Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Theatrical Head shots : North Herts Photographer.

My latest shoot was held on a cold, snowy Sunday.  They were all taken using just natural light, with various backdrops on a stand in front of my huge bank of windows in one of my sitting rooms.
Phoebe needed some head shots so that her theatrical agent can have her photo included in the upcoming Spotlight database.  Hopefully then she can start being put up for auditions. She is a very talented singer and no doubt actress like her mother, Judith.

Phoebe arrived with slightly, heavy eye make up. So I toned her make up down a bit. Also she had bought with her, very patterned clothing for the shoot. I dug out some simple, plain coloured and shaped tops of mine and away we went.

It was interesting to see the images Phoebe chose, as opposed to what the more "mature" people chose. Phoebe does not like to smile..... at all...... There was a lot of teenage pounting going on, the sort you see all over Facebook.

This was my favourite image .

along with this one.

Phoebe would kill me I'm sure, but when I was going through them I couldn't get over how much she reminded me of Kourtney Kardashian.

Oh and her mum, Judith.

This is a head shot from Judiths old theatrical days. My husband was winding Phoebe up how much she looked like her mum. Something a teenager does not want to hear, EVER.

Super easy, nutty granola : North Herts Portrait photographer

As anyone who knows me, I don't eat healthily. About as healthy as I get is eating an oat granola for breakfast. Mind you, as I understand it, Granola often has more sugar than a can of Coke.
But it's either that , Cocoa Pops or Frosties !! In my reckoning, a wee bit of roughage in the form of oats, can't be too bad. I mean it would be the only roughage my body would ever get in a day.

I buy this granola. Low in fat, but super high in sugar. The problem is I HATE the rat droppings they put in it. Rat droppings to you, would be known as raisins. I have to pick every one of them out, before I can even settle down to eat it. Plus I LOVE nuts, so I started cutting up various nuts and adding it to the granola. One day I thought why don't I just make my own. So that is what I did.

Granola is super easy to make, and the joy is you can change the recipe to your likes and dislikes.
I use this recipe, that I keep on my recipe Pinterest board, here, I laughed when I went back and read her posting of the recipe, she hates raisins too and refers to them as dead flies. LOL.

I don't add any rat droppings or anything fruity at all to my version. I mean just think of the hidden sugar !!
I add various nuts and seeds. I also leave out the nutmeg and cinnamon from my Pinterest recipe. Now I am a big fan of cinnamon, but my first ever attempt tasted a bit too cinnamony ( is that a even a word ? ) for me. So I prefer to make my granola plain now.
I searched all the supermarkets here in the UK for some coconut shavings, as I really like coconut flakes in my granola. But all I could find were the really small desiccated varieties. I finally found some in the American Whole foods store in London.

You just bung everything in a bowl together and stir. See easy peasy ! Sometimes I rebel a little bit more and add a few more oats to the mix. I think it's because I panic when I see the amount of honey going into the mixture. And I don't actually eat honey !! It's another item on my infinitely long list of foods I don't eat.

I think making things from scratch is a great way of really appreciating what goes in to your food. If anyone has ever made shortbread, they will know exactly what I mean..

You then just spread the mixture over a baking tray and pop it in a low oven for about an hour. I pop mine in my simmer oven in our Aga. It's where I cook my meringues and there is little chance of anything burning. Just maybe drying out a bit, if left in there by mistake for days on end. Believe me I've done it ! Several times.

 and then " voila ", an hour later a whole batch of super, easy peasy Granola..

Everything is now nice and toasty and crunchy. I couldn't resist having a little nibble whilst I was waiting for it too cool down. Mmmmmmm

What I then do with the batch is, add it to a plastic cereal container with about half a box of the Quaker Oats granola. I then vigorously shake the two together. The Quaker Oats granola often comes in large chunks stuck together. The vigorous shaking not only distributes the two together but breaks the lumps down to more manageable pieces. I find my version tastes less sweet, so that is why I always add some of the shop bought one. That shop bought one tastes mighty fine, but I just hate those darn rat droppings.

 I always weigh out my portion of granola in the mornings. Granola is laden with calories, so the recommended portion size is  a tiny 45g. So with those big Quaker Oat lumps it can mean I only get a couple in a portion. Thats why I always give it a vigorous shake in a cereal container. As I don't eat yogurt or fruit, I always eat my granola with milk
 I get great pleasure picking out any of the random "rats droppings " (raisins ) that remain in the mix from the shop bought one. By removing these it usually gives me a few more grams of granola.

My version of this Recipe:

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup of shredded coconut
  • 8 tbs of pecans/ walnuts/ pistachios/ brazils/ almonds and hazelnuts, roughly chopped ( I actually buy Tescos finest mixed nuts and use those, with some other variations added )
  • a handful of sunflower seeds
  • ¼ tsp of sea salt flakes
  • ⅓ cup of honey
  • 1½ tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of boiling water

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well together. Add the boiling water to some honey and add along with the olive oil. Stir well until everything is well coated.
Spread on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour, in a low oven (120 celsius ) or the simmer oven of an Aga. Stir the mixture every 20 minutes. When it's baked to just how you like it, leave it to cool and store in an airtight container.  


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