CRAZY for Cupcakes!

Raspberry Chocolate Ganache

Now I know that cupcakes of late, have been all the rage.  You’ve got the fancy ones made by the premier bakeries and you’ve got the cupcake in a box versions that you can pick up at your local grocery store.  All are definitely good.  I guess I didn’t realize the vast creative, and not to mention delicious varieties that come in between the premier bakery and convenience boxed versions!  My eyes were opened as my family and I were invited to a party a few months back that had served some of the most delectable cupcake treats. Cupcakes of various sizes… The traditional full-size cupcakes to petite mini cupcakes. Not to mention little mini cupcake “pops” – or cupcakes on a stick, similar to a lollipop.  Frankly, I think the minis are more dangerous. How long did I stand over the tables popping different varieties of mini cupcakes? Raspberry lime, wacky chocolate cupcakes, chocolate ganache with raspberry… Oh and the “adult” variations… Those flavored with Baileys Irish Creme liquor or raspberry liquor, or even a cosmopolitan!
Beautifully decorated, moist and fresh, positively yummy!  Seeing as the host of the party is also the baker, we ordered 2 dozen of the mini cupcakes for a party.  They were snatched up before I could blink an eye. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. But you know what I mean. They were gone in no time. All I was left with were empty serving platters and a few crumbs.  We may not wait until the next time we have guests to place an order!
As for my photo project,  what did I learn on taking pictures of the cupcakes we ordered?  Model selection… I need to be more observant. I love that I was able to find a cupcake that showed the “swirl” of frosting. As for the raspberry ganache, I would have liked to find a way to make the chocolate more shiny looking, and I would have been more selective on my raspberries. What was it that I read somewhere, to make the food glisten? Spray a fine mist, brush with egg wash?  Maybe I’ll try next time, although, I won’t be eating them up after the pictures are taken!  🙂

Here's were I didn't notice the imperfect raspberry...

 

Loved the caramel creme "swirl" on the Wacky Chocolate Cupcake

 

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Peppers and Rice

Peppers and Rice… why you ask? Just because, I guess. Well really, it’s mostly because I started hunting around in the refrigerator for what to make for dinner. I had forgotten that I purchased a bunch of Poblano peppers last week to make a rendition of a Chile Relleno casserole. The last time I made it, I had thought to doctor it up with some chicken and chipotle peppers that were marinated in an adobe sauce. Overall, the flavor of the dish was good, only, I couldn’t eat too much of it. The chipotle peppers I added were FIRE-hot! I didn’t think much of it when I was adding it. Typically, peppers are labeled as mild, medium or hot. In this case, there was no mention of the heat factor on the label and I wrongly assumed they were mild. My bad. Anyway, I decided to make a milder rendition of my chile relleno casserole as a side dish to chicken and rice. There! Peppers and Rice!

The photos were taken in natural light. I used one of my favorite lenses, a 1.4/ 50mm, and my macro lens. Truthfully, I’m more at home with the 50mm. I just love how clear most of my pictures come out. Additionally, it’s FANTASTIC in low light settings! I have to admit, I was also pretty impressed with the closeness of the macro lens since I haven’t done much shooting with it yet. On the macro setting, I was able to focus in on a small area and the rest of it blurred out. Pretty cool!

OH my Lumpia!

Two full days. That’s how long it takes me and my 9 and 3 year old daughters to make approximately 400 Filipino egg rolls, otherwise known as lumpia. In this instance, we were making my family’s version of lumpia shanghai. In comparison to the typical Chinese egg roll, lumpia shanghai is smaller, thinner and the filling is comprised mostly of meat with little vegetable ingredients. They resemble little cigars. Light golden brown, meaty filling, packed with flavor. By far, these little egg rolls are my husband’s all-time favorite of Filipino food. They are addictive, as one of our friends described them.  Small enough to pop in your mouth and keep coming back for more without feeling guilty.  That is until you realize you’ve eaten a dozen or so!  I serve them with a sweet chili sauce. Of the 400, approximately 75%, has been consumed within the 1st few days.  Thankfully, I packed away some in the freezer so we could have some another time!  

This photo shoot was an after thought.  We had been so busy rolling the egg rolls and cooking them in the fryer that I almost forgot to take some photos!  As for the picture I chose above,  I like the focal point and the lighting isn’t too bad on the eggrolls themselves. I like that I was able to capture the golden color of the eggrolls… some of my other photos turned out too dark, or too yellow.  The lumpia comes across looking crisp and fresh.  After looking through the shots, my sister suggested that I stage it with a bowl or a drizzle of sweet chili sauce.  Yes, adding the bright orange to red sauce probably would have made for a nice accent.  A good suggestion for the future.  Needless to say, I needed to take the pics quick, as my models kept dwindling in number every time I walked away!