Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monochrome. #38

Procession of teams before Sunday's IndyCar Race in Baltimore.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Green Thumb Season 3 - Ep.1

Another Spring came to an end so you know what that meant. It was time to bring more young plants to our not so spacious, but effective, potted plan garden on the deck! This year we built upon our last two years knowledge and picked our spots for the best blend of edibles. We ended up going with two grape tomato plants, one cucumber plant (burpless), three pepper plants (poblano, jalapeño & habanero), sweet basil, rosemary and cilantro. We improved a bit on last year by getting a few new pots, and using a new technique on one of our cherry tomato plants - using plastic bottles for additional drainage at the bottom of the potting soil. We also got plant food to use, which is only to be used in light spoonfuls, per plant, per month.

I was going to do a preview post, then roll into episode one, but I took so long to begin who cares at this point! By the time you read this our crops have been growing for about almost three months in their new digs, but the time being we'll focus on the first month or so of action. By this point the cucumbers were already trying to strangle everything around it. Seriously, keep daily check on your cucumber vines as they like to latch onto everything. The weather this year has been pretty dry on the whole, but it started acting like Spring around the beginning of May. It rained every other day all the first week so we didn't have to use tap water until week deux.

The only downside from our purchases is that our cilantro is flowering a bit too much, so it turns out we have a dud (or something we're unaware of made it start seeding) leaving very little herbaceous leaves to reap currently. Long story short, things are looking pretty good on this front. I'll update again in another couple weeks.

Highlights from week 2:
Week 3:
Week 4:
Dreaded seeding.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Food. #3

It's been a while since I've done a food post and Cinco de Mayo weekend was a perfect excuse. I took a stab at smoking brisket on my gas grill last Friday, with less than impressive results, but thankfully I got good flavor out of it and am looking forward to taking it on with a better cooking setup for smoking low and slow. When I went to the store to get the brisket, I made sure to snag a nice ~2lb flank steak for fajitas later on; that later on was the following Monday.

Beth already had a pico de gallo recipe and she borrowed a fajita marinate recipe from Food Network's Paula Deen (one of her few recipes that doesn't have butter in it). I covered her progress doing the work, and as she's made every flank steak for fajita weeks we've had previously, I continued the tradition of letting her cook it which worked out great as I needed to work the camera (and my beverage). The ingredient lists are as follows and of course the pics will explain the rest. Mmhm, what a tasty dinner. I got hungry editing these photos a few days afterwards, and if I did my job right you'll be ready for a meal after finishing this post.

Fajita marinade for ~1.5lbs (flank) steak (Paula Deen):
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 4 tbsp Tequila
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 jalepeño, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp honey
- Kosher sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Pico de Gallo (Beth):
- 6 to 8 plum tomates, chopped
- 1 small or half large red onion, diced
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ~1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- 1 jalepeño, diced (not pictured)
- Kosher sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Fajita fixin's (Beth):
- Yellow, red and green bell peppers, cut in large strips
- 3 onions (whatever you like, we used sweet), sliced
- Kosher sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Marinate the steak overnight in a zip-lock bag. The flank steak is typically cooked on med-high to high after the grill is pre-heated, 6-10 minutes a side (rotating by 1/4, halfway through for pretty grill marks) depending on thickness and grill heat. Our flank steak was weighted thick on one end which is pretty typical of this cut. The goal for us was medium to medium-well and while in a perfect world it would all be cooked to the same temp, you'll need to cook for the thickest section. Take a meat thermometer and once you get 150-155 degrees on the thickest part of the cut, take it off the grill and let it rest for 15-20 minutes on a plate. The fajita fixin's should be sautéed in pan on medium to high heat, starting with the peppers, adding the onions after the peppers soften. Add EVOO and seasonings as you cook. Pick up whatever tortillas you like; low carb, spicy, plain or whole grain. Just make sure they're a brand/flavor that you like. Wrap up the ingredients, use some sour cream for 'tortilla glue' and enjoy.

The entire set can be found here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beer of the Month - Mayo

La cerveza del mes de Mayo es Grupo Modelo's Modelo Especial {4.4 abv}. When Cinco de Mayo came to mind several weeks ago I remembered how much I enjoyed (and preferred) Modelo Especial over more popular imported Mexican beers like Corona and Dos Equis. When it comes to this category of brews (many others too for that matter) it's important not to buy into the publicity machine. There are many great Mexican beers that fly under the radar, but unless you're at one hell of a beer distributor (or in the south-west) you'll rarely find more than five choices.

Fast forward to today, siete de Mayo, as we decided to make a festive fajita dinner to follow the spirit of the cinco de Mayo celebration (we were at my buddy Paul's wedding on Saturday). Flank steak was acquired and grilled, fajita fixin's were sautéed and cooked up, and once my tortilla was full of deliciousness I washed it down with one of my favorites.

Mexican beers are well known for their light flavor profile and refreshing taste when it's hot out. They're also known for pairing well with a wedge of lime. Modelo Especial doesn't disappoint; with its bold body and moderate carbonation, it really comes across as an affordable yet quality product. Modelo Especial is is a lightly hopped pilsner, golden like a field of wheat in the glass, delivers a touch of sweetness and crisp farewell. It pairs well with just about any dish, but once you get peppers, onions, beans, grilled meat and rice involved, look out. 3 stars.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monochrome. #30

I'm going through a ton of life changes that have held back my work here, but never fear, things are changing for the better and I'm still shooting a bunch; just more on my iPhone than my Canon ha. I'm working to get caught up with posts and BOTMs, but in the meantime I'd like to welcome all the new viewers and followers of my various web-portals. Thanks for checking out the site, my work and sharing it with friends!

Capturing Life's Fabric with Technology.