Thursday, June 30, 2016

Zesty Mini Crackers

Remember when I told you we had two recipes for the Zesty crackers? Well, here is the other version and we like both equally. This one uses less ingredients and the mini crackers instead of oyster crackers. Andy always used the regular size crackers but I like the bite size. Mix these up in a gallon plastic container just like you do the other ones.

2 boxes mini crackers
1/2 cup oil (I used Canola oil)
1 tsp. chives
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Pkg. dry Ranch dressing

Empty one of the two boxes of 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 for several minutes. Add in the second box of crackers and continue to roll until all crackers are coated evenly.
We love how all the spices snuck into the little holes in the crackers. These are very flavorful!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Baked Tomatoes

Andy just came in from "dusting" the garden and told me if the weather holds out and doesn't go off the deep end, I'll be canning tomatoes for a week.
Our crop last year didn't fare well. The tomatoes were kind of meh. They were better than store bought when we had a few but not enough to can what I would have liked to. I thought about the baked tomatoes I fixed one night and couldn't remember if I had posted them or not. Since I stay perpetually behind on my posts (something I hope to change soon), I sure enough found them in my TO DO folder.
We just came in from planting another row of squash and cucumbers and keep finding proof that the deer are still having a field day eating amything green. With the recent lack of rain; I almost understand.
 Well, they just strolled through and started eating everything in sight. Not good.
The cucumbers are finally bouncing back.
 And it looks like my green beans have recovered from the massive deer destruction.
Thankfully, the squash weren't harmed. I can't wait for our first plate of fried squash.
Enough already! Let me get to the main point of the post!
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil to make clean up a breeze. Peel the skins off and core medium to large tomatoes. Season with cracked black pepper and  garlic salt to taste.
 Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
 Okay, so this doesn't look fancy, but I chunk up a couple slices of Provolone cheese and cover the tomato.
Bake about 20-30 minutes or until the tomato is tender and the cheese is totally melted with a tinge of brown.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hummingbird Nectar

Last year Andy and I kept hearing a hummingbird hover over our heads while we were sitting on the deck at the river. I just so happened to look up and noticed this ball on a broken branch that was bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball. About that time, the hummingbird landed. Well, I just about lost my mind with joy! As many years as I have been feeding hummingbirds, I have never seen a nest. Over the fall and winter, the nest turned brown and started to dissolve away. I truly thought we had a once in a lifetime sighting.
 The branch is up too high for me to determine if this Momma Hummingbird is hatching two babies.
 Memorial Day weekend of this year, I heard the hummingbird again. I looked up and spotted a new nest in the same exact spot as last year!
The nest is a different size and shape, but the hummingbird has returned home. The nests are built from spider webs of all things and covered in lichen. Both items are plentiful in this area.
I placed a hummingbird feeder about 30 feet from the nesting area and get to enjoy visits between there and the nest. This is what I mix up and the hummingbirds seem to love it.

1 cup sugar
4 cups water

Heat sugar and water in a pan until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely. Fill up a clean feeder, sit back and enjoy

*Double if you have multiple feeders.