Friday, May 28, 2010

Texas Caviar

It's one of my favorite things to make and eat in the summertime!  I don't know why it's called Texas Caviar. Did it originate in Texas?  Do they eat it in Texas?  Is it supposed to be the common person's "caviar"?  All I know is that it's good!

You'll find many variations of this on-line, but this is my personal favorite, originally found on and adapted slightly to my taste.

2 (15 - 16 oz.) cans black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed
1 green pepper, diced
2 yellow, red, or orange sweet peppers, diced
2 med. tomatoes, diced
1 sm. onion, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded & minced
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 - 1 c. fresh or frozen corn

4 Tb. olive oil
3 Tb. red wine vinegar or lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. cumin

Mix all ingredients with dressing.  Chill at least 2 hours.  Serve with tortilla chips. 

You can also substitute any type of Italian Salad Dressing for the above dressing.  For some reason, I like it best when I use a combination of both the above dressing recipe plus about 1/4 - 1/3 c. of Italian Dressing.  Some recipes call for even more vinegar, but I am not a vinegar lover so I just use lime juice.

When I have it around, I love to mix in some chopped avocado, just before serving. You wouldn't want to add the avocado ahead of time or it will get mushy.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Well, Hello Summer!

After a very nice Spring, with great weather, Summer has blasted it's way into Michigan in a hurry!  May averaged a little below normal temperatures.  But within one day, we suddenly reached the upper 80's!  Most of our week is forecasted to be in the mid to upper 80's.  And it's humid.

A little too fast of a change for me. I like to ease slowly into the warm weather.  Hot and humid tires me out.  But Aaron has no problem with it.  A swing and a balloon; what could be better?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Homemade Freezer Jam

If you've never tried making your own jam because you're kind of afraid of the whole canning process (like me), you should try freezer jam.  It's so easy, and the jam tastes incredibly fresh because the fruit has not been cooked.  And, no high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, or artificial coloring or flavorings to be found!  All you need is:

Certo fruit pectin

A bunch of fresh fruit, plus sugar, lemon juice, and water

And when you're done, you have lots of these

Strawberry is my boys' favorite, so that's the only kind I've made so far. I plan to make blueberry later this summer.

(the photographer in me feels compelled to mention that these pictures were taken with my old camera. My new camera takes much better indoor pictures!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday 5/18

Every May, these little guys start showing up in our yard.

With 3 boys, they get a lot of attention and are often named.  This one was named Gar (because he was found in the garden. by me. just seconds from being punctured by my garden hoe.)

Check out more sweet shots over at Life With My 3 Boybarians!

Sweet Shot Day

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday 5/11

The "Bean" in Chicago

We're in Chicago for a few days this week.  This photo was taken under the center arch of the "Bean" as it's been nicknamed, otherwise officially known as The Cloud Gate Sculpture, in Millennium Park. It's a really cool reflective steel sculpture that is meant to resemble a drop of mercury.  The shiny mirror-like surface reflects visitors and the city skyline from all different angles.

Here it is from further back.

Unfortunately, the weather hasn't been great. But we were able to enjoy several hours outside yesterday before the rain came in last night. Most of my photos didn't turned out as well as I'd liked due to the cloudy weather, still getting used to my new camera, and being away from home and unable to do any editing.  But I've had a great time with so many photo opps!

One more fun photo; my youngest son fearlessly standing on the clear glass "Ledge" that sticks out over the city from the observation deck of the Sears Tower (now the Willis tower, but everybody still calls it the Sears Tower!)

Enjoy more sweet shots at Life With My 3 Boybarians!

Sweet Shot Day

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday 5/4

Morning dew on Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is one of my favorite flowers.  They remind me of my childhood because we had a large group of them by our house.  When they were in full bloom, you could smell their wonderful scent as you came near.  Now I have some along the side of my own house.  They're even more precious because they're only in bloom for a few weeks in May. I have to be sure not miss them!

Click over to see more sweet shots at Life With My 3 Boybarians.

Sweet Shot Day