Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by heidihi

  1. Thanks Nathan, _john - I you come across that article again, I would love to read it - please post. With the batch of LN2 ice cream I observed, we started with about 4 cups of a pretty standard vanilla base in the the metal mixer bowl. Turned on the mixer, and started adding the LN2 gradually - a bit at a time over the course of about four minutes. Everything quickly firmed and fluffed up, the room we were in looked like a haunted house. With the leftover LN2 they went out back with the Kitchen Aid mixing bowl a hammer, and a selection of things they were interested in freezing and then smashing. - a whole onion (more impressive in theory - the core didn't seem to get cold enough, and it didn't really shatter the way I imagined it would) - leafy herbs (kind of interesting - they ended up very dry, brittle, and flaky) - a cigarette (similar to what happened to the herbs - the wrap around the tabacco got dry and brittle) -h
  2. I was at a party the other night where someone brought a large tank of LN2 to make ice cream. Some shots of the process, and detail shots of the consistency below. It was wonderfully smooth - soft-serve style ice cream meant to be consumed immediately. Mid-mix Ready to eat -h
  3. From Janet Fletcher's Grain Gastronomy, "remove the bran and germ from a kernel of hard durum wheat and you are left with the endosperm, a.k.a semolina. When ground, it yields high-protein, high-glluten semolina flour, the basis of Italy's dried pasta and the basis of couscous." From Recipes from the Old Mill by Sarah Myers and Mary Beth Lind, "Durum wheat is a hard spring wheat used almost exclusively to make pasta. Semolina is refined durum flour." I've been using whole stone-milled durum wheat flour in combination with other flours for homemade pasta - trying to up the ratio of nutritionally intact ingredients vs. refined...a 1:1 ratio of APF to the durum wheat flour makes for a nice flexible multi-purpose pasta dough. All durum wheat flour and it gets much more hearty, textured....rustic. Hope that helps, -h
  4. Thanks Paula, I'll let you know what I find out. -h
  5. So, here is one of the sources that I came across focusing on the nutritional aspects terms in relation to the terms semolina/durum/pasta... Paula, thanks for weighing in on this. I guess I'm trying to figure out - is semolina (regardless of whether its is a coarse, fine, med. grade) always missing the bran and germ portions of the grain? Was the semolina you worked with in the Meditteranean considered whole - or would it be processed in some way so that only the starchy portion of it was used for things like, say - couscous, or pasta? -h
  6. So it seems like the labeling when it comes to semolina/durum is a mess. My understanding was that the term semolina does not necessarily refer to the texture of the flour, although that is how many people define it. My understanding is that whole durum wheat flour is the more nutritious version of semolina. It is a whole grain flour where the germ, bran, and endosperm are still a part of the final flour. I've been able to find whole durum wheat flour that is yellow, fine in texture, and looks very much like what many people consider 'semolina'. Semolina on the other hand is the refined version of the above. Essentially the starchy endosperm, stripped of the bran and germ. I heard someone once call it 'Italy's white flour'..... Can anyone weigh in definitively on this? I get asked about this all the time and really want to get it straight. -h
  7. Hi all, On the close-up question... Some of the point and shoots also have a macro mode - I used to do all sorts of "macro"-type shots with my Nikon Coolpix 990 way back when...I loved that camera. It took what I thought were fantastic results - especially at a time when I didn't have use for the bigger files sizes needed for print/commercial use, great for web use. I haven't researched the current batch of point+shoots, but I am sure there are some out there with good macro modes. Cherry pic taken with inexpensive camera set to macro. (circa late 90s? - 2000?) I have a 100mm macro lens that I sometimes dust off to use with my DSLRs. It is actually a nice lens, takes beautiful shots - the downside, heavy and large. I avoid travelling with it if necessary, it takes up quite a bit of real-estate in a camera bag I try to keep small, which in turn keeps me mobile. -h
  8. I can't see many disadvantages to the single lens reflex digital cameras, except price and bulkiness. ← Bulkiness is a huge factor for many people. If you aren't willing to lug around an SLR regularly, a pocket camera might be a much better option. It is important to be realistic about what kind of camera you will actually use. A small everyday camera that is always onhand (or in pocket) will teach you more about photography and light than a digital SLR collecting dust. I'm just saying that an SLR system isn't for everyone...for ex: one of the huge advantages, of course, is interchangeable lenses. The downside -- you get to carry them around. I would just encourage people to be realistic about what kind of camera will work best integrated into their lifestyle. Some people love to carry around a big camera and a bag full of gear, lenses, flash units, and extra batteries. I know when I go to purchase equipment, I'm not one of these people. So I always look for the most compact system that I can find that will get the job done, and get me the look I am after - for example, on a trip, I will often pack up two little fixed lenses vs. the bigger, heavier zooms. Smaller systems are also less intrusive and obvious -- when shooting people you will get a much different reaction with a smaller camera than if you show up with the Canon 1Ds Mark II.
  9. One of the cameras I use is the EOS Rebel, and for the money it is a great camera - I just recommended it to my sister. I think I wrote about it a while back on one of the other camera threads....One step up, the d20 is also super, but a lot of people don't need/use the extra features - larger files, etc. The vast majority of shots on my site were shot with Canon SLRs (film or digital). I've heard great things about the comparable Nikons as well. There is a pro/prosumer comparision chart of all the different digital SLRs in this months PDN Magazine the issue with Jude Law on the cover. They compare 14 different cameras (the high-end canons, nikons, kodaks, olympus, mamiya, etc).... The pricing of the cameras in the chart ranges from $1000 on up. If you make a jump from the point and shoots to the digital SLRs, you then have to start thinking about what lenses are right for what you want to shoot and all that. Hathor, if you any specific questions about the Canon Rebel or 20d, put them out there, I think a lot of people are curious and in a similar position with the prices on these big camera coming way down. There is quite a big difference between shooting with a powershot vs. a digital SLR - with advantages and disadvantages to both. -h
  10. Well said Pim, Pizzetta is one of my very favorite local gems as well! The only thing I'll add to your write-up is that it is a great place for a lazy lunch. I always go there mid-day vs. evening when it can get more crowded, parking is usually really easy during the day. Pim, let me know next time you want to head over there, I would be happy to swing by and pick you up - It doesn't take much to get me motivated to drive a few miles for my favorite pizza ;) -h
  11. Thanks for the offer Sandra, I think I'm going to go for the hard candy lollipops this time around. I'll let you know how they turn out :) -h
  12. I'm going to skip the holiday cookie boxes this year and try something new. Right now I'm tossing around the idea of doing little bouquets of homemade lollipops (a handful of different flavors/colors)....and/or little vintage jars of preserves/syrups. Toffee isn't really up my alley, but I tasted a delicious black licorice(!) toffee yesterday at the market - she also had black cherry and citrus infused toffees for any of you thinking about giving your toffees a bit of a twist. -h
  13. heidihi

    Le Creuset

    It looks like you are in the Bay Area....It is really worth the effort to check out the Le Crueset outlet(s)...I signed up for the mailing list at the one in Gilroy a couple years back, and a couple times a year I get a postcard about their 50% off sales. Some great deals to be had. I think there is also one at the Nut Tree in Vacaville but I haven't been to that one -- might be closer to you. -h
  14. You could set up a pizza 'bar'....and people could make their own individual pizzas with whatever toppings/sauces/flavorings they want. Alternatively, but along the same lines: roll you own spring rolls.... or make your own tacos. A big pile of different kinds of panini sandwiches is also any easy way to have a variety. Anyways, good luck! -h
  15. My current favorite is Eduardo's brand. It is made here in San Francisco (I think), but available through Amazon's gourmet section. Hand-made, hand packed, all natural. I love it. -h
  16. I was happy to spend the morning with a hand-me-down copy of MtAoFC from my dad tucked tightly under my arm as I went down to the market. I came home and made Julia's beautiful and delicious Tarte au Citron et aux Amandes. I look forward to cooking many more recipes from her wonderful books and sharing them with family and friends.
  17. I actually just did a write-up last week on how much I have enjoyed the Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. Craig, have you tried that one? I am sort of fresh on the scene in regards to rosé wines and am also looking forward to trying some of the recommendations Craig made in his write-up and any other insights people may have to offer. After tasting a good rosé, I have seen the light! -h
  18. Great! I will mail them right now. Can't wait to try it. -h
  19. Thanks for the wonderfully direct and helpful article Craig, being a bit of a newbie here I look forward to going back and reading more of your previous posts. I am looking forward to trying that Torre Quarto 2003 Guappo, is there anywhere that you know of to order a couple of bottles of it online?
  20. Those BBQ pictures are great!....the touch of extra contrast really helped them pop as well. Nice. I also really fell for those frozen cherries. I love the unique composition and the woodsy natural browns with the hot red-orange of the cherries. Maybe we could do a (weekly? or monthly?) thing where someone picks a single food, ingredient, or theme to shoot and everyone posts their shots (cherries, BBQ, ice cream, etc) -- we can compare and talk about all the different approaches (what works, what doesn't) and tackle any technical problems we run into. Maybe a separate thread? Just a thought -- there's nothing like a narrow assignment to get people thinking about everyday things in extraordinary ways.
  21. I'll step in with a photo I took last week that I was less than happy with. I also think it demonstrates a technical point, so some of you may find it helpful. I took this shot of some pineapple saute for my journal. I shot it in nice warm diffused afternoon light, and was generally happy with it: A few days later, I was in a rush and shot the following picture of these pupusas, in the same exact location, but at a different time of day. It was early morning, light was really on the other side of the house, and I was too lazy to move everything. Notice how much bluer, and 'cooler' the light is, especially in the shadow behind the lunchpail. I don't like it as much, and wish I had made the extra effort to either wait, or move to slightly better light. To address some of the more general ongoing discussion points here....In my mind it is important to strive towards improving the overall aesthetic of your shots even if your purpose just tends towards documenting where you are and what you are eating -- if only for the following reason. Every chef and good cook knows that the way something is presented impacts the way a person feels about what they are tasting. Presentation is always a consideration. When you post a picture, it is in a sense an extension of their presentation. If someone is putting in alot of time and effort towards making your meal special, you need to strive towards shooting their creations with the same care and sensitivity, especially if you intend on sharing pictures of their creations publically. When you are telling me what an amazing dining experience you've had in one of your posts and you include a picture, I want the photograph to support what you are saying, aesthetically. It is not something that happens overnight, but it is something to strive for. I know the photography learning curve can feel steep, but it is important to learn from your experiences, look at your work critically, and get over some of those initial technical hurdles, until you are shooting the kind of pictures you aspire to be shooting. Of all the technical photography books I've had over the years, this is the one I have kept. I'm a visual learner and it is great at showing you technical information through easy to understand full-color examples. Worth a peek.
  22. heidihi

    Best Panini Recipes

    My very favorite is apple, brie, dried cranberries, and fake bacon (or real if you aren't vegetarian) on ciabatta bread.
  23. Behemoth, I really like the cool subtle blue cast to your egg shot. V. nice and contemporary looking- I think it actually works better than the more technically 'correct' color balanced version. For the sweaty egg, just let it come to room temperature before shooting next time :) Just to go on the record re: altering images after the come off the camera. I try to do as much as possible at the time of the shot. I do as little in post-production as possible and mainly just fidget with the levels a bit, rarely crop at all, etc --I stay clear of "auto" anything; auto contrast, auto color, etc. Someone requested a few outdoor food market shots. I have a couple from a recent trip to Thailand (below) -- not my favorite market shots, but they are the ones right here on my desktop. Generally speaking Behemoth, outdoor at high noon is going to be a problem -- harsh shadows, glare off the subjects, etc. I try to find shots under umbrellas or overhangs. If you _must_ shoot in full-on broad daylight, turn on your flash and shoot that way using "fill flash"....These were all shot under overhangs or in a stall.
  24. Sorry esperanza, I don't have any experience with the a1. Lalitha, I actually have thought about trying a light tent -- but haven't really seen the need for it (just because the light in my house is really nice)....I also have the canon macro 2.8, and use it alot, with good results. Stick with it, it is a good lens.
  25. So, I have some pretty strict rules for myself when shooting food. And since I started following them my photography has (visually) improved alot. I realize it may not be realistic for people to follow all of these -- but in terms of getting the best "looking" shots -- this is what has worked for me. 1. Whenever possible shoot in natural light. Find a window or a place with nice indirect light, and shoot there. If I make something at night, I carefully try to reserve a portion of it for later and shoot the next morning. If this isn't an option, and you are shooting under flourescent or incandescent lighting -- just make sure you go back to your camera manual and learn to white balance properly. 2. No Flash. Ever. It makes everything look greasy or sweaty. 3. Pay attention to your backgrounds. Clear out any unnecessary visual "noise" from a shot, so the focus is on the food. Same applies to non-food related shots. Now I can already hear people complaining that it just isn't realistic to not shoot at night, and not use flash, and white balancing makes their head hurt.....but when I take my camera out at night, I still never use the flash and I just make sure I'm whitebalanced (push a button). I end up with a different look, but still one I like (examples below) -- Since alot of people do seem to shoot late here, there are a couple other things you should at least think about as you move forward with your photography and camera choices.-- Fast lenses: This is where a "fast" lens really helps. This means the lens can open wide and let in alot of light. From what I've seen the lenses on many of the point and shoots aren't super fast, ranging from 2.8-3.5, etc. My fastest lens for my SLR is 1.4, and this is one of the biggest benefits to having the Digital SLR (I can use a fast lens like this). You can open your lens wide open (let in a lot of light), and slow down the shutter speed (this happens automatically when you use a camera with aperture-priority mode), and you can get some nice shots with lots of atmosphere. Here are a couple shots that I took using this method at a birthday party at an Indian Restaurant. The camera was the Canon Digital Rebel, I had a wide-angle lens on it that wasn't particularly fast, 2.8, and my ISO was set at 800. Still a bit of an orange cast, it is tough to get a perfect white balance in a mixed lighting environment even if you use the right white-balance button. ISO range: If you are shooting at night or in dark environments, then you need to consider the ISO range on the camera as well when purchasing -- this is just the digital equivalent of film speed. My camera goes to 1600, which is the equiv. of having 1600 speed film in it -- match that up with a pretty fast lens, and you are going to have more to work with and you wont have to rely on flash as much. I'm sure there are "flash" advocates out there that can tell you all the things you can do to get great results, but it's not me ;) The learning curve of photography can be a bit steep and over whelming. I used to pick out one problem in my shots at a time, and then concentrate of fixing that. I would clip pictures from magazines of the type of shots I liked, and then try to figure out how to move more in that direction while still maintaining my own personal style. Hope this helps! -h
  • Create New...