Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Homemade Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Approximately 8 lbs of mixed fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbs chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Place the olive oil into a large dutch oven, and heat.  Add the onion and sauté until slightly translucent.  Add garlic, and sauté for another minute. Add the tomatoes, and dried spices, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have released their juices and start to break apart. Stir in fresh basil, and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for a few more minutes. Remove from heat, and puree with an immersion blender. Pass sauce through Chinois to remove skins/seeds. Reheat on stove if necessary.

Believe it or not (it actually surprised me!), I've never attempted to make a traditional tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes! With an abundance of fresh tomatoes (cherries, and larger) from our CSA this week, and a flood of rain, it seemed like the perfect day to give this sauce a go! I am SO happy that I forayed into the world of fresh tomato sauce. This sauce is rather orange in color, but that's largely due to the sun gold cherry tomatoes that I added, but the flavor is spot-on! Just sweet enough, full of yummy basil, and totally delicious and perfect for pasta. A complete success!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Creamy Cucumber Soup

J likes to make special dinner requests. Sometimes these requests go even beyond pizza and pasta! This week's request was "cucumber soup". "Cucumber soup?", I thought to myself, but low and behold, this soup was actually amazing! I found a recipe for creamy cucumber soup, which could be enjoyed warm or cold, and with an abundance of farm share cucumbers, I set to work. This soup was sinfully easy to make, and I subbed the parsley topping with some farm-fresh basil. Yum! A perfectly refreshing summer soup, and a new take on the old cucumber.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fresh Tomato and Spicy Pine Nut Pasta, and CSA Squash and Greens

Last night's dinner was another easy one staring fresh veggies from our CSA. I sautéed patty pan squash in olive oil with fresh lemon zest, and served it on top of fresh farm share lettuce. No dressing needed, and amazingly delicious!

Next, I made a sauce for some spinach spaghetti, using pine nuts simmered in a few tbs of olive oil and sprinkled generously with red chili flakes. Once the pine nuts were browned, I added some whole cherry tomatoes, and sautéed those until they were easy to crush gently. I finished the "sauce" with a bit of pasta cooking liquid and grated parmesan cheese. The finished product was topped with fresh basil from our patio garden. Totally fresh and delicious!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Morning Glory Muffins

We have a case of too many carrots around here with our farm share this week. With that in mind I set out on a quest for a delicious, but healthy muffin. Hail the morning glory muffin! These muffins are fabulous, healthy, great for a snack or breakfast, and packed full of goodness for the body and the tastebuds! I followed the recipe, but did 1 c white whole wheat flour, and another cup whole wheat flour, and poured in a generous helping of milled flax seed. I skipped the nuts so that these would be camp-safe for the kids to bring, and I topped them with some sparkling white sugar. Total, total success!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Peanut Butter "Cookie Dough" Balls

I literally had to snap a picture of these tasty snacks in J's hand because he took off with one as soon as they were ready to eat! These delicious peanut butter "cookie dough" balls took a few minutes to make, and are a great healthy treat. They're full of good fats, energy, and just simply delicious. Good thing the kids think they're a total splurge as well!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Carrot Soup and Sticky Sweet Chicken

We have been reading and loving the book Monsieur Saguette and His Baguette. It's prompted many a baguette-eating meal/adventure, and lots of laughter. But, when J asked me to make carrot soup, inspired again by M. Saguette, I had to obligue.

I found a recipe for creamy carrot soup, which is meant as an easy kids-can-cook recipe, so it seemed quite fitting. Lucky for us we also had some farm-fresh carrots in the CSA this week! This soup was a breeze to make. I added about 2 1/2 c broth, and only about 1/2 c of half-and-half. For the finishing touch, I used some CSA green onion and cilantro. Yum, yum, and yum! This soup is very sweet, and not too rich. A perfect side for any meal. And, I LOVE the colors in the bowl.

I served the soup with some couscous topped with chunks of sticky sweet chicken. I used a sauce recipe from The Smitten Kitchen's sticky sesame chicken wing recipe, and just replaced the wings with chunks of chicken breast. I have to admit to forgetting to add the sesame seeds and the scallions at the end, but no matter, the chicken was still sweet and delicious!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pasta with Yogurt, Peas, and Spicy Pine Nuts

Tonight's dinner was yet another winner from the cookbook Jerusalem. I can't get enough of Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes, and this one was certainly another complete delight.

This dish, pasta shells, yogurt, and peas was a breeze to make, but the flavor combinations were phenomenal. The garlic is strong, but the yogurt makes this meal feel rich. These noodles are fabulous hot or cold, and the spicy pine nuts really finish it off perfectly. Yum, yum, and can't-wait-for-the-leftovers;)