Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Poblano Gazpacho and Goals

I'm experienced a renewed sense of vigor with the mere identification of a goal.  It's wonderful.  Two basic things have been identified: Working all the damn time drains my creativity and makes me miserable (1).  I'm finally ready to go back to school to do my Masters (2).  Just identifying and recognizing these things has helped so much.

But what to do the Masters in?  This is a fun problem to have.  The original plan was music, but now the possibilities seem limitless, well almost limitless.  I'm really, seriously, pondering an MA in Photography.  Seriously.  Now the task is finding out just how qualified I actually am.

And as far as goals go, I've come up with a few more in my moments of inspiration.  I don't like to call them New Year's Resolutions because that seems so fleeting and boring.  And plus, I made them in December, so they are more like End of Year Resolutions, or maybe just Life Plan.  I'll stick with that.  They are really quite beautifully simple.

-Be more active!  Not go on a diet or lose weight or anything, just lead a more active lifestyle and enjoy nature a little more.

-Keep in touch!  Most of my friends live really far away, and we all lead such busy lives.  I miss them.  Let's fix that.

-Chase the Dream, whatever that may be! Seems cliche, I realize, but I have found myself settled lately.  I don't like it.  Who dreams of working in food service?  Though it has been a fabulous opportunity, I'm ready to get out and do something more meaningful.  It's time.

Oh yeah, about the soup . . .

Such a great fresh and smokey flavor is achieved from first roasting or sauteeing the vegetables.  It can be served hot or cold.

Poblano Gazpacho:

3 cups of poblano chili peppers, seeded, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic (why not more?)
2 T unsalted butter
1 T flour
4 cups of chicken broth
3/4 t ground cumin

Sautee vegetables in a large pan (or roast in oven) until tender, about 8 min.  Stir in flour to thicken and cook 1 min longer.  Add chicken broth and cumin and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 min.  Process soup in blender or immersion blender until smooth.  Season to taste with salt.  Feel free to garnish with a dollop of sour cream on top!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Manatees in the Sante Fe


I meant to share these back in September when I went down for Nana's birthday.  It's always so great to see them flourish in the wild.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ok, yes, I took a Belgium waffle and stuffed it with bacon, egg, and cheese.

Yes, I'm a big fatty.

And, yes, you are jealous.

I'm not much for words this evening, but when am I ever?  Work is still work, I still don't have time for the things that I love, and I am thinking of the future without taking any action.  Dark and twisty much?  I apologize.  Now, if I can just get a good chicken and waffles going . . .

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Traditions

John and I stayed in Columbia for Thanksgiving this year.  With my vicious Black Friday work schedule and his cold, we decided not to brave the highways for travel.  Instead, a day of peaceful, do-nothing relaxation was in place.  We played video games, drank home brew, watched football, and for the second year in a row, made a kick-a$$ Seafood Jambalaya!!

I feel it may become a tradition with us now, and with good reason.  You see, this Jambalaya is goood.  Loaded with lots of custom blended Creole seasoning, power-packed quinoa, and pounds upon pounds of seafood, this is too good to resist.  We opted for Oysters, Shrimp, Catfish, and Andouille sausage this go round.  We even had a new addition of flaked barley with the grains.  Flaked barley is now a staple with John's beer brewing.

Seriously, look at that deliciousness!

You can find the recipe post here.

And here's to new traditions!  We shall see what Christmas holds . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shrimp and Quinoa Lunch

Yesterday's day off did not go to waste!  With the gas stove back in action and a doors open weather kind of day, it was perfect conditions to whip up a quick and hearty lunch.

First, some things about quinoa.  It crept into my life a few years ago and now I cook with it so often that I feel it has been a childhood favorite.

"In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source, unusual among plant foods.[13] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.[13]" -Wikipedia

Cool, right?

So, with kitchen door wide open, a cool breeze coming through, a bottle of wine to be opened, and some Old Bay seasoning, this was a good lunch.

And I swear by Old Bay.  Insta-delicious.

Shrimp Quinoa:
(for one)

1/3 cup quinoa
1.5t Old Bay Seasoning
1/4c diced Onions
1/4c diced Green Bell Peppers
1.5c water
4-5 large shrimp (fresh or frozen)

Sautee onions and peppers in some olive oil in your pot until tender.  Then add Old Bay, quinoa and water and bring to a boil.  Do not stir excessively.  Boil until quinoa is expanded and fluffy (you will see the circular casings come off the grain).  Add shrimp and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until shrimp have turned pink.

And don't drink half of the bottle of wine when you have stuff to do later that day...  just sayin.

Friday, November 11, 2011

maybe, just maybe...

I'm constantly trying to imagine new ways to use my photos, and subsequently, a new way to use my life.
When I have a free moment, I let my mind wander of what my life would hold if I gave in to a life of art and beauty.  Music, food, photography, arts I always wanted to try and never found the time which to experiment. . .

What would I be like?  I imagine more rested.  And more enthused with life.  To be fair, I like making money.  My job allows me to make a decent amount of money while interacting with people, food, and the like.  But what else could I be doing?  And making my own schedule sounds magnificent!!

In the spirit of all of these musings, I made something for you all:

Desktop Calendars!! (featuring my photos)

The first is Columbia, SC fall foliage.  The second, Florida's fall foliage on the Sante Fe River.
(Just right click on the image and save as Desktop Wallpaper)

It's a wonderful feature, thanks to Big Huge Labs!  Perhaps I will make one every month now?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Charleston, South Carolina

A loooooong overdue post....

I did promise to post pictures from this July excursion, which means I need to stop promising things.

I'm finding less and less time in my day for the things that I like to do.  Like sharing and cooking.  But alas, these need to be shared.

Most of the photos are of Architectural aspects of Charleston.  I found them to be the most interesting.  Then, of course, there is Battery Park, the shops of King Street, and the Wharf next the the Aquarium.  It was a great weekend excursion for us, and an excellent Birthday celebration of continual eating and drinking!  Such great food in Charleston...

And sorry these took so long. *Thinking if there is anything else I promised and have not yet delivered...*

On a side note, I have a singing gig next week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Georgia Aquarium!

So many beautiful shots from there!  I'm excited!!!!

Can't you tell?

None of these are edited, though they could probably stand to be.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple Crisps

I recently had a time out from work.  A moment to contemplate some things.  I spent most of it cooking.

It worked wonders for calming the mind, and letting out some of the pent up creativity.

Plus, I was able to share some of it with my neighbor downstairs.  Win-win?  I think yes.

The recipe is simple:

Slice up some apples, make a nice crumble with oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon, and drizzle it with honey.

Bake it off.  Done.

Then share with friends!

That is all.  Thank you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nam Sad Moo

It's no surprise that I favor Asian dishes.  John has commented on that on many occasions.  So much that he gave me a wok and seasonings for my birthday in July.

I'm ashamed to say that I still haven't seasoned or used the wok yet.

John is a recipe tweaker, while I am a "wing it" sorta gal.  We get into debates over this all the time.  This is also why I'm not a big baker.

To prove this, I thought you may enjoy this:

Always the thinker between us!

And in other news, I still work all the damn time!