October 2012 Recap

Whew, October sure breezed by, didn’t it?  It wasn’t nearly as bad as September, but the tense Halloween anticipation I remember lasting all month long as a wee young sprite barely hit me this year.  I didn’t count down the days or start planning my costume until about the twenty-ninth.  There has been too much STUFF going on!!  This is better than not enough stuff, most of the time, but (I know I don’t really have a right to say this, seeing how I got back from Disneyland last weekend), it WOULD be nice to have a breather.

This month, I ran in rainstorms for the first two times (there is something absurdly empowering about it), wrote a measly 2,000 words in my novel 😦, trained for my first-ever running race!, cooked black bean brownies, took a trip to Disneyland and blogged about the food :), designed, scoured thrift stores for, and pieced together my own Halloween costume, wrote a short story for Language Arts class that I’m incredibly proud of, got some writing inspiration in Los Angeles, ate lots of squash, celebrated Dia de los Muertos and honored our two large parrots, Java and Sanka, ate a lot of soup, bought new “magic” running shoes, received the Sunshine Award, posted my first two poems here, and complained a lot about homework loads ;).  I also became very excited because now that Halloween’s over and done with, we are OFFICIALLY in the HOLIDAY SEASON! 😀

One month of the Girl in the Orange in terms of…

…photography:

You might be wondering right about now; how did that Savory October Challenge go over this month, hmm?

Well, to say the least, I learned a lot.  Mainly I learned that homework is going to pick up (even though I thought it impossible) as we get closer to the end of the trimester, leaving me with almost no time to photograph my dinner. 😉  This “challenge” wasn’t the big project I envisioned it, which is disappointing, but such is life.

I also learned some other things though…

…such as the fact that on a Friday or the weekend, when I set aside a large chunk of time and really dedicate myself to taking a good photo, I can do it most of the time.  (Though “good” is relative–the above photos are “good” by my standards.)  I also learned that if you want to get serious about food photography, you should really invest in some photogenic bowls, table runners, dishes, utensils, napkins, placemats, etc (aka, bowls that don’t have a childish grass pattern running around the edges. ;P  You didn’t notice, right? And the photos in The Soup Zone were taken on top of a red shawl of mine, draped over my toaster!)

My allotment for holiday and birthday gifts is small, seeing how EXTREMELY kind and generous parents and grandparents  are providing most of the funding to allow me to take a school trip to Costa Rica in July, but those sorts of things are what’s going on my “wish lists”.  Since food isn’t much of an animate subject, props are really helpful in staging and shooting the perfect photo, possibly one that even tells a story, and I would like to have some non-dorky dishware for this purpose. 😉  I’m also signing up for a photography class at a local college in the future, so I look forward to seeing what the combination of better skills and better props will do for my food photography.

…food:

Okay, I really want to make a super lame pun about how the black bean brownies made this month TAKE THE CAKE, when in reality they take the brownie, but I’ll spare you the agony. 😉

All jokes aside, please make black bean brownies.  Next on my hit list?  White bean or chickpea blondies.  Get ready for a (semi)sugar rush…

(And don’t do what I did and add 2 tsp of baking powder instead of 1/2 tsp!!  When I made the second batch for Dia de los Muertos, I realized why my first batch turned out so flat!! ;P [face palms])

…things that made me smile:

Stereotypical Disney, but at the Magic Kingdom we were treated sooo kindly by the cast members!  I hope they get paid well.  They were all very friendly and smiley.

On Friday night in California adventure, we were really bummed because we hadn’t bought Fastpasses for the World of Color light/water show, which you apparently needed to get in.  We were talking to the woman posted at the entrance of the show, and upon hearing that it would be our only day to see the show, and that we had flew in from two states away, she lifted the rope, averting her eyes, and sighed “Well, I guess I’ll just have to let you in then…”  ❤  Thank you, World of Color lady!!

And I already mentioned to you that the next day our family was selected to Open Adventureland and got to ride our own boat on the Jungle Cruise, but it’s worth restating.  Disney is a big corporation, something that I’m generally somewhat opposed to, but I do like to think that it hasn’t strayed away from its founding principals of wonder, happiness, and the pursuit of “your dream” too much, and that’s what I like about it. 🙂

Happy belated Halloween, feliz Dia de los Muertos, y happy beginning of the holiday season!!  I sense lots of baking around the corner… 😉

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2 thoughts on “October 2012 Recap

  1. I found a recipe for vegetarian black bean fudge that reminded me of your post about the brownies. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to attempt it, haha, but I thought I’d share in case you were interested!

    Ingredients:
    ½ can black beans – rinsed and drained
    1 medium mashed banana
    ½ cup raw cacoa powder
    1/3 cup dates
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp cinnamon
    ¼ tsp stevia
    ½ cup ground oats
    2 tbs ground flax
    2 tbs chia seeds (optional)

    Optional:
    Dessicated coconut to coat
    Cranberries (or other dried fruit) – finely chopped and mixed through.

    Method:
    Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth dough is formed. Add additional dried fruit here, also, if using. The dough should be fairly tacky but not sticky – and should be easy to handle.

    Form a log of dough approx. 5cm in diameter. Roll the log in desiccated coconut if desired.

    Using a sharp knife, cut the log into rounds approx. 1-2cm thick. Store in a sealed contained in the fridge for up to a week (these also freeze well).

    • Oooh that sounds dangerous 😉 Thanks for the recipe!
      I can’t believe I’ve never tried dates! I can never seem to find them cheap enough to justify sweetening a dessert that my family will most likely be too scared to try anyway, but…this IS fudge, after all…

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