Category Archives: TaMara
I had a hard time picking the top photo for this post. There are so many to chose from, difficult to pick a favorite. I had to cull my photos down from about 200. What follows are what I felt were the best.
I took photos from several angles of this installation and there wasn’t a bad side. LOL. I’m hoping this is one of the pieces that is going to remain a permanent part of the Gardens.
The photo just doesn’t do this one justice. A stunning piece in the native grasses. Click on any photo to see full sized and uncompressed.
We hold these truths to be self-evident…..
For a full-size readable copy of the above photo, click here.
Still a sucker for July 4th. I’ll be watching 1776 sometime over the holiday. There will be fireworks. And a picnic. I love that we are a country of rebels and continue to be a country of rebels. It’s not always pretty, but really, would we have it any other way?
Last year it was Orange Creamsicle Gelato, Caribbean Coleslaw (recipe here) and Key Lime Bars (recipe here). This year it was Grilled Bourbon Chicken (recipe here) and Jicama Slaw (recipe here). Have a safe and fun 4th.
Just a little holiday fun:
If you’ve never seen this movie, put it in your queue.
This is part two of my visit to the Wildlife Animal Sanctuary. I love this shot because, while they have a ranch sized property, there are still other homes around. Imagine going out to get the morning paper and seeing this every morning.
There are four prides of lions at the sanctuary. They work very hard to make sure the animals are allowed to thrive in large expanses of space. Forming prides is very important to lions to be healthy and happy. So much so, they actually don’t neuter the males, because it would cause them to lose their manes, an important social aspect for male lions and their status in the pride. So instead they use birth control on the females.
The two prides in the northwest section of the sanctuary put on quite the show last Sunday. They roared back and forth for more than thirty minutes. Thrilling to hear. Though the Grizzly Bear from part one, was not disturbed in the least, even if they are his nearest neighbors.
This is the Grizzly pool. I’m assuming when they are awake and playing it’s a crazy sight. And if you click on the photo, you’ll see that is a garden gnome on top.
The lady fair pictured above, halfheartedly chased a rabbit around the enclosure for a few moments before taking a single leap to land in this spot. She seemed satisfied with her hunting skills. Meanwhile her man was busy…
Since the 4th of July is barreling toward us, I thought I should get some ideas together. This is absolutely my favorite holiday. Food, fireworks and friends, what could be better? So let’s jump right into the food portion of our festivities.
These are quick and easy ribs if you don’t want to do the smoke for the whole day style, the citrus glaze is the star of this recipe: Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze (recipe here).
Buttermilk Pie (click here) will get all the ooo’s and aaahhh’s, until the fireworks anyway. As pretty as it is tasty.
JeffreyW makes a Classic Orange/Lemon Shakeup (pictured above and recipe here)
And for a different take on cucumber salad, how about Minted Cucumbers, (recipe here).
Hopefully that will give you some ideas for your own July 4th celebration. What’s on your menu for this weekend and for the holiday? What are your favorite recipes for the celebration? We always have to leave room for the funnel cake at the fireworks. Hit the comments to share your recipes and what you like to do on the 4th.
Tonight’s featured recipe is one I made a few years ago on a whim, inspired by a recipe I didn’t follow for various reasons, and I get requests for it every July 4th now. Because it’s a kabob style, it’s a bit labor intensive, but you can prepare all of it the day before. If you want your chicken even drunker, you can soak it in the extra bourbon overnight.
Grilled Bourbon Chicken Appetizers
- 1- 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Bourbon whisky (how much you use and what you do with the leftover is between you and your bottle)
- 8 oz pineapple chunks
- 12 strips of sliced bacon (should be a pound)
- 12 short wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before assembling and grilling*
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch x 2-inch cubes, you should have 36 pieces (you can soak in bourbon if you like)
Mix together Chipotle peppers, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and add enough whisky and pineapple juice to make a thick sauce. Cover chicken cubes on all side with sauce and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
To assemble: Start with a pineapple chunk, add one end of full bacon strip, add chicken cube, then wrap bacon around the top of the cube and skewer, add another cube of chicken, wrap bacon around the bottom of that piece of chicken, then skewer, add a third and repeat with the bacon strip, you’re creating a ribbon with the bacon. Finish with a pineapple chunk.
(And I wish I had a photo of that step for you, but we got so busy doing them, I forgot to get the camera out. When I make them this year, I’ll remember, promise. I barely got a finished picture, had to grab someone’s plate before they started munching).
Grill over medium high heat (if using coals, start over hot coals, then move away from direct heat for the remainder of cooking time), turning frequently. Cook until chicken is 160-165 degrees. Shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, don’t overcook or you’ll have dry, rubbery appetizers. Serve hot.
*please don’t forget this step or all you’ll have for appetizers is flaming skewers.
That’s it for this week. There won’t be a recipe exchange next week. And if you missed it, this week’s complete dinner menu and shop list is Pork Stir-fry and Tangy Lemon Pie (click here). Have a safe and happy 4th! – TaMara
This has become a 4th of July favorite.
Fourth of July Buttermilk Pie Recipe
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (half a stick)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 9-inch graham cracker crust
- 1 cup cold, heavy whipping cream
- 8- 15 strawberries, halved
- A handful of blueberries (opt)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then beat in the sugar and lemon zest until well combined. Beat in the flour and melted butter. Beat in the vanilla and buttermilk.
Pour filling batter into an graham pie shell. Bake at 325°F for approximately 50 minutes, or until the center of the custard has just set (can still be a little wiggly). Remove from oven and let cool. The custard may puff up a bit in the oven; it will deflate as it cools.
Whip the chilled cream until it holds stiff peaks. Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, spread the whipping cream over the top of the pie. Arrange the raspberries and blueberries in a decorative pattern on top of the whipping cream.
Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
Makes 8 serving pieces.