Hi, I'm Shirley  --a food photographer who loves to cook.

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What kind of a cook am I?

Simplicity plus fresh Ingredients makes great flavors is my mantra.

Many recipes I learned as an "assistant" in my grandmother's kitchen.  She was a southern woman who had moved to the north looking for work and a better life.  

I love updating her old recipes, re-creating classic American dishes with new flavors; and creating dishes that reflect foods I discovered through my travels--albeit with an American slant. 

And yes, I do test and re-test (or even more) old and new recipes.  Cooking and presenting food for family and friends is quite different from offering a dish on a food blog!  Moreover, there is always room for improvement. 

Learning how to share my recipes heightened my interest of food as art--its beautiful forms, textures and colors of food.  That opened a door that, like a trip in Alice In Wonderland, led me to food photography--and a whole new exciting world

That door led me to photographing food as art, as well as shooting food for stock images.  I invite you to view my SmugMug Gallery.

Some Background

I'm single and retired--sort of retired.  Well, not quite retired.  LOL
My dog's name is 'Susan," a Portuguese water dog.  I like reminding people that I had Susan before the Obama's got Bo!
Becoming a speech pathologist was a desire I had when I started undegrad.  But I kept taking classes in literature--American lit, African-American lit, English lit, Womens' lit.  So I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  I had no idea on what I was going to do but I was intellectually happy and could discuss Chaucer and Shakespeare, even recite sonnets! 
  My careers have spanned from being a secretary to tutoring in English as a Peace Corps volunteer in beach lovely The Gambia and then a teaching in English as a Second Language in beautiful Costa Rico to managing systems development and implementation for human resources in Washington D.C.
I have traveled quite a bit throughout the U.S., parts of West Africa and Europe.
My favorite places to be are France, then Northern Virginia.
I love to read (almost anything, especially historical fiction, science fiction, and fiction that asks questions about life), and I love anything involving home decor, my dream kitchen and cooking.
If in a restaurant and had to choose between tiramasu and crème brûlée, I would skip the salad and entree, order both deserts and a coffee.  Fortunately, I have never had to choose.
Finally, for me, learning something new is always exciting and challenging.