I turned 40 years old this month. Gosh, that feels like such a significant number when heard in the context of “over the hill”. In my teens, the big 40 felt like such a far distance away. I had my vision of where I wanted my life to go and what I’d be doing. The dream I had for myself was to finish medical school and be serving the Peace Corps on assignment in Africa, somewhere.  In between my life in Africa, I wanted to pursue music composition, art, literature and climb mountains.

Food, gardening, cooking, photography and blogging were never on the list. In fact, blogging and internet never existed back then. Cell phones—what?

I never reached the shores of Africa (yet), nor did I ever accept my acceptance to Yale. Writing a Broadway musical never happened and I’m so currently out of shape that even hiking up my local trails is traumatic on my lungs. Now my days consist of photographing client work with Todd, plenty of traveling, coming home to two very happy dogs, writing our food blog and digging in the garden dirt.

Though I’m far from my high school graduation goal list, I’ve never felt more successful, content, balanced, happy, in love and most importantly, young than I do this month.

I’ve had my fair share of challenges and struggles, but this 40-year-old-over-the-hill thing feels like just the beginning for me. If  anyone were to tell me that I have now reached the pinnacle of my life, I’d say that they’re far from right.  All the mistakes and failures I’ve experienced during my thirties made me even more ready for my fourties. This next decade of wisdom, new beginnings, friendships, love and calmness is really what I’ve been yearning for.

The one consistent dream I had when I was in high school and that am still living today is that I’m pursuing what I love, what makes me happy and with the people that matter most to me. I’m reminded of this every day when I wake up, do my daily work and connect with all of you.

Thank you all for making my life so complete and making my turn to 40 so exciting.

happy days. xoxo

-diane

So much of what makes me happy is seeing other people doing what they love so well. These are some of my happy finds that keep me young in mind and spirit:

Sweet Jennie’s yummy brown butter pumpkin seed cookies remind me that Halloween is around the corner.

and other sweet Jenny has a new cookbook out! and a new baby boy. Talk about busy.

and so do the beautifully humble trio of Veronica, Vangie & Yvette ! I mean a cookbook, not a baby.

Jessica’s brussels sprouts breakfast hash topped with fried egg is omg

These funny frankenstein cookies are ridiculously cute

This grilled turkey and brie cranwich recipe and photo is killer. Again, omg.

Kristen has a gorgeous new blog design. It’s beautiful and happy place.

And finally, everything that Bakerella makes keeps me young and smiling. Here’s the cookbook promo that Todd and I produced for her new Cake Pop Holidays Cookbook. Isn’t Angie and her cake pops just the cutest thing ever?! Has anyone made a cake pop of her “dork wave” yet? I’ll buy the first 4 dozen.

Bountiful-Ad

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I made an iphone video and so can you.

by White on Rice Couple September 28, 2012
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“Making videos are so hard. I want to save memories of my kids and family on video, but I can’t do it”.

“I don’t have the money to invest in expensive camera and editing equipment to make videos. “

“I wish I was more technical and more creative to make good videos”.

“There’s only one of me. It’s too hard for me.”

These are just a few of the comments in the many conversations I’ve had with attendees after our video presentations at conferences. To »

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It’s like giving birth, they say. Sharing news of our very own cookbook.

by White on Rice Couple September 16, 2012
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Update: Our cookbook, Bountiful, is now available for pre-order on Amazon here. It’s our 300 page baby with over 100 fruit and vegetable inspired recipes. You can blame our garden for that. And also, some puppy pictures because our work would never complete without Sierra and Lexi!

Hello Friends.

We’ve said this many times in the past and we’ll say it again… because of your friendship and support, our lives are richer in ways that we never, ever imaged. Your messages, comments and encouragement helped »

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My, How Puppies Grow!

by White on Rice Couple September 14, 2012
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It’s hard to believe it was just over a month ago we brought our little Lexi home. My, oh my.  How quickly things change.

There is the obvious change, Lexi is a weed. Every day she gets noticeably bigger and we have begun counting the days until when we’ll no longer be able to pick her up. A couple weeks ago we had a six day shoot in NY, and upon coming home we didn’t even recognize our little puppy.»

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Labor of Love. Have a great weekend everyone.

by White on Rice Couple August 31, 2012
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Pinch me to remind me that this weekend has finally arrived. Summer is officially ending on the calender, but by looking at all the wonderful produce around me, Summer still wants to hang around for a few more weeks. I’m still loving the tomatoes that keep ripening on the vines and oh our watermelons are just starting to peak and plump out!

I was organizing all the images we captured during our Summer travels and re-lived some incredibly meaningful moments of food, discoveries and new »

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iphone love: Snapseed photo app and puppy pictures

by White on Rice Couple August 16, 2012
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Warning: this post is part proud puppy papa wanting to show everyone pictures of his new baby girl, and part iphoneography geek sharing. – Todd

Over the last couple years, like thousands of people, both Diane and I have grown to love photographing with our iphones. But between the two of us, she is the one who has really delved into it. I’ve kinda tinkered.»

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Meet our new joy! Baby girl puppy Lexi “Peanut” !!

by White on Rice Couple August 7, 2012
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Lexi says “Hello Friends!!!”. She’s probably going to be a little confused at all this blogging world, but hopefully you all can re-assure here that you’re all a group of super nice folks who will welcome her to the blog with open arms!

Meet Lexi, our itsy-bity-tiny cute-sy Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, aka “Peanut”.

Her nickname given to her by her breeders is “Peanut” because she is the runt of the litter of 11 puppies. Lexi “Peanut” is almost nine weeks old now, but when she »

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Three cities through our iPhones & favorite editing apps

by White on Rice Couple June 17, 2012
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Our bags are unpacked for a bit, laundry is almost caught up on and we’re happy to be back to Sierra and her garden bubbles. You know your pup missed you when they don’t want to leave your side, even when you’re in the shower! Though we were away from Sierra, she was certainly mentioned during all our presentations over our 3 city tour.»

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Video: Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan of The Slanted Door

by White on Rice Couple May 23, 2012
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To be able to work with people who love what they do is why we always feel so lucky to be doing what we do. Being able to photograph and film someone immersed in their work is truly inspiring. Chef Charles Phan is the perfect example of dedication, passion and love of one’s craft. So when Ten Speed Press asked us to travel to San Francisco to film the video promo for Charles’s latest cookbook, Vietnamese Home Cooking, we were especially excited to accept the »

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Strawberries and Cream Video – An unwritten recipe

by White on Rice Couple May 3, 2012
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Some dishes don’t require a written recipe. Many home cooks we know grew up cooking without the guidance of the written word. Their kitchen lessons and “recipes” were passed down from generation to generation by watching, touching, tasting, testing and cooking from the heart.

Do you know of anyone who cooks like this? We know of many home cooks who have prepared food for us and these were some of the most wonderful meals that we have ever eaten. These dishes were made with so »

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Video- Eggs Poached & appreciating life details

by White on Rice Couple April 29, 2012
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** At the request of those who have seen it, we’re finally sharing this private poached egg video we produced back in December 2011. We’ve only shared it at our Cuba photo night event, KitchenAid Luncheon and Food Blog Forum Orlando. Hope you enjoy it!

It’s the little details in life that always fascinate us. We often just sit and witness the small life moments that happen both in and out of our kitchen. It’s those little things that are so inspiring to us to »

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Tomatillo Salsa Recipe and Food & Wine Festival Ixtapa/Zihua, Mexico

by White on Rice Couple April 19, 2012
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Mexican breakfasts are something we love to treat ourselves to on occasion and we always consider it such a treat. The flavor, textures and exciting spices of a plate of chilaquiles or breakfast tacos is a champion breakfast that fuels us for the long days. And when we have the opportunity to feast on such breakfasts in Mexico, we feel double lucky.

This year we had the opportunity to experience not only Mexican breakfasts, but authentic local food at  Food & Wine Magazines annual festival »

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Minted Sangria Recipe from our Food Photography , Food Styling Workshop

by White on Rice Couple April 1, 2012
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Update: we have added new dates for our workshops!  If you’re interested, you can sign up here.

It’s funny how this recipe came to mind. We were in teaching our food photography/food styling workshop this weekend and the students were tackling the subject of photographing drinks. Drinks can often be challenging, especially when it comes to reflections, styling drinks and how to add interest to simple liquids.

Diane was quickly setting up to style a drink scene for the students to practice photographing and someone »

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Stories of Friendship from Food Blog Forum Disney World

by White on Rice Couple March 25, 2012
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iPhone instagram photo of the Magic Kingdom @DianeCu 

Magic happens in different ways. Often times it happens in special life moments that are un-expected, yet full of meaning. Or magic can be a random act of kindness, like a hug or a kiss. Last week magic happened for us at Food Blog Forum in the form of friendship and community at the most likely place on Earth— at Disney World!

Seriously, the hugest thank you goes out to all the wonderful folks at Disney »

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New Workshop Dates for Food Photography-Food Styling & Hello from Mexico!

by White on Rice Couple March 21, 2012
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Hello Friends, thank you so much for the amazing response to our workshops. Our first release date sold out quickly and we’re thrilled to be hosting small groups of students at our studio. The experience of sharing and learning as a group will be phenomenal & we’re so excited to meet and be creative with you!

Since we have a long wait list, we’ve announced two more dates for our food styling and photography workshops. 

Our first food photography workshop was such a blast and »

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Kitchen Aid Luncheon at our Studio & Swiss Meringue Frosting Recipe

by White on Rice Couple March 13, 2012
Joy the Baker Swiss Meringue Frosting

For the last 16 years that we’ve been together, there are a few items that still have made it through the entire decade and half relationship. Our photo albums documenting our mischievous younger days still exist in the back corner of our bookshelf. Two fruit trees in pots that started off on our apartment patio balcony have survived 2 major moves are and are currently flourishing in their final garden spot. And then of course, our KitchenAid stand mixer has stood the test of time »

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Announcing Food, styling & craft photography workshops at our studio

by White on Rice Couple March 12, 2012
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We finally did it! We’re happy to be announcing new photography workshops at our studio.  Thank you to all our readers and supporters who encouraged us over the last few years to have photography workshops in our home town in Orange County, CA.

For the last few years, we’ve traveled across the country and around the world teaching workshops and speaking at industry conferences on photography. But we’ve never really formally organized local photography workshops in our town. We knew eventually we’d be announcing workshops, »

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Photo Workshops for Food, Styling, Crafts & Video of Bi-Rite Creamery Cookbook!

by White on Rice Couple March 4, 2012
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Happy Sunday everyone! Now that were home for 10 days straight (yes!), we’re finally able to finish off some details of our upcoming photography workshop announcements. We have much to share with you today, but let’s start with the cookbook promo video we produced for Bi-Rite Creamery’s new cookbook!

 In our previous post, we mentioned that we produced the cookbook trailer video for Bi-Rite creamery. It was such an honor to be able to work with the amazing Bi-Rite Creamery team and Ten Speed »

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Great Kitchen Tools Video: Michael Ruhlman Had Something to Say

by White on Rice Couple March 1, 2012
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It’s always so invigorating to discuss and debate the topic of Stupid Kitchen Tools with Michael during our last video segment. To follow up on the topic of kitchen tools, we have a great line up of videos of Michael sharing his “Great Kitchen Tools”.

Today, we’re sharing the latest one we produced with Michael on this project about “Great Kitchen Tools. The topic for this episode is basically what he calls “rocks and sticks”.

Take a look and let us know if you agree!»

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Stupid Kitchen Tools Video: Michael Ruhlman Had Something to Say

by White on Rice Couple February 22, 2012
Ruhlman Had Something to Say

Michael Rulhman “Had Something to Say” – Stupid Kitchen Tools

We’re back with new episodes of the Had Something To Say video series! Michael Ruhlman visited us at our studio and we spent a few hours together stirring up some heated conversations about everything from kitchen tools to Ruth Bourdain. Amy Scattergood, editor of Los Angeles Weekly Squid Ink and food writer for Los Angeles Times Food, makes special appearances as the “voice of reason” to keep Michael in-check and accountable for his opinions.

Stupid »

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