I just couldn’t stand so many hours it took me to create satisfying colors through Capture NX2, so I struggled to find other way for processing with my beloved colors. And finally I developed them in Lightroom 4 with Color Efex Pro 🙂
Now I have such an easy way to get my RAW files developed. Now it takes 4-7 hours of work from import to LR to export for a 380-450 wedding. ( Time depends on lighting conditions and retouch needed ). Before, in CaptureNX 2 it took me rather 20-35 hours and it was definitely worth it, as colors were brilliant, but so time-consuming!
# 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
# 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
# 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
# 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
# 2 teaspoons ground ginger
# 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
# 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves *optional – I usually up the cinnamon a bit and skip this
# scant 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
# 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper * I go less than this, personally
# 1/2 teaspoon salt
# 1 large egg
# 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Adding a little extra flour makes these cookies very soft. Set this bowl aside.
2 According to the official recipe, in electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter – I do my mixing by hand, because I am a martyr. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed, or if you are mixing by hand, stir at slow speed – not that you would be able to stir this fast – this is a serious workout. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour, if you are using a Kitchenaid, like a normal person.) Divide dough in thirds; shape the thirds into flat bricks and wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour-2 hours. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for a few minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour.
If you like a little flavour in your gingerbread, try rubbing your cutting board or rolling pins or hands with a very, very small bit of flavouring – chocolate liquers are nice, as are cointreau or straight orange flavouring. Blood orange would be nice, too, especially on the ones dipped in chocolate.
3 Heat oven to 350°. I have a large wooden board that I use to roll my cookies out on, which I cover with flour – a cutting board would work well too. Using a rolling pin, roll dough – not too thin – I usually do mine about half a centimetre or more. Use a cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes.
4 Transfer to baking sheets – I line mine with parchment paper and bake the cookies on that, to keep the bottoms from hardening and going dark. Bake about 6-8 minutes, until cookies are still soft. Remove from oven and let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet on top of the oven for a few minutes more to set. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
How do you make cookies soft? Easy: cut them thick, underbake slightly, and let them finish baking on top of the stove while they set on the cookie sheet. if you like them crispier, bake 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to brown.
ICING – this is straight from Martha Stewart
Puzzle Cookie Royal Icing –
Makes 2 1/3 cups
1 one-pound box (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons meringue powder,**
1/2 cup water
1. with a hand mixer, combine confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder or egg whites. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water drop by drop. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for further embellishing. Mix until icing holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface for five seconds when you raise the paddle.
** some people make icing with egg whites, but there are a lot of people (the pregnant, immuno-compromised, etc) who cannot eat raw eggs, so in the interest of not asking random acquaintances about the current contents of their uterus, I opt for meringue powder.
Melt chocolate. Dip cookies. Eat. This one is pretty easy.
You might think it sounds crazy. You might think it LOOKS crazy. But the beet/pineapple combo is HEAVENLY! I like pineapple, but pineapple juice was always a little too sweet for me. The beet cuts the sweetness perfectly. Adding spinach just ups the green quotient (actually making it kinda brown, but don’t look, just chug!) without changing the taste much. Good stuff!
1 medium beet (greens, stems and all!)
1 bunch/package spinach
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We now have a new government, not the prettiest crowd of people but they’ll have to do for now so business and investor expects to have some sort of clear indicator of economic direction so they can all plan ahead.
I was just at a client’s restaurant during lunch discussing new renovation project (not the picture featured here), nothing fancy. There’s a new law that was formed in the previous government and ‘could’ be in effect in this government, that is baning all smoking in air conditioned area. For the Wine bar area, this law means they need to develop an out door area for their client to smoke, particularly cigar. They are skeptical and not sure about expanding the restaurant area because he said that fine dining business is said to be ‘a very fast economic indicator’, when there’s a lot of new projects and business, the restaurant is very active, and when there’s a slumber the business go down, and right now everything is not up or down.. sustaining. He’s waiting to see how things are turning out this year especially with this new government.
One thing I can speculate about this new government, a direct descendant from Taksin’s previous government before the military took over, knows about money and will probably dig out more government-loss-projects that puts money in the hand of the poor, as they don’t know how to manage it. That had worked well as a quick economic boost recipe before. More money is spent on the market, the economic "image" looks good, and people are happy. In the long run, government’s central reserved is drained out.. these stimulus plans are disaster in the making without long term consideration.
"Money, it has been observed, sticks to the rich but just slides off the poor, which makes them the lynchpin of stimulus. After decades of hearing the poor stereotyped as lazy, stupid, addicted and crime-prone, they have been discovered to have this singular virtue: they are veritable spending machines." – Barbara Ehrenreich, The Nation.
So we can probably expect economic stimulus packages to get more people to spend — and lure people to invest. The economic boost recipe quickly put food on the table like fast food restaurant.. but we all know that fine healthy food requires wholesome quality ingredient, and that takes time to developed.
A quick Report on Pegan Diet – Pegan Diet Recipes
Pegan diet is fast gaining success with those who would like to continue a much healthier well being. “Pegan,” a keyword termed by Dr. Mark Hyman, comes from the terms “Paleo” &…
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