You Say Tomato I Say Tomahto!!

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Tomatoes, who has tomatoes…I DO!!!!!!!!
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My Dad’s garden is producing a plenty, his plants are 8 feet tall and going wild!!!

I have a few pictures here from the beginning stages, they are about 5 to almost 6 foot at this point,
my Dad here is growing, leaf lettuce, kale, peppers, cucumbers, onions, green beans, eggplants and of course Tomatoes!!!
There maybe be more he grows but I can remember, I do know he has another patch that asparagus is in and the green house that things grow too…

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but I just decided to write this blog about tomatoes last night, so I don’t have recent pictures of it 🙂 these picture were about the 2nd week of June

So I have been eating a lot of tomatoes lately, but they have really only been from my Dad’s, I don’t buy them usually, but I do love when I get them from him and his garden.

As anyone knows they just taste better than you can get in the store and it’s really the only eat time I do eat them.
My Mom and Dad will freeze them, stew them, roast them, sauce them, slice them for BLT (which I think they east daily during the summer) and chop them for salads.  Plus whatever else they do with them 🙂

I on the other hand I tend to eat them a little differently 🙂

First I blanch them and remove the skins, I have issues with the skins, that’s all I will say 🙂

Here are a few pictures of ways that I have enjoyed using my Dad’s fresh tomatoes from his garden.

I hope you will enjoy too!!!

Making sauce, in my Vitamix are tomatoes, roasted garlic, some Italian herbs, red pepper flakes and salt.
The Vitamix will also cook it too you let it run about 5-7 minutes and you have hot soup or sauce 🙂

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Mixing it all up

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Freezing some for winter 🙂

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Cooking some down too

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This is the cherry tomatoes, sauteed with garlic, onions and spinach
tossed with the pasta, then fold in some fresh mozzarella pearls
then a drizzle of some balsamic glaze…Delish!!!!

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My all time favorite thing in the world is
Polenta with fresh tomatoes and a poached egg!!!
This is heaven for me!!!

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another day again…YUMMY!!!

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This is my FBT…Fake bacon and tomato 😛

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Ran out of the cornmeal to make polenta
So I made couscous instead…Delish too!!!

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This was last night’s dinner
tomatoes, roasted garlic tossed with pasta and some fresh mozzarella cubes
I was talking about making this a work…so ladies this is what I made…simple and quick 🙂

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Oh and here is the kale and I made some kale chips…very good with a
sprinkle of kosher salt and garlic powder 🙂

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Here are couple of links of 2 more of my blogs that I used tomatoes in the past
First up is my Tomato Cobbler – this turned out really really good so if you
want something a little different try this recipe.

 Second is Orzo Salad with Basil, Tomato & Feta – I made this at one
of my outdoor cooking classes last year.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone!!!

What’s next here hopefully sooner than later
my trip to Bourbon Country 🙂
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One Lovely Blog Award!!

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Recently I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by Ka@My Uni Kitchen

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Ka has a terffic blog, he has amazing Recipes, How to Guides and Cooking Tips, so please go over to his
blog and check out all those good things he has to offer 🙂

There are few rules to accepting the award you must tell everyone 7 things about yourself and nominate 15 blogs
for the award.

So here we go 🙂

1. I worked on a cruise ship for 6 1/2 years

2. My first career was in Theater Costuming before going into Culinary

4. I love Hockey

5. I worked for our home town Hockey Team by sewing names and numbers on their jerseys

6.  During the baseball season, I am on call for the Cincinnati Reds and the away teams
      that come into town and play the Reds, to sew their uniforms (sewing names & numbers),
      for any last minute call ups.

7.  The most I was ever paid for sewing 1 single uniform for an away team was $100.00
and 
that was for 1 hour of work, that included the call, me driving to the ball park
(i live very close) 
getting in there sewing the name and number and then 
      back in my car.  🙂  

Bonus – here’s the picture 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed the few things that most of you did not know about me 🙂

 

Here are the blogs that I think are fantastic and I give the “One Lovely Blog Award” too

Suzanne@apuginthekitchen

Gretchen@Feeding My 3 Sons

Ginger@Ginger&Bread

Loretta@Safari of the Mind

Angie@The Novice Gardner

Julie@Hostess At Heart

Michelle@Giraffes Can Bake

Suzi@Beach Blanket Bacon

Jhuls@The Not So Creative Cook

Coco@Crafty Little Coco

Lili@Lili’s Cakes

Max@Dante’s Kitchen

Linda@La Petite Paniere

Ms. Frau@Frugal Hausfrau

Petra@Food Eat Love

Vidya and Chitra I added you as well
I know Ka added you to his blog
but I wanted to let you know I love
your blogs too, so you can consider mine
with his 🙂

Vidya@Traditionally Modern Food

Chitra@Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Thank you everyone for checking out my blog!!!

 

 

 

Italian Roasted Shrimp!!

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This dish is so easy and quick and its great over polenta, pasta or would be great just served as an appetizer with crostini’s.

We have this great “Red Argentine Shrimp” and it is simply delicious, I have cooked with it several times and its always a big hit 🙂

Ingredients

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in skillet add a little oil and shallots

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then add garlic & oregano

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then tomatoes (sorry the picture is blurry)

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top with the shrimp

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Mix panko, cheese and parsley together

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add oil

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mix again

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sprinkle over top shrimp and bake

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you can serve over polenta

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or over pasta

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Italian Roasted Shrimp

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Red Argentine Shrimp (about 4-5 per person)

1 large can diced tomatoes with garlic & onion (about 4 cups)
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. agave or honey

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil

In a large skillet add a little oil and shallots over medium heat, cook for 5 minutes, add garlic & oregano, stir to combine and add tomatoes, continue to cook for 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

Mix in a small bowl panko, cheese and parsley, add oil and thoroughly mix, add salt and pepper to taste.  Place shrimp on top of the tomato mixture and sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top, and bake for about 10 minutes or until shrimp is done and breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Meanwhile make your pasta or polenta and serve shrimp right over top.

Which ever way you serve it Enjoy!!!

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Chicken Fettuccine…On the Lighter side!!

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Looking for a healthier lighter Chicken Fettuccine?

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I used Almond Breeze unsweetened Coconut Milk. Coconut Milk! I know what some of you’re thinking ~ “What! Really it is good?” and before you ask I’ll answer ~ No it does not taste like coconut! 🙂

When you order this dish in a restaurant or search online a Chicken Fettuccine recipe they usually call for heavy cream, butter and lots of cheese!!Let me just say that 1 cup of Cream is like 800 calories vs. the coconut milk which is only 45 calories and if you noticed I did not use any butter either.

Now don’t get me wrong the stuff made with all the cream, butter and cheese is great, but maybe not so healthy for us, go give this a try I promise you like it 🙂

For the entire month of September, three of our Remke Market locations will have all of these items on sale.  So stop by our Hyde Park, Skytop or Highland area stores in Ohio.  Most of all the other locations may only have some of these one sale. Everyone loves a Great Sale!!

Oh and if you visiting my blog for the first time, please look to right side of this page and see where it says follow me via email, enter your email address in the box and click the “Follow Chef Amy” link to follow me, then every time I post a new recipe or talk about great products or places I might have been, you get an email about the new post.  Once you have added your email address, make sure to go to your email and confirm the link to ensure you will get my posts!!

Ingredients

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put pasta on

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in skillet add oil and shallots (or onions)

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cook until translucent

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finely chop your rosemary (my rosemary looks dark because I freeze it, when I buy herbs for recipes if I don’t use them all up, I will just put the container right in the freezer then whenever I need to something for a recipe I am cooking I have some.  I only use the herbs from the freezer when I use them in a cooking recipe not if I need it for fresh recipe like salads or on top of a dish)

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I grate my garlic cloves always it is just so easy, so add garlic and rosemary to skillet

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using cornstarch will help thicken the sauce (I forgot to add it to my picture above) 🙂

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add mixture to skillet and whisk often until it comes to a bubble and thickens

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once it bubble and thickens add cheese and whisk

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drain pasta (you might want to do this and have ready before you add your cheese to the sauce)

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add the sauce to pasta and toss to coat the pasta, pour pasta out onto a big platter or bowl, top with your chicken

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you can garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and some shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

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and done

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Lighter Chicken Fettuccine

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 lb. pasta, cooked & drained
1 – 2 large shallots (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup fresh Grated Parmesan
2 1/2 cups Almond Breeze unsweetened Almond Milk or unsweetened Coconut Milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
2-3 cooked chicken breasts,  or grilled chicken thighs sliced
2 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed, meanwhile in a large skillet over medium heat add oil and shallots, cook until onions are translucent; add garlic and rosemary and continue to cook for 1 minute more.

Whisk milk and cornstarch together then add to skillet, whisk mixture until it starts to bubble, once bubbling and begins to thicken whisk in 1/2 cup cheese.

Drain pasta, add pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce until well coated, plate pasta, add chicken on top and garnish with parsley and extra cheese.

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Enjoy!!!  Thank you for coming!!! Chef Amy

 

Orzo Salad with Basil and Tomatoes

10 Comments

Great Summer Salad!!

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Last I had a cooking class at one of our stores, using Fresh Herbs was one the points for the class.
Picture of the class, a few more came after I got started, it was a great turn out 🙂

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This was one of the recipes I did, I love using this really as a base with so many options at your finger tips.

You can certainly serve as is, or add fresh grilled veggies chopped, add cubes of fresh mozzarella instead of feta, or shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, or slice pepperoni, salami, cube ham or turkey.  And what about Grilled Shrimp, thin slices of grilled flat iron steak even chunks of grilled salmon there are endless possibilities!!

Along with other fresh herbs you could add as well!!

Everyone at my class love it as is and a friend of my mine made it last week for his work’s cook out and it was hit with them as well.  Enjoy if you make it!!

Orzo Salad with Basil and Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1-2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

2 cups orzo, cooked

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1/3 cup basil, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

½ cup Feta cheese, ¼ in cubes or crumbled

Salt to taste
Gently toss all ingredients together, serve at room temp.  And of course you can add other veggies, cheeses or fresh herbs as you like 🙂

“CHEF” El Jefe!!

11 Comments

“the Chief” or “the Boss”

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When I first heard about this movie and saw the trailer I thought this looks like a really cute funny movie.

Here is the wiki if you want to read about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef_(film)

As I sat in the movie theater as the credits rolled, my mind was reeling, I was like what did I just see!!

The trailer

 

Feeling of inspiration  was so overwhelming, I just wanted to leave the theater and go and COOK!!!

There was so much about this movie that I could relate too, the passion in cooking  and sharing it with other people!!

Whether you are a Chef or Foodie you will love and understand this Movie, you will walk away with the same feeling of joy and inspiration that I did…if you are not…you will walk away and say oh that was a cute and funny movie.

There were so many scenes that I just loved…I think the big one (well all food scenes really) was the making “Grilled Cheese” scene, really the part when he starts to eat it 😛

The crunch…the CRUNCH!! was out of control, the sound of that Crunchy bread and the gooey cheese hanging from the bread, it was like I was there eating it myself.  I could smell it, I could feel the crunch and I could taste it!!!

Here is that scene

 

The food scenes have been described as ‘Food Porn”  and have all been “designed” just like the set is designed, the food cooking scenes were designed by Chef Roy Choi, he worked as an technical adviser.  Chef Roy Choi is a Genius in my mind!!

He also sent actor Jon Favreau who directed, co-produced, written and starred in, to French culinary school and then had him train in several of Choi’s kitchens.
Here is a behind the scenes clip with Chef Choi and Jon Favreau

 

I just loved every minute of this film and have already gone back and to see it again with my best foodie friend Danny, he got the movie just like I did 🙂

I have made my takes on some of the food that was made in the movie here are couple, of course the “Grilled Cheese” and the “Pasta” scene.

For the “The Cuban” sandwich, I search the Cincinnati area for the best, some good some not so good, but I found a place “Paula’s Cafe” downtown.  I heard that the owner Paula was from Miami and the sandwich was pretty authentic, so I finally got down there and had it…it was the best i had yet.  Pork could have been a little more and spread out on the bun, but everything else was perfect!!!   If you are in the area I recommend the Cafe, it is only open M-F 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and its crowded!!!  Its small so getting it to go is popular if there are no seats, I went at 1:15 pm and it was starting to clear out, by 1:30 pm only a few people.  But the “To Go” line was really non-stop, soup of the day (cream of chicken with wild rice) and the Tuna Salad seemed to be the most popular for the “To Go” customers.  Also the friendliest  waitresses around town!!!!!  I will be going back for sure!!

Enjoy my pictures and it the Movie “Chef” is playing still near you go see it!!

Grilled Cheese

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Pasta 🙂

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The Cuban from Paula’s Cafe

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So if have a passion for food, then please go see this movie, you will not be disappointed, I can’t wait till I can get it on DVD 🙂

Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting!!

15 Comments

This is a little late, but Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there 🙂

This past Mother’s Day I had my parents over to my house along with my bestie Danny 🙂

I made dinner and dessert and everyone went home full and my folks got all the leftovers 🙂

Lets start with the best the dessert, I made a Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting…YUM!! 😛

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Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting

For the Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup Chocolate Milk (TruMoo)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Frosting
Peel of 1 orange and Zest of 1 Orange
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (more or less, to taste)

DIRECTIONS
For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray
2. In Medium bowl whisk together eggs, hot milk, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in eggs, hot chocolate, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined. Divide evenly between prepared cake pans.
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:
Infuse orange peel into cream first:
1. Place cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add peels of one orange to the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the cream has taken on some orange flavor.
2. Take cream off the heat. Remove peels with tongs or by straining the cream. Discard peels. Allow cream to cool a bit before placing in the refrigerator until completely chilled, I did this over night.
3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream just until very soft peaks form.
4. In a second bowl, beat together mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in ¼ of the whipped cream, then fold in the rest of the orange-scented cream and the zest of one orange, (keeping a little to garnish the top of the cake), into the mascarpone mixture until incorporated. Frost cake, keep chilled until ready to serve.

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The was great I love the chocolate and orange combo 🙂

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Now for Dinner I made Grill Salmon with fresh pasta, pistachio pesto along with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus…it was yummy too!! :

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My pasta making O_o

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I need to make fresh pasta more often, it really is easy 🙂

Enjoy Everyone!!!