Friday, March 29, 2013

Playing Fetch

This is one of the photos I submitted for the photography contest.  It's not one of my best photos, in fact, it's one of the earliest I took with my camera, so I was definitely not paying proper attention to aperture or shutter speed.  It's actually kind of amazing that it even turned out.  I was shooting in manual (dumb choice for a beginner and for trying to shoot an action-y shot).  This woman had her two extremely well-behaved dogs playing fetch around this little bit of stream. 

This photo feels very summery to me.  Doesn't it make you just want to go frolic around at the beach?


Friday, March 22, 2013

Free Flight in Del Mar, CA

I have to say, this was a pretty cool little place just down the street from the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  It's tucked away back into this weird shopping center, but Free Flight is a really neat exotic bird sanctuary that let's you get up close and personal with (mostly) friendly birds.  The friendliest birds are out on perches and can be pet and fed with fruits if you want to buy some from the staff (I recommend it). 

One caveat: the staff are not going to babysit you, so if you don't have any experience with birds, they're not going to watch and keep you from getting bitten.  However, there are plenty of bird enthusiasts who come by to hang out with their favorite birds and are usually happy to answer questions. 

There's also a cool Koi fish pond to boot.

Definitely a pretty neat little place to spend an hour or two when in Del Mar.

See more reviews at TripAdvisor here.




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

All Quiet on the Western Front...

There's actually been a lot going on here (in all ways crafty, foody, and crochet-y?), but very little blogging (as I am sure you can plainly see).  I've been working on processing some pictures for a little local photography contest.

In the mean time, enjoy this hilarious video.  I love the roly-poly crocodile the most, I think.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Udon noodle soup with tofu and mushrooms

Ooh, this was super yummy, and I've had this bookmarked for a while as a slight change to tofu stir-fry everything.  Every time I look at Snixy Kitchen, I want to make everything she posts.

I actually adjusted this recipe as a blend between two Snixy Kitchen recipes, the miso udon noodles with tofu and the beef with udon noodle soup.

Did you know miso = soybean paste? A little bit of prior internet research probably could have kept us from wandering the aisles of 99 Ranch for a solid 20 minutes. 

P.S. See my guilty lunch time pleasure in the background? I usually try to hack away at the NY Times crosswords during the week.


Udon noodle soup with tofu and mushrooms
Adapted from Snixy Kitchen
Serves 3-4

1 lb. of tofu, rinsed and pressed between two plates to dry.
5 baby bok choy, coarsely chopped
10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 package of dry udon noodles
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp togarashi
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for frying tofu
1 quart chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut tofu into ½ to 1-inch pieces.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a medium cast-iron skillet. Add tofu in batches and cook, undisturbed, for 4-5 minutes, until crispy and browned. Use tongs to flip the tofu and cook on the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and set aside.
Heat some oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the bok choy and stir to coat, cooking for about a minute. Cover and cook for two more minutes. Cook covered for an additional minute.
In the same pot, heat more oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook in the same way as the bok choy. Transfer to the bok choy bowl and set aside.
Mix miso paste, 2 tablespoons olive oil, togarashi, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add mushrooms, baby bok choy, and chicken broth to a large pot. Simmer for a few minutes and add sauce to broth. Bring to a boil, add noodles, and cook udon noodles according to package.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Split the noodles and soup among bowls.
Distribute the tofu among the bowls and serve.