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Category: PERSONAL

Of Cupcakes and Red Velvet

It all started with an awesome children’s birthday party.  It started innocently enough, with a slice of cake here, and a cupcake there.  But then, it happened.  I was obsessed.  I am now officially addicted to red velvet.  I’d hardly even heard of red velvet before that fateful birthday party.  Now, I have to buy it every time I see it in a new store.  It’s a compulsion.   I can’t not do it.   I’m on a mission: to try every red velvet cake in existence.  So far, I’ve exhausted every bakery in town.  I’m not too particular on cakes versus cupcakes, but cupcakes are just so darn cute.  So the other week, we got some just for fun.  Red velvet, of course, chocolate raspberry, dulce de leche, carrot cake, plain chocolate, black cherry almond… yum!

Anyway, my jeans aren’t too happy, but my taste buds sure are.

And the absolutely scrumptious cupcakes in these photos are from Polkatots Cupcakes in Pasadena.

Vera - Each one is unique. Is red dye the main ingredient in red velvet cake? How can dye change the taste so much? Yum.July 25, 2010 – 8:34 pm

april - I had my first red velvet cupcake from Georgetown Bakery (which was divine). I even took pictures. I also just bought a coupon yesterday for more. It was a Groupon – $40 gift card for $20 at Cake Love. I look forward to using that possibly around the holidays.July 20, 2010 – 4:40 am

Truc - Haha, Mike, sure thing! As long as you’re okay with them being a little squished in transit.

Evan, I plead the fifth.July 15, 2010 – 10:32 pm

Evan - Wow, spectacular photos! The bakery should hire you for its advertisements. However, I might add that you’ve exhausted every bakery in town … and then some. I believe there was a cupcake purchased from a bakery 60 miles away, hmm?July 15, 2010 – 2:25 pm

Mike P - Ok, if you’re going to be taking photos that are this awesome of cupcakes that look that delicious, I am going to have to require you send me some in the mail. (Yes, I know I don’t eat junk food. I’ll just take one bite a day…)July 15, 2010 – 5:51 am

First Wedding Anniversary!

We met in a short summer program right before our sophomore year in college.  He soon began bugging me while I was practicing piano in the dorm lounge and then started sending me silly esoteric e-mails.  Ones about hadrons and neutrons and the state of nonexistence.  Really, the romance of it all overwhelmed me.  And I haven’t been able to get rid of him since.

On our wedding day, I couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather or a better group of people to share the day with.  And I couldn’t have married a more wonderful groom.

This post is a day early, but I’m sure no one will mind.  Here are just a few photos taken by our fabulous family and friends.

Of course, we just had to have an “ice cream sundae” as our table’s centerpiece.

Dale - There is no brother either.July 23, 2010 – 12:54 pm

Chi - Why do the boys get featured but not your lovely blossom of a sister?

Happy anniversary! Unbelievable that it has all gone by so quickly.

Also, amazing floral arrangements. I’m so impressed–can you refer me to the florist who did them?July 12, 2010 – 4:40 pm

Evan - That sure was a great day. Happy anniversary!July 1, 2010 – 4:47 pm

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!  Wishing you all a wonderful Father’s Day.

Isn’t mine cute?

Marci - Great picture of your dad!! Special occasions like these make wonderful gifts that warm hearts…with lasting memories!!!

Also, as an aside, it would be wonderful to see you document each city you travel to and capture the essence of each one in a photo album-like arrangement….like you’ve done with New Orleans.June 29, 2010 – 7:10 am

Chi - AND every mother’s day. This is such a happy photo — we need more of these in our archive. I love this portrait.June 22, 2010 – 12:36 pm

Evan - Very nice photo! You should do this every father’s day.June 22, 2010 – 10:08 am

Kaneko - I didn’t know that your dad was so handsome! I want to meet him!June 20, 2010 – 3:55 pm

Washington, D.C.: Architecture and a Big Wad of Cash

I love beautiful architecture.  We recently traveled to Washington, D.C., and the architecture in our nation’s most significant buildings is quite stunning.  Here’s the inside of the Capitol Building.

This display is flat but is meant to look three-dimensional.  The figures really do look like they’re protruding from the wall!

And this is the Library of Congress.  Isn’t this room amazing?

If you haven’t noticed, I especially love ceiling architecture.

And the big wad of cash I promised?  Who doesn’t want a million dollars in $10 bills?  I asked if I could take it home, but sadly, they said no.  There go our plans for a year-long vacation in the Bahamas.

Salik Saheb - BeautifulNovember 1, 2013 – 6:25 am

Life with Kaishon - Oh my goodness. That architecture is stunning. I really must visit there soon. It isn’t too far from my house :) I keep meaning to go! LOVE the big wad of cash!

I am visiting via your comment above mine at Jasmine Star’s blog today about following dreams. I just wanted to come and say hi!June 12, 2010 – 4:47 pm

Ode to Ice Cream

Okay, maybe not.  But if I knew how to write an ode, ice cream would sure deserve one.  At any given time, our freezer has about six containers of ice cream.

Evan often says my brain is made of ice cream.  If you opened up my head, all you’d find in there is ice cream.  So he says.  I happen to think there’s plenty of room in there for cake and mint dark chocolate.  Yeah, I have my vices.  But my love affair with ice cream is lifelong and constant.

Ever since we got an ice cream maker, we’ve been experimenting with lots of flavors.  So far, we’ve tried Earl Grey tea, Italian basil, jasmine tea, mint, mango, and watermelon.  The mint was the least exotic of the flavors we tried, but it had the best result, with the consistency and texture of real ice cream!  Mmm, homemade ice cream.

It was so successful, we made it twice more, but on the third try, using the same type of mint leaves (we believe), the ice cream turned brown. Brown mint ice cream.  Lovely.  We’ve racked our brains trying to figure out why the ice cream turned brown when the mint we use is clearly green, and it didn’t turn brown the first two times.

If anyone has any idea about this mystery, please let us know.  And feel free to share your thoughts on any new flavors we should try!

Summer Special – Portrait Session Sale! | Los Angeles and Orange County Baby and Child Portrait Photography » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] Yesterday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, which means summer has officially started!  Summer is my second favorite season after spring.  Goodbye to school, homework, and exams…  Hello, fun vacations, the awesome Perseids meteor shower, cold drinks, and lots of ice cream! […]June 22, 2010 – 4:34 am

Turning the Lens Around | Pasadena and Los Angeles Children’s and Baby Portrait Photographer » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] now husband (and unofficial second shooter and business partner, as well as partner-in-crime in all things ice cream), take my portraits one evening last week.  Bamboo Shoots Photography now has a couple of these […]June 18, 2010 – 6:34 am

Marci - How about beignet ice cream with powdered sugar on top! Or Honey ice cream…or honey swirl ice cream and green tea with ginger ice cream? bon appetit~~June 8, 2010 – 2:45 pm

Trudy - I’m surprised Peggy didn’t recommend iguana ice cream. She runs over the poor helpless critters with wheelchairs!June 8, 2010 – 12:17 pm

Dan - Ice cream? Or I want to scream? My small freezer is full of frozen fruits (mango, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, fill-in-the-blank berries, …) and quarts of ice cream. I have no control over what I can put in there because my wife and kids have taken it over. They love to make smoothies with their new expensive blender and top them off with ice cream. It’s not that I’m complaining, but isn’t that too much!!!!June 7, 2010 – 7:21 pm

april - I think we have 3 types of ice cream. Rob only eats vanilla. I have Cherry Garcia. We have the Starbucks Java Chocolate Chip Frappacino for Laura (but just the little teeny tiny cup). We’re big fans of ice cream, but we don’t have the luxury of freezer room.June 5, 2010 – 6:15 pm

Peggy - How about gecko ice cream? Or Green Day ice cream (OK- I like their music)? Or Kermit ice cream (gotta love the frog)? How about Slime Cream? Or Pond Scum? Hey-flavors like that worked for Jelly Belly….June 5, 2010 – 3:54 pm

Evan - Yes, I attest that her head is full to the brim with ice cream. There’s some smoothie in there, too. In fact, as I write this, Truc is drinking her specialty: homemade smoothies. I bet there will be a blog post about smoothies in the future …June 5, 2010 – 3:35 pm

Chi - Instead of racking your brain for a way to keep mint ice cream minty green, you could just get creative with titling it. For instance, you could call it “grasshopper-flavored,” or “mudslide ice cream,” or “Shrek” cream. Worse comes to worst, call it “oxid-iced” cream. *audience groans* It’s all about the marketing. :)

As far as flavors: avocado, apple, pineapple, blueberry, orange. Flavors which would be intuitive, but don’t show up in the grocery store ice cream aisle.

P.S. Evan is quite accurate. If someone gave you a noogie, all the ice cream would come spilling out of your ears.June 5, 2010 – 2:30 pm

Battle of the Beignets

Most people who go to New Orleans, or who have seen any movie set in New Orleans, know about this happy place.

Yes, Café Du Monde in the French Quarter is a hallmark of New Orleans.  You can’t really go to New Orleans without visiting it, even though there are a number of other Café Du Mondes spread throughout the city.

But how many non-New Orleanians know about this little gem?

Morning Call sits just a little off the causeway, and has the best beignets in the entire city.  Yes, yes, even better than Café Du Monde.

New Orleans happens to be Evan’s hometown, so I have the happy opportunity to visit relatively often.  The last three times I visited, I sacrificed my waistline with extremely important and scrupulously scientific taste tests.  The verdict?  Morning Call wins hands down.  Here’s why:

  • Their beignets are bigger and fluffier (what’s not to love about that? well, aside from the extra pounds)
  • They let you sprinkle your own powdered sugar (yes, you can go crazy!)
  • They’re cheaper (bigger and cheaper? I’m so there)
  • And they’re open 24 hours a day (come on, who doesn’t want beignets at midnight or 2 am in the morning? the only Café Du Monde open 24/7 is the one in the French Quarter, and it’s a lot more inconvenient to get to)

I’ll leave with you with this image of the beautiful Gulf coast sky.  Stay tuned for the first engagement session on the blog next week!

LA Photographer in New Orleans: Morning Call, Beignets, and Crawfish Etouffee » Los Angeles Children's Photography: BAMBOO SHOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY - […] over a few posts, I’ll share some photos from our excursions.  I did a post last year on the Battle of the Beignets where I touted the merits of my favorite beignet shop, Morning Call, over the ever-famous Café du […]January 6, 2011 – 1:42 am

Marci - I think you are going to turn into a beignet!! Great shots of them and I didn’t know that you can put your own powdered sugar on them at Morning Call. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for sharing New Orleans on your blog and look forward to seeing more pictures soon….which means you’ll have to make another visit to here for new material. :>)June 1, 2010 – 7:51 am

Evan - You’re making me hungry. I also prefer Morning Call. The French Quarter location of Cafe du Monde has more character, but the beignets at Morning Call are superior. Plus, it’s much easier to get to Morning Call. Great photos, as always! For your next project, see if you can make a real beignet come out of the computer screen.May 31, 2010 – 1:21 pm

Judy - Beignets! YUM! I am fortunate to live in Mandeville, LA. Therefore, I can get beignets whenever I want(and I do). The plate of beignets make me want to grab it off the screen. The picture is so clear and bright. I could take the same photo and not have it look like yours. Love your website. All of your photos are so vivid and natural. The gecko is cute, but, I can’t stand lizards of any kind. The photo looked so real, it made my skin crawl. Keep up the great work!May 31, 2010 – 7:43 am

Erin - Beignets are great but the coffee is the best at Cafe du Monde! Cafe au lait is real New Orleans. Did you know that Morning Call used to be in the city and actually moved all those mirrors with them to Metairie?
Thanks for the nostalgic photos, Bamboo Shoots.May 30, 2010 – 7:19 pm

Hawaii, Oh How I ♥ You

Evan’s work often brings him to the big island of Hawaii.  The Big Island is home to two of the world’s largest telescopes, the Keck telescopes.  I know.  What a pain, right?  Having to travel to Hawaii on business.  Life sure is hard.

A few months ago, I tagged along for the first time.  I’d been to Maui over 15 years ago but never to the Big Island.  A rainbow—double-rainbow even, although you can barely see the second one—greeted us the day we arrived.

The next morning, we found a friend.

Isn’t she cute?  (I’m going to assume it’s a she.)

On a kayaking trip, we found a small group of dolphins.  Check out the cute dolphin snouts poking out of the water.

I’ve had lots of snow cones, but this was the largest snow cone I’d ever had in my life.  It was gargantuan!  Bigger than our heads!  Passion fruit, guava, and mango.  Yum.

A crater.

The volcano is active, and at night we walked down a trail just outside of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to look at the lava, which wasn’t visible during the daytime.

John - You bring out the color so well. I also like the details, like the dew on the red plant.June 7, 2010 – 4:18 pm

Gerry - Love the volcano shot. I tried a tripod and slow shutter but got total darkness. Wish I had your talent! And if you can capture a gecko smiling, you have to be an awesome photographer!May 30, 2010 – 7:28 pm

Jenna - The Geico lizard had better watch out. This guy seems to be job-searching with that cute mug.May 30, 2010 – 7:25 pm

Lou - I tried to photograph that gecko (OK, maybe its cousin) but my photos don’t look anything like yours! My guy wouldn’t stop and pose. How do you do that?May 30, 2010 – 7:24 pm

Eva - The night volcano shot is really incredible and dramatic. Wish I could see more of them. How close were you to the volcano? How safe or stable is the ground nearby?May 26, 2010 – 10:59 pm

Kim - I really love the photos of the lizard (is she real and how big is she?). The colors are stunning. The way you’ve framed these shots is perfect. Hope that soon Evan will ask you to take photos of stars to help his research!May 26, 2010 – 10:56 pm

Larry - Your photos are absolutely stunning! National Geographic doesn’t do any better.May 26, 2010 – 2:37 pm

Marci - A double rainbow when you arrived….well, can only mean one thing…YES, you HAVE arrived!! I love the gecko peeking out at you smiling. I especially love the night shot of the volcano lava spewing and the waterfall was very lovely. I haven’t been to Hawaii…and now I really want to GO!!! We should all be so lucky to have to work there!May 25, 2010 – 7:23 pm

Chi - Good to know you both survived the earth-sized snow cone. AND the suspiciously shark-looking dolphins in the water! My favorite by far is the gecko with the attitude, staring you in the eye. Beautiful colors!May 21, 2010 – 4:31 pm

Mike P - The gecko (I think?) is cute, but the red marks on it make me think it’s some sort of mutant ninja gecko preparing for battle. Be wary, Truc… be wary…May 21, 2010 – 3:40 pm

Evan - Wow, great shots! It’s wonderful to have a talented photographer along to document my very important scientific research of beaches and sunsets and beautiful scenery.May 21, 2010 – 9:13 am