Not your average engagement photos

Engagement photos normally make me feel a bit nauseated, though modern-minded photographers these days are really trying hard to come up with new and original poses/backrounds/angles to make the photos seem fresh.  I came across this album my friend Erika (who, incidentally, lives in Singapore, though she's not ditzy like the girls featured in my previous post) posted on Facebook, and I had to do a double-take.  I'd never seen "engagement" done like this before!

I really like that they had so much fun with the shoot (done in her native Bali, Indonesia), dressing up, splashing around, hamming it up for the camera, and not taking themselves too seriously.  I especially love the first and last photos.

Pictures from the tea party

Those little sandwiches are surprisingly labor-intensive!  But was great to see everyone in one place and I was delighted to see that some people actually dressed up as encouraged.

On the menu: home-made lemon curd and TJ's crumpets, mini peanut butter cup waffles, homemade Foster's scones, assortment of biscuits and cookies, tea sandwiches (pear & brie, cucumber & cream cheese, braunschweiger & tomato).  

Plus people brought an astounding array of delicious foods to share: strawberry cream puffs, NYC cheesecake, currant loaf, mini-samosas, blackberry cake, devonshire cream, cornbread (?), fruit, orange madeleines, and on and on and on.  Good times.

First resolution completed!

As I resolved in my 2009 List of Things To-Do, tonight my friend and I made my former coworker's secret family recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They are extraordinary--fluffy, tender and melty out of the oven, chewy and delicious a day or two later.

I begged him for six months to share the recipe with me, and after he finally did, I proceeded to sit on it for two full years.  Well I finally made them and am very happy to report that after following the recipe to the letter they turned out just as kickass as I remember!  The keys are the very specific type of fat used, the cookie size and the baking time.

I think it would be in poor taste to post the recipe since it's not really mine to share.  But here are some pictures!

PS. Isn't Crystal cute with her big ole oven mitts!

Thanksgiving saga: The feast!

It was, indeed, a feast for all posterity.  Pretty much everything was top-notch delicious, made tastier by good friends.

Some photo highlights:
  • Wendy basting the turkey with, yes, a syringe!  With Vince looking on.
  • Vince grappling with a newly-dead carp fish.
  • The fish, steamed with ginger and scallions.
  • Scott & G's beautiful vegetable tian.
  • The full spread.
  • Candace's butternut squash risotto.
  • Wendy's turkey with Grace's rich gravy at the ready.
  • Gilbert's virgin attempt at an apple pie--great execution, and very yummy besides (plus his mulled wine was outrageously good).