Saturday, February 25, 2012

A couple of Fresh Veggie Recipes ^_^

I have been meaning to get on the blog here and share these recipes with you for a few weeks now. Since I finally got here to post the giveaway, I thought I would share these real quickly as well. Both of them are easy to make and delicious, which makes them a winner in our house! And since we have been trying to eat more yummy veggies, they fit right into our new meal plan.

Although we don't usually ever eat them together in the same meal.

If you aren't already, I encourage you to eat organic veggies: they are so much better for you and taste far better in my opinion, too. Buying local is the best, whenever possible. I am learning to incorporate more local veggies when I can. Among other things, it ensures the freshness and supports your neighbor's businesses. :)
First one: Chicken Salad in a Pita!  Since it's the only pita I really make, it's known simply as "pitas" around here. As in, "It's pita night." I have had this recipe in my box since I was a teenager, but didn't make it until about 5 years ago. It is so refreshing! Nice for lunch or light dinner, especially on these warm days we've been having:

1 cup your favorite salad lettuce
1 cup alfalfa sprouts or pea shoots 
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped (or shredded)
1/2 cup green bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup of mayo (or your favorite salad dressing might work nicely)
pita pockets
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped

As you can see, the most time consuming part of this recipe is all the chopping. If you have a super-duper chopper thingy, it would probably go pretty quickly. But I do it all the old fashioned way, so I try to save time by cooking the chicken while I am chopping all the veggies.

DIRECTIONS are pretty straightforward: just toss it all in a bowl and stuff the pitas with the salad. I highly recommend warming the pita pockets, it makes it sooo yummy when the cool salad is stuffed in the nice warm, chewy pita bread. I usually wrap 3 pitas in a towel and put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Nom nom!

The chicken definitely adds a lot of flavor, but I would say it is optional because I really feel that this could possibly stand alone as a vegetarian dish. Another option: when I made it for a vegetarian guest one night, I just added a little bit of tofu "chikin" and they said it was most acceptable.

Fun to play with this one. You can add whatever you want, basically. Joel likes a little bit of red onion if we have it around. I added some Persian cucumbers the other night and it added some extra Yum to it. :)

The second recipe is easy-breezy. I make it at least once a week because we like it so much and never seem to get tired of it. :)

 Charity's Greek Salad:

1 tomato, chopped
2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped (I get the organic Persians from TJ's)
~1/4 cup (or 2 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled
Italian dressing

That's it! You can add more or less cheese to your taste. And over time you can fine-tune the tomato/cucumber ratio as well.  


Saturday, February 4, 2012


Took these yesterday and today with the Recesky.


Even though it's a little challenging to see through the top-end viewfinder (and it's a mirror image, so I kinda lose myself sometimes - haha), it's still a really fun camera to use. And I love the results!

I think I need to work my focusing skills on this one, though. A few of the pics I didn't share because they were a bit too blurry.

It might be awhile before I get to play with the Diana, but looking forward to that too. I have taken more photos this weekend than I have in the past 3 months probably! But I was just so excited to get out with these and get the rolls back! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

The gift of Lomo

Check out the amazing and unbelievable and totally awesome care package I just got from my friend B the other day:

Recesky, Diana F+ (with roll of 120mm film), and a Holga 135

I've been wanting to get a Holga for a few years now, but never really got around to making the purchase. Probably because I felt so busy with other things and I figured it would just sit around anyway. But also because I thought all Holgas were 120 and I couldn't find anybody local who does that kind of thing anymore. So I put it in the category of "things to figure out someday."

But... my dear friend B, overheard me talking about my Holga daydreams and offered to send me hers as a gift! I was so stunned and humbled by her generosity. You know you have a good friend when they do something nice for you and make it sound like you're doing them a favor. And that's what happened here. She said she had too many cameras anyway or something silly like that. So sweet... Anyway, I didn't know anything about how to use these cameras, so I did a lot of googling last night. And I found myself knee-deep in the wondrous new world of lomography...

What is lomography? Well, I'm just learning about it myself. You know all those instagram apps for the iphone that make your photos look distorted, but kinda cool. Or gives them a vintage look? I'm pretty sure all those apps are just trying to be this. But this is the real thing. And to do it with film is a little more complicated, because it's not editing after-the-fact like the apps are. 

In our hi-tech world, where every photo we take has to be laundered though PhotoShop - cropped, lassoed, and highlighted, lomography is refreshingly lo-fi. It's a calling back to the basics of photography, the skin and bones. It is haphazard and imperfect. It is not necessarily shiny and straight, but more unrefined and raw. It's usually plastic toy hand-cranked cameras with no batteries. Being a lomographer causes you to give up the need for control - the feeling that every shot needs to be perfect every time, and reminds us all to have fun with it. To go a little crazy. Photography is art after all, which by its nature is free of rules and boundaries. Maybe I like that little blur there, I think it looks cool. Maybe the vignettes in my photos were caused by light leaks, but I kinda like 'em that way. Maybe I double exposed by accident, but that shot is rad! The style in general is very candid, very retro, kinda grainy and grungy and fun.

Of course, this in turn graduates itself to intentional double exposure, blur and and the like. And you can get kind of creative with the results if you want to.

Wow! I was so stoked to get out with these cameras today and play around with them. I bought film for the first time in 6 years, and figure out how to load the things. It turns out this Holga is a 35mm, as is the Recesky, so getting film was no problem. I got color for the Holga and B&W for the Recesky. Then Caleb and I went out and fooled around. Here are some of the fun ones from the Holga. It isn't too grungy, so the effects with this camera can be very little unless I intentionally utilize them.

Pretty straight forward

Some vignetting to the left



 My son's favorite

...And this one is just cute 

We haven't developed the Black & White from the Recesky yet because we have a few more frames left. But I really look forward to seeing those too.

Remember when you didn't know what your photos would look like until after you processed them? It's like Christmas Day walking into the Photo Lab...
More soon...
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