Thursday, July 31, 2014

{Photography} Thoughtful Thursday

Another shot from my photography class.
We were charged with taking a photographer that inspired us and creating a similar (in style) photo.
My inspiration was Jackie Jean Photography and I used one of her black and white actions for this photo.  I also added some drama to the sky in Photoshop.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

{Recipe}Shirataki Noodle Taste Test & Peanut Noodles

My daughter and I did a little taste test of two kinds of shirataki noodles.  I tried them years ago and thought they were AWFUL but after reading Hungry Girl's comments about them, I thought I'd give them another try (and prepare them with her suggestions).
We compared the House brand tofu shirataki fettuccine style noodles and the NOoodle brand angel hair style.
The NOoodle brand's packaging says it has no calories but obviously it must have some. They are 97% water/3% Glucomannan flour which is derived from the Asian Konjac plant.  The House tofu shirataki brand has 10 calories a serving/2 servings per package.  It contains water, tofu and yam flour. 
The packages are small and are easily one serving each.  We followed HG's advice to thoroughly rinse the noodles and blot the excess moisture, cut the noodles to desired length and then heat them up in the microwave for a few minutes, again blotting any excess moisture.

We topped the noodles with a yummy peanut noodle sauce (recipe to follow).
(This is one half package of each on my plate)
Our "winner" was the House brand tofu shirataki brand though we liked them both. The fettuccine noodles had a more pasta-like consistency.   They also have a little bit of protein.
 The following peanut sauce is a super quick sauce for pasta, rice noodles,  and/or veggies.  
Peanut Noodle Sauce:Vegan, Gluten Free & Dairy Free
I adapted this recipe from The Vegan Stoner.
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Water
2 tsp Soy Sauce (I use Bragg Liquid Aminos)
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
1 tsp Grated Ginger
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper 
Heat the sesame oil in a skillet, add onion and saute for about 5-10 minutes. Add peanut butter, water, ginger, soy sauce and cayenne pepper.  
Stir to combine all of the ingredients and continue to cook until hot and bubbly.
This makes enough sauce for 2-3 servings.  
I could eat it with this spoon.
It's also delicious served over sauteed zucchini 'noodles'.
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Monday, July 28, 2014

{Fun} Beatlemania Now

Happy Monday!
I'm posting late today but better late than never!
A few weeks ago we went to Atlantic City to the "Beatlemania Now" show.
It happened to fall during Mr Click's birthday weekend and he's a big fan.
 So is she.
 I went along for the experience and ended up loving it!
Selfie attempt!
 We were there pretty early and were able to sit wherever we wanted to in our section--

then we decided to move up to the front row.
"Paul" sat down on the stage sang from this mike right in front of us.
I enjoyed a small cocktail.  ;-)
Somebody put her feet up before the show started.

The show was a lot of fun and we weren't supposed to take any pictures so I snuck these few during the last song. 
I'm such a rebel!
 After the show the band posed for photos and this girl was on Cloud 9.
Such a fun night!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

{Photography} Scenes from the 4th

My photography class is winding down for now. 
  One of our assignments was to shoot photojournalist style
 I used the 4th of July parade to do this.

 I posted a few of the photos here but now I'm sharing the rest.
 I also batch edited the set of photos to give them a more unified look.

 I think I did ok with the editing but I still need to work on my skin tones.
 Practice, practice, practice!
I even captured a few falling raindrops here.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{The Abode} Deck Refresh

I've shared our deck quite a few times on the blog starting with this post and revealing our new cushion covers in this post plus lots of outdoor entertaining posts featuring the deck through the years (like this one when we refinished it).
 The cushion covers are still looking good (almost 4 years later!) but the brick red umbrella had seen better days.
 I picked up a new, larger umbrella in khaki.  When it's up, it keeps the family room cooler by shading it from the sun=added bonus.
The umbrella goes up with the push of a button which is nice for shorties like me.
 We also added an outdoor mat. It looks like a rug but it's super lightweight and can be folded up easily to take to the beach or park as a picnic blanket (and hosed off to clean it!).
 It keeps the deck cool and is cushy underfoot.  It also defines the space and gives it the feel of an outdoor room.
 The coolest thing about our new umbrella has got to be the solar lights inside.
We had them in our last umbrella and I knew I'd miss them.   They add such a pretty glow at night.  The technology is even better now and the lights are brighter and whiter than in our last umbrella.
These two little changes have made a big impact.
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Friday, July 18, 2014

{Family} Two Perfect Weekends...Part 2

Our summer weekends have been so nice, dare I say perfect? And by perfect, I mean perfect to me...beautiful weather,  family togetherness, some fun/different activities with great food thrown in for good measure.
This was 4th of July weekend and the girls and I started it out with the movie "Tammy".  We loved it--not quite as laugh out loud as "The Heat" but still very funny with a lot of heart.
The next day was the 4th and we went to our local small town parade.
{College Girl's patriotic manicure}
We got to hang out with this wonderful family.
Gotta have way too many some classic cars in the parade (I love the reflection!)

 This little guy is partial to these two.
It started raining near the end of the parade but we didn't let that get us down.
Later that day (it cleared up) and we were able to barbecue. 
Veggie dogs!
A blurry photo of my dinner: veggie hot dogs, baked beans, sauteed spinach, fresh pineapple.
 I made homemade baked beans in the crock pot (almost didn't because I forgot to plug it in before we left for the parade, thank goodness for the high setting!)  
I can't cook before I've had my coffee, lesson learned!
We went to the fair that night.
BINGO selfie.
My not very lucky BINGO cards.
Speaking of rides, the next day we went to Hershey Park.  The girls hopped right on Sky Rush as soon as we got to the park.  Another gorgeous day!
Conquered it!
I love rides and roller coasters but they don't love me back.  These days I have to go on the tamer rides like The Kissing Tower that goes all the way up and gives you a 360 degree view of the park.   My family humors me and goes on these mild rides with me.
You do get some great views.
Hershey has a lot of coasters and they all seem to be built right next to and around each other.
We had a nice lunch in the park. I did my research and knew they had both Subway and Chickies N' Pete's in the Boardwalk area. That is the perfect combo for us! The girls and I got veggie subs while the hubs picked up crab fries to share and a chicken cheese steak. 

After lunch there were more rides, my kid are in the fourth row back. This thing took off like a rocket!
I captured College Girl taking a photo of the ferris wheel (while the other two were on it).

No trip to Hershey is complete without a visit to Chocolate World.  We love taking the (free) ride through the "chocolate factory"with the singing cows. Trust me, you can't miss it. It ends on a sweet note with a free sample of Hershey's chocolate (this time it was dark chocolate covered pomegranate!).
The store is full of Hershey merchandise as well as every kind and variation of Hershey candies and food.  It's amazing!!  There's a cafe and a dessert/ice cream shop too, as well as other interactive chocolate themed activities.
We were getting tired and ready to head home by this point.
We stopped at  The Cheesecake Factory for dinner as we got closer to home which is always good. None of us got an cheesecake though, I guess we were sugared out!

Our last trip to Hershey (we hadn't been there in four years!)

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