My cooking club is back! We took a break over the summer since it would be nearly impossible for us to meet with kids home. We met last Friday, and it was great to just relax, and have a wonderful lunch. This month the theme was Tomatoes! Oh the possibilities…..
I almost made Bruschetta. But I saw this salad, and had to find a reason to make it. It has tomatoes, so I figured it would work. I am not normally a salad girl. I mean, I like a good salad, it doesn’t even have to have all the fatty stuff on there. But they are just never the same when I make them at home, so I am usually disappointed. But I am glad to say, this one did not disappoint one bit!
I had tons of fresh tomatoes to put in this, and it really made them pop. Lots of great flavor, and such a bright color. The dressing is mayo based, so I was really nervous (I don’t like mayo at all), but it was really good. It worked so well with the salad. And, you know you can never go wrong when bacon is involved. I had the leftovers for dinner the next day, and it was still wonderful. I served the dressing on the side, so it wouldn’t get soggy.
Posted in Dinners, Lunches, Side Dishes
Tagged bacon, blt, healthy salad, lettuce, Lunches, mayo dressing, mustard dressing, salad, sandwich, Side Dishes, tomatoes
Have you ever seen one of those robotic vacuums in person? I have seen the commercials, but that is the extent of it. I never thought they would work well, so I kind of wrote them off. But apparently my techy husband has been eying them. He found a good deal on one, and ordered it. It came the other night, so we immediately set it up to try it out. This thing is impressive! Not only does it do a good job, but you can set up a schedule so it automatically goes certain days of the week at a set time. I don’t think we have ever had so much fun with cleaning, as we did watching it go.
Enough about vacuums. On to snacks. Salsa has to be one of my favorite snacks/appetizers in the summer. No matter what the occasion, I think that chips and salsa is fitting. We always grow tomatoes in our garden, so we can make lots of fresh salsa at the end of the summer. But canned tomatoes work really well the rest of the year. This time I used a can of the fire roasted tomatoes, and they added so much flavor.
If you had the time you could roast your other veggies too, but I just threw them in as is. It was slightly spicy and delicious. I brought this to the end of the season picnic for my son’s flag football. Everyone raved about it. I should have brought little bowls so people could take some home. Even the kids loved it! The coach said he wished he could take it home to have on his eggs the next morning. It works great with chips, or even as a topping for burgers.
I personally don’t think you can watch the Superbowl without chips and salsa. They just go together in my opinion. I personally love margaritas with my chips and salsa (hello girls night), but I think that is frowned upon with the manly Superbowl crowd. So I will go with Tom’s Pomegrante beer with my salsa this year.
We have been making fresh salsa for years. We have always had a garden, and took full advantage of fresh tomatoes. In the middle of winter though, fresh tomatoes can be hard to come by. There are a few recipes I have found with canned tomatoes that are really good. This recipe takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, and is so much better than a bottle of jarred salsa. It is a copycat recipe of Chili’s salsa, and it is really pretty close. I think it has a tad too much cumin to be perfect, but this will be making our regular rotation of salsa.
Don’t miss my giveaway going on!
I made this salsa the other day, and it got my husband and I talking. He said this was the first salsa he learned how to make during his summer in Colorado, 12 years ago. I remember that summer after he came back from Colorado us running all over Madison looking for a Smart Chopper so we could make this salsa. We got boxes of fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and made a ton of this stuff. Might not seem all that strange now, but when you look back to where we were at that time. I was 20, and going to college 2 hours away from where future husband was going to college. I can’t remember what we did with all the salsa, I just remember making it!
Well if we are still making it today, that has to mean it is good, right? It is similar to what you would get at a good Mexican Restaurant. It is fresh, and delicious! Until we moved to Iowa we used to grow everything we needed to make this salsa in our garden.
Garden Fresh Salsa
2 or 3 medium size tomatoes (I like Roma’s)
1/4 med size onion
4 sprigs cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp garlic salt
2 Tbls lemon juice
Use a food processor to mix everything but the tomatoes. Get it to a nice fine consistency. Add in tomatoes, and pulse a couple times. Leave slightly chunky.
I saw this recipe on That Skinny Chick can Bake awhile ago. I was immediately sold! I had tomatoes and rosemary in my garden, and this was the perfect thing to use them in. Well, I couldn’t wait for my tomatoes – they just aren’t turning red! So I used canned tomatoes, and it awesome! As I told you the other day, I am cleaning my kitchen. That doesn’t just include getting rid of magazines and glasses that that were my parents, and haven’t been used in 10 years. That means my freezer and pantry as well. So I had tomatoes that had been in the pantry forever, I have box upon box of pasta, and I had heavy cream from making this ice cream, that needed to get used. So I was set!
I wanted to lighten the recipe up just a tad – so I used turkey sausage, and cut back on the cream and cheese. If you can’t find Italian Turkey Sausage you can use just plain turkey sausage and add Italian seasoning while cooking. I was out of onion, so I didn’t use that part. I will leave it in the recipe though, because normally I would have put it in!
My 6 year old absolutely LOVED this! He was skeptical at first, took his first bite….immediately I heard “mmmm”! I just started laughing, and he didn’t get it. He had no idea he vocally told me he liked it. He told me he wanted me to dare him to eat leftovers the next day (he hates leftovers), but this he ate. So thanks Liz for a great recipe!
Creamy Penne with Sausage
From That Skinny Chick Can Bake
1 small onion, diced
Drizzle Olive Oil
4 Links Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
1 Tbls fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can Diced Italian Tomatoes
1 pound Penne
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Cook Pasta according to the package directions.
Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the sausage. Brown for a few minutes. Add rosemary, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Add the tomatoes. Cook until bubbly and hot.
Add the cooked pasta, cream and cheese to the tomatoes. Toss until well combined. Serve with additional cheese if desired.
BLAT’s are one of my favorites in the summer. It isn’t traditional I know. People think I am strange, and don’t know what I am talking about. But the A is for Avocado! It goes perfect on a BLT. But then it really isn’t a BLT anymore is it? So I have to call it a BLAT. Fresh garden tomatoes, buttery avocados, crispy lettuce, salty bacon all on toasted bread….delicious! Serve with sliced cucumbers from the garden and my new favorite crackers (Cashew Nut Crisps), and you have the perfect lunch!
There isn’t really a recipe here, just stack slices of everything on your favorite toasted bread. Skip the Mayo! First, it is gross (sorry, personal opinion). Second, you have creamy avocado…who needs Mayo? Third, there isn’t an M in there is there? If you want to add Mayo then it would be a BLMAT!
Now on the Award. Tina over at Flourtrader passed this great award to me a few weeks ago. I have been very bad about passing it along, sorry about that. Tina is a wonderful blogger, with all sorts of great recipes on her site. Make sure you check her out!!
Congrats to the following bloggers I am passing this along to! (You can pass it along to a few of your favorites as well)
Cassie at Bake Your Day
Carloyn at All Day I Dream About Food
Wendy at The Weekend Gourmet
Sawsan at Chef in Disguise
Janet at From Cupcakes to Caviar
Dee at Deelicious Sweets
Laura at A Healthy Jalapeno
Julie at SugarFoot Eats
Erin at The Spiffy Cookie
Valarie at Simple Fare, Fairly Simple
Thanks to everyone who reads my blog! It really means a lot, and I appreciate each and every one of you!!
My husband and I LOVE Salsa! For years we have grown tomatoes and peppers, so we could make fresh from the garden salsa. It has kind of become our “thing” when we go to group get togethers. We always bring the salsa. We have quite a few different ones me like, and I am sure they will make an appearance on here as the summer moves on. But in Iowa tomatoes are not fresh yet. So what are you do to when you want fresh salsa, but have no fresh tomatoes. Use canned!
This salsa comes together super fast, and tastes wonderful. Even though you are using canned tomatoes you do not get that “jar” flavor. I use jarred salsa for things when cooking, but to just eat – I can’t do it. I used to, but then about 12 years ago my husband introduced me to the world of fresh salsa, and I haven’t turned back since.
1 large can whole tomatoes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 – 2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 jalapeno, minced
Put everything into the food processor. I like the mince the jalapeno ahead of time. Just helps to make sure you don’t have big chunks. Process until smooth. Done! I told you it was super easy!
Make sure you taste for seasoning. If you like it hot, add more jalapeno. These amounts are estimates, because we usually just dump – so adjust to your liking. Store in an air tight container in the fridge, lasts for 1-2 weeks.
Posted in Snacks