Bars & Squares

At Last

November 25, 2012

{Etta James Style}

This has been a long time coming.

A Very. Very. Very. Long time coming.

I have wanted a new camera probably since I started this blog in 2008. Not just any camera, but a Canon.

I have had my eye on a Canon Rebel for quite some time. A couple things held me back from getting one right away, but mostly the cost. As a ‘starving student’ (Hah) I just couldn’t bring myself to spend upwards of 500-600$ on a camera when I wasn’t exactly working, and in school full time. So, I made do with what I had. Adam and I bought a Panasonic Lumix camera back when we went to Mexico the first time. This was a major upgrade to my old point and shoot Nikon. However, that was about 300$ on sale at the time we purchased it, and we split it 50/50. It was also a point and shoot, but a huge step up, and only a few steps down from a DSLR. It was a pretty good camera, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for in a camera.

Bloggers will know, especially food bloggers, that the pictures are everything. A very appetizing dish can quickly become un-appetizing with a bad photograph. So many times I have made wonderful, delicious recipes that I wanted to share with you, but the photo’s just weren’t great. It’s hard to sell a recipe when the photograph looks so unappealing. I can go on and on about how amazing good it was, but if the photo isn’t great you may not be up to trying it out. Somewhat like my cookbook theory; if there’s no pictures in the book I don’t buy it. I need a photograph! Otherwise, how else am I going to know if it turned out right? Or, if it looks like something I might want to try. I need at least 80% of the recipes to have photographs accompanying them! If I ever made a cookbook, or maybe When, I make my own cookbook I would make sure Every Single Recipe has a picture. Cooking is very visual.

People, the photographs are the food relationship deal breaker.

I had been trying to use the point-and shoot Lumix, but it just wasn’t capturing the photographs right. It’s sad to say that my iPhone camera worked better for me, and about 70% of the photo’s on the blog recently were probably from my iPhone.

I had said I wasn’t going to partake in the Black Friday madness, but I was sucked in. I was browsing the flyers and sales and noticed a Canon Rebel T3 on sale at Black’s Photography (no pun intended.) The deal was $399 for the Rebel T3, including a lens. Now, I have been hunting and drooling over, and stalking Canon cameras for probably the last year or two religiously. Adam can confirm my lamenting about wanting a new camera forever. So, when I saw one on sale for LESS than 400$ I was shocked! Then, I also saw Shoppers Drug Mart had one on for $379! As well, WalMart had it on for $398, plus they Ad-Match, so you could bring in the Shopper’s Ad and price match it. So, I asked Adam to kindly stop on his way home from work to pick me one up! What a great boyfriend =)

Now, I’m still a starving well fed student, but I had recently sold a few new/recently won un-needed items on Craigslist, and had been saving up my money specifically for a new camera, stored in my great-aunts teacup on my dresser. Thankfully the amount I had saved in my antique teacup was the exact amount needed. Therefore, not money out of pocket for me!

{Adam’s dog, Chubby. One of my first photographs}

It’s nice to know that after saving up, and waiting I finally have what I’ve wanted. It also makes you appreciate it more knowing that you’ve been wanting it for so long.

Good things come to those who wait.

Now, of course to celebrate I had to break in the new camera with a recipe. I needed something to take pictures of clearly.

I brought these to a Cousins get together last night, the first holiday party of the season! They were a hit, and definitely going to be making them again this season. They reminded me of my Blackberry Crumb bars, but the base and topping were a little more firm.

Cranberry Lemon Squares
Adapted from: Kitchen Culinaire  

For the dough:

3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced (juice reserved for filling)
1 cup,  cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
2-3 tbs. water
2 tsp. vanilla

For the filling:

1 bag frozen cranberries, plus a little more depending on your baking dish size.
1/2 cup sugar
reserved juice from 1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons corn starch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  1. Mix the cranberries, sugar and the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and mix well. I always have lemon juice on hand, so I added a bit more to the mixture.
  2. For the dough combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and lemon zest in mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on low to combine dry ingredients.
  3. Slowly add chilled cubed butter and mix on low until dough forms pea sized crumbs, don’t over mix. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again. Add a couple tsp. of water if needed, more or less, until dough just comes together but still slightly crumbly. You can also use a food processor if you like.
  4. Press a little more than half of the dough into the bottom of a  9 x 13 inch baking dish with your fingers. Set remaining dough aside for topping.
  5. Next add the cranberry filling, in a single layer so that the top is evenly covered, you don’t want any gaps.
  6. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top in small/pea sized clusters using your fingers to crumble it.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or so until the top starts to brown.
  8. Cool on countertop, you can also move it to the fridge to cool completely. Let sit at room temp for a few minutes before cutting.

These would also freeze nicely for the holiday season!

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  • Reply Hinna November 28, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I got the same camera a while back, but haven’t made much use of it. I bought it at Black’s and they gave me a voucher for a free hour tutorial…
    Do you know of any sites that show how to use the camera?

    • Reply Alicia December 2, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      I know the Pioneer Woman has a lot of tutorials, or Kath Eats maybe? lots of food bloggers actually have tutorials on their sites!

  • Reply Alyssa Schroeder December 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Ohh have fun! You got it for a steal! I remember the day I bought my first DSLR. One of the happiest days of my life! The 50 1.8 is also a great lens for the price.

    • Reply Alicia December 2, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      Thanks! I love it – still getting to know how everything works!

  • Reply Two Thousand Twelve » Bakeaholic December 31, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    […] Cranberry Bars + A new Camera Love […]

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