Tag Archives: tomatoes

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my acl hardware

It's been a while since we had a heart-to-heart so let's catch up!

Currently I am recovering from my 7th surgery in 9 years.  This last surgery (ohhh, please be THE LAST) was to remove the titanium hardware from my knee that was used to attach my new ACL in surgery #6.  The hardware you see in the above photo is not leftover from an Ikea cabinet, it's what came out of my knee! I am in awe and completely baffled as to how all that fit inside my little knee.

fruyo-vanilla

I have found a new yogurt obsession!  You know how much I love my Fage Plain Greek Style yogurt (with honey), it's by far, in my most humble opinion, the best Greek yogurt on the market.  Well.... now they are selling it in prepared flavors like vanilla, cherry & peach!  Same velvety, thick texture, now with delicious flavorings already mixed in.  They call it "Fruyo" and since it's so new it can be hard.  Try Whole Foods, that's where I found it!

DowntonAbbey

I just  have to get this off my chest, and don't worry I won't put out any spoilers in case some of you are not completely caught up on the season finale of Downton Abbey but JULIAN FELLOWS SHOULD BE HORSE WHIPPED!  There, I said it.  I feel better now. (Julian Fellows is the writer of the show, and he's not my favorite person right now.)

quartet

And speaking of Dame Maggie Smith (Downton's Dowager Countess Violet Crawley of Grantham) my cousin and I went to see her in the movie "Quartet", directed by Dustin Hoffman and it was truly delightful!  The cast is packed with silver screen and stage veterans (Dame Maggie, Michael Gambon, Billy Connoly)  and the script is funny but will touch your heart at the same time.  I'm excited for it to come to DVD this spring so I can watch it again.

divergent

One of the few perks to lying around waiting for the swelling in your knee to go down is you get a ton of reading done.  I finished off the book Divergent by Veronica Roth and I have to tell you, I kinda liked it.  If you liked the Hunger Games and are looking for something similar, this is a good option.  I can't say I was quite as engrossed as I was in the Hunger Games, but the plot puts forth some good food for thought.  I liked it enough to order the 2nd book in the series.

heirloom tomatoes

The sun has been peeking out here and there and the days are beginning to warm up, finally.  That has me thinking about the vegetable garden.  Tomatoes are definitely going to be on the list.  And of course my annual forest of basil.  I still have a few cups of last summer's homemade pesto in the freezer, that's how much basil I was able to get from my plants last year.

So that's what has been on my mind the past few days, sitting around, waiting for this leg to get better.  What's been on your mind?

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I had a very fun but very busy weekend and I thought I'd share a few of the photos with you today.  As I'm sure you can tell from the above photo, I made a little fresh salsa for a party.

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I am very particular about my salsa, it must all me hand chopped finely.  It takes a while but it's so worth the extra work.  You can find my formula for salsa at this previous post from 31 Days.  Oh my gosh, 31 Days is coming up again.  I'm starting to panic a little.

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The party was this guy's 1st Birthday.  He's my little buddy.  He loved his smash-cake.

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He loved it so much he gave it a big hug then laid down on it.  Shortly after, Daddy rolled him and his chair out the backyard and hosed them both down.

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The next day I picked approximately 1 lb. of basil from my 4 plants and made 8 cups of pesto.  I'm freezing every bit of pesto I can so we will be able to enjoy homemade pesto dishes for at least part of the winter.

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I discovered these Padron peppers at Whole Foods and scooped them up not knowing what I would make of them.

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What I made of them was a quick roasted salsa.  I started by blackening & removing their skins.  This process goes so much faster over a gas burner.  I usually do it on a cast iron skillet.  Effective, but much slower.

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I also toasted up some cherry tomatoes, garlic and 1 green onion.

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Everything went into the blender with a little S&P then whirl-whirl-whirl, yummy salsa!!  On a side note, I hid this salsa from everybody and snacked on it while I prepared other party food.  The lucky few that wandered into the house while I was cooking were able to partake but it was so good I wasn't real keen on sharing.

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I also purchased this pile of multi-colored sweet peppers.  There were overflowing from a big wooden box and I picked out the most colorful ones I could find because I'm still eating my colors!.  I was especially drawn in by the light purple ones which tasted the same as all the others but were a tiny bit firmer.

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My pile of sweet peppers, along with pencil asparagus and green onions, were grilled up and drizzled with this balsamic sauce from Giada DeLaurentis that I have made over and over.  It's a great way to perk up vegetables and might even make a nice dipping sauce for a hunk of focaccia.

So as you can see  my weekend, like most weekends, was heavily influenced by food.  And it was all good.

Lately I only post on Fridays, our Friday Recipe where I showcase a recipe I've noticed lately or one of my own creations.  I love to look at the stats on Mondays to see just how many of you are checking-in every Friday, and you do!  I'm not a lame-o really, I wish I could post more but I just can't pull it off right now.  I hope soon that will change, keep your fingers crossed for me.

In the meantime I thought I might show you a few photos of what I've been up to.  I document just about everything that goes on on my life via Iphone, camera, etc. so it's pretty easy to give you my past few weeks in a nutshell.  So without any further hoopla, here we go:

  • Last week I had about an hour to myself so I wandered around Barnes & Noble, one of my happy places.  Of course I spent quite a bit of time in the cookbook section, doing a little research.  I'm currently researching cookbook styles, layout, paper, etc.  One that I really liked was "Mad Hungry:Feeding Men & Boys" by Lucinda Scala Quinn.  I love watching her on Martha Stewart Everyday and I just adore this cookbook.  It's so easy to read, the paper is heavy but not glossy (that kind of bugs me) and is chocked full of good 'ole family recipes.
  • My tomatoes are starting to turn red finally!  This was a tiny harvest of my cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100's?).  They are tiny but so full of flavor.  They taste just like sunshine.  I pull them off the vine as soon as they are ready and eat them as a snack after I finish watering all the plants.
  • I've been cooking, of course.  Random stuff mostly, feeding myself.  And trying to come up with creative uses for all the pesto I have been making with my forest of basil.  The other day I created "Pesto Tuna Melts" on toasted English muffins.  It sounds weird.  It was yummy.  And my brother and I had a conversation about weird people who take pictures of their food.  "Hey, I do that!", said I.  "Exaclty." said he.  I get no respect.
  • Have you heard of She Reads Truth ?  It's a Bible reading "group" using the reading plans on YouVersion.  Everyday you follow the planned reading and if you want to you can post a little "something" on Instagram or Twitter or any other social media outlet with the tag #shereadstruth to share with the rest of the group.  I've met some lovely gals and have been so encouraged by this reading plan.  You can check it out here. 

And lastly, my favorite picture so far this year is this one of my nephew Jake and I at the 2012 Color Run-Sacramento.  It was a blast!!  My sister Natalie, Bree and I went together, along with 15,000 other people and let strangers throw colored cornstarch at us.  It sounds crazy.  It was crazy.  You can learn more about the Color Run here and I'll link up some videos so you can get an idea of just how bizarre/fun it is.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EERSfHiqT8]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srZ-xUG8zqg]
Well, that's what I've been up to lately!

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My Internet is still down so this is going to be a quick iphone update on the garden.

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Due to our unusual cold weather most of the summer it took forever for the serranos to grow. But once they did man there was no stopping them. Maybe I should blend them up and save them in the freezer because a girl can't make salsa every day.

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Tomatoes are still coming off but are definitely starting to slow down and the weather is already turning cool again so I don't think I will have fresh tomatoes for much longer.

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The basil... Well... it is still hanging on for dear life but it did not do as well this year as last. I don't know if it was the pests or the soil or the weather but it was a bit disappointing. In an effort to salvage one plant that was turning pale and weird, I lopped it all the way back to the nubs and it is growing back healthier. Go figure.

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I have to show you this and explain: at the end if the spring I tossed some carrot seeds in a pot hoping at least a few would make it. One seedling emerged. ONE. This is it. I have no idea when to pull the little booger up! Just for contrast, here is a picture Wonder Twin sent of her carrots:

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All that Washington rain is good for something, I guess!!

I'm getting ready to pull out the plants that have lived out their destiny, amend the soil and figure out what to plant this fall. Head lettuce? What else grows in the cold?

I know, I know!  I played hookie on Friday and didn't get the Friday Recipe out to you.  But I have a reeeeaaaly good excuse, I promise!  Here is my excuse:

This is my newest nephew and he has stolen my heart.  It was a busy week getting ready for his arrival and so, the Friday Recipe sorta got pushed to the back of the line.  However...

In a way I'm glad I put it off because I  had totally forgot that Pioneer Woman on Food Network debuted this weekend!  I have read Ree's blog for years and I was so excited for her tv show to start.  So when  I finally got home on Sunday night, sat down to watch a little tv and realized Ree's show was on my dvr, I was in hog heaven.  She made chicken fried steak & mashed potatoes, something my grandma made out on the farm on a regular basis.  Ree also made a Marinated Tomato Salad which was not exactly something we ate but we did have our own version:  take carrots, tomatoes and celery and marinate them in Good Seasons Italian dressing.  So for me, this show was like coming home.    If you are a country girl at heart or you want to learn how to make good-'ole-stick-to-your-ribs-country-food be sure to record Pioneer Woman.

So in honor of Ree's new show... our Friday Recipe... On Monday.... will be the Marinated Tomato Salad Ree prepared and I will definitely be making it because I have lots of tomatoes ripening out back and my basil needs to be lopped off again.  Sorry if I let you down on Friday but I hope your weekend was as special as mine was.