Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa

Guess what I did.

I upgraded my camera body from a Nikon D3000 to a D5100. Eee! It is an over all better body with a faster shutter speed, more pixels, faster frames/second, higher iso, AND it includes HD Video. When I first purchased my D3000, I thought to myself that there is NO WAY I would ever want to use video. Errrrrr.

I do want to say that my D3000 treated me well. It was the perfect starter DSLR and an extremely easy transition from a digital to a digital SLR. I started off shooting in Auto and then gradually started researching and learning how to actually use my camera. Once you go manual, you’ll never go back. It’s not just about the camera you have, rather knowing how to use it.

I got a great deal at Target. It was on-sale from $799 to $599. That is $200 bucks off. I am wondering if I should return it and go up one more level. Go big or go home? Or stay mid-level?

Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments?

I purchased it this weekend and was finally able to play around with it. I’ve been getting home around 7, so by the time I get home, the sun is down and there is little light to work with. I made it home last night in the knick of time to take some photos as the sun was dropping.


Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa


  • -2C cooked quinoa (or 1 cup uncooked)
  • -1 large sweet potato, chopped into 1 inch squares
  • -1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • -1 clove of garlic
  • ~1t salt
  • ~ 1/2t pepper
  • -1T Penzey’s Mural of Flavor
  • -2T olive oil
  • -1/4C balsamic vinegar
  • -optional: feta


  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400F. Then, line a baking sheet with tin foil and grease with 2T olive oil.
  2. Then, chop your vegetables and place on baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and mural of flavor.
  3. Bake for about 35 minutes.
  4. Then, place cooked veggies into a large bowl and add quinoa. Mix. Add in 1/4C of balsamic vinegar and mix again. For extra flavor you can add additional salt and pepper.


As I was fooling around with the settings on my camera, I noticed HOW important natural lighting really is. There is no way I could get the quality photos that I get with sunlight, with the tungsten lights in my kitchen.

Check out the difference. I kept the iso the same and just changed the white balance. “White balance has to take into account the “color temperature” of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light.” (source). Now, I probably should have upped the iso, but that would have decreased the quality of the photo.

I have 30 days to return my camera and still have so much to play around with.

What kind of camera do you have? Does video matter to you? Do you have a DSLR? What brand? FILL ME IN!

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