Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crunchy Tossed Salad

I LOVE salads and right now this one is my favorite.  Toasting the ramen noodles and pecans makes it so crunchy and flavorful. I love crunch in a salad!!
And you can never go wrong with adding bacon and craisins either. YUM!
Oh.... the dressing is pretty awesome too. I like to keep the dressing and a container of the toasted noodles and pecans on hand to throw on any salad when I want to make a quick meal.
This is the one we had at my daughters wedding and I had a lot of requests for the recipe so here it is.

Crunchy Tossed Salad
Green leaf spinach
1 head romaine lettuce
6 strips bacon fried and crumbled
2 green onions or thinly sliced red onion
1 package chicken flavored ramen noodles
1 cup chopped pecans
 Sprinkle Craisins on top
Toast the ramen noodles and pecans with 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/2 package of the chicken seasoning included in the ramen noodles. Save the remainder of the chicken seasoning for the dressing.
Garlic much as you like
1/2 package chicken seasoning
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Shake well and add to salad just before serving

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Arkansas Green Beans

 I found this recipe on allrecipes when I was searching for a green bean recipe for the wedding. I wanted something that was 'kicked up a notch' from just plain old green beans and these got good reviews.

After I made them I knew I didn't have to look any further. They were awesome! The sauce is what gives it such a great flavor. And bacon....well bacon makes everything better!!!

I made a few adjustments to it by cutting the amount of sugar and garlic powder. If you like them sweeter, by all means add more. The original recipe called for 2/3 cup brown sugar and that sounded like a lot to me so I cut it back to 1/3 cup. In my opinion that was enough. I also cut the garlic powder back to 1 teaspoon from 1 1/2 teaspoon. Add the full amount if you like.

Hope you like them too!

Arkansas Green Beans

5 (15-oz) cans green beans, drained
10 slices bacon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
7 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the drained green beans in a 9x13" baking pan.
Cut bacon in halve. Cook the bacon in a frying pan until bacon strips are done but not real crispy. Cut up in small pieces and sprinkle on top of the green beans.
Combine the brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce and garlic powder in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the green beans.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Linking to StoneGable and Foodie Fridays

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hocking Hills State Park Part 2

Conkles Hollow is a rugged, rocky gorge supposedly one of the deepest in Ohio. This is actually a state nature preserve but most people consider it a part of Hocking Hills. If you want to get away from the crowds at Old Mans Cave this is the place for you. There are two main trails. The rim trail is on the plateau above and takes you around the border of the gorge but we only have time to do the gorge trail.
The trail leading up the narrow half-mile gorge is surrounded by vertical sandstone cliffs rising over 200 feet.

  Site of a seasonal waterfall.

The forest floor is covered with a profusion of ferns and spring wildflowers.

 Even in the heat of summer Conkles Hollow remains shady and cool.

More recess caves in Conkles Hollow.

The gorge trail ends at a small waterfall surrounded by hugh boulders.

I saved the best for last. We almost didn't stop here because it was getting late but decided since we made the trip we should try to see as much as possible. This place is called the Rock House and of all the places we were at I think this ended up being the most unique. It is also the only real cave in the area.

The outside of the Rock House.

An entrance into the Rock House.

The Rock House is a tunnel-like corridor situated mid-way up a 150 foot cliff of Blackhand Sandstone.
The main corridor is 200 feet long and 20-30 feet wide.

There are seven window openings like this that let sunlight into the cave.

Looking out through one of the windows.

Several sandstone columns help support the Rock House roof.

Recesses like this were used by the Native American Indians as baking ovens when staying in the cave.
The Rock House was also used by bandits, bootleggers and thieves in the 1800s which lead the local residents to call this place Robbers Roost.

Springs of water permeate through the porous sandstone and collect in these man made troughs. In this way they were able to keep a supply of water in the Rock House.

This trail is only 1/2 mile long and I'm so glad we took the time to stop. Someday we want to come back and hike some of the rim trails.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Home-Canned Tomato Soup

With the extreme hot and dry summer we had, I was not expecting to get many tomatoes this year. Was I ever wrong!! We have been blessed with an overabundance of them picking several five gallon buckets a week.
My husband said he would eat tomato soup if I canned some so this was a first for me. I never cared much for tomato soup but tasting this as I made it, I discovered I might actually like it after all.

Tomato Soup
1 1/2 cups butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
7 quarts tomato juice
Melt butter; add onions and simmer until tender.
Stir in flour, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.
Remove from heat. Gradually stir in the tomato juice a little at a time so that the mixture can be stirred smooth.
Return to heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Ladle into jars and hot water bathe for 1 hour.
Yield: Approx. 7 qt and 1 pint

Linking to StoneGable