Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 4: What Do I Do With 20 Pounds Of Tomatoes? Share

Tomatoes, Basil, Burrata Cheese With A Little Olive Oil

Today, Tish came over to write, so around lunchtime I threw this together.  Perfect on a hot day in Burbank, I love the Burrata Cheese in place of Mozzarella, so creamy it melts in your mouth. Hours later Tish left with a bag of tomatoes, just as my little guy's play date arrived. I made a plate of this for our guests and everything was gone in minutes. 

Hubby took a bag of tomatoes to our neighbors and tomorrow I'm taking some to my friend, Lisa. 

I figured I'd be done by tomorrow but then Hubby told me to go look in our backyard garden. I found a huge volunteer tomato plant with about 40 green tomatoes on it! 

I have so many more ideas for tomatoes. I want to make bbq sauce, a French tart, stuffed tomatoes, fried green tomatoes!....

Mmmm I'm hungry now. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 3: What do I do with 20 pounds of tomatoes? The Sauce that cannot be named.

 Let's make homemade ketchup!

I know, I know, that's so not French! I will be kicked out of Paris if they find out. Please don't tell on me. Let's call it the 'Sauce that cannot be named'.

So, now that we've established I'm breaking all the rules by making the forbidden sauce. Let's go.

I checked out 7 different recipes for homemade ketchup. Threw them all together and came up with my own.

First I took all of these gorgeous cherry tomatoes and one big Beef Steak tomato, some olive oil and put them in a pot. I smished them with a giant spoon and cooked them on high for 15 minutes.

Then I strained them through the mesh. 

I added 2 cloves of garlic.

Half a sweet onion. 

One beautiful pepper from our garden. (Seeded)

One stock of celery.
2 whole cloves.
A little coriander.
And cook for another 30 minutes. 

Then I took the immersion blender and went to town.

I strained again. 

And again.

Then put 3/4 cup of vinegar in the pot with 1/3 cup of brown sugar. 
I put the pot back on the stove to cook.
And cook.
And cook. 
It took about an hour to get to ketchup  'Sauce that cannot be named' consistency.

But it's good.
It's real good.
Even if it only yielded about a 1/2 a cup when all is said and done.

I don't even want dinner. I just want to eat this...'Sauce that can not be named.' 

I feel so naughty.

But that's French, right?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 2: What do I do with 20 pounds of tomatoes?

  Smoked Mozzarella, Swiss cheese, Gruyere, Onion and Basil Pizza. 

 So... when I was at my momma's house the other day, along with all the tomatoes we picked that day, she handed one bag of tomatoes to me with specific directions.

"Karen, these lovelies were picked a week ago and have to be used immediately or they'll go bad."
"Yes, Momma."

Execute new plan. Clock is ticking.

I decide to make a sauce. Okay, good, but pasta sauce sounds so safe. What haven't I done? Pizza! I've never made a homemade pizza! Pizza dough and all.
I relay this brilliance to my six year old while we are shopping. Clearly, he will be thrilled to make pizza dough from scratch with his momma! We will bond and share a memory forever.

"Hey Buddy, just one more store and we can go home and make pizza dough!"
"Mom, I'm not that psyched about it but I'll help if you need me."

Bubble popped, I still need to use these tomatoes. Go!

I blanch the tomatoes. Blanch = Putting them in a pot of boiling water for one minute then transferring them to pot of ice water for one minute. The skin literally falls off.) Remove skin, top and any weird bits.

 I add some onion from our lovely neighbor's garden. Then add some chopped fresh garlic, fresh basil, dried oregano, herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, olive oil and...whatever else strikes your fancy.

Once that cooked for awhile, I get out the immersion blender and use it. (I totally get what guys see in power tools.)  I keet cooking the sauce and start on the pizza dough.

I look to the experts and randomly pick Bobby Flay's recipe. It seems easy and he knows what he's doing.

Instead of dividing it in two, I divide the dough into four.  

 I  put a little cornmeal on the pan then, pound the first crust out for my little guy. 

Pour sauce on top.

Add four different cheeses. 
(Why not?)

15 minutes later. 
My little guy said it was the best pizza ever.
(Of course, at six, he's a master manipulator and knows how to play me...but it was good!) 

The next one is for me. 
I take one of the 4 balls of dough and split in in half again. 
I store the rest of the dough in the fridge. 

I put parchment paper down, then the cornmeal, then put the dough on top. 
I add sauce, swiss, gruyere, and smoked mozzarella cheese, onion and fresh basil. 

Well... it was mine...until Hubby nabbed it. 

Oh well, there's always tomorrow. 


Saturday, August 4, 2012

What do I do with 20 pounds of tomatoes? Day One

Tomato Salad

Grandma Dee has done it again. AMAZING tomatoes. I brought home at least 20 pounds of tomatoes and now I get to figure out what to do with them. (After I give a few to my closest friends)

I couldn't wait to start. I just put this tomato salad together with what I had at hand and it is delightful.

Fresh tomatoes
Red Onion
Lime Juice
Fresh Basil
Fresh Mint
Olive Oil


What will I do with the other 19 pounds?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sweet Kitty

The Sweet Sour Ice Cream
My little guy

Today, as my six year old little boy and I drove home from Grandma Dee's house, he asked if we could play Sweet Kitty. Sweet Kitty is an imaginary Kitty that lives on his head all the time and is, of course, very sweet. She can change color and go to many lands.

I am the voice of Sweet Kitty.

With all the Lego's, Pokemon, Trash Pack toys he brings with him in the car it's been awhile since he's asked to play with Sweet Kitty and I thought, oh my, is he scared about something? Is he regressing or just reminiscing?

Today he gave Sweet Kitty a present. A magic crystal that is so tiny you can barely see it. Sweet Kitty can jump into the crystal and see the special castle that was built just for her.

This went on for awhile and then my heart sank when he told Sweet Kitty this.

"Sweet Kitty, I have to tell you the truth about some things. First, you aren't really six like me you're four. You were born out of my imagination. And Sweet Kitty, you can't stay with me forever. Sometime soon you will have to find a new little boy or girl."

That's when I realized he's getting ready to say goodbye to Sweet Kitty.

Another milestone. A new time.

My heart hurts.

I cried.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Do you emotionally overeat?

About 3 weeks ago I accidentally came upon this clip from the Dr. Oz Show, immediately got in my car and sped to the nearest health food store so fast, NASCAR Driver, Dale Jr., would be impressed.

After searching the many isles of supplements, I finally asked the 18 year old kid stocking shelves if they have Saffron Extract.

"Um, yeah, it's right here."
"Oh...thanks. You guys put it on the corner, that's why I couldn't find it...Is this your last bottle?"
"Yeah, a lot of people watch the Dr. Oz show." He said with an attitude. How dare he have an attitude. I have rhinestone jewelry that's older than him.

Anyway, I bought the last bottle of Saffron Extract they had, tried it out and have been pushing the Saffron ever since.

Being *ahem* over 35 I need the Saffron Extract because when I forget to take it I start heading for the chips. I forgot to take it on the 4th of July and completely over indulged and I did this because I forgot to take the supplements that help me not forget. (Sigh)

Give Saffron a go and let me know how it works for you. Meanwhile, I'll be over here polishing my vintage rhinestone jewelry from the 80's.


*P.S. No one is paying me to endorse the saffron.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

After The Party

We went to Aunt Bonnie's yesterday for their 4th of July BBQ and it was quite the food fest. There were healthy snacks like bean chips and yogurt dip but it was so good I completely overindulged. They grilled succulent steaks, there was fresh watermelon, freshly baked rolls and corn on the cob. The homemade peach ice cream I brought was a complete success and was fantastic with the brownies. There were no leftovers.

That's what parties are all about.

Today I'm back to the French Skinny lifestyle. Lunch is a delicious bacon, lettuce, tomato, feta cheese salad dressed with a little bit of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar paired with Hubby's delightful cucumber salad. I don't know what it is about the cucumber salad but I'm addicted. We make a big batch and keep it in the fridge to snack on all day long.

Cucumber Salad
One hothouse cucumber sliced.
Half a red onion roughly chopped. 
Red wine vinegar. (We were out today so I used white balsamic vinegar)

Mix it all in a bowl, cover and put in fridge to chill. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Have A Peachy 4th!

Peach Ice Cream

Happy 4th of July! Something has come over me this week because I am craving peaches. I bought a box of beautiful juicy peaches yesterday and decided to make homemade peach ice cream to bring to Aunt Bonnie's BBQ today. 

I took this peach ice cream recipe and changed it just a little bit. Instead of finely cutting the peaches, I just pitted them and pureed them in the magic bullet, skin and all. So much easier and the fruit won't become a weird frozen lumpy cube of ick. 

I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Hubby came into the kitchen and tried to eat all of it. It's that delicious.

I hope you have a safe and wonderful day.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail

One of my girlfriends is doing the OXFAM trek to raise money for their cause so we go 'a' walkin' on the weekends in random areas around Paris like FONTAINEBLEAU. Can I just tell you that it was hot then cold then warm then HAILING while we walked around?!?!?! So she gave me a clean, dry pair of socks and I warned her that they might disappear!!

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