Sunday I had a fun photo shoot in the little town of Galt, CA, in a great bar called Brewsters Bar and Grill. I took my youngest son with me because he has a little interest in modeling and a great interest in hanging around pretty girls. So, we got up early and drove down to Galt, spent the day photographing/modeling and drove back that afternoon.
It was a wonderful location for a photo shoot, with high ceilings, brick walls, a great old bar and wonderful 1800’s furniture. There were also a great bunch of models and some of the best photographers in Sacramento. As you can see, it was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. I get together with this group about once a quarter in a fabulous location to practice lighting, posing and photography techniques, share equipment and take pictures of beautiful people and generally have a glorious time.
I love to photograph food because you can arrange it anyway you want, place it in any kind of environment and it doesn’t complain and, it never moves (if it does, you’ve got a problem.) But! I love, love, love to photograph people. They never stay arranged the way you want. They can’t be put in any type of environment without complaining. They move. They look away. They smile phoney smiles. They say they hate to have their picture taken. They say, “Oh, can you take care of (fill in the blank…rips in clothing, stains, pimples, hairy armpits, bad makeup…) in photoshop?” and they tell you that the photo makes them look fat or sad or ugly. But I still love people. And that’s why I go to these events and hang out my portrait/wedding photographer shingle as Sierra Springs Photography.
I especially love to photograph my family because they are my heart (even when they are goofballs).
(I caught my daughter and her boyfriend taking pictures of themselves with my ipad app that simulates a funhouse mirror. They then proceeded to change my screen lock page and my background with these scary faces that they made.)
It was a pretty warm day in Galt (98 degrees). And the air conditioning in the old building was not very good. So my son and I were hot, tired and hungry when we got home that evening. What a surprise to see this waiting for me:
Yes!Chef! had outdone himself yet again. And not only did he make this very tasty Strawberry Margarita, but he grilled up some home ground hamburger on the grill and baked some potatoes and stuffed them with pure yumminess for us, too.
The best way to get a good strawberry margarita is to start with ripe, fresh berries. Then you don’t have to add much sugar. If the berries aren’t ripe and sweet, then you have to balance them out with sugar. That is a trick and one that Yes!Chef! mastered. The drink was sweet, flavorful and refreshing because of the crushed ice. But, it doesn’t have a lot of alcohol in it, so it was not overpowering.
Here’s the recipe from Cooking Light Mag (one of my favorites):
Cooking Light APRIL 1998
- Yield:4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
- 3 1/2 cups strawberries
- 2 1/2 cups crushed ice
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur)
- Lime wedges (optional)
Combine strawberries, ice, tequila, lime juice, sugar, and liqueur in a blender, and process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the margaritas into 4 large glasses. Garnish margaritas with a lime wedge, if desired. Serve immediately.
The bonus recipe is for baked stuffed potatoes, which is another recipe you don’t see very often anymore. On our way home from the photo shoot, Yes!Chef! asked us to pick up a couple of potatoes for dinner. I think his original idea was to make some home fries, but he changed his mind when he saw that I had gotten some big, beautiful Idahos. He found a recipe for the potatoes, baked ’em, stuffed’ em and made a cute little crispy top from the top part of the potato.
Here’s the recipe for the potatoes:
Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
- 4 servings
- 4 large russet potatoes, each about 3/4 pound each, scrubbed and dried
- 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- Freshly grated nutmeg, optional
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes directly on the rack in the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Pierce each potato in a couple spots with a fork and continue to bake until tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove potatoes from the oven, and turn the heat down to 375 degrees F.
Hold the potato with an ovenmitt or towel, trim off the top of the potatoes to make a canoe-like shape. Reserve the tops. Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. Mash the potato lightly with fork along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter and sour cream. Stir in the scallion, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Season the skins with salt and pepper. Refill the shells with the potato mixture mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the potato filling. Brush the reserved top with the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.
Set the potatoes and lids on a baking sheet, and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved
These potatoes are very rich (I could only eat about 1/3 of it) but very satisfying…comfort food. The crunchy top could be used as a dipper for the good stuff in the potato.
Try these recipes. I think you will like them.
(Yes!Chef! is making pizza tonight, so I should be able to blog on it later this week.)