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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Simply Roasted…

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pic 1Roasted vegetables are just simply divine!!  That is in my opinion, well anything roasted is divine, if its roasted right and not on the verge of charcoal!   I usually will roast my veggies in the oven, that is until spring hits or I should say mid 60’s and not raining outside, then its time to grill.  I roasted some veggies last week when it was still cold and maybe a little snow…and then that weekend it got up to upper 60’s, oh well I grilled out anyway but I can’t wait for the spring to kick in that’s for sure.

I guess really you can roast any veggies, some maybe not as long as others, but for this bunch I put them all together.  pic 7

I had some fennel bulbs, onion, carrots, along with some maroon carrots from Texas and a turnip…yup one little old lonely turnip.  All with some garlic cloves, fresh dill and rosemary.

A friend of mine gave me a “Bunch” of rosemary that he got off his huge rosemary bush.pic 2   I clean about half the stems off and placed them in water and have them sitting on my table and I have fresh rosemary whenever I need.  They are growing roots and new tops, this is a great way to keep fresh rosemary around.  I’m really hoping the roots will be enough for me to plant them myself.

So really you can use any veggies or fresh herbs or dried if you do not have fresh for roasting.

My peeled and chopped veggies

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garlic (kept whole), mince the dill and the rosemary (too much rosemary can be over powering so be careful you can always add more if needed).

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tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, spread out on a baking sheet

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roast on 400 degrees till tender or how ever you like them, check them every 10 to 15 minutes and give them a quick turn.

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serve them up

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You can serve them with your choice of meat, or maybe with a salad, you can put them in a wrap,  on a burger or just by themselves are tasty.
This could be a great appetizer too, once roasted and cooled give another chop, slice a baguette, brush with olive oil, toast slices.
Serve on a platter with veggies, maybe goat cheese or feta crumbs, some pesto even some thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, let your guest make their own crostini’s.  Add bowl of mixed olives, a dish of Marcona Almonds and some wine you now have a party!!  
 Enjoy!!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

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These ribs are fall off the bone finger licking good!!!  I put them in the oven, I like this method for me because is less hassle,  I prep them the night before, then the day of I can put them in the oven and forget it about for a few hours.

1 full rack of Baby Back Ribs

Rub – Makes 1 cup

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. paprika
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
3 tbsp. chili powder

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix all spices together in a bowl, set aside.  Flip ribs over to the back, there is a thin piece of skin that needs to be removed, at one end of the ribs with a knife start at an edge to peel up a little of the skin. With a paper towel grasp the skin and pull gently as the skin comes up, using the paper towel helps it from slipping out of your grasp.
Rub a the entire rack with all the rub on both sides, put into a jumbo zip-loc bag, or you can cut ribs in half and use a gallon size bag.  Place in refrigerator over night.  Take ribs out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking.
Using heavy-duty alumium foil, lay one sheet out 8 inches longer then the rack of ribs. spray sheet with non stick cooking spray and place ribs face up, take another sheet same length and spray one side as well, putting that side down on top of ribs.  Fold both edges of the foil together rolling the edges towards the ribs, stopping about 1 inch before the ribs.
Place the package on a baking sheet and bake for 3 hours, after 3 hours  take out of the oven, increase heat to 400 degrees.  Remove the top piece of foil and add your favorite BBQ sauce to the top of the ribs all over, then place back in over without foil for 15 minutes.

I love serving roasted vegetables  with the ribs, like pieces of corn on the cob, red potatoes etc. I put those in the oven 30 minutes before the ribs are done.