Recipe – Shepherd’s Pie

This yummy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is from Martha Stewart Living – one of my favorite magazines πŸ™‚ We made it last weekend and it was delish…the perfect dish for a Saturday night πŸ™‚

The recipe as is serves 8

For the Topping:
1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 parsnips (6 oz.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 c. plain fat-free yogurt
Coarse Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
For the Filling:
1 T. + 1 t. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs. lean ground turkey
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 T. fresh thyme
3/4 t. chili powder
2 T. + 1 1/2 t. cornstarch
6 oz. frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 425
Make the topping: Place potatoes and parsnips in a medium saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches, and bring to a simmer. Cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid. Mash or pass through a ricer and stir in yogurt and 3/4 t. sale. Season with pepper.
Make the filling: Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, carrots, and garlic, stirring, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add turkey; cook, breaking up any large pieces, for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 t. sale, the thyme, and chili powder; season with pepper. Whisk together cornstarch and reserved 2 c. cooking liquid; add to turkey.
Boil for 1 minute. Stir in peas. Transfer to a 2 quart round or oval baking dish; top with potatoes. Bake until bubbling and top is browned, 35 minutes.

John & Hannah’s Queensberry Albums

Hannah & John chose a two volume approach for their recent Queensberry Album. For the cover of these gorgeous 12×12 Matted albums they chose a Cherry Leather with their names and the date blind embossed – such a gorgeous result! Hannah’s Mom Betsy took advantage of the discount that comes from purchasing duplicates of the main album so a few weeks ago I got a very big box from Queensberry πŸ™‚
About 50 lbs of albums!

As much as I love photos on the cover of albums the Blind Embossing is still my favorite!

A sideview of the spine shows the flip out page

A translucent title page really sets the tone for the album

A few of my favorite spreads from Volume 1.

For the ceremony I took advantage of the flip out pages that Queensberry has to offer so the display is four panels wide

We hit the perfect time of day for the portraits at Bethesda fountain in Central Park – the lighting was so soft and beautiful

A few details of the stunning autumn inspired decor

Each Queensberry album begins with an embossed Q so you know it’s authentic

Volume 2 was the reception!

A few of my favorite spreads

Another neat feature of the matted Queensberry albums are these wing pages – take a look below to understand how they work

On the right side the spread opens up to a three paneled mini spread

I loved that Hannah & John did a traditional getaway with rose petals and a bouquet toss!

What could be more perfect than a traditional NYC taxi cab!

All boxed up and ready to go!

Hannah, John, and Betsy – enjoy the albums!

David & Kelly’s Engagement :: VT Wedding Photographer

Meet Kelly & David – the winner of the 2011 Deserving Couple Wedding sponsored by Silver Toad Floral Design and many other fabulous vendors! I am so excited to be involved in this project and after getting to know Kelly & David I know they were the perfect pick!

A bit about the contest: We were seeking a couple experiencing hardships and serious challenges in their lives, yet still find time to give back to their community. In the face of adversities, this couple stays positive and continues to pour their heart and energies into helping others. Since helping others is important to them, helping this couple is important to us.

And a bit about Kelly & David: Kelly grew up in foster care system, aged out of the system and has obtained goals some only dream of. As a single mother she earned two bachelor degrees and one associates while attending CCV and The University of Vermont. After taking a position with COTS family shelter she was inspired to give back even more to the community. As a result of this passion she joined the National & Community Service Group otherwise known as AmeriCorps State and lived off a small stipend while serving the homeless and those at risk of being homeless as a case manager for 2 years.

She was awarded the GovernorΚΌs Award in 2009 for going above and beyond the requirements of her position offering hope for those experiencing homelessness. When her term at AmeriCorp State was over she did something extraordinary. Kelly selflessly volunteered again as an AmeriCorps VISTA case manager, earning even less than before, helping to make it easier for those in need to access services within the community. She also volunteers at her daughterΚΌs school as a classroom parent and helped to bring them a Daisy Girl Scout Troop.

And if this was all not enough, she decided to give back a little bit more in 2008 to the system that raised her by becoming a licensed foster parent in hopes or giving a child someone to look up to.

David is a para-educator working in a school for students with learning disabilities. He has been serving his community by working for the Rutland Town Fire Department for the last 15 years. And now David too is a licensed foster parent with the hopes of making a difference in another childΚΌs life.


So onto our fun shoot near their hometown of Rutland. Kelly had scoped out this charming bridge and despite the cold temperatures we all had a blast πŸ™‚

I love when people are relaxed, happy, and enjoying themselves – Kelly and David did just that πŸ™‚

The bridge was so picturesque – we walked onto a nearby trail to get a different angle

After the bridge we drove to the fire department where David works. No one was there so we had the run of the place….and had a blast πŸ™‚

My favorite πŸ™‚

David kindly donned all of his very heavy gear!

Fun with hoses πŸ™‚

I couldn’t resist a snap of this hilarious pin πŸ™‚

We ended on the town green where they go to concerts every week in the summer. It was a bit snowed in but they managed to scale the ice to reach the pavilion πŸ™‚

Kelly & David – I’m so looking forward to working with you both and meeting your families!

James & Sarah’s Inn at Round Barn Wedding Featured on Travel & Leisure

A month ago I was contacted by Travel & Leisure magazine. They were developing a story on Destination Weddings for exclusive release on the IPAD! Somehow through the magical world of the internet they had come across James & Sarah’s beautiful Inn at Round Barn wedding photos and wanted to feature a few in their story.
Pretty exciting….except I don’t have an IPAD πŸ™‚ I sent the photos and kind of forgot about it until a few weeks ago I got an excited email from Sarah one morning with screenshots of the story – enjoy!
Sorry I can’t provide a direct link – I think I’d need an IPAD for that!!

2010 Toasting Favorites: VT Wedding Photographer

It’s hard to choose a favorite part of the wedding day but hearing the toasts comes close. By that time of night people are relaxed and it’s always really insightful and special to hear what people say. Some are very emotional. Others are wickedly funny. All help me get to know the couple better.
Enjoy a few favorite toasting moments from 2010….
Jacob’s Brother (Best Man) and Sister (Maid of Honor)’s toasts went into the hilarious category – they had everyone in stitches πŸ™‚

Allie & Jacob reacting – LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this series πŸ™‚ As much as I am drawn to emotion I am so drawn to people laughing out loud and enjoying their wedding – Jacob & Allie certainly did that!

Jamie & Carolyn’s Best Man gave a very funny toast – they tried to keep it together πŸ™‚

Whitney’s Mom and Dad watching their son give a toast….very sweet πŸ™‚

And at the same wedding Andy’s parents react to their son giving the toast πŸ™‚ Parents are such a huge important part of the wedding day that I really try to focus on them throughout the ceremony and reception

Becca’s reaction to Mike’s Brothers serenading her was PRICELESS (Mike is an incredible singer. His Brothers….they win points for creativity!!)

And more from Becca & Mike – the toasts at that wedding were especially wonderful and heartfelt.

Mike & Becca’s wedding was outside under the stars in her parent’s backyard – I thought this casual shot really captured the mood of it

Betsy’s Brother teased her about her football allegiance πŸ™‚

Dan’s best Man told the story of how Jen & Dan met which was very funny

Audra’s Sister and Brother’s toast was SO funny πŸ™‚

Finn’s Mom dug this out of the archives – it was from a grade school project teaching the kids how to type and use different fonts. They had to come up with ten words that described them.

Some of Finn’s: Strong, sensitive, and serious πŸ™‚

John told the story of his proposal with Hannah by his side – he kept trying to call Hannah’s Mother all the way from Italy to ask her permission to marry Hannah but couldn’t get through πŸ™‚

Kim’s best friend from grade school told tales of their exploits when Kim’s parent were out of town πŸ™‚