Blah

We have several cats and they’re all really cute but Ferguson is the most cooperative for picture-taking. He does look a bit annoyed but he handled the boa better than any of the others would have.

So…everything is pretty blah in my life right now. I won’t go into details–how boring–but I’m sure we all have issues right now. We made a seed wreath to attract the Rosy-faced Lovebirds to the yard. They were very gung-ho the first few days but now they don’t seem to come around as much.

Here’s a link to the recipe we used. Pretty easy.

They sure are cute and loud.

Inca Dove

Lesser Goldfinch, female
Anna’s Hummingbird on Lavender

We did go to Reach 11, a recreational trail, in Phoenix, a few weeks ago. Not many birds that day…but this poor old Saguaro keeps standing. A lot of birds use it for nesting in the spring so hope it holds up.

And a couple months ago I was at a park along the Rio Salado and saw these 2 duck friends…a Domestic and a colorful Muscovy.

And that pretty much concludes this post. Hope life picks up for us all soon. Stay safe!

King of Herbs

Basil Butter
1 stick butter, softened
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil

Cream butter, beat in garlic and lemon juice. Mash in basil; season with salt and pepper. Place bowl in refrigerator to firm butter. For a nice, simple appetizer use room temperature butter on grilled pieces of baguette or French bread.

Yum, that sounds good…and easy. I finally “get” it about growing your own food and this basil plant is really the only thing we’ve successfully grown and used. I’ve never had a garden and, with 10 outdoor cats and several other neighborhood cats, it might not be a great idea but I do love checking the progress of this potted basil plant, grown from seed. I haven’t pinched the flowers off like you’re supposed to because I thought it was too cool to see it flower. Basil likes it sunny and dry and that is certainly our summer weather in AZ. Next…some other herbs.

More basil info here.

As an aside, what kind of jerky photographer am I? On Tuesday night, I saw the most dramatic weather event I have ever seen, a gigantic haboob rushing toward and then engulfing us and it was only after it had passed, quite awhile later, that I even thought about my camera and wondered why I hadn’t used it. You’ve probably seen photos of it but if not, check out this video. It was extremely dramatic, not the most violent dust storm I’ve ever been in, but certainly the most eerie, visually stunning, and exciting one.

P-Stuff

Pizza

After work, I stopped at Nello’s to get a pizza, the best in Phoenix, in my opinion. There are only 5 in the whole metropolitan area, though.  It was delicious, as always.

nellos

Peanut Butter Cookies

Then I tried this quick and easy recipe:

1 cup peanut butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together well. Drop in spoonfuls on a cookie sheet, press with a fork. Bake 10 – 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

My neighbor likes PB cookies so I baked them with her in mind.

pb-cookies

Photojojo.com

If you like unique ideas about what to do with your photography, sign up for their newsletter.  Some of their projects might appeal to you.  And read their forums, too, as there are several fun challenges you can participate in as well as just learning new techniques.  Check out these cool glass jar frames in the latest newsletter (http://photojojo.com/content/):

Petroglyphs

This is an old photo of some local petroglyphs.

petroglyphs

Can you tell I’m having a hard time posting tonight?  One of my personal goals is to post 5-7 times a week.  So I guess some of them are going to be a little lame.

Off to spend some time with my Pussycats.

‘Night,

Candace

Roots ‘n Mugs

I don’t cook…at all…really.  Once in awhile I bake something from a mix or throw a salad together or stick something in the microwave.  But I was inspired.  Yesterday after seeing Kelli’s yummy root vegetables (africankelli.com), I couldn’t get them out of my mind.  I didn’t copy…exactly…but I stopped at Sprouts on the way home and bought sweet potatoes, rutabagas, and portobello mushrooms.  Came home, chopped ’em up, put them in a casserole dish after adding sherry (and drinking some, cook’s privilege), cayenne, basil, thyme, sage, oregano, tarragon, and summer savory, baked at 350 for 50 minutes (25 with the lid on, 25 lid off).  I was shocked; it was good!  Even Tony thought so and he can cook!  I’d post a photo but it just didn’t look appetizing in the picture, unfortunately.

So, I was on a roll.  I had also been thinking the last couple of days about adapting the 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake recipe to a different flavor, for the sake of variety.  And it was very tasty.  I substituted vanilla pudding mix for the cocoa and crushed walnuts for the chocolate chips, added cinnamon, and increased the vanilla extract to a teaspoon instead of a splash.  It’s definitely a keeper.

vanilla-mug-cake

Here is the 5 Minute Vanilla Mug Cake:

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix (sugar-free)
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons crushed walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the walnuts (if using) and vanilla extract, dust with cinnamon, and mix again.  Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes, 45 seconds at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

Now, if I would just pick up that crochet hook and start doing those stitches that my friend Michelle showed me and get some scarves made, I would have a handle on this domesticity thing.

But I think that tomorrow I’ll be back to art again...cooking’s hard, art’s easy.

Candace