Put a little, or a lot, of spice in your life

Cooking is like swimming. Everyone should know how to do it.

Whether you’re a beginner or consider yourself to be an excellent cook, there is always more to learn. Cooking classes are for everyone from kids to seniors, couples, groups, extroverts and they are particularly good for introverts.

I love taking cooking classes. Chef Tech’s cooking classes  in Long Beach CA, range from Kides cupcake baking parties to their intensive Culinary Arts Program. They also offer everything from Pro Baking to sushi making and a variety of special occasion, seasonal and cultural meals. The classes are fun, relaxed and yet intense in a laid-back sort of way. More importantly I learned more precise cooking methods, and convinced my non-detail oriented side, that in cooking, details are the key to excellent results. Students ranged from a 16-year-old chef-in-training to a 70-year-old gentlemen with a keen eye for culinary perfection, a newly married couple, beginning and skilled foodies of all flavors. They even have kids classes and summer camps!

 

Chef Teri’s energy and humor makes for an upbeat, social learning experience.

Chef Tech cooking school in Long Beach CA is a great place to take your first cooking class or to embrace a more in-depth culinary experience with their Pro classes for baking and their advanced series of culinary skills. I’ve enjoyed many cooking classes. My first cooking class was with Richard Ruben in his Manhattan, NY cooking.  The recipes were based on his Farmer’s Market Cookbook. The class began at Manhattan’s Union Square open-air Greenmarket. What I loved was his ease in getting his group of students immediately involved in choosing produce. He simply said, “if you see any vegetables or herbs that you aren’t familiar with, let me know. Chef Ruben bought whatever anyone pointed out and made up recipes on the fly at his Tribecca flat. My take awy, butternut squash soup I’ve cooked many dozens of times in dozens of ways and never been disappointed.

Fast forward to Abby’s Table, Portland Oregon’s darling of healthy, vegan, gluten free, social cooking classes and catering. Abby Fammartino’s healthy culinary classes have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with a classy group meal following high-lighting the delicious healthy recipes we learned to cook that day.

The Farmer’s Market Cookbook

by Chef Richard Ruben

Abby’s Table Essential Sauces + Sides: Naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free recipes to please every palate

By Chef Abby Fammartino

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Jurassic Park?

20141115_3067-jurassic-park-balboa-park20141115_3070_jurassic_park20141115_3072_jurassic_parkNot quite, but close!

Balboa Park, in San Diego California, not only has museums of art and photography, but they also have historic gardens with ancient and strange plants from many types of habitats from desert to tropical.

When you walk through this particular secluded forest, it looks and feels like you’ve been transported back to a Jurassic-like era.

http://www.dictionary.comdenoting, or formed in the second period of the Mesozoic era, between the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, lasting for 55 million years during which dinosaurs and ammonites flourished. noun. 2. the Jurassic, the Jurassic period or rock system. C19: from French jurassique, after the Jura (Mountains)

Falconry

falconry is not a lost hobby

Adam’s Falconry Service is a dynamic and complex service helping to control an over abundance of invasive species, such as rodents, in sensitive areas. Adam is not only a very likeable guy, his knowledge and experience is based on many decades of working professionally with falcons and other raptors. He’s fully licensed and his birds are obviously very well taken care of. Beautiful raptors worth seeing up close.

Just one of the many things to check out in San Juan Capistrano. He has scheduled public access for people to visit, become more educated, and even a chance to handle the birds.

Vintage Autos Bodie CA

I set out for Yosemite with my new Nikon D750. On the way I stopped in Bodie a historic ghost town: A must see historic site of an old gold mining town. If you’re planning to go, be sure to take the back-road. The turn-off is at Mono Lake. It’s a little rugged, dusty and desolate, but worth it. It’s best if you have an SUV, but in a pinch a rental car works just fine.
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I used Photomatix Pro for the treatment of these photos.

When I want to have some fun and don’t want to fidget with a lot of settings, overlays and tweaks, Photomatix is definitely a great option. It’s best known for it’s HDR processes, but it has many pre-made and fully adjustable presets. You can also make and save your own presets for uniformity of image groups.

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Oregon Coast

 

 

 

Cliffs at the Oregon coast

Cliffs at the Oregon coast

While it may be cold, windy and stormy much of the time at the Oregon coast, you can’t beat the scenery for spectacular views, wildlife and nature scenes.

Save

save our farms

Africa 2013

New England Farm 2014

Our small farms are struggling.

I find myself automatically saying, “our” farms whenever I’m speaking or writing about the small farms in the USA, as if we all owned them. Why do we feel that they are our farms? And if we feel so much ownership in them, why don’t we get our hands dirty investing in and protecting them?

“Our” farms are in crisis.

Our farms have been in crises since the begging of the new world population on this continent.

At the library

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Update 1 year and 1 month later: I took these pics last year with my, then, new camera, a Nikon D53 with a 350 zoom. I have to say I am very impressed with these pics even a year later. They were the first pics I took.  I added and edited the soft, glowy effects in camera. I had never done this before and frankly, had no interest, but I am fan now!

Not an actual library, but a quaint if not a bit dowdy, coffee shop in Long Beach. I love everything about this coffee shop…except the coffee and the food. It’s a nice sized place with many seating areas scattered with antique/retro furnishings, outdoor seating and even book shelves with used books for borrowing or leaving.

quaint seating 1

New England Medley

A little of this…a little of that: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont

Seasonal travel in search or autumnal colors is a great way to explore new territories.

Upper left: view from a graveyard looking across a glassy river.
Flower: The 3rd week in September in NE should have been chilly, but it was 80 degrees all week and rained the day we returned to sunny California.
Tombstone: An old graveyard with a lone tombstone, tipped from the tree roots,  peers from under an overgrown tree.
An historic late home from the late 1700’s, in Taftsville, across the road from the covered bridge and a stones throw from the corner merchant store. Incredibly quaint neighborhood. I should have spent 3 hours just shooting there.

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..and some more…

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