Serenity Sometimes

Embracing the chaos one day at a time. A blog about my adventures in food, photography, fitness and fun.


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The US Open Post

I know, I know – sorry I’ve been M.I.A. for a couple weeks.  But I’m back and I’ve sorted through the 800 (!) pictures my husband took during his week volunteering at the US Open at Merion Golf Club. He came home with a nice tan, sleep deprived and as happy as a pig in you know what. I’m so glad he was fortunate enough to have this experience. Without further ado, here are some of the highlights!

Welcome to the US Open!

Practice at the driving range.

Tiger sporting a rare smile.

Tiger and Arnold Palmer having a chat… No big deal!

Teeing off.

Rory McIlroy texting someone at the cocktail reception on the first night. I wonder if it’s Caroline Wozniacki.

Rory and Tiger probably laughing about how much money they got from Nike on their most recent endorsement deals.

One of the fairways during a rare sunny day.

Angel Cabrera

Tiger’s extremely stylish swing coach.

Gotta love the Tiger club cover!

Sharing a laugh.

Grounds crew preparing the green.

The players walk down these steps as they wind through the remnants of an old limestone quarry.

The famous red wicker tee baskets on the East Course.

My husband sat on the 18th hole all day on the last day of the tournament. Here is a beautiful panoramic view with the sun just beginning to set. A spectacular ending to an unforgettable week.

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A Trip to the Farmer’s Market and a Recipe

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cornkalefritters

I’ve been wanting to try a recipe post for a while now. It always seemed like a relatively large undertaking. I mean, I love to cook and I love to take pictures, but both things at once? Just a little daunting. I have to say it was a lot of fun but pretty time consuming. I have a deep respect for all of those food bloggers out there, I can tell you that much.

I stopped at the farmer’s market on my way home from work today and I was inspired by all the fresh local fruits and vegetables.

Beautiful berries.

Towers of tomatoes.

Let me tell you… There are few sweeter pleasures in life than a ripe Lancaster tomato. Okay maybe there are, but just go with it. I’m trying to set a mood here, people.

I ended up selecting some kale and local sweet corn to be my star ingredients.

Here is the cast of characters:

First combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Flour, cornmeal, paprika and salt.

This isn’t just any paprika, it’s smoked paprika. If you haven’t tried it, you must. Believe me when I tell you that it’s amazing.

Oh how I love thee.

Cut some corn off the cob or use frozen corn if you are in a hurry, I won’t judge.

Chop up some kale.

Now mix the kale and corn in with the dry ingredients and set aside.

Next, melt some butter. Here I am using homemade butter from a local Amish farm.

To. Die. For.

Melt up a couple of table spoons, and mix into the eggs and milk.

If you are anything like me when you cook, this is where you take a break to clean up the huge mess you made on the counter.

OK, all cleaned up. Now heat up a pan with a little olive oil and throw in some onion and garlic.

Let them get nice and golden.

Now fold those into the dry ingredients.

Add the liquid ingredients and stir up everything together.

You should be smiling at this point because you are so close to being able to eat them!

Heat up a little more olive oil in your pan on medium heat and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out your fritter mixture.

They won’t take long, maybe two minutes on each side.

Serve them with some sour cream and smoked chipotle Tabasco sauce, or find your own favorite toppings.

Enjoy!

Sweet Corn & Potato Fritters

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)
2 cups firmly packed finely chopped kale
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups milk
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup chopped onion

Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, and mix in melted butter and milk.In a large sautée pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sautée about 3 minutes or until golden. Combine onion and garlic with the other dry ingredients. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together. Heat your pan to medium to medium high and coat it with a thin layer of oil. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the batter. Fry about 2 minutes on both sides until browned. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to soak up extra oil.


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A Hike Amongst Waterfalls

This past Saturday I went hiking with a group of friends in Lehigh Gorge State Park, near Jim Thorpe, PA. We followed the Glen Onoko Falls trail to the top, and along the way enjoyed the sights, including numerous waterfalls, gorgeous plant life and rock formations, all culminating in a spectacular view of the valley below.

Warning at the start of the hike.

I think the sign is a little bit of an exaggeration. I had a great time trying to climb up and over rock formations but never once felt overwhelmed or overly exerted. I would not recommend wearing flip flops and stopping to smoke every 10 minutes, which I observed with some of the other hikers that day… FLIP FLOPS! Really? We did take a lot of breaks to stop and take pictures though, so maybe if I would have done it without stopping I would have been more fatigued.

One of the smaller “waterfalls” at the start of the hike

I love hiking and being in the woods. Even on a hot day, which this was, it stays cool and shaded underneath the trees.

So up and up we climbed until we came to our first substantial waterfall.

Do you see that rope hanging down the right side of the falls? That’s because there were some people rappelling!

This makes me want to learn how to rock climb. Granted, I have a crippling fear of heights, but that’s how we conquer our fears, right? Maybe I could try it first in a controlled environment like a rock climbing gym. Let’s put that on the bucket list.

Onward and upward to the next waterfall!

“Chameleon Falls”

I found a very cool looking, and also cool temperature spot underneath an overcrop of rock that was just spritzing water down over moss covered rocks. Underneath in the shade, a nice crop of ferns grew. I just love ferns.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a good spot.

And here we have it, the view that you didn’t even know you’ve been waiting for!

Behind this overlook, there was water running over giant stones, and a shaded spot where you could sit and dip your hands and feet (and whatever else I guess) into the crystal clear water.

The next waterfall was fun. There was a path that led behind the falls so you could stand behind and feel the mist. I so wanted to go behind and take a picture looking out but it was slippery and wet and I only have one camera… my precious… and if anything happened to her I would cry many tears. But it would have been a cool shot.

I think my favorite picture might be this one I took of a fallen log left to grow moss, and bathe in the stream until it breaks apart and drifts down the mountain some day.

A wonderful day to be active, take pictures, enjoy nature and spend time with friends.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?


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Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Weekly Photo Challenge

Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten

This airport is known for its notoriously short runway. The planes land and take off, separated from the ocean by just a narrow stretch of beach.

Plane landing at SWX

The big thrill comes when the jumbo jets take off and land. I captured a tiny plane above, but imagine an Airbus about 100 feet above your head and you start to get the idea. Crazy (I mean adventure seeking) tourists stand at the fence just before the massive planes take off. When their jet engines start up, the noise is unbelievable and the thrust they generate literally knocks people off their feet. People hang on to the fence and try not to get blown into the sea. Good times.


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The Open Road

Some Amish folks on their way home from church

One evening last year on a whim, in which there may or may not have been alcohol involved, my brother-in-law purchased a Groupon for his wife, my husband and myself to go on a scooter tour of Lancaster County covered bridges. We were originally scheduled to take the tour last fall, but it happened to be during hurricane Sandy. Needless to say it was cancelled, and this Sunday my husband, brother and sister-in-law and I finally cashed it in.

I seriously want a scooter now – How cute is this?

We had a surprisingly awesome time and the scooters were so much fun to drive. I totally want one now. I also had fun giving the signature “biker wave” to all the legit Harley people that passed us as we cruised the back country roads. I’m sure they were so jealous of how cool we looked.

Biker wave re-enactment

Biker wave re-enactment

The scenery was beautiful and it was a perfect, sunny day. We covered about 40 miles throughout the area and stopped at 3 of the only remaining covered bridges of Lancaster County.

Does this horse look pregnant or is it just me?

About half way through the tour, one of the guys in our group got a flat tire and I had to hop on the back of Brad’s scooter, since he had one of the only ones that rode two people. I was pretty bummed, but it ended up being hilarious. We had to go up this huge hill at literally 6 mph top speed. It was just like that scene from Dumb and Dumber. I think a horse and buggy passed us.

All in all it was a pretty great day. I will leave you with a few more pictures. Enjoy!