Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Goodbye Old Friend

My First OlympusLast week I said goodbye to my first Olympus camera, the classic C-5050. I got it back in 2003 and not long after that I got the PT-015 underwater housing.

I got my diving certification in the cold waters of Washington and never dove in them again once I experienced warm water diving. I'm a wimp when it comes to cold water. Even with a dry suit, I just didn't want to deal with it. I dove/snorkeled in the warm waters of Roatan, Cabo San Lucas, Key West, St. John, and Jamaica. I didn't have my camera outfit with me for all of these trips but I did take it to Key West and got some decent underwater shots from it. Not only was it a great set up for diving, but I also used it a few times to keep the dust out of the camera at Burningman. It worked like a charm!

It's a great little camera, but I haven't used it in several years and have found a good home for it. It's now in the hands of a co-worker who plans on taking it diving. I look forward to seeing some of the shots he takes with it.

Here's a few of my favorite shots from the C-5050.
keywest14
keywest16
Machu Picchu
Cusco, Peru

Monday, April 19, 2010

X is for Xavier Steak

There were very few recipes/foods I could find starting with X. Xavier steak seemed the perfect choice this week. It's very simple, described as steak with asparagus and swiss cheese on top. I didn't bother following a recipe, not like there are many out there anyway. I think I only came across one when I was looking.

I wasn't sure where to get the steaks from. I wanting something good but didn't really want to pay a fortune. I posted a quick poll on twitter asking which of the grocery stores near me had the best steaks, giving the options of Fred Meyer, Albertsons, and Safeway. Those options didn't seem to please too many. I had one vote for Albertsons and one for Safeway. All the rest of the votes were for places not from the options I gave. Whole Foods got the most votes. Since there's one not too far away from work, we decided to stop by there on the way home for the steaks and swiss cheese. Luckily the New York Strip steaks were on sale for $9.99/lb Not too bad! So I picked up two of those along with some Swiss Jarlsberg cheese. Below is my easy Xavier Steak Recipe.

Ingredients:
2 New York Strip steaks, at least 1" thick
8 slices swiss cheese
6 stalks asparagus
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1) Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper on all sides
2) Place steaks in a glass container with Worcestershire sauce, coating all sides and place in Fridge. Turn steaks after 15 mins and leave in fridge for an additional 15 mins.
3) Preheat grill on high
4) Add steaks to grill and cover for 7 minutes
5) Turn steaks and add asparagus to grill
6) Brush asparagus with an oil and salt mixture and cover for 6 minutes, turning after 3 minuts.
7) Top each steak with 3 stalks of asparagus and 4 slices of swiss cheese and cover for additional minute or until cheese is melted
8) Let steaks sit for 5-6 minutes before cutting or serving

My steaks ended up a bit rarer than I normally eat steak. They were medium to medium rare and I normally like medium well. They turned out very well though. One of the best steaks I've made myself. I'm sure getting good quality steak also helps. The steaks were so big we ended up splitting one of them and saving the other for later.

Swiss Jarlsberg
Grilling
Steak and Asparagus

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"W" is for Waldorf Salad

I made Waldorf Salad this week from a recipe on allrecipes.com. I was actually referred to this recipe back in February by Frank when I was looking for something to do with a bunch of yogurt I had so I decided to make it again for "W" week for my Food A-Z project.

It's a pretty easy recipe and just requires a bit of chopping. I didn't really alter from the recipe other than not including dates and using craisins instead of raisins. What I ended up doing is rolling it up in the lettuce and ate it like a burrito.

Ingredients:Waldorf Salad
2 (6 ounce) cans albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1 large red apple, chopped
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup craisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
4 lettuce leaves
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the tuna, apple, celery, raisins, dates and walnuts. Combine yogurt and mayonnaise; add to tuna mixture and toss to coat. Serve on lettuce-lined plates; sprinkle with the cheese.

W is for Waldorf Salad

Monday, April 05, 2010

Foodportunity

I attended my first Foodportunity event last week. Foodportunity is described as a "networking event for food journalists, Public relation professionals, restaurateurs, farmers, companies and all food passionate people". I guess I would fall under the food passionate people category or maybe a journalist since I like to blog and document food. I brought my Olympus E-P1 + 30mm F1.4 for taking videos and took stills with the Olympus E-3 + 12-60mm & 50mm.

The event took place at the Tom Douglas Palace Ballroom and the whole event was put together by the amazing Keren Brown. There were at least 15 different companies there with tables of goodies to share with the participants. I didn't try everything but did visit each table to see what they had to offer and take a few shots and video clips. My favorite taste of the night had to be the deconstructed beef stroganoff from Fresh Bistro, which was also the most photogenic.

There were a lot of companies and restaurants there that I had never been to but a few that I did recognize and have had the opportunity of visiting. Whole Foods, La Buona Tavola, Trophy Cupcakes, Ray's, and Springhill were the familiar ones and are all places I would highly recommend.

I am a fan of hard cider and was excited to see a table with a variety of Crispin Ciders to taste. I tried two different ones. They were kept nice and cold and were very tasty. Apparently you can find them at Whole Foods so I will be looking for it next time I go there. There was also a bar that was serving wine by the glass.

There were lots of give-aways during the event including gift cards, gift baskets, and other goodies from the various sponsors and partners at the event. Several tables were set up near the entrance for local chefs to share and network with foodies for an hour or two. Towards the end of the evening people gathered in the room where the chefs were for about an hour of speed networking. There were around 40 participants that sat in four rows with two of the rows facing eachother. Every 5 mins a whistle blew which signaled half of the people to move over one seat while the other half remained in their seat. It looked like a great way to meet people. I didn't participate, but took some pics and video of the networking activity.

Thanks to Keren for the song suggestion for the video I put together.

More photos from the event can be found on Smugmug.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

"V" is for Vichyssoise

There weren't too many choices for foods that start with a V. I started looking around for V foods a few weeks ago and saw this and thought it would be a good one to try. I don't think I've actually ever had Vichyssoise before and I know I've never bought leeks before so I was in for an adventure.

I have to admit this actually wasn't the first time I've had Vichyssoise. I actually happened to have some Nettle vichyssoise from Urbane Seattle at Foodportunity last week. A couple of weeks ago I hadn't even heard of it. It was my first time having nettle too. I even knew what it was. I think I learned about it on the Food Network during an episode of Iron Chef or Chopped.

I used another recipe from my favorite recipe site, allrecipes.com, for a Classic Vichyssoise. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly as is. The only change I made was using 2 Tbsp of butter instead of 1. It's probably a good idea to blend/process half of the recipe at a time. I don't think all of it would fit in a blender or food processor at once

The recipe is meant to be served cold but I couldn't wait for it to cool and just ate it warm and I thought it tasted great.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 leeks, bulb only, sliced into rings
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Directions
  1. In a large stock pot melt butter over low heat. Add leeks and onion, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add thyme, marjoram, bay leaf and stir well. Cover pot and continue to cook for 12 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes. (before pureeing I would recommend trying to find the bay leaf and fishing it out because it doesn't seem to process completely or else omit the bay leaf altogether.)
  4. Puree soup in blender or food processor and cool.
  5. Prior to serving add cream. If you are serving this soup warm you need to reheat the soup slowly so that the cream does not change consistency.
Peeled Potatoes Leeks
Leek Rings
Potatoes and Leeks
Veggies in broth V is for Vichyssoise