Hi, I'm Shirley --a food photographer who loves to cook
and write about living big in small spaces.
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 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 whole new exciting world.
Color, form, the structure of food and light passing through or around it fascinates me. I love photographing food as art, as well as shooting food for stock images. I invite you to view my SmugMug Gallery.
Living Better 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.
Go forth and be bold is my chant!
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! Becoming 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. 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 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; an employee relations specialist; and finally a manager in human resources software development in Washington D.C.
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).
If in a restaurant and I had to choose between tiramisu and crème brûlée, I would 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.