Monday, June 28, 2010
I learned this recipe several years ago from Cousin Molly - and promptly forgot it for a good half-year before resurrecting it, and making it regularly ever since.
To get started you'll need a few ingredients. You probably already have most of these in your kitchen:
Tomatoes (any kind of canned or fresh will do), salt, pepper, cumin, lime juice, pickled jalapeno slices, onion and lots of fresh cilantro.
Drop your ingredients in your blender or food processor.
I just used one of these cans of diced tomatoes. I usually use whole tomatoes, plus whatever fresh tomatoes we have in the fridge, but it is all going to be blended, so it doesn't make that much of a difference.
I chopped off a quarter of an onion and plopped it in with the other ingredients.
Look at that smoky cumin! You can make any dish Mexican by adding cumin - probably one of my favorite seasonings.
After pulsing the mixture for a minute or so, you should have a wonderfully fresh and fragrant salsa. I spend a few minutes after the first pulse adjusting the seasoning - adding more lime and cilantro, or whatever the case may be.
I use a little of the juice from the jalapeno jar to add a zing to the salsa as well. The beauty of this recipe (who am I kidding, this isn't really a recipe) is that you don't have to measure anything, and can add whatever you like.
Want to throw some corn or black beans in? Want to use green tomatoes? Don't like cilantro (pity on you)?
Sometime I'll have to tell you about the chicken tacos we made the same night I photographed my salsa technique. Lets just say it rhymes with palmonella.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
It is basically a South African BBQ, except instead of hot dogs, you eat armadillo and zebra. We toned it down a bit by enjoying pork roast, but it was a braii in spirit.
I captured a few cool shots, but I'm just going to leave you with this one tonight.
Creepy doll at the house that doubled as Baby Jesus or Trig Palin depending on the holiday (Christmas or Halloween).
Friday, June 25, 2010
We foiled my coworker's desk, chair, phone, keyboard, monitor, mouse, coffee cup, wall calendar, framed diploma, refrence book, pens, tape dispenser... And outside of this shot, we also foiled his trashcan, door, whiteboard and guest chairs.
Six months later he still has his trashcan foiled. What pranks have you pulled at work?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Behold this little paper cup. It holds Madagascar vanilla yogurt, strawberries and mochi.
And even though it is delicious, it isn't as bad for you as, say, fried chicken and waffles. burp.
So if you live in Arlington, make your way to Clarendon for this treat. If June is any indication, we'll need lots of froyo to make it through the summer.
We went to Restaurant 3, a southern-inspired bar and grill that has delicious food and good happy hour deals.
When we arrived at 7:30, the happy hour crowd was still in full swing, although the deals were done for the day. Sadly, we misted Porktastic Tuesday. (If anyone made it, tell me about it in the comments!)
There were a number of intriguing options on the dinner menu including a pulled duck BBQ sandwich, steak salad and fried green tomatoes, but I went with the chicken and waffles.
You're either salivating or nauseated at the thought of this savory-sweet meal, which is very simple and very delicious. I've never had chicken and waffles, although I'd seen the dish on TV at some point. You use maple syrup over the entire dish, and each bite is a mix of dinner, breakfast and sinfulness.
Also, because we were being health-conscious, we were committed to keeping hydrated.
Which is why this wine came in handy. Because fermented grape juice is....good for you, right?
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
In this humid weather (although nothing compared to Savannah) we are fighting a losing battle with keeping our greenery, well, green. Even our front yard is taking on a brownish tinge we usually don't see until August.
But despite the heat, I managed to find at least one flower still doing OK.
Hang on little buddy.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
And that is where putting out fires comes from. The majority of my time at work is carefully planned; working steadily towards a certain project, deadline or goal.
But then there are those moments when the alarm sounds and there is an emergency with a company website. One department needs a particular file uploaded in the next 5 minutes or we're toast. The web servers go down and our homepage is blank. During an update, the database no longer talks to the website. Our paypal account suddenly refuses to take more transactions.
That is where I get the chance to play hero. No I'm not saving people from burning buildings, and no I'm not fighting crime on the street, but for those minutes, I'm the one people turn to.
And that's kinda cool.
With that I'll leave you with an all-over-the-place self portrait. I don't know why, but one eye looks like a completely different color, and my hair looks red instead of dirty blonde.
But I don't have time to fix things like that, I've got fires to put out.
Monday, June 21, 2010
This is a (mostly) SooC shot I took on my first photo safari into the wilds of DC. What makes this picture pretty amazing is that I still did not own a tripod.
After taking shot after blurry shot, I ended up with only a handful of crisp pictures. Needless to say I learned my lesson and bought a tripod.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
No, Lyon Hall is not part of some Sci-Fi movie set; it is housed in the old trophy store in Clarendon.
Pictures like this are why I love my 50mm lens; even when I'm handholding the camera (as opposed to using a tripod) it can take in so much ambient light that I get sharp pictures with delicious bokeh backgrounds.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I found myself taking picture after picture after picture, trying to capture the mood of the city. Right off the bat, the Spanish Moss sets a dreary time-worn tone, and derelict buildings and never-ending graveyards only heighten the effect.
I know I've shown several pictures over the last few days of Bonaventure Cemetery and the moss hanging from the trees, but I have just a couple more pictures to share.
Showing the soft, dreamy texture of the Spanish Moss. I've never seen moss like this before, and it is beautiful! How do we transplant this to Arlington?
A vintage effect of a magnificent headstone nestled in the vegetation at Bonaventure.
A last angel statue in Bonaventure. This angel had cobwebs on her face, and Spanish Moss growing from her hand.
I am back in Arlington as I write this, so I promise I'll have some local goodies coming up!
Friday, June 18, 2010
Lady and sons is a large operation, routinely seating over 1,500 diners every day of the week. Although Paula doesn't have much to do with the day-to-day running of her restaurant, she's left her mark on a menu that is laden with fried food and butter.
Below is a dinner trifecta of southern comfort food. Reviewing my pictures from our dinner gets my salvation going again, and I'd be willing to wait in the wet heat of Savannah all over again for another taste.
Paula's Turkey Dinner
Turkey with yams, lima beans, creamed corn and black eyed peas.
Paula's Peach BBQ Grouper Dinner
Local black grouper glazed with peach BBQ sauce served over Paula's cheddar cheese grit cakes. Accompanied with a chilled corn and asparagus salad.
Paula's Fried Chicken Dinner
Fried chicken with creamed potatoes, green beans, collard greens and mac and cheese.
My two cents: If you're willing to sweat it out for upwards of an hour to get a reservation, I'd say it is worth it. We discovered that you can skip the line if you take the Paula Deen Tour. $49 gets you a two hour trolley tour through Savannah where you learn about Paula's life, eat at her brother's "Uncle Bubba's Oyster House" and get a voucher for priority seating at Lady and Sons.
Whether you shell out for the tour or wait in line, you'll be telling your grandkids about the time you ate Paula Deen's southern cooking.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
1. Savannah is the 4th busiest container ship port in the U.S. - fueled by surging Asian imports.
Container ships like this sail past historic downtown Savannah at a silent 10-12 miles per hour.
2. Savannah is known as the City of the Living Dead. According to one recent study, Savannah soil is 6% "Human matter" due to the large number of bodies buried throughout the city. When builders uncover remains during excavation, they are often instructed to continue building over graves, rather than relocating them.
Savannah encourages a reputation as one of the most haunted cities in America, with a variety of haunted tours. Last night we booked one of the most unique ghost tours in the city - being driven around town late at night in a HEARSE!
Haunted hospital in historic Savannah.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Located 15 minutes from the Historic District, Bonaventure was originally a plantation with a small family cemetery. Over a hundred years ago, it was converted into one of the finest and largest public cemeteries in the South.
I was the only visitor as far as I could tell for my 90-minute trek through gravestones and monuments. I'm going to share a couple of pictures of some of the cooler monuments below, and I used very different editing techniques for each. Which do you prefer?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Our clothes literally seemed to melt off us as we walked down the spanish moss-cloaked trees.
The only thing more ubiquitous than Spanish moss in Savannah is the flagrant consumption of alcohol on the streets. People are encouraged to take their drinks from restaurants, bars and hotel mini-fridges in "To Go" cups and roam the city.
This is going to be a GREAT WEEK!
As we were making our way through the final miles of our road trip to Savannah, we noticed a burning odor, and came across an industrial site that looked like something out of a science fiction movie. Huge plants churned out smoke and cast a odoriferous haze over the vicinity of Savannah.
By the time we arrived at our hotel, either the smell had dissipated or our noses had acclimated. I'll be trying to post from Savannah as I get time. Have a great week Arlington!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Many of the same contingents from the parade also had booths set up, and were handing out all sorts of freebies (use your imaginations).
There were a couple of fresh acts though, including this girlie show - where plus sized women were putting on a burlesque show. And right in front of the Capitol - how risque!
It was a scorcher of a day - I stuck it out for a few hours, but afterwards felt hot, sticky and sunburned.
So there you have it - pride weekend 2010. A great success. If you didn't go this year, be sure to check it out in 2011!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I'm just going to share some of my favorite pictures from last night. (I admit, I took almost 1,000 pictures - and narrowing them down was not easy)
The ubiquitous rainbow flag.
Hey there, I see you!
Drumline - always the coolest kids in the marching band.
Jumping for joy - and I see you Mr. Ginger in the background pretending not to peek.
Leather daddies were on parade.
Amazing amazing costumes.
Not everything was over the top. A sweet and simple message.
The DC Cowboys were in good form last night. Clever jeans...
One of the DC Cowboys doing his thing on the float.
This mom was so happy to be marching.
I'm not sure what this float was promoting, but I'm not complaining...
Why don't women wear dresses as fabulous as these?
Hi there! What are you king of?
I didn't realize what this was until I reviewed my pictures on the computer. A condom dress! That must've taken a lot of patience!
This grandma was tossing beads to the crowd - what a sweet lady.
Tatiana from RuPaul's Drag Race - surveying her kingdom.
There were great dancers.
Lots of eye candy.
And Lady Gaga even made a surprise appearance!
Oh to be sitting on top of a convertible...
Sorry if I went a little overboard with the number of pictures here.
This was my first time out at DC Capital Pride - and I came away feeling awesome.
The thousands (reportedly 100,000) of spectators and all the marchers were so happy to be out in the streets, and it felt like festival had arrived in the District. I'm heading out today for the street festival, so look out for some more cool pics!