Hi, I'm Shirley  --a food photographer who loves to cook
and write about living big 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 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!

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!  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). 

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 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.