6.28.2008

The plane, the plane!!!

Plane-over-beach-St.-Martin


This is a shot taken in February on a birthday celebration trip to St.Martin/St.Maarten. What you do not see in this image, is the main airport of the island a few hundred feet past the beach. Due to the short runway, planes make the final approach at a very low altitude. Having airplanes pass overhead at such low altitude makes sitting on the beach watching the sun set a very interesting experience.

Seeing planes land is a wonderful thing, but watching them take off is another world. Just past the end of the beach there is a two lane road and just past the road is a fence. The airport fence. Just a short distance from the fence is where the airplanes take off from. The engines fire and soon they are speeding towards the end of the runway and lift off. Each time this happens, a group of people on the beach firmly plant their feet into the sand and brace themselves. Brace themselves for what? They are bracing themselves to try and remain standing against the force of the jet blasts from the engines. The sound is deafening, but some people still choose to endure the powerful blasts. Most fall down and in some way get knocked backwards, even into the water. It is a funny sight, but I have no idea what would possess a person to willingly suck in jet fumes and risk injury by standing in the direct line of fire from a jet engine.

6.17.2008

St. Martin - New Pics

St.-Martin-Local-Spices It is a good feeling when you can combine a few of your favorite things. Mine are food, photography and travel. As you can see in this image of a stand in a local market selling traditional spices of the island. I am curious to know what Magic Spices tastes like, but unfortunately I was not able to. When traveling to other countries I try to get an authentic experience and not just be the typical tourist. I find it sad to spend so much money on flights and hotels and never to venture outside of the hotel or resort grounds. When planning a trip, the first thing I do is buy a travel book and do as much internet research as possible. Once I arrive to my destination I have a well thought out agenda of places to see and where to eat. It is fun to explore new and unusual places, and you never know what you might find.

Here is the link to my St. Martin images... enjoy...
St.Martin Images

6.11.2008

So you think you can cook?

Recently I have been watching a lot of Food Network. There are several shows on that network that I enjoy watching and am inspired by. My food television hunger does not end there, also on the menu are, Hell's Kitchen, Top Chef, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares to name a few. I not only enjoy being an observer of gastronomic delights, but also enjoy getting my hands dirty.

Overall my greatest creations are breakfast related. More specifically eggs, generally scrambled or as an omelette. Historically pancakes have been a bit of a weak point for me, but this year they have actually been improving. This year I taught myself how to make crepes after my trip to St. Martin.

When it comes to lunch, generally I try to use leftovers in a fun and creative way. There is not much that can possibly go wrong with this type of lunch. If the original meal was good, the remix is just as good.

The fun does not end with lunch... things had to be taken up a notch! Now on the menu are couscous, chicken, steak and salmon, not to mention a decent baby spinach salad.

For a little international flavor, today was my first time ever making sushi rolls. Of course it would not be one of my creations if I did not add a twist. I did not use any fish or seafood of any kind. At this point in time some of you may be thinking I am crazy for making sushi rolls with no fish or seafood. When dealing with Japanese cuisine, sushi actually refers to the rice. The proteins I chose to include in my sushi rolls were steak and hot dog. Both meats were marinated in San-J teriyaki sauce. Additional ingredients were baby spinach, olives, and green beans. The process was rather straight forward. Two cups of rice and three of water are put in a bowl for at least half an hour (although not required). The rice and water are then placed in a pot and heated until it comes to a boil. At this point the heat is set to the lowest possible amount and covered for 20 minutes. In a separate small bowl, mix two tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of rice vinegar and one tablespoon of salt. This mixture is then microwaved for about 40 seconds and then folded into the rice once it was cooled down. Here comes the fun part! On a sheet of seaweed, spread a thin layer of rice. In the lower third of the sheet, lay your fillings in a thin strip from side to side. Now roll up the seaweed and cut it into bite size rolls. It is key to make sure that your rolls are not too big, anything bigger than bite size is looked down upon in Japanese cuisine. The final finishing touch is to prepare a mixture of low sodium soy sauce (got to watch the blood pressure) and wasabi.

The most important part of preparing a meal is to have fun doing it. Once the food is made, share it with someone else. Practice these two key elements when cooking and your results will improve in no time.

Bon App├ętit.

6.09.2008

A Few More Pics

As promised, I now have a few images from my St.Martin/St.Maarten trip available on my flickr site. Feel free to take a look and enjoy. Leave a comment either here or there. I know most of you are back at work this Monday, with a whole week ahead of you. I have a feeling some of you don't even want to be there. So get away from your desk. Go somewhere else. Go to St.Martin. Let these images take you far away from what ever stress you are facing and relax for a few moments. I will continue to add more images to this link in the next few days. Keep your eyes on the 'What I am doing now...' section, on the right hand side of this page, for updates.

6.01.2008

Cool Down

Icicles After having spent five days in the Bahamas, I am no stranger to warm weather. Now I am back home and dealing with a slight sunburn. If I stay indoors and avoid the sun, I will soon lose any color I might have gained. So what do I do? I cook a nice breakfast for me and my girlfriend and we eat it outside along with a bottle of white wine. The next few hours are also spent enjoying the sun just relaxing in the back yard talking and listening to music. Now it is time for me to start making lunch and the bottle of red wine now gets opened. The menu for the afternoon is grilled chicken drumsticks and grilled corn. By the time lunch is ready for the family... out comes the pitcher of sangria. It is very important to stay hydrated when it is hot outside.

Now you might be wondering what all this has to do with the photograph of icicles. Or you might not.

I believe almost everything is mental in some way. So to cool down on a hot day, I find it helpful to have cool thoughts. I only provide the icicles as a tool to help the imagination find some 'coolness' to get by on hot days.