We don't get traditional September weather in NOLA. We won't even have boot appropriate weather until mid-October. Fall is my favorite time of the year though, and I can't wait to break out the fall attire. The summer to fall transition is therapeutic for me because the planet isn't the only thing that goes through changes. The falling leaves off the trees always reminds me to let dead things go: stagnant relationships, anger and resentment, weight and even bad habits. As we get older, I believe we should constantly develop our mental palettes, make it an effort to constantly learn new things and reinforce our values with action. August was a great month, but I'm going to make this a September to remember.
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As an ode to my Babes & Beignets Portrait Special, I thought it was would be cool to look up a unique homemade beignet recipe!
INGREDIENTS (yields up to 4 dozen beignets)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour plus extra for flouring work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut oil for frying
Confectioners' sugar for serving, as much as you think you'll need—then double that!
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until small bubbles form at the surface. Remove from the heat, add the buttermilk, and then pour into a stand mixer bowl. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until the dry ingredients are moistened, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough forms a loose ball and is still quite wet and tacky, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set the dough aside in a draft-free spot for 1 hour.
Pour enough peanut oil into a large pot to fill it to a depth of 3 inches and bring to a temperature of 375°F over medium heat (this will take about 20 minutes). Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out on it. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, gently press to flatten, fold it in half, and gently tuck the ends under to create a rough-shaped round. Dust again and roll the dough out into a ½-inch- to ¹/³ -inch-thick circle. Let the dough rest for 1 minute before using a chef's knife, a bench knife, or a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares (you should get about 48).
Gently stretch a beignet lengthwise and carefully drop it into the oil. Add a few beignets (don't overcrowd them, otherwise the oil will cool down and the beignets will soak up oil and be greasy) and fry until puffed and golden brown, turning them often with a slotted spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain while you cook the rest. Serve while still warm, buried under a mound of confectioners' sugar, with hot coffee on the side.
The beignet dough can be made up to 8 hours in advance of frying. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. After cutting the dough, place the beignets on the paper and place another greased sheet of parchment paper, sprayed-side down, on top. Wrap the entire baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The beignets can be fried straight from the refrigerator.
I shot their engagement, their wedding, their birth announcement, and now their maternity session! I swear, these two are some of my favorite people. Kind, compassionate, fun and so so in love. I am so happy for Carie and Jonell, and I can't wait to meet baby Addison this summer!
My God sister Amiere, someone I've known since birth, is graduating next month. I've seen her grow from a kid into this smart, compassionate and beautiful woman over the years, and I couldn't be more proud of her. Nothing but amazing things for you Mimi! xoxo
I am very fortunate to have some very awesome clients. I meet so many people in my line of work and hear so many beautiful love stories. Sometimes these people become life long friends, after all, photographing your wedding is very intimate. So when I met Alaina and Bernard, even though we'd only corresponded through e-mails, during their engagement session, it felt more like I'd known them for years. Alaina, quirky and fun and beautiful has such a positive aura about her, and Bernard, or Bee as she calls him, ridiculously brilliant as he is comical, kept us laughing with his silliness. There's something so authentic about their love that just radiates from both of them. I am so looking forward to their wedding in September. In the meantime, check out the images from their session!
Megan went all out for her 30th Birthday Party! She had a disco light installed, Coffy playing on a wall projector, and good old fashion tunes from the 1970s! Her guests were decked out in some of the retro trends, everything from bell bottoms to picked out afros dancing in the soul train line. Check out the good times below!
The big 3-0 is something worth celebrating; having made it through our awkward teens, our self discovery 20s, and our 30th, the entry into enlightenment. So when Megan asked me to document her for her 30th birthday, I was beyond honored.
Megan had the concept to go retro - we’re talking about 1970’s Diana Ross. Together, we came up with a sexy look, big hair, vintage furniture and a natural feel for the shoot. Please enjoy the final product.
I love art. Art has a way of telling stories, whether through lyrics, paintings, dance or photographs. Art is born out of an idea, created by humble minds and beautiful souls. Art can also be an expression to bring awareness to injustices. When I received the email to RSVP to the Arts 4 Rights, I knew it was something I had to witness. #Art4Rights is an exhibit in the Bywater area of New Orleans that sheds light on the people around the world who face inprisonment for fighting for equal rights, self expression, and speaking out against injustice.
"Through the Write for Rights campaign, organized every year in acknowledgement of Human Rights Day on December 10, hundreds of thousands of people around the world send a message to someone they've never met. Letter writing has always been at the heart of Amnesty International's human rights campaigning. With 54 years of human rights activism on our side, we see that the collective actions of our members really have the power to change lives.
SPECIAL GUEST: Usher Raymond IV, in partnership with Sankofa.org, will join Amnesty International USA’s Art for Amnesty for Art for Rights.
This year, Art For Amnesty is doing something different. We are amplifying Write for Rights with art. On December 12, a historic event will take place: ART FOR RIGHTS. Through a partnership with New Orleans artist, Brandan “BMike” Odums, we are collaborating with 12 artists to highlight the stories of 12 international cases through art and creative installations. The murals created by these 12 artists will call attention to cases of solitary confinement, torture, forced marriage, forced eviction, imprisonment for a miscarriage, LGBTI rights, death penalty, enforced disappearance and prisoners of conscience. The goals remain the same: to inspire participants to write letters and to take action.
Art can be a cultural tool during times of unrest to expose truths, helping to humanize social struggle and actualize grievances and fears. Often, art inspires us to take action. We've chosen to hold the inaugural event in New Orleans, the prison capital of the world. In New Orleans, Albert Woodfox, one of the 12 cases, has been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years. Art for Rights will be located in StudioBe, 30,000 square foot art studio, where we hope over 5,000 people will join Art For Amnesty for a one-day, free, pop-up art event, with the unveiling of the work by these amazing artists. Art for Rights will also feature local Cajun food and big brass band music for that New Orleans flair."
Impromptu photographer meet ups are always fun. Met some cool peeps and took the afternoon to just shoot for fun. We met in this dope coffee shop (Revelator Coffee on Tchoupitoulas) and ended up on the top of some random parking garage watching the sunset go down. All in all, it was a great ending to a beautiful day.