Nov 30, 2011

Kale Chips


I have heard about kale chips, I have looked at pictures of kale chips, I have read tweets about people enjoying their kale chips and I have even gone so far as to ask for the exact recipe that my cousin uses to make her kale chips that her little boy loves so much but somewhere in the back of my mind I was afraid they were going to be as unappealing as coleslaw so I kept putting it off. 



Well the day finally came, I put on my brave face and went out to the garden and picked large armload of kale and reassured my self this was a good idea because there are lots of good vitamins in kale.



It really is pretty looking.



Washed it and pulled off the stems. I left it to dry, actually I gingerly beat it onto the towel.



I poured in a splash of olive oil



and mixed it around with my hands. I really couldn’t figure any other way to get the leaves covered without using a ridiculous amount of oil.



I spread some on cookie sheets



and put it in the oven. 



For the remaining batches I minced up some garlic and made them as garlic kale chips.



I pulled them out when they started to get brown in spots.



Sprinkled it with salt and ate them. They were good.

I mean so good I ate every last one.

Kale chips are nothing like coleslaw, this I now know.



Kale Chips


  • 10-15 leaf/branches of kale
  • a splash of olive oil
  • salt and minced garlic to taste.

bake at 350 until they start to turn brown in spots.

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Nov 28, 2011

Stuart’s presets


I remember the first time someone told me about HDR I was mildly interested but didn’t really know what the heck he was talking about.

Then one day I saw an HDR image but just thought the guy took amazing out of this world photos. Found out it was HDR and had to try it.


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So I did. I was quite pleased with the odd ridiculous look and thought that’s just the way HDR looks.

Recently I’ve seen some very nicely done HDR that has inspired me to keep trying HDR.



I found the bracketing button on my camera and remembered how to use it. Set the timer to take 3 pictures so I won’t wiggle the camera pressing the button. I’m not going to tell you about the day it took me half an hour to find the timer or the family picture that I’m not in because I didn’t know where the timer was.



I made the HDR image and then just played around with the sliders until I thought I liked it. It looks kinda flat. Then I scrolled past the 3 presets it came with and something popped up asking me to load more presets. Load presets? I don’t have any presets to load. How do I make presets?

Off to Google I went. As it often happens I didn’t find what I originally set out looking for. Instead I found  a bunch of free presets from some generous person over at deviant art! Right there in the comments they told me how to install them.



The same image with one of the presets applied.



Whatever this preset is, it’s just what I was looking for!

Thank you The-Yard-Collective street photography club


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Nov 25, 2011

Maple Walnut pie with blueberry cranberry sorbet


This pie is a Thanksgiving classic at our house. It’s a recipe that I can remember and it always comes out good.



I’m a firm believer that maple syrup makes anything good.



Roll out some pie crust dough, I used the same pie crust recipe from the apple dumplings.



Tear off and shape the edges of the crust.



With the left over pie crust, do not toss it to the cat, well you could and I’m sure Kitty wouldn’t mind, cover it with cinnamon, sugar and butter. Roll it up and bake it along with the pie as your own personal snack .



In a bowl mix the eggs. 



Add chopped walnuts and 



maple syrup and a splash of vanilla mix and pour into pie shell.



Arrange top with walnut halves and bake for about 45 min.

Serve when cooled.




Yes, I would like a little pie with my sorbet.


Maple Walnut Pie


mix the eggs and add vanilla and maple syrup. Add nuts and mix, pour into pie shell. Arrange walnut halves on top.
Bake at 350 for 45 min or until done


Blueberry Cranberry Sorbet


  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
  • 4 or 5 ice cubes

Blend in blender or food processor. Taste and adjust. Needs to be almost “too sweet” so it won’t freeze like a rock.

Pour into a pan and freeze. stir every half hour 2 or 3 times.




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Nov 23, 2011

The Little guys

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I love watching the little guys play hockey and Youth hockey hockey is no exception. This little red helmeted guy is one of my many favorites. He doesn’t stop to think about the fact that he stands at a grand height of, oh maybe 3’? He’s too busy having fun playing hockey.  


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This little red shirted guy makes me smile every time I look at him! I’m sure he’s doing his darndest to follow his coach's instructions literally. His coach probably said defensemen only go up to the blue line and forgot to specify WHICH blue line. So he stopped at the first blue line he saw and stood there hoping the puck would come back his way


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At the other end they were busy falling down


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and getting back up again.


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The little goalie got another breakaway to stop.


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Oh, what a save!


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no rebound.


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Off they go in the other direction,

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those tiny guys playing in a rink that is 200 ft long and 85 ft wide and having the time of their lives.


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Falling down and getting back up again.


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Nov 21, 2011

Apple dumplings in peasant purses


I’ve never made these before So I thought it would be good to practice for some pre-Thanksgiving guests. And if they came out ok I might make them again.





It’s not an easy job being a guest here around the holidays. It’s a lot like work, I mean eating butter.



For the crust mix the flour and baking powder together.



Then get out 2 sticks of unsalted butter. Or, like I did, used what I had.



Cut the chilled or even partially frozen butter into pieces.



toss them in quickly before they get soft.



Cut the butter in



and stop when it’s got little pieces about so. Ya know peas. Why do they always say peas? Who would put peas in their pie crust? Ok, never mind.



Add ice water by the spoonful. Only as much as you need.



Once it starts coming together that’s good there’s so much butter in there it’ll be fine.



Take it out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. 



And the tear in half and make two disks. Wrap and stick in the freezer for 20 minutes or in the fridge for 2 or more hours,



For the apples mix cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl.



Cut apples in half



core it and peal it.



Roll, rub, pack the cinnamon sugar on the apple halves.





With the remaining cinnamon sugar add 3 tablespoons of butter and mix together.



cut one disk of pie dough in pieces.


roll out kinda thin but not as thin as I did.



Take an apple half and spoon some of the butter cinnamon sugar mixture into the core area.



Place on the rolled out dough 



pleat/make folds/bunch it up



and tie it with string. Wait, I almost forgot, the recipe said tie it with string to make peasant purses.



get the oven preheating and grab an egg for brushing. Oh and dig out the brush too. It’s always in the bottom of the drawer.





brush on the egg and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.



Let cool a little and serve.


Apple Dumplings in Peasant purses

Adapted From Williams -Sonoma

For the dough:
    1 tsp. fine sea salt
    1/3 cup ice-cold water
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

In a bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder until combined. Add the chilled butter pieces cut in until the butter is about the size of small peas. Add ice water by the spoonful so as not to add anymore than you need. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten into disks. Wrap  with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight or pop in the freezer for 20 minutes or so.


For the apples:

  • 3 Empire apples.
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs.  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

cut apples in half peel and core. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon. Roll, rub, pack the cinnamon sugar on the apple halves. Combine the remaining sugar mix with the butter and set aside.

Remove 1 dough disk from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Divide the disk into 6  pieces. on a floured surface, roll out a piece of dough 1/8 inch thick and about 6 inches square. fill the core with some of the reserved butter-sugar mixture Place an apple half, cut side down, in the center of the dough square. pleat/make folds/bunch it up around the apple to create a beggar’s purse and gently tie the corners together with string. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and apple halves.

Transfer the wrapped apples to a baking sheet and brush the dough with the beaten egg . Bake until the dough is golden brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the apple dumplings from the oven and let cool slightly.



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