Monday, July 29, 2013

No-Fuss Pizza Dough


I love pizza. I love it more than I love most things, but I've never been much for making it (except for my awesome, awesome, awesome butternut squash pizza that you'll see a recipe coming at you for during the fall season.) I suppose I thought that making pizza dough would be tedious and annoying, but boy was I wrong!  It is easy as can be, and I love that I know exactly what's in it when I make it myself. 


Ingredients: 

- 1 1/4 cups white flour* 
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour*
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast 
- Pinch of salt 
- 2 tablespoons olive oil 
- 1 cup warm water


Directions: 

1. Combine white flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in water and oil and then mix with an electric mixer (I used my kitchen aid with my dough hook) Mix on high speed for several minutes until all of the ingredients are combined and an elastic, liquidy dough is formed.

2. Mix on low as you gradually add in the whole wheat flour. When it starts to be truly "dough" like, continue mixing with your hands (coating your hands in flour helps tons!) 

3. Knead the flour for about a minute right in the bowl. Add a small drizzle of olive oil to the bowl, turning your dough to coat it and prevent sticking. 

4. If you're planning to make your pizza right away, preheat your oven now to approximately 375. Cover your bowl of dough and let rise for about 30 minutes. 

5.  Compress dough with your hands into a solid ball, then roll out onto a floured surface to your desired shape!

It's was an incredibly painless process. I'm definitely making pizza more often. 

*I used 100% Trader Joe's "White" whole wheat flour instead of mixing my white and wheat flours. If you don't have access to a Trader Joe's or would prefer to do things the traditional way, then follow the recipe above as directed. Whoo! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Creamy (Healthy!) Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce



When I was six years old, I went with my parents to Germany for the first time. In a little restaurant in the tiny town of Bad Kreuznach, I tried Spaghetti Carbonara for the first time and fell in love. It became my favorite food, the only thing I would order at restaurants, just as long as the kitchen staff refrained from adding “icky green stuff” which was really no more than a garnish of parsley.  

Spaghetti Carbonara is a simple recipe: Take an alfredo sauce, which is nothing more than butter, flour, heavy cream and salt, and add bacon. How can you go wrong with that? 

Fast forward 15 years and I’m still a sucker for anything alfredo. My waistline, however, is not inclined to thank me about that. You can imagine my joy when I discovered that one unlikely vegetable could prove to be a substitute for my beloved cream sauce that would bring a calorie count of 500 calories per half cup (eek!) all the way down to 50 calories per half cup.  

Obviously I needed it in my life ASAP. 

This sauce is extremely versitile! Add ham or bacon to make your very own spaghetti carbonara. Add it to a rice or pasta casserole to for healthy, creamy deliciousness. There are unlimited options and directions you can go with this gem of a sauce. 




Ingredients: 

- six cloves garlic, minced. 
- 1 TBSP butter, softened
- 1 head cauliflower 
- 2 teaspoons salt 
- 1 generous pinch of pepper, to taste. 
- juice from 1/2 lemon 
- 1 cup vegetable broth 
- 1/2 cup milk 
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil, to taste. 

Directions: 

1. In a large saucepan, boil florets of cauliflower on high heat until fork tender, approximately 10 minutes. 

2. While cauliflower is boiling, warm butter in a saucepan and add garlic. Saute on low for a few minutes until lightly golden, but do not brown. Remove from heat and set aside. 



3. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a blender.  Add butter and garlic, vegetable broth, salt, pepper and milk. Blend on high for several minutes, stopping every so often to add lemon juice and parmesan cheese to taste. Blend until sauce is very smooth. 

4. Evaluate the consistency of your sauce. If it seems thick, add more milk. If it seems dry, add a liberal drizzle of olive oil. I like the flavor and richness that the olive oil brings. Blend through. 


Tadaaaa! Now, who's gonna try it? 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Alchemist



"Every blessing ignored becomes a curse." 

"There is one thing that makes a dream impossible to acheive: The fear of failure." 

"Because when we love, we strive to become better than we are." 

- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho 

I committed to reading 24 books in 2013. Because I’m so incredibly talented with mathematics, I knew that this meant that I needed to read 12 books by July 01. That date came and went, and I had only read 6. Whoops! I was way behind.

I realized I needed to start reading smaller books. I have a penchant for hugely large novels, so this was slightly more difficult than imagined. A flight I took from Germany to the USA last April came to mind, when I toted with me the gigantuous hardcover copy of George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons. It essentially took up my entire backpack, and caused a man who stood behind me in the security to remark “You know, they have Kindles for this sort of thing” at the sight of it.

Good times, good times.

In search of quicker reads, I picked up a copy of Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist. I read the whole book in two days and it completely blew my mind. It seemed as though every page contained some pearl of wisdom that I desperately needed to hear.

The book is about traveling. It’s about magic. It’s about the journey, about pursuing your dreams and finding love in unexpected places. I don’t want to give anything away as I know every single one of you is going to go read it now, so that is all I’ll say about that.

Have you read The Alchemist? What are your thoughts?  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Published: Be Wed Magazine Spring/Summer 2013 Issue



I was honored to have my work featured in Be Wed Magazine's Spring/Summer 2013 issue. My photos accompany different articles throughout the issue including a lovely piece about selecting a photographer, an informative article about bridal hair care and a page about wedding floral trends. It was so fun to see my photographs in such a beautiful publication. Take a look at Be Wed Magazine, and be sure to check my photo blog often to see more photos from this fabulous shoot.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Takashi



As a Californian, I feel as though I have a right to say that I really know good sushi.  I LOVE sushi, in all shapes and sizes. I've been skeptical to try it since moving to Utah, however, as it's a landlocked state and I feel as though it just wouldn't be the same. Some co-workers of mine had some really good things to say about Takashi, a trendy restaurant on Market Street in downtown Salt Lake, but warned me that the high quality fish would come with a high quality price tag.

As my husband and I neared our two year anniversary, we decided that splurging on our favorite food would be the perfect way to celebrate the day together.

It was pouring when we entered the packed restaurant together. I'm not kidding when I say it was packed; there was a line clear out the door at 7 PM on a Tuesday night.  My father once told me that if I was ever in doubt over what restaurant to choose I should pick the one with the longer line. My father has traveled to more places and eaten at more restaurants than I could ever hope to count, so I saw the long wait time as a good omen.

 We were not disappointed. The fish tasted incredibly fresh, fresher in fact than many of the establishments I've sampled on the west coast. When I commented on this to our server, he noted that Takashi was in fact just minutes away from an international airport and they received shipments of fresh fish multiple times daily.

The restaurant definitely put its own spin on their sushi rolls.  Grilled peaches on sushi rolls, you say? I'll take it! Ceviche dipping sauce? Okay!  We were in heaven throughout the entire meal.

Takashi isn't cheap, though it's certainly not the most outrageously priced restaurant in the world. Two drinks, some edamame, two miso soups, four outstanding sushi rolls and some mango ice cream for desert rang us up at about $90 for the both of us and left us completely stuffed.  I'm happy to report that it was entirely worth it.

Are you a sushi lover? Where's your favorite place?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Enthusiasm is Your Secret Weapon




To put it lightly, things have been insane since I made the move to Salt Lake City and I still haven't quite recovered. When you find yourself working well off of a certain routine, a certain rhythm, disrupting that can have a greater effect on you than you think it would.

I had plans to start throwing my name out there as a wedding photographer the moment I stepped foot in Utah. I would network like no one has networked before. I would devote every spare moment to making my dream of working full time as a photographer come true. But after the move, I was scrambling for time to even finish editing the shoots I had in my queue, let alone to seek out new ones.

And then I started making excuses:

- I need to just catch up on life before starting anything big. 

- I actually really like my new full time job, so why stress about pushing photography? 
- If I'm struggling to find time to edit the wedding I shot a month ago, I should not be seeking out new weddings.  

Throughout this entire excuse-making process, I was noticing the vigor in which a fellow photographer, who I'm friends with online, was approaching her business. She was booking multiple shoots a day, editing and posting the photos immediately after shoots, going, going, going with no sign of stopping. It was ridiculously impressive, and I felt jealous. I made excuses again: Well, if I didn't need to work a 9-5 I would have all the time in the world to devote myself completely to this dream. 

And maybe that's true, but that doesn't mean it's any less of an excuse. 


I wasn't lacking in time so much as I was lacking in enthusiasm. And enthusiasm, in any self-employed situation, is your secret weapon. It is what gets you up early to write and schedule those blog posts, or what has you spending your only free hours in the evening assembling items for your handmade shop. It is what motivates you through those long, hard hours that are inevitable at the beginning of starting your own business, when you're still unsure what will come of your efforts or if it's even a good idea.

Enthusiasm is what separates the people who persevere with the people who give up. If you're truly enthusiastic about something, you can set your sights on a goal and do everything in your power to achieve it.

I'm not saying it's that simple, but I can say that the people who find success are the people enthusiastic, driven and motivated enough to see something through the slow times, the rough times, the confusing times. 

In case you missed it, I launched my new photography website yesterday. Pretty stoked about that. I'm choosing to approach each day as a chance to work towards success, and any day I'm not moving forward I'm taking a step back.  I love what I do and I want to do more of it, and I'm going to remember  that the next time I get home from work and don't feel like doing anything at all.

How enthusiastic are you about what you do? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Unlost Photography has a Brand New Website!

Salt Lake City Wedding Photographer
Take a look at my new photography website

Unlost Photography now has a streamlined new website to supplement my photography blog. I wanted to create a professional space where prospective clients can get all of their information without needing to sift through blog post after blog post! I'm absolutely in love with the finished product, which was brought to you by the lovely Bobbi from Ready To Blog Designs. She, like always, was a dream to work with and she happily put up with my ramblings as I thought (and re-thought, and re-thought) about what it was that I wanted in a website design.

After a very busy month of getting settled, finding work and adjusting to life in a new state, I can now gladly say that I'm 100% ready to jump in head first as a Salt Lake City based wedding photographer.

Take a look at the new website and let me know what you think! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Busy Foodie: Coconut Curry Chicken & Potatoes

Busy Foodie: Quick, Healthy Meals for the Girl Who Has Better Stuff to Do. 



Part Two: Quick Coconut Curried Chicken & Potatoes 

I have been making "Thai" curried chicken & rice since before I can remember. However, since the hubs & I are not blessed with a rice maker, cooking rice can be a royal pain in the butt. I don't know about you, but lately I do NOT have time to stand over the stove, stirring rice for 30+ minutes. Potatoes are a lot less high maintenance and cook pretty quickly, so I tried this for a quicker, easier dinner option. The result was pretty dang delicious. 


Ingredients: 

- 4 - 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed. 
- 5 carrots, chopped 
- 1/2 head of broccoli florets 
- 1 cup of frozen peas 
- 2 tsp olive oil 
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
- Salt & pepper, to taste. 
- 1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk 
- 3+ teaspoons of thai curry powder (to taste) 
- 1 teaspoon cumin 



Directions: 

Step One: Add potatoes, carrots, broccoli and peas to a large pot of boiling water. If there are any other vegetables you want to include, feel free! I just used what I had on hand. 

Step Two: While the vegetables are cooking, heat up olive oil in a skillet. Sprinkle chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper on the front and back and add to oil. Cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. 

Step Three: Drain fully cooked vegetables, returning them to the pot they were cooking in. Chop chicken roughly and add to the pot. 

Step Four: Bringing the stove heat down to low,  add can of coconut milk, curry and cumin to the pot and stir until well blended and heated through. 

Serve! 






Monday, July 1, 2013

Halfway There: Keeping Up With New Years Resolutions



It's July 1st. That means we're halfway through the year! This is exciting and also terrifying, because this year I made it a goal to really take my NYR's (New Years Resolutions) seriously and accomplish some major tasks. Seeing as we're halfway there now, I thought I'd offer a perfectly-honest report of how I'm doing to keep myself accountable and hopefully kick this butt into gear!

#1: Run a Half Marathon




I'll admit, I put this one on the back burner for a long time citing that I lacked the time to train. I just recently got back into following a strict running plan and am signed up for the Operation 61 Half Marathon on October 5th. The half marathon is a charity event to help end sex trafficking which is a cause I'm extremely excited to be a part of.

#2: Become Comfortable in Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class 

I've decided not to spring for the yoga studio membership here in SLC yet (though there are some AWESOME ones) and am doing Vinyasa Flow yoga at home a few times a week. I always feel better the mornings that I do Yoga and hope I can start doing it every morning! I will want to head back to a yoga studio soon, because I know an instructor can help me improve far more than I would on my own.

#3: Read The Four Gospels by Easter 

Check! I loved doing this. I saved the last book of John for Easter morning.

#4: Get a 4.0 "This Semester." 

By "this semester" I meant the spring semester at my local college. I checked this one off as well! I took 18 units in one semester and I will NEVER. DO IT. AGAIN. However, geting a 4.0 with that many classes was ridiculously satisfying.

#5: Invent 5 New Recipes and Photograph Them 



This one is a little tricky, because while I often adapt recipes, I'm not quite sure what qualifies "inventing" them. I'm going to define it as creating a recipe on my own that I didn't find online or in a recipe book that is at least somewhat original with some exciting ingredients. If that's the criterium I use, I'm currently at 1/5. Gotta step it up!

#6: Get Paid To Photograph a Wedding 




Check, check & check! I've already shot several weddings and have many more booked throughout 2013! Feeling blessed in this regard.

#7: Be Featured in a Publication. 
Some photos I took for a wedding inspiration shoot earlier this year will be featured in a bridal mag. I'm anxiously awaiting my copy so I can share more with you!

#8: Read 24 Books in Any Genre. 

This one is where I'm slacking. I really need to buckle down and read, right now I think I'm at 6 books when I really should be at 12. Oh no!


How are you doing on your NYR's? Please share! 

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