I'm not a vegetarian, it just seems like it.

Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) are awesome. So healthy and versatile. This stir-fry adaptation that I made up turned out delicious! Cumin + soy sauce (or tamari, for the gluten-challened) = magic.

Sauté minced garlic, chopped onion, and ~5 dashes of cumin in a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large wok or pan. Keep it on medium or slightly above medium. Add chopped broccoli, garbanzo beans, and bean sprouts (optional -- I had some left over from making spring rolls again -- but you can really add whatever else you want here). Add more cumin. Add some more cumin. Stir everything around and then add a mix of 1/3 C soy sauce and 1/4 C water and cover, letting it simmer until the broccoli is cooked. Add more cumin and perhaps some red pepper flakes.


Keeping cool

I just got back from a week-long visit home to NorCal! It went by entirely too fast. It got pretty hot one day, so we escaped to the natural air-conditioning of the redwoods and the ice-cold Pacific Ocean! It is hard to get an original shot of really tall trees, especially when confined to the designated walkways, but the light was so pretty that afternoon. And it was definitely a good 12 degrees cooler among the redwoods!


Left brain right brain

I took these 1-2 years (!) ago while waiting for an experiment in lab. A series of ~25 have been in local exhibits and a couple reside in the administrative offices of my school. Another lab photoshoot is long overdue!
PS. The one with the crystals is just a close-up of some dirty glasswear that had been sitting out for weeks!
PPS. To any scientists out there, yes those are glass pipettes. We're the only lab I know of who washes and re-uses the glass ones instead of throwing away plastic ones. Biomedical research can be EXTREMELY unfriendly to the earth (it's incredible how much plastic and styrofoam gets thrown away every day), so this at the very least is something. Hmm maybe we should sell reviewers on our "green research style" to get an edge on funding.


Geez they're cute.

Here are a few more of the >300 photos from this weekend's engagement shoot with my friends:

I'm so happy that they loved the photos -- it's a lot of pressure to make something for someone that they will look at for the rest of their lives! I'm doing my first wedding for some friends in October, so the pressure will be EXTRA on for that (but I'm excited)!

I must say, I am not actively seeking out photography jobs/selling. I'm mainly focused (har har) on my day job. I don't take my (big) camera out that often, but when I go home at the end of August I will probably take enough photos to post Photo Mondays until I go to Europe in October! Then no doubt I will take enough photos to post Photo Mondays for the next year!


Gosh I love quinoa

The past couple weeks I've been saving time and money by making some form of quinoa salad on Sunday night to last for lunches the rest of the week. I'm really liking this system -- it keeps well, it's never boring, and it is delish! I've definitely posted about quinoa a few times before here. If I turn even one person on to quinoa from this then my job is done.

Here is an umbrella recipe for 5 servings of Quinoa Salad:
Rinse 1 cup quinoa and cook it like rice. Mince 3 cloves of garlic and dice 1 medium yellow onion. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil until fragrant, then put in a large (I mean large) bowl with the quinoa. Add any combo of veggies, protein, and herbs, plus salt and pepper (I've been picking things based on what's on sale) and mix. For example:

Variation #1: Mexicana
2 cans black beans
Kernels from 3 ears of raw corn (it's yummy!)
1 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Variation #2: Italiana
1 can garbanzo beans
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large red bell pepper, diced
Kernels from 3 ears raw corn
Dried basil, salt and pepper

Variation #3: Americana? (pictured)
1 can garbanzo beans
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green bell pepper, diced
Kernels from 3 ears raw corn
1 cup chopped baby carrots, lightly sauteed
1 cup chopped and sauteed asparagus spears
1 cup sliced mushrooms, lightly sauteed
Dried basil, salt and pepper

Dispense into tupperware for lunches:

(I ate some for dinner, so there was 4 left for the week.) I usually supplement it with string cheese, yogurt, and fruit/veggies. I tend to get hungry like clockwork at 11am (eat yogurt), 12:30pm (eat quinoa salad and fruit or veggies), and 3:45pm (eat string cheese and fruit). Gotta be prepared!


Even more flora (and a little fauna)

Mama bird hit the jackpot on the worms! And that is an out-of-focus bee in the upper right hand corner of the second-to-last picture -- I didn't notice it until it was on my computer! I love how alien some vegetation can look. In the third picture there is a solitary droplet of water in the middle of the cabbage, somehow not yet evaporated. Same garden as in the last post.


More Flora

I will never tire of photographing flowers! I think that everyone has an intrinsic urge to take pictures of pretty flowers (and that some have suppressed it more than others). I think the first image will be on all of my engagement/wedding cards to people from now on.


It's officially summer!

Last week my lab took a few hours off to go strawberry picking! I ended up with almost 9 lbs of strawberries for $9.00! My office smelled SO good afterward: Picking the strawberries reminded me of this book from when I was little! These strawberries barely lasted through the weekend. What did I do with them?

Strawberry-rhubarb compote: It is really easy. I adapted this recipe: Place orange zest and juice from 1 orange in a large sauce pan along with 1/4 cup light agave nectar and 1 lb sliced rhubarb. Simmer for ten minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in 1-2 lb sliced strawberries.

Rhubarb is so pretty alone, but it definitely needs the strawberries to taste good. I like the hint of orange in there, too. Here is how I've been eating it:
Over arugula with goat cheese, balsamic, and toasted almond slivers
Over vanilla frozen yogurt. I've also mixed it into greek yogurt. A couple more uses for strawberries (besides just eating them of course):
Strawberry-infused water, just like in the fancy spas! I would've liked to put a few sprigs of mint in there too. I have a feeling this has started a water-infusing kick for the summer -- so refreshing! (ps. you don't need that much fruit, I was enthusiastic)
And, of course, strawberries and champagne!
I'm already looking forward to cherry and blueberry picking seasons!


On a walk

Don't have much to say...took these on a walk last week, same as from the last post. Have a good Monday! I don't know about you but I'm ready for the weekend already.


Graffiti Series: Round 2

I finally got out and took some photos after work today, and I noticed some new decoration around town. Now, if your memory serves you, I've posted a pic of the yellow turtle before -- now it seems like there is a new "life" gang in town; it is scrawled everywhere. Perhaps some pro-life teenage hooligans? Who knows. And can I just say, I LOVE the parking garage gatekeeper! Boring objects should be anthropomorphized more often!