Saturday, January 30, 2010

WAnnA be a Winner?

This yummy awesome bloggy is doing a give away for something so mouth-watering, I couldn't resist sharing.

Check out:
Fahrenheit 350°: Recommending: Stràw bërri

Friday, January 29, 2010

Baking 101: Cinnamon Rolls

First off, let me put forth the warning that I, in no way, am a professional baker, or even remotely good baker.  Yes, every now and then, I like to bake . . . something.  Is it total Awesomeness when I'm done?  Snort.  No.   But, sometimes, every now and then, I get it right.  It is those recipes I don't mind sharing. 

Oh, and one more side note, this recipe is NOT in anyway helpful to my diet. 
Recipe Name:  Um, Super Ooey Gooey Good Cinnamon Rolls.  No, too much.  Cinn-Ma-Tastic Rolls, No, Lame.  Fine, Just Plain Old Cinnamon Rolls

1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Cube of Butter
1 Cup of Warm Water
2 T. Yeast
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
4 Eggs beaten
1 t. salt
1 T. Dough Enhancer (Optional)
5 T. Vital Wheat Gluten (Optional
8 1/2 Cups Flour

Make the Dough
I'm not saying this is the right way, this is how I do it. 
1.  First, put the milk in the microwave for 3 minutes.  (Oh, and you better make sure you have a big enough glass bowl or else you'll be cleaning up the microwave too.)  When you pull out the milk, plop in a cold stick of butter.  This way, the cold butter brings the hot milk temperature down.  (This could be a totally ghetto way of doing it, but that's me to a T--Ghetto housewife).

2.  In your Kitchen Aid Mixer (you could use a Bosch or your hands, but I don't so I can't give you directions for that) put the Yeast and the Sugar and the Warm water.  Let it hang out until it gets bubbly cool looking.  (Don't know the tech. bubbly cool it is)

3.  Dump your beaten eggs in with the bubbly cool yeasty stuff then slowly add the cooler (as in not hot now) milk. 

4.  Then slowly add the salt, dough enhancer, gluten and 3 cups of flour. 

5.  Ok, so here's what I like to do.  This could be all for nothing, but it makes the dough nice and pretty and sticky and stretchy, so I like it.  Mix in the first 3 cups of flour and that other dry stuff on low (1), then when it's all kind of mixed, turn your mixer up to (4) for about two minutes.  Then repeat that with two more cups of flour.  When you get to the last cup of flour, keep your mixer on low and slowly add the last cup.  When you're done, cover your dough with loose plastic wrap and let it rise for about thirty minutes.  It should poof out of the bowl and look like a crazy dough mushroom. 

Make the Roll  (This is the cooler part and I have pictures too!!!)

Pour some oil on your counter top and spread it out with your hands. 
Then punch down your dough and dump the dough out on the oily counter.

Then melt a cube of butter in the microwave, until it's like, all melted. 

Spread out the dough with your hands until it looks like a big ole' rectangle. 
Then pour the butter on it and wipe it all over with your hands. 

Slowly shake on a bunch of sugar and then cinnamon. 
When it's really coated, use your hand to crumble brown sugar all over the top. 

Start on one side, and pinch the dough and roll it up into a big log of cinnamon roll dough.

Cut the dough into pieces with either a cool dough cutter thing (I don't know the name so that will have to do) or just use dental floss . . . that will pretty much make you look like Mcgyver in your own kitchen.  Awesome!

Put the dough on lightly greased pans.  I use all kinds of pans because it's fun to make your dough form into different shapes.  Like, for instance, the picture below is three rolls in a oval stone dish. 
So fun eh?

Let your kid help out, even though he's really just shoving his fingers in the dough and wiping sugar and butter on your cupboards.  He'll like it a lot and then you'll be able to take cute photos for your scrapbook that you'll never get around to scrapbooking. 

Cover your rolls with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30-45 minutes. 
Take the plastic wrap off before you bake it or else . . .
Bake the rolls at 375 for 15 minutes.

While they're baking, make the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cube of cream cheese
1/2 cube butter
1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 T. milk

Pretty much just beat all that together until it's creamy and yummy.

 Then, pull the rolls out of the oven and they should look like this. 

 Or this.

Then frost them and they'll look like this.   

Happy baking or cooking, or whatever, you know what I mean. 

Free Scrapbook Photography Class

Want to hang out for 30 minutes and talk photography?  Bring any question and I'll answer it.  Tonight at the Pleasant Grove Rec Center Scrapbook Sleepover, I'll be presenting the top 10 tips for shooting family candids.  The class is free, if you register for the scrap night.  Plus, there are lots of give aways.  Also, class gift certificates will be 10% off tonight only. 

Where:  Pleasant Grove Rec Center

When:  Tonight, Friday 7:30pm

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weird. There is no other word for it.

Last night I read Keeping the Moon, by Sarah Dessen. 

I think it was good.  See, the thing of it is (notice my usage of this wonderful Utah-ism) when I got to chapter 7, I kept reading.  Sure I know that's not wierd.  At least, it wasn't until I got to chapter 7 again. 

Say What?  (That's what you're saying)  I read up til chapter 11 and halfway through it I realized that I was reading the same thing I read in chapter 7.  At first I thought, is this some weird alternate reality book?  But then I distinctly remembered it being in the Teen Romance genre.  So, the only weirdness should come from the main character, or the typical mean girl, or the awkward boy.  Right? 

Quickly, I flipped through the book and realized two things:

1.  Chapters 7,8,9 were printed twice and inserted in the book where three other missing chapters should have been.
2.  There was no chapters 4, 5, 6 because they were the missing chapters.

What did I do?  Kept on reading.  By the end of the story, there was one sub-plot that didn't make sense, but other that, I think I got it.  So, as I was saying earlier, I think it was good.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Positive Affirmation: I'm good enough, smart enough, and dog-gone-it . . .

I found this picture this morning.  It's from the sweet Shaylee shoot I did a couple weeks ago.  This one was so candid.  Shaylee was sad, and her momma Jamie, was cuddling her and calming her so we could do the next 'pose'.  The funny thing is, the posed shot didn't turn out, and this one--the one I caught while Jamie was calming her down--looks absolutely perfect. 

See, this is why I love photography.  I love how it captures emotion. 

I'm not one of those photographers who takes perfect poses in perfect soft studio lighting where the subjects are all perfectly propped and prepared for the camera (holy P-alliteration Batman!).  I've never been good at that.  There are other people out there that blow me out of the water.  Sometimes, I'll get down on myself a little about this one fact.  Why can't I be more of a 'non-candid' photographer? 

Well, I guess I'm saying, today, because I found this shot of Shaylee, I've decided I'm ok with the chaotic way I have of taking pictures.  Where what I want to turn out doesn't and everything I thought wouldn't turn out...well blows my mind! 

Today, I'm ok just being me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rob and Karly: Utah Wedding Photography

I love suprises.  And today I had the BEST one ever.

To be honest, when Rob, Karly, Me and Jaime (thank's Jaime for assisting) went to the SLC library to shoot engagement shots, I was a little bummed.  Not because I was shooting the coolest couple ever, but because the weather was BAD.  Not just overcast, but death-gray overcast without an ounce of good sunlight.  Which translates too--bad ambient light.  Which means--bad pictures.  We shot for about an hour, and I tried my best to capture their fun-loving-ness, but frankly, when we left the shoot I figured I'd be calling them in a week and suggesting we shoot again.  (This is something that has only happened to me once before in my entire shooting obviously I was bummed.)  Anyway, I just pulled the images off my card, and HOLY MOLY!  I was suprised. 

They Rock.  Rob and Karly Rock.  The images Rock. 

So, I guess what I'm saying is, I wasn't as bad as I thought, and that's the reason for this uber-long photo post.  I hope you like them too. 

(Love in the StAcKs)

(Love in an elEVATOR)

And this last one, well, it cracks me up!  Who knew Cliquetionary would be such a compelling read?!?

Hey Rob and Karly, I had a blast.  Good Times at the SLC Library!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The thing of it is...

A older grandpa-ish man in my neighborhood always starts his sentences with that, and I love it.  But in a time like this, it starts my sentence perfectly. 

The thing of it is, I don't like it when the chocolate in my cupboard speaks to me.  "Erin, I'm in here, waiting for you.  Come and eat me.  Oh la la, baby.  You know I taste like creamy, rich goodness.  No one will know.  Just one bite . . ."

And on, and on, and on.

But I know it's not just one bite.  Yet still I'm drawn to it and then two days of chocolate bingeing later, I feel like a giant slug and my pants don't fit. 

Know what I'm talking about? 

Since a few friends and I just started a Fitness competition, I'll be danged (another lovely Utah-ism) if I don't get over this food talking issue. 

Suggestions?  Oh please, tell me what you do.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Roo - Jo (Not to be confused with Cujo, Stephen King's rabid killer dog from 1983).  Ruby is my dearie darling, baby girl who is now over a year old.  Sigh. 

It's next to impossible to get a picture of her looking at the camera.  Those of you with wild toddlers can totally understand.  In fact, yesterday in church, Ruby got out of our pew and ran all the way to the front, giggling and squealing as she ran.  AGH!  In front of the entire congregation I had to chase the little girl-animal down.  In one fell swoop, I had her in my arms.  But much to my chagrin, she didn't go quietly.  Oh no.  That girl squealed like a piggy all the way from the front of the chapel to the back. 

So without further ado, here's my little Roo. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Bear

Teddy is my bear.  He's aggressive, yet, cuddly.  Most days he's like a tornado ripping through my house.  He's stubborn and makes me CRAZY all the time, but his endless supply of slobbery kisses keeps my heart soft. 
Teddy Bear, I love you!

Even though this last picture is a little soft around his face, I love it anyway.  It captures him in a way that
makes me want to squeeze him up and bear hug him. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jackson--the reason for two posts in one day.

Really, I've gotten lazy about posting.  Every four days or so, something will come to poop (see earlier blog post of the day) but other than that, my mind is mostly a blank slate. 
So today when I opened my pictures folder and found this:

I couldn't resist posting again.  His little blue eyes were so captivating, that I found myself scanning through the entire picture file. 

And so I figured, well, since it's my second post of the day maybe just one more indulgence, like this:

But after I fell in love with his little puppy shoes, I decided, what the hey, why not post MORE.  And More.  And More.
 Hence, that's why the rest of the post is all pictures of Jackson, the sweet baby boy of Tammy and Jason, who trusted me to take Connor's pictures and preserve the memory of him being 2 1/2 months old.

And to top it all off, this last picture stole my breath away and made me think, aww,
would it be so bad to have one more baby? 
Just one sweet cuddly newborn to hug and love on?
(ok, rest assured there will be no more babies produced from this factory . . .
but still, this next picture is my favorite.)

cookies,fish heads, and poop

The other day as I plopped chocolate-chip-oatmeal cookie dough down on the baking sheet, George asked if he could have some.  Eww.  Of course I said no way.  There's, like, raw eggs in it.  That's gross.

George argued otherwise.  "It's not bad, mom.  You wanna know what's sick.  In my class we learned that people eat fish heads.  That's gross, mom."  He nodded to Henry as if making is point clear.  "Cookie dough is not gross." 

"Eww.  Fish heads."  Henry rolled his eyes.

"Hey," I said.  "Some people think fish heads are good."

"Do you think fish heads are good?" George looked at me in horror and tried to sneak some dough. 

I swatted his hand.  "Well, no, but I'm sure we're probably related to someone who does.  We do have the Polynesian and Asian thing going.  So don't talk bad about eating fish heads, maybe you'd like them."

Henry drew back and wrinkled his nose.  "Eating fish heads is grosser than eating Poop!" 

To that comment, George erupted in laughter.

"Sick."  I scooped out two more spoonfuls of dough.  "Don't talk like that.  Besides you can't eat poop."

"Well you can't eat fish heads either."  George pointed at the dough.  "So can I have some cookie dough?"

"No."  That was to the cookie dough.  "But, that's not true.  You can eat fish heads.  You won't die if you do." 

"Well, I'll never eat a fish head."  Henry said.  "Cause I'm sure I would  too die."

George turned to him.  "Yeah, we'd rather eat Poop than a fish head."

"You Can't Eat Poop."  Ugh.  I was seriously exasperated with the conversation already.

"Well you can't eat fish heads." Henry said, hands on hips.  Dang that kid is so sassy.

"Yes you can!" 

Let me end this conversation now.  The poop versus fish heads went on for at least another ten minutes as I tried to explain the diseases you could get from eating poop and why poop is not meant for eating anyway because it's waste from our body.  Needless to say, the boys talked so long about poop and fish heads that they never got their nasty raw-egg cookie dough because by the time they were done arguing with me, the cookies were done. 

There you have it, Cookie dough, fish heads and poop = GROSS!

Monday, January 11, 2010

so, remember how I said I wouldn't shoot any more family shots?

I totally lied.  Well, not on purpose, but when Jamie called and asked me to take blessing pictures of beautiful Shaylee,
well come on now, I couldn't resist her china doll face.  Isn't she a doll?
Baby girls that look like little dolls steal my heart.

I love this next shot so much for her big blue eyes and the little line of drool. 

ah.  sleep.

(there's nothing as beautiful as a sleeping baby.  When my boys and Ruby were younger I would watch them sleep and kiss on their little ears and feel so happy that I had them in my life.)

Photography Note:  I took all these shots in my home using window light.  If you are ever in a bind and need studio lighting quick, just open the the curtians or blinds of the largest window when the sun is pouring in.  If the sun is too harsh and casting too many shadows, just put up a thin white curtian to filter the light.  And voila!