Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cliffs Of Moher

We recently returned from a trip to the UK.  We spent most of our time in England, but took a few days to visit Ireland.  Neither of us had ever been there and it seemed a worthwhile side trip.

We did the usual things a tourist does in Dublin, pub visits, and a tour of the Guinness Storehouse.  That was a fun self-guided tour.  I'm not a huge Guinness fan, but the tour was fun!


We also took a day- long bus tour across Ireland, making several stops. The main stop was the Cliffs of Moher.  They are steep imposing cliffs on the western shore of Ireland.  Perhaps you remember them from the Princess Bride?   They were used for the Cliffs Of Insanity  This was where Fezzik climbed the rope pulling Buttercup and her captors with him.  No one would be able to follow them.  It was INCONCEIVABLE!


The day was overcast and rainy, but the rain stopped for us each time we stepped out of the bus to see something new.  Is this the luck of the Irish?  Not sure.


We stopped a bit farther on.  There were acres and miles of nothing but stone with small outcroppings of grass.  The guide told us that the British had cut down all the trees.  All of them.  The winds eroded the soil and this is what is left.  They are trying to reforest areas that were clear cut, but without much soil that will be a daunting task.


I saw this stone formation and wonder what caused it.  It looks like the teeth of a front loader on a tractor, but it is stone.


We enjoyed our brief overview of Ireland and vacationing with Trista.  Lee especially enjoyed the weather.    Imagine, cool and overcast in JULY!  He may be planning to move.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Avocado Cream Cheese Sandwiches.

My daughter in law recently told me that my son used to bring her avocado and cream cheese sandwiches.  I had never heard of such a thing and was instantly intrigued.

Because avocado and cream cheese are both delicious, but rather bland, I decided to use some spices to add some flavor.  I used King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls to make sliders, but any bread would do.

Avocado Cream Cheese Sandwiches

2-4 oz. cream cheese
1 large ripe avocado
1 teaspoon lime juice, to  add flavor and prevent browning
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon cumin
6 King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, or bread of choice.  Toast if desired.  I desired.


Stir the cream cheese until softened and smooth.  Add the avocado and lime juice and mash them together.


Add the spices you like.  Don't overwhelm the flavor.  I used cumin and curry.  You could also use the flavored cream cheese in the deli case.  In this case, you shouldn't add any additional spices or flavoring


Spread a generous portion on the bread of choice.  Serve with fruit and iced tea for a light summer meal.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Peach Tea

In the summer I drink a lot of iced tea.  I also like Snapple iced tea, particularly the Peach Tea.  In order to keep my sugar consumption lower, I tend to drink the diet version.

My aunts like to make iced tea by boiling water and adding a bunch of tea bags.  After they steep, they pour the concentrated tea over a pitcher filled with ice.  It is probably better to let the hot tea cool a bit before you add it to the icy pitcher.  I do, because I don't want the rapid change in temperature to crack the glass pitcher.

Snapple is delicious, but can get expensive.  It is currently peach season, so I bought a bunch and sacrificed a few to the iced tea I wanted to make.

The first batch of iced tea, I used one peach.  The tea was insufficiently peachy.  The second batch I made was with two peaches and was peachier.  Because I was trying to keep this low calorie, in order to eat high calorie other stuff, I used Splenda to sweeten the tea.

Peach Tea

3 cups water
2 peaches, roughly chopped.
6 bags Red Rose Tea, or tea of your choice
1/2 cup Splenda

Chop the peaches up in medium chunks.  Don't bother to peel them, but remove the pit. 


Place the peaches in a large sauce pan and add the water.  Bring it to a boil.  Boil for about 15 minutes or until very soft.


Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bags.  Let them steep for about 4 minutes.  You don't want to do this too long.  Tea can become bitter, so remove and toss the tea bags.

Add the Splenda or regular sugar to taste.  I used a heaping 1/2 cup of Splenda.  I like sweet tea, but not syrup tea as is frequently served in the south.  Stir to combine.  Add a few ice cubes to cool the tea a bit more.


Pour the peach tea mixture through a strainer into a pitcher filled with ice.  Use the back of a spoon to mash the softened peaches and get as much flavor into the tea as you can.  Discard the remainder of peach and peel.


Stir to chill and serve over ice.  Or place in the refrigerator for a treat all day long.