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Making Snow Angels

 

Regular readers here know I have the best job in the Universe. For those of you who are new here, I am the Candy Lady. I fill candy jars at 53 real estate offices every week as a way to market my boss’s home inspection company. I mean, how much fun is that? People love me and can’t wait till I show up each week.

OK. OK!!!  So it is really the candy they love and wait for.

But it is still a fun job. Most of that is because the people I meet in the offices I visit are just so nice and so much fun. This job is my first experience working with the real estate industry. And all I can say is they are among the best, friendliest, and nicest people to be found anywhere.

For example, earlier this week I went into one office and Tara asked me if I wanted to see pictures of what she had done over the weekend. She and a friend went to Old Man’s Cave in south east Ohio. From car lot to cave is a mile or more. But they both braved the cold and snow and ice. They are braver than I am.

As cold as it has been, and as snowy and icy the cave was,  Tara braved it all and had wonderful time.

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I have wanted to do a blog post on all of the state parks in south east Ohio for years. But never had a hook or point of view to bring a piece together. Tara’s pictures gave me a human view point, and she graciously allowed me to use some of the pictures she took.

Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeast Ohio in what millions of years ago used to be the Appalachian Mountains, are twelve (12) Ohio State Regional Parks. Collectively the area is known as the Hocking Hills:

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Old Man’s Cave

Old Man's Cave

Old Man’s Cave

Ash Cave

Cedar Falls

Conkles Hollow

Cantwell Cliffs

Rock House

Clear Creek

Rock Bridge

Lake Logan

Tar Hollow

Hocking State Forest

Wayne State Forest

I first  visited this area around age nine or ten when my family went on vacation there. There is so much to see in the area we vacationed there several years. We rented a cabin in the forest and participated in many of the programs run by the Ohio State Department of Natural Resources Park Rangers. The programs included identifying plants and animals to night sky gazing. Science lessons made fun.

Below: Tara’s picture of an  ice cycle in Old Man’s Cave.

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This huge area that spans several counties in Ohio was formed by Mother Nature. Three-hundred and thirty million years ago the entire area was covered by the Atlantic Ocean.

Ten thousand years ago the area was covered by the Wisconsin Glacier. When that glacier began to retreat it created what we see today in all of the twelve parks listed above. The retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier created much of natural beauty of what we now see and enjoy throughout the Midwest, Eastern America, and Canada in terms landforms, lakes, and flora and fauna. As an aside, it was also during this glacial period that there was a land bridge across the Bering Strait between modern day Russia and Alaska. It is how humans first reached North America.

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Anyway, this wonderful glacier created heaven on earth just an hour’s drive from where I live. And last weekend Tara made snow angels in the park. They were the most beautiful snow angels I have ever seen. She also took some wonderful pictures which are scattered through this post.

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snow angel

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The Hocking Hill area has many activities that include something you love to do in every and any season: camping, hiking trails, family activities, swimming, art and antiquing, and hunting and fishing. And eating. Can’t forget all of the great restaurants in the area.

Enjoy more pictures of this idyllic area below. Take a 5 minutes break from your day’s work. You are worth it. You deserve it. You earned it!

I also extend an invitation to you to come and visit this lovely area. You won’t be disappointed.

Devil’s Bathtub – in the upper gorge of Old Man’s Cave. Picture from Wikipedia

Devil's Bathtub

Devil’s Bathtub

The pictures below are from PHOTOREE:

Long Cave Hocking Hills

Long Cave Hocking Hills

Tree trunks in sun.

Tree trunks in sun.

Old Man's Cave Summer

Old Man’s Cave Summer

I’ll close this lovely tour with a video of Early Spring at Old Man’s Cave.

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And remember! All of these pictures and the video is only of Old Man’s Cave. There are eleven (11) other distinct parks in the area, each one different. While there are hiking trails that link a few of the parks for most of them you must get back in your car or on your bike and drive to them.

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Featured Recipe    Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

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Number one today, I have a new oven.  I  have lots to learn about it. This dish is the first I cooked on/or in it. I chose an easy dish for that reason.

Today’s recipe is courtesy of Ellie Kriegr via Food Network

Back when Red Lobster was still a good restaurant and the prices were still low enough that the Middle Class could afford to go, there was an appetizer for something they called Zucchini Crisps.

When they discontinued this dish I tried a dozen or more ways to copy them in my kitchen. Colossal failure.

So then not to be deterred at eating something I really, REALLY, REALLY liked I took to the internets. I tried half a dozen or so recipes. This one is the best I have found to date. If anyone has an even better  recipe for this dish please let me know. If you want to share it I would be glad to resurrect Everyday Cooks.

This is super great as an after school snack, a side dish for dinner, or a wickedly can’t eat just one hor dourve, and makes one fantastic Midnight snack.

The zucchini today were very small.  I bought 3 to make yp for the size. Several stores had none at all. I am guessing the cold weather had something to do with it.  Therefore, the zucchini circles are very small. Bigger zucchini will remedy that. But they still tasted fabulous!

This is what you will need for 4 – ½ cup servings:

Cooking spray

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

¼  cup plain dry bread crumbs

⅛ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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Roberta’s Additional Ingredients:

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Chili Sauce

Horseradish Sauce

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Here is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

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Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

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Wash then slice the zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds.

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In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. Make sure each slice is coated with the oil.

NOTE:  Forgot to take a picture of this step. You can see the zucchini rounds in the bowl at the back of the next picture. It is hidden behind the Parmesan Cheese jar.

In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper.

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Dip each oil covered round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

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Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

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When the time is up they are ready to eat. Hot out of the oven.

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However, of you want to do Roberta’s addition: Sprinkle with some shredded Parmesan or sprinkle with more grated Parmesan cheese. Then put back in the oven for about 1 minute just to melt the cheese.

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Hot out of the oven again after cheese has melted.

Remove with spatula.

Serve right away dipping them in either chili sauce or Horseradish sauce, or naked. Any way you eat these delectable bites they are a slice of heaven on earth.

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Bon appétit!!!

Cost

Cooking spray                        $0.11

3 medium zucchini                  $1.39

1 tablespoon olive oil              $0.27

¼ cup grated Parmesan         $1.04

¼ cup dry bread crumbs        $0.64

Salt and pepper to taste

Total Cost = $3.45

Cost per person = $0.63

Roberta’s Additional Ingredients:

Shredd Parme cheese          $0.24

Chili Sauce                          $0.27

Horseradish Sauce               $0.37

Total Cost Extras per person = $0.88 more        

Quote of the Day

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.

Standing Bear

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4 comments to Making Snow Angels

  • I actually know about these caves! My daughter visited them when she was moving to the East Coast. I’d love to see them. One day we will make it out there. Ohio is not just the I-80 corridor. Much of Ohio is heavily wooded and very beautiful.
    When I’m up and about I’ll give the zucchini crisps a try!

    • Roberta

      Hope you are feeling better.

      Exactly. Much of Ohio is rural with the Three C’s spanning the southwest to northeast axis of Ohio. For the uninitiated the 3-C corridor links Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. I-71 links them together. I always say we have the best of both worlds – a nice mix of rural and cosmopolitan. 🙂

  • Oh that’s right, you may not be entirely I-80. I’m so accustomed to I-80.

  • It’s been a very long time since I made a snow angel but I used to do it all the time as a kid. These zucchini crisps sound so delicious. I’m going to give them a try.