Professional Animator • Photographer • Road tripper • Foodie

• NY to LA and beyond •

www.alexandrazedalis.com

All works copyright by their respective owners & Alexandra Zedalis ©2014
  • "I hope life on Earth is everything you remember it to be." -GERTY, Moon

  • lensblr-network:

    Among the millions of blogs on Tumblr, only a small number are contributors of original content: “the world’s creators”

    And if you’ve ever looked at Tumblr’s Explore Page you might notice that Photography is oddly absent.

    There’s #design, #art, #architecture and even #artists on tumblr — but no mention of anything related to the art of taking pictures with a camera. Even #film is a trap — it’s for movies, not analog photography!

    We don’t think this situation is acceptable. So let’s Fight it.

    We’d like to ask all original photographers on Tumblr to start putting the #photographers on tumblr tag on every single photo you post.

    Photographers deserve more recognition among the Creators on Tumblr. Hopefully, by using this tag we’ll help the entire community of Tumblr photographers get noticed — and maybe one day we will see that tag on the Tumblr Explore page too.

    Reblog this post and spread the word.

    Sincerely,
    Photographers on Tumblr

    My thoughts exactly!

    (via lensblr-network)

  • There’s no food in here…

  • Bucket List

    Bucket List WIP

    Grant Teton National Park, Wyoming

    Death Valley, California

    Crater Lake, Oregon

    The Grand Canyon, Arizona

    Zion National Park, Utah

    Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

    Paria Canyon, Utah

    Antelope Canyon, Arizona

    Sedona, Arizona

    Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California

    Big Sur, California

    The Sailing Stones at Racetrack Playa, Death Valley California

    Solvang, California

    The Madonna Inn, California

    Hearst Castle, California

    Treehouse Point, Washington

    The Goonies House, Astoria, Washington

    Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii

    Kona Coffee Plantation, Hawaii

    Dole Plantation, Oahu, Hawaii

    Worlds Largest Hedge Maze, Oahu, Hawaii

    Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

    Volcano’s National Park, Hawaii

    Skaftafell, Iceland

    Tasmania

    Australia

    New Zealand

    Reine, Norway

    Preikestolen, Norway

    Finland

    Bemelmans Bar, New York

    Trinity Place, New York

    Ride Amtraks Great Dome Car through Adirondacks, New York

    Ride the “Hogwarts Express” train The Jacobite, Scotland

    Rocco San Felice, Italy

    Naples, Italy

    Mcway Falls, Big Sur, California

    Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California

    Lake Arrowhead, California

    Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

    Kiholo Bay, Hawaii

    Vancouver, Canada

    Whistler, Canada

    Seattle, Washington

    Alberta, Canada

    Athabasca Falls, Canada

    Lake Louise, Canada

    Waterton National Park, Canada

    Banff Jasper National Park, Canada

    Morraine Lake, Canada

    Geirangerfjord, Norway

    Åndalsnes, Norway

    Runde, Norway

    White Pocket, Arizona

    The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

    The Northern Lights, (Alaska, Scandinavia)

    Yosemite National Park

    The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

    City Hall Subway station, New York City

    Reindeer Farm, Finland or elsewhere

    View the Northern Lights via glass igloo at hotel Kakslauttanen

    The sound bath at Integratron, Landers California

    Icefishing

    Switzerland

  • When planning our roadtrip last weekend the words “Ostrichland” popped on on my roadtrippers app, and I knew I had to go. Even though I’ve never had a particular affection for the bird how could we really pass this up? My boyfriend didn’t exactly see it my way but went along with it and we pulled up to Ostrichland USA! We opted to get a small pail of feed which according to the instructions we were to hold it with two hands at the birds and then “hang on”. Hang on?

    So the Ostrich is not a graceful nor polite eater, that’s for sure. As soon as my boyfriend extended his arm out at least 5 birds aggressively pecked their way at the pail. Before we knew it the food was gone. So we got another which also went very quickly. Of course trying to lure one of these curmudgeon accordions out with no food didn’t work for long either. However they would still stretch as far as they could (which was really quite far) to reach the bowl only to look at us with their permanent perturbed expression when realizing there was nothing in the pail.  Making these for very amusing birds except the length and speed of those necks made using the wide lens a no go for fear of getting pecked!

    All in all, we ended up staying at the Ostrich farm longer than expected and had a really great time (dare I say I’d love to go again?) There were so many adults and quite a few fuzzy babies (awww!). I especially loved how the adults would just pop up in front of the camera with those perturbed expressions making for the perfect shot. Not to mention those prehistoric feet! The Ostrich is really quite the odd bird. 

  • Words cannot describe our dinner this evening. We made pasta tonight, as per my boyfriends request. After two unsuccessful batches of pasta dough I do not agree with anyone who says pasta dough is “simple and forgiving”. It is not! Especially when there are so many contradicting recipes on the interwebs. But I’m learning that having the right ratios of wet vs dry is critical to a sturdy dough. It also helps when your boyfriend is around to knead it for 6 minutes straight :-) Tonight we had made excellent dough. I have also been talking to my mom about homemade ricotta, a recipe I’ve been in possession of since purchasing Ina Gartens How Easy is That? cookbook. How easy is it?  Well..

    Friday evening I purchased 2 small containers of heavy cream and white wine vinegar. We already had milk (I don’t drink it—he does, hehe) and this morning I went to our local kitchen supply store to buy cheesecloth that I will probably have for a long time. The guy behind the counter asked what I would be using it for and I said “I’m making Ricotta” (pronounced Ri-gut-tah) and as expected he looked confused. So I channeled my inner teenager when I worked at the local supermarket on Long Island where the customers would ask for “RICATTA” and responded with that. Of course then he got it. :-/

    Anyway, I arrived home and later that afternoon set out on the daunting task of making homemade cheese. I poured some milk in my fabulous Le Creuset, as well as some heavy cream and a bit of salt. And I waited.

    And I waited some more.

    When the mixture started to boil I took it off the heat, added in some white wine vinegar then waited a few minutes as it curdled. Then I poured it in a sieve lined with dampened cheese cloth and went out for a run. 

    When I came back, in the words of Wallace, I had “Cheeeeeeeessssssseeee”. How easy is that? That easy!!

    Pasta, not so much, but I’ve posted a photo of my pasta dough research which included some chicken scratch algebra. But after all of my highschool math I landed on the simple and effective formula of equal parts flour and bing bang boom we had pasta! And given I had made this incredibly delicious ricotta we rather daringly tried our hand at making Ravioli. We made about 13 test subjects and as soon as they hit the water they floated to the top IMMEDIATELY. I didn’t think this was a good sign, since they are only supposed to float when ready. Regardless we kept them in for 10 minutes. Cooking half the batch just to test we had three each. After one bite my boyfriend got up to boil more water. <3

    It was just, sublime. Between the light homemade pasta to the airy cheese, it just doesn’t get any better than this. I’m ashamed to say I had 6 ravioli this evening and I could of eaten 6 more easily, except for the fact that we had only made 13!! Drats!!

  • Why have we stopped cooking?

    Lately I’ve embarked on quite a few recipes I once thought were too hard and too time consuming to make from scratch. And it wasn’t until I started reading Cooked, Michael Pollans newest novel, did I realize that perhaps I had been made to think this way by the food industry. For instance I have always eaten Spanakopita pre made and frozen in a Trader Joe’s box. I never once thought to make them because I always assumed it would be too difficult. Why did I think that? Because I purchased it in a box? One day I stumbled upon a recipe and took on the task and yes, it is time consuming but it is by no means impossible to make fresh, homemade delicious Spanakopita.

    Next, homemade pasta. Seriously? It’s flour and eggs. Why did I think this so hard? Sure having a pasta maker makes it easier but realistically all you actually need is a rolling pin and a knife and you’ve got homemade delicious pasta (trust me, once you make it you’ll never want to go back..)

    But my all time favorite is something I have never once bought pre made. And that is tomato sauce. I can thank my Italian mother for that one as I have never been exposed to Prego, Newmans Own or any other tomato sauce that comes in a glass bottle. Given how it only takes a can of tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, olive oil and some herbs..I really don’t quite understand why we are made to think we either don’t have time to make it or that it’s too difficult and thus must be bought pre made. Really?

    On that note I have always been intimidated by Asian cooking. It always seems so involved and included so many items that I didn’t know what they were or where to find them. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a recipe for mooncakes, a Chinese desert made in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid Autumn festival is a sortof Chinese Thanksgiving, where people come together to celebrate, worship the autumn moon and eat mooncakes. I personally love mooncakes so after giving the recipe a quick read I embarked on a quest to find mooncake molds. Obviously they were high in demand and all the good ones were sold out, so I ordered a sub par mold from the only online seller in the United States. A few days later my boyfriend picked up the one wildcard item we needed to make the dessert, lotus seeds for the filling, from a Chinese market.

    On Saturday night I soaked the seeds in water and early Sunday morning I boiled and mashed them into the paste.  We then headed out to the farmers market to pick up our food for the week. We came back a few hours later to make the dough which took no more than 5 minutes and after letting it set we measured out portions of our filling and dough and assembled! 30 minutes later the cakes were baked and my boyfriend and I enjoyed a freshly baked and might I say delicious mooncake!

    I suppose the one downside to cooking could be that once you make something from scratch you’ll never want to buy it pre-made again (as is the reason we have a case of canned San Marzano tomato’s sitting on top of our fridge..). OR you’ll never eat it again once you see how much butter or sugar or lard the recipe actually calls for (damnit fudge!). But similarly to the Mid Autumn festival one of the many upsides to cooking is that it brings people together and that alone makes the art of cooking a meal totally worth it. After we made our mooncakes I thought about how EASY it was and how nice it was to cook something from my boyfriends heritage and to share the experience together. We shared a few with his family who were also really impressed and remarked at how I was the first one they knew to attempt to make the cakes, and I’m not even Chinese! Why as a culture have we stopped cooking? To quote Michael Pollen, "How is it that at the precise historical moment when American’s were abandoning the kitchen, handing over the preparation of most of our meals to the food industry, we began spending so much of our time thinking about food and watching other people cook it on television?" 

    Think about it :-)

  • When my boyfriend suggested we visit the Griffith Observatory I thought it would be nice to avoid the parking nightmare by hiking up from the boulevard. It was a pretty quick hike however very very hot. Definitely worth the climb as we also got to view the telescope (which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before) and just caught the tail end of the Tesla Coil (b/c they ran it early!).  Griffith Observatory is always a nice small local trip in LA.

  • Alot of people poke fun at food photography, or rather they poke fun at people who take unappetizing photographs of what they are eating. I tend to agree because some of it is really really awful. Like this one!  I never would of given that recipe a shot, but luckily my mom did and the bars turned out awesome! So I made them myself and took some much more flattering photos. Turns out they are very photogenic and just as yummy as they look. When done right food photography can be a very important marketing tool for any restaurant or recipe. Which bar would you rather eat?

  • I love farmers markets. Not only do you find unbelievably fresh vegetables but (for me at least) I get way more bang for my buck for my favorite produce. Here is a couple of weeks worth of farmers market salads I make for my weekly lunch. I usually pick a grain/bean then add whatever I can find at the market (heirloom tomatoes, heirloom carrots, sweet italian peppers, cucumbers, and an herb like basil or cilantro. ) And of course my beloved Shishito Peppers  which I like to make during the week as a quick dinner. Oh so delicious! I will be quite sad when they go out of season :-(

  • Who doesn’t love Peach Pie?? Okay, I have a boyfriend who loves peaches, and I made him this pie to celebrate him returning from a work-cation. I actually like making pie and despite my shortage of ripe peaches it turned out pretty awesome! This recipe also doesn’t contain much sugar but you can always add more. :-) 

    Smitten Kitchen—Peach Pie

  • Who doesn’t love a really excellent roast chicken?  This recipe hails from one of my favorite cookbooks Simple Organic. It basically contains a cumin, salt and pepper rub for the chicken and topped with a mixture of leeks, peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg and tarragon. It’s the PERFECT summer chicken and one of our absolute favorites :-)

  • I drink almond milk pretty much every day, so I was ecstatic to hear I could make it myself with just 2 ingredients. Almonds and water! I used this simple recipe to make my first batch this morning: Organic Almond Milk

    And just like that I had my own homemade almond milk ready for the week, in the awesome milk bottle I got from World Market this past weekend (yes I’m a nerd!)

    And on top of that I spread out the remaining almonds on a baking sheet to dry out in the oven for a few hours and viola! Almond meal! This is a great substitute for breadcrumbs (such as on fish or chicken). 

    Yum!

  • If your looking for the million dollar view, it’s across the river.

  • "When it’s 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When it’s 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles." -Neil Simon

    I was searching for awesome quotes about New York and this one made me laugh out loud. So true, but I still enjoy year round 72 degrees ;-)