it every day}

split pea & ham soup

1 ham bone or ham hocks with enough ham on them to make 1 1/2 c. of ham, approximately
16 oz. pkg. dry split peas
2 carrots, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine
7 c. water
1/4 tsp. peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1-1 1/2 tsp. salt

in dutch oven over medium heat, heat ham bone, split peas, carrots, onion & water to boiling. tie peppercorns & bay leaf in piece of *cheesecloth, add to soup. reduce heat to low; cover & simmer 1 hour. discard bay leaf & peppercorns. add salt if needed. remove bone, cut off meat & discard bone. cut meat into bite-size chunks and return to soup for serving. makes 6 servings.

*i don't use the cheesecloth, i just throw the peppercorns & bay leaf in & pick them out before serving. it's a good idea to count your peppercorns, otherwise, you live dangerously!

so i say, give it a try - report back later!

something else i do to keep organized is making my grocery list out around the menu & other things we're out of. i have a big spreadsheet that lists in order of the aisles and has space for price comparisons between my favorite stores. i'm liking this more & more as i am working on a new budget. this helps me see just how much i would save by running to more than one place to pick up any number of items. i am not a fan of shopping at 3-4 places to get my groceries. (seems to defeat the purpose of saving money, to me)

so, while i do not look forward to the whole grocery/meal planning experience, it's a necessity of life.... better make the most of it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

march in indiana

i'm a bit behind, but wanted to share these photos.

this is what i woke up to last friday. i looked out back to find a sea of "white weeds", for lack of a better name. they were the prettiest things, struck out with a background of dark & dreary, no less. it was surreal looking.

had to capture it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

how to | making a center pull ball of yarn

this is my classy set-up for winding my yarn into balls:

i was considering a $40 ball winder, but after i came to my senses, i decided the money would be better spent on yarn

now, this is just the start of a ball, but if you're wanting to wind your own yarn balls/cakes, this is how i do it:

start by unwrapping your hank of yarn. i like to hang mine over my chair with the nice little knobs on top to hang over, although you can just hang over any chair back or even (in moments of weakness & desperation) drape it over your knees & hope for the best.

using a nice cardboard core, either from paper towels or better yet from a package of aluminum foil (heavier & sturdier), drop the end of yarn down through the hole, make sure there's plenty hanging out the end so you don't have to fiddle with it slipping up.

then start by winding some yarn around, an inch or so wide. then make a quarter turn around and wrap some more, going another quarter turn and wrapping some more. i usually start the beginning by wrapping straight around the core, then make the turns & wrap at an angle from the one end to the other of the core. keep making these turns and wrapping until you're done.

pull the ball off of the core and the yarn that was down inside the core will be your center pull.

wah-lah. all finished!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

english chocolate chip scones

this week i made these rather than the typical cookie.

my youngest, ever ready with constructive criticism, says: "they taste like biscuits, with chocolate chips in it.... that's not so good."

thanks honey. oh well, more for me.

i would warn though, that after eating 3 in a row, you might not feel so good.... everything in moderation

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

table talk

discussion at the dinner table last night as follows:

{in the background you can here the national news, talking about a tsunami warning}

troy: where's the tsunami?
me: i don't know, i thought they were talking about the earthquake in chile
big boy: did you know it's t-sunami
me: like o-possum... like k-nife
big boy: like g-naw
me: like g-nat
little boy: like dog-canine (get it, k-9)
troy, me, big boy: ***hysterical laughter***

LOVE that little boy

Monday, March 1, 2010

the big 3

day to day living consists of mainly 3 things for me:

  1. school
  2. food
  3. knitting

i blog a lot about the last 2, not so much about the first one.

ahhh, school. we like it, we love it, we want more of it!
really? naahhhh, not really.
but we do what we have to.
it's the law.

so.... we recently began studying about abstract art. our first project was based upon the works of kandinsky.

the guys listened in earnest while i taught them what abstract art was and what an artist might want to convey to his audience through his work.

we listened to classical music & realized that any given piece can paint a picture of its own in your mind as you listen. this was very cool.

{we also found that we're not fond of opera. the little boy felt that if you go to the opera, you might want to leave your glasses at home, lest they be broken(by the soprano's high notes). he also contemplated the idea of opera singers practicing in the shower like the rest of us might. these are deep & challenging thoughts.}

all in all, we agree to avoid opera at all costs. forever & ever amen.

now, veering back on track...

my 7th grader's work is entitled "the evolution of science". not kidding.

he actually has a long, drawn out, detailed reasoning behind the different parts of his piece & what part of science they are referring to. i will admit my mind went a little numb as he was describing it to me.

i know... bad mama.

here are our finished works, up close:

my 4th grader's work is untitled. that's ok. it doesn't have to have a name. he did push the envelope on real abstract art though. i'll let it pass this time

my 7th grader's "evolution of science"

and this is mine. my oldest suggests the title "unit 1". sounds good. it doesn't have any real significant meaning to me. (don't tell the students, but i just wanted to get it done in a reasonable amount of time. i'm not a fast artist☺)

now, on to the good stuff!

aaahhhh, food.

these babies.... pecan pie bars...

were off the hook!

let's just say, people were angry when they were gone. like evil eye, don't like you anymore angry. all i can say is, at least i know i'm good for something around here.

and the knitting. i just finished my first sweater.

it's a wee little baby shrug for my 1 yr old niece. it's a free debbie bliss pattern found here or you can ravel it.

baby knits are so much fun

now, to start a sweater for myself - i'm terrifyingly excited. i got the scarves, hats, gloves and socks under my belt, but sweaters are a whole different animal.

let the fun begin!

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