Watermelon Chaat

Cool salad for a hot summer’s day. So refreshing!

I found this recipe in the New York Times. The reporter writes:

“This recipe for watermelon chaat, a savory fruit salad dressed in toasted cumin and dried mango powder, comes from Malika Ameen, a cookbook author whose Pakistani-American family in Chicago makes infinite variations on fruit chaat in the summer. You could swap out the watermelon for a mix of what’s in season, whether it’s stone fruit, berries or cubed apple and pear. It’s an ideal dish to break the fast during Ramadan, full of flavor and hydrating, and quick to put together.”

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon amchur powder (dried green mango) (I didn’t use this.)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (a generous pinch if you like heat)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 orange, clementine or mandarin, juiced to make approximately 1/3 cup juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 3 to 4 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced (I used Chocolate mint.)
  • 1 small cucumber, halved, seeded, thinly sliced (My addition.)
  • 5 pieces of dried mango, thinly sliced (My addition.)

Preparation

  1. Place cubed watermelon in a wide platter with sides or in a large baking or serving dish and spread into a single layer.
  2. In a small pan, toast whole cumin seeds on medium heat for 3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove and coarsely grind with a mortar and pestle. (You can also grind in a spice grinder, but be sure not to grind to a fine powder as the coarse grains of the spice add a wonderful texture.)
  3. Transfer cumin to a small bowl and add all remaining spices and salt. Add citrus juice, jalapeño and mint and mix well. Pour dressing over cubed watermelon and mix to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 1 to 6 hours. Serve chilled the same day.

 

Miso-Glazed Cod

My wife and I love Cod. Hey, we live in Massachusetts and Cod is like New England’s fish! And we, well me, love Miso. And this recipe based on one from Ellie Krieger is so easy to prepare and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2
  • S

Directions

Rinse fish fillets and pat dry with paper towels. Combine miso, brown sugar, sesame oil and mirin and stir well until brown sugar is fully dissolved.

Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake fish for 20-25 minutes until top is slightly charred and glaze has caramelized. Remove fish from oven and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cook an additional 5 minutes, until fish is flaky but not overcooked.

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Spring Is In The Air

I hope! Because it is snowing again this morning!

And then later in the day I hope to see this:

 

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.

Resolutions vs Rules

When I woke this morning, I read from The Daily Word:

New Year
The life of God within reassures me that new adventures await.

With a new year comes new beginnings. As I bid last year goodbye, I greet today with an air of anticipation. This new year holds the promise of a new dawn, an adventure waiting to be fulfilled.

Prayer is a powerful resource on my journey, and every thought of God is a prayer. So I keep myself centered on divine life within. There, faith encourages me to believe that all things are possible. This new year holds within it the promise of love, joy, health, prosperity, harmony, and so much more.

With gratitude, I recognize and give thanks for the many blessings in my life—those received and those coming my way. I live in confidence because the life of God within reassures me that new adventures await.

Be renewed in the spirit of your minds.—Ephesians 4:23
In the book, Balancing Life By The Rule, Debra Farrington shows us the difference between self-help and spiritual growth in her article on creating a “rule” to guide everyday life, based on Christian monastic rules. Contrasting a rule with a New Year’s resolution, she says that the latter is based on what we think is wrong with us (too fat, too poor, too tired, etc), while a spiritual rule grows from a desire to become more fully what we were created to be.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.” – James 3:13

I went down to the river to pray. “I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also.” – 1 Corinthians 14:15

Some “rules” for this year include: 

More Spiritual Study. Read the Bible every day and other spiritual texts. Pray.

More Charity. Help those in need. Continue to volunteer with the 3rd grade class here in town. Look for other opportunities to volunteer.

More Meditation. Rise early and pray/meditate. Practice yoga.

One Pointed Attention. Listen empathically (getting inside the other person’s frame of reference so you listen with one purpose: understanding) until you truly understand the other person’s position. Then work on ensuring that you clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas.

Think Outside The Box.

Remember Who I Am. Know Thy Self. Namaste.

Humor. Find the humorous in the everyday.

Read more books.

Write more poetry.

The park, for me, is a place of grace. A church. A temple of nature. A sanctuary. Birds singing songs of praise and joy. Doves, finches, woodpeckers, crows and robins. On one walk I saw a fox on the path in front of me. Another time hawks circling overhead. A Green Heron in the water. I walk my dog, Freddy, a mini-labradoodle, there a few times every week. One time, without incident, we walked, and every few minutes I talked, “Good dog. Good dog.” On we walked past Meadow Trail and Beaver Brook. All the time my dog acutely aware and when I wanted to stop and photograph, I said “Freddy, sit.” And he sat. And he waited. And when I said “okay” on we went.

More story-telling.

In church the book calls How did you find me And do you believe Her neighbor says I Bet he found you through Me, I believe in Beauty, do you, too Yes, take me, take me Home says this book with The light of sunshine I know I am this A young simple gift See the butterfly And in the second Chapter we read, no Not yet, please, let me Did I ever tell You I was raised Not from the dead but From the living word Wrapped in ancient Stories when all I Want is to go home Angels I hear Come to protect me I am being held Lifted off the shelf Where I have waited Patiently for you Or you or you to Take me with you home Read my sad story Once upon a time No it does not start Quite like this, listen I hear them singing Do you hear singing See under this book A Garden for Rose

More Portraits.

Continue to count daily gifts.

Self-publish books, including a cook book.

Bruce, they say. When is the cook book coming out? And I saw, now, this year. Tonight I made this–Cheese Tortellini Soup with Kale and Kielbasa.

Market my photography better.

Nymph Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Be more like Jesus.

“Imitate me, as I also Imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

I think the more I grow to be like Jesus, the more I develop into the person I was meant to be all along.

“Come. Follow me.” Jesus said.

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.

Easy Strawberry Cake

Easy and delicious!

StrawberryCake16032432

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 7 Tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup+ fresh strawberries halved and sliced
  • 3 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Meanwhile, combine the flour, all but 2 teaspoons of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, buttermilk, egg, oil, and extract in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth and pour into an 8-inch square baking pan or cast iron skillet coated with cooking spray; top with the frozen berries.

Bake 1 hour or until browned and wooden pick inserted 2 inches from edge comes out clean. Remove from oven, place pan on cooling rack, and sprinkle with remaining sugar (I forgot to sprinkle on the remaining sugar, but I didn’t really miss having it on there). Serve hot, warm, or room temperature with yogurt on the side.

The Past Few Days

 

Sullivan Metals

My wife’s words. My photo. “We had quite an adventure today. We went to Sullivans Scrap Metal Recycling yard in Holyoke with some ferrous and non ferrous metal pieces from my mom’s house. What a place! Trucks, cranes, noise, fork lifts, trains/box cars, scale to weigh your car before and after. The only thing I didn’t see but expected was a ferrocious dog!  I had already brought some metal stuff to the West Springfield Town yard which recycles. But I wanted to go directly to the source and see how much money all this stuff was worth. I can’t tell you how much this pleased me to keep this stuff out of land dumps and I was given $11.00, to boot.  Then we went to Nicks Nest for lunch~home-made soup, hotdogs, beans, and real sodas.” FE 1.8/55, f11, 1/400 second, iso 100

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Freddy, our Mini Labradoodle.

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Mushroom, Red Pepper, Vidalia Onion Pizza–YUM!

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Purple Finch on a grape vine arbor I am weaving.

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Sisters at a Sunday party for Gavin’s Communion.

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Sisters at a Sunday party for Gavin’s Communion.

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My wife, Susan.

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Freddy still sleeping.

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Spring!

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.

 

Saturday

Walked the dog.
Made blueberry pancakes.
Vacuumed the house.
Harvested beets.
Photographed beets.
Roasted beets.
I heard a cardinal sing
In the distance, a dog
Barking. Crickets singing!
My new self-published book
Arrived. The photographs
Are poems and poems
Are photographs. A girl
With purple hair
Walking down the street.
“I love your hair,” I said.
She said, “Thank You so much.”
I am sad
When I see
The fallen
Cherry tomatoes
Split open
Crushed
On the dirt
In the garden.

Portrait Of The Artist, Heather Green

Yesterday,
January 29, 2013,
I had the distinct pleasure
to photograph the portfolio of paintings and drawings,
a beautiful and interesting collection,
of the artist 
Heather Green.
I will be writing about her art in my next post.
Meanwhile, here is Heather:
If you are looking for distinctive portrait, nature, or documentary photography,
or someone you know is looking
for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life,
please contact me.