Organic vs. Regular Apples

At some point you really have to do your own research. I’ve always heard an apple a day will keep the doctor away. Did anyone ever specify if a regular apple or an organic apple mattered?

Apples contain nutrients that are friendly to the skin. The benefits of eating apples include antioxidants ,  fiber, vitamin c and potassium. According to experts the peel of the apple contains anti growth fighting activities against cancer. It’s weird there isn’t a cure for cancer, but somehow experts no exactly what to eat to help prevent it. Huh…

Have you noticed the shiny pretty apples that has a longer shelf life than the dull apples? They are usually filled with pesticides to coat the exterior of the fruit. However, that pesticide enters the apple. This means you’re ingesting pesticide. By which you are trying to eat healthy. How backwards is this? Guess what? According to experts pesticides cause cancer.

Buy the ugly dry dull apples. No, they don’t last long on the shelf. They aren’t meant to be a display on your kitchen. Eat them. Get a quality apple slicer, because some are flimsy and will break after a few uses.  It’s not just the dull apples, make sure they are organic.

Things you can eat to include apples in your diet:

  1. If you eat toast, eggs,   chicken apple sausage with apples slices
  2. Peanut butter and apples slices for snack
  3. Wheat crackers, dairy free cheese and apple slices
  4. Oatmeal with apple slices
  5. Pancakes and apple slices…you get the gist

Eat organic apples. A healthy diet begins with fruits and veggies. I hope you love my pictures. I love photography and I always try to use my images for every blog. untitled-4658-1.jpg

 

Step outside the box: Create Unique Food Shots

What is the likelihood  of seeing food photography where the food has been bitten? Slim to none. Let’s take a step outside the box. The yummy blueberry muffin looks great, but what if someone wanted to see the inside of it? Sure you can slice into it. How about biting it! This is such an awesome shot. It’s in rare form. It’s not perfect, but it is looking pretty appetizing.

 

Recipe:
Oven : 375
1 cup sugar
2 large eggblueberry
2 cups of flour
Mix 12 large muffin cups
Mix butter til creamy
Add eggs one at a time
Add vanilla , baking powder and salt
Fold in half of flour, then half of vanilla almond milk
Fold in blueberries

 

Don’t be afraid to take risk. This shot may not be suitable for every situation, but it would surely look awesome in a bakery shop. If you’d like to use this image for any wall art or business, please contact me first. I’d love credit for my work.  Thanks so much!

Why Candid Photos Are The Best.

One of the beauties of photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It’s what I would call still video, because it adds so much life to an image.

Here are a few tips that will help you magnify  he effectiveness in your shot.

  1. Always have your camera cued up before you find a subject
  2. Keep your camera on the appropriate settings
  3. Being still and making observations is most important
  4. It’s imperative that you have your subject in viewing range while not paying attention.

A great example is this is exemplified in the shot I created. I was in Whole foods grocery store. I had my camera on hand; when I captured one of the most moving images of a mom and her five children. She gave the boys  instructions on where to find items she wanted. They were listening very carefully . I’ve held on to this photo for many years. Often times I wish I could have sent her a copy. It is just a precious time spent with her little ones.

Capture your children while there sleeping , having a conversation amongst one another or at play. Don’t let them see you. The best shots are the natural expression and mood.  Honestly anyone can shoot candids, because there is so much freedom. As a photographer I take it to another level looking far and wide,  for that one in a million shot. Like this one. Most people would have been afraid to be this up close and personal without any awareness. That’s what makes a great candid shot! Get out there and try it. You’ll create better images. noname-2

Don’t be Afraid to Try The Wedding Cake Alternative

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People are becoming more practical when it comes to weddings. Often times the wedding cakes aren’t eaten. They range in price from $100.00 to a neighborhood price of $500.00. This is average and of course based on how many slices, the number of tiers and how fancy the cake will be.  Shut the bakery door! My goodness a wedding cake can really put a dent in your wallet.

There are many alternatives to cake for a wedding, but lets talk about the little bite size cake.  Your wedding should be customized to you and your groom.  You don’t have to serve wedding cake if you don’t want too. Today bakers have become very creative with cupcakes. They can be simple to down right elegant.

 

You can mix and match flavors so theres something for everyone.  Don’t just sit them on a tray. Make a cupcake tower. Most people expect to see the cake slicing photo.  Grab one of those cupcakes from the tower and take a big bite for the picture. It’s cute and you don’t need a knife. How about that! Talk about a conversation piece for years to come. The cupcakes are easy, delicious and often times there will never be any left to take home.

The Origin of the Word Flap Jacks

untitled-4603-1.jpgHere is another excuse to show you a photo I created; one morning after making flapjacks.   The first time I ever heard that word is when I was a little girl knee high to a sidewalk. My dad would talk about how he ate so many flapjacks growing up.

Have you ever thought about where the name flapjacks originated?  Flapjacks dates back to the 1300’s when ” flap” was used in place of “flip.” The jack was used to refer to something smaller than normal. No one really knows why flapjacks was used to describe pancakes, but there isn’t any difference than today when a named is tagged on to something and you never really know why.

I can only eat just one because I normally make them huge. It’s tough for me to order flapjacks  from a restaurant , no one seems to understand my love for the  charred, crispy edges. Never drown them in syrup. It will soak up regular syrup and you’d find yourself pouring more and more. Now you’ll find yourself eating a bowl of sugar.  It’s best with pure honey or agave nectar.   It’s delicious with a strong sweet taste. The taste is so strong until you only need  very little for flavor. Not to mention agave is derived from a plant. Which is much healthier than refined sugar.

Flapjacks are often  served  with syrup, chocolate chips, whip cream, blueberries, bananas, cherries, apples, powdered sugar, chicken, candy sprinkles, jam, honey , agave nectar, applesauce, oranges, nuts, caramel sauce, yogurt and shredded coconut.  If you have tried anything different . Share it with me. I’d love to know.

The Next Word That Comes After Summer, Is Corn.

Hey there! I’m so happy you stopped by. I was hoping we could chat a bit about how elated I am that summer is here! My first thought is bring out the grill. Who wants to stand over a hot stove during the summer? The smell of summer is so tantalizing , but depending on what part of the world you live in. Summer is really here! You no longer have to dream about it or look at beautiful summer adventures in magazines.

Fresh corn is one of my favorite summer foods. Especially the yellow and white corn mixed. Oh! Did you know that  June 11th is  National Corn on The Cobb Day?

There are so many ways to cook corn on the cobb, including boiling, roasting, grilling and steaming. Most of the time I don’t eat it in any elaborate way.  Salt, pepper and a bit of vegan butter will suffice. Believe it or not I’ve eaten fresh corn on the cobb without any seasonings. It’s like a Mercedes, it great alone. How do you like yours?

Here are some recipe ideas using corn :

  1. Roasted corn and tomato salad
  2. Creamy corn chowder
  3. Mexican elotes bisque
  4. Charred corn and black beans
  5. Veggie graten
  6. Sweet corn ice-cream

I can’t leave without touching the heath benefits of corn.  I wanted to be a nurse. Therefore, it’s in my blood. The antioxidants in corn helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease. I’m sure you get the most health benefits from corn that isn’t highly seasoned. Don’t quote me on this. I’m not a doctor. It’s just my educated guest. ( Hehe) The sweet corn is  loaded with lutein.  It promotes healthy vision. So, eat your sweets!

For me, I’ll take mine plain.untitled-4590-1.jpg

 

What! Coffee Has Health Benefits.

About nine months ago I decided to alleviate a few more things from my diet.  I mean why not? It’s been 30 years ( literally) since I ate any red meat. I’m on a roll!  I no longer drink any sodas , especially my favorite Dr. Pepper. Then I decided to discontinue drinking  caffeine free coffee. I heard it’s a synthetic  drink and is bad for you. I know the coffee   (at least I thought) with caffeine is worse.

I’ve always had this thing about not allowing any thing such as bad habits control me. Not to mention there are so many people in the world with bad health; whom continue to eat things that worsen their health.  I’m not perfect, but I try to listen to my body and do what’s best. Finally I am proud to say my main drink of choice is  water. I actually crave water. I know, I sound sick.  I can drink juice, Almond milk  or lemonade  and will not feel a sense of satisfaction until I’ve had some water.  Some of you can relate.

However , here is the problem at hand. I gave up caffeine free coffee, because I heard it’s bad for me as I’ve mention. Another problem I have is repeating myself. Ok back to the subject:  Coffee  causes insomnia , nervousness, upset stomach, increase heart rate, headache, anxiety, nausea,  ringing in the ears and diarrhea. I’m sure there are other symptoms from drinking coffee.  It’s surely caused irregularly heart beats and increased my heart rate, caused nervousness and upset  my stomach.  This is why I stayed away from the caffeine . The caffeine free has small traces of caffeine.  If you ask me, it’s like saying I don’t use crack , but I use crack light. Therefore, I decided not to drink it at all. I have the coffee pot, and coffee maker at home. Perhaps I’ll donate it soon. It’s taking up space in my pantry. Sometimes I think I’ll have a relative over that will ask me for coffee.  I’ll hold on to it a little longer.  Yes, I was really into the caffeine free stuff. In my refrigerator was all of the non dairy flavored creamers  to enhance the taste. It was full of sugar and each time I poured it in my coffee, I felt bad. my conscience would ask why are you doing this to yourself.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not perfect. I’m not extremely strict on my diet. I still eat cookies guys. A for sure weakness. The doctor would have to tell me to step away from the cookies , before I give them up. I must add, that my cookie intake has decreased. Too much of anything can be bad. Sugar is not the best thing in the world to eat. annie-spratt-65077

The confusion comes along when I read an article that express the benefits of coffee. It protect agains Parkinson disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and some cancers. Come on now.  The sugar that most people put in their coffee is enough to cause diabetes alone. Is coffee good or bad for me?

This blog is not meant to verbally beat up on coffee drinkers. Receiving mixed information on weather it’s good or bad for my health is the real problem. I should be able to make an informed choice to do something or not. With all of the misconceptions , it makes it that much more difficult. I love the flavored coffee. I gave them up to improve my health. Now I’m not sure if I’m giving up some of the small joys in life in vain.

One thing I no for sure. I can’t go wrong drinking water. …unless I’m poisoned.

Ingredients to Make the Number 1 Easter Appetizer.

Easter is tomorrow so I wanted to bring you this blog before I’m too late.

When spring has sprung there isn’t anything better than appetizers.  The first to kick off spring is deviled eggs.   Your  family and friends will love you for this simple dish.  They’re so many deviled egg recipes, but I like to keep it simple. Some traditions should be left untouched.

Things you’ll need:

Eggs

Cooking pot

Sugar

mayonaise

paprika ( garnish)

fork, or meat masher, spoon and knife

While the others are obvious , the spoon and butter knife is used to scoop the yolk to insert in the eggs. The Flat side of the knife is used to push the yolk onto the egg. This is the way to go if you don’t have a piping bag or sandwich bag to pipe the yolk. Besides the piping bag is a water of time of there are going to be tons of toppings on it. Such as capers, bacon…things that hide the piped look. I’d also like to add spooning the yolk saves time as well. If presentation is imperative I’d suggest you pipe the yolk.

 

My family and I have dinner together every Sunday. It’s not always the so -called Sunday dinner. We can have tacos and rice as long as we spend one day a week together. I loved this as a child. Now we have to forbid electronic devices at the table and focus solely on one another . I look forward to it every week.

Don’t forget to give the eggs an ice bath to prevent over cooked eggs.

Happy Easter!

Do You Think Spices Really Expire?

Do you ever think about the spices in your pantry at length? They’re stacked in the pantry staring at you as you open the door. There are a few that you’ve never opened. You just saw a recipe that calls for it and you bought it.  You never made the dish! How long ago was that?  Did you keep the box? Is the date stamped on the bottle?

Many spices aren’t date stamped, such as drug store the or the ones from  Dollar Tree.

McCormick has the date stamped on the bottom of the container. I found this one in my pantry. It reads Best Buy Nov. 26 07. What does that really mean. It’s best buy that date, but does it means it’s expired? Will it make you sick? untitled-1707-1

A few years after this date it will lose it’s potency. The food will not have the flavor that was intended from your McCormick spice…or any spice. Ground spices will last 3-4 years. This means I should have tossed this around 2011. Honestly when I think of how much this tiny bottle cost; I’m in denial that it has expired.

Before I go on Let me say I’m a fan of McCormick, because it’s gluten free. As a mom of a gluten intolerant child that is comforting to know.

Check your spice rack, it could be hoarding outdated spices. untitled-1696-1Make a note to clean the pantry as part of your spring cleaning. The sweet smell of apple pie or sweet potato pie doesn’t smell so good; with old nutmeg that has lost it’s kick.

The Rest of the Wedding Cake.

Did everyone from your baker , your friends and family tell you to save the top tier of your cake for your first wedding anniversary? Were you one of those brides whom had a bad experience with frozen cakes? Therefore, you are reluctant to saving the top tier, but you paid a pretty penny for that thing and hate to throw it away. Well, I don’t know about you, but that was me.

Who knew I would try marriage again. Nonetheless do something traditional as save the top tier of my cake for the one year anniversary . Did you know the tradition symbolized recycling to your wedding into the celebration of your first child? It’s also a sentiment of good luck and prosperity. Often times this is done out of sequence. Children come along before marriage.

I’m not saying it’s a good or bad thing; however I can think of many reasons why some things should remain traditional.

cake My cake was plain and elegant. May I emphasize it was plain.  This is the top tier. It looks a little beat up from other items in the freezer pressing against it.

How to Freeze a Cake:

  1. Wrap it in plastic wrap. ( Preferably brand name)
  2. Zip it in two freezer bags. ( The good ones; don’t be cheap)
  3. Try to have a spot in the freezer solely for the cake. ( I didn’t have the space)

It may not look delicious here, but it was more than good. Looking at this image I can smell the fresh butter. Have you ever tasted a cake that tasted better after it’s been frozen for a year?  This cake was it girls!  The icing was amazing. Typically I expect the icing to taste like food coloring. That old yuk sour taste. No girl, this cake was smooth and flaky. It wasn’t spongy, crunchy, hard, dry…you get the gist.  I’m not good with food descriptions. Hats off to all of you food bloggers.

Don’t judge me too harshly on my photo. You see that sliced piece? I literally cut it for my myself. Immediately I dropped it on the plate and ran for the camera. I’m so mushy this way. Memories are important to me. More important than a technically correct photo. Besides as soon as I saw this shot, I thought of my finger prints pressed in the top, from unwrapping the plastic.  This is what preserving the memories is all about.