August 30, 2011

Tues. News ~ Hummingbirds

I recently got a new camera, and used my 75-300 mm lens to snap this shot in our back yard! I plan to go outside this afternoon and try to capture some more images of hummingbirds! Hiding under our mulberry bush is the perfect spot to get photos like this one!

Did I mention, I absolutely LOVE hummingbirds! They are so beautiful and so interesting to watch. I got a hummingbird feeder last year, but was not able to really attract them because the season was off and the feeder's location was kind of hidden. This year, I was determined to set up my feeder in a way that will actually attract the hummingbirds! I purchased a shepherd's hook-style plant hanger, and used that to hang my hummingbird feeder in the left side of our flowerbeds in the back yard. We have had lots of hummingbirds this year and I have been so happy to see them! I make the nectar for them to drink, and it is very easy to do! You just put 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. So 1 cup of sugar for 4 cups of water. I boil the water, then add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Then I chill it in the refrigerator. When it is really hot, you have to change the nectar out of the feeder every day or two, because it will go bad. The solution keeps in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

I will soon need to put the feeder away, however, because they need to migrate south to warmer climates or the winter will kill them.

I am already looking forward to feeding them again next year!

August 15, 2011

Monday: Mommy Menu ~ Subs with Potato Salad & BBQ Beans

My parents went on a cruise recently and stayed with us right before the trip and right after. The port where their boat departed from is close to where we live. They were traveling for their 45th wedding anniversary! AWESOME! Two of their best friends went on the cruise with them, and they also came and stayed with us on the last weekend after the cruise. I served this meal to all of them, and now I'm going to share it with you! Note: There won't be too many details on the sandwich, because a sandwich can be made so so many different ways --make it your favorite way!!
Potato Salad
8 potatoes
1 purple onion
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. horse radish sauce
2 large spoonfuls of sweet pickle relish
1 TB vinegar
2 hard boiled eggs (optional, and not included in the photos below)
dash of red and black pepper

Chop and cook the potatoes and let cool.

Chop the purple onion into really small pieces.

Mix all ingredients together really well. Chill until ready to serve!

Grandma's Barbecue Beans

1 can pinto beans

1 can navy beans

1 can great northern beans

1 pkg Griller crumbles (vegetarian ground beef substitute)

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 T. soy sauce

1 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

olive oil

Heat a pan at medium and add about 1-2 TB olive oil. Saute the onion and pepper until soft and slightly browned.

Rinse the beans.

Add the beans to the onion and pepper pan, and add all the other ingredients together. Simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with a delicious sandwich of your choice. We had Vegetarian turkey subs, which included lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives, pickles, vegetarian turkey slices, and various sliced cheeses.

August 09, 2011

Tues. News ~ Little boy . . . Little fish

Is he a boy . . . is he a fish? It's hard to tell when our son gets in the pool!

Watching him swim and explore the pool has been one of my favorite memories from this summer. The first time I took him to the pool this season was with his two best buddies Amelia and Connor! Isaac has never been afraid of the water, and laughed and giggled last year when I took him swimming at our friend's pool. He was about six months old back then, and now he's 18 months! I didn't know what to expect, and so when Isaac took a dip under the water and came up laughing and excited, I was very surprised! Then he broke free from my hand, and went completely under with a kind of belly flop-like dive. Keep in mind, it's only about 1 foot of water, but I was still really amazed. He loves the water and wants to go swimming ever chance he gets. He's definitely part boy, part fish! The other day, he found one of his swimmy diapers in the diaper bag and followed me around the house saying "swimming, swimming, swimming"! I didn't have time to go that day, but we went with Daddy over the weekend, and he didn't want to leave. He even tried jumping (or scooting) off the edge of the pool into Daddy's arms, which he watched his neighbor friend, Thomas doing! I'm taking him to the pool later today! Gotta get into that refreshing pool while we can, because the season is drawing to an end as the start of another school year is around the corner. But that's another story for another day!

August 05, 2011

Friday Food ~ Peach Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Many happy memories in my life involve pie. My Mom is the queen of pie making, and I only claim the title of pie princess, because she is still occupying that throne! This is originally my Mom's recipe, so I did not "make this one up" as I did the majority of the other recipes you will find on this blog of mine.

Oh, how I wish there was just one more slice of this left in my refrigerator right now. It was divine!
Peach Pie

2 cups all purpose flour
2 TB wheat germ
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup ice water (ice to chill the water is VERY important)

7-8 fresh peaches, or one bag of frozen peaches (this one was made with fresh)
1/2 cup sugar (the peaches were extremely ripe, so I didn't feel the need to add lots of sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup cornstarch

Peel and slice the peaches.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch.

Combine cornstarch mixture with peaches.

For the crust, mix the dry ingredients well.

Measure the oil, then put some ice in a bowl of water. This is very important, because the icy water will combine more completely with the oil than just tap temperature water. Hold the ice cubes back with your hand or a spoon as you pour water into the oil. Mix really, really well with a fork. That's the way Momma taught me, so that's the way I suggest you do it! ;-) (ha ha)

Mix the liquid with the dry, and don't mix it too much, because that will make the crust tough. Mix just enough to combine. Separate the pie dough into two equal lumps. Roll the pie crust out between wax paper.

Peel the top layer of wax paper off, and then lift the bottom sheet with the pie crust dough and dump it into the pie pan. Peel away the wax paper. Lightly touch the dough and press it to evenly distribute it over the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Dump the peaches in.

Roll the top pie crust dough out in the same way, and then form pretty edges all around the pie pan. Cut slits in the top of the pie for the steam to escape while baking.

Enjoy!! I think I'll make another pie this week! It just looks so yummy and I love pie so much!