In the 2+ decades of my existence, I cannot recall a time when I actually celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, most of the time I completely forgot it was that time of the year again to wear green to avoid this absurd tradition of getting pinched. While the bars around my campus were stocking up on green beer, I was studying for finals. This year is no exception, however this time, I’m bringing you recipes to celebrate St. Patty’s day even though I’ll still be at home, studying. Today, I present two recipes using bright green colors perfect for any lunch or dinner party you might host for St. Patty’s day or any other celebration. They’re simple, refreshing, & you can make them both in 20 minutes or less. More green recipes will be on the way, but they’ll probably be delayed until after my exam on the 22nd.
Cucumber & Kale Couscous Salad
Couscous is one of my favorite types of pasta & this salad is an original recipe, which also includes an original recipe for a pomegranate vinaigrette. If you can’t find pomegranate vinegar, you can substitute it with any red berry vinegar instead. It was the first time I made a vinaigrette & I didn’t even look up a menu! Turned out pretty delicious, so I’m going to just gently pat myself on the back now.
Speaking of firsts, this photoset is all kinds of firsts & the beginning to a new “photographing & editing era” for me, so to speak. Before yesterday, I never used a tripod to take photos of my recipes out of sheer laziness, but that’s all going to change. It was the first time I shot my recipes in RAW & the first time I used Lightroom to edit my food recipes since I usually just stick with Photoshop. I made a bunch of new Lightroom presets for my photos that I’m excited to use in the future, which inspired me with new ideas for a website I haven’t updated in ages: Lightroom presets & more Photoshop actions for photography for Aesthetic Intoxication. It goes to show that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks & experimenting is worth your while! If you make mistakes on the way, it can only help improve your new approach at taming the beast of whatever you wish to tame.
Thirsty for more? I got you covered with this easy-peasy-limey-squeezy refreshment.
Refreshmint is a great refreshment that uses 3 of the same ingredients from the couscous salad so you can easily hit two birds with one stone, cutting down on time. This is a fast & easy drink to prepare for your guests (wow, three idioms today; not so sure that’s a good thing). You want more excitement? For adults, substitute the water with tonic, club soda, or lime carbonated water, add lime zest, lime juice, & 2-3 shots of gin or tequila for a quick & easy twist on classics: gin + tonic & a mojito.
I’ve picked up a lot of new neat tricks & tips this year for photography & editing, so 2014 will be the year of experimentation & hopefully improvement. I felt my photos were really stagnant in quality before, so it’s really satisfying to feel as though I’m moving on up on the n00b ladder & onto the–dare I say–amateur ladder.
To conclude this post, I wanted to take the time to remind those that feel that their skills in their passions, hobbies, or career have remained static, to remember that 99% of the successful human population has to start from somewhere. Bill Gates & Steve Jobs–may he rest in peace–didn’t become billionaires overnight. They worked hard & pushed everyone around them to be at the top of their game. If you don’t set goals or ambitions to do your very best, your very best will remain mediocre. You don’t get to the top because you think you’re the best, you get to the top because you know there’s always more room for improvement.
For Frame of Reference on My Improved Skillz
Sunkissed Roll (2006; pre-DSLR)
Nigiri (2008; Nikon D60)
Mexican Roll (2013; Nikon D5100)
Lilies (2014; Nikon D5100 + Lightroom)
My current goal is to be consistently better because I have a lot of “off” days. So, in the last decade, what skills have you improved in?
- Cucumber & Kale Couscous Salad
- Kristin’s 24th Birthday
- Josh + Lilies
- Runyon Canyon