Beer (and my pooch and some pasta)

It was such a bee-a-yootiful day here today!  It was like 85 degrees.  It was awesome.  I took the day off (well, technically flexed the day off, for those of you more acquainted with my work schedule).  I took my lazy bones dog for a walk.  Here's a picture of my lazy bones poojoo:

Her "real" name is Layla.  But she grew into Poojoo mostly because I'm retarded and I call my animals by stupid nonsense names.

Anyway, after we got back I was in the mood for a nice, cold beer.  I have a case of the Sam Adam's brew master collection right now.  My favorite is the Noble Pils.  I'm always a fan of a good pilsner.  Especially on a hot day so I chose the pilsner to drink with dinner.  We had grilled marinated chicken. Grilled indoor on the grill pan because my boyfriend's a meanie mean pants and won't buy me a grill.  Just kidding.  He didn't actually say he wouldn't.  But I don't have a grill so I'm blaming him ;)

You can check out the recipe for the marinade at Homemade by Holman.  It's bangin'.  I didn't change a thing.  No pics of the chicken.  I was starving.  No time to mess around with a camera and a tripod.  I wanted to drink my beer and stuff my face, damn it.

I made some really simple pasta with the chicken.  It was surprisingly good for how simple it was.  It was really light and perfect for the hot day (if pasta is ever perfect for a hot day). It went something like this:

6.5 oz. of dry angle hair, cooked to al dente
1/2 c. pasta water reserved
2-3 tbsp. evoo
2 tbsp red bell pepper and garlic perfect pinch seasoning (mccormick)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp parsley flakes

Just toss all of that together and you've got yourself a side dish. 

I've gotta say, I'm not usually a huge fan of premixed season blends, but I rather enjoy that red pepper and garlic perfect pinch stuff.  I know it's probably full of disgusting preservatives and strange additives.  For once, I don't care.  This stuff is delicious. 

Anyway, I enjoyed a Boston Lager after the sun went down and that brings me to my photo of the day.

April 11, 2011:

If you view it larger (on flickr perhaps) you can see all of the condensation, which I thought was pretty nifty. 

I hope you all enjoyed this beautiful day as much as I did!


New photos

It's been a while since I posted.  What a busy, busy beaver I've been.  I got some new filters since I last posted.  They are a set of close up "macro" filters.  Four filters come in the set.  1x, 2x, 4x, and 10x. They're pretty cool.  And they came in a nifty little pouch.  The best part?  They were less than $15!!

I was playing with them this weekend.  Here are some of my shots using them:

April 10, 2011:
I used the 4x filter on this one.  I was probably less than 6 inches away from the shrub.  I did crop it a little bit to get rid of some of the distracting background.

April 9, 2011:

 I also used the 4x fitlers with this one.  No crop here tho.

April 8, 2011:

This was taken with the 10x filter.  No crop here either.  I was probably about 3 inches away from the subject.  

I think these filters are just super.  I mean, for $15 you really can't go wrong but you are still kind of left wondering what kind of quality you could possibly get with a set of filters this cheap.  Especially when you read reviews on Amazon saying exactly that...that they're complete crap and the image quality is poor.  In my opinion, the image quality is no worse than with the bare lens.  I kinda think it's all about the aperture setting.  You're not going to be able to obtain the same DOF at f/4 with the bare lens as you will be able to get at f/4 with a close up filter in place.  You'll have to bump the aperture up to maybe f/8 to get the same DOF depending on the magnification.  Once you play around with them and get to know them (which I'm still doing) they seem to be quite fun.  I can get closer to things and still obtain focus.  That just makes my day because I find that I like to get up close and personal with my subjects.  

Anyway, here are more photos (not taken with the filters)...

April 7, 2011:

A shot of my neighbors car.

April 6, 2011:

I was feeling lazy on Wednesday.  A simple shot but it works. 

If you're interested in EXIF you can find that on flickr.  C&C is always welcome! 


Chicken Linguine with Pesto Cream Sauce

This was a really simple meal that was surprisingly delicious.  It was a crowd pleaser, for sure.  I had this flavor in mind when I was throwing this recipe together and I was totally sure it wasn't going to come close.  I was way wrong.  This recipe hit the nail dead on the head.  I think I just got lucky with the pesto that I bought.  I really had no other option because I can never find anything at walmart (even though I do my grocery shopping there every week) and the Classico brand was the only thing I could find.

I think next time I will double the sauce tho because I'm just a saucy kinda person.  I like everything drowning in copious amounts of sauce.  I made a one substitution and that was to use almond milk (because it's what I had in my fridge) instead of heavy cream.  It turned out just fine.  In fact, I think I prefer the thinner consistency.  Oh, and I also added some veg. 

Once again, this meal is also my photo of the day for April 5, 2011.

Chicken Linguine with Pesto Cream Sauce
adapted from Handle the Heat

2 large chicken breasts, cut thinly in half lengthwise 
(my two weighed exactly 1 lb 11 oz)
Coarse salt and pepper
EVOO or cooking spray
1 box of linguine 
1 (8 oz) jar of basil pesto sauce
1/2 c. milk or heavy cream
1/2 c. reserved pasta water
Frozen veg (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and grease the pan with cooking spray or oil (I used EVOO in a misto). 
  4. Bake chicken for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.  When chicken is done cooking, slice thinly across the grain and keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions (the shortest cook time listed on the box).  
  6. Remember to reserve 1/2 c of pasta water before straining the noodles.
  7. Add pesto to the pan and heat until loose. Add milk (or cream).  Stir to combine.  Heat through then remove half of the sauce to another bowl. 
  8. If your adding veg, add it now and cover the pan for a few minutes until the veg is warm. 
  9. Add the chicken, pasta, and reserved water to the pan once the veg is warm.  Toss to coat evenly.  
  10. Serve with some of the reserved sauce drizzled over each serving.   
If you double the sauce this would be good served with some bread to sop it up.  If you don't there won't be enough extra sauce to sop. If doubled, I would then reserve 3/4 of the sauce instead of half or all the extra will get absorbed by the pasta. 


Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

The name says it all.  It's chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a pie shell.  The dough for the filling isn't a traditional CCC dough.  That's to say that I don't think it would make good cookies by itself.  It does make a delicious filling tho because, lets be honest, anything involving chocolate chip cookies is delicious.  (Am I right??)  But next time I think I will forgo the pie shell and maybe just bake a huge, thick cookie.  I kinda think the shell detracted from the deliciousness of the cookie.  But then again your talking to a chocolate chip cookie purist.  I don't like anything messing and interfering with the awesomeness of my CC cookies.

You, however, might think this is the best thing to grace the pie world since coconut cream (wait, you don't like coconut cream?).  Apple then?  I'm not really a huge pie fan which might be where my slight dislike for this recipe is stemming from.  Despite my feelings towards pie I tried this anyway because my inner fat kid just couldn't say no to the cookie.  Thinking of it as a pie (which it is) and not as a cookie (which it technically is not), it's honestly one of the best pies I've ever had.  Right up there with coconut cream and french silk. 

I'm sort of cheating with my photo of the day because the photo for this recipe is my photo for April 4, 2011 (Yes, I know...I'm a day late.  Whatev's.  I took it yesterday, I swear!).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
adapted from Bakerella

1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup (6 ounces) mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl on high until foamy.
  3. Beat in flour, baking soda, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter.
  4. Stir in morsels and spoon into pie shell.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with ice cream and syrup of your choice.  Maybe even some whipped cream if your feeling extra crazy.



Weekend photos

Hello!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I was lazy about posting as usual on the weekends so you'll get all of my weekend photos today.  Oh, and I did my first real edit today!  I was so impressed with myself.  It's not even that what I did was extravagant or difficult...I'm just a photoshop retard. But I just raised my photoshop IQ by a few points.  Check this out...



Do you see it?  Look really hard.  It's there.  Down at the bottom...right corner and towards the middle.  Anything?  Yeah, that's right.  I removed some light posts and a tree.  What now bitches?  My life is forever changed.  Just kidding...only this photo is.

Is it just me or is the color a little paler in the second photo?  I think photoshop is a color thief.  What a jerk.  The above after shot is my photo of the day for April 2, 2011.

And here are my remaining photos.

April 3, 2011:


April 1, 2011:


March 31, 2011:

Oh and I might just have a recipe for you in the near future.  I had Mongolian Beef for dinner and it was prr-ett-ty tasty.  

As always, constructive criticism is always welcome!  Thanks for stopping by!