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


 Where am I? 
Most often you'll find me relaxing or writing while on my porch; in the kitchen conjuring up a dish;  or photographing food in the little studio of my small space apartment in Wilmington, NC.

On Cooking

My mantra:  Simplicity plus fresh Ingredients makes great flavors.
You'll find here recipes that are great for healthy eating, and you'll also find recipes that are downright decadent for the food sinners of us!  

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,  colors and light glowing through and around it.  That interest opened a door leading me to food photography--and a new exciting  world of food as art.  
You'll find my work at anns-liee.portfolio box.

Quail Eggs on Wooden Spoon

Quail Eggs on Wooden Spoon

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.  But I'm passionate about making my small space a comforting, stylish home.   I had once spent five years working on a decorating project that begain in a townhome and had then spilled over into a single family home.

During that five-year period, I worked with an associate at Calico Corners, a fabric and home decor national chain store; and read lots of home decor books and magazines. In fact, I had spent so much time in Calico Corners that after I had retired, I too became an associate at this fabulous store. I loved working with others on their home decor projects. That experience gave me a keen interest in how other people creatively live in their small spaces, their challenges, and how they made their small spaces beautiful places they could call home.  And that brings me to sharing what I discovered with you.
Go forth and be bold!

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 some of the literary merits of Chaucer and Shakespeare.
  My careers spanned from working as a housekeeper to a tray-dropping waitress; then moving up to become a data-entry clerk to a secretary; a tutor in English as a Peace Corps volunteer in beach lovely The Gambia, West Africa; 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 throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, parts of West Africa and Europe.  My favorite places to be are the Caribbean, France, and Northern Virginia.
If I had to list all the activities and programs  for which I've volunteered, I would have to add another page.  
I love to read (almost anything, especially historical fiction, science fiction, and fictions that asks questions about the nature of 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
for a dessert, I'd skip the bread, the salad and the entree,
order both desserts and a coffee. 
Life's just too short for indecisions.

Finally, for me, learning something new is always exciting and challenging. And then there’s the tearcher in me who loves to pass on to others whatever knowledge I have in the hopes of making someone else’s life a little better.