Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. We had some great weather, sunny, sunny, sunny. Still a little too chilly for garden work (for me anyway). My weekend was full with visiting my dad and then errands. While with Dad, my sister arrived unexpectedly, so we took the opportunity and went out for lunch once Dad was settled in his own dining room for his.
First off I want to share some photos I took recently. Now I am not a manual camera person. I prefer putting the camera on automatic and clicking away. I just find it quicker because I'm usually with little kids, or the dog, or I'm taking wildlife photos and don't want to miss the shot. Sometimes it gets annoying when the flash continually want to go off, but I work around that in my own way. My camera, however, does have manual capabilities! Now with Soma's help in her Wandering Camera series, I am challenging myself to do more. Soma recently spoke about setting the ISO properly. This morning I played with that a bit, and here are the results. Nothing note worthy, but it shows you really do have to play around with the camera ... and again I can't say how thankful I am that these are digital :)
The photos were looking a little better as I kept changing the settings. These are shown in order of taking them. The lighting wasn't great this morning with clouds moving in, but with a beautiful sunrise first thing. What do you think Soma?
These next two were a couple of photos from the automatic setting, and then I touched them up on the computer (which is my normal lazy photographer method). Please note the snow. It was -4C this morning ... ugh.
Obviously, I need more practice, but I've dipped my toe in now and will force myself to continue.
And now a few shots of a sweet little song sparrow that I took through the back patio door. Not great photos, but I don't see this guy very often. If I had opened the door, he would have flown away. (automatic setting ... these were taken a few days ago)
And lastly, I'd like to share a favourite recipe of mine and my daughter's. Now this recipe is light tasting, but it is not light in calories. We happened upon this recipe many years ago, and although it's a bit of work, it's very easy and delicious! It keeps for a few days in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long). If you like lemony desserts, I've got to say, this one is superb! The real lemons make for a very mouthwatering lemon taste. I'll be serving this after our Easter meal of roast beef & Yorkshire pudding :)
LEMON HAZELNUT SQUARES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)
Heat oven to 350F. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine flour, powdered sugar and butter; mix well. Press dough evenly into pan. Sprinkle with hazelnuts; press lightly into dough. Note: I chop the hazelnuts very fine and add them right into the flour mixture instead. Also, if you want to enhance the flavour of the hazelnuts, spread them on a cookie sheet and set in the oven no more than 10 minutes at 350F.
Bake at 350F for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely; about 30 minutes (I often set it in the fridge before the next step so the filling doesn't melt when you put it on.)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice (I use about 2 lemons for both the peel and the juice)
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
yellow food colour, if desired
While the crust is cooling, in medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water; blend until smooth. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice.
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly stir in hot filling mixture and food colouring (just a few drops) until well blended. Cool 30 minutes.
Spoon filling over cooled crust; spread evenly. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour, or until chilled.
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
whole hazelnuts (filberts), halved, if desired
fresh mint leaves , if desired
In medium bowl, beat whipping cream and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon over cooled lemon filling; spread evenly. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours or until serving time. Garnish each serving with hazelnut halves and mint leaves. Note: I don't bother with the hazelnuts on top, or the mint leaves, and you can still taste the hazelnuts in the crust.
Thanks for stopping by!
Linking up with Judith's Mosaic Monday, thanks for hosting Judith.