What I’ve Been Up To…

tacos & margaritas

Well, um, the last few months have been strange, to say the least. On March 21st, I did my last session – a goodbye/remember session for a beautiful mare named Bianka. It was an emotional way to to end my sessions for the time being – on March 22nd, the stay-at-home order went into effect in New Jersey, and I hit the pause button on all of my photo shoots and any in-person interactions with clients. Thankfully, our state has eased restrictions a bit, and those of us that have been unable to work are slowly easing back into work. But life has been interesting the last few months, and I have a (mostly) new master bathroom and a bunch of house projects checked off my list, so at least there’s that!

I’ve also been baking/cooking a lot – as I imagine many of us have been. See I have this thing with sourdough bread – I love it. And I’m extremely picky about my bread – I only like a specific sourdough loaf from Trader Joe’s. Needless to say, it was not a priority to wait in line for an hour and a half just to get into TJ’s to buy some bread, so I took it upon myself to expand my bread-baking horizons. And hallelujah for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu – let’s just say some MAJOR Netflix bingeing happened. #noshame

I took a bit of a break from social media (still easing back into that), so I’ve been off the radar, but I wanted to catch up with you all and share some of the fun stuff I’ve been up to, some awesome recipes I’ve been making, and even some good shows I’ve been watching – and I’d absolutely LOVE if you’d share your recipes/tv show/movie recommendations with me! Hit me up and tell me what YOU have been up to.

First off – salmon tacos. They’ve become a bit of an obsession – thankfully a healthy one, as these tacos are pretty dang nutritious, but WOW I cannot get enough of these. We make them about once a week – and with little tweaks, such as we grill the salmon on the Weber and I use itsy bitsy “street taco” sized tortillas.

In bread land – this French-style country bread from King Arthur Flour. IT. IS. SO. GOOD. My only suggestion – cook it to a temp of about 200-205 degrees instead of the 190 degrees suggested. My first attempt was a bit underdone at 190 degrees, and my next loaf baked a bit longer with much better results.

If I’m being completely honest – the first few weeks of the stay-at-home order were a bit, um…….boozy? But not in a bad way. Necessarily. More like, neither of us had anywhere to be at any given moment, so a margarita (or two) in the evening didn’t feel like such a bad idea since it wasn’t like we were going anywhere or doing anything. Gus has been working from home (thank GOODNESS for two separate home offices!), but other than that, it was either the house or the backyard for us! Gus makes the best margaritas – just tequila, a tiny bit of simple syrup or agave syrup, and lime juice. That’s it. UNTIL my brother in law suggested we muddle a slice or two of jalapeño in the drink – he said “it makes it taste like a fancy $15 margarita”. HE IS NOT LYING. TRY THIS! I don’t have the exact measurements on hand, but it’s basically this recipe here – we’d just omit the OJ and muddle the jalapeño a bit before shaking.

So now you know what I’ve been eating and drinking, it’s only fair that I share what I’ve been watching WHILST eating and drinking. I’m about to share something with you, and I don’t want you to think less of me. I love Vanderpump Rules. It’s true. I don’t even want to hide it anymore. And season 8 recently ended, so it was only fitting that we rewatch the first 7 seasons! Also – Homeland. I’m halfway through season 7 and I can’t get enough. I’m so sad there’s only one season left!

So yeah – life has been weird. But I have to say – other than missing my horse and my family (who all live out of state or across the country), it hasn’t been terrible! I’m incredibly fortunate in that my husband is able to work from home for now, so waking up each day and having him make my coffee is pretty awesome. We’ve been eating almost all of our meals together, outside in the backyard, whenever possible. We have a grocery store (and liquor store) nearby, plenty of parks and outdoor areas to hike and visit, and it’s given us amazing quality time with my almost 18 year old cat, Daisy. I miss my 8 month old nephew, but we’re able to FaceTime with him and my sister, and I’ve even had more time to reconnect with old friends via Zoom happy hours and FaceTime. So I can’t complain. I have greatly missed photographing you all and your gorgeous horses, but as restrictions ease, I’m even more excited to see you all and make some gorgeous portraits together!

Now I need more tv show recommendations – so tell me what you’ve been watching! Email me! jessica@jessicasandersphotography.com

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