Tuesday, April 17, 2012

loaded potato soup

I've never really liked creamy soups.. ever. Wouldn't even taste the stuff after I tried cream of mushroom once, and haven't touched it until I came across this potato soup. Wouldn't ya know, I just had to try it, since I love me a good loaded baked potato. And let me tell ya, I just might be converted (but only for potato soup. No other cream soup will do!). Of course I found this one on Pinterest, the procrastinator's time wasting dream. It's actually the recipe that comes straight from Disneyland's Carnation Cafe, so I was sold! I adapted the amount since there's only two little birdies eating here, and the original recipe made a huge army-sized pot. Either way, it's amazing, and I've made it twice since coming across it. It's just that good! I hope it looks and sounds as good to you as it did to me.

Loaded Potato Soup

1/2 cup (about 6 slices) bacon, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced ( I didn't use the whole carrot )
2 celery stalks, diced
2 large russet potatoes ( I don't typically like red )
1/8 cup flour 
1 can chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Garnishes: Extra bacon, chopped green onion, shredded cheeses, etc

In a small stockpot ( I use just a regular larger pot ) over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. In the bacon fat over medium heat, cook the onions, carrots and celery until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour and stir constantly over low heat until the flour is cooked and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5-7 minutes ( I add small increments of chicken broth so that the flour doesn't burn ). Add the chicken stock and mostly all of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the cream and simmer for about 5 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water until you reach the desired, creamy consistency. Season to taste, and garnish with toppings. Serves 3. (Simply double the recipe for a family-sized serving, and use a larger pot!)

Monday, April 9, 2012


Spring has sprung (even though today brought a tiny bit of snow!), and I'm so excited because that means for me, it's photography season. School is done for me in a week, and I can't wait for the warmer weather and beautiful backdrops that summer brings! For now, I snapped some pictures of the kiddies at Easter this weekend. At the end is a little dippy that shows the difference between the pictures I take SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera), and the finished product. Get ready because my blog is back!

Roxy, my curious little friend!

Little miss personality in her pretty Easter dress!

And little miss attitude playing outside!

Hey, cool dude!

Love her cheesy little smile :)


The SOOC (left), and the finished edit (right).

Friday, March 2, 2012

new and improved; up and coming

First - to clarify, I have not neglected my site on purpose! I've only temporarily been on hiatus due to school. I'm in the process of finishing up my final year of my undergrad (yay!), and only have about a month left, so my focus has been on that. That, and the Game of Thrones books my boy bought me for Christmas, that have consumed any and all of my free time! I'm also finishing up the second half of the photography course I'm taking through the school, and have learned so much about Photoshop that I'm almost like an old pro. Which is what takes me to my second point.

I've been fiddling around with the idea of starting a photography business. After working with the amazingly talented Kim Chorney (check out her work here - http://www.butterfly-photography.ca/), and doing a couple of test and paid shoots, I'm heavily considering the idea. It may be just a seasonal plan, working through the spring and summer, and taking the fall and winter seasons to possibly do something else for school or find a solid job in my field. If it pans out later, maybe it will become full time! Who knows; I may decide to just leisurely do pictures for my family and for fun, and start a career with my degree. In either case though, I've been flexing my new Photoshop muscles, and created some new logos for a possible business. You'll recognize the pictures as some of my better past work. Let me know which ones you like!

Once my decision is made final, I'll be updating this site as well as posting more information about sessions elsewhere. Thanks for listening!


Monday, October 31, 2011

brownie cookie dough sandwich-cookies

Happy Hallowe'en!

On a totally different, non-Hallowe'en related topic, I made cookies today. And get this.. they weren't pumpkin, or in the shape of a pumpkin, or orange. They're actually full of chocolate chip cookie dough, that I probably could have dyed orange but was getting tired of the whole pumpkin-festival look. So anyway, they're just like any other normal day's cookies. But better. Where am I going with this?

Oh yeah. Here.

First you bake these wonderfully decadent chocolate brownie-like cookies:

Brownie Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt (if your butter is salted, skip this)
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Prehead oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter, and both sugars. Add the vanilla, and the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and beat well.
Using a spoon, scoop even amounts (about a teaspoon or two) of the dough onto a greased baking sheet. The dough is meant to be rolled into balls, but its usually too sticky to do - if you can do it, congrats! Bake for 8-10 minutes or until puffy and slightly cracked on top. Allow cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan before removing to cool completely. The cookies should flatten out quite a bit in the cooling process, so don't worry!

Now, make the Cookie Dough Filling:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered/icing sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for authentic cookie-dough flavour)
1 jar (13 oz) Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Gradually add icing sugar and flour. The mixture will be very thick and slightly crumbly. Add in the jar of marshmallow creme. Mix well until fluffy and smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Once the cookies are completely cooled, spread on 2-3 tablespoons of the filling onto the bottom of one cookie, and using the bottom of another cookie sandwich the filling inbetween.

And there you have it! Makes about 15 cookie sandwiches. Mmmmm.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

and they lived happily ever after..

So this past weekend was one full of milestones.. it was my 5th anniversary with my wonderful boyfriend on Friday, and my beautiful sister got married on Saturday. It was a gorgeous wedding, and I had a ton of fun being one of her bridesmaids! I got to take a few pics at Colours of most of us girls getting our hair and makeup done, and a few at the reception when I had time. I wish I could have taken more!! But luckily my sister had the wonderful Kim Chorney taking pictures throughout the day.. she couldn't have chosen anyone better to photograph her wedding! It's hard to remember to stop and capture the moments when you're busy being a part of their special day. But here's what I did have time to capture.. Congratulations again Alicia & Ryan.. love you both!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So this here's my "little" cousin Kylie. She just had her sweet 16th birthday in September, and let me tell you this; she is such a little beauty. She was a breeze to shoot and has such a natural smile.. and I can't get enough of how her eyes would change colour from an aqua blue to a sea green from picture to picture! I truly enjoyed this fall session, and was happy that we could find some beautiful places to shoot. Thanks Kylie (and Brody for cooperating too!), I will take your pictures anyday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

caramel apples

So for my sister's upcoming wedding, I decided to do a trial run of some caramel apples that are going to be made. Needless to say, I was totally scared to even attempt this caramel and was seriously considering bailing the attempt midway. But don't be like me! Don't be scared, don't get impatient (like I did), and have fun with it. It's not as hard as it looks!

Yes, I didn't have sticks..
 and I was impatient with my caramel!

Caramel Apples
(adapted from pressed4time's recipe)

12 whole Apples
¼ cups Butter
1 cup White Syrup
14 ounces Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
2 cups White Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Wash and dry apples, insert sticks, and butter a cookie sheet before starting to cook. Also, on plates, spread out any toppings you might want to roll your caramel apples in (chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc).

Heat all ingredients except vanilla in a large heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly to avoid burning the caramel! When caramel reaches the "soft ball stage" (235°F–240°F using a candy thermometer) remove from heat and add vanilla. You can also test the "soft ball stage" by spooning a small amount of the caramel into cold water. It should form a soft  ball that you can squish with your fingers. Now let the caramel cool a few minutes.
Using the stick inserted in the apples, dunk the apples in the hot caramel and twirl slowly away from the heat for a couple of minutes. It’s nice to have a helper or two at this point.
Roll the caramel apples in your toppings, and place on a buttered cookie sheet.

**Extra caramel from the bottom of the pan:
1. Can be scraped out with a spatula into a buttered plate or dish to be cut into individual pieces when cool.

2. Can be thinned in the pan with half-and-half and eaten warm, as a dip for apple wedges.