Irises, Bees, and Pepper Mana!

The first of my son’s irises are beginning to bloom. They take my breath away every year, so gorgeous!

I had the privilege of watching three bee swarms yesterday. It’s an act of nature that never fails to amaze me. I love standing in the midst of an active swarm… the sound and experience is incredible. We had rain blow in yesterday, but I was able to snag a picture of a small swarm before they flew off to find shelter.

About that pepper manna. I think this may possibly be the most fabulous smelling, mouth watering treat I’ve eaten in eons! It’s so perfectly sweet and garlicky and just over the top delicious! Ever since I discovered a garlic shaver, I’m having shaved garlic in everything. I’m not sure why the taste and texture seem changed so much by shaving versus mincing, but the difference is definitely a pleasing one.

Bell Peppers Baked with Tomatoes

6 red and yellow (orange is fine too) bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
1 lb cherry tomatoes
4 to 5 garlic cloves, shaved thinly
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar or 1 tsp. each balsamic
and red wine vinegar
2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
1 tsp. sugar, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, mix together the bell peppers, tomatoes, the garlic, the olive oil, half of the vinegar, the oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and spread out in a single layer in a large baking pan.

Roast the vegetables for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the vegetables so that they will brown evenly, and return them to the oven. Continue to roast until the peppers are slightly charred at the edges and the tomatoes are soft and tender and have begun to form a sauce, about 10 minutes more.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more garlic to taste and the remaining vinegar. Let cool until warm or room temperature. Garnish with basil just before serving.

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Donna Rowe

    Beautiful remembrance of your son! And that swarm! Love you!

  2. Diane Obernesser

    Beautiful iris & a comfort to see them each year. Wow! That swarm is amazing. Are you catching them this year? I know Jim has done that in the past. Your pepper, tomato, garlic combo looks great. I think I remember that how you cut the garlic makes a difference in how strong it tastes.

    1. tinksquared

      No the bees are hopelessly abandoned I doubt there will be many left after that wicked freeze we had this winter and nobody tending them all year.

  3. Susan

    Your Iris’s are beautiful!!! Mine are just now starting to open. Hugs!!!

    1. tinksquared

      Thanks! Mine are all over the chart with different bloom times.

  4. Diane Obernesser


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