Monday, May 12, 2014

Design Portfolio

I recently spent some time putting together this portfolio for a job I applied for. I liked the images so much that I wanted to upload some here to share with friends and family. The idea behind the photoshoot was to create some display areas and set them up magazine style. Share if you like what you see!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

·      1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees)
·      2 tbs warm milk
·      2 tbs melted butter
·      2 tbs white sugar
·      2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
·      ½ cup light brown sugar
·      4 cups flour (plus more)
·      8 cups (2 quarts) water
·      ½ cup of baking soda
·      1 large egg
·      Sea salt, kosher salt or pretzel salt

1.     In a glass measuring cup heat water to 110 degrees. Heating water on the stove in a teakettle or using really warm tap water is best; using the microwave to heat the water isn’t ideal. Use a thermometer to insure the water is 110 degrees. Yeast needs water that is between 105 and 115 degrees to thrive.
2.     Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Walk away from the mixture for at least 10 minutes. You want to yeast to bloom and foam, and it should smell ‘yeasty’
3.     Add the warm milk, melted butter and white sugar to the yeast mixture and lightly combine with a spoon.
4.     Attach the dough hook attachment to your mixer and add the brown sugar and turn the mixer on low.
5.     Gradually, 1 cup at a time, add the flour into the mixer. The goal is for the dough to pull together and climb up the dough hook. Depending on circumstances you may want to add more flour. Stop the mixer occasionally and feel the dough- it should not be overly sticky to the touch.
6.     Remove dough from the mixer onto lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for 2 minutes. Time yourself because this is an important step, you’re developing the gluten in the dough. If your arms hurt you're doing it right. Use more flour on your work surface to prevent sticking.
7.     Shape the dough into your desired shape: stick, knot or bun. See below for information on how to easily make each shape. Remember these will rise for a time and then also puff up when parboiling, so do not make the shapes very large.
8.     Place onto a lightly floured cookie sheet or cutting board and place in a warm location, generally near the oven with the oven on warm. Warm is the key word here, you do not want any direct heat. You can use an upside down pot to place your cookie sheet/cutting board on so it is not sitting directly on the stovetop. Cover with clean kitchen towels and let rise for 1 hour.
9.     After an hour, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. While waiting, prepare your baking dish by either using parchment paper or by spraying the sheet with nonstick spray. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Also sit out your pastry brush, a small bowl of salt and a slotted spoon.
10. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
11. When water boils remove from heat and place in the baking soda. Move back to the heat. You want a continual boil, so keep an eye on the water and adjust your heat accordingly. If the water foams violently over the top, remove the pot from the stovetop for a moment and turn down the heat.
12. Working in small groups place the dough into the boiling water. Flip each item after 10 seconds and remove after 10 more seconds. Do not boil for longer than 30 seconds.
13. Lift from the water and drain all additional water you can by angling the spoon on the side of the pot. Place on prepared sheet.
14. Work in small groups until you have a sheet full of parboiled pretzels, then brush each one lightly with egg and sprinkle with salt.
15. Bake at 425 for 10 (more or less) minutes depending on which shape you have made, as the smaller pretzel shapes take less time to bake. (Buns, 23 minutes; Knots, 12 minutes, Sticks, 11 minutes)
16. Remove from oven when the pretzels have turned a beautiful, rich, deep brown with some areas of golden brown. Your nose will help you decide when they’re done!
17. Let cool and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

Making pretzel shapes:

Roll the dough into a long snake using your hands, about 5-6 inches long. If the dough it sticky use extra flour on your hands, as these are easier to knot if they are not sticky. Make a knot in the snake and place onto a floured surface to rise.

Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into sticks. These are actually more difficult to cook than the knots because they have a tendency to break apart when boiling.

Using an amount of dough that nicely fills the palm of your hand, pull the dough into a ball. Stretching the dough in your hand so the top is neat and smooth and the ‘ugly’ parts are hidden at the bottom. This isn’t hard to do but is hard to describe. To make the split top style, slice 1/4 of an inch into the bun after you've boiled it. It will open while cooking.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Count you blessings.


Wow, it's surely been a while since I have posted anything.  I wanted to break back into writing regular posts because Melissa- my lovely sister in law- mentioned that she misses my blog.  Can you believe it?  That's awesome.  I also want to make sure I am keeping all of my media platforms up to date since I am now applying for different post-graduation jobs and careers.

(Careers.  So exciting.  So nerve wracking.)

I wanted to share a few pictures that I've snapped recently that I just love.  Some with my camera but most with my phone!  I love having it right in my back pocket. 

 My cousin Kristi married her dream man a few weekends ago, and I was honored to snap some pictures of the happy couple.  This is one of my favorites- and I am so glad that the bride let me convince her to walk up towards the Adena Mansion to snap a few quick pictures.  Also thanks to my photographers assistants- AKA my Mom and Sister.  They kept right up with me and helped me move the bench and fluff the brides dress.  Rockstars.

 Kristi has a dessert bar at her reception!                    We made smores with T and Mel recently-
                                                                                                    such a great night!

 I love this one except we're missing our other brother!  I recently spent some time with Lindsey in the field behind our Grandparents house and we experienced "the violet hour' together- and now she and several other members of my family are in love with that fantastic hour where dusk meets dark.  It's GREAT for pictures.  Soft natural lighting always is.
 My friend and mentor Martin left Ohio State recently to move on to the next chapter in his life.  I was happy to spend some time with him on a Saturday morning.  We visited the Clintonville farmers market and I picked up some creamed honey.  It is SO good in oatmeal!  I've made it my breakfast for 2 weeks running now. 

 Being on campus with such a small percentage of the OSU population is eerie at times, but I also enjoy exploring and capturing images without a hundred million students always in the background.  Campus is beautiful that's all there is to it.

As far as other things so- both my class and my internship are ramping up to make me exceptionally busy and I am excited and nervous for what is to come within the next 30 days of my life.  I'm following my Mom's advice and just handing one thing at a time.  I can do it.  I have such a great support system.  I'd count my blessings but that would take away from the time I have to enjoy them.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break Images

Oftentimes I take photos that I don't feel would make for good Facebook uploads, but I still want to post them online for friends and family to see.  I'm trying to get better at food stills/still lifes and nature photography.  I'm pretty impressed with what I can do with just a kit lens. 

Feel free to share, save, print.  Just let me know which pictures you like the best.

Be well,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Add a little life to your life.

So, this is a quick story about some beautiful flowers.
I love having flowers in my room, and ever since getting back to Columbus I've meant to get down to North Market to buy some.  Well, I was down that way and just happened to stop in at Kroger.  They had a bunch of flowers on "Managers Special" and I got one huge bundle for $4 and then little potted bulbs for $2 each!  So many great flowers for $12.

I gave some of the potted plants away: Becky, Katie, Taylor and kept the yellow put for myself.  They're very photogenic flowers, and I love having them around.

Someone yesterday on a blog I was reading said they were "worth the weekly investment" and I don't know about all that, but I was happy to shell out $12 for so much happiness.  I even have a few stems in a small glass vase in my bathroom- brushing my teeth is so much better now!  Haha.

Here's a detailed look:

My favorite flower is a peony with a close second hydrangeas.  I like the soft beauty of those flowers, but they don't do the best for indoor cut flower arrangements.  I also love carnations simply because they last for weeks!  They'll be the last to wilt out of my bouquet.  What is your favorite flower?