The Rush of Humanity:

 

We are like ants streaming forth from the proverbial piles
searching for the known, unknown, youth and droll.
We take to the streets and beaches reaching for miles
following patterns in an ant-like rush to reach our goal.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge – Humanity

Now seemed to be the perfect time to share this group of pictures taken of a young couple walking along the beach boardwalk in the port city of Chania on the Island of Crete in Greece. It was just like they were dancing a waltz as I watched him twirl her to put his arm around her shoulder. What a joy to see Summer Lovin’ represented with this two young people.

Lightroom & Photoshop remarks for Stacy’s ABFriday settings on Visual Venturing:
Nikon D60 with Nikor DX 18-55mm lens 3.5-5.6
Original 3872×2592 cropped to 3335×2488 then down to 1500×1150(approx.)
In Lightroom shadow saturation increased, black clipping increased 7, vibrance +10, white clipping 0 to -5, exposure from -1.07 to -1.19, clarity increased 5-10, temperature +10.  Similar changes were made to each of  images.  I’m not sure how much change will be visible in the comparison of the two images.
In Photoshop cropped to new size, completed unsharp mask, upped the color balance midtones blue +7.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Finally between vacations and just uploaded a boat load of pictures to my PC. This is not one of them though. This bridge spanned a small stream below somewhere on Kauai. The people on the bridge lingered so long that they were between me and my effort to get across the bridge to see what was on the other side.

Between the Bridge
Between the Bridge

Enjoying another extra vacation here at the beautiful beaches of Aruba. Went off for a Sunset Sail on the Pelican catamaran which was much more than expected. The first extra, the captain and mates accompanied the music with bar equipment for drums and the other ladies on board went extra out of their way to attempt to teach me and Britt how to do the slide. Sorry, nothing helped. After we enjoyed a splendid dinner at the Pelican Restaurant overlooking the ocean. Great Food.

None of these pictures have had any editing.

We watched this little bundle of fur while in Cabo San Lucas Mexico a few years back.  I think he is a lion cub but if someone notices differently, please feel free to correct me.   If remembered right, he had a small injury on his nose that was healing and that is why he was in the refuge.  He may have been abandoned by his pride. It was delightful to watch him eat and the look on the lady’s face was priceless. Please do not use the pictures with the couple for any commercial purposes as there is no model release.  Please contact me for any other use.

I can’t quit talking about New Orleans and I hope you’re not getting bored. Sorry, it is one of my newbie favorite places and I just can’t get enough of sharing it.  In Jackson Square there was so much to be seen and heard. Music was at every corner. Carriage rides were lined up for anyone and everyone to choose, though we did feel a little sorry for the poor burden horses that looked a little less pleased to be there.   Along, the first stretch of Jackson Square were the local artist selling their wares.  Then at the end of the first stretch of the square were all the street musicians. We found two that completely intrigued us. Excitement was abound when we came along a trumpet player who was my favorite. He was accompanied by a guitar (sitar?) player but the star was the big man himself. Regardless, there is something for everyone in New Orleans. Gotta go there. Gotta go back!

Trumpet Player at Jackson Square
Trumpet Player at Jackson Square

We are heading for the Caribbean in about a week so look forward to a change up the beaches, waves and the British Virgin Islands. This is one of my oldie favorite places to be.

Last week Gus and I went to the Arizona BBQ Festival and enjoyed some great tastings.  There were BBQ tents and portable kitchens set up throughout the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.  One of the best features of the event were the chef demos held throughout the day.  I attended two demos; the first being Chef Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails.  Each chef was to demonstrate how to make some type of “road kill”.  Chef Stephen chose an appetizer of  Frog Legs and it was delicious.  Since meeting him and a short conversation, I decided to also check out the restaurants website and Facebook page.  This restaurant looks like well worth a visit.

 

Frog Legs Appetizer:

I don’t actually have the recipe for the Frog Legs Appetizer but it begins with a 3-1 pickling sauce with these following ingredients.  There is probably more to the pickling sauce but this is all I could get down before we moved on to the next step.

Pickling Sauce:
1 part Red wine vinegar
3 parts Water
Coriander
Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegetable Bed for the Legs:
Take 1/2 of a butter lettuce leaves, cleaned and then quartered.   Drop them into the warming pickling sauce and allow to braise.  Thinly slice 1/4 red onion and add to pickling sauce.  Let braise for around 10 minutes.

Chef Stephen talked about how to skin and prepare the frog legs for cooking.  It is the back legs only.  I’m not sure if I could do it but buying fresh has to be a tastier dish than if you bought frozen.   There is not a lot of meat on the legs so plan on quite a few for even this appetizer.  Pre-smoke for 5 minutes the full piece legs with a probably the pecan wood since it’s also used for the almonds.    Let the meat cool then cut the meat into small bite size pieces.  Toss the bits in Wonderflour and drop them into hot clarified butter.  The chef recommended this over regular flour as it is not as heavy.   Cook legs in clarified butter instead of whole butter.  This browns at slower pace and not burn.

Frog Legs Appetiser with Pickling Sauce
Frog Legs Appetizer with Salad Bed in Pickling Sauce

To plate, remove the greens from the pickling sauce and arrange on the plate.   Drain the meat bits of excess butter and place on the plate.  Garnish with sliced radishes and pecan smoked almonds.   Chef added a few drops of a balsamic vinaigrette glaze to the plate for an added touch.

Chef Stephen has a charming and charismatic persona to match his talent for cooking.  Even at his young age he has a substantial background in culinary expertise.  His ideas for cooking are new and refreshing.  Some even very fattening!  Once of his specialties at the restaurant is his signature Tater Tots which are made from scratch. They begin with shredded potatoes and bacon.  I don’t recall the balance of the ingredients so you’ll just have to visit to get a better idea and a personal tasting.  Anyway, he said that he mixes up the tots, places them in a large (probably very large) decorating tube and squeezes the mixture out on the sparkling clean prep table in the form of a long tube.   Then they are cut into around 1 inch pieces rolled in probably Wonderflour.  They are then placed in the freezer until ready to fry.  Letting them rest in the freezer will also allow them to set up for frying.

Chef Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails
Chef Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails
Chefs Famous Tator Tots
Chefs Famous Tater Tots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A little more about the festival.  The Arizona BBQ Festival is the largest Honky Tonk in the state of Arizona! There’s live bands, hilarious “redneck themed” games, more beer and booze than you can handle, and (literally) tons of smoked meat like brisket, chicken, pulled pork, ribs, and all the fixin’s.”

The day we attended there were over 20 pit-masters in attendance cooking right on the spot.  They were serving up a variety of “brisket, ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken, shanks of all kinds, and all the sides like grilled corn, baked beans, cornbread, and more”.  We had several favorites; one was a Smokey Mac and Cheese that we tasted from the Memphis Best BBQ (I think) and the best smoked meat and longest line was at Montana BBQ hidden away at the back of the field.