The power of a good meal and dear friends

For a few reasons, I took a break from photography and blogging this summer (…and autumn… and now we’re approaching the end of the year… yikes!). But one of the instances that brought back my love for photography was this get-together with 2 dear friends, Chrystine and Nicole. Chrystine hosted us at her house, and it could not have been more perfect.

We started off with appetizers…

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…and some of the best tea I’ve ever had (ginseng oolong, I think?). It left you with a sweet taste in the back of your throat, almost like honey.
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Then we moved on to the main course, cooked by Chrystine herself:

the best steak salad ever with butter-and-garlic roasted mushrooms and butter lettuce, with a side of potatoes au gratin with cheese and bacon (sadly not photographed because I instantly started eating it).
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And even though we were stuffed, we still had room for coffee and chocolate.

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But even topping that was the company and conversation. (~Thank you, N & C, for the lovely day!)

Saturday night gluttony

It was our friend JD’s birthday last week, and we celebrated at his house. But really, he did all the heavy-lifting: buying all the ingredients, cooking, and entertaining. And the food was so amazing — check it out:

* appetizers including butternut squash & apple soup, and ridiculously good bread and dipping oil
* risotto cooked with Stout beer (complete with a Dharma label from Lost)
* vegetables cooked with apple cider
* Fred Steak — the most amazingly delicious steak, with secret, special marinade
* molten lava cakes
* boba

Needless to say, we ate way too much. J. and I were literally still full the next day.

Oh, and another fun part of the night was trying out JD’s new camera system: the Sony NEX-5, a camera that is the size of a tiny point-and-shoot camera but has the quality of a DSLR, complete with interchangeable lenses. And what’s so neat about it is that you can attach a little mount to it, and bam! You can now use vintage lenses. So JD bought an old Canon 50mm/1.2 (1.2!!!) lens to use with it (check out the 1984 Olympics sticker on the lens cap!). And then he lent it to me for the week. So fun. So tempting to get myself! Seriously…