Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring is in the Air...

Well, it's actually been quite damp, so it doesn't feel like Spring, but I am seeing signs of the flowers and trees blooming. I just can't get enough!

I'm also having fun again with my Photoshop program...it's fun to experiment with editing pictures, so bear with me. I invite your comments or suggestions!!

First off, I want to show you Herman along with the Day Lilies and the Tulips.
Pretty soon, Herman will be hiding in a forest of flowers. I'm going to have to do something about that!!

Now some of the other flowers...

I'm into planting flowers in containers, since we don't have a yard. It suits me just fine though. Here are some Primroses and Pansies. SOOC (Straight out of Camera)

With Photoshop, I added a Gaussian Blur to the background. Do you like this better?

Here's another photo SOOC (Straight out of Camera) Do you like the green algae/moss stuff growing on the pots? I can't decide if I want to leave it that way...to give it an old English or Italian Garden feel or if I should clean up the pots. What do you think?

Here's the Photoshop version. I made the background and the pots a little blurry....hmm....not sure if I'm in love with this...Nope, I've decided I'm not.

Magnolia Tree - SOOC

Again, blurred...I'm not in love with either of these pictures. I just didn't capture the right angle.

Okay...on to the next...I LOVE these trees. They remind me of cotton candy. I had fun playing around with this photo.

Cherry Blossom Tree - SOOC taken at Target

Edges of the photo are blurred.

A different tweak.

Here's another one. I should have kept track of the names of the actions I performed. I kind of like this.

I think this action was called paint daubs...but don't quote me.

Last one...

That's all for today. Let me know what you think. Maybe I should focus less on tweaking the pictures and focus more on the SOOC shots. Thanks for letting me share with ya!

Happy Day!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday Fun!

Yesterday I got to spend some time with LaLa and my nieces. We ate at Taco Bell, or Taco Smell as the little one put it. Funny, because that's what Rob calls it too. Oh, it was really good though. I can't remember the last time I've eaten there. It's probably been a couple years.

Here are some photos of the girls. I had some fun playing around with my Photoshop Elements program and doing some editing to the pictures...

Such pretty girls...

Don't ask me what I did to make it look this way. I like how it turned out though...it kind of has a comic book feel to it.

Sort of retro looking. Like those felt pictures back in the 70's.

The little one is wearing grandma LaLa's readers.

Remember Kitty? She's a beautiful chocolate brown color.

I'm getting really wacky now...

All Smiles...

I think she likes LaLa's glasses.

They are just so dang young and pretty!

I want her eyelashes!

I like this one...
LaLa is still undercover, playing Secret Agent, so no pictures of her. Sorry...I tried, but she threatened me. Really, she did! You can ask her...
Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Guess That Photo - Answers!

I think I made it too easy for you guys. It was a tie between LaLa and Shirley, although you both of you missed one of them.

My Mom actually is the winner, but she cheated...ha, ha...nah, she actually was trying to figure out how to post a comment and couldn't. She did however discover that by double clicking on the picture it showed the name of the picture. You guessed it - I used the object as part of the title for each of the pictures. Duh...I never thought of this...note to self next time I go saving pictures with names if we play this game again.

Picture #1 - Monkeys
I love these guys. They are from LaLa...

Picture #2 - Lampshade
Rob actually made this stain glassed lampshade. He made another one as well. He's very multi-talented!

Picture #3 - Flat Bread
I had this for lunch on Wednesday topped with a good layer of hummus, avocado and tomatoes. YUMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture #4 - Cross
I think I got this for Confirmation when I was younger.

Picture #5 - Aloe Vera Plant
This was a start from an Aloe Plant of my Mom's that has multiplied to almost infinity...ha, ha...

Picture #6 - Cadbury Mini Eggs - "Solid Milk Chocolate with a Crisp Sugar Shell"
This is my absolute favorite Easter Candy. Shirley & I discovered these way back when and actually, it's probably one of my all time favorite candy! It's a good thing they are only around for Easter though, otherwise I'd be in trouble!

Picture #7 - Bananas
Rob eats about 2 or 3 bananas a day. I go through stages, but 1 is about my limit per day.
Okay...thanks for playing...I had fun. I hope you did, too!
Until next time...
Happy Day,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guess That Photo?

I've seen this on another blog before, and thought it was kind of fun, so I took some photos. Can you guess what they are? Some are probably easier than others...

Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3

Picture #4

Picture #5

Picture #6

Picture #7

You're probably thinking, "What do I get if I answer them all correctly?" Well, if you get them all right, you'll have the great satisfaction that you're really smart. :)
I'll post the full photos/results on Friday!

Happy Day,

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Pesto is one of my favorite things to eat! The flavor is so delicious! It has a licorice, garlicky, nutty taste. Plus, it's actually quite simple to make. I got this recipe from a gentleman that I used to work with years ago.

Typically I measure things if I'm following a recipe. But, with Pesto, I am proud to say that I've gotten it down to just "eye-balling it" as my good friend, Rachael Ray would say. Yep, she's my buddy, she just doesn't know it. (Okay...I know...I'm a little weird)....

I have another friend, (this is a real one), that I wanted to give this recipe to, so I needed to try to figure out the measurements. She's a very visual person too, so I thought she'd appreciate the step by step process with photos. The only thing is that she'll probably never read my blog, because she doesn't get on the computer. I know...I can't believe it, can you? She's a text message kind of girl. I am going to just print this out for her once I post it.

The ingredients: Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pine Nuts, Parmesan Cheese, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper:

4 ounces Fresh Basil
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
3-5 Cloves of Garlic
1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice (just shy of 1 tsp)
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup Pine Nuts

Put ingredients in food processer in stages (see below) and blend together. Serve Pesto at room temperature over any pasta of your choice. Top with some Parmesan Cheese & Pine Nuts. Serves about 4 people.

Rinse the Basil. I buy the kind from Trader Joe's. It comes in a plastic carton and weighs 4 ounces.

Snap off the thick/tough part of the stems and toss those out. I leave the rest of the stems on the leaves.

The Basil has now been rinsed and the thick stems have been torn off. Just place the basil leaves on a couple of paper towels or clean dish towel to remove any excess water.

I added more paper towels to the top and then flipped the whole thing over and used more pt's (paper towels). Keep repeating if necessary.

Throw the Basil into a food processer. I have an attachment that came with my blender that I guess you would call a small food processer...It's okay if the leaves are not totally bone dry.

This was a wedding gift and it keeps on working for me, after almost 13 years!

Now chop up the Basil. You'll want to just give it a rough chop. Oh, don't forget the lid, unless you want basil all over the kitchen cupboards. It looks like I forgot it, but I just didn't snap a photo of it.

Next, add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use about 1/2 cup.

Add a little less than 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You can always adjust to your liking.

Next, add about 1 teaspoon of Pepper.

Garlic - YUM....this gives it so much flavor. I use between 3-5 cloves depending on how large the cloves are. These were kind of medium sized, so I went for 4. Peel the garlic...I smash it with the flat side of the knife and off come the peelings. I learned this from the Foodnetwork...Thanks, Rachael Ray (my friend), and all you Chefs!

Go ahead and drop in the peeled garlic cloves. Just throw them in whole. There's no need to chop - the machine will do the work for you!

You'll need to add a little shy of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. You can use a freshly squeezed lemon, but I typically use the kind you buy in the freezer section - a frozen concentrated lemon juice in a bottle. It's just easier, plus I almost always have it in my fridge. If you're using a bottle like I do, I'll give the bottle a couple squirts if you're not into measuring things. One word of caution - don't overdo the lemon juice...this is where it can really overpower your recipe and then....well, it's just not very tasty!

Give it a good blend now...This time, you'll notice I got a photo with the lid on top.

Okay...here comes one of my favorite ingredients - the Parmesan Cheese. Go with about 1/2 cup. Don't use the cheese in a can. It's just not the same. I got a huge bag of shredded Parmesan Cheese at Costco and then just divided it into smaller zip lock baggies and threw them in the freezer. It's much more cost effective this way and tastes way better than the stuff in a can!

Pine Nuts - You'll need about 1/3 cup of these guys. Again, I buy them from Costco and keep them in the freezer. They last longer that way.

Okay...Looks like you've got all of your ingredients in there now. Yum....I'm getting hungry!

Give it one final blend/chop or whatever...just make sure you get a good consistency...

This is the consistency that you're looking to achieve...Not blended to the point of super smooth...

Okay....you're finished. Just scoop out the pesto into a container. When you go to eat this, make sure that the pesto is at room temperature.

I just learned from WikiAnswers.com that pesto will keep in the fridge for a few months. You'll just want to pour some olive oil on top to give it a protective barrier. I even freeze mine in zip lock bags, but I might have to try leaving it refrigerator. I'm shocked it keeps that long...Well, it wouldn't stay that long in my fridge...This recipe typically serves 4 people, or less if you like seconds!

When you're ready, make some pasta.

Boil some water...okay...I'm sure everyone knows how to do this. You can use whatever Pasta you want. I usually prefer bowtie with this recipe. I had Penne on hand, so that's what I used.

Put some pasta in a bowl. (I used 2 different kinds of Penne, that's why you'll notice the different color of noodles). Now, top with a couple spoonfuls of the room temperature Pesto.

Throw some Parmesan Cheese and Pine nuts on top. You're ready to eat! This goes well with some good French or Garlic bread and a salad or a side of steamed veggies.