Hi, I'm Shirley  --a food photographer who loves to cook
and write about how to live with style in small spaces.


On Cooking

My mantra:  Simplicity plus fresh Ingredients makes great flavors.

Many recipes I learned as an "assistant" in my grandmother's kitchen.  She was a southern woman who had moved to the north looking for work and a better life.  

I love updating her old recipes, re-creating classic American dishes with new flavors; and creating dishes that reflect foods I've enjoyed from other cultures and those I discovered through my travels--albeit with an American slant. 

And yes, I do test, re-test and re-test old and new recipes.  Cooking and presenting food for family and friends is quite different from offering a dish on a food blog!  Moreover, there is always room for improvement. 

Down The Rabbit Hole

Learning how to share my recipes heightened my interest of food as art--its beautiful forms, textures and colors.  That interest opened a door leading me to food photography--and a new exciting food world as art.  

Color, form, the structure of food and light passing through or around it fascinates me.  I love photographing food as art and will soon offer stock images.

 The Mighty Sweet Potato, baked and served with butter and garam masala

The Mighty Sweet Potato, baked and served with butter and garam masala

 Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Bundt Cake


Live With Style in Small Spaces

 Having upsized, then downsized more times then I care to remember, I'm, alas, once again downsizing.  What I've learned is that I don't have to live like a monk or a hoarder in a small space.  I'm passionate about making my small space a home through comforting, stylish decorating.   And so, I'm always interested in how other people creatively live in small space, how they make small spaces a beautiful space to call home.
Go forth and be bold is my chant!

Some Background

I'm single and retired--sort of retired.  Well, not quite retired.  LOL.
My dog's name is "Susan," a Portuguese water dog.  (I had Susan before the Obama's got Bo!)  To become a speech pathologist was how I started undergrad.  But I kept taking classes in literature--American lit, African-American lit, English lit, Women’s' lit, Latino lit--any genre in literature.  So, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a minor in English.  I had no idea what I was going to do but I was intellectually happy and could discuss Chaucer and Shakespeare.
  My careers have spanned from working as a clerk, then a secretary; a tutor in English as a Peace Corps volunteer in beach lovely The Gambia; a teacher in English as a Second Language in beautiful Costa Rico and Washington D.C.; an employee relations specialist; and finally a manager in human resources software development.
I've traveled quite a bit throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, parts of West Africa and Europe.  My favorite places to be are the Caribbean, France, and Northern Virginia.
I love to read (almost anything, especially historical fiction, science fiction, and fictions that asks questions about life). 

 My Susan dolled up for a Mardi Gras parade in Tavares Fl

My Susan dolled up for a Mardi Gras parade in Tavares Fl


If in a restaurant and I had to choose between tiramisu and crème brûlée, I'd skip the salad and entree, order both desserts and a coffee.  Fortunately, I've never had to choose.
Finally, for me, learning something new is always exciting and challenging.