Thursday, October 14, 2010

linking up....

I was approached by one of our local salons here, Modesty Hair Studio to do a shoot.  I was so honored to be asked and I had a blast!  We were running late and instead of low light we ended up with NO light, but that is ok!!  We ended up with some great shots, until the coyotes were getting a bit too close for my comfort!

Nikon D40, f 5.6; 1/100 sec; ISO 400, 18-105mm lens at 35mm, off camera flash

Of course I did add the moon from a shot I took over the summer!  The photo itself was just a small adjustment on the curves and some airbrushing to the skin.

Check out Love your shot! and link up your fave foto! ;)  And see more from this shoot at

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Sunday!

Life has been sooooo busy!   Between my youngest having a bit of dental surgery,  my husband gone alot helping his parents move, photo sessions here and there and just keeping up with the boys and making sure they are fed and played with and loved...  there's been very little time for me (or hubby!)

Ive been starting to get templates ready for Christmas photo cards and working on some custom wedding invitations, which I cannot wait to share!  I actually did up just a few Halloween photo cards as well!  $10 for the jpg with your photo and words and you print as many as you like!

I did FINALLY launch my butterfly fantasy sessions!  Ive been thinking/brainstorming/planning etc... for a grande total of over a year but just finally got it all put together and out there!  The response has been amazing really and Ive already sent out my first batch of proofs and order forms & I'm working on the second set this weekend!

If you have any moments from your busy day I would recommend that you head over to 6 and still Sane for a giveaway she is running with one of my favourite prizes - some wonderfully soft and fluffy pads from Randumosity!  Do go check it out... and happy Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Put your best face forward!

Or in this case...  Your online shop!
As you know one of the things I enjoy doing is designing logo's and banner & avatar sets for online shops.  I just wanted to have some info about what makes a good logo or shop banner.    When people go to your shop on Etsy or one of the other online selling sites, your shop banner is one of the first things people are going to see!  Even if you don't have a logo for your business you need to have a good shop banner and avatars.  They are some of the key factors that help to convey a professional image.

First thing to understand is the logo.  What is a logo?  A logo is not just your shop name written across a photo of one of the items you sell.   A logo is a graphic that will help your business to be instantly recognizable to customers and clients.  It will set you apart from others in your field.   You want your logo to be original, simple and clean if its going to withstand the test of time.  

If your in the market for a new logo, keep in mind that a good logo designer is going to work with you to make a design the suits you and your business, even if you don't know what that is!  Your logo should NOT be pixelated and the designer should be able to move, alter, change, add without any issue.

As far as banners go, you can repeat some of the points of a good logo right into your banner set!  You want your banner to represent your store, carry your logo well, if you have one, and be crisp clear and uncluttered!  Your banner should be more then one or two graphics copied, and flipped over, so there's one on each side.

If your wondering if your banner may need updating, here are some things to ask yourself.   Is my shop name clear and easy to read?  Is the banner clear and clean looking, or does it feel cluttered and all over the place?  Is there a lot of pattern behind your name and tag line, making it hard to read?  Does it represent my shop? me?  If using photos, are they clear and easy to see?  Are the photos distorted, too fat or tall (this one in particular makes your banner look really bad)?

And with either a logo or a banner make sure the designer is using graphics & photos that are free for commercial use, or that the designer does in fact have the copyrights to use them.   Just because a photo or graphic shows up on a web search without a watermark does not mean it free to use!  The last thing you want, is to have to replace all your business cards, banners, avatars and other stationary because of copyright issues!

There are plenty of designers out there in lots of price ranges and it can be overwhelming.  Make sure when your looking for a designer you check out all the sales they've had,  look at the feed back they have, good and bad.  Actually go and read them.  You could even go and message some of their customers to get more details and feed back!  Look at the things they are selling and the things they are buying too!  Take your time and don't rush into something because of a good sale!  Shop around and find the right designer for you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Awe, look!  Lynelle from Kreations for Kids has sent me a sunshine award!

So here are the rules for the Sunshine Award:

1. Place the logo within your blog or post
2. Pass the award on to 12 other bloggers
3. Link the nominees within the post
4. Let the nominees know they have won by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love by linking back to the person from whom you received the award

I dont have many blogs that i follow right now!  Jami from Randumosity has always been around to help me with my blonde questions!  Jen is a good friend who has a blog about her family and life!  I love soaps...   Sweet Sally Soaps has alot of types I would love to try and giveaways to enter!

I know its not 12, but those are my favourites!  i have alot of friends and support on Facebook, but the blog is a bit slow! ;)  Thanks Lynelle for thinking of me!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the Winner is... #94!!!

 Thank you everyone for taking the time to enter the 1000 fan celebration giveaway!  Congratulations to Shawna339 who was the lucky comment number 94!!  Stay tuned for more giveaways!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

1000 Fans Celebration Giveaway!

I MADE IT TO 1000 Facebook Fans!
As a thank you and to celebrate, I'm hosting an awesome giveaway!!

There will be one winner and entries will be accepted for seven days starting Thursday June 3rd and ending Thursday June 10th, 10:00 pm central time.  Here are the prizes that ONE VERY LUCKY winner will be receiving!  The giveaway is photographer themed BUT anyone would love to win it I'm sure!  So here are all the wonderful sponsors!      **open to Canada and US**

Be advised....  this giveaway is not sponsered in any way by Facebook.  Posting on your status or to groups is NOT a condition to enter the contest.   I, nor my business is not affiliated with Facebook.

1. Ashley from GRADYBUG DESIGNS has lots of gorgeous templates for photographers, and digital papers for the scrapbooker's out there too!  She is offering a  $20 shopping credit PLUS a free Evan (girl) Accordion Wallet Book Template  Great gifts for parents, grandparents, birthdays, and special occasions! **$28 value**

2. PRAIRIE LANE BOUTIQUE, is located in Neepawa Manitoba.   Dawn's web page has some adorable handcrafted items that are great as gifts for anyone on your list as well as wonderful home decor items!  She is offering up these lovely hand painted 'Mr. & Mrs' signs that would make a fun prop to add to any photographers collection!  Check them out here on her Etsy store!  **$25 value**

3.  Stephanie from LILYBUG TUTUS makes the loveliest poofy tutus!  She is kindly offering up one of her custom made creations to the lucky winner as well!  She has lot of colours to choose from with satin ribbon to line the waist if you like as well!  Newborn and up they make the perfect gift for a little dancer in your life, and an essential prop for photographers!  **$30 value**

4. Sew What? is a new shop just starting up on Facebook offing custom camera strap covers to make sure you stand out in style during your photoshoots!  They are giving away this lovely pink ribbon cancer awareness patterned strap cover! **$15 value**

5.  Janet is the crafty crocheter behind Sparkleberry Boutique!  Adorable flowered hats that are sure to add a stylish flare to any little girls wardrobe!  Don't worry!  She has little boy styles too!  They are all customizable!  The winner will enjoy a $25 gift certificate from her shop. **$25 value**

6.  And last but not least....  A custom logo design by yours truly, Cynthia Korman Photography & Design!  The winner will receive a consultation from me for a new logo to get their business going!  I also may be sending the winner a special gift as well!  **$125 value**

How to enter!

8 ways to enter!
Leave a separate comment for each of the following along with a way to contact you should you be the lucky winner!

1.  Go to Gradybugs fanpage on Facebook and if your not already a fan, fan her page and let her know what one of your favourite items of hers is on her wall!  Come back here and leave a comment saying you are a fan of GRADYBUG!

2.  Go to Prairie Lane Boutique's fanpage on Facebook and if your not already a fan, fan her page and let her know what one of your favourite items from her webpage is on her wall! Come back here and leave a comment saying you are a fan of Prairie Lane!

3.  Go to Lilybug's group on Facebook and if your not already a fan, fan her page and say hello on her wall! Come back here and leave a comment saying you are a fan of Lilybug!

4.  Go to Sew What?'s page on Facebook and if your not already a fan, fan her page and say hello on her wall! Come back here and leave a comment saying you are a fan of Sew What!

5.  Go to Sparkleberry's page on Facebook and if your not already a fan, fan her page and say hello on her wall! Come back here and leave a comment saying you are a fan of Sparkleberry!

6.  Go to Cynthia Korman Photography & Design's page on Facebook and if your not already a fan, fan mypage and say hello on my wall! Come back here and leave a comment saying you are a fan of CKPD!

7.  Post this message as your status update on Facebook!

Cynthia Korman is hosting an AMAZING giveaway on her blog!  Come check it out for over $200 in prizes!

Make sure your status is set so EVERYONE can see it and come back here and comment 'SHARED! with a link to the post!  If I cannot see the post, it wont count!

8.  No Facebook??  No problem!  Just comment on here on my blog  'I WANT THIS PRIZE!'


All comments must be left one at a time for a total of eight entries per person!  Open to residents of Canada and the USA only.  The winner has 24 hours to respond to the winning notification.  In the event that the winner cannot be reached within that time frame a new winner will be selected.  I (Cynthia Korman) am not responsible for any non deliveries of winning items.  Winner is responsible for any duty that may be charged on items crossing the border.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


A girlfriend and I have been eyeing up camera bags for weeks now and today I shut off my laptop and put down my crochet hooks and decided I was doing this!!!!  Yesterday I had gone out and gotten all the supplies I could think one would need to make a bag & it was sitting here mocking me.  So I did it!!!

Got out some Kraft paper and drew a rough pattern and cut it out!  Then I carefully planned all my moves from there.  I'm fairly pleased with myself though the should pad on the strap is AWFUL and I will be redoing it.  Other then that?  I'm quite happy!  I'm going to make myself a matching key fob and  a couple little pouch things to attach to the straps for lens caps and sunglasses and stuff but the big stuff is done!  :D

Cant wait to finish it up and more so... to test it out!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Bring on some sun!!  I promised my oldest when the sun comes out we will sort all his toys and have a garage sale.  If he sells enough toys, we will get him and his little brother new bikes.  :D  We're getting them anyway but he doesn't know that!   They do need some sun though.  The cold, wet is not nearly as fun for outdoor free time and they are dying to go to the park!  So am I! 

As most of you know, Ive decided to do an amazing giveaway for a 1000 fan celebration!  So excited!  I have so far 5 amazing prizes, and waiting on a few more to let me know if they are in, and still looking too! AND I'm planning ANOTHER giveaway already!  Just in my head but its there, and you wont want to miss out, I promise!  

I'm still  playing with the new graphics that I used on the winners of my quickie draw do develop some more PREMADE banner & avatar sets.  Stick around, if you don't see something you like yet, don't be afraid to let me know what you would like to see!  I can't promise I will always do them, but perhaps it will trigger a great one! You just never know.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quicky Giveaway Winners

So I only had two entries for the banner & avatar giveaway!  I was going to choose 3 out of all the entries but with only 2 entries it was pretty easy to pick! ;)

Crystal from CT Designs, and Sarah from Tiny Teddies Boutique have got themselves a custom banner & avatar set using graphics that are designed for them, but will be featured in my other pre mades and available to use on future orders as well!

Here is Miss Sarah's banner set!  The teddy bears are drawn from her lovely crochet bears that she has for sale on her page! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Banners and Avitars

If your a part of my FB fanpage, then you have seen my tiny little collection of banner and avatar sets that I started a few months ago.  I had done a few fro some friends and myself last year, but kinda sucky ones with no graphics!  Well, with any luck my credit card will be here by Wednesday so I will be getting a shop up and running, FINALLY and I am thinking I'm going to be needing a few more of these cute little sets!

Here's what I'm going to do!  If you have a shop that needs a fresh look, let me know here, and tomorrow afternoon I will use to pick 3 commenter's to receive a set for free!  The final set will be yours to use, and will also go into my collection of customizable premade sets!  Though I wont use your colour scheme for the samples.   

Keep in mind these are NOT logos!  My logos are done using graphics that I DRAW just for you, and I never use the graphics again!  Which is the way I think a logo should be - One Of A Kind!  Its not really OOAK if you get a 'logo' with graphics from a freeware site, or purchased from another graphics site.  I also know how to properly re size a photo,  so you wont be getting one of your photos stretched out to cover your banner, EVER! 

Here are a couple of the logos I have done :) 

You've likely seen them all in my logo album but I thought I pop em in here anyway! :)

Good luck! ;)  ...and remember to follow my blog to be elegible!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

In my Barbie world.

Slowly, Ive been working my way through my kitchen trying to rid my family of the massive amounts of plastic we use for our food.  I use Pyrex where ever I can, and have some smaller dishes to store smaller amounts of food and they work great for lunches.  But this process is slow and rather expensive.  If I could get a refund on all the plastic/Teflon/silicone items I have purchased in the last 15 years, I would have an AWESOME collection of GREAT stainless steel, and glass and plenty of change left over for the bank!   Do we even need to mention the fact that my donation to the landfills and the amount of leached cancer causing poisons I have put into my body would have been so would have been drastically reduced. 

I've mentioned before, my favourite pot; the 12 cup multi pot from Epicure Selections.  I love this pot.  I could tell you all the fancy stuff, like the wonderful stainless steel, the tempered glass lid, but bleh..  whatever.  Anyone who knows a good pot will know by holding it how awesome it is!  The shape of the handle makes it fell secure when I'm picking it up, its heavy and has cup measurement lines imprinted along the inside of the pot.  There's no awful screws anywhere ready to come loose every time I use it.  And I can strain things right out of the pot using the LID!!  I love this pot.  My favourite part about it?  When I boil water in it & there is no coating to flake off, and I can stab at a piece of food with a fork and scrub it, and not worry about a special coating.

I have a ton of pots and pans that I only use when I have to.  They are all non stick.  One is an $80 fry pan.  I hate them all!  Sure they work really well for about 2 weeks....  but eventually someone scratches it and the non stick Teflon starts coming off passing a pepper all through you food.  Not to mention that not one of them is even non stick anymore.  And they smell funny when cook with them. 

We finally got a few more pots!  They are not very expensive, but they are stainless steel with a nice glass lid and I love them!  I now have my big cast iron pan, my epicure pot, and 3 sauce pans (2 med, 1 large) and this week I am going to throw out my old non stick nasty ones.  My next adventure will be adding to my utensil collection!  New spatulas and spoons!  Its hard to invest so much money into something only to realize 10 years later we were completely wrong and now have to reinvent the way we go about our day as we try to get back to a healthier way of living!

I'm NOT an environmentalist.  But I do wonder about the way we live.  The way we are slowly poisoning ourselves with the things we freely bring into our homes and put into our mouths.  I'm slowly, bit by bit, trying to become less dependant on our throw away products, and hopefully teach my children that convenience often comes with a sacrifice. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pancakes Anyone?

The most creative thing I have ever done with my pancakes is a my husbands and my initials in the middle of a pink heart!  Ive never done anything beyond a plate full of mini toonie cakes for my boys!  But earlier today a friend of mine (find her blog here) posted a link to a website where this one talented father is making the COOLEST pancakes for his lovely daughter!  I'm overjoyed at the memories that this little lady is growing up with!  As most of you know, I have many fond memories in the kitchen and I think all kids should!  Its a wonderful place to work together and show your children how much you value them!

Check out the amazing thing this guy can do with his pancakes!  What is the most amazing thing you have done??  Stop by his fan page, and let him know you heard of him through my blog! ;)

**This photo is from**

On a side note...  Please remember to hit up my giveaway and get another entry in!   After almost one full day, I have 10 new followers on my blog,12 new fans, and 40 entries!  Keep it up and good luck everyone!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's a sweet life!

Not that I'm not busy, because I really am, but out of boredom I got out my Epicure 12 cup multi pot (I LOVE THIS POT!)  and poured in about 1 1/2 cups of sugar a big egg size of butter and a bit of water...  boiled it till it started to brown; removed from the heat and added about 1/4c or so of whipping cream.  That's right. Caramel sauce.  What's it for???  My coffee.  It's so good!  If the kids were not sleeping I would be whipping some of the cream and topping the coffee with that and some more sauce drizzled on top and maybe some vanilla sugar too!  OH YEAH.  I'm that bad! 

I was looking over old photos of my babies from a few years ago on one of our trips to Dryden.  OMG... how they have grown.  From little babies to these boys I now have running me mad all day long!  I'm so proud of them!  These are from 2 summers ago. Oldest was 2 1/2 and my baby was just 1.

I'm all caught up on my crochet items!  Just doing some odds and ends for the restaurant logo, and then one other premade logo to do & a birth announcement and I am caught up! :)  Which is good because I finally got a CREDIT CARD!  I have had one in the past, but never renewed it because I never used it.  Now that I'm a SAHM, I cant get one, unless I get my husband to co-sign for me.  Boo.  Until my good friend directed me to Capital One where they guarantee you one.  They are sending it out and then I will find out my pre approved credit limit!  I'm excited!  I am finally opening a store on Etsy where I will have my Logo designs, photo cards, crocheted items, flowers and a couple other special things that I don't offer right now!  Hopefully it all goes well and I make some money off it!

In celebration of that and my pending 7 year anniversary, this week I will be starting a giveaway for a 'winners choice' of a selection of items/services.  If you have any idea's for the giveaway, leave a comment here!  If you win my giveaway there just might be a little extra something for you with your prize!

Anyway, off to enjoy another cup of my caramel coffee before I go to bed!   Good night!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Short n Sweet!

Oh what a busy week!  Actually, its been a pretty busy few months.  And I'm not complaining!  I love it!  Lots of logos, cards, and crochet items!  I have a bunch of orders to catch up on yet, but no worries! - I should be caught up by mid week.   

Micheals is so deadly for crafters.  You need blinders in the place, I tell ya.  I went in there for 3 balls of yarn for the trim on my bear cocoons....  $100 dollars later!  At least in their effort to save paper, they printed up a coupon for 50% off one item on my next visit.   Now I must go back there, right?  grrr!  I did get the trim though!  3 bear cocoons lined up waiting for their trim!  I just need a hammock, 2 hanging cocoons, and 2 lace cocoons to do over the weekend!   After that I picked up some stuff to make some sweet limited addition bears!  

Catching up and cleaning the house, cooking and playing with my boys...  whew!  And sleep too.  Speaking of which, GOODNIGHT!  Im going to finish my coffee and hit the hay!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tamara, Ryan and "Miss P" - mini fam

Wednesday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting this lovely young couple from Saskachewan, who came out for a mini family session.  The sun was hiding behind a think layer of clouds, so we got some really even lighting and no squinting!  It was also warm and not too windy, so really we had a pretty perfect day to this.  Little 'Miss P' is one year old and had just learned to walk not too long ago, so she has that adorable swagger that the toddlers are known for while trying to run away and discover a new 2 legged world!  She was very coopertive as long as she had that cluster of pink balloons too! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bathroom Talk!

Alright...  this is long overdue!  Just a warning, I'm about to talk about 'that time' of the month, mother natures visit, Auntie Flo's visit....  That's right!!!  I'm about to talk about MY PERIOD!!!  So at this point if your easily disgusted by such matters, then I would suggest you move on!  Otherwise, read away!  After all I'm not going to get too descriptive anyway!

My first visit was when I was 11.  I got my first period about 3 weeks after my sister got her first period.  She is 2 1/2 years older then me.  Apparently I developed early!  Not a big deal though.  It was during the summer and when I went back to school in the fall I remember a group of us girls sitting on the swings, twirling about, and one girl says 'So.  I got my period over the summer'.  Another says...  'Ya. Me too.'  and then I interjected my own, 'Me too.'  And that was that.

Since then I have tried, pads and tampons, put up with so many bad days of painful cramps.  Nothing was regular.  Not even remotely.  I never knew when it was going to happen or how long except for a feeling that it was coming.  Fast forward years later.  I'm married and as we are getting ready to try for babies, I come to the realization that I'm finally regular!  I don't know when it happened but I'm now 28 1/4 days.  Yes there is a quarter in there!  Then post babies, my cramps are now gone!!!  All those missed days of school spend in bed crying.  All those T3's...  that never seemed to work and now finally I'm happy.  Sorta.  Most of you moms know what having a couple kids does to your insides and now I can no longer use tampons effectively.  All I have left is these awful pads that fold up and stick to your sensitive hairs.  I get itchy from them, and they make me cranky.  But I'm regular and have no cramps, so really I cannot complain. 

So last summer in my quest to go a little greener, I learn about reusable cloth pads.  EW!!  Seriously???  Well I guess that's how they dealt with things before the invention of Always (or your brand) disposables!  And I guess we use cloth diapers on our babies!  hmmm......  I do hate store bought pads.  So I asked around a bit and wouldn't you know it; LOTS of women use cloth pads!  So I search online and on Etsy until I find a pad that I like.  And FINALLY made an order.   OMG.  Why are we not all using these?  I love them!  I expected some bulk (I mean they are layers of fabric!) but they really are not that bad at all!  I love the way the fabric feels on special parts too!  Much more natural and NO MORE STICKING!!!  Oh how i loathed that!  So if I could climb trees (which I'm saving, thank you very much!) or a roof top and shout out that every women NEEDS to try these I so would.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!

My journey to become (and my struggle to remain!) a woman has been interesting.  Every woman has their own story, there own struggle.  And that was a small part of mine!  Personal, yes, but I think we need to be more open so that we let others know we are not alone.  Its surprising how much alike we all really are and if we can just let go of our fears of being judged and open up to others I think we would all be a bit happier!

And what started out as small insignificant purchase of some pads from a store called Randumosity on Etsy, has also turned into a wonderful internet friendship with Jami who is my official 'Pad Lady!'  And she and her little store have now become a small part of my life story of growing up! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Terrific Tuesday!

Why is it terrific???  Well, it just is!  Mostly because, I am actually doing another entry on here!  AMAZING! 

Since I have last shared, I've actually been quite busy!  I've been selling some of my crochet props, making adorable flowers for headbands and clips, and doing a weee bit of photography too! 

This little man is so sweet!  Baby 'J' at 3 weeks old; he was a super sweet little model!  I had the blessing of being able to do some portraits of his mom and dad awaiting his arrival too.  The hat is one of the many things Ive whipped up the last while, and I'm so keeping it for my own stash!
Here is the birth announcment that I created for him! (included in the newborn sessions!)

Another little guy I had the pleasure of photographing!

This beautiful 2 day old baby 'D' belongs to a dear friend of mine, so he holds an extra special place in my heart!  He's a lucky man, as he has a big sister and a big brother to always lookout and take care of him!  Only just over 6 lbs when he came in for his photos, he loved being held and did not like being naked, despite the fact that we were all sweating, he was still a bit cool because he was so small!  Wrapped in one of the stork/hanging cocoons that I made, he seems quite happy here! The hat was one that won from another very talented crocheter I found here on Facebook.  Danyel of Crazy Socks Crochet Shop!  I also did a trade with her for a logo, and got myself some very nice props for my personal collection!  She uses a type of yarn that I don't like working with but love the results of, so it was an AWSOME trade for me!  I have to make up a birth announcment for this adorable boy!

I will leave you with one last photo!  Baby J when he was just a bump!  This is one of my favourite photos.  This mom-to-be is just so utterly beautiful, it was a great pleasure to photograph her and her growing family!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shameless self promotion ;)

Not too much today.  I did some editing for a friend who's computer broke down and she didnt have access to a program she knew or enough time to learn a new one.  Finished up the final changes for a birthday invitation, and a did a word collage with the photos from my photoshoot on monday.

For $210 I will make up the collage using your photos, or mine, & have a 20x30 wrapped canvas sent to you, anywhere in Canada (and possibly the states).  I will work with you to create a peice of art that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Great gift idea for new parents, weddings, adoptions, anniversaries, and so much more!  Let only your imagination be your limit!  Gift certificates available. Find me on facebook!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

and the winner is.....

This recipe comes from the  Better Homes and Gardens Old -Fashioned Home Baking cook book that my mom gave to over 10 years ago.  It has lots of great recipes that I have made many times.  One of the my favourites in my collection.

Bagels are one of those foods that have gotten too big and too convienent.  A plain one about 3" in diameter has about 190 calories, 37 carbs, 368g sodium.   I dont think it is a food that should be eaten every day.  I heard the other day on Dr. Oz, have all the junk food you want.  As long as you make it yourself!  I think that goes with lots of the food we eat.  Our food has become to easy to get, too processed and too manufactered.  If we were to only have 'special' foods like bagels when we made them, we wouldnt have them as often. 

So for the next week, try and un-process your kitchen.  Find things in your fridge and cupboard you could do with out and get rid of them. Instead of the convenience of processed cheese slices, use real cheese.  Ban kraft dinner, and learn to make your own mac and cheese!  Get rid of juice, and grab the fruit and a glass of water!  Let me know if you feel better by the end of the month!


4 to 4 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water (120-130F)
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 beaten egg

In a large bowl combine 2c of the flour and the yeast.  Add the water, 2 tbsp sugar, and salt.  Beat with an electric mixer on low to med speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl.  Beat on hightspeed for 3 minutes.  Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderatley stiff dough that is smooth and elastic(6-8 minutes total).  Cover; let rest for 10 min.  Grease 2 baking sheets.  Working quickly, divide dough into 12 portions.  Shape each portion into a smooth ball  Cover and let rest for 5 min.  With a floured finger, punch a hole in the center of each ball.  Make about a 2 inch hole keeping a uniform shape.  Place 2inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Reshape so the holes are 2 inches in diameter.  Cover and let rise for 20 minutes (start timing after the first bagel is shaped).

Broil raised bagels about 5 inches from the heat for 3-4 mins or till bagels look set, turning once (tops should not brown).  meanwhile, in a 12 in skillet or 4 1/2 quart dutch oven bring 6 cups water and 1 tbs sugar to boiling.  Reduce heat; simmer bagels, 4-5 at a time, for 7 minutes, turning once.  Drain on paper towels.  Let stand on towel only a few seconds (If left too long they stick). Place drained bagels 2 in apart on well greased baking shees.  Brush with egg.  Bake in a 375F oven for 20-25 mins or till tops are golden.  Makes 12..

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

baby bump!

After getting new lights for my studio I thought FINALLY  I can start taking some decent photographs....  well wouldnt you know it...  My wireless trigger already is not working.  Hoping its just a battery issue. but if not Im going to try and get a wired trigger.  My studio is small and i have no issues about not being wireless!

With that being said, here is my favourite from my studio that STILL has no good lights!

Cinnimon Buns!

Many of my fondest memories growing up were made in the kitchen.  My siblings and I would often be dropped off at our grandparents house after school when we were little and my grandma would often have something going on in the kitchen or in the garden!  On occasion we would arrive to find a great giant bowl on the kitchen table, overflowing with mounds of dough.  After washing our hands we had the pleasure of being able to 'punch' down the dough.  She would then give us each our own portion of the rubbery stuff and some cleaned up soup can 'pans' and while she was busy making her large portion into loaves of bread, we would roll ours around for a while before finally stuffing it into each of our mini 'pans'.  When the loaves came out, we each would have our own tasty treat to pull apart and smother in fresh butter with a glass of cold creamy milk. 

Since then I have always loved making bread.  Learning how to go from a sticky mess to a workable dough with out having any stick to my hands was a small acheivement in my kitchen, and now one that is easy acomplished everytime.  Ive made so many types of breads over the years aquiring many blue ribbons in the adult section of our local fair (beating out even my own grandmother) before I was 13!  I've even had my hand at making crossiants which take hours upon hours, and bagels with their rising/bake/boil/baking.  So Im not scared of the odd challange. 

Cinnimon buns have always had a love-hate place in my heart.  Ive never been able to get them to taste good, or they turn into candy or they dont rise...  So incredibly frustrating!  BUT yesterday I finally did it!  They rose up wonderfully and when they were finished baking and I lifted the parchement out of the baking pan they fell apart into beautiful individual buns with just the right amount of gooey goodness to afford having more then one at one time!

Please keep in mind that with all recipes that I 'make up' in my kitchen, I dont really measure.  I use my hand to measure, and often do not keep very good track of the exact amounts, so you can play with them a bit!

Even though flour is pre sifted, it is important to 'fluff' your flour.  Simply whisk it a bit before addying to your recipe!


1 tbsp fast rising yeast ( I actually used bread machine yeast!)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 cups VERY warm water (you could use very warm milk as well)

3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 tbsp cinnimon

4-7 cups of flour
2-3 tbsp oil


1 1/2 tbsp cinnimon
1 1/2 cups margerine (or butter), softened
3/4 c brown sugar

Whisk together the yeast, sugar, salt & 1 c flour.  Whisk in the water and stir until there are no lumps.  Add the eggs, 1/3c oil and 1 tbsp cinnimon.  Using  a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time until you can begin to knead it.  Do not all too much flour. Keep it light, and knead quickly only until the dough forms a nice ball.  Cover the ball with the 2-3 tbsp oil, place back in the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 30 mins. 

Mix together the cinnimon, sugar and butter to make a spread.

cut dough in half, and working one half at a time, roll out very thin.  Spread with half of the cinnimon butter mixture, and roll up.  Seal the roll by wetting the edge with a bit of water and pinching closed.  cut into 1 in sections and place on a parchement lined pan about 3/4 in apart from each other.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for about 10 minutes. (metal pans will finish faster then stoneware).  Remove from oven when tops are golden brown.  Let cool in pan for 5 mins then lift the parchment onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

Feel free to add raisons or nuts if you like them in your buns, double the butter mixture if you want more goo, or top with your favourite icing. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Soupy Sensations!

Although it has been awhile, I have no excuse. Well no real interesting one anyway. I could give you dozen's of less exciting ones, however I wouldn't want to bore you right off the top. We will get right to the good stuff!

Have I mentioned just how much I love soup? It's so easy and tasty with very few ingredients, and it completely changes depending on the veggies used. LOVE it's simplicity and elegance! Canadian winter's definetly provide the mood for some hearty hot recipes too!

Last night my inspiration was a baked potato! Keeping lots of peel on the potatoes provides it with more texture and authentic 'baked potato' flavour! Not to mention the health benefits!

The skins are nutrient packed and a large potato with the skin, is only about 270 calories, and low in fat! It is said to help lower blood pressure, may even help to provide protection against heart disease and cancer! They are full of vitamins & minerals and lots of iron & protein too! Seems a shame to ever toss them knowing all that doesnt it?

Baked Potato Soup

4-5 cups potatos - washed, eyes removed, cubed
1 large onion, finely diced
1 can beef broth
1 cup water
*optional 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp
1/4 cream

*optional toppings
  • sourcream
  • chives/green onions
  • salsa
  • cheddar cheese
  • bacon bits
  • whatever you like on your baked potato!
Put all but the cream & bacon in a large pot and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer on low until potatoes are almost tender.

Remove from heat and in a blender, in small amounts, puree about 2/3 of the soup with bacon. Mash the remaining potatoes with a fork or potato masher just a bit leaving lots of small chunks. Return to low heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Add cream and serve with optional toppings.