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Grilling Chicken for Dinner

Tonight for dinner I’m grilling a simple skin on the bone-in chicken breast. I like leaving the skin on and bone in so that the chicken is really moist. We’re at our Ironworks cabin so we almost always grill.  The spice I use is Boswell’s Blends – Fowl-n-Feather Seasoning.  I bought it at one of those home shows in Phoenix AZ and use it all the time.  The ingredients in case you want to try something similar are:
salt
dehydrated garlic
dehydrated onion
other spices (the secret ingredients)
sugar
dehydrated red bell pepper
dehydrated parsley

Rub the spices into the chicken breast & spray with olive oil, butter oil or coconut oil.

The breast was still partly frozen so I started with a 350 grill and put it in a cooler area to thaw out. Then as it came up from the frozen state the grill was upped to 375.

I’m cooking it fairly slow as we’re enjoying happy hour on the patio. Nothing spectacular…. just a Blue Moon with an orange slice for me and a Malibu rum and Diet Coke for Gus.

When the chicken is done we’ll enjoy it with a good sized green salad with lots of goodies.  Internal temperature should be 365 for chicken breast.

It’s done so were hungry and ready to eat.

This is my first post in a long long time.

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After the Morning Rain

After the Morning Rain
After the Morning Rain
Before Post Processing
Before Post Processing

The original picture was taken at the Cabin Called Ironworks in the early morning just after a light overnight rain.  This rain was more pleasant that the previous downpours we had been experiencing in and around Prescott, Arizona.  I loved how the drops lingered on the edge of the pine branches and formed minute globes of reflective light.

These two images have been submitted to Visual Venturing ABFriday – Week 18 and will be live on 9/18/2014.  I’ve continued to explore post processing in Lightroom using tips from several Blogs in WordPress.  One tip came from M.Funk Photography’s Blog in a tutorial video on “Retouch an Underexposed Sunrise”.  He suggested making sure to balance luminance and sharpening so that they equal 100 along with several other tips.  I was equally impressed with PhotographybyKent from AfterBefore Friday – Week 17 where not only was the final image stunning, but the visual tips that Kent provided were great.   You will see that using these two examples, I did create quite an exploration with this image of raindrops by the lengthy history that I copied from Lightroom.  Each week I learn more and more from the AfterBefore Friday post in the Visual Venturing Forum.

The post processing began in Lightroom with several changes in exposure overall with a final result of -1.61 , changes in highlights with an end result of +7, Shadows were played with several times and ended at +79, Black Clipping was played with several times ended up after several +/- to a final of 45, White Clipping was modified several times and ended at +48, Clarity was increased by +38, Vibrance was increased by +29, Saturation by +24, Sharpening +75, Edge Masking +32, Luminance Detail +37, Luminance Smoothing +25, Temperature went up and down ending at  +5,  Tint +5,  Contrast increased by +36.  The image was cropped to remove the ultra-white sky from the far right side to aid in getting a final proper exposure/white clipping.  Then a preset Vignette 2 was added.  Overall I played and maybe overplayed with the image.  Not really knowing what you’re doing takes a lot longer but overall I’m pleased with the end result.  Very little was done using Photoshop other than adding the copyright, setting the web size and uploading.

 

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Havalina Dinner Adventure

Havalina

We have a feed trough made out of the top of an old industrial clothing press at our cabin that is used to feed many of the semi-wild animals that pass through looking for food. We turned the press upside down and anchored it to the ground. This havalina gent is one of a pair of stragglers that visit us often. We also get a larger group of fifteen or so havalina with their young that pass through plus an occasional fox.

We, along with several neighbors feed the havalina so they are not as aggressive as one might think. They know where the kitchen is.

Weekly Photo Challenge

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In the Shadows

In the Shadows
In the Shadows

While sitting in our dining room enjoying dinner at the cabin we spotted a deer crossing the lower forest area along the east side of our land. We enjoy three acres of land so there is ample area for the wildlife to attempt to sneak across unnoticed.

I couldn’t resist and had to jump up from the table and desert our company to go try to capture a picture. I’m not sure why this image is so grainy as I had the camera set to Camera Raw trying to get more vivid images. Anyway, it was dinner hour and it was getting darker to the east so that may have contributed. Regardless, I was able to catch him stopping to look at me anyway.

Photoshop:
I did do some considerable editing in Photoshop for me especially since it was dusk and I shot the picture in Camera Raw manual settings.  I’ve been experimenting with manual settings again to retrain myself away from the easy auto settings the Nikon D60 camera offers.   The exposure was way off and after adjusting it I was very surprised to see the colors come to life.  Also, in Camera Raw, the white balance was changed to shade, blacks increased considerably (maybe too much) and exposure was corrected.   Once in Photoshop, I used auto levels, saturation was upped for green and lowered for blue and exposure was again checked.  This was all mostly because in my haste to grab the camera, not check the settings and scramble out the door before he left the area.  My settings unfortunately were f/5.6 1/125 and ISO 1600.  Not ideal but probably typical for an amateur photography.

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A Cabin Called Iron Works – Turkey Day

At the last moment we decided to spend Thanksgiving at the Cabin and all the fixings for dinner were done in the Two Butt Kitchen.  It took a little more imagination and timing as I only had one oven instead of my three ovens at home.  I know… oh poor me only three ovens.  I do love my kitchen at home but the cabin was a real treat too.  

It did get a little crowded in my little two butt kitchen when we added the third while Gus was carving the turkey but all survived the last minute timing to get the Turkey and trimmings on the table.  Dinner was started at 10:00 am and was served 6 hours later.   My legs were getting tired but my tummy was ready for the feast.  I don’t know if it took longer to cook or to clean up but all was worth it. 

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Turkey and Sweet Potatoes Cooking in the Oven
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The Messy Kitchen

While dinner was cooking we stepped outside for a breather just in time to see three mule deer who had been sleeping in the lower brush wake up and head out for the day. Oh,.. I wish my camera had been in hand instead of the potato peeler.  Then, as the turkey roasted away in the oven we went for a walk with our small legged pets in 50 degree sunny weather.  It was the beginning of a wonderful day. 

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Apple Pecan Bread and Rice Stuffing

Tip for a moist turkey…. make sure to pick out a fresh young turkey. I’ve found that they cook up more moist than most. After stuffing the turkey with my favorite Apple Pecan Rice and Bread Stuffing, I spread a packet of Knorrs chicken Homestyle Stock over the outside of the turkey and then seasoned it with Greek spice, salt, celery salt and pepper. This was a new way of topping off the turkey for me. Another surprise since our cabin is a new experience is that I forgot to bring the turkey pan. So, instead we adapted a flat sheet cake pan and lined it heavily with heavy duty aluminum foil. It worked perfectly except that I’ve never stuffed a turkey into the pan so tight.  I hope you all had as great a Turkey day as us.  We’re off now to take a hand at learning a new card game with our good friends.

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Turkey Breast, Potatoes n Gravy, Apple Pecan Dressing and Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almonds
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Sweet Potatoes, Turkey, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.

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A Cabin Called Iron Works – Industrial Iron Garden

Here at Ironworks, winter is approaching so it is time to finalize the garden before the first early frost.  First, I thought it would be important to give you the recipe and directions for planting an industrial garden.

Ingredients for a Bird / Bat-House:
1 Potty mouth wife
1 Testosterone infused husband
1 Kubota tractor
1 – 15′ tall Bat-House Pole
1 – 3′ deep hole
wedging blocks chopped into bits
Concrete

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Gus’ Garden Tools
garden-tools
Typical Garden Tools

Directions:
As we are moving the pole from the truck to the planting area  Gus is driving the Kubota tractor and I’m guiding the heavy pole towards certain tragedy.  Gus, the Greek, is plowing along like Green Acres with the pole suspended from a lift that he built onto the end of the front bucket.

Cursing under my breath as we go I keep repeating the same phrase. Frack, oh frack. Don’t push me off the fracking wall.  Ffffffffrack. Thank you Battlestar Galactca for giving me a substitute word for the “F” word.

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Top with Bird House Base and Left-over Lift Loop
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Permanently Cemented in Place

Since, everything at ironworks weighs in like an elephant and with my 110 pound skinny assed frame it’s a challenge.  I’m a gutless woman when it comes to anything that gets my blood pumping from fear and adrenalin.  Gus and I planted the start for the birdhouse or aka bat-house depending on who takes it over first.  Its base is about 15 feet high and weighs at least 200 pounds.  The top plate will hold the little bird house once it is built and we plan to hang a couple of bat-houses or feeders off the side pole.  Yes, we do have bats!  With a lot of maneuvering and pole juggling we finally had the bat-house platform in place.  Then the chopped up concrete block bits were wedged about the hole so that it was vertically level.  Praying (me) that it didn’t topside, Gus ran off to mix up the cement and then concrete the pole into place.  To my disbelief it actually set and didn’t fall over.

Ingredients for a Jack-Hammer Flower Bed:
1 Nit-picky wife
1 Stubborn husband
3 vintage miners jack hammers
1 Vampire stake
4 Strategically placed large granite rocks

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Lovely Industrial Miner’s Jack Hammers
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Sunset View After Jack’s
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Sunset View without Jack’s

One would think that this Jack-Hammer flower garden would be delightful and yes I agree it should.  But not where the silly strong-headed Greek placed it. We’ve had several discussion about where he planted them and I think I’m still losing that battle.  I would have preferred that they not be in the sunset view as they are not my favorite pieces. They were staged right in the middle of my sunset view from where I’m having early evening cocktail hour on the patio. Who would have thought the land was so fertile right there for ironworks to be planted in that particular  spot.  So I thought a poll would be helpful in convincing the Greek to move to a more suiting location.  Blooming flipping frackin metal garden. What do ya’ think?

Ingredients for Sunrise Industrial Daisy Wheel:
1 Happy wife
1 Happy husband
1 3′ Industrial Pully
1 Industrial steel base

Directions:
Placement of the sunrise wheel on the raised platform must be precise and it was perfect!  It’s a pulley wheel about 3 feet in diameter and stands about 4 feet high.  It is balanced on a base that was planted into the ground about 2 feet deep.   As we were placing it on it’s platform it got away from us and almost ran me over.  I just dusted the dirt from my jeans, checked my vitals and we started over.  This was a close call, again,  as this particular flower was planted close to the edge of a 4 foot drop off.

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No poll needed here!  I love where the Greek planned for this gigantic flower to flourish.

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A Cabin Called Iron Works – Two Butt Kitchen

Before, during and after building the kitchen for Iron Works.

Building and creating a compact two butt kitchen for the cabin was a challenging experience with multiple mind-boggling puzzles to solve.  The best laid plans can sometimes have minor quirks and ours had several.  More importantly, though, every headache was worth the end result.

One of the most unusual obstacles centered around the stove and placement of the stove. First, image how to get a 36″ stove into the kitchen opening after the granite counters have been put into place when the opening is only 34″.   Two inches too small to just slide the oven or easily carry the oven to its final position.    To make sure that the stove fit into the final opening after the granite had been put down the installation was delayed.  It wasn’t put in place earlier because of  the possibility of scratch and dent if installed to early.  Luckily, after the granite contractors finished installing the granite, they helped Gus lift the stove over the counters and put it into place.   This also involved taking the stove out of it final place multiple times to grind off about 1/8″ of the counter so the stove would fit into place.  To top it off, the stove would not fit far enough to the back of the wall to allow for the dishwasher to open without hitting the oven handles.  With a little ingenuity, Gus cut out the drywall behind the stove so that it would slide back a couple more inches.  Finally, stove was installed and the dishwasher cleared the top oven handle.  The dishwasher still has to rest on the bottom door handle which is a little odd, but does work.

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Karen’s Two Butt Kitchen
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Steel Cabinet Frames in Oil Rubbed Bronze

The framework for the cabinets are not your typical wood type framing.  They are made entirely from steel that was cut and welded by Gus.  This was another fun experience.  Outside measures were taken as well as inside measures.  One cabinet came out lopsided when the outside measure was used on one side and the inside measure on another.  Poor Gus had to cut it back apart and start it over.  Just as most everything built for Iron Works, the cabinet frames where heavy and awkward.  They were built-in sections.  For example the upper cabinet to the right is one piece while the upper cabinet to the left is also one piece.  Very heavy and cumbersome to install.

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Rain Forest Brown Marble and Industrial Serving Bar

The counters are a Rain Forest Brown Marble.  Just above the counter in the foreground in an industrial metal serving bar that runs the entire length of the front counter.  It is held up by only three posts that are anchored to the ground.   The lighting in the kitchen is all from repurposed light shields that are white porcelain inside and forest green cover.  They were found while picking “American Pickers” style in South Dakota over a year before beginning the cabin. The back-splash runs the entire interior of the kitchen and is small 1″ copper squares that came in 12″ square sheets.  This give the kitchen a full richness of browns, bronze and golden colors.

The kitchen sink is one of the most unusual items in the kitchen.  The base is from an repurposed super heavy-duty 1940’s vintage industrial radial drill press factory table that was purchased from Urban Remains Chicago, an antique and architectural  artifacts company based in Chicago.   It was taken apart and repurposed again for our use.

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Sink Base Industrial Radial Drill Press

Plumbing the sink was a nightmare but it all came together.  The sink itself is hammered copper and has only one bowl.  While two bowls would have been better, we were working with a limited opening and depth. At the base, there is a door that opens to a small storage area for dish soap and other essentials.

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Finished Look of the Industrial Sink