Category Archives: Personal

Walking Stop Motion

Stop Motion has always been fascinating to me. It’s especially cool when they’re done with tiny detailed scenes and props. I’ve tried my hand at a few in that style, but this one is just a series of sequential pictures taken while walking. It’s something I completely forgot about until I saw a cool example online recently.

Mom’s Day Card – http://youtu.be/0qW96c4_cVQ

This was made back when I lived in San Francisco. A little trip to the local Rite Aid to get a card for my mom on Mother’s Day. I used a Canon Digital Elph and just kept on snapping. Finding this video again is totally inspiring me to make more in the future. Perhaps I’ll combine the technique with some metalworking. Shooting metal as it changes or maybe even some fire.

** The video on youtube is unlisted because I’m unsure what music I put in it. Feel free to share it if you’d like. **

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

flourless_peanutbutter_cookies_finishedThe other night I started craving sweets after dinner, as usual. So as I often do, I looked up recipes for what I could make that is gluten-free with what I have on hand. There’s a flourless peanut butter cookie recipe on allrecipes.com that I started with and took suggestions from the comments. Here’s the recipe the way I like it best:

flourless_peanutbutter_cookies_ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. The mixer is not mandatory but the Justin’s peanut butter is pretty stiff and required a lot of mashing to incorporate.flourless_peanutbutter_cookies_premix
  3. Roll into balls and place evenly on a greased cookie sheet. The dough seems like a bowl of crumbles but squeezing it will make a ball that holds together pretty well.flourless_peanutbutter_cookies_batter_balls
  4. Smash with a fork. They don’t flatten on their own at all! If not you have big ball-shaped cookies that are uncooked in the center.flourless_peanutbutter_cookies_ready_to_bake
  5. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

The original recipe didn’t have vanilla, but it’s absolutely perfect in there. Another suggestion many commenters made was to replace the 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar, ending up with a total of 3/4 cup of sweetness. I tried this in my first batch and, while delicious, the cookies weren’t nearly sweet enough. The Justin’s peanut butter I use is not as sweet as many other brands. I also liked it better with just regular sugar instead of the brown, but again this could depend on the type of peanut butter.

Overall this is one of the easiest cookie recipes I’ve ever made. They were a huge hit with my family for Memorial Day this past weekend. If you know of any yummy gluten-free dessert recipes please point me in their direction!

It’s Always Salsa Time

homemade_salsa_ingredients_jalapeno_onion_tomato_grinders_garlic

Ok let’s be real here, salsa is amazing. My favorite is a simple tomato salsa with a good kick. I do love a nice green salsa too, but it doesn’t hold a candle to a classic red. In the past I always bought the jarred stuff and raved about the glorious-ness that is table salsa at a restaurant. Every so often I’d make my own but I didn’t usually want to put in the work. Well, now I know that Costco has cans of organic diced tomatoes by the box so I make the stuff once or twice a week. It’s all done in a food processor with very little cleanup. Here’s the recipe I use:

  • 2 – 14.5oz cans of diced tomato (or 3 cups if cutting up your own)
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • A handful of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The first step is to roast the jalapeños. Stick a fork in the end and rotate them over the stove until the entire skin is completely blackened. It takes a little while but really enhances the flavor and is so worth it. Lay down a damp paper towel and put the jalapeños on it, then cover with a bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes so they can steam. After steaming, the skin will easily scrape off with a fork or knife. You don’t want to eat this part so just throw it out. Cut the peppers in half and scrape out the seeds and with the white pulp they’re attached to. Save them, as this is how you make it spicy. Most of the spice in a jalapeño comes from the stuff in the center. Just putting the flesh in will hardly give you a mild salsa, but if you put them both in whole with all the seeds it’ll be really spicy!

salsa_in_the_making_before_tomato

Now all the ingredients are prepared and it’s time to blend it up. To keep the tomatoes a little chunky, I like to put everything else in the processor first and give it all a good spin. Then just throw in the tomatoes and a bit of seeds with pulp and after a few more spins you’ll have fresh, delicious salsa!

Tips: Start slow with the jalapeño insides, it can quickly get insanely hot. A few batches ago I had to open a third can of tomato just to tame it down. Also, depending on how sweet the tomatoes are, sometimes a half teaspoon or so of sugar is needed to give a hint of sweetness.

homemade_salsa_with_chips

Have you ever made your own salsa? If so what other ingredients do you use? I love my recipe but sometimes I think of changing it up but don’t know where to go from here. Please feel free to ask any questions! I make this stuff all the time and I’d love to help you make it for yourself!

 

Installing Bodhi Linux, Or Not Really

My initial plan for this evening was to install Bodhi Linux and then spend half an hour or so playing with it. Then I’d write about how it went and my first impressions. It’s two hours later and I still haven’t booted into Bodhi. The same problem cropped up as with my Ubuntu install; the backlight simply won’t turn on. Writing acpi backlight variables into GRUB didn’t work like last time. Maybe I’ll try it on the desktop instead of the problematic laptop.

Earlier I found a tool called Instant Article Wizard. It is an incredible research tool for rapidly creating content. It basically finds tons of snippets and facts about your topic and helps you rewrite it in different words. The damn thing even has an originality checker against web sources. Personally I’d use it for researching and helping write niche site articles. It certainly has the capacity for abuse by auto-writing sub par content. It would be awesome to grab facts and tons of research though. The instant thesaurus feature is pretty sweet too! Most of the passive income strategies involve writing, so any practice I can get is most welcome.

Not sure what I’m going to do now, but I feel the need to unwind and relax my brain for a while. Maybe I’ll watch some random TV. Oooh I just remembered Burn Notice! Absolutely love that show. The action and comedy blend together into a beautiful rainbow swirl. The explosions, the excitement, and oh the disguises. Love it. Well gonna go turn on the Xbox and start up Netflix. Time to be entertained.

Hello blog

I’ve always wanted to start a blog. I’ve made a few minor endeavors in the past, but all of them have come and gone, never to become anything substantial. I really love to write, and I often forget it for long periods of time. Perhaps a preoccupation with my mental state and an abundance of over-critical self examination end up squashing my resolve. I lose the drive to write. To paint a picture with words, or to interact with a reader. Powerful forms of expression.

The aspect that excites me most about writing this is the prospect of community. I’d like to feel engaged again. I want to rediscover my voice, to be inspired to create. Drafting my thoughts into a published medium could help turn my inner eye outward. This blog is the stepping stone; a first step toward awakening. These words will be written for sanity, and whatever information or insight I can pass on is just a wonderful added bonus. I am delighted.