Ceramic Shortbread

My husband, John, and I have been married 28 years this week.  I love him more today than the day I married him.  How cool is that?!  I am a lucky gal.

He bought me this special ceramic shortbread pan made by Brown Bag Designs for our anniversary.  Not sure where he got it… but it’s special… and makes very special and delicious shortbread cookies.

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Ingredients:

1/2 c butter (room temp)

1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 t. vanilla

1/4 c. ground nuts

1 c. (less 2 T) flour

1 T. cornstarch

Cream butter together with other ingredients.

Bake at 325F for 30 – 35minutes.

Wonderful!

I did one as above with 1/2 c. nuts… and one without nuts, and 1 t. lemon peel.

Both were delicious, fancy, and share worthy.

Thank you, John.  I’m shooting for 50 years!

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Blue Ridge Reservoir

Blue Ridge Reservoir is in my opinion the most picturesque lake in Northern Arizona.  Many of the lakes in Northern AZ are small, and while fishable, not the most attractive.  Lake Mary is popular upon the ‘walk in’s’ who climb down the hill to cast their lines.

Knoll Lake, Bear Lake, Kinnickinick, Ashurst, Woods Canyon are all part of the Northern AZ lake options.  But my heart belongs to Blue Ridge.  It’s windy green waters traverse through thickly forested high canyon walls.  bluridgresv_ssilog reflectn_ssi

tree rfl vert_Ssi Tall dense trees reflect on the waterways like a mirror.  Wildlife abounds.  On this particular trip we saw bald eagle, a blue heron fishing for dinner (www.kritterspix.com), and wood ducks and their little ones.

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It’s a peaceful respite commonly enjoyed by an abundance of rude camp canoe organizations and kayakers.  The Forest Service is now syphoning off water to Payson, compromising our tax payer recreational resource.  The water continues to drop at a rapid pace.  Yet, with it’s many flaws, and frustrating politics, it is a beautiful lake that should be enjoyed and shared by all, as long as we are ‘allowed’ by the US Forest Service to do so.

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Milky Way over Mogollon Rim

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The Mogollon Rim in Northern Arizona is very near to our home, for which I feel very fortunate.  The views are stunning, and varied.  Every overlook uncovers another view, with great ledges, moss, rocks and trees… truly a photographers haven.

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June is one of the best months of the year to see the Milky Way.  It is low on the horizon and bright in the sky.  With a new moon, it’s the perfect time to get great Milky Way photographs.  So with such a great opportunity we took full advantage of it, and got out to see if we could photograph the Milky Way over the Mogollon Rim.

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The challenge is to get decent foreground, but far enough away to be able to see it against the starry sky background.  The rocks in the front just don’t show up.

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So I selected 2 trees… one on each side of the Milky Way and did a 7 photo panorama to show the whole galaxy.

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Cool!

Then, I did a star trails photo.  This shot is 75 individual shots, each taken for 30 sec, over an hour… then stitched together to show the movement of the stars over time.

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