Critter Cam

Garden Fresh Pasta Dinner

I had friends over on Sunday and by request, made a garden fresh entrée. The advantage with this type of dinner is, it is quick and easy to prepare while guests are there. We had pleasant conversation as I put it together, which from start to finish was less than 20 minutes.

I apologize in advance, I have no photos of the final dish because I was having such a good time I completely forgot to even get my camera out.

Garden Fresh Pasta

  • 4 tomatoes
  • about 4 basil leaves (or 1/2 tsp dry)


  • 12 oz linguine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper (or red or orange as desired), chopped into large pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tomatoes (I used a variety from my garden and my friends’ garden), chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dry)

saucepan, skillet, large pot

Blend 4 tomatoes and 4 basil leaves together until smooth and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer while prepping the remainder of the dinner.

In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, to al dente. Drain, but don’t rinse.

In skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil, add onions. Saute for a minute and then add peppers. Stir occasionally until they are softened and onions are translucent. Add additional tbsp of oil, once heated, add garlic, zucchini and eggplant. Saute until tender. Finally, add tomatoes and basil, cook for one to two minutes and then add the tomato mixture from the saucepan. Stir together gently and bring to a low boil for about 1 minute. Serve over pasta.

I served it with grated Parmesan, tossed salad and fresh baked bread

Go wild and add whatever fall garden vegetables you have on hand….


Gabe and Homer

20160926_0918461600x1200I’ve been playing with that Prisma app on my Android phone, it isn’t much good on close-ups of food on a plate but when there are a couple of well defined objects in a photo it does some interesting things:gabe-and-homer_prismaThere is a crop function built into the app, but the different filters do all of the heavy lifting.  There is a fair selection of them, I  like some better than others but that’s a subjective thing.  YMMVimg_20160927_104727_processedI like the mosaic filter a lot.img_20160927_104716_processedThis one, meh.  I don’t know why it’s picking up red in the nose on Gabe.img_20160927_104653_processedI like this one pretty well.

Let the Good Times Roll

Random Meme


Food Pr0n – Loaded Baked Potato

20160925_1809171600x1200We had a little bit of that smoked pork and I was thinking about another sammich for dinner when I noticed a couple of small potatoes I had set out for a potato salad project.  These are not twice baked, I zapped them in the microwave and then peeled the tops and half mashed them and added the sour cream, cheddar, and pork.  They were finished in the toaster oven and then garnished.

Critter Cam

A hawk is just sitting there, ignored by a crow.  I wish I knew what was going on.  I think maybe the hawk tried for a capture of a bird or a squirrel and missed but is in no hurry to leave.  I have no idea why the crow seems so nonchalant.



20160923_1234261600x1200We smoked two pork shoulders the other day, the smoker is small but two shoulders just fit in the top rack, the lower rack is for the foil tray to catch the drippings.  I have a dry rub that I like to use on these but feared I didn’t have enough so I dumped the remaining rub in a bowl and ground more coriander and black pepper and added that and more brown sugar and salt and etc.  Mixed it all in the bowl by hand then opened the tap at the sink to wash my hands and WHOA! You DUMMY! the bowl full of rub was also in the sink.  So, I smeared the wet rub all over the meat.  It did seem to work OK.  LOL20160923_1728021600x1200They spent about 24 hours in there, set at 200 degrees.  My thermometer was still only reading 160 or so.  I pulled the bones and broke them up and finished them in the countertop oven on the slow cook setting.  We are using it more and more, we’ll try pizza sometime soon.20160924_1205481600x1200There’s lots more where that came from!  After it finished I chopped it up and froze most of the meat, this is some I kept out.  That peach wood is really good for this.20160924_1357051600x1200Had a visitor the other day, he was driving this Dodge Charger with a Hemi powered V8.  Teenager? Mid life crisis 40 year old?  Nope, it was Mrs J’s brother in law, he’s 74.20160920_0912421600x1200Here’s Gabe!  He’s wearing his first rabies tag.  Here’s to many more!  He’s 4 months old and growing up fast.20160923_1611341600x1200My local Kroger store has rib eyes on sale now and again.  I try to stock up when they do.  I have hopes that this is the last steak we have that is cooked entirely on the grill – I have a sous vide device ordered and will try it out on another of these steaks when it gets here.20160924_1642251600x1200Mmm… sloppy joes!  I have been doing fries in a deep fryer, a dutch oven full of canola oil, but the last few times I did them in the toaster oven.  These were baked at 450 for about 20 minutes.  They are better in the deep oil but there are tradeoffs:  Cleanup time, the cost of the oil, and the extra calories.  Right now I’m going to say the toaster oven, by a nose.20160924_1054011600x1200Gabe seems to really like drinking from the sprinkler wand, but he doesn’t much like getting wet like he sometimes does when he pesters me as I water the patio plants.

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