Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup

Serves 4 


3 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) dried crushed red pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

4 1-inch slices from a large loaf of rye bread, whole wheat sourdough or bread of your choice (or 16 1-inch slices from a baguette), toasted until hard and lightly buttered on one side
1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar (or more to taste)

Make soup: 
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap garlic cloves in a tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper (I used 1 full teaspoon of Kosher salt). Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender (garlic will be very tender), about 1 hour. Cool slightly.
Unwrap garlic packet and peel cloves. Transfer cloves, tomatoes and any accumulated juices to a blender or food processor and pulse machine on and off until tomatoes are a chunky puree. Transfer tomatoes to medium pot and add thyme, crushed red pepper and stock and bring to a boil Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.

Create cheddar lid:

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls, crocks or large mugs on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. Stir grated onion into the warm soup.  Float toast slice(s) in each bowl, buttered side up and divide grated cheese generously over top. (If you’re using a wide bowl, you might find that you want more cheese to create a thick, broiled lid.) Bake soups on tray for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbling and brown at the edges. If you’d like it even more bronzed on top, preheat your broiler and finish soups for a minute or two under it. Serve immediately.

Soup can be prepared one day ahead, and kept covered in the fridge. Rewarm before serving, or before finishing with cheddar crouton.

via here

Animal Clips

Whimsical paperclips bring a new level of awesomeness to office work. Clips by Midori From Japan.


The online shop is called Seed . They have such sweet little things for babies and kids .

Photoshop Techniques

4 Easy Photoshop Techniques to Make Your Pictures Pop!
1: blur/overlay
Duplicate your picture layer by dragging the layer to the ‘new’ icon in the layers palette (ctrl+j).
Apply a gaussian blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur…). Blur it enough that the detail disappears but the shapes mostly keep their form.
In the layers palette, change the blending mode from ‘Normal’ to ‘Overlay.’
If you look at the before and after, you can see that this method makes the light tones lighter and the dark tones darker while softening it a touch. Basically, it softly boosts the contrast. If you want a more dramatic effect, try changing the blending mode to ‘Vivid Light’ instead of ‘Overlay.’
Try it on all kinds of shots: portraits, nature shots, you name it. You can use this method ALL the time. It works so well with everything!

2: filter the background
This one can be fun… With a picture open, duplicate the layer (as always). Use your lasso tool to roughly select the subject of your image.

Feather the selection by going to Select > Feather (ctrl+alt+d). We want a pretty large feather, so what you input depends on your picture. Try 50 pixels. Go to Layer > New > Layer via copy. You should end up with just your subject on a new layer with a nice feather to it (fades at the edges).

Select the layer copy below your subject layer. Start trying out filters. I used Filter > Brush Strokes > Dark Strokes for this example. Most of the Brush Stroke filters work well with this effect. Using blurs tends to look a little funny. When you’ve got it all done, your layers palette should look a little like this:

That’s it. Try this out with lots of different filters. If you want to tone down the effect, change the opacity of the effect layer. If you want to get more advanced with your subject selection, you can duplicate the layer, mask it out, and use a large soft white brush to paint the subject back in.

3: neon glow

Have you ever played with neon glow and wondered when the heck you were ever going to use it? Well, it’s time to give it another shot. This can add a touch of color and drama to your shot.
Duplicate your layer, then pull up Filter > Artistic > Neon Glow. Pick a color that you think will complement your shot. In mine, the cat is lit with sunlight, so I went with a yellow to exaggerate that. Start with a glow size of 4 and a glow brightness of 18, then tweak it to suit your shot. This is what I ended up with:

I’ll bet you can guess what’s next. You got it — change the blending mode to ‘Overlay.’ Also cycle through those modes: soft light, hard light, vivid light, and linear light. I prefer overlay and vivid light with this effect.

4 :easy blur
This one nearly passed me by… it’s a wonderfully easy effect to soften a picture. Try it on portraits.

Duplicate your layer and apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) so that the details start to go, but not too much.

Set the opacity of the layer to 50%. This is a great, super-simple way to soften a picture. It can give it almost a dreamy look. Play with opacities until you find something that works really well with your shot.

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Quote Of The Day

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hinged Packaging Tape

Interesting . . . from here

Casa De Perrin

Casa de Perrin is a full service boutique rental company specializing in tabletop and decor. They provide a certain art and soul of setting a table or decorating a room without limitations for brides, event planners, designers, photographers and private parties. Their one-of-a-kind, bohemian-eclectic collections span continents, time periods, design aesthetics... 

Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks

We’ve always known that cotton swabs are handy for all sorts of grooming dilemmas, but cotton swabs filled with a soothing cucumber-aloe-green tea potion that saturates the tip with a snap of your fingers  ? You simply break off the marked end, which releases the fluid into the other end… 
Buy here

Happy Tiny Feet . . .

These are the cutest moccasins from freshly picked.


Love these balloon lamps by Estiluz. Which are capable enough to take us back to our childhood days when holding balloons was such great fun. Plus these will never fade away and spread soft light at the same time.

Think This Way . . .

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Peter Lippmann For Christian Louboutin

This is one of the most unique and compelling fashion ad campaigns I've seen. Even though it’s not super new, but would love to share it with you. Christian Louboutin collaborated with celebrated photographer Peter Lippmann to reinterpret a number of fine art masterpieces by incorporating his signature red soled shoes. See the whole campaign right here.

Upon A Fold

Ice cream card
Envelope maker set
Milk carton storage/gift box
Tracing paper pockets
Happy Memo

"Upon a fold" is wonderful online store dedicated to everything cute and papery. They have an amazing collection. LOVE!

Luxury Bandages!

Gucci, Chanel, Burberry and Louis Vuitton band-aids! Inspired by luxury brands and their recognizable logos, Brandages are FDA approved and are so fashionable you'll want to give yourself a superficial wound.
From here

The Tulip Lamp

Designed by Peter Jansen, The Tulip.MGX takes its shape from intriguing organic forms – forms that are so far unknown and yet seem so familiar. Rather than centering on a translation from our visible world, this light object is a translation of the strange attractors and mathematical formulas used in chaos theory.

Smokey Eye Tutorials

This tutorial from Become Gorgeous is complete with step-by-step photos, making the look easy to complete.

- Marie Claire created a video to compliment their 5 simple steps to a celebrity smokey eye here.

Gluten Free Fried Banana Bites

My dearest friend Farah another gluten free recipe specially for you . . . XOXO

5 Tbs. white rice flour
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. shredded coconut
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. milk (of any kind- here used coconut)
2 bananas, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
Oil for frying (I used canola)

Fill a shallow frying pan with about 1 inch oil and heat over medium until warm.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together flour, sugar, coconut, egg and milk until fully incorporated and cake batter like.
Roll cut banana rounds in batter and drop into oil until golden (about 1 minute each side).
Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain.
Repeat with remaining rounds.
Sprinkle with powdered or cinnamon sugar and serve warm.

via here
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