Saturday, July 24, 2010


What better way to use some of those tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers from the garden and create something cool and delicious for hot summer days than to make a batch of gazpacho. After ordering a cup of this delicious soup from Blueberry Hill a month ago, I have had a craving for gazpacho ever since.

Gazpacho originates from the Andalusia region of Spain. If you're interested in the history of the dish, check out this site: Gazpacho. This dish has many variations, and after searching the web for recipes, I came up with a conglomeration of a few different recipes to satisfy my craving. Not only does it taste great, but it is so easy to make.


4 - 6 ripe tomatoes, seeded
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
1 large cucumber, peeled & seeded
1 onion (red for stronger flavor or yellow for milder flavor)
1 jalapeno, seeded
3 garlic cloves
2 & 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Juice from 1/2 of a lime

Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, red peppers, onion and jalapeno into 1-inch chunks. Place jalapeno, garlic and onion in a food processor and pulse until very fine. Then process the tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped. Repeat with red bell pepper and then with the cucumber. Put all chopped vegetables in a large bowl and mix together. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice and mix well. Chill the soup for at least 2 hours before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

I garnished my soup with diced avocado (yum!), but you could use basil, parsley, croutons or whatever comes to mind. This makes a large batch (serves 4 -6), so I had plenty of left overs which made a terrific and more flavorful lunch for the next couple of days. I love this soup as a main dish on a hot summer day, or as a side to a great sandwich.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I decided to start this blog to share food thoughts, recipes, and finds with my family and friends and anyone else who might be interested. More and more of my conversations on the phone have included the phrase "So what are you making for dinner?" And I am always thrilled to talk about food with people, but more exciting is EATING food. I am in no way an expert on food, nor a chef, but I have been brought up surrounded by wonderful cooks and food lovers. So here I am, blogging about food, my favorite pastime.

Right now my thoughts revolve around tomatoes. It is the beginning of tomato season where I live and my garden is full of the delicious fruit. After picking 15 pounds of tomatoes from my garden, and more on the vines still ripening, I have been trying to figure out what to do with them.

Last night I was looking at all the tomatoes on my counter, and pasta came to mind. What goes better with pasta than tomatoes? Luckily, my garden has a large supply of fresh basil just waiting to be picked so I had the makings of a simple, tasty, affordable dinner. The original recipe I found was from Country Living, then I altered it so that I would have more tomatoes and less pasta. It was very tasty!

Pasta Tossed with Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh Mozzarella, about 1/2 of a pound, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin)
2 Tbs butter (I used unsalted because that's what I have on hand for baking)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
7 small cloves of garlic (minced or pressed)
6 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used red and yellow tomatoes)
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/2 pound of pasta (I used angel hair because it was in my cupboard)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Toss the mozzarella with the salt and set aside. Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion & garlic, reducing heat to medium-low and cook about 10 minutes, or until the onion is very tender. Remember to stir occasionally.

Cook the pasta according to the package.

While pasta cooks, add the tomatoes to the saute pan & turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are just tender (about 5 minutes).

Drain pasta and toss with the tomato mixture. Remove from heat, and stir in the salted mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve with fresh basil.