quick photography

I just took a peek inside the front cover of my Silver Palate Cookbook, and it appears that I bought it back in 1982. That sounds about right.  That would also be the year I started baking this Irish soda bread, one of the many recipes I fell in love with from this beloved classic.

There are a few places in my well-used book that easily open to favorite recipes. You can see evidence of batter-smeared fingers that turned pages, or places where splatters of soup or stock got too close to the action.

Like all quick breads, baking soda and/or baking powder are the leavening agents, rather than yeast. This recipe calls for a teaspoon of baking soda, a full tablespoon of baking powder, and buttermilk – a powerful combination that makes the batter rise immediately as you stir it together.

I’m pretty sure that most of the world eats Irish soda bread piping hot out of the oven, but I like to refrigerate the baked loaf overnight and then toast thin slices. A crisp, buttered piece of Irish soda bread, chock full of currants, goes perfectly with a cup of tea or espresso. This not too sweet bread is equally good alongside a bowl of soup.

Irish soda bread, a well-loved recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook, by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1-½ cups dried currants
  • 1-¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Smear 2 tablespoons of the butter evenly in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Line the buttered skillet with a circle of waxed paper. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and set aside.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add currants to dry ingredients and toss well to coat.

Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons reserved melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Do not overmix.

Spoon batter into prepared skillet and smooth top. Dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 1 hour. (Mine was done after 55 minutes.) Either serve warm directly from skillet, or let cool completely on a rack, and then wrap carefully and refrigerate overnight. If serving chilled, slice thin and toast.

INDIA BLUE PEAFOWL - Hen & Newborn Chicks
Pavo cristatus

Los Angeles, California, USA

©Laura Quick

So, this happened this morning in front of my house. Squeeee! A feral India Blue peahen, one of many in our area, made a rudimentary nest at the base of the oak tree in front of my house awhile back. I’ve been keeping an eye on her for nearly a month and this morning, voilá, all 5 of 5 eggs hatched. Success! Once the chicks were dried off, I moved the babies into a pen and the mom immediately came looking for them. I was worried I’d have trouble with the cats initially, and also the chickens but she was honking and they moved off. She went directly into the pen and I was able to quietly close the door. Thanks to Camille and my assistant Susie for their help. We’ll keep the mama and babies safe inside the pen until the peachicks can fend for themselves among the chicken flock. Happy Birthday little ones!

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I am raising moths again, it’s just been a bit of a struggle with eggs not hatching or whole sets of caterpillars dying. But these guys are doing well! The green ones are luna moth caterpillars and the striped ones are promethea moth caterpillars. There’s about a week’s worth of growth difference between them in that last pic. They get big quick!

HOWLER MONKEY (Male)
La Selva Biological Station
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Costa Rica

©Laura Quick

Howler monkeys are among the largest of the New World monkeys and one of a few nest-building monkeys. Fifteen species are currently recognized in the family Atelidae. This one lives in a troop that roams the La Selve Biolgical Research Center in Costa Rica. They like to hang out draped over the cables that support a bridge in the center of the Center. Howler monkeys are folivores, a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Folivorous primates are relatively rare in the New World, the primary exception being howler monkeys.

Arboreal mammalian folivores, such as sloths, koalas, and some species of monkeys and lemurs, tend to be large and climb cautiously. Similarities in body shape and head- and tooth-structure between early hominoids and various families of arboreal folivores have been advanced as evidence that early homonoids were also folivorous. Source

“We can simultaneously be human and monster—that both of those possibilities are in all of us.”

— Matthew Quick.

Avocado Cream & Prawns Fusilli

This is the perfect recipe to say hello to Autumn. The colors in this dish are simply cheerful and light. The avocado sauce is a little different than most cream sauce as it adds extra richness and a unique flavor to the pasta dish.
Throw in a few prawns or shrimps for extra flavors and texture!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups fusilli pasta
  • 2 avocados - mashed
  • ½ cup prawns
  • ½ onion
  • some alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot, boil the fusilli pasta with a pinch of salt. Cook till Al dente and then drain.

2. Prepare the avocados by peeling them and taking out the large seed. Then coarsely chop the avocados into small cubes. Use a masher next and mash the avocados into a creamy texture.

3. In a shallow pot, lightly sauté the chopped onions and garlic with a small amount of olive oil.

4. Add in the mashed avocados and cook. Keep stirring to make sure the avocado doesn’t burn.

5. Then add in the heavy cream and stir evenly into the mashed avocado. Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture becomes a smooth creamy sauce.

6. Optional: sauté some prawns with salt and pepper and add it to the dish for additional flavours!

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Yuki Kohara is back for the Bokura no Yuuki SP (after 20 years) this 7/21

Kohara Yuki: “I was surprised when I heard the story of the producer, but I decided to show up if I could make a small contribution for the 20th anniversary of KinKi Kids.
I have been very nervous to act after a long time, but I hope you all see with warm eyes”. 

He is a former Johnny’s Junior and one of the leaders of the golden age of juniors.
Kohara-kun had retired from the showbiz when he turned 20 to enter university (He never could debut but his followers were many and we still remember him). He had a quick appearance for photography in a television program to surprise Nino in 2010. From there no more was known to date!

*His name is trendic topic in twitter x33

I’m very excited for this!! I can’t wait for see him!!! T___T