Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Butterfly and Milkweed

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A butterfly picture I took on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the NC Mountains last month.  Post processed with Color Efex Pro.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Turk Lily Remix

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Just a Turk Lily where the original shot wasn't that stunning and I thought I'd start experimenting with it using filters and see what I could come up with.  I like them all...can't really pick a favorite.  Please feel free to tell me which one you like best.  I used a combination of Color Efex Pro filters like Detail Enhancer, Modern, Pro Contrast, etc. and things in PSE 11 like Glowing Edges.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Logo Challege

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There are 3 possible answers:
I know the symbol and the company
I have seen the symbol but can’t connect it
I have never seen this symbol before, or do not remember seeing this symbol.

The answer is here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Visit to the Conservators Center

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Donnie, the boys, and I went to the Conservators Center for the first time last weekend.   I bought a Groupon a while back, and we upgraded it to the Treats and Toys tour.  Over the course of 2 hours, our guide and about 20 guests including us, visited and learned about the animals.  We saw several animals that we haven't seen before.  Pictured here is a Serval.  Most of my shots were through the fence and included the fence.  Oh well.  Still, it was a great experience, and I recommend going. They do have a photographers tour, and maybe sometime I'll go on that.

Google surprised me today by taking my photos and videos and creating this really neat movie.  I am quite impressed!


Gerbera Daisy

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A took this beautiful gerbera daisy picture at the Wal-Mart Garden Center in Fuquay-Varina this past week. I had a lovely chit chat with one of the garden center workers as she watered the plants and created some lovely waterdrops on the flowers which appear in later shots. Did you know that this is the 5th most used cut flower and also has coumarin extracts?

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Cauliflower and Spaghetti Squash Crust Pizza

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My experience with cauliflower crust pizza started out with this recipe.  It was an immediate hit with the family since pizza went off our menu when we started avoiding grains.  However, the crust didn't turn out crispy in any of my attempts, and Donnie suggested I try a variation using spaghetti squash as part of the crust.  The consistency of the crust didn't change much, but we did enjoy the taste with the spaghetti squash very much.  Maybe I should try to dehydrate the cauliflower and spaghetti squash next time?  Enjoy these mouth watering shots and the instructions below.

1 large head of cauliflower
1 large spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 eggs
1 tub grated Parmesan cheese
1 whole Garlic clove
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 pound cheddar cheese
1 jar favorite tomato sauce
1 1/4 inch slice of ham

Preheat oven to 425.  Cut spaghetti squash in half.  Place each half in a 13X9 pan with the open side down and with 1 inch of water.  Cook at 425 for 40 minutes or until finger will depress into rind.  Remove to cool.

Use a cheese grater or food processor to grate a large head of cauliflower.
Steam the grated cauliflower for 10 minutes.

Peel then dice a garlic clove.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan.  Saute garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes.

Brown 1 pound of plain bulk sausage seasoning to taste.  I use 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sage, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper.

Dice green onion.  Dice ham.

Use food processor to grate 4+ cups of cheddar cheese.

Use a fork to shred/scoop out one half of the spaghetti squash into a large mixing bowl.  Add cauliflower, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, 2 cups cheddar cheese, and butter garlic.  Toss to blend completely.

Use butter to grease two pizza pans.  Pampered Chef stones work well as do metallic rounds.

Place half of the crust mixture onto each pan and pat out to form a round about 1/4 inch thick.
Cook each crust separately for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 2 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350.

Place a 1/3 cup spaghetti sauce on each crust and spread out.  Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on each crust.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese on each crust.  Top one pizza with browned sausage and the other with cubes of ham.  Sprinkle green onion on half of each pizza.  Bake each pizza separately for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Feel free to add green peppers, mushrooms, browned hamburger, etc.