Some Updates

I’m trying to stay updated on things, but it’s tough.  Life is busy.

Addison Clary Closs is now 6 weeks old.  She’s 9 lbs and change and really, really cute.  She keeps us busy.

We bought a puppy.  It’s called Anastasia, or Stacy for short.  She’s a Maremma Sheepdog, or Maremma Abruzzi.  They come from Italy and are fierce protectors that get to about 28 inches to the shoulder and weigh in at about 70-90lbs.

I started another blog.  It’s for my new photography project for the year, 52 photowalks.  I’m going to do a planned photowalk/shoot each week and post some photos from it.  I hope to see some progress in my photography.  I’m taking lessons as well, and I’m going to count my lessons as some of my photowalks for the year.  We’ll see how it goes.

You can find the link here. http://jclossphoto.wordpress.com

Feel free to comment, or not.  I’m sure not many are reading this now.

I guess it should be called Jeff and Sam plus 3 plus a dog.  But really, that’s a bit of a mouthful.

For now, signing off.

Linguine Alfredo w/ Pan Seared Asparagus & Zucchini

Dinner tonight was phenomenal, thanks to a mistake I made when asking Samantha to pick up ingredients.

I’d asked her to get me corn starch – in my mind I went…

‘Hmmm, Alfredo.  That means I need a roux.  Oh wait, no.  Sauce.   I’ll need to thicken it.’  I paused. “Ok Hon, I need Corn Starch, Whipping Cream and fresh Parmesan.”

Oops.  I know that you make Alfredo with a roux, I just botched it.

So, I looked high and low through our temporary home (House 1.5)  to find flour, but wasn’t able to.  A little quick googling on our part later, and I had a plan.  Here’s my method and ingredient list in case you (or I) want to re-create this awesome meal in the future.

Veggie Side – Pan Seared Asparagus & Zucchini

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Med. Zucchini
  • Finely Diced Onion – 2 Tbsp
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Generic “Italian Spice Blend”

Cut or snap woody ends off of Asparagus.  Slice Zucchini into meddalions and then cut the stack of medallions in half.  Heat Olive Oil in pan with pepper and some Italian Spice.  Add Zucchini and fry for a minute until they just start to soften.  Add onion and stir.  Add Asparagus (I cut mine in half) and stir-fry until desired texture is reached, about 5 minutes.

Main – Linguine Alfredo

  • Fresh Noodles (Linguine this time)
  • Whipping Cream  – about 250 mL
  • Corn Starch – 2 tsp.
  • Finely Diced Onion – 2 Tbsp
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese  (About 4 Tbsp.)
  • Olive Oil – 2 tsp.
  • Butter – 2 Tbsp.
  • Pepper
  • Generic “Italian Spice Blend”

Start pot w/ boiling water for noodles.  If using dried noodles start them now before sauce, if using fresh, ignore this step.

Melt Butter w/ Olive Oil in small saucepan.  Add onion and simmer for a minute or two until softened.  Add pepper and Italian Spices

Make slurry of Corn Starch and 2 Tbsp cold water, add Whipping cream to slurry and set aside.

Add noodles to water (if using fresh) and stir while they boil.

When ready to prepare, add Whipping Cream mixture slowly to Oil and whisk.   Heat over medium heat until sauce starts to thicken.  Add Parmesan Cheese and continue to whisk.  If sauce gets too thick you can add some more cream to thin it out.

Plate Noodles beside Veggies with about 5 or so Tbsp. of sauce on top.  Sprinkle fresh Parmesan on top and plate some veggies beside it.

Bon Appetit!

Just a note – my original Alfredo recipe is very similiar – the only difference is that I add about 4 tbsp of flour to the oil & butter when simmering to make a roux.  Stir and cook for a minute to give the flour some taste.  Then slowly add the whipping cream (without additives this time) all the while whisking briskly.  It should come together and make a nice thick sauce.  This normally is my preferred method, but this new one actually made a better sauce.

New Header

I made a new header. Well, actually I’ve made 3 or 4, but the strawberries are currently my favourite.

I took this earlier in the summer @ Samantha’s parent’s property.

I think I’ll leave them for now.

I may have found someone to illustrate the children’s book I wrote for Ivy – more as the news develops.

Don’t be alarmed…

this is just a test.  I’m playing around with new themes and stuff – I need a changeup so that I love this thing again, and then I’ll want to love it and hug it and feed it and cuddle it and post on it more often.

Let me know what you think, header image is temporary, one of my photographs will replace it.  I’m going to try to integrate my twitter account as well as my flickr account and update the baby ticker thing-a-mah-jigs.

…have a new place to live…soon.

Jeff and Sam, Plus 2 (+1), Plus Chris (Sam’s Brother) have a new place to live soon.  We bought a new house, and just cleared conditions today.  Here is a picture – hopefully it stays up a little while.

Front of house were buying

Front of house we're buying

Front entrance....yes it is yellow, but not as bad as in this pic.

Front entrance....yes it is yellow, but not as bad as in this pic.

We should get possession somewhere around Sept. 19 – if you want you can come help us move!

My blog has been left unattended

Totally.

I’ve been really bad at updating.  I dont’ know why, it isn’t as though life has become un-interesting.

Samantha is pregnant again, most of you should already know that.

I’ve been getting creative with our camera, entered a couple of contests, going to enter a couple more.

I havn’t been writing much, but I did write a book for Ivy.  I’m thinking of finding someone to do the artwork for it (sort of for free, possible profits involved….call me or email me if you’re interested!) and then self-publishing it via one of the print-on-demand publishers out there. (no, not vanity publishing, real, for sale sort of publishing.

I’ve been entering contests like mad to win either a new motorcycle or a fancier camera.  Not that I need either, but y’know.  In that vein, I’ve found some neat photos via Scott Bourne (and that link will enter me in more contests, as will this one, to his sister blog “Managing My Digital Life“) but also, his reviews, photos and contests are amazing.

My other photo stuff I’ve been doing is on Digital Photography School – and the amount I’ve learned about composition there is phenomenal!  So much I really can’t keep it all in my head.  I need to go out and take more pictures and practice!

Anyway – a blog post to remind myself to make more of them.  I hope you enjoy, I hope you read, and I hope you call me or email me if I havn’t talked to you in a while – life has an unfortunate habit of putting friends and family out of touch.

As an update of how life is going and how the children are growing, here is a photo I recently entered into a portrait contest. (I’m not so good at portraits, the good composition elements here are luck!)

Dylan

Dylan

Pi Day!

It’s totally pi day! Word up!

It’s also Ashley’s birthday, so Ivy is super excited because she gets to go to a princess party.

Was up early this morning beginning an outline for a story – it it something worth finishing and trying to get published? Or like every other project I start will I get halfway there and lose interest. We’ve yet to see.