Saturday 5 January 2013

Happy New Year!!

Well, no recipe for you today but I thought I better touch base as it's been so long since my last post :-) As you can see from the above picture I got a DSLR camera for Christmas!!!! I am so excited as I've wanted one for so long but dear God I have a lot to learn!! 

To be honest with you, I never actually learned how to use my point and shoot. I simply found a system that worked and stuck with it for every single photo I ever took. Seriously, every photo on this blog was taken with my point and shoot on "auto cuisine" mode. I never changed it. So I know nothing about f-stops or lenses or shutter stuff or anything.... see? I even called it "shutter stuff"... Sigh. 

I've got myself some good books though and I've spent most of my free time post Christmas here reading up on it all and hopefully I'll be able to take some acceptable photos for the blog soon. I have LOTS of recipes lined up to both blog and experiment with, my little notebook is crammed full of ideas but until I learn how to use this thing I will hold off so please bear with me :-)

Until then here are a few I took with it so far (just in auto as I don't know what I'm doing yet):

This was just a simple mushroom and spinach quesadilla I had for lunch, not something I was ever going to blog but just to try out the camera. Happy enough with this one, I even managed a little bit of depth of field there!

I then experimented with some "rullepolse buns" - I've taken the filling from my rullepolse and spread it on bread dough then rolled it up and sliced and baked. The raw dough photo here is ok, a little blurry though as I still don't have a tripod for this camera, my old one won't work with it.

Then I staged a photo hoping to get that coveted depth of field shot all nice and blurry in the background and the opposite happened! Well, I suppose the camera was more interested in the basket of rolls than the one on the plate ;-) Haha, anyway, I clearly still have a lot to learn! 

The buns were very good but not quite "bloggable good" so it didn't matter that these didn't turn out but I'll need to know what I'm doing for future posts, that's for sure.

Back to Christmas, we had a wonderful time! My brother-in-law (also vegan) and his girlfriend were over and I had 11 people for Christmas Eve dinner which featured:

Puy Lentil Tourtiere
Mushroom Gravy
Sage and Onion Stuffing
• Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
Brussel Sprouts and Petite Pois in Lemon Hazelnut 'Butter'
Sweet Potato Rolls
• Mashed Potato

...and for dessert:

Grand Marnier Chocolate Mousse Dome Cake (used chocolate cake this time and it was the best yet!)
• Pumpkin Pie with Gingernut Crust and Coconut Whipped Cream - I have finally got a pumpkin pie recipe I am happy with!

THEN for Christmas Day dinner I made another main dish of Mushroom Wellington (the same one I made for Thanksgiving this year) it's delicious!! We took that up to my in-laws for dinner there and she made all the sides vegan. For the record I use a slight variation on this recipe for the wellington. Everything turned out really well but I was pretty exhausted, hence the blog holiday!

Why do ipod's take such bad photos?!?! Anyway, you get the idea, it's stunning up there! This was the view from our guest house.
We then all went up to beautiful Cornamona, Galway for a few days before New Year's Eve visiting loads of cousin-in-laws then drove back down on New Year's Eve to ring in the New Year at home. 

We had everyone over again and just ordered a load of vegan Chinese food from Aroma in Cork City - they have a dedicated vegan menu and it's always very good, especially when washed down with Champagne ;-)

So, that was my holidays! I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year's Eve and do stick around while I learn how to use this new camera, like I said, I have a LOT to blog this year :-)

I further want to take this time to thank you all for following, commenting, pinning and tweeting and a huge welcome to all my new followers. Here's to a delicious 2013!!


  1. Nice camera. If you feel like sharing your new camera knowledge as you learn, I for one, will definitely follow. I got my dslr last Christmas (a new zoom lens this year, woot!) and still use auto. One of my 2013 goals is to take a class or something to learn a little more.

    1. Thanks fellow Debbie! Right now I'm reading "Plate to Pixel" by Helen Dujardin which I got for Christmas last year. So far I'm finding it very informative, but like you I may take a course as well - so much to learn!! Best of luck to you as well :-)

  2. That you don't know about 'shutter stuff' and the like is actually great inspiration for more amateur food bloggers like myself, who also don't know about any of that :P

    Your staging and your pictures are always WONDERFUL (even with the auto cuisine mode!) I think the 'eye' for it is something you can't buy - can't wait to see your future shots :)

  3. Happy New Year from London! I can't believe that your previous photos were not dslr. They'r wonderful! What camera did you use before?
    Thank you for all your inspiration! Jo

  4. Thanks so much for the comments Jo and Jenny! Jo, my old camera was an Olympus SP-510UZ. One of the "scene" modes to shoot in was "cuisine" which was rather handy being a food blogger so I never changed it, instead I would otherwise put a lot of work into my pictures with staging, lighting - as in using sheets as diffusers and a foil covered board to reflect light (plus I'm rather blessed with a very bright kitchen full of natural light).... then post editing in lightroom....all those things you learn along the way.

    Hopefully I'll be able to apply all that with the new camera, I've now taken a few shots actually OUT of auto mode, yay! lol, so I'm getting there! It will be fun to learn, I used to consider taking photos a necessary evil to being a food blogger, now I LOVE it :-)


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