Food In Fifty

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 22, 2012

First of all, thank you for the thought provoking comments you left on my autism post. I know there will be plenty more to talk about as these changes continue to be proposed, and I truly appreciated the discussion. My readers are amazing!

We’ve had a very low key weekend here, which has been wonderful. I’ve gotten caught up on a few projects and accomplished a few must-do chores, while also getting in some R&R. One of the highlights, as always, has been the meals — in particular the photos that go along with said meals. My mother- and father-in-law, Barb and John, gave me a 50mm camera lens for Christmas, and I’ve been experimenting.

On Friday night, we made minestrone soup, adding in some chicken sausage for extra protein.

I tried my hand at manually focusing. What do you think? Can you tell what I used as my guide?

If you guessed the noodle that is sticking up from the rest of the soup, you got it.

For some additional veg, we roasted Brussels sprouts sprinkled with chili seasoning and olive oil in the oven. Fifteen minutes at 400 degrees, and they were perfect to taste…and photograph. My focus was on the sprout toward the back, in the center.

Wine was also a must. I love how the glass pops while the rest of the background is blurred.

Our movie choice for the snowy evening was The English Patient. Overall, I’d call it interesting, but not necessarily a movie I’d want to watch again.

The next morning, we tried out a 50mm breakfast: French toast and bacon!

I used this recipe for Vanilla French Toast with Fresh Berries from my Whole Foods recipe app. It was incredible – we could taste the vanilla with every bite. Combined with the maple syrup drizzle and blackberries, we were two very happy diners.

The turkey bacon was amazing and incredibly easy. Just sizzle in a pan for 7-10 minutes and voila!

On the menu for dinner Saturday was a familiar favorite: fajitas!

This time we used skirt steak to switch up the flavor. It was incredible with the fajita spices. Tomatoes, red peppers, spinach, cheese and Greek yogurt “sour cream” rounded out the inside. Flatout Bread wrapped everything up in a pretty package.

So what do you think? Am I still an amateur with a 50mm lens? If you have any general tips on how to use it most effectively, I’d love to hear from you.

Big thanks to Barb and John for the fantastic gift!

Tonight I’m looking forward to fondue with a friend. It will help take my mind off the Packers…

Question: What books have you been loving lately?

I’m always looking for new or interesting reads. I’ve got a review coming up this week for you, too!


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 peachyshel January 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I think you did brilliantly! The shots of the French toast and the Brussels are my favs. I got a Canon EOS 11OOD with the standard 18-55mm lens, not sure if it’s any different to a 50 mm…I haven’t stopped experimenting, love it!


2 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Thank you, Michelle! I absolutely love experimenting — I’ve never had a Canon, but I hear they are fantastic, too!


3 Karla January 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm

These photos (and meals) look fantastic, Jenn! One of these days I want to sign up for a photography class or read a book about it…I sure could use any help I can get!

In terms of books, I just finished and really enjoyed “An Invisible Thread” ( I’m going to have to come back to read the comments to find some new picks too! :)


4 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

If you ever find a good online photography class, definitely let me know! Thanks so much for the book recommendation, too. I’ll be checking that one out, for sure!


5 Lauren January 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

You’re pics are looking good girl! Love the looks of that french toast! :)


6 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Thank you, Lauren! :)


7 Megan January 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Your pictures look AMAZING! I want some of that soup! YUM!!!


8 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Thank you, Megan!!


9 Erica January 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

ow! I so need a nice camera…really bad! I guessed the noodle! I think you’re doing great. And YUM to that breakfast. Enjoy fondue. I’m bummed about the packers too…..I totally thought they were going to kick the giants butts..bah!


10 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

If you’re in the market, I highly recommend the Nikon – but I’m biased! I also love my Nikon Coolpix point and shoot. It has a really great zoom for being so compact and travel friendly! Thanks so much, Erica.


11 BroccoliHut January 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Your post title made me do a double-take–the textbook for my foodservice management class is called Food FOR Fifty (focuses on quantity cooking).
Anyway, you reminded me that it has been far too long since I last had brussels sprouts. Yum!


12 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Haha – that’s awesome!


13 calcgirl January 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I recently finished “The Help”, and now I am reading “Shanghai Girls”. “The Help” was very interesting–now I need to see the movie–and “Shanghai Girls” has been captivating as well. If you haven’t read these, pick them up!


14 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Oooh – loved “The Help!” The movie is fantastic, too. I haven’t read “Shanghai Girls,” but I will definitely check it out. Thank you!


15 Mattie @ Comfy and Confident January 23, 2012 at 8:10 am

Your pictures look great to me. I am no expert so I have no tips but in my opinion you are on the right track!
I am reading/listening on ebook to the Steve Jobs book. It is really interesting and I highly recommend.


16 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Thanks so much, Mattie! Great recommendation on the Steve Jobs book. I will definitely be checking that one out.


17 Emilie January 23, 2012 at 9:34 am

Jealous of your new lens!


18 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

It was definitely a great Christmas present!


19 Megan (Braise The Roof) January 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

Ohhh, fondue! I haven’t had that in a long time. What a great present- I really want to upgrade my camera. Maybe next Christmas. 😉


20 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

You should definitely check out Geja’s – it was great! They say it’s all about the romance but I think it’d be fun to get a whole group to go, personally!


21 Must Come Hungry January 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

Your pictures look great! I haven’t tried my hand at manually focusing yet as I would probably get frustrated very quickly, so kudos to you! :) Now I’m really hungry for some french toast!


22 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Thank you, Julia! It definitely took me dozens of tries to get the hang of it — and I’m also not the most patient person, haha!


23 Melissa @TryingtoHeal January 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I think you’re doing great with the photos! I loved the brussel sprout shot focused on the center back. I like doing that too! And now I want French toast…and just ate breakfast. hehe

I just finished reading Devil In The White City by Erik Larsen; It’s about the 1893 World’s Fair with a fiction murder mystery twisted in…I read it in a day and a half! Such a gripper! I’m reading his new one, In The Garden of Beasts which is about Hitler..I’ll let you know how that one is.


24 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Thanks lady! You know I actually have Devil in the White City but still haven’t read it — I’m glad you gave it a good review! Let me know what you think of the other one, for sure.


25 Alyssa @ Don't Look Down January 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I feel you on the Packers. I couldn’t even watch football this weekend because I am still bitter. It doesn’t help when everyone I work with is a Bear’s fan.


26 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I ventured to wear my Packers winter hat in the city to show that I still love them, even though I’m bummed. Needless to say, I got a few comments from those Bears fans! I was also cheering the Ravens and the 49ers on this past weekend for lack of the Pack. Now it’s the Patriots and the Giants…I must be bad luck! My only thought now is that if the Giants win the Super Bowl, we can beat them in game one next year. 😉


27 Sneakers2Sandals January 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Zeitoun is a great book. I just started. It’s a true story about before and after hurricane katrina.


28 Jenn (eating bender) January 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Oh wow – that sounds incredibly interesting. I’ll be checking it out – thank you, Diana!! :)


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