Curse of the Hostess

I have a curse. This curse in no way relates to delicious cakes wrapped in plastic, ex: Ho Hos, Twinkies, Donettes, etc. No, my curse is not nearly so sweet, nor is it particularly fattening. Whenever I try to cook for anyone other than Trey and myself, some unforeseen delay/catastrophe will take place. Think I’m paranoid?

(Note that all of the photos link to their original sources. I have a problem when it comes to photographing food, in that I’m usually too busy eating it ;-) )

 Exhibit A 

It was mid summer and my parents had planned to drive down from Georgia for a weekend visit. I had only recently started cooking, so I picked an easy recipe that I had done a few times before: Tuscan Pasta

Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream Recipe

Now I’m very much a one-dish kind of girl. I’ll occasionally make dessert, but always at a different time or on a different day. Trey is a big fan of sides though, so I thought that I should try and stretch myself a bit and make bruschetta to go with the pasta. I looked up several recipes and got the general idea (you slice a french loaf, drizzle it in olive oil, cover with chopped tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, and toast it in the oven).

So what went wrong? Well for starters, the fresh basil I got from Walmart was incredibly fresh. I always do my grocery shopping there, so I’m used to their normal, just starting to wilt basil which (apparently) has about a quarter of the flavor of really fresh basil. I used the same amount that I always did and the pasta was quite overwhelmed. Secondly, I had never made bruchetta before, so while the idea seemed simple enough, I underestimated the amount of tomatoes and over estimated the amount of oven time, creating dry burnt toast.

Still not convinced?

 Exhibit B 

It was a quiet Saturday afternoon, and Trey had left to play golf with his work buddies. I texted my friend, Stephanie, to see if she wanted to hang out, and she suggested we get dinner together that night. Well I had already planned to try out a recipe for Lazy Day Casserole, and I didn’t really feel like paying to eat out, so I suggested she and JC just come over for dinner. Now I was already used to new recipes taking way longer than they should, so I got started early (memory says around two, but my memory lies a lot). I also knew that I had to start early because I wanted to make Honey Beer Bread to go with the casserole, and the two dishes bake at different temperatures.

Lazy Day Casserole

So I mixed up the bread, popped it in the oven and started chopping the vegetables for the casserole. My timing was almost perfect, and the bread finished baking just a few minutes after I had all the vegetables ready (maybe that’s more of a testament to my slow vegetable chopping, than my excellent timing, but regardless…) I reset the temperature on the oven and went back out to the living room while I waited for it to beep. Thirty minutes later I realized the oven never beeped. Dangit. I put the veggies in the oven, but at this point I didn’t have enough time to let the veggies cook for 45 minutes and then add the sausage for another 30. I improvised, but the potatoes and carrots didn’t really finish cooking. On the plus side the bread was delicious!

And finally, my last piece of evidence to prove to you that I am, quite legitimately, cursed:

 Exhibit C 

Just this week Trey and I invited our friends, Daniel and Alyssa, over for dinner. Now the only planned meals I had left for the week were new recipes. Obviously that would not be a good choice, so Trey suggested I make teriyaki chicken. I had just made it a couple days before and the recipe is fairly fast and simple to make. It really just involves cooking some chicken, mixing up a simple sauce, and dividing the sauce between the chicken and the rice. I don’t make it all in the rice cooker like the recipe says because mine isn’t nearly big enough. The only difference between the way I made it for Daniel and Alyssa and the way I made it a few days prior, was that I had used up the last of the white rice. I had been wanting to use brown rice since Trey and I first got married, but for some reason he had a ton of white rice in various half-used packages. We had finally finished it off with the last batch of teriyaki chicken, so I got out the brown rice and went about the recipe… until Daniel and Alyssa came over and the rice cooker still wasn’t finished.

We went on a tour of the new house. Still not done. We sat in the living room and chatted. Finally it clicked over from “cook” to “warm,” but it didn’t really look right. I tasted it, and it was definitely too crunchy. I added more water and let it do its thing. We hung out for a while longer until it eventually said it was done again. Now at this point the rice had been cooking for a full 90 minutes making dinner an hour later than originally intended. Only it still wasn’t right. So we went out for Mexican.

Here is my dinner for four that will now be eaten by two, over and over and over again.

Now of course there are more stories to add to my case, but these three are the most clearly supernatural. I mean Walmart having fresh basil? An oven not beeping when it has every other time? And rice taking longer than ninety minutes to cook?! Obviously I’m cursed.

Oh and just in case you think I’m just a terrible cook, I made this amazing pork roast for Trey and myself perfectly on the first try.

The Barden Family // Waterfront Park Photography

Justin and Monica met me at Waterfront Park just after sunrise with little Sophia. This family was so fun to work with! Justin and Monica were naturals in front of the camera, and Sophia had more than enough energy to wake us all up. Plus she thought pineapple fountain was the coolest thing ever!

Waterfront Park Photography

I am naturally a night owl, so I love that my job keeps me from missing so many beautiful sunrises.

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Children Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Children Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Children Photography

I asked Monica if Sophia liked to airplane. I was thinking about when my dad used to lift me up over his head so I could “fly,” but Sophia started running around with her arms out and it was so much cuter than what I had planned!

Charleston Children Photography

Charleston Children Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Life is Crazy

The original plan for this morning was to get up early and take pictures at sunrise for a church project, while scouting a location for next weekend’s shoot. What actually happened was that I slept in until 10:30 and had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with an episode of Good Eats.

See it all started with a text on Thursday afternoon that kind of sounded like a scam: “Becky!!! Wanna work this weekend? $15 an hour plus tips.” Well it turns out my friend had a class with a girl whose mom was working on the financial team for a big concert in town, and they were short a couple of shifts.

“Oh cool. What concert?” Iasked.
“It’s a country concert, the Southern Ground Music and Food Festival featuring the Zac Brown Band.” Now I’m pretty musically ignorant. I’ll listen to the radio and hear songs I like, but I generally have no idea who sings them or anything about the bands. The fact that I recognized the name of the band (even if I couldn’t tell you what songs they sing) made me figure it was kind of a big deal. Trey and I didn’t have an plans for Sunday afternoon, so my friend signed me up for a 1-10 shift and said wear khaki pants and a white shirt.

That was all I knew going in to what ended up being an amazing night of free music and food. I ended up running one of the registers at Chef Rusty Hamlin‘s Eat & Greets truck (turns out he’s pretty famous, too) where we got a free Zac Brown Band t-shirt and were invited to eat as much as we wanted AND take a plate home! Did I mention the food was amazing?! Oh and we could hear the music perfectly. Turns out I actually know and like quite a few of Zac Brown’s songs (which will make it less awkward when I wear the t-shirt!), and one of them was a love song that Trey burned to a mix CD while I was in Germany :D

So all of that to say sometimes the coolest opportunities come when you least expect them, and getting home at midnight after working a ten hour shift is not conducive to sunrise photography.

New Lens!

My new macro lens just came in the mail!!  Ahh I’m so stoked! My 50 prime has been my baby for the past year and I still love it, but tiny baby toes and diamond rings weren’t really its strong suit. Plus the new macro is 90mm so I’ll be able to have a greater working distance when photographing couples or shy kids. So, without further ado, the first photo ever taken with Tamron 90mm macro number 066656:

See? It’s gorgeous! And this is the real reason you buy a macro lens. Ahhh so awesome!!

The dog was not willing to be a proper model (he kept breaking his “stay” to come sniff the camera), so I took on the fish tank. These are Trey’s pink star polyps,

pulsating xenia, and frogspawn.

And then Mr. Goby and his friend, the giant blue legged hermit crab, came out for a few photos too =)

Cora // Charleston Plantation Photography

When Kristin and I met up to plan Cora’s 1 year old shoot, she brought the little charmer along, and I could instantly tell this was going to be great. Cora was full of smiles, giggles and adorably chubby cheeks throughout our meeting, and she didn’t disappoint when it came time for pictures.

Kristin & Jon, it was such a pleasure photographing you and your little girl. I hope you love England =)

Charleston Baby Photography

Charleston Baby Photography

Charleston Baby Photography

See? Full of smiles!

Charleston Baby Photography

Charleston Baby Photography

Plantation Portrait Photography

Charleston Baby Photography

Plantation Portrait Photography

Charleston Baby Photography

Plantation Portrait Photography

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Family Photography

First Birthday Photography

Cora really loved her birthday balloons.

First Birthday Photography

Plantation Portrait Photography

And she’s also an avid reader =)

Charleston Family Photography

Charleston Baby Photography

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