Monday, May 30, 2016

Zesty Oyster Crackers

Happy Memorial Day! 
Thanks to all who have given so we all may be free!

We had our annual Memorial Day gathering on Saturday at the river. It normally takes me and Andy a few days to recover from one of our get-togethers. By the time we get everything cleaned up, put up, cooked, entertained, put up and cleaned up again, we need a mini-vacation. Andy celebrated his 60th birthday on Thursday so that could be a contributing factor. Ha! I am definitely joking here. That man has more energy than most people I know.

It's well worth the time spent to spend time with family and enjoy some good food. This year we had a shrimp boil and that seemed to go over very well. Our grandson Aydan can put away more shrimp than any youngster I've ever seen. The granddaughters were mesmerized by the smooth rock we put at the end of the patio. You would think they were mining for diamonds the way they were carrying on looking through the smooth, round rocks. Emilee Rae wanted to bring some of them home. Seriously? Who would have thought it? We need to make a trip to the Home Depot and buy those kids a few bags to keep them occupied. Maybe the next time we want to get some spread, we'll introduce them to a rake. ;-)

Last week I got it in my head to mix up a few batches of these oyster crackers after we discussed how a few of our attendees, who might drink an adult beverage out of a can, would like them. Andy fixed these many, many years ago. We have two different recipes in the old recipe book and neither one of us can remember where we got them. Both are in his hand-writing, so I'm thinking probably someone he works with shared them. When I went shopping for the weekend, I picked up two bags of oyster crackers to make a double batch. He said he always used the square crackers. I remember doing the oyster crackers but the recipe I remember using calls for pretzels. The other recipe doesn't even mention any type of cracker. I guess it's just assumed you (we) should remember those unnamed items. See, this is what happens when you get old and why I blog and take pictures. It's living history folks. I'll spring the other variation, recipe two in the book and use the square crackers the next go around.

The first thing you want to get your hands on is a gallon storage container. Specifically the kind you buy pretzels or those cheesy balls in. Clean it and keep it for making and storing goodies like this. I'm always surprised that these do not come out really greasy. The container, on the other hand, looks a little messy. But if it really annoys you, just mix and put the finished product in a pretty container. Our bunch just eat them up as is and never say a word.

These are super easy to make and if you have a few grandkids around; they might even get them coated for you. Even the grand kids scarf these down, just make sure they have some water or a soft drink.  I've listed a single bag of cracker ingredients recipe below. However, if you decide to double up, I'd mix it up one batch at a time so everything gets coated properly.

INGREDIENTS:
1 one-pound bag of oyster crackers (Or mini pretzels)
3/4 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 Tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Pkg. dry Ranch dressing
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Dump the crackers in the container. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the crackers. Drizzle the oil on top. Securely close the lid and start rolling the container on the counter until all crackers are coated evenly.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Crock Pot Mexican Stuffed Peppers



You've just got to love a crock pot. What else does all the hard work for you and produces such wonderful results every time? Angie came in the office the other day telling me about some Mexican stuffed peppers she made and they sounded so good. Recipe please??? Pinterest. I logged on that night and found a recipe from Chef Savvy to get the general ingredients, etc.I figured it couldn't be very different from fixing the regular stuffed peppers I normally fix, but with a Mexican flair. I made mine a slightly different than her's, for example, I added more enchilada sauce and used canned corn instead of frozen and uncooked rice. I was pleased with the results. The only complaint was I had half a can of corn and black beans left over. Just toss them in any other casserole or soup you're fixing and problem solved.

Ingredients
Colored bell peppers—enough to fit your crock pot (I used 7 small to medium)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup instant rice
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn
1 red enchilada sauce pack, prepared
1 cup shredded cheese
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Suggested Toppings
Sour cream
Shredded cheese
Salsa (My favorite is World Table Roasted Salsa Verde)
Reserved enchilada sauce
Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:
Prepare enchilada sauce per pack directions, set to the side.
Cut the tops off the peppers, deseed.
In a large bowl, mix the beef and seasonings. Blend in the rice and 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce.
Next add the beans and corn and blend well. 

Line your crock pot with a liner to make clean up a breeze. Put a layer of the enchilada sauce on the bottom. Fill each pepper with the beef mixture and space peppers evenly.
Spoon a little extra enchilda sauce over the top of each pepper. Cover and set temperature to high. Cook for two to three hours or until peppers are tender. You can cook this longer on low, but my crock pot takes low and slow to the extreme. More like low and it might be ready by bedtime. High seems to work perfect for me.
Serve up with your favorite toppings. We froze the leftovers and reheated them for another night and they were still delicious!



Recipe Credit: Chef Savvy

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mother's Day 2016


Were you able to spend time with your Mother yesterday? I had a nice visit with my Mom and all my kiddos either sent flowers, called or texted me a Happy Mother's Day yesterday. I found myself really enjoying seeing the hundreds of pictures posted of friends and their Moms or their kids on social media. With all of us leading such hectic lives, it's nice to slow down and remember what is important. Special holidays always have me remembering current and past events, vacations, milestones, etc. and lead me to dig through the thousands of pictures I've taken. Every time I find myself running into the same situation. I can find lots of pics of family, friends, events, food, etc. but very few of me and my subject as I am the unofficial family photographer. I put the above collage together of me and my Mom, Marguerite as a keepsake. We had a lot of fun taking a few pictures yesterday. Every time my sister tried to take one; her dog Pumpkin or one of the cats, or should I say, their tail,  had to find a way to join in the picture.


I'm thankful to celebrate all I have in my life and grateful for all the memories I have of the loved ones I've lost.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Knock You Naked Margaritas

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

This is in honor of my friend Claudia who has enjoyed this recipe at least a time or two.
I’m going to go ahead and give the grocery list for at least a double batch. If it’s only you drinking, I’d still mix up a double batch. This stuff freezes (slushy) quite nicely in a ziplock bag--which also serves double duty on your next outing. It’ll keep everything in the cooler chilled until you’re ready to drink!