Friday, December 23, 2011

Metamorphosis

Anyone in England can now buy an E-Book version of Metamorphosis...three stories, from three young authors, written in collaboration with James P. Blaylock.

[ One of them is co-authored by me :) ]
http://www.sfgateway.com/books/m/metamorphosis/

Or, there is always the original hardcover :)

http://www.subterraneanpress.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=SP&Product_Code=blaylock09


By the way, Happy Holidays!

I can't wait for 2012: I think this is going to be my Metamorphosis year.

-Working with Paul Fetters as his assistant.
-Taking large format photography (last course until graduation!).
-Hopefully TAing again for Basic Photo.

Best,
Alex

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Video-Art

I'm taking a Multimedia Arts course this semester. It's primarily a video-art class. I'm kind of sad, because I wanted to use paint, I wanted to use old family slides, I wanted to use a darkroom. Somehow I will figure out a way to integrate those interests into a project in this class. Just today I had an interesting project idea for an installation using Cinemagraphs.

I'm posting my first in-class assignment in Multimedia. It's called "Jillian's Dream," as our assignment was to film a video work about your partner.

My partner and I exchanged notes on each others' likes, interests, characteristics, activities, etc.

The main points used to create this video work:
1) a girl who equally parties and works too much to stay involved in past interests.
2) a girl who can't stay put in one place for too long.
3) a girl who is addicted to coffee.

Some of the shots and edits are a bit rough. Mind you, this was brainstormed and filmed in a matter of an hour or two, and edited in a matter or 45 minutes, give or take. This was not for a grade, just for participation. We were not assigned any instructions on sound and used the camera's internal mike for beat (:/). However, I was able to use the beat sounds in some interesting ways. I am sad the audio is not more refined (maybe I should remove it altogether, but I like some of the sounds too much). I thought the video piece turned out to have some nice rhythmic sequences of video montage and natural sounds.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bacon Fixes Everything

Let me be honest. I was not particularly pleased with the london broil I concocted the other night. For some reason it came out tougher than I was hoping for, and the gravy lacked a flavor I can't put my tongue on.

So I moved on, saddened, but ready for a new challenge: cooking without oil of any kind (and not because I want to be healthier...). In my previous post I gave notice of my plans to make a red bell pepper and potato soup...and usually I flavor soup broth with a little olive oil...but since I am out of olive oil I had to come up with a new plan.

I thought 'bacon.' And then?

Then I created a Kickin' Potato Red Pepper and Bacon Soup!

It turned out just the way my taste buds were hoping! Spicy and sweet.

Ingredients

1 yellow onion
1 can roasted bell peppers or 3 large fresh bell peppers roasted at home, chopped
3 russet potatoes, chopped
2 cans chicken or veggie broth (or bouillon cubes w/ water)
2 cups water
8 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped (save fat)
1/4 cup bacon fat
1 teaspoon cayan pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
pepper and salt to taste (I recommend no added salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper)

Directions

Start by heating broth and water mixed with seasonings (cayan, pepper, salt, garlic, bay leaf, paprika). Add chopped raw onions, chopped raw potatoes, chopped bell peppers. Bring to boil and simmer.

Cook bacon, cool. Chop bacon, then add bacon and 1/2 cup bacon fat to the soup pot. Continue to simmer.

The soup took about 1hr 45mins before I decided it was done. This gave all the flavors a nice chunk of time to seep into one another. If you're not a fan of spicy flavors, forego the cayan pepper and add a little less paprika and black pepper.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1hr 45mins
Total time: 2hrs 10mins

Now I'm wondering what bacon/bacon fat would be like in a tomato sauce...but that might be too crazy. I guess the pancetta will do. Stay tuned for my next kitchen adventure!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Seeing Red

So I'm a huge fan of tomato and red bell pepper this week.

Today I started making a london broil.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Hunt's tomato sauce
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayan pepper
1.5 lb london broil

Dump it all in a slow cooker and cook for at least 7 hours, or for as long as 10. Cook up some potatoes and asparagus. Poor the gravy over the meat and potatos and serve.

Later in the week I have plans for some red pepper lovin' --

1. Red pepper and potato soup.

2. Pancetta and red pepper tomato sauce over pasta.

I'll update on how it turns out once I make it.

I seriously need to invest some olive oil seeing as my mother in-law (future) didn't leave any around before she and her husband left town for two weeks.




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quick Cornbread Casserole

Sometimes you just need a quick and easy meal. I always lean toward latin american flavors but I also have a love for the traditional casserole family dinner. My favorite meal that combines these two things? Cornbread casserole. This dish has a tex-mex/ southwestern bite with the comfort of a filling casserole.

Quick Cornbread Casserole

2 Boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 can Bush's Black Bean Fiesta**
1 can Del Monte Diced Tomatoes Zesty Chili Style**
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1.5 cups cheddar cheese
Paprika or Cayan pepper and Red Pepper flakes (to your taste)

**This meal can be prepared with fresh ingredients, but for the sake of saving time (and money) I used canned beans that were already combined with corn, onions, peppers and spices. I also used tomatoes already seasoned with tex-mex flavors.

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

1. Drain tomatoes and set aside juice to brown meat in. Mix tomatoes and beans in a large bowl.
2. Brown turkey meat in a pan with tomato juice and any spices you prefer.
3. Combine turkey with beans and tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Place in bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.
4. Prepare cornbread mix as box instructs. Pour over meat, beans, and tomato mixture. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over cornbread and the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.
5. Bake dish for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Test to see a knife or toothpick comes out clean from cornbread. If not continue baking for another 5-10 minutes and test again.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baking Away the Boredom


Last night I had a case of boredom. What do I always do when I can afford it? Cook or bake, of course! However I am pretty strapped for cash right about now, so I looked around the house and realized there were some large overripe bananas just chilling on the counter that nobody was planning to eat. I'm sure you can guess what I was thinking: banana bread?

Yup.

So I made some, but I wanted to do it a little different than usual...so, I thought, 'what goes great with bananas?' And you know what I thought? 'I love fried bananas with cinnamon, so I bet I'll love banana bread with cinnamon.' And guess what? It was a fantastic idea.

Here it is:



Banana Banana (Cinnamon Monster) Walnut Bread

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (I used three large overripe bananas and didn’t measure them out.)

(I added ¼ cup cinnamon, 1 tablespoon nutmeg, and 1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan (or five 4x2 in pans).

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Fold in chopped nuts. Stir (or fold for a less tough dough) banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Finally fold in cinnamon and nutmeg (this could probably be added to the flour mixture in the first step). Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

**Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes (or about 45 minutes with five smaller pans), until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

**You can make a brown sugar and butter glaze to coat the top of the bread after it has baked for around 40 minutes for an added crunch. Bake for the remaining 5-10 minutes with glaze. For glaze use a 2:1 ratio – butter to sugar.