Spudmaster Baked Halibut

I recently shot some photos for a potato chip factory. At this time, this is a small American company that is just getting out there and currently has a distribution throughout Missouri, mostly in the St. Louis area.

These chips are delish! They are currently working with creating some new flavors as well but for this recipe, we just used their plain potato chips.

Ok, here I have to admit that when I was asked to try the baked Halibut recipe, I was disappointed. I don’t generally like fish although I WANT to like fish. I tried the recipe though and guess what, I can honestly say, this was delicious! I will be making this recipe again!

So try it, I hope you like it as much as my husband and I did.

Spudmaster Baked Halibut

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. halibut fillets
1-1/2 cups crushed potato chips

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 2- or 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Crush potato chips


3. Whisk together the mayonnaise and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Brush the mayonnaise-mustard mixture over both sides of the halibut.

(As you can see, I did not brush, I dunked and dunking worked)


5. Spread the potato chip crumbs out in a shallow dish or on a plate. Dip both sides of the halibut in the potato chip crumbs.


6. Place in the prepared baking dish. Bake 18-22 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serve to your loved ones and enjoy! Yum!

First Birthday Portraits – Ariella

This is our birthday girl, Ariella

This is Ariella with her brother Brady.

Let me tell you, to get either one of these sitting still for more than 2 seconds is quite the achievement!

So it was Ariellas first birthday and her mom took us all to the park where after a few pictures, she let Ariella play with her very own cake as is tradition in some families for a first birthday.

From here, I’ll just let the pictures tell the story. 

Nom, Nom, Nom, mmmmmmm.

“HEY! What are YOU doing here?”

Nom. nom, nom, nom, nom……mmmmmmmmmmmm (x 2)

And this is where the picture is blurry because I couldn’t help but laugh my butt off at the fun mess this little princess was making! This was all her doing, no help from us or her brother!

Thanks for joining in Brady!

Happy First birthday princess!

An Early Spring

Ok, so spring made an early appearance here in Mid Missouri.

We’ve had consistant, beautiful weather since mid March, which is rare here.

This has put all of our foliage and flowers ahead of schedule by a few weeks. Fun for me and my camera.

On rainy days, I’m now painting.

I love being creative.

And just a reminder for all of my local peeps, Spring Art Walk on Main street in St. Charles is this weekend, April 27 – 29,

See my Facebook page for more info.

Have a great day!

Liquidity

Well here we are in 2012! Happy New Year everyone!

 It’s been a busy year for me, don’t take that as a complaint because it’s not, I consider myself blessed and thanks to all of you who contributed to a lovely year!

So yesterday, I took a few shots of my favorite goofy, experimental, ‘what the bleep are you doing’, thing that I reserve mostly for winter when the landscapes tend to not be as beautiful and I’m not out driving around trying to find something to shoot with my camera. Here are a few results.

Fluid Beauty

Doesn’t this look like a mushroom?

Like glassy jewels….

Just like water flowing past us, time is fluid.

Don’t waste it, tell people you care about how much you love them.

I hope your year to come will bring you pleasant surprises.

I AM the Crazy Neighbor Lady!

A few months ago I was a bit bored and when I’m bored, I sometimes decide to find something around the house to take pictures of. While meandering around, I found a little dandelion in my front yard growing up against the landscape block in front of my house. I decided that since this little guy had somehow escaped the perfectionist yard tending of my detail oriented husband, G1, I would see about getting up close and getting some pictures of it. In fact, I had decided to see if I could somewhat, re-create this .

So I went and fetched a cup of water and G2 (my beloved camera) and proceeded back outside to my front yard. I glanced around,  saw that my neighbors all seemed to be inside, so I, a grown woman, laid down on my stomach, reached my hand in the cup, submerged it in the water, then pulled it out to sprinkle it on this tiny dandelion. Soon, as I was sprawled on the front yard, facing a block wall, G2 and I were snapping away, trying to find the ‘just right’ angle at which to shoot this little guy. I was in my own little artistic world, both creating and at the same time marveling at the intricate detail and the frail beauty of this God forsaken weed when suddenly I was pulled back, into the dimension of consciousness with the words “What are you doing?”

I, flat on my stomach, feet stretching towards the street, turned my head to see my neighbors, a nice, young couple standing next to each other in their driveway, her, with their precious one year old son in her arms, looking at their crazy neighbor lady with bemused smiles on their faces. Initially, I felt my whole body as well as what dignity I thought I had, cringe at the thought of how I must look. I clumsily got to my feet and stuttered out “T-taking a picture of a, a um, dandelion?”

They looked at each other, chuckled to each other as if their previous conversations about their “not right neighbors” were somehow backed up by this newest piece of evidence and said “Ok”. I, started laughing at myself (with them) and told them I’d email them the link to my picture. I promised them that as ridiculous as I know I looked, I hoped that they would see that something so tiny could be a thing of beauty. We ended with a good laugh as they took their son for a walk around the neighborhood.

Yes, I too think I am crazy at times but honestly, once I get past that initial cringe of self consciousness, I don’t care. I enjoy getting down and close up to things most pass by. It brings me peace, and reminds me of the beauty in all things, even the little ones.

Ever Changing

Good morning!
Ever had one of those moments in life, where you go somewhere, and then decide you were better off where you were? Yep, me too. Luckily some things are flexible.


This is a picture of a tree near the entrance of a conservation area I frequent. I’ve taken many pictures of this tree and it never ceases to amaze me how the same tree, on different mornings, with an ever changing sky, can look so different.
I love that about nature! Ever Changing, yet always present.

I think I’ll post some of the other pictures I’ve taken of this tree from time to time.

The Family That Lived Outside My Door

I have been lucky to have a sweet family live outside my sliding glass door for the past several weeks.

I have watched their personal journey and felt at times like a giant gawker.

Here are the links to Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 and this is my last installment of the story of this miniature family.

I considered having a huge goodbye party like Oprah, but, well, didn’t want to detract any attention from her. After all, she had her show for 25 years, the Robirdsons haven’t been around quite that long.

When opening the squeaky screen door, one of the babies, who was considering leaving the nest, jumped ship so we were down to 3.

 

Then, just a day or two later, I could see that baby #2 was stretching his legs, trying to gather the nerve to make that big leap.

Then there were two. 

 While at work, the other 2 left. I came home to this:

We humans can become so self-absorbed that we, at times, forget about the other creatures we share this earth with. The Robirdsons are a family, different from ours yet the same. It truly makes me wonder if they are they more like us than we will ever know. After all, in the matter of a little over a month, the Robirdsons have had a family, cared for it, raised it and sent them on their way. It takes humans 20 years (more or less) to do the same thing.

I literally stare at my empty nest hanging outside my window and feel that bitter-sweet set of emotions. I miss seeing the little ones snuggling together all sweet and adorable and yet I know that this is what nature intends for every living thing.

Goodbye Robirdsons, thank you for sharing your precious family with me. Sorry if the goofy lady with the camera freaked you out at times but you reminded me that this world is full of wonders both big and small and they exist right in front of our eyes if we take the time to see them.

Thank you for that.

They’re Growing Up Quick

Days 5, 6 and 7 of the Robirdsons

If you missed it, here is my first post on the Robirdsons.

And here is my second post.

I will have one last post after this one about my little birdy family.

Seriously, I try so hard to stay away from this little family in my back window but I just love to watch them.

 Does this mean I need to get a life?

Um, nevermind, don’t answer that, it was a rhetorical question, I don’t think I really want to know.

 

These hungry little piglets seem like they grow by the hour.

 

We had a couple of days of damp and colder than normal weather and momma took her place on her nest in order to keep her babies warm.

 

I feel as though I am truly blessed having a front row seat to this little life event. 

 

 

It’s rare to see momma and pappa at the same time on the nest but I was happy to get the rare shot. 

Ok, now admit it, they are (finally) adorable!

 It’s getting close, I can feel it, they are getting old enough to go out on their own.

 

The Robirdsons – Day 4

 Here are a few pictures of the Robirdson Quads just 4 days after they were hatched.

If you missed my first installment of the Robirdsons, you can read it here.

Their feathers are starting to come in, and like human babies they eat and sleep a lot.

Notice in the picture below that Momma has a worm in her beak.

Momma and Daddy Robirdson fed them every half hour or so all day long. I am amazed at their stamina and dedication.

Dare I say they are approaching cute! 

My oldest daughter, now home from college for the summer, laughs at me everytime I climb on the kitchen chair to take pictures of these babies. She said “Mom, you are going to be crushed when they leave the nest.” I promptly explained to her with one daughter that goes away to college and is about ready to enter her senior year and another getting ready to go off to college, I am getting used to the feeling of my babies leaving the nest and am just enjoying them while they are here.

My first Quadruplet newborn session – The Robirdsons

Ok, so my quads aren’t exactly human newborns but still amazing and adorable (eventually) in their bird way.

 Earlier this spring, about a week before Easter, I had planned on replanting a new batch of flowers in the hanging pot outside my back door. I admittedly let the darned thing hang outside all winter long where the dainty annuals from last year became nothing more than withered sticks.

My plans for fresh new annual colors soon changed as I noticed one evening while cooking dinner that the flower pot had new residents moving in, Momma and Pappa robin were making a new nest in MY flower pot.   As I watched their hard work I through the upcoming days I eventually dubbed this sweet little family, the Robirdsons.

Every day for close to a week they flew back and forth, several times a day, carrying sticks and grass and the makings of a new home for their little ones that were soon to arrive. They placed their building materials carefully and packed them down.

Easter morning, I climbed up on the kitchen chair and peeking into their nest from my side of the glass saw this:

 And then I re-focused my lens a little past my original target and saw an Easter character standing close by.

 Could the Easter bunny have dropped these here? Surely not.

 So as this was my first close up experience with this species, I wondered how long it would be until we had little baby Robirdsons in our nest.  Curious I was,  so I did what any modern human would do and I Googled it to find out that our babies were due 12 – 14 days after the last egg was laid.

Momma was a good momma bird and barely left her nest, especially during that second week and I, strangely enough, found myself growing excited and impatient in anticipation of their arrival.

Sure enough, 2 weeks later, on Mothers Day none the less, our hatchlings arrived, 4 in total and lets just say they were definately the kind of face only a mother could love.

 

Momma Robirdson sat on her nest to protect her new flock but would occasionally fly off to find food and bring it back to her babies. 

 

 Momma also didn’t really like the fact that I was standing on a kitchen chair on the other side of the glass so I would try to get my pictures quick, then leave them alone. Only over the next few days, my quick little picture jaunts have become more and more frequent because I am just so fascinated. I tried pulling my fake Ficus tree out of the corner to cover me and to try to make the Mrs. more comfortable but this is one smart momma who can still see me taking quick peeks into their little family world.

The last 3 pictures above were taken on May 11th and as I write this only a few days from then, I am amazed at how fast my babies Mrs Robinsons babies have changed, you will be too. 

More details to come soon!