Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

A couple of pictures I took of the tree while opening gifts with the family. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Peace and Prosperity in 2013!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pepero Day

From what I read about Korea, there is a snack company there that makes a wafer like edible stick that is dipped in chocolate. It is call Pepero and since the snack is a straight narrow cylinder like food it reminds people of the number one.

So some clever Pepero person came up with 11-11 (November 11th) is Pepero day and Koreans go out and buy this snack.  See image of it here: http://twitter.com/SweetAndTastyTV/status/267719894479552513/photo/1

I was at Wal-Mart on 11-11-2012 and could not find this snack but I did find one called Pocky in the Asian food section.  See image.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chili with Beans and Ground Beef

Now that autumn is here, it is time to start cooking chili, stews, and soups. Today was ground beef and bean chili that is pretty simple to make. It especially helps if you used canned ingredients to move the preparation time along.
I start with these ingredients, the rest of the garden grown tomatoes, Kroger hot chili beans in two cans, a medium sized onion, 8 oz can of tomato sauce low sodium, chili powder, basil, 3 garlic cloves, and 96% lean ground beef from Wal-Mart. Brown the beef by breaking into to small pieces in skillet at medium-high heat and mix in diced onions and garlic. In a pot, combine beans, tomato sauce, can of water, chili powder, and basil. After beef is finished (all pink and red color is gone), dump the skillets contents into the pot and heat on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook covered for about 60 minutes. Pot chili ready to eat. Yum!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chicken and Wine Sauce

One of my favorite dishes to cook is simply called Baked Chicken in Wine Sauce. You start with the above ingredients plus Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and finish with the dish below. It is a dish my mother taught me to cook and I tend to cook it at least once every one-two months. I serve it a variety of ways one with rice or mixed with rice turning it sort of into a casserole. Growing up my mother served it with mashed potatoes. Vegetables that can complement this main dish are broccoli, corn, garden salad, asparagus, or spinach. One day I will try to post the recipe.
Over the years I have changed a few things, instead of cooking wine that can have a lot of salt, I use low cost dry white wine (1.5 L bottle). Also I use lemon juice instead of lemon slices when baking at times. Skim milk instead of whole milk for a lighter sauce and also in making mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cube Steak with Vegetable Stir Fry Rice

Here is a dish I cooked up which consists of grilled cube steak, vegetable stir fry rice, and cherry tomatoes. The vegetable stir fry rice contains: broccoli, carrots, spinach, yellow squash, and garlic. They were cooked in a vegetable oil and the sauce used was Kikkoman Preservative Free Stir-Fry Sauce with Reduced Sodium. It took about 30 minutes to prepare this meal.

All I can say is... it was YUMMY!

I will post the recipe in a future blog entry.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Cereus Night Blooming Cactus

The Cereus peruvianus cactus bloomed on August 17, 2012. These pictures were taken about 11 PM EST and the flower probably fully opened up around 2 AM. It then closes by the time the sun is up. I assume the plant does this to conserve water being a desert plant.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Brussels Sprouts, Squash, and Tomato Stir Fry

Today I made a variation of recipe I found at a web site called yingsasiancooking.wordpress.com. That dish is called Brussels sprouts with Cherry Tomatoes posted on June 14, 2012. I added a few more ingredients to my version.
My father brought me the last of the cherry, grape, and Roma tomatoes from their garden. In addition, I had some Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator that needed cooking. So after a short Internet search I found an appropriate recipe to incorporate these two vegetables.

What we will need are Brussels sprouts, in this case about 8 ounces, 4-8 cherry & grape tomatoes (fresh from the garden, ummm!), a medium sized yellow squash,  garlic, a teaspoon of pepper, oil to cover the bottom of your pan/wok, and stir-fry cooking sauce. The website calls for Ying’s Korean BBQ Marinade which can be obtained from the web site. Chef Ying has a wide variety of sauces on her web site and they all look very delicious, I encourage you to try them out.

First order of business is to prepare the vegetables and heat the stove. Mince the garlic. Once completed, you will get your skillet/wok heated to medium heat with the oil in it. Place the garlic in the cooking pan.

Cut the ends off the Brussels sprouts along with any bad places on them. Cut the tomatoes and Brussels sprouts in halves. Slice the yellow squash and then quarter the slices.

Stir the garlic in the pan until its smell permeates the air. Blend in the cut Brussels sprouts and stir fry for several minutes. Add stir fry sauce and squash to the pan. Stir vigorously for several minutes. Add tomatoes and continue stirring for under a minute and move contents of pan to a plate or bowl.

Ta da a lovely vegetable dish with your main entree  In my case, a grilled steak with rice and a glass of water. It was enjoyed!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Harvest Moon

Here is a picture I took of the harvest moon. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you and if you are in Korea happy Chuseok.

The telescope is in storage so I had to use a 55mm lens on the DSLR which is not the best for astrophotography.

Hopefully next year by this time, I will have had a good crop of watermelons.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dark Purple Grapes

Grapes are in season at the local grocery stores. After seeing a story on KBS World News (Dish TV channel 9394) about the health benefits of eating purple vegetables and fruits, I decided to buy these grapes at Kroger's.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Last Peach

The last peach left on the tree. I am contemplating letting the squirrels have it...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tomato Harvest

It has been a good season for tomatoes at my mother's garden. A variety spherical, Roma, grape and cherry tomatoes are still being harvested.

My young nephew and I picked these tomatoes during the weekend. He has tendency to pick green ones though.

I have been putting the tomatoes on salads, sandwiches, diced into chili and eating them with cottage cheese.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last of the 2012 Peaches

Peaches from the third peach tree. For some reason, its peaches ripened 2 months after the other two trees (June 2012). I originally was going to let the squirrels have these peaches but they do not seem too interested  right now. So I picked these two and trimmed off the bad parts and found the pieces shown above. They were pretty good. Hopefully, a good peach crop will happen next year as well...

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Lightning from July 27, 2012 Storm

 I did not use a tripod when taking these pictures can you can see some blur in the images.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Lightning Storm July 2012

 These long exposure images of the storm that occurred in Louisville Kentucky around 9 PM EST. We got some much needed rain.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Peach Pie

The peaches I picked (shown in an earlier blog post) have now been turned into a pie. This simple recipe yields a tasty dessert. Ingredients include cut peaches, peach flavored jello, sugar, corn starch, and a pre-made pie crust.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peach Harvest June 2012

I am pretty happy with the harvest this year. For trees that do not have any herbicides, fertilizer, or pesticides the fruit looks pretty good. My estimate is that this is about 30% of the fruit on the trees. Another 10% or so is being eaten by animals or is diseased.