mystery moment II June 2015

Mystery Moment

We usually have fun with mystery photos. Can you guess what is in these photos? I stopped giving mystery moment tips ages ago, but just because it’s my birthday today, I thought I’d be nice and give 2 tips:

  1. The liquid in the jar has a melting point of 24ºC, or 75.2ºF. The photos were taken at about 27ºC so it was in liquid form.
  2. If you look for my other new blog – Potions21 – you will probably easily find out what it is…

Mystery moment June 2015

Good luck!

BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES

Scenes from Lately {And an Announcement!}

 Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?

– L.M. Montgomery

Courtesy of my Instagram, here are some of the things I’ve been up to lately. This afternoon I’ve been making blueberry cupcakes. That way I’ll be sure to enjoy my breakfast tomorrow morning.

STEVE JOBS FONTS

I’m currently reading the Biography of Steve Jobs and am quite hooked onto it. Here was one of the pages that delighted me. As you know, fonts delight me.

MILKSHAKE

I’ve been away in Madrid all week again for work. Luckily I have lots of family there. The other day I went out for dinner with my uber cool grandma who is 95 years old, and I watched her have a milkshake. Of course it made me want one a few days later. If she can down one, so can I! I hadn’t had a milkshake in years. It was strawberry with chunks of strawberry, and did not disappoint.

PINK HORTENSIAS

Meanwhile, I was a bit worried that all my plants would die. Now that the weather is warmer, my plants need watering more frequently. Luckily it rained, and my hortensias continued to bloom. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen how a few weeks ago I was pretty excited because they were getting little flower buds. I had forgotten what colour the flowers were because the plant didn’t bloom last year. It looks like they’ll be pink.

Lastly, I have an exciting announcement to make, especially for some of my lady friends. I launched my other blog to the world this week. It’s called Potions21. Do give it a visit if you want at potions21.com, though it might be better in a few days… Bear with me as it’s still a bit empty. I know, even I thought launching a blog while being away from home was a shaky thing to do. So, what is it about? Basically, yes I’m a pharmacist but I haven’t worked in a pharmacy for a long time. I actually work in the cosmetic industry. So I thought it might be nice to combine pretty posts with scientific and insider info posts, written in an easy to understand way. Spoiler: tomorrow I’ll continue with some prettiness, then I’ll begin with the nitty gritty on Tuesday.

If you do visit Potions21, do note the yellow polka dot background in the footer. That was a vision I suddenly had of the colour and pattern I wanted, but above all, it’s a big geeky accomplishment on my behalf.

Note: except for facebook (I don’t know if I want to make a Potions21 facebook), for all the rest I’ll be using my usual social media for it. This means that sometimes you might see something there to do with Potions21. If you don’t like that, just unfollow me. With regards to following the blog, it’s not on wordpress.com, however you can add its RSS to your wordpress feed, I think. If you sign up to newsletters, you will not be spammed with each post. I will only write a newsletter with updates once in a while. With regards to following through bloglovin’, the blog has been “incorrectly” added, and my S.O.S. emails to their support desk seem to be utterly ignored. If anyone has any tips on how to reach them and sort out the problem, do give me a nudge.

Thank you for reading!

Homemade curry paste

Curry Paste

I don’t want to imitate life in movies; I want to represent it. And in that representation you use the colours you feel, and sometimes they are fake colours. But always it’s to show one emotion.

– Pedro Almodovar

Photo editing,.. moi? Ok, it’s no secret that I edit my photos – and enjoy doing it too. And come on I know most of my blogging friends do too. It’s not just a case of enhancing a photo, it’s a case of improving the lighting that the camera didn’t properly catch to make the photo a representation of how I lived the scene. Right? Or it is in my case anyway.

For reasons unknown to even myself, it was only recently that I decided to open my Photoshop and figure out how to use it. Oh, the world can tremble now! Yes, for ages I had the program living in my computer, sad and abandoned, wondering why Sofia, who loves editing photos, never got around to opening it up and using it instead of fluffing around with built-in computer tools. Sorry, in their defence, the built-in computer tools are great too! After all this blogging I’ve done, incredibly, here is my first post with photos edited by Photoshop.

You see, I thought that my curry paste looked like vomit in the original photos, so I fancied that I could improve them a bit. Here is a before and after.

Before:

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After:

Making homemade curry paste

What do you think?

Anyhow, it was actually ages ago that I did a Mystery Moment post with – unravelling the answer – a cumin seed. It was a sort of accidental Mystery Moment post, as I was making a photoshoot for this homemade curry paste and I thought the cumin might look a bit mysterious. I was going to post the recipe for the curry paste soon afterwards, but I sort of forgot. But it’s better late than never.

Homemade curry paste

Curry Paste

It was actually my buddy Pianolearner who – doesn’t know I hadn’t thought of this ever before our curry conversation – was the one that made me think of making curry paste. Yep, until then I had been either using store bought curry paste or sort of just throwing in the ingredients and spices as I go along while making a curry. Indeed the homemade version is way better than the store bought version. And the paste version is more convenient than the throwing in spices version because you can make enough for two or three or more batches, and then just put it in a jar and store it in the fridge for a few weeks.

Please note that this curry paste doesn’t correspond to any special type of curry such as korma or tikka masala or what not. It’s a standard Sofia paste and can be easily edited to suit your mood or what you have available. For example ideally I would use fresh chili for this, but I realised I didn’t have any, so I used dried chili flakes instead. Of which I always have a ton load. Or if you want the paste to be more red in colour but without it being spicier, just add some fresh tomato to the mixture.

Ingredients (makes 2 batches):

1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons grated coconut, 1cm ginger, 3/4 tablespoon dried chili flakes, salt, black pepper

Peel and chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend.

I would recommend to cook it with chicken and/or vegetables and in coconut cream.

Thank you for reading!

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Swing

About a year and a half ago in one of the plazas in my neighbourhood, a swing dancing school decided to put on some music and let their students dance. Since then, more and more people would join in, and look what it’s turned into now.

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You have to admit it’s very cool!

Within all this I have a small personal photography story. Soon after I first became interested in photography, one afternoon I was with my camera on the beach. Bear in mind that I live in Barcelona, where the beach is on the east, so the sun sets behind the mountains in the west. Anyway, there I was at a beach, which also coincidentally had some mountains beside the beach. I was trying to photograph the sunset. In other words, I was pointing my camera upwards over the mountains, up towards the sky. Absolutely nothing or nobody on the ground was within my scope.

All of a sudden a man appeared out of nowhere and demanded that I put away my camera because I was breaching his privacy. I kindly explained that I was photographing the sunset and that he was nowhere within my view. Even so he insisted that if not he would punch me and destroy the camera… Aha, ok. So I put it away. I must admit that since then I’ve been quite cautious when people are in full view when I’m trying making photos. The other day when I was walking around my neighbourhood, camera in hand (or dangling down my neck to be more precise), and there was another swing session going on, I thought: this is my chance, now I must overcome my fear of photographing people. So I did. And it was fun.

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DSC_5873 Look, another photographer!

DSC_5865 Are there any events like this in your neighbourhood? And most importantly, which of your fears have you conqered?

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DSC_5881 Thank you for visiting!

Droopy

Feeling Droopy

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

– John Muir

It may look like I’ve been loosing my blogging inspiration, but in fact this blogging thing I do is going through a kind of metamorphosis. Ok, ok. I admit it. Indeed I am feeling droopy.

I think I’ve lost my enthusiasm for the food blogging part of my blog. If you care for me, like my mum, fret not. Don’t worry. I have not transitioned into eating frozen pizzas every night and I never will. I will always be into my homemade food, and will always make my jams and what not. Neither am I eating less or anything like that. Despite the fact that I’m sort of relatively dainty framed, I eat a lot. Anybody that has ever had to sit all day long in an office with me can confirm their amazement at the huge amounts I eat…

My loss of enthusiasm has more to do with the fact that I’m really not into taking photos of my food recently. You know, the lighting as to be perfect. I don’t want anyone to have to wait and worry about the food going cold while I make photos. Etc. Also, my real life job has been taking up way to much of my time (I really need to manage that and do something about it). Sooo, with regards to all that, I’ve been feeling droopy.

However, I don’t intend to stop Papaya Pieces. Not yet anyway. It’s bought me many things. Through Papaya Pieces I’ve made friendships that I cherish. I’ve discovered that I love design and photography. And I have to admit that thinking: oh I want to cook this, how did I make it? Then looking up the recipe in my own blog is pretty cool.

What I do intend to do now is to have a smaller ratio of food related posts. I don’t intend to stop them altogether, I just want to have it as my personal blog in which I can post any topic and any photos I feel like. And with any (low or high) frequency I feel like. Come to think of it, that is what I usually do anyway.

Also, without me knowing about it when I first started way back in January 2013, Papaya Pieces has been a bit of a playground to learn about blogging. I’ve been seriously thinking of starting a second blog, quite different to this one, and more professional, meaning a bit more to do with my profession. I’ll keep you updated if I do carry it out!

Blog droopiness rant over. Good night. Thank you for reading!