Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New England Trip

New England

For those of you who don't know I lost a couple of really close friends a few years back, Timmy and Randi. It was one of the hardest things for me to overcome and to be perfectly honest, I'm still not over it. England, New Hampshire to be exact. However something good did come from this, I became close to their wonderful families. Randi's family is from New England and her cousin, Tina, is one of the coolest chicks I have ever met. It's amazing that something so wonderful could come from something so terrible.

New England

So when the families were here last year I was talking with my new friend Tina and she informed me that she lived in one of the most beautiful places in the world when it's autumn. Crazy enough I had heard this from a number of people and I definitely was interested in checking it out. She cracked a joke about how we should come visit them out there and I was started giving it some serious thought almost immediately. I double checked it was cool if the wife and I stayed for a week, Tina obliged and 1 year later we bought the plane tickets.

New England

On October 13th, my Mom's birthday, we boarded a plane on our way to Manchester, NH. Of course we had a layover and we ended up having to stop in Philly on the way there. I was immediately pissed because of all the Steeler's garb I found everywhere but I digresses. I was really stoked about our trip so I didn't let the shitty service at the airport restaurant get me down, I chilled out and caught my transfer flight.

New England

We arrived in Manchester at 11:00 pm and we were bushed. We got back to Tina's place and just zonked out. The next morning we were met with the smell of fresh brewed coffee. We then realized that we were really staying in a legit log cabin. It was really cool. Never been in one before so it was neat. The coffee we were told was from Duncan Donuts and I had never had that before. Tina and her daughter couldn't believe it because that store out there is what Starbucks is to us here. I remember Kishelle asked if they had soy and the toothless hag of a Batista looked at us like we were crazy. It was quit an adjustment.

New England

Anyways we set off on our first adventure which was a trip to the New Hampshire coast and was was the first time I had ever laid eyes on the Atlantic Ocean. The weather was nuts that day. It was foggy like you wouldn't believe and it was movie raining. All day. It was nuts. That didn't effect our moods at all though, we are kind of used to that thing in Seattle. I did get to have my first lobster roll and it was amazing. No joke it's in my top 5 of all time best things I have put in my mouth.

New England

The next day we made a trip to see Randi and it was the first time seeing her in that state. It was a tough one for me, really tough. She is buried in an absolutely beautiful cemetery and she's in a good spot. It was great to see her but it really brought me down. So I focused on taking pictures and the great company I was in and that got me through it.

New England

After that we shot up to the White Mountains and say some unbelievable scenery. We went to Woodstock, NH which was a really cool town reminiscent of Winthrop, WA. Super cool little town with rad river river through it which made for some cool pics. We then headed over to Weir's Beach which is kind of like a summer get away for people, like Long Beach here. We then set back for home and had a killer meal that I made for the everyone, the only time I got to cook on my vacation.

New England

When we got up it was Sunday and Tina had a special day for a friend of her's who recently passed away after a motorcycle accident. They were going to attempt the world's largest, simultaneous motorcycle burnout. However this wasn't until after we had the best buffet which had prime rib, pancakes, waffles, bacon, haddock, turkey, stuffing and omelettes. Not to mention I was wearing my bright green Hawk's jersey with the coveted number 12 on it (that's Brady's number). Needless to say I was getting some weird looks. So after the killer food it was off to the rally point for the bikers then off to the race track. It was a pretty cool experience to see but unfortunately they didn't break the record. It was an awesome sight regardless.

New England

On the following day we were off to Boston for a night which I will do a separate post about later. It was awesome for the record.

New England

On the way home from Boston we got to see where Randi grew up. She was raised in Lowell, MA which is one of the oldest industrial cities in the nation. There were a ton of old factories and cool roads and lots to look at it. We went and saw Randi's mom who still lives in the same house that she grew up in. It was sad seeing her picture on the wall and the flag folded up on her old end table. However it was nice to see where the grew up and see her Mom again.

New England

On our last night there we went over to another one of Randi's cousin's house, her name is Dawn, I honestly couldn't tell you where it was other than it was in NH. On the way there Tina took us to a place that they do weddings right on a late. It was crazy beautiful and I was able to take some pretty sweet pics. When we got to the Dawn's house we were met with a fire, pizza, beer and lots of great people. We sat around the bonfire and BSed about a number of things. It's crazy but they think it rains in Seattle all the time. I mean it doesn't rain all the time, like 4 days a week. So we wrapped it up pretty early that night because of the 4 am wakeup call we had.

New England

As we left I could tell that we were going to have to come back to the beautiful New England. The place was unbelievable in terms of scenery, food and beer but the real kicker was people. You always hear horror stories about people on the east coast being complete assholes. This couldn't be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that they are honest and they don't take and guff from anybody. If this makes them assholes then put me on that list.

New England

I was also truly touched by the hospitality I received from my late friend's family. They were so kind and open and willing to accept us into their family. I know the circumstances in which we all became friends was probably the worst that anyone can think of but something amazing came from it, I made some of the best friends and connections I could have asked for. If you are reading this thank you for being so wonderful and making our trip so special. We love you guys and hope that you can make it over to this side of the USA some time again. It would be great to have you.

New England

To see all the pics click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taco Salad with Honey, Chipotle Vinaigrette

Taco Salad

Now I'm now the type of guy who orders a salad when I go out to eat at a restaurant but every now and again it's nice to kind of mix it up. This is kind of the best of both words. You get the spicy taco meat mixture, the crispy chips and the fresh, cold lettuce. It's simply too good for words. Then you combine it with a honey and chipotle vinaigrette, you are in for one killer salad. I really hope you like it because I know me and the wife certainly do. If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.

Kitchen Notes
- You can use whatever recipe for taco meat you'd like, my recipe can be found here.
- If you want to use simple tortilla chips instead of my deep fried tortillas, that's fine as well.
- Customize however you wish, cheese and tomatoes would be great on this as well.
- Makes 4 large dinner salads.

- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon mexican oregano
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10 white corn tortillas, chopped into strips
- peanut oil for frying
- 4 heads romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
- 1 red onion, sliced thin
- 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 & 1/3 pound ground taco meat, my recipe can be found here

The Process
1. Combine the vinegar, honey, mustard, chipotle powder, lime juice, pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano and mix well using a whisk. Then slowly stir in the olive oil using the whisk until it all comes together. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to overnight.
2. In a large pot heat the peanut oil over medium high heat. Fry the tortilla strips in batches until they turn golden brown. Remove from the oil, place in a large bowl then season with salt and green tabasco (optional).
3. While frying the tortillas, cook the taco meat to your preference. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
4. In 4 large bowls, divide the lettuce, onion, corn, beans, cilantro, taco meat and crispy tortilla strips amongst them. Make sure the vinaigrette is mixed well, then add to each of the salads.
5. Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beef, Barley and Beer Stew

Beef, Beer and Barley Soup

Yeah you read that right I made this soup with a 16 ounce can of some fine Scotch Stout. It was delicious. Also it was my first rutabaga experience and let me tell you, it was really amazing. They are kind of like a really earthy tasting potato with a hint of horseradish. I recommend that you make this soup just how I have it written down because it couldn't have turned out any better. I mean you can play with it if you want to, but it's not really necessary. Like always if you have questions or comment please let me know.

Kitchen Notes
* I used chuck steak but you can use whatever you like. I use it because of the fat content and it really fantastic when you cook it down.
* If you don't want to use the rutabaga, then potatoes will suffice.
* Serve with some warm crusty bread to sop up all the good juices.
* If you don't have an oven save cooking apparatus, then just cook it on the stove on low for 2 hours.
* If you can't find a Scottish ale, then some dark brewed beer would be great.
* Makes 8 servings as an app, or 4 as a meal.

- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 & 1/2 pounds chuck steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into cubed
- 1/2 pound of button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups beef stock, divided
- 1 16 ounce can of scotch ale
- 2 14.5 ounce cans stewed tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup pearled barley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves

The Process
1. Heat a large, oven safe (dutch oven), pot to medium high heat then add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add the beef cubes to the dredge and coat completely. Add the beef to the hot pot (reserve the remaining seasoned flour) and cook until all sided are browned about 8 minutes total. Remove the beef from the pot to a plate. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, then add the celery, onion, carrots, rutabaga, mushrooms and garlic to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes or until all the vegetables have been sweatted down. Add 1/2 cup of the beef stock to the reserved flour and stir until the flour is nice and smooth. Return the beef to the pot then add the flour/beef stock to the pot and stir well.
3. Deglaze the pan with the beer and bring to a simmer. Add the rest of the beef stock, the tomatoes, the barley, the thyme and the bay leaves to the pot and bring to a simmer. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary then place the pot in the oven and cook for 3 hours stirring every 1/2 hour or so.
4. Remove the pot from the oven and reseason if necessary. Ladel into bowls and top with some parmesan cheese or fresh chopped parsley.
5. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pearrygin Lake 2011

Pearrygin Lake

Every year we do a big (Dad's side) family reunion in Winthrop, WA at a little state park called Pearrygin Lake.

Father and Son

We've been doing this for going on 30 years now and it never gets old.


You basically swim, eat, fish, drink, burn shit, camp and all other things outdoors for a week.

The Barn

It's the greatest time every year we absolutely love that place.


So check out some of the pics from our trip I hope you like them.

Old Truck

We are getting into picture season so if anyone is interested, click the Recruit Me link above.

Stay Close

Direct Link to my Flickr Page

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cauliflower Alfredo

Cauliflower Alfredo

I know what you're thinking, how can you take a generally bland vegetable and turn it into something as delicious as alfredo? Well it's easy my friends and it is delicious, very. The firs time I made it I was kind of blown away by how it turned out not to mention how simple it was. I have put cauliflower in mashed potatoes before and it was killer so why wouldn't this work? Well it does and it's amazing. So give this a shot and let me know what you think.

Kitchen Notes
* Feel free to use whatever noodles you have on hand they are all good. I just happened to have some tri color pasta around so that's what I used.
* Serve with 4 grilled chicken breasts to make it into a meal.
* I used fat free half and half and it turned out really well.
* Makes 4 servings.

- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 pound pasta
- salt and peppter

The Process
1. In a skillet with a lid, add the oil, butter and heat until melted over medium high heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and stir to combine for about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower and stir again to coat in the garlic and rosemary. Add the wine and let reduce for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and stir everything together. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cover skillet and turn heat down to medium and cook minutes stirring occasionally, for 20 minuted or until most of the liquid is evaporated. The cauliflower should be fork tender. In another pot start the water for the pasta.
3. When the water boils add the noodles. In a blender or food processor add the cauliflower mixture along with any liquid that's left. Add the half and half and the parmesan cheese. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Drain the noodles.
4. Return the drained noodles to the pot you just boiled them in along with the contents of your blender/food processor over medium heat and stir well until everything is mixed together. Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Serve and ENJOY!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

I know what you're thinking, it's been a while since I have posted anything. The fact of the matter is that I have been ridiculously busy with life, wife and all things in between. You might also be thinking that I haven't been cooking much lately but this couldn't be more incorrect. I have been trying new things, getting new tools, (like a Weber Bullet Smoker and a Paella Pan), and trying to perfect these new recipes. So don't fret yall, I'm still here, doing my thing.

Beef Bourguignon is a dish that I have made quit a few times now and I feel pretty good about how it's evolved in my kitchen. This dish takes some time and because of this I usually make it on Sunday. It also requires a pan that can be used on the stove and also the in the oven that also has a lid. My le creuset works perfectly for this. I really hope you like it and like always if you have questions please let me know.

Kitchen Notes
* If you can't find slab bacon, then use the "ends and pieces" pack that you can find at your store. If you can't find that then thick sliced bacon will work just fine.
* Make sure that your beef chunks are INSANELY dry. It is a very important step because it makes sure that you get a good seer on your meat.
* You can use whatever wine you like but it HAS to be a red. I prefer burgandy wine but I have used merlot and something called Washington Red.
* If you don't have a pan that can be used on the stove and in the oven, then cook everything on the stove and put it all in a casserole pan with a lid on it.
* The herb bouquet is kind of important. Find some fresh herbs and throw them together with some twine and all it good. Mine was rosemary, oregano, thyme and italian parsley.
* If you don't have roasted garlic then you can use regular garlic but add it when you saute the carrots, onion and celery.
* Makes 6 - 8 servings.

- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound slab bacon cut into lardons
- 3 to 4 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 2 inch cubes
- 6 carrots peeled the diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic
- 1 bottle burgady wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 bay leaf crumbled
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 herb bouquet
- 1 pound button mushrooms quartered
- 2 pounds red potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes

The Process
1. Add the olive oil to the pan over medium high heat then add the bacon and cook until the fat has been rendered and it's got some nice color on it about 8 minutes or so. Using a slotted spoon remove from the pan and set aside until later.
2. Add about 1/2 of your beef chunks to the pan making sure not to crowd them. No pieces should be touching other pieces. Brown both sides then remove and place on the same plate with the bacon. Brown the remaining beef then remove from the pot. Should take about 6 minutes per side.
3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the carrots, onion, celery and dried thyme and cook until onions become translucent about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and roasted garlic and stir until combines.
4. Return the beef and bacon to the pot as well as the the wine, beef stock (you really only need enough to cover everything so you might use more or less), bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir to combine then bring to a simmer. Add the herb bouquet then put the lid on it and put in the oven.
5. Every 30 minutes go and give this a good stir. You should see the liquid reducing each time. Do this for 3 hours.
6. After your 6 stirs and 3 hours are, add the potatoes and mushrooms, stir well then return to the oven. The sauce should be getting thicker. Put back in the oven for another hour giving it one final stir after 30 minutes.
7. Remove from oven, re-season with salt and pepper if needed then serve.
8. Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011



This is one of those sandwiches that I wish I would have been introduced to me when I was younger. It took 28 years of my life before someone introduced to me to these delicious pieces of bread and meat and cheese. If you've never had one you owe it to yourself to have one. I bet you looking at the ingredients and thinking that they don't really sound that good. Trust me they are insanely good. So give this a shot and let me know what you think. If you have any questions please let me know.

Kitchen Notes
* You can use whatever kind of pork you'd like. It simply needs to be something cooked through and delicious. I used some left over pork chops I had.
* Traditionally these are made with baguettes but I like this method better. I used como bread.
* If you have a panini press use it.
* Makes 4 sandwiches.

- 8 slices of crust bread
- 2 tablespoons or so of yellow mustard
- 8 slices swiss cheese
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced ham (I used black forest because it's awesome)
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced roasted pork
- 3 dill pickles sliced thin
- 1 stick of butter melted

The Process
1. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
2. Let's make some sandwiches. On all the pieces of bread cover it with the mustard, then the cheese. Then place the pork, ham and pickles on half of the pieces of bread then cover them with the other halves.
3. Put some butter into the center of the pan then add 2 sandwiches on top of it then cover with a sheet pan. When 3 minutes are up rotate the sandwiches 180 degrees to get an even toast. Wait 3 more minutes then cover the top with butter then flip. Do the same thing for this side until you get the desired toastiness.
4. Remove from the pan, cut in half and enjoy. I like mine with a light salad or fries or something else delicious.
5. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Cundiffs

Cammy & Taylor-91

Here's another person I haven't seen since high school but we have kept in touch via social media sites (I know you know what I'm talking about). She invited me into her home to take pictures of her family including a 2 year old girl named Cameron and a 3 week old newborn named Taylor. Let me tell you they are cuter in person. Not to mention it's really nice to see a couple who is still so in love after being together for quit some time.

Cammy & Taylor-92

Anyways this was my first chance at taking pics of a newborn. My wife, who supports me 100% in anything I want to do was so stoked that I got this opportunity that she immediately went to the craft store and bought all kinds of fabric and props for little Taylor.

Cammy & Taylor-61

We went over there in the morning and spent about 3 hours taking pics of the kids, the couple then all of them together. It really was a blast and everyone did really well with having us in their home.

Cammy & Taylor-4

I really like how the pics turned out but I am always looking for feedback. If you get a moment please take a look and let me know what you think. Also if you are looking for pics please let me know.

Cammy & Taylor-107

Direct Link to Flickr Page

Cammy & Taylor-32

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Graduation Pics


Here's another new one for me, grad pics. Now I never got these done so I really had no idea how to approach this shoot.


I know that's it's supposed to be the subject just kind of lounging around being themselves because these are what they send to their family members for their graduation parties and such.


So I took it pretty seriously and I am not going to lie I had a great time taking them.


I spent a considerable amount of time editing them because shooting int the sun is a challenge in itself.


Check them out and let me know what you think.


If you are looking for pics please let me know I am very interested.


Direct Like to Flickr

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Beadles

The Beadles

You know how you have friends that you just can't live without? How they're always there for you with advice, hugs and whiskey. Well Anna and Jared are those people to me. They have been a part of my life for quite a while and Jared was even in my wedding.

The Beadles

He's a good ol' boy from Tennessee who hooked up with this island (Bainbridge Island in case you were wondering) chick, got married and now have a beautiful daughter that looks like them both. It's been great watching her grow up and become a little person.

The Beadles

So when they asked me to take pics of them I was flattered and excited. They did such an amazing job and Lili (the daughter) was in full effect cuteness.

The Beadles

The locale was great even though there were tons of people and the weather was awesome. I broke my old record again of pics edited which is now 156.

The Beadles

So take a look at the pics if you get a chance and let me know what you think. Thanks again Anna and Jared for letting me take pics of your wonder family. Next time we are going to have to incorporate the dogs.

The Beadles

Link to Pics on Flickr

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

Here's a new recipe to me and I have no idea why I have never tried this before. I'm not saying I've never made this dish which I haven't, I have never had a Tamale Pie. What was I thinking? I have lived on this planet for 28.4 years and I have never had this delicious Tex-Mex dish. So I figured I should make this. I had the general idea of how it works. Make some taco meat, mix in some veggies then cover it in cornbread and bake it in the oven. Piece of cake right? It was trust me. So here's the recipe I made up I hope you all like it. Any questions or suggestions let me know.

Kitchen Notes
* If you don't have a cast iron skillet, put the meat in the bottom of a casserole dish then the cornbread mix over the top.
* You can use ground beef or chicken or whatever kind of protein you like.
* While you are browning the meat make the cornbread.
* Makes 6 servings.

- 1 pack of ground turkey (it's about 1.33 pounds)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon mexican oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 cup corn kernals
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup veggie/canola
- 1/4 cup chopped jalapenos
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

The Process
1. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, combine the ground turkey, onion, garlic and crushed red peppers in the pan. Using a spatula break up the meat as small as you can while it cooks and all the meat turns greyish.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, stock and tomato paste and cook until about half of the liquid has evaporated about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and corn and cook until the corn is heated through. Season with the 2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of the flour and stir to combine it should get pretty thick.
3. Combine the 1 cup of flour in a bowl with the corn meal, baking powder and salt and using a whisk, combine. Then in a seperate bowl combine the egg, mild and the oil and whisk well. Stir the wet into the dry and whisk again then fold in the jalapenos.
4. Level your meat mixture as best as you can in the cast iron skillet. Then place the cheese over the top of it and give it a couple of minutes to melt. Then pour the cornbread over the top of that making sure it's as flat as possible. Place in the oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or untilt the cornbread is cooked through.
5. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes until slicing into pie sliced pieces.
6. Enjoy!

Kim and Maddy Round 2

Kim and Maddy

Hey check it out, I have my first return customer! Kim and her daughter were one of my first shoots a few months ago and they were super cool about me using them as guinea pigs. I do feel like I have grown quit a bit as a photographer since then so I was stoked an anxious for the oppurtinuty to reshoot them. It's pretty awesome too because they are super cool and Madison is the cutest little kid ever.

Kim and Maddy

So we met at Point Defiance in Tacoma and went about shooting. The weather was great and sunny and warm. It was Maddy's first time at the beach and she did was we've all wanted to do and that's push our mom in the water. The sun was a challenge to me because I've only every shot when it's been overcast but I overcame.

Kim and Maddy

I filled up a memory card (about 700 pics) and ended up with 144 good, edited pics that I gave to her which shattered my old record of 108. I am proud of how they turned out and think I did a pretty good job. Let me know what you think and if you are looking for some pics let me know.

Kim and Maddy

Direct Link to Pics on Flickr