i have been VERY lucky lately in the venison department!  many people at my gym hunt and frequently offer me some of their meat.  i rarely buy meat at the grocery store any more.  i am so over chicken, and i have a few moral issues with it anyway, along with beef.   i eat fish that are sustainably caught(i hope) and the wild game i am offered!   i prefer the ground venison.  last week a client gave me some that was ground up with jalapenos!   i cooked it up a bit and put it in the crockpot with one cup farro, one small onion(small dice), a few minced garlic cloves, one can diced tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, about 8 sage leaves chopped up, one yellow pepper(large dice), salt and pepper, and about 2 cups of vegetable stock.  i let this cook for almost 6 hours on low.  if you decide to do this....and you can totally do it with ground bison or turkey (or beef if that is the only way your roll!) and you can add some jalapenos on your own(just don't go overboard!).....but don't make the one mistake i did(and i knew it was not a good idea when i did it!)....don't put the farro in until about 2.5-3 hours out.  i put it in at the very beginning.   i like farro that still has a bit of a bite, and this farro was mushy!  BUT, it still tasted AMAZING!  the little spice was very nice!  serve it with some homemade hearty garlic toast.

i got some GREAT advice from kym today (my photog friend) and figured out how to make my pics more appealing!  i wanted the background of some of my pics to be fuzzy while keeping the main food item in extreme focus.  turns out, all i had to do was mess around with the settings on the camera!  of course i knew there were different settings, but i guess i thought it was going to be way more complicated than that!  she advised me to go to the "portrait" setting, however, that didn't work well for what i wanted.  i tried a couple other settings and finally figured out that it was the "close up" setting that did the trick!   you do still have to work some magic on your own.  figure out how far away to be, the lighting, and the distance between the item you want in focus and the background 'stuff'.  here are a few shots...click to view larger...

orange ginger spice muffins!

lemon blueberry muffin with dried wild blueberries in background

the blueberries are more in focus here

what do you all think?  am i getting closer to pretty pics?