After an insane amount of research, hesitation, sleeplessness and general hemming and hawing, I finally purchased a new camera. I do not make big purchases easily (except for plane tickets) so I was undecided whether to go all out and get a DSLR with a couple of lenses, perfectly suited to food photography, OR to get something a little easier to manage and take with, such as this upscale version of a point-and-shoot. Having never purchased a camera above the $100 price point (in fact, I think all my cameras have been either gifts or hand-me-downs), I didn’t think I was quite ready to go from the smallest pocket-sized point-and-shoot to lugging around equipment in a $189 bag. That’ll come later. For now, there are enough dials and doodads to keep me busy for months. Thanks, David, for the fabulous recommendation. So far, so good.
I went to the park today to play.
I discovered that my new camera has many settings, which will take some getting used to. Like most cameras, it has a close-up setting, easily identified by the recognizable flower icon.
It’s got a setting for children or animals, anything that may not be inclined to stay still and pose.
One for foliage,
Another one that blurs out the top and bottom, called the Miniature Effect (hmmmm…),
Should I ever desire a fish-eye effect, it’s got that too.
Though I’m not sure that effect is quite evident in the above photo. I’ll have to play with that one some more. Then, there’s the wacky and weirdly beautiful vibrant colors setting. This one could be loads of fun (and maybe get old fast).
And, hallelujah (!), it takes a much-improved food photo. While I can play with aperture, white balance, ISO, and exposure compensation settings, for now, the auto setting will suffice.
I was able to get right up on this here muffin without blurring it-not an easy, or even possible, task with the old camera.
Lately, I’ve been in a muffin mood. This is the second batch I’ve made this week, which is really weird, because I can’t remember the last time I made muffins. Could be well over a decade. I made savory Goat Cheese and Chive Muffins to accompany Easter dinner. S found them to be dry (he might be right), so those need some tweaking. But this second batch are of the sweeter and more breakfasty variety and will be well-suited for upcoming girls’ road trip (as will the new camera!). After obsessively googling and comparing recipes, I finally settled on an adapted version of the muffin recipe on the back of the flax seed box. Pourquoi pas? The result after an obligatory taste test is not at all dry, but rather a moist and cinnamon-scented delight with welcome little bites of chocolate, perfect for breakfast or with an afternoon caffeinated pick me up.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Flax Seed
yields 12 muffins
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flax seed
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- pinch cinnamon
In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Then incorporate slowly into the dry mix, being careful not to overmix.
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a muffin pan and evenly distribute batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Make sure to enjoy at least one muffin straight out of the oven to benefit from the chocolate’s melting goodness!