Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mountaineers

When Jason and I both get all As in our semester, what better way to celebrate than to climb A mountain?

We enjoyed the weather immensely. December 23 and we're walking without jackets? Score. One fellow walker even decided to take his shirt off. Only in Arizona.


We began east of Mill Avenue, and this lovely building was kind enough to offer a reflection of both the mountain and the famed mill on Mill Ave. More on the mill later and my deep deep love for it.


I got my hiking stance on...


as did Jason.


After we took this picture (we set the camera on a wall and used the 10 second timer) a kind gentleman told us we should have used the flash and that he would know since he's been a photographer for 40 years. Um thanks? I don't know half as much as I want to about photography but it seemed like an odd suggestion seeing as we're in broad daylight. Whatev.




I love the wisemen that make an appearance each year on the mountain. It's nice to see a small part of the story of Christmas in such a public place.


It's the A!


This building had a garden on top of the roof - how sustainable of them!




The view was awesome. It seemed as though we could see the whole city and beyond.


This may or may not be after my sweet husband climbed atop the A and mooned all of Tempe. But of course he wouldn't do that, because he's wise and mature and totally above that.






And now I introduce you to my favorite picture of the bunch. Ignore my face, I'm being ridiculous, blah blah blah. The real joy comes from Jason's face. I wanted to take a victory picture after we reached the top and apparently Jason was a little to close to the edge, and my dear camera captured the fear. YES.


I think it's so very wonderful that the mill still stands amidst a bunch of slick and corporate buildings. My favorite thing about the building is the advertisement on it for the Family Kitchen all-purpose flour.






So grateful for days that we both have off. Hiking, shopping, cooking, and 24. Thank you winter break!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Feta Cheese Turkey Burgers

I've been loving Greek food lately, so this week I'm trying two different Greek-style recipes.

The first:

Feta Cheese Turkey Burgers


I couldn't decide if this picture makes the burgers look appetizing or unappealing, and I'm pretty sure it's the latter, but what the hey. Note that we used a skillet... we were to lazy to start up one of our apartment complex charcoal grills.

Ingredients

* 1 pound ground turkey
* 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
* 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
* 2 teaspoons dried oregano
* ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat the grill (or, ahem, stove) for medium high heat.
2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, feta cheese, olives, oregano, and pepper. Mix together, and form into patties.
3. Lightly oil the grate. Place patties on the grill. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through.

I also sprinkled some garlic powder into the mix. Some people who made this recipe didn't have kalamata olives so they used regular black olives. I like to be authentic so I went big and got the kalamata - so worth it!

This recipe was so very tasty. I'm in love, and it's ridiculously simple and easy! Who doesn't want cheese in their burger?! It's only nine in the morning and I'm already craving another one.

Recipe from my bff, allrecipes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a wonderful life

Do you ever encounter something that you thought you knew everything about, but during this particular encounter, you realize you had absolutely no idea? NO IDEA at all!

Okay, let me explain. I was browsing this website that sells affordable artwork called 20x200 (it's genious). I clicked a pretty picture, and once the page loaded... my jaw dropped. OH. MY. GOODNESS. That is a snowflake, and it's the most amazing thing I've ever seen! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?

I lived in northern Arizona for nine years where plenty of snowflakes fell all winter, I surely learned all about snowflakes in grade school, I cut the paper folded snowflakes at Christmas time for goodness sake! How did I see and taste and touch and understand, but not SEE?

It is so overwhelming at how majestic of an artist God is. There is so much beauty in the small details of life; it leaves me short of breath and makes my heart want to explode with amazement when I think about how much of his personal touch God added to everything. I don't even know how to sum it all up, but life is so beautiful.









The artists who took these photographs are Mike + Doug Starn. Wanna hear their artisterly (I made that word up, fooled you, huh?) explanation behind their photographs? Click here. They're identical twin brothers!

In case my nerdy husband ever reads this: the science behind it (although my source is wikipedia so who really knows, plus I could only read every other sentence of this science nerd jargon anyways)

Snow crystals form when tiny supercooled cloud droplets (about 10 μm in diameter) freeze. These droplets are able to remain liquid at temperatures lower than −18 °C (0 °F), because to freeze, a few molecules in the droplet need to get together by chance to form an arrangement similar to that in an ice lattice; then the droplet freezes around this "nucleus." Experiments show that this "homogeneous" nucleation of cloud droplets only occurs at temperatures lower than −35 °C (−31 °F). In warmer clouds an aerosol particle or "ice nucleus" must be present in (or in contact with) the droplet to act as a nucleus. The particles that make ice nuclei are very rare compared to nuclei upon which quid cloud droplets form, however it is not understood what makes them efficient. Clays, desert dust and biological particles may be effective, although to what extent is unclear. Artificial nuclei include particles of silver iodide and dry ice, and these are used to stimulate precipitation in cloud seeding.

Once a droplet has frozen, it grows in the supersaturated environment, which is one where air is saturated with respect to ice when the temperature is below the freezing point. The droplet then grows by diffusion of water molecules in the air (vapor) onto the ice crystal surface where they are collected. Because water droplets are so much more numerous than the ice crystals due to their sheer abundance, the crystals are able to grow to hundreds of micrometers or millimeters in size at the expense of the water droplets. This process is known as the Wegner-Bergeron-Findeison process. The corresponding depletion of water vapor causes the droplets to evaporate, meaning that the ice crystals grow at the droplets' expense. These large crystals are an efficient source of precipitation, since they fall through the atmosphere due to their mass, and may collide and stick together in clusters, or aggregates. These aggregates are snowflakes, and are usually the type of ice particle that falls to the ground.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The difference between boys and girls

Me: When we're all done with finals, we need to do something to celebrate. (Begins to imagine zipping up pretty red Christmas dress, being guided into a nice restaurant by a man in a suit, settling in our plush chairs and toasting to the long semester, jazz music playing in the background, laughing merrily in the ambiance of the candle light)

Jason: JUMP STREET. Every wall is covered with trampolines and you can jump EVERYWHERE!

Me: .....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Avon Brilliant White

There's nothing that makes me sound more like a graphic design student than going into Kelly Paper store and walking straight to the counter to order "5 parent sheets of Avon Brilliant White (Classic Crest, not Linen) 80 lb. Text (not Cover).

I hope I make my parents proud.

(The cashier already had my 10% student discount marked on my invoice before I could even take out my discount card.)

P.S. Final 2010: I have barely survived. More later. But less than two days and I'M FREE. In the most beautiful Rufus Wainwright voice: "Hallelujah"