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Week 2: I Am An Artist!

30 May

Garden vegetable Pie
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Week 1: What To Make With Squash Blossoms

22 May

In the summer our garden is overflowing with tomatoes, the only thing that rivals the tomatoes for sheer abundance is the zucchini and squash. With zucchini and squash come the blossoms.  My mission this week was to come up with a dish for squash blossoms. Most people, including myself have not had a lot of experience with cooking or eating the squash blossoms. The only recipe I know is stuffing them with a cheese mixture and frying them. I wanted to do something a little out of the box and a little healthier for you. The only pasta I had on hand was a macaroni rice noodle. You really could use whatever is your favorite kind of pasta. I also thought that instead of making a traditional spaghetti sauce this would be a great alternative. I was really happy with how this tuned out. It took a little work peeling the tomatoes but was totally worth it!

Squash blossom tips:

Ultimately, you want to use squash blossoms the same day they are picked. If that is not possible, put them on a paper towel in an airtight container. Don’t squish them!  Take care of your ingredients and they will take care of you.

Squash blossoms, Zucchini, and Tomatoes over Rice Pasta

Serves: 4-6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

4 small-med. zucchini, halved lengthwise, and sliced

8 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

A pinch of red pepper flakes

7 very fresh squash or zucchini blossoms, pistils removed and cut lengthwise into thin strips

Handful fresh basil leaves

2 Tablespoons half and half

Salt and pepper to taste

freshly grated Parmesan

1# rice pasta

Salt for your pasta water

First put a large pot 3/4 the way full of water on high and bring to a boil. Add Pasta and salt, cook until al dente’. Once you cooked the pasta, drain and set aside, keep warm.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and saute’ until fragrant, about 5 minutes or until golden. Add the garlic and zucchini and saute’ until the zucchini begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper, cover and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down and the zucchini are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the squash blossoms, basil leaves and cook uncovered, stirring until flowers are wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in half and half.

Spoon half of the sauce into a warmed serving bowl, Add the pasta, top with remaining sauce and toss well. Add the Parmesan for flavor.

Adapted from: Savoring Tuscany by Lori De Mori

Garlic Guacamole

23 Sep

I love guacamole. What I love more is garlic. I would die for garlic. Ask  my house. Everyone knows when I cook. Why? Because there is tons of garlic in it. I always joke about everyone staying healthy because of my garlicky food.

The other night I decided to make guacamole. From what I can remember this is what I did.

Garlic guacamole:

3 avocados, mashed, save the seeds

1/3 onions, minced

8 large bulbs garlic, minced

1 tomato, diced

cilantro, chopped

juice of 1/2  lime

cumin to taste. I put a good amount in. I like the flavor

salt & pepper to taste

Mix it together and taste. It tends to be better if you let it sit a couple of hours so all the flavors can meld together. If you aren’t much of a garlic fan you can always cut back on that. I on the other hand if I was just making it for myself would probably double that. I really like garlic if you don’t know yet. If you are not going to eat it right away put the avocado seeds on the guacamole. It keeps it from going brown right away.

Mad About Food

21 Jul

I want to open a restaurant! Yes, I do. I have finally come to the conclusion that I LOVE food. Good food. I love feeding people, I love nourishing them, I love watching them eat, I love how food can heal people. I love everything about food. I think about food all the time. I even dream about food. When I go to bed I think about what wonderful food I will make for breakfast. Will I fry up some sweet potatoes with lots of fresh garlic and some creole? I think about what I will make for dinner the next time I cook right after I am through with making dinner that night. It is crazy! I want people to know that healthy food tastes better than anything you can get at a fast food restaurant. I want to take away the thought that healthy food is nasty. Saying all that, I have to do something about it. I can’t just have a passion for food and try to ignore it like I have been. I don’t even know why I have  except I always thought people would think that I am weird, that food makes you fat so why would you want to have anything to do with it. I just can’t ignore how I feel about food anymore. I have to step out and make a stand.

I have been praying that God would give me direction for my life and I feel like He has opened up a door for me in this area. I just recently met a woman who lives in Memphis, TN.Her name is Felicia Suzanne.  She has her own restaurant downtown Memphis and it is called Felicia Suzanne. She gets everything she can from local farmers.  I met her through my sister who works for Walt and Jan selling  raw milk. I talked to her briefly about apprenticing her. Now we have to make a date when we can get together to talk about it more in depth. I am so excited! I really think that I could learn a ton from her. I don’t know what this all entails and I can’t wait to meet with her and talk about it. I feel like this is what I am supposed to be doing so  I am going in a direction and God will lead my steps from there.

This morning I wanted to make something with the fresh tomatoes that I just picked last night from Ariel’s garden and this is what I came up with.

I toasted an english muffin and put a slice of Cabot sharp cheddar cheese on each side then I fried an egg and placed that on top of the cheese. I had taken a tomato and diced up half of it. Then I diced up a green onion. I poured some olive oil in that and chopped up two cloves of garlic. I mixed all that together and poured over top of the egg. Then I ground up black pepper and added a touch of salt. Tada…. It was simply delish! I so happy with it that I almost cried. I have been telling almost everyone at work about it. What can I say you must make it and let me know what you think.