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Archive for March, 2014

I love photography and always enjoy an opportunity to learn more about my camera and the art of photography itself.  Thanks to The Crafty Wife, I and other photo loving ladies are getting some free lessons on how to put our DSLRs to their best use.

This lesson is all about shutter speed.  What is shutter speed?  The teachers at NoBadFoto.com tell us this:

The shutter speed controls the amount of time that the shutter curtain is left open. – See more at: http://www.nobadfoto.com/understanding-exposure-3.html#s1

In other words, this setting controls how much “motion” you will catch in a still photo.  That sounds a little weird, doesn’t it?  Let’s look at a few of my lesson photos to explain. When the shutter speed is set to a slow pace, such as 1/4 of a second, running water looks like this:

f22-1 over 4-400iso-faucet

f22 1/4 shutter speed 400iso

There is not a lot of detail in the water and when it hits the sink:

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f22 1/4 shutter speed 400iso

It shows up like a puddle instead of running water.  Now let’s hike up the speed to 1/1000 of a second and see what happens.

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f3.5 1/1000 shutter speed 1600 iso

There are a lot more details in the water and you start to see individual droplets instead of one continuous running stream.

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f3.5 1/1000 shutter speed 1600 iso

See all of the extra detail in the water.  Now imagine if that was a person or animal running.  If you want a clear shot of their “motion”, you need to speed up the shutter to catch them in action.  I decided to turn my camera all of the way up to 1/3200 of a second just to see what it would look like.

f3.5-1 over 3200-3200iso-faucet

f3.5   1/3200 shutter speed 3200 iso

There is even more detail, but the lighting becomes harder to perfect at this speed, especially indoors. So, what have I learned?  I now know the next time I want to take motion or action shots to crank up that shutter speed if I don’t want any blur.  Of course, if I am shooting running water and want that smoky look, I will need to really slow it down and hold the camera very steady to reduce shakiness. 

This has been a great lesson and I so appreciate The Crafty Wife for hosting these tutorials.

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Hi, folks!  I am posting this a day early because I have a photo challenge post going up tomorrow and I decided two posts in one day was probably a little much.  I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend. Ours was busy, but good.  C & I got an eye exam on Saturday and I am now officially old because I have to have bifocals.  Yuck!  I knew I was having trouble reading, but I really hadn’t considered the fact that bifocals may be needed.  When the doctor adjusted the lens with the bifocals it made a huge difference and I hope they help my eyes feel less tired by the end of a long day working at a computer.  Oh, well, I guess it could be worse.  I can still see after all!

It was also a great weekend of college basketball and we cheered on the University of Kentucky as hard as we could.  It was so much fun!! 

The weather is supposed to be really nice this week and I hope to get outside and start cleaning up the flower beds and maybe starting building my new raised beds with a lot of help from C. 

Have a great week!

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven baked fries

Lasagna calzones (new) with salad

Slow cooker beef tips (new) with oven baked fries and salad

Pizza night

Sloppy Joes with curly fries

Oreo pie

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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A long time ago, I made an orange juice cake and remembered it as being so moist and delicious.  Fast forward a few years and that recipe kind of got lost in the shuffle until I received a new Bundt pan for Christmas. My uncle mentioned an orange juice cake and bells started going off in my head so I knew that I had to make one again. 

I couldn’t find my old recipe so off to the world wide web I went in search for one.  Of course, Christy at Southern Plate had a recipe on her site and it was just as I remembered it.  The method of piercing the cake and pouring the sauce over it while it is still in the pan makes it so good. 

orangejuicecake

For the cake:

1 box yellow cake mix

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup orange juice (I used Florida’s Natural.  The cheap brands give this cake an odd flavor.)

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

For the glaze:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 orange juice (Name brand again.)

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a Bundt pan.  Mix all of the cake ingredients together and stir until smooth.  Pour in the Bundt pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Put the glaze ingredients in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium/high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

While the cake is still in the pan, poke several holes into the cake with a knife and pour the glaze over it.  Then let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool.  The sauce should soak into the cake completely in that 10 minutes.  If it hasn’t, just wait another 5 minutes or so before turning out the cake.

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orangejuicecake

orangejuicecakeslice

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The subject of today’s post is the next Cotton Malone book by Steve Berry called “The Emperor’s Tomb”.  I really enjoy these adventure stories that take the characters around the globe in search of bad guys, good guys and ancient treasures.  There is never a dull moment when Cotton Malone shows up!

“NORTHERN AREAS, PAKISTAN

FRIDAY, MAY 18

8:10 AM

A bullet zipped past Cotton Malone.  He dove to the rocky ground and sought what cover the sparse poplars offered.”

Poor Cotton!  He just wants to enjoy his retirement and run his used book store, but life just won’t let him.  These books are fun and the stories flow nicely.  I love looking up all of the locales and artifacts Mr. Berry writes about.  If you try it, I hope you like them as much as I do.

Please join me and other book lovers over at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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It’s amazing how much plants can grow in just a week.  From this…

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To this:

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Good Monday morning! Sorry I was MIA last week, but I just wasn’t feeling up to snuff.  I thought it was just the winter weather blues until I started having tons of sinus drainage by the end of the week.  It turns out I was rocking a pretty severe sinus infection so after a shot and a few pills, I feel SO much better! Now that I am back to normal, there are so many things I want to do!

C & I are planning to update our raised gardens beds with cedar boards and add a couple of extra beds while we are at it.  I can’t wait! Now if the weather will just cooperate.  Speaking of gardening, please check back on Wednesday to see how my seedlings are doing.  

I have a couple of new recipes on the list this week that I hope are keepers.  I will let you know!

Dr. Pepper pulled pork (new) with curly fries

Tacos with salad

Grilled hamburgers with oven fries

Panko pork chops (new) with butter roasted potatoes & salad

Pizza night

One pot baked rotini with cheesy bread

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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Here is yet another slow cooker recipe.  Dear readers, I hope I am not burning you out on these, but I LOVE a good main dish that I don’t have to fuss with.  So…enter the slow cooker!  This is another successful Taste of Home recipe that I will definitely be making again. 

Slow Cooker Saucy Pork Chops

6 pork chops (Bone in would be best, but I used boneless.)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. liquid smoke (Optional, but it adds great flavor.)

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Sprinkle the chops with garlic powder, salt & pepper.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown the chops on both sides.

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In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make the sauce.  Pour a little of the sauce in the bottom of a small slow cooker.  Then add a layer of the browned pork chops and another layer of sauce.  Continue this until all of the chops are in the crock and covered with sauce.

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Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until the meat is tender.

Slow Cooker Saucy Pork Chops

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