"Capturing Life"

Families, Golf, and Food

What 3 things go together better than families, golf and food?  Well, probably lots of things but those are topics for other blog posts.  This week I’ll share a few musing thoughts and photo’s from all 3 of the aforementioned topics.

She loves me, she loves me not.

     

Let’s begin with Families.  Not my own family this time, but the adorable young family I got to photograph last week.  There are times that I am pulled back in my thoughts to the days when my boys were young with the adventure, activity, and energy they had.  Spending time last week with this family was one of those times.  Their little guy was not really interested in having his picture taken and he wasn’t really willing to comply with all the “big” people trying to get him to comply.  We tried coaxing, tricking, tickling, and ordering this adorable little one to sit for us, mostly to no avail.  I was really enjoying the moments and laughing (on the inside) at the whole thing.  It reminded me of one Christmas when Ric and I tried to get just one decent picture of our two older boys for our Christmas card.  It took an hour and a half to just get one photo that worked!  Yep, kids try your patience at times but they sure do produce some fun memories.  (the past is usually more pleasantly remembered the further you get from it)

 

Then, on Friday of last week,  I spent my day photographing a local benefit golf tournament.  The Stanwood Camano Incident Response golf tournament hosted 30 teams of golfers who were generous with their time and donations to golf in this tournament.  It was fun in spite of the Pacific Northwest rain that fell for the majority of the time they played.  I was pleased to find that I’m also not the only “hacker” on the golf course and that my golf balls are not the only ones with a magnetism to water. I might have to blow the dust off my set of clubs and head to the driving range to see if I can get my golf swing back in fairway shape.

    

The most unique golf cart I’ve ever seen.

My friend, Cindi, agreed to come along and be my assistant and we had a great time together.  I must admit, though, that by the time the last team of golfers came through, we were more than ready to be done.  I’m praying already that next year the sun decides to put in an appearance for at least part of the time.  On the up side, the overcast skies did provide nice even light for the photos of each of the golf teams.  I’m just glad I remembered those umbrellas in  my car otherwise it would not have been such fun for us!

It just so happened that the theme for the 52 week challenge was “Sense of Depth”. This find at the golf tournament fit nicely with the theme.

This week life returns to it’s normal “dull roar” and I continue to plod my way into my 52 week challenge.  It’s been a little bit of a challenge just to get my mind back in to thinking creatively.  A good kind of challenge, but a challenge nonetheless.

And now, for the food portion of this post.  Tonight’s dinner was quite tasty, if I do say so myself (which I obviously do!) but it was followed by an even more tasty dessert.  I am going to be instructing a mini-cooking class this coming Saturday at Karen’s Kitchen here on Camano Island and the topic will be “Cupcakes”.  Of course, I can’t provide instruction for things I am not familiar with so my family has become my taste testers.  I really have to twist their arms to participate but, alas, they all agreed.  I think they’re pretty happy they did!  Here are the recipes for both dinner AND dessert.  Note that the first recipe is a Weight Watchers recipe and that the second one is the furthest thing from Weight Watchers.  It’s all about balance in life, right?  Enjoy!

Balsamic Chicken & Mushrooms served on brown rice with a side of zucchini and asparagus

Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms
(recipe from Weight Watchers)

2    tsp  vegetable oil
3   Tbsp  Balsamic vinegar
2   tsp  Dijon mustard
1   large  garlic clove — crushed
1 lb    boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups  mushrooms — sliced
1/3 cup  chicken broth
1/4   tsp  dried thyme — crumbled

In nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp. of oil.  In a med. bowl, mix 2T. of
vinegar, the mustard and garlic.  Add chicken and turn to coat.  Transfer
chicken and marinade to skillet.  Saute’ chicken until cooked through,
about 3 min. on each side.  Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.

Heat remaining tsp. of oil in skillet.  Saute mushrooms for 1 min.  Add
broth, thyme and remaining T. of vinegar.  Cook, stirring occasionally,
until mushrooms are deep brown, about 2 min. longer.

Serve chicken  topped with mushrooms (serve over brown rice)

DC Vanilla Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Swirls, Chocolate Ganache and Buttercream Frosting

(adapted from Georgetown Cupcake via “Live With Kelly”)

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup milk, room temperature

1/4 cup peanut butter, melted in microwave

Preheat oven to 350*.  Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners; set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla; set aside

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg, mixing until fully incorporated.

Reduce speed on mixer to low and pour in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/3 of the mix mixture, mixing until combined.  Continue adding remaining flour and milk, beating until just incorporated.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins using a large cookie scoop, filling each about 2/3 full.  Carefully drop 3 small mounds of melted peanut butter on top of each cupcake, then use a long wooden skewer and swirl peanut butter into the cupcake batter, being careful to not over mix.

Bake at 350* for approximately 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in the pans on a wire rack.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, dip them into the following:

Chocolate Ganache

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp. butter

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all 3 ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high until the chocolate begins to melt, about 2 minutes.  Remove from microwave and stir to melt chocolate chips.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter.  Take cupcakes one at a time and turn them upside down, dipping the tops into the Ganache, lifting them carefully up and “twirling” them slightly to set the chocolate.  Turn right side up and set them on the wax paper.   Allow about 10 minutes or so for the Ganache to get firm.

Using your favorite buttercream frosting, pipe a dallop of frosting onto the tops of each cupcake.  Melt a little bit more peanut butter and drizzle on top of the buttercream.

The buttercream got a little bit soft because I tried to rush the process. The cupcakes were still a little warm when I added the Ganache and then I didn’t give the Ganache enough time to really cool down. That’s okay; the taste was still DELISH!

These cupcakes were met with the sounds of taste tester delight in my house!

 

NOTE:  If you desire seeing a larger version of a photo, click on the photo and a larger size will open.

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