Monday, September 24, 2012

5 beautiful photos of the world from above

I define success as the intersection of preparation and opportunity.  Below are a few of my favorite examples of being prepared with a camera when a good opportunity presents itself.  I hope that you enjoy them as they transport you away, if for even just a minute. 
Innsbruck Austria


The South of France

Zagros Mountains Iran

Puget Sound, Washington State

Friday, September 21, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavor, Last Flight

This morning my family and I  witnessed history when the Space Shuttle Endeavor graced us, minutes before landing for the last time in Los Angeles, Ca.  It brought me back 30 years when I was small and my dad brought me along on a news assignment to Edwards Dry Lake to photograph the Space Shuttle landing.  I can still feel the shattering thunder of the sonic boom when Space Shuttle Columbia re-entered the atmosphere that morning.  Today I reminisced with my daughters about that day and felt a very familiar thunder from Endeavor's F18 escorts and the B747 she was perched atop. 
 Emotion and tears completely consumed me as the air crackled over the southern California sky.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quick and Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu with a twist

Change up boring chicken breasts with this quick and easy weeknight twist on a classic.  

Four Chicken Breast
1/8 lb prosciutto
1/8 lb Gruyere cheese sliced thin
Salt and Pepper

Trim fat from sliced Prosciutto and reserve.  Slice into the side of the breast to form a pocket but don't cut through.   Open with your fingers slightly if needed and expand the pocket.  Fold back the top of the breast.  Lay one slice of prosciutto inside and then one slice of the cheese.  Press the top of the breast back down and poke any excess cheese back inside the breast.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large non stick saute pan under high heat cook the reserved fat trimmings from the Prosciutto.  When the fat has cooked down about five min the trimmings will start to brown and the fat will render into oil.  Remove anything solid from the pan and reserve the oil in the pan.  When the oven is up to temperature reheat the skillet with the oil under high heat.  Place the four stuffed chicken breasts into the skillet and sear about 4 min per side or until you achieve a light brown color.

Place the entire pan into the oven and roast for 25 min flipping breasts after 15 min. 

Slice the chicken and arrange on a plate with the pan drippings. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

These fantastic Enchiladas are a comfort food staple for my family.  They are simple, delicious and very adaptable to additional add ins.  IF there are leftovers they are great the next day too.


6 Boneless Chicken Breast 2-3lbs
16 flour tortillas
10 tomatillos halved
3 med onions skinned and quartered
4 jalapenos halved and seeded
10 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups grated jack cheese or Mexican cheese blend
3 tbsp. cumin
1 16oz Package Sour Cream
1 28oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1-Quart Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large stockpot bring chicken stock mixed with 2 tbsp cumin and 3tbsp salt to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook chicken breasts in liquid until chicken comes apart with gentle pressure, about 45min.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange Tomatillos, Onion, Jalapenos and Garlic on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil on vegetables and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast vegetables in oven until brown in some spots about 45 min.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Blend roasted vegetables with the remaining 1tbs cumin in a blender till smooth, add salt to taste. (Note, add Jalapenos one at a time until you attain desired heat)  When chicken is done, remove from the cooking liquid and shred.  In a large bowl mix shredded chicken with sour cream, cilantro, black beans, 1tbs cumin and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.  In a large baking dish add one-cup tomatillo salsa to the bottom of the dish and spread evenly.  Put 1/2 cup chicken filling onto the bottom third of a tortilla.  Roll the tortilla and place into the baking dish, repeat until the dish is full and chicken filling is used up.  Pour remaining tomatillo salsa evenly over the top of the enchiladas in the baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top of the entire dish.  Bake covered with foil @350 degrees for 45 min.  Remove foil and cook another 10 min until cheese just started to brown.

Arrange vegetables on a baking sheet, toss with oil, sprinkle with salt and roast

Remove chicken breast from seasoned salted stock, let cool and shred

Mix filling and put 1/2 cup into each tortilla and roll
Arrange filled tortillas in a large baking dish and cover with Tomatillo salsa.  (make sure to spread on the bottom of pan first)

Top with cheese and bake

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Asian Glazed Salmon with Vegetable Couscous and Citrus Vinaigrette

 Asian Glazed Salmon with Vegetable Couscous and Citrus Vinaigrette

10 oz Couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 large zucchini -diced and blanched
1 pint cherry tomatoes- quartered and blanched
1/2 oz pickled ginger, minced
1 tsp mint finely chopped
1 tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped
8 oz citrus vinaigrette
( In a mixing bowl combine Couscous with boiling water.  Let cool and add vegetables, ginger and herbs.  Let cool completely and stir in Vinaigrette.)

Citrus Vinaigrette
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp combined zest from lemon,lime and orange
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
(Combine juice, mustard, pepper and sugar.  Slowly whisk in the oil.)

Asian Glaze
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 oz honey
4 oz soy sauce
8 oz rice wine vinegar
(Mix all ingredients and bring to boil.)

In a 450 degree oven, bake four eight ounce salmon filets for 7 min.  Remove from oven, and brush with Asian glaze.  Serve over the couscous salad.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gulluk Turkey, Waiting to be discovered

Often in my job as in life I stumble upon hidden little gems overshadowed by diamonds.  This scenario played out for me last week when a 24 hour layover to a major resort destination in Turkey was cut short and turned into a lunch only stop.   The approach into Bodrum, Turkey was beautiful and made for a stunning aerial view of the Aegean Sea and surrounding area.  Each turquoise cove more beautiful than the last was dotted with small vessels and terraced villas.  Once on the ground and the airplane put away it was determined there was no time to drive into Bodrum, so Gulluk the nearby fishing village would have to do.  
Gulluk Turkey, Just North of Bodrum

           Fish was on the menu in Gulluk, a charming fishing village of nearly 3000 people set on the Aegean Sea.  Driving through the village to the dockside restaurant we were greeted by warm smiles and waves from the old men playing cards to the fisherman just coming in.
Southern Turkish Fisherman and his Beautiful Retriever
Mixed Turkish Mezza Plate

Fried Whole White Bait
   Good travel value is to be had in Gulluk as accommodations and meals are inexpensive and plentiful.  Many places have tidy little docks jutting out into a cove, covered in over sized pillows to sleep the day away.
      My short visit to Gulluk left me thinking about all of the worlds amazing little gems waiting to be discovered.  And how many diamonds in the rough are out there hidden by a brighter diamond.
Pondering Fisherman, Gulluk Turkey