Friday, July 19, 2013

Furry Friday - Leo

Just a collection of random Leo photos this week.  He is totally working those sad beagle eyes.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Pet? No Thank You

W went fishing at my uncle's pond near our house.  He called me to ask me to get the camera ready as he "caught a big one".  Of course I was expecting a large fish.  I went out and found this instead.

I am all for taking in homeless animals but not this time.  This baby alligator was relocated to a more appropriate home. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

FCCB - Cute as a Bug

This week at Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog the challenge was Cute as a Bug.  I needed to make a get well card for a friend.  This caterpillar from the Live Simply cartridge makes the focal point of my card.  I thought the background paper fit in well with the  design.  I wanted a bit of something so I added three green jewels.  I do not have a get well stamp yet so I chose "thinking of you" instead. 

I promise I have been doing things aside from crafting.  I will share my other craft projects as well as a bit of news from my country home next week!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Red, White, & Blue Cricut Challenge

I have had this card completed for several days but have been dragging with posting it.  The challenge this week at Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog was Red, White, and Blue.  I had no need for a 4th of July themed card, but I still wanted to take part.  This is the first time I have cut a shaped card using the Cricut.  I am not sure what took me so long.

I am going to use this as a birthday card for one of my nephews.  It is simple enough for a teenager boy.  I used the Birthday Bash cartridge.  I seem to use that one quite often.  I opted to cut stars in two sizes to go on top of the card.  I thought that would be more interesting than just one  and helped me get all three colors in.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Canning - Homemade Salsa

I have searched for a homemade salsa recipe that did not include cilantro.  I know it is a popular herb, but I hate it.  It tastes like I imagine a stink bug would taste. 

A fellow church member shared a "recipe" of sorts last year.  It is a mixture of tomatoes, peppers, an onion, garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, vinegar, and lime juice.  I put "recipe" in quotes since there are really no set amounts.  The recipe has a guideline for most of the ingredients, but it is really based on personal preference. 

Aside from the garlic and onions I grew all of the vegetables used in my salsa.  Our onions did not do well, and I waited too late to buy garlic to plant.  The salsa is full of bright colors and does not resemble the stuff that is sold in stores. 

Here is a starting guideline for my salsa:

6 cups chopped tomatoes
3 mild chili peppers, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, most of seeds and membrane removed and chopped
1 cowhorn or other slightly spicy pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 t salt
1 t cumin
fresh oregano (or 2 T dried)
1/4 C vinegar
1/4 C lime juice

You can add different amounts of peppers to reach the flavor you enjoy and adjust the amount of garlic and onion.  You can increase the amount of lime juice but need to have at least 1/4 C vinegar.  Everything is dumped in a pot and cooked until it thickens.  This takes 20-30 minutes.  I put it in pint jars and process it in a water bath for 15 minutes.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tomato Tart

Tomatoes are in abundance in my garden - especially the yellow pear and cherry varieties.  I wanted to do something different to use part of them.  I kept hearing people talk about tomato tarts and pies.  I looked at several recipes and could not find one that was exactly like I wanted.  I ended up creating my own.

I started by roasting head of garlic in the toaster oven and letting it cool slightly.  The base of my tomato tart is a frozen pie shell since it is too hot in my house to try to roll out a homemade one.  I spread the roasted garlic in the bottom of the shell and topped it with a layer of cheese.

 Then I began adding in the halved tomatoes.   You could also use slices of larger tomatoes.  I just piled them in about two layers thick.

The first time I made this I added the cheese on before baking.  The second time I baked it for a bit and then added the cheese.  The second way roasted the tomatoes a bit better.   It really works either way.  I just wanted to top it with a layer of cheese.

I baked this in the toaster oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.  I did a ring around the edge of the crust to keep it from browning too much.

I served this as a main dish with a salad.  I was really surprised at how much W liked it.  He requested a second one less than a week later.  This will become a regular summer menu item while tomatoes are in season!