Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scientific Procrastination

I should really be working on my novel in my spare time, but Zooniverse has sucked me in again. I used to be obsessed with classifying galaxies on galaxyzoo and now I am all about Snapshot Serengeti, wherein the collective power of human brains is captured to produce scientific research. You look through automatic camera captures of animals in a preserve in Africa and help identify what they are and what they are doing so the researchers have a better idea of how the animals behave without humans around affecting the outcome.
Many of the photos are just blurry or leaves or things but when you find a golden shot like this
it's all worthwhile. No one has seen these pics. You are discovering them for the scientists, just like the galaxies on galaxy zoo and all the other sites they have.
Once you get started you'll be hooked. You won't want to stop classifying the animals. Not when there are things that will make you giggle and brighten your day like this surprised gazelle.

If you want to safari with me my handle is lindarinya, as ever, your female bard.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Meri's Low Carb Chicken Fingers

So my chicken finger recipe is getting solid raves from my Low carb group friends. I want to share it and my tips for the best roast cauliflower. Seriously, Josh hardly ever finishes his veggies and he ate of all them.

Chicken Fingers Recipe
1 Large chicken breast per person, this recipe is enough for 3 hungry adults, adjust accordingly, so we went with it.
1 c almond meal (Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fresh and Easy, etc.)
1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne powder (less of the last if you don't like hot.
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot
Cut the chicken into 1 inch wide strips. Set the oven to 350.
Mix the egg and Frank's together. Mix the spices in with the almond meal.
Dip the chicken strips in the egg/Frank's mixture then coat in your "breading".
Arrange on cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping them once in the middle until both sides are a nice golden brown.
You won't miss the breadcrumbs. I promise.

Meri's Roast Cauliflower
1 Head cauliflower
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
4-5 tbsp. Shredded Asiago or parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
Set the oven to 400, toss your cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper, then lay on a cookie sheet.
Cook for 20-25 minutes in the oven, until cauliflower is browned and carmelized on the edges.
Take it out and toss with lemon juice, and your cheese, serve hot. See if any lasts more than 5 minutes!

Content Dump!

Sorry for the delay in new posts. I have been so busy the past two weeks. The reasons are included in this post, along with some interesting tidbits.

I have been spending my last few Sunday mornings getting my ass kicked at Aerial Silks class, thanks to a groupon. This place is amazing. Lisa and Kaitlyn are sweet and nice and help my big giant body do things I never thought possible. I mean check me out compared to a few months ago! Aerial is amazing. I hurt after in places I didn't know existed. If you want a new kind of fitness that will challenge you while making you feel feminine and really good check it out. Fembody Fitness

Then on Saturday we took our friends' kids to Disneyland for the day. There is nothing funnier than a toddler running from Eeyore in terror. We had a great time. I won't post their pics on here without permission so here is a picture of an amazing caramel apple that I fell in love with and had to have while the kids had cotton candy.

Then, while trying not to buy more yarn I decided to make a "Scrap" granny square blanket of every yarn I had of the same type of yarn, I think the results are interesting. It definitely has cat approval- sorry Rebecca! It's one of the quickest and easiest ways to knit up a blanket while sitting around bored.
And just because I can't leave you without recipes for the week stay tuned for one more post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Meri's Stuffed Portabella Caps

I threw together some stuffed portabella mushroom caps tonight and they turned out better than I could have expected. So I wanted to share before I forget what I put in there!

2 large portabella caps
1 shallot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained (trust me on the fire roasted kind)
1 Tablespoon balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c Shredded Parmesan cheese. (The good kind, not the jar)

Set the oven to 350. Clean the gills out of your mushroom caps. Drizzle the olive oil in a small saute pan, and add the shallot and garlic.

Saute till soft, then add your tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has evaporated then transfer the mixture to your mushroom caps.

Sprinkle the Parmesan over the caps, until there is a layer over each.

Cook approximately 30-35 minutes, until the cheese is browned and the mushrooms are soft. Serve immediately! (We had pork loin and asparagus on the side.)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Turkey Watermelon

We had our third Thanksgiving this weekend so I decided to do something different than I usually do.
I made a watermelon turkey! To do this you need to have watermelon that sits well on its’ long side. Once it is clean make two cuts near the ends and then cut long ways around the middle so you have a section on either end to carve. Create the head by making it round with a neck using a paring knife. Then create some eyes by carving to the white. I created the beak from scraps from the head. Then I cut a small rectangle in the head and inserted the beak. I made the waddle with a bit of the pink and white with the green cut off and used half a toothpick to hold it in.
The tail was made by cut cutting small V’s out and making them a little rounded. Then I cut the watermelon into squares and scooped it out. I mixed it with the watermelon from the “top” of the watermelon we took off at the beginning. Make sure to dump all the watermelon juice out or else the fruit you put in will get mushy.
I added berries to my watermelon for a pretty pink color palette.