Beach, Wedding, and Mai Tais

What a wonderful weekend I had!  Not only was it my first wedding of the season, but I got to photograph a truly wonderful couple who’s love and laughter was contagious!  I couldn’t have asked for better weather either.  After last weekends freak snow which was then followed by a week of gloom, I was little worried.

The hubs, dog, and I all packed in the car Friday evening and headed down to Southern Maryland to a little town called Lusby.  Since I already had to make the 3 hour trek to photograph this wedding we figured, what the heck?  Let’s make a weekend out of it and go ‘off the beaten path’ to a little eclectic cabin right next to the beach.

After shooting a wedding, I’ve found the perfect cure for a tired body and achy feet.  Beach sunsets.  Could it get any more perfect then this?

The answer is yes!  Yes, it can!  What is the miracle after wedding cure you might ask? Well sit down, relax, and mix yourself up a fun fruity drink of course! Now for those who knew my grams, she wasn’t much of a drinker, but she sure was a partier.  She had a roomful of just party decorations, linens, table settings, and serving dishes.  No lie.  Like… you literally could probably plan 100 different themed parties with all the items in my gram’s backroom. There’s a whole space her cookbook dedicated to drinks and I figured, what the heck? It’s been a long day, let’s sip on something cold and enjoy the weather.  Right?

Flipping through gram’s notes, this recipe for Mai Tai’s stood out to me.  Not because it’s a Mai Tai… but because it’s unlike any Mai Tai recipe I have ever seen.  This thing could seriously take the paint off a car.  So.. using the hubs as my taste tester, we started out with the base recipe (pictured below) and made our own modifications to make it ‘more fun sipping’ drink and less ‘my whole body is on fire’ drink.

Full disclosure, I was also very ill-prepared for drink making.  We didn’t have a jigger (a bartending tool used to measure liquor).  So, I used a rough estimation figuring a shot is 1.5 fluid ounces and this little bowl was a shot’s worth and went from there.  So don’t judge.  I know.. not 100% scientific by any standards… but seriously, this is a good freaking drink once it’s toned down some.  That is of course.. if you like rum.  If you don’t, move on lol, this is NOT for you.

Gram’s Mai Tai Recipe:

  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1/2 oz orange curacao
  • 2 oz sweet & sour bar mix (gram’s originally called for a splash but it definitely needs a little more ‘non-alcohol’)
  • 3 oz pineapple juice (again, gram’s originally called for a splash, but you need something to cut all the alcohol, otherwise we’re getting into shot territory)
  • 1/2 lime’s juice
  • 1 oz dark rum (floated, meaning carefully poured on the top to keep the liquors separated)
  • Ice for 12-16 oz glass

Pour first four ingredients over ice.  Squeeze half a lime into drink.  Stir until combined.  Float dark rum on top of drink (if you’re not a strong drink lover, you could also skip this step and just enjoy drink as is). Garnish with lime.  Sip, absorb the sunshine and enjjjooy.  Num num.


To ‘float’ liquor, a lot of people spoon it in carefully.  We aimed for the ice on the top and slowly poured it in.


Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) (w)

(e) (p) 610.762.7810



Sunshine and Coconut

What a lovely day it has been!  After a dreary, rainy, cold week of crap, today the sun was shining and a hopeful spring breeze was in the air.  I’m nursing a migraine but still enjoying my time in my hometown.  Who knew my mother would be the perfect photo assistant?  I should have come to that conclusion on my own as she’s half the reason I’m a great cook AND she also knows what I mean when I ask her to ‘separate an egg.’ I guess it’s also a bit easier photographing with someone who’s right handed (my hubby is left handed and proves to add a level of difficulty when photographing with him).

Today we’re making a grandma staple.  Gram’s loved coconut.  Every year for her birthday she asked mom to make her favorite coconut cake.  It always consisted of a citrus center with whipped icing covered in coconut. Coconut was her jam. She’d always have these little chocolate coconut clusters in the house hidden in her cupboard.  Not to mention, macaroons.  Grams has a plethora of macaroon recipes, so much that you could probably make a book just on those lol.  I know her favs involved almond extract but I have yet to find that in her piles.  I just grabbed one of the first ones I found, but who knows? Maybe in the future I’ll make some others and you can compare and contrast.

A perk about being home (other than of course getting to spend time with the fam and new puppy) is getting some farm fresh eggs from my dad’s chickens.  They even have some lovely blue green eggs from their pair of Americanas.    I also have a huge back porch to photograph on.  Hence the lovely sunshine lit photos from today’s post.  So without further ado, I give you one of gram’s MANY coconut macaroon recipes.


Coconut Macaroons:

Preheat oven to 325°.

  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut (I used unsweetened shredded coconut.  You could also use the sweetened stuff, just know it will make them very sweet.)
  • 1/3 cup of white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 T all purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together in a bowl until combined coconut, sugar, flour and salt.  Stir in egg whites and vanilla.  Mix well. Drop rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet (either grease or use parchment paper). Bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack.  Yields about 1 1/2 dozen macaroons. **Also, just a note these aren’t super sweet like a lot of macaroons since you’re using unsweetened coconut. Enjoy!


Seriously, how lovely are these eggs?  I can’t get enough of them.  Those orange yolks are definitely something you can’t get at the grocery store!

As mom says, “This is separating eggs the ‘old school’ way.”

Isn’t mom the best food model?  Even has great hands for it.  I jokingly said I’d come up every weekend just to get shots with her but now I’m half thinking that might happen.



You see this wonderfully aged and old looking cooking rack? That’s grams… or great grams.  At this point it could be both but I know that at one point, gram’s used it regularly.

Aren’t these just adorable?  The blues and golden browns make me want to plan a party.  I certainly have gram’s party planning running through my veins.  So until next week, cheers! – Alysha

 Alysha Yoder Photography (b)

(w) (e) (p) 610.762.7810

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