The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the windows are open ~ it is truly springtime! Not only are the birds singing, they are busy nesting in some of the boxes along the fence row. All this spring activity has inspired me to try something completely different today ~ creating edible nests to fill with custard and berries. The original recipe from Sweet Paul Magazine calls for Kataifi Dough, which is a spun Phyllo Dough. Nope, none to be found around here, so I made some of my own. Sort of a science experiment in the kitchen today.

I will admit that my dough looks a bit like spaghetti. Next time I will make the dough thinner and cut a smaller hole into the zip lock bag before I start pressing it out into the hot skillet. Better yet, I may find a source and purchase the Kataifi Dough. I’ve surrounded some of the nests with fresh herbs and twigs from the garden along with nestling a quail egg inside.

I used folded half sheets of Phyllo Dough to press into the openings of a muffin tin. Then Kataifi Dough was layered and looped around before adding some extra cut strips of Phyllo Dough. I felt this would make them study enough to hold some vanilla custard topped with berries. I had no idea how or if this would turn out, but I might actually try this again sometime.

I suggest purchasing Kataifi Dough if possible. It will be spun very thin and be a bit more “nest like” (rather than “spaghetti like”).  And I do recommend adding a folded half sheet of Phyllo Dough into the tin first to stabilize and firm up the nest, especially if you will be adding a custard filling with toppings.

Here’s to science and cheers to Spring!






Many thanks to those who joined us for the Still Life/Food Photography Workshop. It was a pleasure having you all here to share creativity for three days. The click of shutters, the clicking of glasses, the sharing of information, and new friends made in the process.


Keep arranging, shooting, and sharing until we meet again!



Springtime! With Spring comes the first vegetables from the farmers. I am lucky enough to live where there are several Farmer’s Markets to take advantage of. Seeing the French Breakfast Radishes reminds me of shopping at the markets in Southern France. It is wonderful talking with the vendors and listening to them chat with each other. As always, I love to find beautiful green frilly tops on all the produce they offer.

Do you like the crunch of radishes in salads? Or do you like them with butter and salt?

While I might not eat them for breakfast, they make a nice crunchy snack mid-day. And no trip to the Farmer’s Market is complete unless I pass by the flower vendors.

Seriously, how could I resist?

I hope Mother Nature is done messing with us all and she can settle down, letting us get on with Springtime activities. It did snow up at the cabin yesterday ~ I mean, really! Move along Mother Nature, it is beyond time to switch seasons!




The Burnside35. I even love the name, especially since I am a Burns. Testing the newest Lensbaby lens has been wonderful. It surprises me, delights me, and keeps me thinking about how else I could use it. I’m not really a flower photographer, but seems I could be with the Burnside. These hellebores  came to life with that first click. I pushed the in-camera vignette as far as I could with this shot and am so pleased with the sharp focus along with the swirly, Petzval-like, dancing bokeh. The vignette is controlled with a secondary aperture and lets you dial in on how much vignetting you wish to see.


I knew right away from the heft of the lens that she is serious. Sort of like a grown-up Lensbaby. The focus is sharp and the edges have that slight creative blur. For someone who likes to shoot the ordinary in unusual ways, this lens fits the need.

It may sound crazy, but it tends to give images an elegant feel. She is sophisticated with a playful side and a distinct style which I find quite attractive. Had a great time with the Burnside Shortbread Shoot. By the time I was finished they were just called the “burnside shortbreads”.

The images tend to take on warmer tones which I really like. I think I’ll be keeping this lens on my camera for quite a while.

It’s a full frame 35mm f/2.8 lens that offers the Petzval-like bokeh. It has a solid metal housing and a smooth turning manual focus ring. The primary aperture has a range of f/2.8 to f/16. Then there is the “slider’ which controls an eight-bladed iris which shades the rest of the lens from peripheral light, forcing a vignette when stopped down. More time shooting and less time processing. Who doesn’t want that?