Photography, Challah and Learning About Life in Israel

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It has been tough going this afternoon, trying to decide what image to put at the top of this post to introduce you to my friend Avital. She writes a blog named This and That - and since her posts have covered everything from basket weaving to trick photography, there is much to choose from - and much for you to explore!

I chose the image of my first ever, gorgeous Challah! Avital taught me to make Challah last year right before Hanukkah. Which is amazing considering that she lives half way around the world in Israel!

Avital is an excellent teacher - following her recipe and tips and suggestions resulted in a most satisfying and delicious experience. Can you tell - I am really very proud of my Challah! And thrilled to know how to make it.

If you have never eaten Challah, you are missing the best bread ever.

World's Most Delicate Lemon Squares

Just so you know, when Avital posts a recipe, it will be a good one! She recently posted this recipe for Lemon Squares. I am giving you fair warning - you will not be able to stop eating these!

And this Chocolate Walnut bread is a big hit around here too! And I really must try her Mexican Chicken. Doesn't it sound wonderful?

Kiwi Fruit

However many little side trips Avital takes into the cooking and crafting worlds, her blog is mostly about photography. Beautiful, excellent, high quality photography. And so we have a lot to talk about and share through e-mails.

But she never hesitates sharing anything new with her readers - a technique, a piece of equipment, technology improvements..

For example, she shows readers exactly how to take this image of a kiwi!

How to photograph Jupiter.

Close-up photography without a macro lens.

Goat

I really, really appreciate having a friend with her skills and ability to teach. BUT what I really have appreciated is getting to tag along with her as she photographs her experiences in Israel.

I mean - how many of us get to pass by a lovely wild goat like this one on a walk around the block! Camels too - go see! And she does such a beautiful job of capturing them!

Italian Synagogue, Jerusalem

Avital has taken me to the Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art.

And the Monastery of the Valley of the Cross.

One of my favorites - a visit to Teller's Bakery

You will see many more links in the Challah post. If you haven't visited Avital, do so now before you forget!!.

Basket

She carries her camera with her constantly. I am serious. Partly because she has taken on the challenge of making at least one image every single day of the year. You will find some really cool images from 2010 right here! I hope you take the time to enjoy them.

Red Ceiling

And sometimes, she just can't help herself and lets her delightful sense of humor influence the images she is taking of the world in front of her - like this most unusual and entertaining selection from something as mundane as a company meeting.

Avital, thank you for so generously sharing your life and adventures - the time and effort you have invested in posting, in taking and processing the images, in writing and telling your story. I have learned so much about your part of the world that I would not otherwise have the chance to know.

And thank you for sharing what you have learned on your own journey in photography in a way that can usually be understood by a super non-techie like me..

Thank you for teaching me to make really good Challah and the best Lemon Bars I have ever eaten. And for the Chocolate Walnut Bread sitting in my freezer!

Except for the image of the Challah, all the images in this post were taken by Avital and shared on her blog and on her flickr.

There are links (or will be soon) on Pinterest!

Hi Pam... I've been enjoying

Hi Pam... I've been enjoying your current series of posts, and I had to compliment you on the drool-worthy challah. I've never made it, but it's one of my favourites!

I have a serious love for

I have a serious love for lemon bars and I'm totally going to try this one! What inspiring photography she does too, wow!

Pam, thank-you so much! I am

Pam, thank-you so much! I am really touched.

Oh I love challah! I should

Oh I love challah! I should make some just looking at your loaves makes me drool. :) I usually use challah dough for making our cinnamon rolls but it's good plain too.

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