Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bananas Foster Sorbet - OMG

The peach sorbet was good, the cantaloupe sorbet was great, the bananas foster sorbet is amazing!

Bananas foster sorbet

No recipe for this one - I just tinkered.  I started with a simple syrup, substituting brown sugar for white.  When the sugar was dissolved I took it off the heat and added about a tablespoon or tablespoon-and-a-half of unsalted butter and let it melt in.  A teaspoon of rum extract (I would have used actual rum, but I didn't have any on hand.  Next time.) and a healthy dash of cinnamon topped off the mix.

I added it to my bananas in the blender, pureed it, then put it in the refrigerator for an hour to bring the temperature down.  After that I processed it in the Cuisinart ice cream maker for 35 minutes, then let it sit in the freezer overnight.

The results were delicious!  This one definitely goes to the top of the list.  Now, what to try next?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Rainy Morning On The Canal - Videos

After a week long summer cold I was back to walking for exercise yesterday.  Of course as luck would have it it was raining, but not too bad, and the temperature was down so it wasn't so hot.

While I was out I shot a couple of videos:  one of the rain on the water and a duck coming in to land, and the other a slow motion shot of a fish breaching the surface of the water.  Enjoy.




Sunday, August 7, 2016

Speedwalking In My Asics

A short time-lapse video I made on this morning's walk.  The music is "The Best Revenge (Tocadisco's Macaco Gordo Mix)" by Fischerspooner, from the Danse en France EP (not available in iTunes).

Let's go!



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tunnel Vision

You may recall that while the local park is closed (due to flooding aftermath) I've been sometimes walking along the canals that snake through our neighborhood (ooh, foreshadowing).

Along the way there are several tunnels; I thought I'd chronicle a few below.  There are more after the jump.


I don't go through this one anymore - their are light fixtures along the left wall and all are thickly covered with spider webs and a disturbing amount of harmful-looking brown spiders.  They're on the ceiling too and the thought of one dropping on me makes my skin crawl.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Sunday: A Second Serving Of Sorbet - The Results

Ok, so I have to say this turned out to be one of the best things I've made.  The key is definitely ensuring the melon is at the peak of ripeness.

Cantaloupe sorbet

Working with an Alton Brown recipe as a starting point, I tweaked it to my liking and taste.  The result is a smooth, cold, sweet, perfectly cantaloupe-flavored treat with a little twist and kick.  Very refreshing.  The recipe is below.

4 cups chilled ripe cantaloupe, diced roughly into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Absolut Raspberri Vodka
1 to 1/4 cups sugar, depending on ripeness of melon
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon fresh-ground coarse black pepper, to taste

Place the melon in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Add the lemon juice, vodka and sugar and process until the sugar is incorporated, about another 30 seconds.

Place the mixture in the refrigerator until cold (30 min to 1 hour depending on how cold the melon was going in).

Add the mixture to the ice-cream maker of your choice, and process according to the manufacturer's directions.  (I used a Cuisinart ice-cream maker, and let it churn for 30 minutes).  Approx. 5-10 minutes before completion, add the cracked black pepper and let the machine mix it in.

Transfer the sorbet quickly to an airtight, freezer-safe container, and let chill for at least 4 hours; preferably overnight.  For best results, serve in a chilled dish or bowl.

Delicious!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday: A Second Serving Of Sorbet

Hmm...what can I do with this?
No, that won't work.  But maybe...
...with a little help?
Stay tuned - I'll let you know tomorrow how it turns out.

A Morning Walk On The Canal

Clear and hot this morning, with a slight breeze that helped (a little).
Morning along the canal

Here's the fauna I saw this morning while walking:

2 Great blue herons
1 night heron
Many squirrels
Many ducks - mostly brown, but there's this one white one that's part of their raft
Many turtles
1 rabbit
1 lizard
Many spiders (ugh)
A swarm of dragonflies
Several dogs (being walked)
Quite a few Pokemon, which didn't matter 'cause I was out of Pokeballs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tough choices

So for quite a while now I've had the photo below as my desktop background:

From Lyndon Wade's fantastic photo series "The Birds"
Yes, it's a recreation of/homage to the classic Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds", but first and foremost it's an incredible work of photography.  The attention to detail, sense of movement, drama, terror, anguish that Lyndon Wade was able to capture in a still photograph is beyond words.  It's a disturbing subject, to be sure, but executed so well that you can't stop looking at it.

I'm temporarily changing my desktop to this photo of the sky I took yesterday.  Just for a little serenity break, mind you. Then I'll go back to the dark perfection of children being attacked by birds.

A sky sans birds
Much more serene, don't you think?

A Beautiful Evening

Ratatouille for dinner and an evening walk with a beautiful sky - what could be better?

Gorgeous

Sans buildings
Easy, healthy, vegetarian and delicious

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Anamia's Tex-Mex

Had a late lunch yesterday at Anamia's.  Made-at-the-table guacamole (no one does it better) and shrimp sautéed in garlic and lime on a bed of vegetables and rice.  Delicious.

Camarones al mojo de ajo

Saturday, July 23, 2016

So This Happened...

I signed up for Snapchat yesterday.  This is the result:



Peach Sorbet And Potato Chips

I went to Central Market the other day and bought a bunch of honking big peaches and plums.  That wasn't the intention of my trip - I actually went because they have several great, flavored, whole-bean, decaf coffee beans you can buy by the pound and because I've found they carry Utz brand dark russet potato chips.  I love "burnt" (they're not really over-cooked; the natural sugars in the russet potato caramelize giving them a dark color and unique taste) potato chips, and way back when it was a treat finding them mixed in with the other "normal" chips in a bag - they added variety and flavor.  It's a shame now that the homogenization of the major chip manufacturers' potatoes and processes results in such a dull,  boring product; they've strived to deliver the exact same chip every time for consistency, but unfortunately that's exactly what they got - no variety, each chip the exact same as the last, maybe one is doubled over, hooray, consume mass quantities, etc.  With Utz dark russets, that delicious "burnt" flavor is the star, but not all the chips are exactly the same due to differing levels of naturally occurring sugars.  I highly recommend trying these if you find them in your local store.  If not, you can order them directly from Utz here.  Note, I'm not paid to endorse anything on my site - this is more own opinion and endorsement solely because I really, really, like them!
Photo from prestofreshgrocery.com

But I digress.  Back to peaches.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What's Cooking?

For dinner tonight I tried something new:  lemon chicken, roasted asparagus, and white corn on the cob.  I wanted something easy, flavorful and light, and this fit the bill.  Todd hates asparagus but he asked for seconds and ending up eating half of it.

This was a great dinner on a hot summer day.  Recipes after the jump.

The goal
The result; sauce was on the side.  Not much on presentation, but it tasted great.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Caught In The Storm

Yesterday morning I met Mom at 7am to play tennis, but just as I arrived at the courts it started to rain.  It only rained for about 5-10 minutes, but it was enough to make the courts unusable.  So instead we walked the mile-long path that went around the park and called it a day.

When I got home, it was overcast, but didn't look bad.  I checked the weather and it showed a 30% chance of rain was still 3 hours away, so I put on my headphones and went walking.  I walked out about 2.5 miles before turning back to go home, and when I turned around I saw this:

Oh snap
Where did this come from?
Just then the wind picked up and the temperature dropped noticeably.  I stopped to take this video of the edge of the storm - the bump in the middle is when my hat blew off:




Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Matter Of Perspective, Or "The Things That Tequila Goes Around"

I'm reminded today that everything is a matter of perspective:  Being able to take a step back and see the bigger picture, to imagine ourselves in someone else's shoes - this is what separates us from the animals.  Specifically, birds.

Take for instance a tasty lunch.  You might enjoy, like I did today, this delicious deep-dish pizza from Classic Chicago Gourmet Pizza in Irving, TX.  Called "The Great Chicago Fire", it comes with spicy sausage, sport peppers, garlic, cilantro and mozzarella cheese.  It was eye-wateringly, nose-runningly good, and it has a ton of cilantro (which I love).  Pair it with a house salad and a Coke and voila:  tasty lunch.
Added bonus:  it had a nice crisp crust and wasn't oily/greasy.
On the other hand, if you're a bird your idea of a tasty lunch might be something more like this:
Um, pardon me garçon, but...
A mealworm cake (yum!) we spied while shopping for bird feeders at Home Depot.  It's main ingredient, as you might have figured out by now, is mealworms, but it's also packed with the goodness of sunflower chips and gelatin.  So there's that.

It just goes to show that one bird's meat is another man's poison, so to speak.  And while we may not see eye to eye, the important thing to remember is we've all got to eat.

To each his own, live and live, etc. etc.
"Not for human consumption".  Thanks for the heads-up, but I don't think you have to worry about that - my first thought was not "Yum, the things that tequila goes around."

Morning On The Canal

There are two great places to walk in my area:  a 10.5 mile greenbelt area with parks and a system of paved trails, or along the canals used for local flood control.

A large portion of the greenbelt area near me is still closed due to flooding, so this morning I walked along the canals.  Below are some photos, and a playlist of the music I listened to to is posted on my other blog, Shuffle My Feet, at www.shufflemyfeet.com.  Check it out and have a great Sunday y'all!






Tuesday, July 5, 2016

No Parking: Lot Flooded Again

Heavy wind and rains last night brought more high water to the DFW metroplex:

Check out more photos and a video on my other blog:  Shuffle My Feet




Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day America

On this July 4th, let us not forget that we are one nation, one people, united for the good and common welfare of its citizens and bestowing upon them certain inalienable rights:  life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These rights belong to all Americans - All.


Photos are from my 2014 NY/DC trip.
"Liberty Enlightening The World"
The preamble of the Declaration of Independence, inscribed at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Hands down (or hands on) is 1988's Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.  Starring Cassandra Peterson as the titular (you're welcome), one-and-only Elvira, the movie never fails to make me laugh no matter how many times I watch it.
"You know what your problem is?  Chastity Pariah"
"*gasp* I thought that cleared up"
Available here
Image from www.impawards.com

When her great aunt Morgana passes away, she leaves her sweet ex-tv-show-host niece Elvira her small-town gothic mansion, her poodle Algonquin, and a whole heap of trouble.  Elvira has a great headlining act she wants to open in Las Vegas, but she desperately needs $50,000 to bankroll it.  If only she could sell that house!  Unfortunately, things aren't as simple as they seem in sleepy little Falwell, MA.

Just watch the trailer:



This is definitely a fun-for-fun's-sake movie, and Cassandra Peterson constantly delivers the one-liners and double entendres, having perfected her character for years as the queen of late night B-movie horror flicks.

I can't recommend it enough.  Christ, it's a good movie!

Friday, July 1, 2016

A New Blog!

Hello friends and family!  I've got a new side-project blog called Shuffle My Feet at www.shufflemyfeet.com.  It's really just an excuse to motivate to exercise more, but it's got links to some great music - check it out!

Shuffle My Feet


Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Delicious Snack!

While there is nothing better than Vending Nut Company's dried cantaloupe (or nuts, or mixes, or fruits, or candies), it's not always convenient to drive into Fort Worth (you can order online though) - plus it's difficult to get out of there without a whole paper grocery bag full of their great nuts, mixes, fruits and candies!

Thankfully for those in-between times, Target has pulled through with their "Simply balanced" dried cantaloupe.  Tender (the texture is like a softer crystallized ginger) and sweet, I grab a bag every time I'm in the store.

So by all means please go to Vending Nut Company or order online, but if not, Target's got you covered!

So good!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wine And Steak

I've been trying to get us to eat a little healthier, so it had been a few months since the last time we had Friday steak night.  After a week of eating sandwiches for dinner I decided we deserved a break, and it was so good:  broiled steaks, fresh shucked corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes with sour cream, and those little grocery-store-bakery-shortbread-thumbprint-cookies piled high with icing...

Sorry, had to mop up the drool for a minute.  Dinner was accompanied by a very delicious Pinot Noir from Sterling Vineyards.  I'm not a wine connoisseur by any means - I just like a good Pinot Noir and know that this wine was smooth and full-bodied, not too acidic, with fruit overtones but not too sweet or dry, and it packed a punch.  I just bought 2 more bottles today - highly recommended.

Sterling Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir - very drinkable
A fillet for Todd (his favorite), and strip for me (my favorite); seasoned and ready to go.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What I'm Listening To

I saw the movie The Lobster this week, and it was really good.  Absurd, tragic, comic and thought-provoking all at the same time.  I highly recommend it.

One of the preview trailers before the film featured the song "Run Boy Run" by Woodkid.  I had never heard it before and made a note to look it up when I got home.  I've since learned it's been out since 2013 and used in a lot of different movies/trailers/videogames/etc.  Check it out.

"Run Boy Run" by Woodkid

I'm a little behind on this one too.  On the Tony awards broadcast on June 12th, Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller performed a duet of Sara's song "She Used to Be Mine" from her musical Waitress, in which Jessie stars.  I don't know much about the show, but was so struck by the song and by the performances that I bought both versions.  Sara's version of the song is amazing, but Jessie's version, playing a role, gives it an emotional weight that's heartbreaking.  Please give them both a listen.

"She Used to Be Mine" by Sara Bareilles
"She Used to Be Mine" by Jessie Mueller from the musical Waitress