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Showing posts from May 26, 2019

Crispy Tofu with Aleppo Pepper and Za’atar

Three things about this recipe. (1) It is really easy to prepare (2) It is super delicious (3) I am convinced that even people who think they don't like tofu will like this.

Okay, so I say the first and second things about all of my recipes, but I do believe them true. And in this case I believe the third thing true as well. This recipe is delicious hot or at room temp, or even chilled as a midnight snack straight from the fridge. It can be the main part of a meal, a side dish, or a great topping or filling for salad or wrap. I ate this over steam Basmati rice with spinach and turmeric and topped with plain yogurt. Try this; you won't be sorry.

For additional recipes containing tofu, click here, and for additional Lebanese inspired recipes, click here.

Crispy Tofu with Aleppo Pepper and Za’atar

Serves 4-6

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound tofu, diced and patted dry
1 small onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons za’atar
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
2 teaspoons magic sea…

Life in the Fast Lane (sort of).

Here’s the backstory on this photo. I was out last evening roaming the city and taking photos when this scene appeared in front of me (but without the moving train in it). For those not from the area, this is quite literally the end of the line; the last subway stop. It’s difficult to tell from this photo but the street and train both travel directly under the building in the image; the building was built over the street. When I saw this last night I liked how the crisscrossing of the train tracks on the ground and wires above sort of mirrored one another, and the illuminated building made a nice backdrop. I was aware that there was a train sitting idle behind me, and even made eye contact with the operator as I parked my bike on the sidewalk and crossed the track to set up the tripod, choosing to stand behind a pylon and caution sign knowing a train would not travel there. As soon as I pressed the shutter the train began to move. I had not planned on a train in this photo but this i…

An Old Tavern and a Ghost Selfie...

So had gone out for a ride to snap a few photos and have a couple beers tonight, as I'm apt to do in the nicer weather, and stopped at the Swannie house on the corner of Michigan and Ohio Streets, which is quite literally in the shadow of grain mills and the Michigan Street lift bridge. The Swannie house is the second oldest continually operating tavern in the City of Buffalo, founded as early as 1886 (to see a photo of it before the buildings next to it were gone click here). Anyhow, as I was having my beer I waited until the light was just right (because it's all about the light) and then went out across the street to set the camera on a tripod. This is a 90 second exposure, that and the amount of time the camera takes to process the photo gave me enough time to walk across the street and unlock my bike. Doing so I stood for about ten seconds so I would be in the photo (because things in motion--other than light--generally do not show in a long exposure). If you look close …

The View from my Handlebars, 30 May 2019

I have shot this scene many times in downtown Buffalo and it always seems different. Today I also had a different lens. What I like about this particular shot is that the water--which is an ice rink in the winter and reflecting pool in the summer--wasn't complete, just sort of a large puddle. Anyhow, I passed this on my lunch break today, had my camera on my shoulder, so I took a photo. And here it is.

Confidence in Mother Nature

I happened upon this yesterday. A little sprig of mint growing in the crack of a sidewalk. When Mother Nature eventually sheds us from Planet Earth like a dog shaking off fleas, she will survive. But it will probably be different, and we may not be part of it. Nature finds a way.

Here Comes the Rain Again...

This evening I went for a long walk, as I'm apt to do in the nice weather, and wanted to take a photo of Lafayette Presbyterian Church as I liked how it looked...sort of jutting into the sky. Having only a mini pocket tripod with me I attached it to the camera and set the camera on the ground. The tripod holds the camera maybe 4 inches / 10 cm off the ground so I had to kneel to focus and make adjustments. Just as I did the few drops of rain that had been falling turned into a downpour. Grabbing the camera and sheltering it under my coat I walked towards a convenience store in the next block hoping they sold cheap umbrellas. Then it started to really downpour so I ducked in the doorway of a closed shop. It felt comfortable--almost cozy--so I sat on the ground to wait out the rain. It felt good to just listen to the rain on the sidewalk and tires of passing cars on the wet street. A few passerby looked at me and probably wondered if I were homeless (I care less and less what peopl…

Playing with Time and Light...

Albright Knox Art Gallery

So a few things about this photo. One is that I have shot this a few times before but since the last time have a new lens and wanted to see the difference. Another is that when I arrived at the location while there was still a small amount of light in the sky the foreground was I was using a low tripod I really wanted to highlight the pavement in the front of the image. After setting the camera and snapping a few photos I was not satisfied and about to give up. Then a car pulls up adjacent to me and leaves it's headlights on. Normally this would have really bothered me (couldn't they see me sitting on the ground in front of a camera and they pull up feet away from me?). But this time it was a blessing. If you are on a computer click the image for a larger view.

Time May Change Me...

I had stopped out for a couple beers with a friend this evening, She left before me so I had another. The song, Changes, by David Bowie came on. It is one of my favorites of his. It got me thinking how I have hung out in this neighborhood--Allentown--for nearly four decades and have lived here for two. Despite it's flaws and influx of people not from the neighborhood (especially on weekend nights) I still love it. My favorite four corners in the City of Good Neighbors are in fact Allen Street and Elmwood Avenue. This is what I was thinking as I walked home with a belly full of beer. Wanting to capture a photo of it but not having a tripod, I set the camera on the pavement (I've really become interested in these photos from a pavement view). This is a 60 second exposure. One minute out of my life and yours. Everyone rushing to and fro; in and out of each other's lives. Maybe we just need to sit for a minute.

"Time may change me, but I can't trace time" ~ Davi…

The Buffalo River

The Buffalo River with Grain Silos and the historic Michigan Avenue lift bridge, (above) and below, the Buffalo Harbor and Naval Park, a slice of Buffalo history in one image. In the image below, sort of left-to-right: The USS Croaker (submarine), the USS Little Rock, the USS Sullivans, the General Mills plant (why our city smells like Cheerios), the Gold Medal flour plant, the Skyway, an illuminated grain elevator, and (sort of unseen in the back ground) the Buffalo River. To my back (which obviously you can't see) is the Niagara River, the Erie Canal, Lake Eire, and Canada.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Crushed Hot Pepper, Sumac, and Chives

Okay, so a couple things about this recipe. One is that it is so simple and delicious you'll wonder why you haven't made these before (and over and over), and the other thing is that you'd better make more than the recipe calls for because they will disappear quickly. On a technical note, don't be dismayed by a couple of the ingredients. The seasoning listed as "magic seasoning" is simply granulated onion, garlic, black pepper, and salt (the recipe can be found here). As for the sumac it does add a truly interestingly tart flavor; it can be purchased online or at some of the larger supermarkets. If, though, you are unable to procure sumac simply do without. As with all my recipes this is a suggestion and not a blueprint carved in stone.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Crushed Hot Pepper, Sumac, and Chives

½ pound quarter sized potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon magic seasoning
½ teaspoon sumac
½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1 tablespoon minced chives