Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Corn salad/dip

This dish is hard to characterize--it's not hot enough to be salsa, not quite mushy enough to be a dip, and a little runny to be a salad. But however you eat it (my favorite way is with a spoon), it tastes amazing!

It's quite simple really, just get a big bowl, a good chopping knife, and mix all the stuff together!

1 lb frozen corn (thawed)
1 large tomato (or a couple smaller ones)
1 green pepper (or you could do 1/2 green and 1/2 red...I would have except I didn't have any red.)
1 medium/large onion
2 jalapeno peppers (diced very small)--or, if you want to make it hotter, use 1 serrano pepper.
2 tbs. vegetable oil
juice from 2 limes
4-5 tbs of lemon juice
3-4 tbs. of juice from a jar of banana peppers (don't go buy a jar of banana peppers to use for this, but it if you already have some, this juice adds a great kick!)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pictures of Floating Caterpillars

When we were going to walk around the lake this weekend, we nearly ran into a caterpillar "floating in the air." We watched it for several minutes, and it constantly did this curious back and forth twisting motion. You can only imagine my extreme delight when I discovered that it was actually climbing up a silk thread (I don't know if it's actually silk, but it looked very much like it) and it was rolling it into a ball as it was going!!! Oh so amazing I'm not sure if I got any pictures good enough to capture the ball, but here are some (of a few different caterpillars.) There was a HUGE caterpillar colony in the general area. Amazing.

This guy was being let down by another caterpillar about 7 ft. above him. You see some steps in the background. And though I'm sure there are caterpillars in these last pictures, they are clearly not the subject... this is part of the trail around the lake--one of my favorite parts of it, and also a small view of the lake. I'm thinking, maybe a good fishing spot? I may try it out in the morning...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

*Perfect* Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Now, I know I made a post a little while back about chocolate cheesecake, and it was truly fantastic. But this time we outdid ourselves by making it with peanut butter(!!) and since I was teaching Paul how to make it, I tried extra hard to do everything that I was actually supposed to do--so this time, it didn't crack or puff up too much...and the consistency was spot on! I can't say how amazing this is.

Here are the ingredients:

3 8oz packages of cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 sucralose (sugar substitute)
1.5 tsp vanilla

(Mix all these with a hand mixer until they are smooth.)

Then add:
1/4 cup of milk. (Mix that in until it's smooth.)

Then mix in (yes, until smooth...)
1/3 cup of peanut butter.

Lightly beat 3 eggs in a bowl, and stir them into the mixture with a spoon (not the mixer)

That's it!!!

For the crust, crush 9 cinnamon graham crackers and mix with 1 stick of melted butter. Pack it in the bottom of a spring-form pan, and pour the filling on top. Place the pan on top of a cookie sheet (to catch any drippings) and bake it at 375 for 30-45 minutes. After it cools, chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat. (make sure it's thoroughly chilled!)

If any of you have had frozen peanut butter pie, this actually tastes very similar... just made with cream cheese instead of whipped cream, so the cake is the consistency of cheesecake instead of fluffy pie.