January 2012…. Wow, time flies! Happy New Year! Looking back, I didn’t get as far as I would have liked in my photoblogging. Posting 52 times is a lot more work than I thought! I did however, post 15 times in my freshman blogosphere, so if I average it out… I’m looking at about a post a month. Not too bad for this first timer! My biggest accomplishment is simply that I started one! Thank you to all who’ve checked my blog out. I’m thinking this year if I don’t have the time or feel like writing, I’ll just post a photo pic or two to get me in the routine of posting. We’ll see… I’m hopeful and optimistic! And with Santa bringing more Legos and Just Dance 3, I may get some quiet time to be able to organize my thoughts and pictures! 🙂
Well, well, what’s been going on here? Evidently it’s fruit-bearing season in the desert! Everywhere I look, citrus trees are heavy with the bountiful weight of its labor. Grapefruits, oranges, tangelos… I’m assuming lemons and limes too, but I haven’t seen ’em yet. We have 5 fruit trees in our backyard: 3 orange, 1 lemon and 1 very pitiful lemon tree. The latter lemon (well we think it’s a lemon) is the last remaining citrus tree on our property when we moved in. From the looks of it, the last owner hadn’t watered it in over a year. Hopefully it makes it. All the other trees are new and with that, none are bearing fruit at the moment. I’m hoping by next season we’ll have some goodies of our own. For now, there are plenty of trees loaded with fruit where neighbors and friends are offering bags of them. It reminds me very much of tomato harvesting season in the Midwest, where in late August you simply can’t eat or give enough away!
TANgELO… (tan-jə-loh)… A cross between a tangerine and a pomelo or grapefruit. The size of a fist. The Arizona/ Californian variety is easily distinguished by its pebbled surface and bell-shaped end. Little to no seeds. Mildly acidic, sweet and super juicy. In one word: Delicious. I’ve got a bag of here. I can only peel and eat so many! I agree, freshly squeezed juice is a bonus, but unless you have an electric juicer (I don’t), it’s alot of work. Jams, jellies, tangelic citrus salsas, citrus marinades, orange balsamic reductions over vanilla ice cream? Really? In the end, I pulled together a tangy tangelo couscous side dish tossed with garbanzo beans and sunflower seeds. It had an earthy undertone as I seasoned it with a couple shakes of cumin, salt and pepper. Topped off with a squeeze from half of a freshly cut tangelo to add an additional bright burst of flavor. Not too shabby for on the fly. It passed the test, the kids and hubs ate it!
Garbage day is Monday. How often does one go through the refrigerator cleaning it out in anticipation of the traveling dumpster’s early morning arrival; and find ALL this food that you haven’t eaten yet??? On this particular Sunday I came across a couple of mangos that I’m sure I bought earlier in the week, I think. Still smooth-skinned, slightly firm and changing from an olive green to a muted orange-brown hue. I’m thinking, “must still be good” – although not very photogenic at this point. Dig around the ice box a little more… A few pork chops pulled from the freezer to thaw… Check the pantry for some grains… yep, looks like we have dinner for the next day!
Few items from the Pantry
Pork chops with a mango chutney – at least that’s what I called it. Below I used the late afternoon Western light diffused through our patio. To add some color to my white dishes, I added the multi-colored cloth beneath. I wish I would have caught the “fleck” of pork that’s sitting on the mango, but oh well! It’s all in the details from making a good picture, great, right? The dish by the way, was just yummy. The kids and hubby ate it all up!
Spring is supposed to be here. 60-70 degree weather, outdoors, windows open. Nothing puts a damper in my springtime mood than snow! Indoors and looking around my kitchen, what to do? Clean? Uh… well I suppose cleaning out the fridge and pantry might count, right?
Ripe bananas = banana bread.
This is probably the simplest recipe I could find for banana bread off of the epicurious website. It’s a great basic recipe that you can doctor up with added ingredients like chocolate or peanut butter chips. I tried using wheat flour and thought it came out a little too “germy” for my taste. The rest of the family seemed to like it. It’s a good, moist recipe, but to satisfy my tastes, I think next time, I’ll try doing a 50/50 blend of wheat and regular flour rather than 100% wheat. Plus, I like my banana bread really sweet, so I’m thinking I’ll try adding more bananas than called for to see how it goes.
Dubbed as Aunt Holly’s Banana Bread. I don’t have an Aunt Holly, but I’ll gladly adopt the one who came up with this recipe! 🙂
- 3 to 4 ripe bananas
- 1/4 c melted butter
- 1 c sugar
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp baking soda
peanut butter chips
nuts of your choice
Preheat oven to 350F. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Bake in a buttered loaf pan until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Slice and Serve.
Such an easy recipe! Made the house smell fantastic and made an otherwise “boring, inside” weekend, productive!
Had to break for lunch while the bread baked... PBJ, only the best!
Peppers and Rice… why you ask? Just because, I guess. Well really, it’s mostly because I started hunting around in the refrigerator for what to make for dinner. I had forgotten that I purchased a bunch of Poblano peppers last week to make a rendition of a Chile Relleno casserole. The last time I made it, I had thought to doctor it up with some chicken and chipotle peppers that were marinated in an adobe sauce. Overall, the flavor of the dish was good, only, I couldn’t eat too much of it. The chipotle peppers I added were FIRE-hot! I didn’t think much of it when I was adding it. Typically, peppers are labeled as mild, medium or hot. In this case, there was no mention of the heat factor on the label and I wrongly assumed they were mild. My bad. Anyway, I decided to make a milder rendition of my chile relleno casserole as a side dish to chicken and rice. There! Peppers and Rice!
The photos were taken in natural light. I used one of my favorite lenses, a 1.4/ 50mm, and my macro lens. Truthfully, I’m more at home with the 50mm. I just love how clear most of my pictures come out. Additionally, it’s FANTASTIC in low light settings! I have to admit, I was also pretty impressed with the closeness of the macro lens since I haven’t done much shooting with it yet. On the macro setting, I was able to focus in on a small area and the rest of it blurred out. Pretty cool!