Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tomato-Tumato!

http://prettyposies.deba-do.com/ by SnackersDelight
Pretty Posies, a photo by SnackersDelight on Flickr.
We saw these beautiful naturally ripened tomatoes at the CT Flower Show 2013 in Hartford. The show is going on this weekend, so get there before the snow starts.

Although it is winter here in New England and there aren't any fresh ripened tomatoes on the vine for us, there are however, plenty of canned tomatoes in the cabinet.

I use them for making salsas, fish soups, tomato basil soup, and flavorings for many meals.

Spring is right around the corner and planting season will begin soon, but for the time being canned will have to do.

What do you do with your tomatoes?

Via Flickr:
flowers, bouquets, peonies, roses, valentine’s day, love, romance, weddings, brides, spring, posies, floral arrangements, tulips, orchids, lily, mums, gardens

Friday, June 15, 2012

Green Pea and Mint Pasta Salad with Feta Cheese

There are only a few veggies that I really don't care to eat...peas and carrots!!! I won't eat peas or carrots head on.  I have to sneak them into my meals like a little kid.  Yes, I know they are healthful but peas and carrots will forever remain in the Icky! column.  There are a few others veggies in the Icky! column such as Okra

I have found that if I just warm frozen peas rather than cooking them aka "boiling the bejeezus" out of them, they remain tender and sweet, not mushy and metallic tasting. 

Well, anyway I came up with this salad that combine peas with mint and feta with tomatoes, combinations that are both refreshing and aromatic.

Here's what I used to make this salad

1lb Baby Spinach chiffonade
1 Pint package Sweet Grape Tomatoes halved lengthwise
1 small red onion chopped
4T Mint minced chiffonade
16oz. bag frozen Sweet Green Peas
1/2 C Feta Crumbles
14.5oz box Barilla Plus Rotini cooked as directed on box

Vinaigrette Dressing:

1/3 C Fresh Lime Juice
2/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

 
Chiffonade is a style of cutting most often used to prepare Basil or any other leafy green.  It  is a pretty fancy name for a simple process.  
Stack your leaves on top one another all stems heading in the same direction.

Roll the leaves like a cigar
 

Slice the roll into ribbon strips according to what your recipe calls for.  For this salad we'll be using thick ribbons.


Once you've prepared and chopped all your veggies (spinach, tomatoes, mint, onion) toss them into a large bowl and set aside.

Boil pasta according to the box directions, 30 second prior to pasta being done pour the bag of frozen peas into the boiling water with the pasta. Drain pasta and peas then place in the bowl with your veggies.  Toss to wilt the spinach.  

Drizzle with the viniagerette and toss the salad to coat.  Gently mix the feta cheese.  Enjoy!!!



 Is there a veggie that turns you off?  What is it?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fig, Pear and Blue Cheese Tart


Got Merlot? Yes. Then have I got the appetizing small plate tart for you! Fig, Pear and Blue Cheese pair up so well together to create a contrasting flavor explosion in your mouth.  I'm not sure why I am so hyped about Blue Cheese lately, but here is another deliciously easy treat.

What? No Merlot? That's perfectly fine this pairs well with any sparkling beverage, something that has an effervescence to help cleanse the pallet in between bites.

By the way, although the photo shows a fork, I didn't use it  to gobble this tart up.  The crispy puff pastry was sturdy enough to lift each piece without flopping the toppings into my lap. 


Okay let's get started.  Here's what you'll need:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees


1 frozen puff party sheet thawed, follow box instructions for thawing
1 small Pear cored and diced
1/2 C Figs chopped
1/4 C Blue Cheese, crumbled
3T Fig preserves


 Chop the Figs and Pear and crumble the Blue Cheese and set aside.


Carefully unfold your puff pastry  and place it on a baking sheet.  I lined mine with parchment paper, but if your pan is non-stick there really is no need to do that. Next take a butter knife and score the pasty about one inch in from the edge to create a frame.  Don't cut clean through the party though you don't want it to detach. 


Next, take a fork and pierce the entire surface inside the framed you just created.  Now bake in the oven on 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  You have to pre-bake the pasty otherwise you'll have a uncooked doughy bottom and that would be just plain gross.

 Staying inside the lines spread a generous layer of preserves onto the baked pastry

Now simply sprinkle your Fig, Pear and Blue Cheese on top.  Be sure every bite gets a little bit of all the ingredients. 

Time to toss it back into the oven, again on 400 degrees for 10-15 more minutes. 


When done remove from the oven.  Place your Fig, Pear and Blue Cheese tart on a serving tray and allow to cool slightly.  Then cut into slices.  I cut mine into nine equal squares using a pizza wheel. 


 Yummy!


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Thanks!
Deborah :D
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