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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Summer Cooking Class Series!!

16 Comments

Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!! 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog.  Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores 🙂

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

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Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

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Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

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Crowd pic

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Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

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Grilled pound cake and pineapple

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Grilled German Potato Salad

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Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

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crowd pics

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Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

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Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

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Mango & pineapple salsa

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Crowd Pics

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Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

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Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone 😛 

Chef Amy

One Lovely Blog Award!!

10 Comments

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!!!

 

 

 

Quinoa Burger!!!

7 Comments

Oh its just SOOOO GOOD!!!!

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Yes is really is 🙂  Back in December when I needed to come up with a “Theme” or “product” for my cooking class, one thing came to mind…Quinoa!!

Quinoa I feel is something that people heard of??? But not sure what it is, or what to do with it let alone know how to pronounce it 🙂

Most the time you see a recipe for Quinoa it is in some sort of salad and I just wanted to do more with it.
I’ll say its funny because just a few days before my class and her now a week after I have seen more recipes with Qunioa in it I just had to laugh.

Any way for my class yes I made a burger, I also put it in Minestrone Soup, as a breakfast dish like oatmeal, of course a salad 🙂 and cookies, yes cookies 🙂 with only 4 ingredients 😉

When I make my quinoa, I do 3 to 1, 3 parts water (liquid) to 1 part dry quinoa.  I rinse it really well till the water runs clear, oh and make sure you have fine mesh strainer, you don’t want that tiny seed going down your drain 🙂

I then add it to my pan with the water, I turn it on med-high, uncovered and bring it to a boil.  Once it starts to boil, depending on what I am doing with it, I will then add some flavoring, broth base or seasonings.  I then stir that in reduce the heat to low, cover it and let it go for at least 20 – 30 minutes, again depends on the quantity of quinoa that I use.  The more I have the more time I let it cook, I like mind to kind of get sticky, a little like sticky rice, for my burger I may let it go for a little longer.
Then you just go from there with whatever you are making 🙂

So of course I did not get to take any pictures of my food at my class, I got some picture of the people that came but once I starting cooking it was a little hard 😛 LOL

About my burger, you can make this any flavor you want, once you have the mix add what ever seasonings you want, so the last night when I got home from work I made them 🙂

Of course at the same time I was trying to cook up some things for the week, I made Lentil Soup and a pork tenderloin.  Of course my mind was everywhere and I forgot the beans…yes beans 🙂

So here we go…

Ingredients  – Ouinoa, onion, seasonings,
beef base (optional) and cannellini beans(not pictured)

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I rinsed my quinoa

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Make sure it drained

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I add it to the pan with my water

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Once it boils

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I then add some beef base and cover

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This is almost done

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As you can see the quinoa expand’s and get’s thicker

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At this point I put it on a plate to cool
(if its cool, it’s easier to handle)

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Now the onion in a skillet with a little oil

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Saute up

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add the quinoa, onions, seasonings and beans

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mix together

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then add the cheese

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now make your burgers
Put them in the fridge for a least 2 hours to
help firm up.

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Then cook for about 5 minutes on Medium to Med. High

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Flip it

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add cheese and let melt

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Get you bun ready, of course I toasted my
whole wheat bun added some fresh spinach
and horseradish

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Done and Delicious!!!

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Quinoa Burger

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

8 regular size burgers

1 cup quinoa (red or white)
3 cups water
1 tsp. Better than bullion beef base (optional)
4 tsp. seasoning (I used Grillmates Worcestershire Pub Burger)
1 large onion, chopped and sauteed
1 cup Cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and blended in food processor (you could use the whole can)
1 cup cheese, fancy shredded (any flavor)

Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, drain, add to med sauce pan with 3 cups water, cook on med-high uncovered.  Once it comes to a boil add beef base, stir and cover, reduce heat to low, cook for 30 minutes or until water is almost gone and quinoa has expanded and is thick, give a few stirs to make sure all water is gone.

Pour out on to a plate and let cool, once cooled, add sauteed onions, blended beans and seasonings, mix very well to blend.  Taste, add more seasonings if needed, then fold in cheese.  Form your burgers and place them on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, put in the fridge for at least 2 hours or longer.

Add oil to skillet add your burgers, cook over med to med-high for about 5 minutes, burger should have a nice brown color like a burger would have 🙂

Flip and then add some cheese on top if you want, cook another 5 minutes or so, add to your bun and dressing with your favorite toppings.  Enjoy!!

At my class I did a BBQ Bacon Cheddar with crispy onion straws 🙂

They all enjoyed it for sure 🙂

Here they are at the class and the crowd that came 🙂

I had to make the burgers in batches, so many came 🙂

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Tailgate Steak Taco!!!

14 Comments

It is that time again, football tailgating season and the die-hard fans are out there supporting their teams 🙂

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This recipe is something that very easy to make, you prep almost all of it the night before and the day of you can just grill it up, slice and serve 🙂

I love cilantro so this has a lot of cilantro in it, but I use angel hair cabbage and made a slaw, then use creamy goat cheese which just made this taco delicious!!

You can some “Roasted Hatch Chilies” I got some sent to me from my cousin’s living in Colorado, they add a wonderful smokey spicy richness to the taco 🙂

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Ingredients for streak marinade

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blend it all in the food processor

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pour all over steak, over night in fridge

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grill it up 

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slice

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Slaw ingredients

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cabbage, jalapenos, scallions and cilantro and mixed together

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 whisk together, cumin, lime juice, lime zest, mayo, milk, agave & sour cream

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pour over cabbage and mix, this can be made the night before

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serve with floured tortilla and top with goat cheese crumbles

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Tailgate Steak Taco

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Marinade

1/4 cup lime juice
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 jalapeno, seeded if you don’t want it spicy

Place all in food processor and blend, pour all over steak and let marinate in fridge 6 hour to over night.

1 Flat Iron Steak

Grilled to medium rare. that is about 6-7 minutes each side over medium high heat.  Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing, slice against the grain.

Slaw

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
juice and zest of 2 limes
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. agave or honey
1-2 tsp. ground cumin (to your taste)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions, tops with a little white only
1 jalapeno, minced (keep seeds if you like it spicy)
1 10-16 oz. package angel hair cabbage
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss cabbage, cilantro, scallions and jalapeno, set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together, mayo, sour cream, cumin, lime juice & zest, milk and agave, pour over cabbage and toss to mix, taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate up to overnight.

Small Flour tortillas
1 container crumbled goat cheese

Serve slaw on tortilla, top with streak slices and goat cheese.  You can have extra cilantro, sliced jalapeno or chiles for people to add.  Enjoy!!

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with the Roasted Hatch Chilies
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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 🙂

My Birthday 2013

14 Comments

Well as I mentioned in my last post, this past week was my Birthday

(This came up when I signed into Google..SO COOL!!!)

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and I had a little party this weekend celebrating along with  a friend who also had his Birthday this weekend

The day of my Birthday was great, spent some time with my folks and we had cake…I made this cake with bright food coloring…I loved it!!

Before we cut it

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A slice

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I love my Tye-Dye Cake

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Then later that night I met up with a friend of mine and he took me out to dinner, we went to the “Blue Elephant”

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and I had “Pad See Ew” and I ordered this only because  Miranti  from the blog “The High Heel Gourmet” post this recipe click here http://highheelgourmet.com/2013/04/18/pad-see-ew/ and I thought is sounded so good, that I would make it sometime 🙂

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It was really good, I would definitely go back to this restaurant again for sure 😛

So Saturday the 14th was my party and I shared this party with my good friend Paul, we had food, drinks, cake and lots good times with a few friends 🙂

Oh and if you were wondering…Pinnacle Rainbow Sherbet Vodka mixed with Fruit Punch…is really good 😛

So here is how is went 🙂

Making my candle holders 

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My candles

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Little touches to my flatware holders

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The cake – Which was made at one our stores,
by Linda she is awesome 🙂

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The table

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Outside on the deck

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Some friends ready to eat

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Sam’s says bring on the food 🙂

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Okay Food is Ready, picture is kind of dark, but we had
BBQ Ribs, BBQ Chicken Legs, Apple Slaw, Bean Salad, Fresh Tomatoes, Caramelized onions on grilled Bread
my homemade Pickles, deviled eggs, and what is not in the picture is Paul’s Haluski 🙂

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More Friends

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Then we sang and had Cake

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It was a great Birthday and I thank Paul for sharing with me and all my friends that made it
Abe, Laura and little Ben
Chris, Shannon, Sam and little Anna
Jason and Jamie
Danny, Joe, Monika and Michael Todd 🙂

And thanks to all you who took the time to read this, thank you for indulging me!!!