2017 was another great year! We had the incredible honor of photographing 15 amazing weddings, 82 photo sessions (including lots of dogs of course), engagement sessions, families, babies & high school seniors. We traveled to 2 countries, and 11 different cities, documenting the incredible force that is love. Thank you so much to all of our clients, it has been an honor to be invited in to your intimate moments, you have inspired us beyond words!

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This time crème Brulee. Have you ever made crème Brulee? It’s so fun, only because you get to use a torch…that’s always fun for me because another one of my favorite things is encaustic art, which uses an encaustic medium which is made from molten bees wax, pigments and damar resin to create beautiful pieces of art that are transformed further with hot and cold and yes, a torch. You can see some of my work here if you’re interested. Anyway, back to crème brulee!

The recipe:
1 quart of heavy cream
1 T. vanilla
1 cup of sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Place the cream and vanilla in a medium saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, set aside for at least 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, wisk 1/2 cup of sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and starts to lighten a little. Transfer the crème mixture to a blender or pouring pitcher, this will help reduce spills during the next step. Add the crème to the yolk mixture, a little at a time, stirring continuously. Pour the liquid into six ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan, just enough to come up about 1/2 way up the sides of ramekins, this will help to keep baking even. Bake 45-50 minutes.

Remove the ramekins and place into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Divide the remaining sugar equally over the top of each ramekin (about two full tablespoons each) Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy beautiful amber top. Place them back into the refrigerator. They taste better to me if they have been refrigerated over night, but really you could serve them anytime if you want. be careful though, the edges of the ramekin get very hot from the torch, so at least cool them down first. I hope you like this recipe!

Enjoy!

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It’s been a while since I posted, I know my poor blog gets neglected. But I am really good at posting on Facebook and Instagram, so if you want to see what I’m up to, those are two great places to have a look-see!

First of all, the weather yesterday was AMAZING!!! After weeks of sub zero temps, 42 degrees felt like Spring, so we got pretty lucky because in a couple of days the temps here are expected to drop again. For today, it feels so great to be able to go outside without feeling like your face is freezing off! So anyway back to Catherine & Andrew: When I first met Catherine and her mom we talked about what was most important to them. Besides the obvious photography stuff, one of the things Catherine’s mom asked me about was what I would be wearing to the wedding. (It’s a traditional church wedding) I said something like what I was wearing today (which was a pretty business blouse from Ann Taylor with black dress pants, dress shoes, and some fancy jewelry, about a step below ballroom gown on the fancy scale. I was happy to hear this because it may be a small thing to some people, but to me it’s important. I would never dream of showing up to a wedding wearing jeans or a crazy wild obnoxious outfit. It’s just not my style. Plus, if I get in my second shooter’s shots, I don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb in the photos, I want to blend in. Anyway I knew we were a good fit right off the bat, and it was just solidified even more so after last night. These two are so sweet and so fun, I am really looking forward to their wedding in August! Thank you Catherine & Andrew! Here’s just a few of my favorites:

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When I was in Austin a couple of weeks ago my daughter in law asked me if I was going to make cranberry bliss bars for Christmas, I had not thought about them in a while.  She said that mine were even better than the ones you buy at Starbucks.  I thought that sounded like a great idea so today I made a batch and they turned out so good, my husband actually said “This is the best thing I have ever tasted….holy crap…seriously, these are so effing good!” I think the molasses, macadamia nuts and the orange zest really make this recipe.

So I took some pictures with my “good” camera of the bars I made today and am sharing the recipe with you, let me know if you have any questions, Enjoy!

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The recipe starts out with a modified chocolate cookie recipe, combine in a bowl:

2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup of pure cane sugar
1/2 cup of brown pure cane sugar
1/4 cup of unsulfured black strap molasses
1 tsp. vanilla

add one egg, mix with spoon

then add dry ingredients:
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

then add one bag of white chocolate chips, four ounces of macadamia nuts and a 1/3 of a regular sized bag of Craisons (I use the no added sugar ones) Save the rest for the topping.

Line a large pizza pan with parchment paper, spread dough evenly across the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until center shows signs of being baked fully and edges start to brown slightly. Edges will be crunchy and middle will be slightly softer. I’m sorry, I don’t use a timer for this recipe, I just keep a close eye on it. Probably about 15 minutes if I had to guess.

While the giant cookie is cooling, make the frosting.

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe:

3 8oz. packages of cream cheese
about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
about a cup of whipping cream

Whip until smooth

Scoop out about a cup of the frosting, put in a smaller mixing bowl. Add about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to the smaller bowl of frosting and also 1/2 cup of water. (This will be used as the drizzle at the end.)

Back to the big bowl of frosting-add the zest of one orange, whip with a spoon to mix well. Spread over the giant cookie (make sure it has cooled completely first)

Sprinkle the rest of the Craisons all over the top, then drizzle the runny icing back and forth really fast one direction, then the other. I use an icing bag with a writing tip, but you could use a ziplock bag with a small hole instead.

These bars freeze well, just don’t stack them or they get messy.

Enjoy!!

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Francesca’s-one of my favorite clothing stores (I don’t actually buy a lot of clothes there, but when I do find something there it usually ends up being one of my favorite tops or jewelry pieces. So I got this email this morning that had an Austin city guide….it was cute, a good starting point and had a few places that I would also recommend like Torchy’s and pretty much anything on Congress Ave., but there were also a few huge things missing. Zilker Park with the view of the city is a must stop. The walk around the lake (actually a river) is so awesome, especially in the springtime when the all of the flowering trees are blooming, the smell is glorious! For food, the biggest one they missed that is an absolute must-Franklin’s barbecue of course! Their brisket is in a class of it’s own. If you don’t already know about Franklins (most do as it’s literally world famous) be prepared to stand in line for two hours and keep your fingers crossed that you get to be one of the few lucky ones who gets some! Lastly, two scenic spots that are a must if you have the time: Milton Reimers Ranch Park and the view from the Oasis at Lake Travis. I’ll be in Austin in a few weeks for some family photo sessions, and of course a quick visit with my son and his family. Feel free to connect with me if you are in the Austin area! Here’s that cute city guide that I mentioned: Francesca’s Austin City Guide
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