tomatoes

Slow Simmered Pork Ragú With Handkerchief Pasta

September 26, 2011
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In Southern California summer starts early and ends late. Some people say we have no real “seasons” here, but that’s not really true. We have them, they’re just a little more muted than in other places. That, and we don’t have to suffer things like ice storms or 90% humidity, so really, I can’t complain. Still, as we head into October, I find myself craving those heartier dishes which say “Fall” even if the temperature outside is still hovering near 80 degrees.

Recently I made this slow simmered ragú using one of the last roasts from our pig. I decided to serve it with handkerchief pasta, a cut of pasta I’ve wanted to make ever since I had it at Delfina in San Francisco a couple of years ago. There are a lot of different recipes out there for a “traditional” Italian ragú; some have beef, some pork. Some …

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Garden Update; Checking the Yields

August 16, 2010
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It’s nearing the end of the summer and I’m wondering just how much has my garden produced after all the blood, sweat & tears (and water and money) I’ve poured into it. So far, the results have been pretty good (see below). It’s not done producing yet, though it does appear that some of the plants are nearing their end already.

 Below are my harvest totals as of 8/15/2010. I tried my best to keep track (even made a spreadsheet) but I’m sure I missed some of the pickings so it’s safe to assume the actual harvest is slightly larger.

I’m going to do some research as to actual cost of these items if I were to buy them in a store or at the farmer’s market and in a future post will total and compare with what we spent on building and planting the garden with the yields and …

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Midsummer’s Garden Vegetable Ratatouille

July 28, 2010
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Is there such a thing as too much zucchini?
Oh yes, there is.
We went away for a week and our garden went crazy. It was scorching hot at home while we were in Panama and the garden responded as if breathing its last breath; it pumped out extra vegetables in a last ditch effort to get all its children off a sinking ship.

So what to do with all this bounty? Well, besides cooking up many of the other garden inspired recipes I have, I like to make a simple and fresh ratatouille. This dish is not only versatile, but freezes well for later when all the fresh vegetables are gone. See the end of the post for some ideas on what to do with extra ratatouille.

The vegetables are cooked in stages in this recipe. I did it this way for two reasons; first because I could not …

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Some of my favorite recipes…

July 12, 2010

I’m on vacation this week and in my absence I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes from the past. These are all “oldies but goodies” but if you’re new to the blog, they may be new to you too!

How to Make Fresh Lemonade

What could be easier than lemon juice, sugar and water? After you see how easy this is, you’ll never buy premade or (gasp) powdered lemonade again! Plus, we do a lemonade taste test of Meyer lemons vs. Eureka lemons.

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How to Peel and Seed fresh tomatoes

If your garden tomatoes are starting to come in, you might find yourself wondering what to do with them when you get that mid-summer glut of tomatoes. At the very least you can freeze them to use later. Here’s what I do…

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Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan.

This is a lighter, …

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Kick-Ass Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

December 31, 2009
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When I was little, I used to spend every holiday with my grandparents. While they always hosted Christmas, on New Years Day we would usually go to a party held at the house of a family friend. I remember this tradition fondly and about 10 years ago, decided to recreate it, inviting friends over for a hangover-busting New Year’s Day brunch. The central theme of this brunch has always been “Bacon.”
As in, “come for the bacon, you know you want it.”
Yes, the uber-trendy ingredient of 2009 has been the most popular part of brunch at my house for the better part of a decade. Every year I cook at least 5 lbs of it and it disappears like sharks into the swirling chum. This is no fancy-schmancy bacon, nor it even my own homemade stuff, just plain old Farmer John, cooked to a crisp. It’s …
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How to Make Fresh Ricotta Cheese plus an Easy Pasta Recipe

October 6, 2009
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I really hate to waste food. It’s definitely a result of my upbringing. My grandparents were children of the depression and never threw anything away. Add to that, being fairly poor as a small child, and thriftiness was indoctrinated from a very young age.
So when I had 6 cups of whole milk left over from making the chocolate peanut butter ice cream, I was in a quandary as to what to do with it. We don’t normally drink whole milk (though I’m sure my husband would, happily) and I couldn’t let it go bad. I couldn’t make any more ice cream because frankly, I just don’t exercise enough to justify it. So what to make? Cheese was my final answer.

In addition, I don’t like to have to go shopping just to be able to make something (see my post on making a lemon blueberry tart). What …

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