Camera Testing

Been exploring more photography and trying not to forget what I’ve learned so far. Easter Sunday, with it’s beautiful weather and a few hours to kill after church, was a great day to play around at a cute little park in Frisco.

Frisco Park 1

Frisco Park 4

Frisco Park 3

Frisco Park 2

 

I also took some photos of a cute project I did to decorate for Easter. The eggs were super easy and quick to make.

Easter Egg Yarn Decor 1 Easter Egg Yarn Decor 2

 

While waiting for the food I cooked to finish, I went in the backyard and took a few more photos of our pets.

Blue Russain Kitty Backyard Hens

 

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Fav Things: Cinco de Mayo Style

We have had the best spring weather here in the unpredictable DFW so far. I guess you could say we have actually had a spring, which is nearly unheard of.

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and my Pinterest feed is already featuring ideas and recipes for a get together or party. I will be working on that day (and have way too much on my to do list to add anything else)! However, my husband and I will be making homemade tacos tomorrow. We didn’t really plan it for any special occasion. It was really because avocados and tomatoes were on sale when I went grocery shopping (and I can’t get enough of homemade tortillas. That’s the honest truth).

However, if I were to plan a Cinco de Mayo celebration, here are some ideas I would love to try:

Creamy and Refreshing Horchata

I’ve made Horchata once, but it wasn’t super authentic. These appear more so. They were also super sweet, but tasty. I used the Martha Stewart recipe. The sweetness did add a wonderful touch when we splashed a little rum in for a treat after a hard day’s work.

Tacos and Homemade Tortillas

These are actually what we will be eating tomorrow. I made my own taco seasoning (using this recipe) recently, and you can tell a huge difference between it and the store bought. It’s surprising (also super cheap, easy, and way less salty).  This will also be my third time making my own tortillas! I found the recipe I love, and will be continuing to use, last time and I’m super excited to devour them once they are done.

Sides

Of course there would have to be some serious guacamole and salsa. I have been wanting to make my own salsa for a while now. It seems very straight forward. I’ve just been busy, lazy, distracted, sleeping, doing laundry (choose one?).

Decor

Decorations!? I guess that means I’d have to take down my few Easter pieces. Well not yet! But if I were to decorate, it would have to be these Cactus Pinatas from ohhappyday.com

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image from ohhappyday.com

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Camera Learning

I’ve been wanting a nice camera for a few years and finally took the plunge in November. I’ve been doing some research through blogs I’ve found to discover how to take good photos on the correct setting and not just “auto”. Happily, I got to try out my new baby in Austin!

Here are some of the pictures I took. I’m learning!

Photography Trees  Austin Art Front Porch Cactus Austin Ranch Photography Ranch Photography Nature Nature Ranch Austin Bar Art Lighting Austin Sunset

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Horchata!

I am happy to say that I’ve put a bit of a dent in my endless pins. February was a successful recipe experimenting month. The recipe I ended the month on was Horchata.

The insane Texas weather was wonderful and warm this weekend, so I wanted to try a cool drink. I’ve had a Horchata once in Austin and look back on it as a tasty and refreshing experience. I did some research and chose Martha Stewart’s quick and easy version as my first attempt.

Simmering Milk and Cinnamon

Simmering Milk and Cinnamon

If you love milkshakes and cinnamon, this is perfect for you. I used one cup less milk than the recipe and it was still amazingly thick and overwhelmingly sweet.

Horchata in my Prancing Pony Cup

Horchata in my Prancing Pony Cup

In the future, I want to use less milk and more water and possibly half of the condensed milk the recipe calls for. But mark my words, I will be making this again. Indeed.

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Local Organic Experimenting

I love food. It’s pretty obvious. Food is the best.

So I should be more conscience of what exactly I’m putting into my body. Thankfully, this seems to be a trendy and popular topic. This means that I can easily find information, research, articles, and so many other people looking into this topic with great information as well.

I want to start eating more “real” food. You know, foods you know, can pronounce, and are amazing for your health. That being said, I don’t have time to search for local farms or visit farmer’s markets every week. I also don’t have time to have my own tiny garden again because of how little I’m at home to tend it. And the fact that the chickens would eat it up before I could. Rude!

I found a great little website called Greenling. It’s a delivery service that will deliver to your house local and/or organic produce. They also inform you of what’s in season and which farms your food is coming from. A DREAM COME TRUE!

I just had to try.

Let’s talk about the food. I got “juicing” oranges. They were not pretty. They were a little smooshy. Little did I know that these were optimum oranges to be transformed into juice. This made the best, most delicious orange juice I have ever tasted in my entire life. WOW.

I also bought butter lettuce and tomatoes. The texture and color of both is amazing. The taste is, for lack of a better word, real.

I think we are going to try this service on and off. The price is just a bit more than what I’m interested in (but that’s because you are supporting local farms directly AND it’s getting delivered straight to your front door).

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Snack Tastums

Homemade Larabar!

This is one I’ve made a few times before and I think I almost have it down.

This time I smashed up the nuts and cut up the fruit before blending. It helped a ton and wasn’t as loud in the food processor.

Homemade Larabars

Homemade Larabars

Blended Goodness

The one thing I can’t seem to get is how to keep them from crumbling. It doesn’t bother me too much, I’m just curious. Mine is more like a super sticky granola. A delicious granola bar.Homemade Larabars

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Bean Tortilla Casserole

A recipe I tackled this last week was a Bean Tortilla Casserole. As usual, I made some alterations. I boiled my own black beans instead of using some from a can, ignored the olive oil and salt, and didn’t use sour cream.

We really enjoyed this recipe. It didn’t take long, which is always a plus, and the resulting meal was very tasty. We even added some hot sauce I got Nick for Christmas. It is Tiger Shark Chipotle sauce and added a nice hot and smoky flavor.

black bean casserole

That’s one more Pinterest adventure down and one more successful taste bud experience. I can’t really think of anything I would change next time I make this. It’s a good thing.

bean casserole

Melt-y cheesy goodness

 

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Zucchini Fever

I tried out two more Pinterest recipes, both containing zucchini. I really enjoy zucchini. It has a light taste and a pleasant consistency. So far all of these “going through my pinterest posts” have been food related. Well, I love food. And I have a few projects I’m currently working on that really need to be finished before I start a new once from Pinterest. So there!

Recipe 1: Zucchini Boats

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These were tasty and super easy to make. Next time I think I would try a sharper tasting cheese. Just maybe.

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You can find the recipe here.

Recipe 2: Zucchini Chips

These were awesome. I added som

e extra spices, cause I really cannot follow direction for the life of me. I added some basil and chili powder.

Zucchini

Zucchini slices

zucchini sliced

Next time I would make a ton more, cause they were gone in no time. A

lso, as the original poster to this recipe says, it is impossible to wait for these to finish. Only a few of mine actually became crispy. The rest were still moist. That is either due to the fact that I hand sliced them and didn’t use my mandolin slicer, or how I couldn’t leave them in the oven long enough. This was not an issue though. The flavor was too great.

zucchini chips

zucchini chips

The recipe for the chips requests that you remove the seeds and some of the guts. I thought to myself, why not feed these to my hens? They love eating, and this would go to waste otherwise. Well, happy story, they loved it. Slurped up those zucchini guts in a second. It was fun.

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Wholly Minestrone

Second recipe of the year … MINESTRONE! I love minestrone. Especially Olive Garden’s minestrone. Every time I have declared that I will try and make minestrone, I end up making a type of “dump” soup instead. That’s when I just dump whatever veggies I have on hand into a pot and add broth. Quick, easy, hearty.

Not minestrone.

So I finally got the ingredients and went for it. I still left out certain things like olive oil and cheese. I also changed out the carrots for celery. I hate cutting carrots. They fly everywhere.

I must get better at actually measuring out my ingredients. I made like a lifetime supply of soup. Good thing my husband is usually super hungry when he gets off work.

Next time I make this, I want to make more broth, more of the tomato and chicken broth puree. It’s amazing.

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Adventures Through Pinterest

Long time no post! 2013 got busy and productive, and I might have forgotten my username for a while.🙂 I traveled to new places, saw new things, tried new things, had a blast, and am now welcoming 2014 with open arms. Last year had it’s ups and downs and now I’m ready to set some high goals and do my best to achieve them.

One of the things I’m trying out is to work my way through my hundreds and hundreds of Pinterest posts.

I love my Pinterest. I might be on it too much, but it’s a great one stop shop to research tons of ideas, learn new things, and become inspired. I figured instead of just collecting tons of fun looking pins, that I should start working my way through them.

First pin I tackled this year was a Black Eyed Pea Dip. It was easy, a little time consuming, fresh tasting, and delicious.

black eyed peas

It was time consuming due to my decision of cooking the black eyed peas myself. Everything else was super quick.

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black eyed pea dip

I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter. I always alter as I go. I left out the onions due to an intense dislike on my part, and the oil to save on calories.

All in all, this was a promising start to something I hope to continue all year.

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