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Monday, September 24, 2012

Brownie Batter Pancakes

Let me preface by saying this: I did not like these pancakes. However, I realize everyone has different tastes & someone else might like them. I got this recipe from a friend who had them & loved them...I'm starting to question our friendship.

You'll need:
1/2c AP flour
1/2tsp baking powder
2Tbsp dutch processed cocoa
2Tbsp stevia plus 2tsp sugar
1/8tsp salt
3Tbsp oil (or use applesauce if you're counting calories)
2tsp vanilla
2/3c milk

Mix the dry ingredients together.
Add in the wet ingredients.
Cook as normal.
The entire recipe (if you use applesauce) has only 300 calories. My husband loved them, but I'm not a fan. Proceed with caution!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mango Passionfruit Lemonade

I saw something on pinterest about a passionfruit lemonade Starbucks sells. I'm not a big Starbucks person because I don't drink coffee, but it looked good. I thought I'd give it a try with my own little spin on it.

First, some research. I wanted to make sure this drink was worth trying to imitate.

Yeah, it's worth it.

I used Tazo's Mango Passionfruit tea. I boiled 32 oz of water & steeped 5 tea bags in it.

Then I added 12 oz of Chick-fil-A's diet lemonade (I swear they put crack in that stuff) and 1 cup of sugar. You can use any sweetener you want though.

Why diet lemonade then use sugar? I'm allergic to corn & I'm never sure what drinks have corn syrup in it. It's just out of habit really that I ask for diet. And by all means, feel free to make your own, but why bother? You know the stuff Chick-fil-A sells is soooo much better.

Verdict: HECK YEAH! Make this stuff! It's a little different because of the mango, but I actually liked it better than the one I got at Starbucks. Shoot, even making a cup of the tea itself was worth the $2.12 I spent. Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's been a while...

...but now I'm back! I had some health issues (I'm allergic to corn, who would have guessed!) and we moved! We're back in North Carolina along the coast & it feels great to be back in my home state!

I thought my first tutorial from my looooong absence should be one that's super cool & really helpful. So I decided to help you guys out with some HDR images!!! Aren't you excited?!

HDR stands for high dynamic range. You know how you take pictures of something and there are areas that are so white you can't see anything and other areas that are so black you can't see anything? I'm here to help! Now, this doesn't work if you're photographing people, but this is really great for things like...I dunno....a pier. (We have lots of those around.)

Keep in mind these directions are for Photoshop. Speaking of, have you seen this? Seriously, take a look.

You'll need:

Trust me. Do not do this without your tripod.

Figure you what you want to I said, I'm going for the pier. Set up your tripod...I'll wait...seriously don't do this without a tripod.

Set your camera to manual.

Figure out your aperture: do you want the whole thing to be in focus? I set mine to f/22 because I did.

Set your shutter speed to under-develop your picture. The scale in the viewfinder should look like this with your first picture:
Set your camera to a 2 second or longer timer (or use a remote) & press the shutter. Without moving the camera, change the shutter speed until your scale looks like this:

Press the shutter. Keep progressing through the scale in the same way with your scales:

Enjoy the rest of your beach visit:

Once you're home & nursing your latest sunburn, open the files in Bridge. Select the ones you want to include in your HDR image. To create the HDR image, go to your "Tools" button on the menu bar, go down to "Photoshop", then to "Merge to HDR Pro". Let the computer do its can take a while. Go get a snack...or reapply some aloe.

When you come back it will look like this:

From here you can use the little slider bars to adjust the picture however you need to. You can also deselect pictures that are making your picture look a little weird. Just play around with it & see what you like! After you're done, you'll have something that looks like this:

Keep playing with it & try other locations. I think it adds a whole other dimension to photography. I've been tweaking one for a few days now: 

I won't be posting as often as I have in the past, but I have set a goal for once a week for myself. My new recipes will have to be corn-free so that makes things a little more difficult.