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Camera Confessions & Baked Asparagus with Browned Butter and Parmesan

Good morning, dear ones! 🙂

Over the past several months I’ve had numerous requests to share what camera I use, what photographic equipment I employ, and what editing program I utilize for the photos I post here five days a week. So – drum roll please! – today is Camera Confession Day!

Camera: Nikon Coolpix L20 – though mine is rather the worse for wear since the battery hatch no longer closes and I can’t take a photo without holding down the spring-loaded hatch with one hand while I press the button with the other.  Those batteries like to fall out at the most inopportune moments!

Photographic equipment: non-existent. Unless you count my knees, which allow me to kneel in mud, grass and water, and also work beautifully as a tripod when necessary.

Photo editing program: Picasa – used to turn photos right side up and crop. Alas, that’s all I know how to do.

The End. 🙂

Moral of the story: don’t let anyone tell you you have to wait for expensive equipment or have mad skills at editing before you can capture beautiful moments.

A friend of mine tells me regularly: “Start where you are.” I love that!!  We may be poor-ish (check), sick (check), and have responsibilities that overwhelm (check), but we can all do something to make our lives a bit more beautiful each day, and, if we’re lucky, share them with others so they can be cheered too.

I just finished reading “The Martha Rules” by Martha Stewart, and while I gleaned much from it, one thing in particular stood out to me. She said that at the top of her to-do list every day she writes three words: Make it beautiful. As she organizes her day she plans ways to make life more beautiful for herself, her family, friends, co-workers and customers. What a gorgeous way to live!

So, my beloved readers, I can’t send you beautiful magazines or fancy chocolates or whisk you away on fancy vacations to exotic climes, but I can share the little things that make my life beautiful each day. I hope that they might brighten your day a little too, wherever you are.

Speaking of beautiful things, here are a few that delighted me this week.

Almond Hot Chocolate on a rainy afternoon.

A blue sky reflected in a placid stream.

A very mossy tree.

Sunshine streaming through my windows onto my bedspread after a terrific rainstorm.

And, last but not least, delicious Baked Asparagus with Browned Butter and Parmesan.

What is making your day beautiful today?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear ones, and I’ll see you on Monday. 🙂

Baked Asparagus with Browned Butter and Parmesan

Ingredients:

one bunch asparagus, rinsed and trimmed

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Arrange asparagus in a skillet and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until just tender 4-6 minutes. Remove and drain.
  3. Put butter in saucepan over medium heat and melt. Continue cooking until butter begins to brown, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 more minute, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat.
  4. Arrange asparagus in casserole dish, drizzle with browned butter, dust with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until asparagus is cooked through and Parmesan begins to toast.
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RamblingTart - Thank you, Imen! Your comment came through a bit wonky, but I managed to get your message reading through the gobbledygook. 🙂

Imen - Hi there….I love your blog!…and one of the first things I noticed was the photography! So indeed you are very correct with this posting! I currently shoot most of my photos with my iPhone and they look pretty good. I am splashing out and buying a Canon because I would like more versatility but you’ve proven that you don’t NEED a high end camera to do this….you just need creative vision! x

RamblingTart - I love that moss photo too, Sarah! 🙂 Like a blanket of tiny green feathers. 🙂 I’m so glad you had blue skies this weekend!! HOORAY! 🙂

Sarah, Maison Cupcake - The sky was blue in London today which is a rare sight lately!

That picture of the moss is amazing.

RamblingTart - That is cheering, Barbara! 🙂 Your photos are so lovely. 🙂

barbara - I started with a small point and shoot. A Pentax which was only about 6mgp.Eventually I upgraded to a dSLR, but I still retain a small point and shoot for restaurant photos.

RamblingTart - It sure is, Ellie. 🙂 I’m so glad you have such lovely things to make your day beautiful! 🙂

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - Hot chocolate is the best friend for a rainy afternoon. Love the pictures and dish. You always have great things to share. The blue sky and good friends are making my day beautiful.

RamblingTart - Dear Tina, I sure do! 🙂 I’ll try to find it this weekend and get back to you. 🙂

Tina Bobina - HI!
I have a bunch of raw almonds that I’d like to roast and flavour.
The store bought kinds are very expensive.
Do you have a good recipe for making roasted, yummy almonds?
Thanks!
–Tina Bobina

RamblingTart - Dear Joumana, I’m so glad to hear that. 🙂 I like that river shot too. It made me so happy to emerge from the woods and see it there so peaceful and serene. 🙂

RamblingTart - Oh Jacqueline, I love that we both have blue mugs. 🙂 I’m so glad my blog is a happy, peaceful place for you after your harried day. I’m with you about feeling daunted about the techy side of digital photography. I really liked my old 35 mm too and I’d love to see what you come up with! 🙂 Maybe you’ll have some blissful images of your own to share one day soon. 🙂 It’s been a very rough week for me too, and I’m so looking forward to a peaceful weekend. Hugs!!

tasteofbeirut - Your photos helped make my day a lovely one! Love the one with the sky reflecting in the river, so peaceful; great asparagus dish too.

Jacqueline - Krista, after an emotionally turbulent day, I wanted nothing more than to come home, drink tea in my own blue (!) mug, eat far too many chocolate chip cookies, and sink into your blog. Thank you so much for today’s offering. Fancy equipment or not, your photos are deeply compelling precisely because it’s YOU who’s so in tune with, and able to capture, the fleeting beauty that surrounds you. We’re all the more fortunate because of it!

I find it to be quite daunting at times, when I read about the technicalities of digital photo treatments … my brain kinda switches off at some point. I no longer have a digital camera, but when I recently moved, I came across the two 35mm cameras I do have. Both need repair, but I may just reintroduce myself to picture taking by picking them up again. There’s so much to love about the digital process (particularly the instantaneous image), but film has its own beauty. Now a digital SLR — that’s the stuff of daydreams!

Hope the weekend brings you comfort.
J xx

RamblingTart - I’m so glad, Mary. 🙂 The hot chocolate did cheered my heart wonderfully on that gloomy day. I’m glad it made you smile too. 🙂

RamblingTart - Dear Ksenia, I really, really love that idea of writing down five things each day. Love it! I will start that this weekend. 🙂 Thank you! I emigrated from Canada, my Dad is from Denmark, my Mum from Canada. It is not easy to find a place a new country, to figure out their way of doing things, to find a job that suits your skills and provides for your family. Thankfully something always turns up, even though it’s wretchedly painful and scary for a while. I’m so glad you’re finding things to be grateful for in the midst of it! You’re right, even in our difficulties we are still so much better off than many. Hope you have a beautiful weekend. 🙂

MAry - Your quest – at least this leg of it – was successful. You did indeed make it beautiful. That is the most perfect cup of hot chocolate I’ve ever seen. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

RamblingTart - Thank you so much, Elra! 🙂 I just visited your site and wow, your photos are scrumptious too! 🙂

elra - What a wonderful photographs, they are gorgeous and love how big they are. It makes, especially the food look more appetizing.

RamblingTart - Thanks very much for the encouragement, Lazaro! 🙂 I’m glad you like the photos so far, and I hope to get better and better. 🙂

Lazaro - No equipment can replace talent. I have always marveled at the photos you post. I can tell that you have a fantastic eye and a sense for timing to capture the moment. Keep up the good work.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers!

RamblingTart - I love that, Joanne. 🙂 I know it must be fun to use a wonderful camera and have props and lighting and whatnot, but I’m content with my little battered camera too. 🙂 I think we’re doing a fine job “making do”. 🙂

Joanne - I use minimal equipment as well – my tiny point and shoot…and my fingers! I love that even while others are spending mass amounts of money on crazy equipment, I’m making do with what I have. Love the asparagus. browned butter is just so delicious! Have a great weekend!

RamblingTart - Ohhh, I’m so happy to hear that, Zizi! 🙂 Your day sounds WONDERFUL!! I can picture you now, having such a lovely time with your man. 🙂

Zita - I’m in Budapest (Hungary) and you brighten my days a little! 🙂

I love your mossy tree photo!

What is making my day beautiful today?
Spending time with my boyfriend in a lovely bistro in Budapest in the afternoon drinking delicious cappuccino & eating a mozzarella-aragula-tomato sandwich! 🙂

Ksenia - I believe that the little things are precisely what makes life worth it 🙂 A friend of mine gave the idea some time ago of writing down every day not a to-do list, but five things you enjoyed doing or you’re proud of. They would be small things, but after some months you would see how many little, beautiful things you do 😀

I love your mug ^^ One of the things I like the most about rainy days is that you can curl up in the sofa with a cup of hot cocoa, coffee, tea or anything hot and a book 🙂

And thank you for your lovely comment. I didn’t know you emigrated too. Where are you from? Usually, people don’t understand how difficult it can be. Relatives and friends from Russia tend to think that Spain is only beach and sun, like some kind of paradise.

Life can be difficult sometimes, but we can’t give up so easily. Also, we have to be grateful for what we have. Compared to people from other countries (who don’t have running water
or even food), we are still living in luxury!

Have a nice weekend ^^

RamblingTart - Thanks, doggy bloggy! 🙂 I agree completely. I’m not fancy or techy, but I’ll just keep practicing and learning and enjoying it immensely. 🙂

doggybloggy - an artist simply needs a crayon and a blank sheet of paper (sometimes “blank” isnt even necessary) and you prove that~

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