Monday, August 27, 2012

Hocking Hills State Park

Recently we traveled with my sister and brother-in-law to southeastern Ohio to visit Old Man's Cave located in the Hocking Hills State Park. Old Man's Cave is one of Ohio's most popular natural attractions and the one most visited in Hocking Hills.
 Along the way we passed by the famous Longaberger Basket Company and had to stop and take a picture.

Old Mans Cave

There are six major areas in this park, Old Mans Cave, Ash Cave, Rock House, Conkles Hollow, Cedar Falls and Cantwell Cliffs.  We did not have enough time to get to Cantwell Cliffs.
 Old Man's Cave is a deep gorge with a large overhanging lip, not an underground cavern.  Old Man's Cave was named after an early settler Richard Rowe, a 19th century hermit who set up living quarters in one of the recess caves in the area. Killed by an accidental blast by his own gun, it is said the local native Indians buried him somewhere near the cave.

There are many stairways and steps, tunnels and waterfalls to explore in the area.

 Along the length of the half mile long trail the magnificent gorge cuts through the entire 150 foot thickness of the Blackhand sandstone.

There are endless sheer cliffs and unusual rock formations and I like that they don't have everything fenced off!! Explore at your own risk.

Old Mans Cave Sphinx Head

Devils Bathtub, a churning tub of water spilling into the creek below.

A picturesque stone bridge leads to the Lower Falls.

Lower Falls

Upper Falls

Upper Falls
I'm sure the waterfalls are normally nicer than these little trickles, but rain has been very scarce this year.

The Cedar Falls were my favorite of all the waterfalls.

Ash Cave
Ash Cave and Cedar Falls are in a different area in Hocking Hills, but there is a six mile trail that connects them all. We were trying to see as much in one day as possible, so we drove to each one.

Ash Cave is a horseshoe shaped recess cave 700 feet long, 100 feet deep, and 90 feet high. A small waterfall cascades over the rim of the cave.
 It is the largest recess cave in Ohio and was named for the large amounts of ashes the early white settlers discovered in the cave. It is believed the Indians used Ash Cave for shelters and the ashes remained from their campfires.

To be continued.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

This is the chicken recipe we used at our daughters wedding last week. If you are looking for something besides the normal Italian Dressing marinade try this, it's delicous!
We also served Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette and Arkansas Green Beans which I'll post later.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp minced rosemary or to taste
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 or 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1. Stir together all ingredients except chicken and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Place chicken in a bowl and pour the marinade over and stir to coat. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or more.
3. Grill chicken until no pink remains in center and juices run clear.

Linking to StoneGable

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Canned Salsa

Tomatoes are ripening faster than I can get them canned so today my daughter came and helped me make a huge batch of salsa. Salsa is the most requested canned item from my family and everyone loves it so much I almost can't make enough to last all year. Once you start eating home canned salsa, the store bought stuff just doesn't cut it anymore!!
We probably tripled this recipe and canned 30 pints today but we will have to do another batch later.
Ingredients don't have to be measured precisely. For the most part we just measure approximately and keep tasting especially when it comes to adding the hot peppers. They vary so much in hotness from pepper to pepper. I use a variety called garden salsa but jalapeno's work great too.

15 cups diced tomatoes
3 cups chopped onions
5 cups chopped green peppers. Sometimes I add red or yellow. Whatever I have on hand.
1 1/2 cups finely chopped hot peppers approx. This depends on how hot or mild you like your salsa and how hot your peppers are.
6-8 cloves garlic minced more or less to taste.
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
Combine all ingredients except tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and cook to desired consistency.
NOTE: Sometimes I put in an extra can of tomato paste to thicken to my desired consistency.
 Put in jars and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Bride and Groom
Well, the wedding is over and there's a lot of relief but also sadness. We are empty nesters now which will take some getting used to.

The wedding was beautiful and everything went well. I'm tired and have a lot of catching up to do but will get back to blogging as soon as possible.

I'll post more wedding pictures later.