Monday, September 24, 2012

Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

This year I planted 6 cherry tomato plants.  I'm not sure what I was thinking....Needless to say, I had to get pretty creative in order to use them up.  I found an awesome yellow tomato sauce recipe and a large portion of my yellow cherries went to that (will share the canning recipe later).  For a quick and easy yet delicious side, here is a recipe I used frequently.

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

1.  Melt butter.
2.  Saute garlic in butter.
3.  Add basil and tomatoes.
4.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
5.  Cook over medium heat until tomatoes start to "blister."  I shake the pan back and forth to get them evenly cooked on all sides.  

These are great served over steak!  The garlic adds a tremendous flavor!  I sometimes use extra butter and garlic to make more sauce.  This is definitely one of my favorites!


Friday, September 21, 2012

High 5 For Friday

This week's High 5 For Friday is brought to you courtesy of Lauren from My Grey Desk.


Let's get started!

1.  We had a sleepover birthday party for my daughter.  A great time was had by all!

2.  The PSSA results are in and my son scored in the advanced category.  So proud!!

3.  Tried quinoa for the first time this week.  It was delicious and healthy!  Definitely adding this one as one of our regulars!  The recipe can be found here...

4.  I got to spend some of my day yesterday with a friend....we went shopping and got some amazing deals!

5.  I got a lot of my sewing projects finished up this week.  Feels good to finally have them completed!

Hope you all had a great week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

Quinoa is a relatively new discovery for me.  I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was a huge hit!  Even the kids loved it!  Definitely will be making this one again.  I just followed the directions on the quinoa box and added my own ingredients....Here's how I did it...


  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Saute onions and garlic in coconut oil til slightly browned.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain quinoa well (will be bitter if this step is not completed properly)

Add quinoa, veggie broth and spices (except cilantro) to the onion and garlic mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add corn, black beans and cilantro

Serve!  Even better the next day!
Next time I am going to try throwing in some tomatoes and maybe even some shredded zucchini.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

I don't know about you, but I just LOVE sun-dried tomatoes.  I recently had a tomato and mozzarella sandwich at Panera Bread that had a sun-dried tomato spread.  It was amazing!  So, I came up with my own recipe to try to duplicate the spread.  This is what I came up with....not to brag....but I think mine might just be a smidge tastier!  :)

2 cups oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 c parmesan cheese
1/2 c olive oil
4 T chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c fresh basil
1/4 c fresh parsley

Place all ingredients in the food processer until a coarse paste consistency is reached.  This adds pizzaz to any sandwich.  


Friday, September 14, 2012

High 5 For Friday

This week's High 5 For Friday is brought to you courtesy of Lauren from My Grey Desk.


Let's get started!

1.  I changed my work schedule around a bit.  I am now able to take a break before the kids go to school, which has enabled me to get creative with styling my daughter's hair, instead of the normal quick ponytail.  We've had a lot of fun trying new things!  It's so nice to be able to spend some quality time with them both before heading off out into the world.  This has been a positive change!

2.  Soccer is in full swing.  I'm getting used to being a soccer mom.  

3.  We have had some amazing weather this week!  This is a photo of a particularly beautiful sunset taken out of the front door of our home.

4.  I splurged and bought a new pair of Merrell flipflops.  I LOVE them!

5.   We went canoeing.  Love being on the water!!

That wraps it up for this week!  Hope your week was great too!

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Roast Tomatoes

This summer I have had quite an abundant supply of tomatoes from my garden.  I have canned, frozen, dried and consumed more tomatoes than I can just about every way imaginable.  Made tomato soup, tomato sauce, salsa, pizza sauce, tomato juice.....One of my favorites this summer has been to roast them with any variety of seasonings and add them to sandwiches, pizza, pasta....pretty much endless possibilities.  Here's how I do it...

I line my baking pan with aluminum foil.

Into a ziplock bag, I placed halved and seeded tomatoes and toss with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, basil and minced fresh garlic.

I then spread onto the pan

and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-45 minutes..depending on the size of your fruit.  They will be slightly browned and shriveled but not burned.  

I never measure my spices.  You should experiment and adjust to your own tastes.  Fresh spices are always best!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Creamy Cucumber Spread

I was recently at a friend's house and she made these cute little finger sandwiches.  Not only were they cute, but they were quite tasty!  So, I managed to get the recipe out of her.  I was shocked to find that it was quite simple...yet the results are completely refreshing and satisfying!

First, take an 8-oz package of cream cheese softened and add a packet of Italian dressing mix.

Next add fresh dill to suit your taste.

Stir together...

Next, take your favorite bread (I just used the whole wheat that I had on hand) cut into quarters, spread with the creamy cucumber spread, a slice of cucumber and top with a few sprinkles of fresh dill.

There you have it!  Quick and easy yet so delicious and refreshing.

This recipe was featured on:
PhotobucketJam Hands

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zucchini Overload!

We have had a very bountiful garden so far this year.  I have been canning, freezing, drying, baking, sharing and barely able to keep up with the abundance of fresh veggies.  This was a picture of my first day's yield earlier this summer.  (Oh, and the eggs we got from our backyard chickens too!)

Last year I did not have the best of luck with zucchini and squash.  At first, it seemed they were doing great but then one day I noticed we had an attack of the squash bug.....and within a couple of days my plants were gone.....the bugs soon moved onto the cucumbers and then eventually the cantaloup.  So I decided that this year I would plant a TON of zucchini plants so I could get my harvest done early and get some in the freezer.  I planted 4 plants and I am glad I only planted 4!  Whew!  I have been completely overrun with zucchini.  I am not sure what happened to the squash bugs....but they didn't come around yet this year.  Maybe it is the chickens keeping them down?  or maybe the marigolds I planted around the garden....I've read that helps keep bugs away.....

After making zucchini bread one day, I decided to go ahead and shred the rest of the zucchini I had on hand and freeze it so it was all ready to go this winter!  I froze in 2-cup increments (as called for by my favorite recipe).  I have also found a breakfast recipe (will share later) that we love that calls for 3 cups of chopped zucchini, this week I plan to freeze more zucchini chopped in 3-cup increments so we can enjoy that recipe as well this winter.  So love having my garden this year!  

Do you have zucchini overload?  What are your favorite recipes?  favorite ways to preserve for later use?  I'd love to hear your ideas!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

High 5 For Friday

This week's High 5 For Friday is brought to you courtesy of Lauren from My Grey Desk.


Let's get started!

1.  We have finally started soccer!  My kids are having a wonderful time playing this year!  This is my son's first year and my daughter's second.  Looking forward to a great season!

2.  My garden is producing like crazy!  We have had a ton of cucumbers, especially.  The tomatoes are starting to pick up production too, finally.  I can't wait to make salsa and do some canning!  Wanting to try out some new ideas and recipes this year. 

3.  We have been having some beautiful weather here in PA!  I just love taking pictures, but for some reason I can't seem to capture the magnitude of the beauty that surrounds us.  This day, the sky was so blue!  The clouds were pink and fluffy cotton candy.  So beautiful!

4.  My children started their music lessons this week.  We have a trombone and a french horn joining the family band.  They are excited and I am thrilled that we can support them on their journey.  

5.  Today is going to be the best day of all!  Headed out for some retail therapy with a good friend.  

Hope you all have had a great week too!  Let's make it a great day!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sticky, Spicy & Sweet Chicken

In case you haven't figured it out yet, chicken is my all time favorite food to "play" with.  I love trying new recipes and then figuring out what I need to do (if anything) to perfect the recipe to my family's liking.  Sometimes it takes a few tries...but this time, I winged it and threw some things together and it was pretty perfect!  It's a lot like the crunchy chicken with honey garlic sauce, found here, just not fried...which means healthier!!

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I find reduced sodium is best!)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Fry lightly salted and peppered chicken in 2 tablespoons of oil until browned 
and cooked thru (about 1 minute on each side).  

Mix together brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and hot sauce in a small bowl.

Pour sauce over chicken.  Let simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until thickened.  
Serve over rice or noodles.   Delish!!