This little knobby kneed fawn just stood their looking at me as I took a number of pictures of him. This is by far one of my favorites of all those taken. It looked like he had just started walking and wasn’t quite sure footed yet. The little knees were twisted inward and he had his little tongue hanging out like he was say na..na.. just try and get me.

Here are the before and after images. By using Photoshop the fawn color was brightened and the grass was also modified so that there was more depth to both. Before I got so involved with cooking and KCinAZ Cooks blogging my passion was photography. I still love photography but find that lugging around a larger camera can be a little difficult. Getting involved with the 30 day challenge from NaBloPoMo has inspired me to take up the photography again. You can probably take a Photoshop course at your local community college just like I did. It’s amazing how much you can learn.  This picture was taken with my first digital SLR camera a Minolta.  I know work with a Nikon D60 but would like to take that one to another level too. Day 2 NaBloPoMo Challenge.

Original Image of the little fawn
Original Image of the little fawn taken with a Minolta Digital Camera. This was my first digital SLR camera.
Knobby Kneed Fawn enhanced Image
Knobby Kneed Fawn enhanced Image
NaBloPoMo November 2013
NaBloPoMo November 2013

This image was one of my first attempts at creating what is called a compilation using Photoshop. It’s done by combining multiple images with layers and masking.  It took many hours and is of at least 5 separate photos taken during the early fall season as we drove along an Idaho highway or while visiting with friends in the Idaho Panhandle.

The sky is an image that probably did not occur in Idaho but I liked the heavy clouds and deep blue sky.  I think it’s probably from the Caribbean. When altering the sky, it was important to keep in mind that there would be shadowing based on the cloud coverage that had to be added to the landscape. This was done by using a method called burning.

The hay field was another image that was adjusted in size to fit the compilation.  I was amazed as we drove along the highway from northern Idaho to west central Idaho that all of the hay fields showed distinct patterns of where they had cut the hay.  The evening sun made the hay glitter in a shimmering golden color. The hay field in the base image was so dull and boring that it had to go. It was replaced with the another hay field that had the effect I wanted to show.

The two little fawns in the foreground were from different shots that were taken right in the front yard of a friends home just north of Coure d’ Alene, Idaho.  They have a cabin (home) that is in a golf community where the deer roam free and are so tame that I was able to get within 15 feet of the little critters.  Momma deer was not too far away but didn’t seem concerned.

The smaller barn to the upper right came from a different image and was added just for fun and to give some additional movement to the final picture.


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The primary image that made up the base was a dull field of hay, a bland skyline but the white farm house and the bigger red barn were what was wanted to build upon.  The big red barn was not nearly as colorful as shown in the compilation and the hay field was too boring and didn’t show what I had seen along the highway at sunset.  The barn was colorized to make it more vibrant.  The barn color was enhanced with a deeper red, the window frames were redrawn to make them more distinct and the window frames colors were changed, too.  The field was changed out with a new shape of field that had more color scale and brightness of pre-sunset.

Along the front fenced field in the final image where the deer are eating, extra vegetation was added and the foreground grass was enhanced by using the burn tool in Photoshop.

Many years ago, I dabbled in art; drawing and painting, but now use Photoshop to satisfy that old craving.  The advantage to Photo-Art is that you can correct your errors several times over.  Well it does take some training and learned skill but I still find it easier than painting with a brush.

Here are the images that were used to create the compilation.  The first is the primary image and the others were layered in. The primary image was masked in certain areas to allow the other layers to show through. Take a Photoshop class at your local community college to learn how to manipulate your pictures. It’s a lot of fun.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA  MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERANaBloPoMo November 2013

Okay, here is a challenge that I’m not quite sure that I’m up to but am willing, able and ready to give it a try. Normally, I post out my own recipes to this cooking blog but that doesn’t mean that I can invent or dream up one each day for 30 days. Whew! It would be a cooking frenzy in my kitchen and then nothing else would get done. There would be food and pans everywhere. Laundry would pile up. I’m self employed so none of my general work at home would crank out and I would get fat in the process. You know.. stuffed, whopper up-size, blimp, jumbo and I don’t mean shrimp. Don’t need to go there thank you very much!

So, to meet this goal there will be posts of delicious looking recipes from some of my favorite contributing cooks at BigOven or recipes from the cooking websites that I often visit. I still like Martha Stewart! These will be a variety of dishes that I would like to make in the future and even some that I’ve already made. There are many fine cooks and foodie bloggers out there, so look forward to seeing some fun food ideas.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Another of my hobbies is photography, so over the next 30 days, you will be seeing some of the images that have been taken during my travels in the Caribbean, Europe and yes, even the good old USA. Here is one of my favorite pictures taken in Central Park during the winter months a few years ago while visiting New York with my husband and my good friend Linda. We trudged through sloshy weather during the two weeks there but I loved it all the same. Most of my pictures that trip where in Central park and one of my favs was the one of the carriage ride. The Carriage Ride in Central Park image was modified using Photoshop which was fun in the doing. I completely removed a pedestrian from the bridge that was behind the carriage and replenished the branches where he was standing. I love working with Photoshop.

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Mr. C is 100% Greek and is always wanting something a little on the Greek side, but not overly Greek’ish. I would never be able to get him to eat something like Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) or Moussaka (similar to a lasagna). He’s talked about sitting around the table at his aunt’s house…. and she would dish his plate up heaping full of his least favorite Greek food and say; “Eat!!..eat!!, you’re too skinny!!” Yet, when it comes to a dish like these Greek style roast potato he’s dishing them up himself plenty.

This is a potato side that is easy to make and flavorful. Use as much or as little seasoning as you desire. Spice and seasoning measures are approximate as most come from sprinkle containers.

Ingredients

5 pounds Red potatoes; quartered
1/2 teaspoon Cavendar’s Greek Spice
1/8 cup Canola Oil; Use Spray Can
4 sprigs Fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt; sprinkled to taste
1 tablespoon Parsley
1/4 teaspoon Pepper; sprinkled to taste
3/4 cup butter melted

Preparation

Add water to 5-quart pan about 1/2 full.  Add salt to water and set on stove at high to begin warming water. This will shorten your cook time.

Rinse potatoes under running water then quarter. Add potatoes to water on stove as you gather a few potatoes on the cutting board. Make sure water covers potatoes when they have all been added to the water. Bring to boil and then turn down to medium heat and simmer/slow boil around 10-15 minutes depending on your elevation. Some areas take longer to cook potatoes than others. Par-boil until just slightly tender. Remove from stove and drain.

Layer skin side down on large low sided roasting pan or heavy cookie sheet (see picture for example). Spray potato tops evenly with canola oil or olive oil. Sprinkle generously with Cavendar’s Greek spice, salt and pepper. Remove fresh rosemary from stem and then chop into smaller bits. Sprinkle over potatoes. Sprinkle dried parsley over potatoes for light covering. Seasoning measures are approximate and all are sprinkled on from the containers.

Cook in 425 degree oven for around 10 – 15 minutes or until potatoes begin to brown slightly and are fork tender. Remove from oven and place in serving dish. Drizzle with melted butter and serve immediately.

Cooking at our house is often food of a Greek nature but closer to the typical foods at the everyday American table but from a Greek influence.

This is an easy to prepare recipe with lots of chicken and cheese filling.  It’s a not too hot Mexican dish which suits my palette perfectly.  It may appear to be similar to others that you may have seen except that it uses real Hatch Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles and Macayo’s Green Chili Enchilada Sauce instead of the creamy chicken soup.  This would be more of an authentic or traditional Mexican dish.

Cook the Chicken:
16   ounce Chicken broth, add water if necessary to cover
4    boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup Fajita Spice; I’ll provide a recipe sometime in the future for the Fajita Spice
8 ounces Green chili; Hatch Fire-Roasted Mild Canned

Preparing the Burrito:
16 ounce Enchilada sauce; Macayo’s Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
4   cups shredded cheese; Three Cheese Mexican Blend
1 tablespoon Fajita Spice; Sprinkle to taste
8 Flour tortillas; burrito size

Garnish the Dish:
1/2 cup Tomatoes; chopped
1/4 cup Lettuce; iceberg sliced thin
1 cup Sour cream

Preparation

In saucepan cook chicken in chicken broth, 4 ounces green chilies and Fajita Spice until chicken is fully cooked and tender.   Use a small strainer as it cooks to remove clouding from the broth.  Start at medium high heat until the water comes to a slow boil then turn down and cook on low until meat is fully cooked and tender.  Add additional water as necessary so that chicken remains covered with liquid.  After meat is fully cooked, remove from broth and allow to cool in refrigerator.  After the chicken had cooled, shred the it by pulling apart along the grain with your hands, or, you can use two forks to shed it.

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Sprinkle additional Fajita Spice over chicken adding as much as you like to get the right heat mix for you.  Add 2 more ounces of the canned diced green chilies reserving the balance for garnish.   Mix the chicken, spice and green chilies together until blended.

How to Fill a Burrito:

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Take one burrito and using a ladle, spread approximately 1-2 tablespoons of green chili enchilada sauce evenly over the burrito out to the edges like you would add sauce to a pizza.

Add approximately 1/4 cup of chicken to the center of the burrito making it as full as you  like.  You can always use less burritos and fill them with more filling.  Or less filling and more burritos if you prefer.

Add shredded cheese over the chicken until there is a light layer of cheese across the chicken.  Roll the chicken filled burrito starting at one end.  Fold over the first half of the burrito and then fold in both sides like an envelope.  Then continue to roll the burrito until it forms a circle.  You’ll notice from the illustrations that I didn’t fold both side enough.  Make sure they are turned in so the filling doesn’t fall out.

Place in 9×13 non-stick baking pan with fold end down.  Continue with each burrito using the same steps above in How to Fill a Burrito until the pan is full.  I can usually get 6-8 burritos in the pan using up all the filling.  This all depends on how much filling you place in each burrito and the number of people who are dining with you.

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Spoon remaining green chili sauce and green chilies over the burrito tops, but do not add the cheese on the top yet.  Bake in 375 oven for 20 minutes.  Add shredded cheese and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is fully heated inside and cheese is melted, but NOT burned..

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