Saturday, November 22, 2008

YouTube - "Star Wars" - an acappella tribute to John Williams

I found this posted on Facebook by Scott Norvell. I've loved John William's music ever since seeing Superman in 1978. That was the first movie music album I ever purchased (it was an 'LP'). I didn't know how many movies he has written the music for until I looked him up on Wikipedia just now. It's amazing! He's 78, and still writing music (the latest being Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). Here's the Wikipedia site if you're interested -

If you go to YouTube to view the video, click the 'More info' button, there is a lot of interesting info about the video. And now, the video...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yosemite in 'Hi-Rez'

If you like Yosemite and photography, check out this web site (link below).

My Dad sent me this hot piece of cool tech.

What you need to know - The program, Silverlight, is needed to be able to view the images and you will be asked to download it if your computer does not already have it. When using a mouse with a middle roller, first click anywhere on the image, and then roll in on the graphic until you see pictures in various locations. Left click to move the images and continue to roll in on a picture to understand the detail involved. You can see people on the top of Half Dome!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Salmon Dinner Night

Nothing much going on in my life lately, just busy with work, and the usual tasks at home. So I'm reduced to blogging about dinner. Let's hope I can keep your attention! Tracy is gone this weekend, so I was cooking for Nick and myself.

I discovered a unique Teriyaki sauce a month or two ago at Trader Joe's. So far I've used it on Salmon, with some tasty results. Here's what I do... (Keep in mind, the most advanced cooking I do is eggs and bacon for breakfast, so this isn't going to be complicated.)

First of all, I go to Trader Joe's and get some fresh dinner fixin's -

This afternoon I picked up two fresh Norwegian farm raised salmon patties with citrus butter and an Organic Whole Grain Loaf (plus a couple other necessities). I know, farm raised salmon isn't as good as wild salmon, but that's the salmon I got. Next time I'll look for wild salmon.

I threw the citrus butter away, and marinated the salmon in a bowl of Trader Joe's 'Soyaki' sauce. This 'Soyaki' sauce isn't the most healthy part of the meal. It has 490mg of sodium and 4g of sugar in every tablespoon. But I'm just marinating the salmon in it, so I'm certainly not ingesting any more than 1 tablespoon or less (at least that's what I like to think).

The Organic While Grain Loaf looked good. It has 'Organic Millet' in the list of ingredients. I think that's what's in the bird feeder hanging in front of the house... hmmmmm? Oh well, we are Swan's after all!

I have a gas bar-b-que, so the grillin' part was pretty easy. A friend of mine (Mike) taught me a long time ago - put some olive oil on a paper towel and rub it on the grill just before you throw the meat on. That helps prevent the meat from sticking and seems to keep the grates nice and shiny.

I read in a little brochure I picked up at Save Mart a month ago - you're supposed to put the Salmon on the grill with the skin up to begin with. That's because the fat is in the skin, and that makes the fat drizzle down through the meat. And as you know, Salmon fat is a 'good fat'. That is, it's loaded with healthy stuff like Omega-3 fatty acids (which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease). Since 'I is smart', I put the salmon on, with the skin up!

Back to the kitchen to make the rest of dinner. I've been getting into salad lately. I buy these bags of lettuce at the store - it's so easy! You just cut the bag open and throw the lettuce into a bowl. The '5 Lettuce Mix' is pretty good. I buy another bag of spinach so I can be strong like Popeye. I also like English cucumber and tomatoes. I mix it all together and then, following my step-mom Angela's lead - I use extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and fresh ground pepper for a salad dressing. I know, I know, more salt won't help my blood pressure, but I have to have some salt, right? After all - Sodium is the main component of the body's extracellular fluids and it helps carry nutrients into the cells. Sodium also helps regulate other body functions, such as blood pressure and fluid volume, and sodium works on the lining of blood vessels to keep the pressure balance normal.

Quick - back out to the grill to turn over the salmon! Just in time - it didn't burn...

Back to the kitchen. Next I painstakingly slave over the preparation of the peas. I cut open the bag of frozen peas, pour a few into a bowl, add water and pop them into the microwave. Did you know Clarence Birdseye invented the process of flash-freezing food? That's right, quick-frozen vegetables, fruits, seafoods, and meat were sold to the public for the first time in 1930 in Springfield, Massachusetts, under the tradename Birds Eye Frosted Foods®. I'm starting to sound just like Cliff Clavin sitting at the bar in Cheers. That's what the Internet will do to you...

Then I noticed the bread said it was 'slightly underbaked' and I should 'Crisp in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, for a crisp crust and moist interior'. Well, everything was just about ready, and I didn't have time to preheat the oven to 400 degrees. So I just threw it on the grill.

That would have been a good idea, if I had pulled it off the grill in time. Unfortunately I didn't. So it turned out to be more of a 'Millet toast' rather than nice moist slices of 'Organic Whole Grain Loaf'. They were still pretty good with some butter.

Time to open the wine. I got a bottle of 2005 Cool Fish Chardonnay from Monterey for $5.99. You can tell it's a good wine just by looking at the label. I mean just check it out - it has all kinds of different cool fish on it. And - it's from Monterey. And - it was only $5.99. So it has to be good! (Actually it is pretty good for a six dollar bottle of wine).

And now, the final result!

Notice that no food touches the other food on the plate. I'm pretty sure there is a command in the bible that says, "thy peas shall not touch thy salmon, thy salmon shall not touch thy bread, etc." So you see, I'm just trying to be obedient. One thing to note - Tracy made the cool Fall table runner - that was way more complicated than cooking this salmon.

Nick's plate was a touch different, notice - no peas, he takes after his mom! And he doesn't go for the healthy salad dressing either. Oh well, some day he'll go for the healthy stuff!

I've noticed the salmon is very moist when it's grilled this way. The Soyaki sauce gives it a great flavor, and no other sauce is necessary!