A Photo a Week Challenge: Cracked

Most of the time, we don’t want things to crack. When it comes to artisan bread, the more cracked the crust, the better. My brother gave me the recipe for this delicious loaf, and it has become the most requested item from my kitchen. It’s pretty easy to make, you just need a dutch oven that will fit in your oven. I use a smaller enameled one I got at Sam’s Club, but my brother uses a standard camping one.

Here’s the recipe: The Best No-Knead Bread

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF SOMETHING THAT IS CRACKED.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: #GiveThanks

In the United States, today is Thanksgiving. Even though there is a lot of controversy about our history and what and who we should celebrate, I’m still grateful to live in a country that values freedom. While we may not be perfect at honoring that value, I do believe most of us try. Last Friday, the leader of my church asked everyone, worldwide, to flood social media with posts about gratitude using the hashtag #GiveThanks. It has been amazing to see the tone and feeling of my Facebook newsfeed shift from anger, fear, and division to hope, gratitude, and love for others. I hope that this continues not just through the holiday season, but becomes a permanent part of our lives and thoughts as we give thanks for what we have and who we have in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, American or not. I hope that your days are filled with love, joy, and happiness.

(P.S. The second photo is to show off a little. I’m loving the flakiness of my pie crust turkey but please ignore the slightly too-dark edge. 🙂 )

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) THAT EXPRESSES GRATITUDE.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Something Baked

Okay, okay. I know this pie isn’t baked yet, but it was soon after I took this photo. When summer starts turning toward fall and all of the fruit trees are bursting with ripe fruit, my heart turns to pies, especially apple pies and peach pies. This pie happens to be peach. I have been using my mom’s no fail pie crust recipe for many moons now, and it has failed on my only once (and it was my fault; old flour). Not this time. This time, the crust was the flakiest, melt-in-your-mouthiest I have ever made. I doubt I’ll ever be able to duplicate it. I sure love it when my kitchen smells like a bakery.

Here’s the finished product.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF SOMETHING BAKED.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Thankful November 23rd: Chocolate

Okay, so most of my Thankful November posts have been on a more serious side, but this one is pure fun. I love chocolate. I love really good chocolate. By taking my husband to Europe, I have turned him into a chocolate snob. I am not sorry about this. We are always on the lookout for good, European chocolate here in the States. We also take suggestions of good chocolate to try.

Thankful November 16th: Food

I always like to joke that without food, I would die. I suppose for me, the real truth is that I would die a little inside if I couldn’t cook and bake. I love making good food for people I love. And I love watching them enjoy what I’ve made. My mother and both of my grandmothers were very good cooks, and I learned some fun recipes and technics from each of them. Now I get to bake and cook for my husband, who isn’t a finicky eater, but always goes out of his way to praise whatever I make for him.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Squares and Circles

round_nmp

Sorry about the late posting for this week’s challenge. I guess my photo is my excuse. Yesterday was insanely busy, and I didn’t realize that I missed the challenge until I was in bed last night. This week’s challenge is all about mixing squares and circles. Photography is a rectangular activity. Even though our lenses are round, the output is not. You can create a round image using post-processing methods. You can also create a round image using scissors on a print (very old-fashioned). I used the cropping tool in Photoshop to put my round pie into a square.

For anyone who is interested: my pie is a take on a blueberry sour cream pie recipe that I found online. A friend asked me to make a pie for a church fundraiser dessert auction dinner that’s tonight. When I mentioned the blueberry pie, she asked me to it with raspberries instead (she’s not a fan of blueberries) because she wants to buy it. I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) FEATURING SQUARES AND CIRCLES TOGETHER IN YOUR IMAGES.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Made by Hand

There is always something special about items that are made by hand. When I was younger, one of my favorite pieces of furniture at my grandmother’s house was a corner hutch that my mom and her father had built together when she was just a girl. My grandfather had ordered it as a kit, but the corner Grandma wanted it in was irregular, so he had to modify it to fit. It wasn’t until it was moved to my parents’ home that you could tell just how much he had to change the back to get it into that corner.

My husband loves it when I spend a day in the kitchen. I love baking, and the season change from summer to fall always seems to bring out the super baker in me. Today, I made bread and a fresh peach pie. The house smells wonderful, and I’m looking forward a piece of fresh-baked bread with butter melting on it. I better wrap this up so I can do that now!

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR THREE OR…) OF THINGS MADE BY HAND (YOURS OR SOMEONE ELSE’S).

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography. Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Fresh Baked

Fresh baked bread

I love baking (I actually have a cooking blog, though sadly it’s been a while since I posted a recipe there). A few months ago, I found a really good and easy bread recipe that I no longer need the recipe to make. So, in a first (and probably last) for this blog, here is the recipe to go along with the image:

Homemade white bread
  • 2-1/4 C hot water (115-120F)
  • 2-1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 3 Tbl sugar
  • 2 Tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbl salt
  • 6 to 6-3/4 C flour, divided
  1. In a large bowl, mix water and yeast. Once yeast has activated (clumped together and starting to smell yeasty), add sugar, oil, and salt. Add 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, and mix well. Add the additional flour one cup at a time until you have a nice, elastic dough
  2. Turn dough out on hard, floured surface (I use my wooden kitchen table) and knead for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Oil a large bowl and put dough in bowl, turning once to oil both sides.
  4. In a warm place, allow to rise until double in size (1 to 1-1/2 hours). Punch down and divide into two greased loaf pans.
  5. Allow to rise again until double in size (about 1 hour). Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 33 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when you tap the top.
  6. Remove from pans to cooling rack. You can brush top with melted butter, if you like that sort of thing.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT FEATURE FOOD AND BAKED ITEMS.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.