Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Favorites and Some Thoughts on "Shame"

UPDATE: Michael Fassbender just won Best Actor in this year's British Independent Film Awards for his performance in Shame! Congrats, Michael! You really earned it =D.

I was actually planning a recipe post for this weekend, but what can I say but that life had other things in mind 8). Instead I'm now gonna post my weekly favorites a day early and hope to have some pastries up by mid-week!

Among the things that kept me from baking this weekend was the D.C. premiere of Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen's incredible movie, Shame, about a sex addict in NYC whose predicament only gets worse when his unstable sister drops in to live with him. Yes, it's NC-17 but NO it's not at all like porn or even a sexy movie. I didn't find any of the scenes gratuitous and would even say that a story like this simply could NOT be told without graphic scenes.

The point of the movie, at least for me, was not necessarily about just sex addiction but about the desperate lengths many of us go to in order to numb the pains of our past, the loneliness and isolation of the present, or whatever other demons we each carry invisibly on our shoulders like so many Atlas's. It's definitely not easy to watch Shame, but I strongly urge that you do. For one, you won't want to miss Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan's Oscar-worthy performances. Morever, with sex addiction becoming more and more common these days, I hope this movie will spark more dialogue and understanding, and discourage blind judgment.

Thanks to any of y'all who read through my 2 cents on Shame. But I think the food photos are why you're really here. Right, right? This week was fabulous for finding inspirational food photography because Donna Hay magazine finally joined Zinio!! If you're not familiar with Zinio, it will allow you to read Donna Hay electronically on a subscription that is MUCH cheaper than imported copies ($60 versus $13/year). And noooo iPad required! So I hope you'll understand that my excitement about this resulted in adding a lot of Donna Hay photos to this round-up. They're plenty easy on the eyes, though, so I assume you won't mind ;p.

Raspberry Ice Cubes Photograph from Donna Hay (Issue 59)
1 Donna Hay-Raspberry Ice Cubes Idea
2 Aisha Yusaf-Mushroom Tube Pasta Pesto Cream Sauce Idea
3 Dvita-Plums and Grapes
Chickpea Tomato Spelt Soup from Martha Stewart
4 Martha Stewart-Chickpea Tomato Spelt Soup Idea
5 Cintamani-Indian Burfi Sandesh Candy
Christmas Tree Cupcakes from Better Homes & Gardens
6 BHG-Ice Cream Cone Xmas Tree Cupcakes
Lemongrass Cucumber and Raspberry Basil Cocktails Photographs from Donna Hay (Issue 59)
7 Donna Hay 59-Lemongrass Cucumber Caprioska, Raspberry Basil Mules Cocktail Drink Ideas
Rosemary Wreath with Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, and Mozzarella Photograph from Julia Usher
8 Julia Usher-Olives Mozz Cherry Tomato Rosemary Wreath Xmas Appetizer Idea
9 SweetAdventuresofSugarbelle-Decorated Cookie Cutter Tip
Chickpea Veggie Phyllo Triangle Photograph from Tony Briscoe
10 Tony Briscoe-Chickpea Bean Vege Phyllo Triangles Appetizer
Coffee Meringue Brownie from Donna Hay (Issue 59)
11 Donna Hay 59-Coffie Meringue Brownie, Tart Idea


  1. Thanks for sharing! I love those roundups.



  2. Sounds like a really intense, powerful movie that I'd love to see. Too bad I'll probably have to wait for it to come out on video... Just hope I don't forget about it in the interim!

  3. Now I want to watch that movie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for this lovely roundup. That rosemary wreath is adorable!

  4. I hadn't heard of shame until your post. I love your sentence about silencing the pain of the past. There are many people carrying such heavy burdens and their life could be so much better is they learned to let go.

    I love all the pictures, but the one with the tree cupcake is so silly, that would make anyone smile.

    Lovely picks as always.

  5. I am waiting for the movie to be screened here. Thank you for sharing your insights and those lovely photos... Spares me precious time from surfing aimlessly in front of the computer... :)

  6. Love these round ups! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great pictures... I always get ideas to improve my photography but I feel like I hit a plateau.

    I listened to a review of Shame on the radio. They said "it is hard to watch but it is also equally hard to turn away from it". I am definitely seeing it.

  8. Another gorgeous roundup of photos Xiaolu!!! You have such fabulous taste. I really love that rosemary wreath. So festive!!

    I'm so glad you've finally been able to get hold of Donna Hay magazines. Isn't Zinio fantastic. I use it for all of my US magazine subscriptions.

  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the movie, Xiaolu! I haven't seen it but it sounds intriguing. Great choice of photos, as always - I love that cookie cutter idea! Have a great week!

  10. The sounds like a movie I would love to watch, will keep an eye open for it:) and I love that christmas cupcakes, so awesome!

  11. You always find some great recipes and photography! Wow.
    The movie sounds great too.

  12. oooh nice! lovely roundup of some gorgeous food shots!

  13. I never hear about new movies since I don't own a I was super glad you shared this review! I think I really do want to see the movie (not sure what that says about me lol :P)

  14. i really like the imprint idea and pics. I also like the olive wreath. and thanks for the heads up on the movie. Food, music, movies, are becoming my one-stop shop. Hope you are doing well!!

  15. I am definitely going to check out the movie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this serious issue.

    The picks this week have been gorgeous.

  16. Imprint idea and christmas tree cupcakes look fabulous

  17. You won't believe but it has been years since I watched a movie in the theater:) The last was Tangled with my girls.. Shame sounds interesting.

    As always a very pretty collection! Love the Martha Stewart's Soup,e sp. with that extraordinary writing at the background :) Perfection.

  18. Thanks, everyone! Glad you find the movie interesting :).

  19. you would be so proud of me. i actually looked at my settings on my DSLR and played around with the ISO and white balance settings! (someone borrowed it and changed everything lol). my next step is to learn aperature and shutter speed and all that stuff! i love these favorite posts. inspires me so much!

  20. hey girl! thanks for your opinion on shame- i'm happy to read it in-depth! i'll definitely let you know what i think after we watch it!

    anyways, great round-up of shots today. i looove the ice cube ones by donna hay!

  21. Thanks for sharing Xialu! Great choice of photographs,

  22. Oh gosh, Coffee Meringue Brownie!! THe raspberry ice cubes are really pretty as well. Thanks for the round up :)

  23. A friend just suggested this movie to me this morning! Talk about timing! I agre with your assertion about addictions being a cover-up for something painful..whether it be sex, drugs, food etc. Thankfully there are so many ways to get help these days. Problem is..most don't want to get help..refuse to see it or just don't want to dredge up that pain within.

    On a brighter note, those photos are gorgeous, but I have yet to see anything less than on your beautiful blog!

  24. I haven't heard of Shame, thanks for the movie suggestion. :) So many great photos and ideas here! I think my favourite is the rosemary wreath with olives.

  25. Shame sounds like a wonderful movie! And that mushroom pasta looks delicious :)

  26. I am definitely going to watch "Shame" a week...when finals are over!
    I love the shots...especially the Donna Hays ones. And the Christmas tree cupcakes - so creative!

  27. Today's photography seems even more outstanding than usual (for some reason). I am inspired, although I don't plan to photo shoot for a while but I need to work more on creativity...

  28. Oh wow, this sounds interesting!! I repeatedly kept seeing things about Shame on TV, etc. but hadn't paid too much attention and didn't really know what it was all about. It sounds like a very interesting movie! I'd like to see it!

    Again, you always pick the most beautiful favourites! Such talented bloggers out there!

  29. So many Donna Hay mentions! :>

    I am looking forward to Shame, too!

  30. love donna hay, it's my favorite food magazine.


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu