Dinner, dessert and a camera

So I have received a "new" camera, a digital SLR which I am very much enjoying taking pictures with. Not the camera I really want, but one that will do me well for awhile.

It has one small problem right now - the lens that I have is a 40-150mm zoom lens, which means I can take great distance pictures, but have a bit of an issue taking up close pictures. Every "close up" picture I have taken so far has been done from a distance!

Here are two pictures I have taken this week, both items I made, and the fun story of how I managed to get the shots.

First, broccoli soup, dinner.

I really wanted to make a broccoli soup for dinner for some reason. Not sure why, especially since my 3 boys are not huge fans of most soups, even less so when it is dinner. I, on the other hand, like the warmth of a good soup for dinner, with nice bread. Most of the time I respect their preferences and don't make soup, or if I make it, make it for lunch, but occasionally I do my own thing and they live with soup for dinner.

I did some web surfing for a good recipe and did not find any one recipe that grabbed me. But it did confirm that I already knew what was supposed to be in my soup, so I just made it up as I went along. And actually wrote down what I did (I'm trying to make this a new cooking habit.)

I accidentally over salted my soup, but even that was not noticeable once I added some shredded cheddar cheese to the soup. And like most soups, it tasted better the next day - I just finished the last bowl for my own lunch today.

So taking this picture wasn't too horrible - I placed it on my dining room table with as much light as I could get (it is now getting dark very early here.) Then I stood as far back as I could in my dining room and tried to get a good picture. It's not a huge room, so I was limited for space. With nothing but a zoom lens, I can't be too close or the camera will not take the picture.

I think this one worked out fairly well.

My next recipe came from Cream Puff and is the Caramel Cheesecake with sea salt she posted about recently, another thing made that I drooled over. I don't have the proper sized ramekins for the recipe, and I admit, despite several Daring Baker's challenges involving caramel, that I am still nervous a bit about working with it.

And yes, I burnt the first batch of caramel. Should have taken a picture of the way the caramel ended up when I poured it down the sink. That would have been a cool picture!

The second batch of caramel I did not let get as dark, I probably should have let get a bit more amber, but it still tasted wonderful. And the cheesecake was just what I needed.

I admit, I did forget to give the extra sprinkling of sea salt on the top, but the salt in the caramel was a nice touch. It was good. Alright, I inhaled it.

So this picture had my oldest son laughing, trying to get into the shot. I had set a place mat on the floor at the bottom of my stairs. I had the front entrance light on, as well as the dining room light on, and placed the cheesecake on the mat. Then I climbed up the stairs and zoomed in. He kept trying to put his hands in the picture and would laugh whenever he heard me click. Eventually I showed him how close I was zooming in and how his hands were no where to be seen.

I added a few pictures to my Flickr account recently, as well as adding the link to the side of my blog, so feel free to take a look at the pictures there and let me know what you think. Alot of the pictures on there are from my little Nikon but if you click on a picture it will tell you which camera it was taken with.

Hopefully I will get another lens soon, and not have to be 6 feet back from something when taking a picture. Unless I want to be.

Broccoli Soup

2-3 heads of broccoli, stalks peeled and chopped, florettes reserved separately
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 carton low salt chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup Half and Half cream
2 teaspoons of salt, divided
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup grated cheddar

Heat large pot over medium high heat. Melt butter with the olive oil, and saute the onions and broccoli stalks until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add stock, reserved broccoli florettes and nutmeg, as well as half of the salt, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender, but not over cooked. Reduce temperature. Using a slotted spoon, remove half of the broccoli florettes to a bowl. Puree the soup in the pot using a hand immersion blender until mostly smooth. Add the cream, the balance of the salt and the pepper and stir together. Return the broccoli to the pot. Taste, adjust seasonings and check the temperature. When it is all where you want it to be, ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with cheese and enjoy.


Judy said...

When I make broccoli soup, I just wing it, and it usually turns out really well. Sometimes I add a tsp or so of lemon juice, which kind of freshens it up, and I have been known to add tamari too. Anything goes when it comes to my soups!

Peabody said...

What kind of camera did you get? I only have the standard lens that came with my camera but I still have a macro setting on mine. Check to see if you camera has that.

Jenny said...

I got an Olympus E-500, a nice camera, and it does have a macro setting, which I've used, but still won't take pictures too closely with the zoom lens.

Brilynn said...

Enjoy the new camera! Mine's still just frustrating me, but I'll get it figured out eventually. I love broccoli soup and I wanted that cheesecake the minute I saw it at Cream Puff's.

Cakespy said...

Yum, yum, yum. Nothing nicer than a new camera and some wonderful soup! I agree that a lot of soups taste better the next day :-)

Helene said...

Even if the camera is frustrating you, the pictures hare making my stomach growl....so mission achieved! looks good....Hope you feel better...I have been sending good thoughts your way. Make that Germa chocolate cake, it is sure to heal the soul!

Anonymous said...

Good pictures always tell a story. So try thinking of a story then go out and create the images that illustrate it. That could be the story of your street, a narrative describing a community or even the progression of a cub baseball team. Find where your story begins then use your camera to follow it through to the end.