Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

Some of us (me) planted A LOT of tomato plants this year.  And while I love the idea of growing lots of things, watering my plants, weeding the ground around them, and harvesting things as they ripen, that leaves me in a place of having to come up with what to do with those veggies.  Most of them we have no problem polishing off as soon as they leave the plant, but tomatoes are a little trickier.  One or two nice tomatoes are great to slice up and serve on sandwiches or cook in something, but what do you do when you have a whole basket of them and have epic fail when it comes to salsa making?


This is my harvesting colander and I've filled it to overflowing twice now with just tomatoes.  I can't eat that many sandwiches.

Two things we do eat a lot of though are eggplant lasagna (which I also make with zucchini sometimes instead of eggplant) and pizza, both of which require tomato sauce.  So I hunted for a homemade sauce recipe and immediately abandoned most of them as soon as I read the word "blanch".  No thanks.  I have no time for such nonsense.

So I combined several recipes that seemed simple enough and made my own even simpler version that is delicious in it's simplicity.

You can use any kind of tomatoes, but for the simplest version, Roma tomatoes are the way to go.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes (cut out the cores if you are using large tomatoes)
Whole garlic cloves
Olive oil
Italian seasoning

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.

On a baking sheet (I add a silicone liner to make clean-up easier), place all your tomatoes.  If you are using large tomatoes, place a clove of garlic in the center of each.  For Roma tomatoes, just spread 4-6 cloves out on the pan amongst the tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil.


Roast for 2-4 hours, depending on how much time you have and how large the tomatoes are.  You will know they are done when they look like this.


Dump all the tomatoes and garlic into your blender and blend it to oblivion.  Add a few dashes of Italian seasoning and blend it a little more to mix it in.



 Now, if you used big tomatoes, they have a lot more seeds and juices on the inside, so your sauce is going to be kind of watery.  That's really easy to remedy by putting it on the stove on a low simmer to let it reduce down.  If you just used Roma tomatoes, you're all set at this point.  Jar it up and call it dinner.







Monday, July 29, 2013

Abraham - 13 Months

13 months old hardly seems like a blog-worthy milestone, but Abraham has been changing so much lately I don't what to forget to document what he's been up to lately.

He's definitely turning the corner from baby to toddler.  He's dropping down to just one nap a day, eating a lot more food, and taking fewer bottles.  His favorite foods are broccoli, fish, grapes, blueberries, and coconut yogurt.


This kid is ACTIVE.  He is crawling everywhere at lightning speed, climbing onto things, getting himself stuck lots of places, and he's started standing independently (and is very proud of it).


As long as he's pushing or hanging on to something, he can walk himself all over the house.  He loves to go under the table and push all the chairs out as far as possible by practicing his walking skills.


 His favorite things to do include playing with Duplos, banging on things as loud as humanly possible, and playing with Evelyn.

A simple trip to the library with Abraham includes chasing him between all the rows of books, returning books to the shelves that he repeatedly pulls down, getting him down off of the shelves, and finding him hiding underneath the computer stations.


When doing something he KNOWS he isn't supposed to, he is often heard muttering to himself, "no, no, no, no."  His favorite naughty activities include removing register vent covers, dropping things down the registers, finding cups of water to dump out on the floor, and emptying kitchen cupboards.


He will happily take a bath anytime of day and has learned how to make every surface in the bathroom soaking wet.  Drinking bath water is also a fun hobby.


He's getting more and more vocal, and while most of his noises are just babbling or screaming, he's added "uh-oh" to his vocabulary and uses at times when he does something he shouldn't or when he falls over.

Thankfully, he's also been continuing to grow at a good rate.  He's now up to 19 lbs. 9 oz. which still keeps him just above the 10th percentile where his doctors would like him to stay!  Keep growing little man!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Complete

It appears that our little family will be complete with 3 children.

Things have been pretty up in the air for months now.  It was as simple as K deciding on her own what she wanted to do.  Plans were made, changed, and made again.

But in the end, K decided that she wants to parent this new baby.

I would be lying to say there isn't sadness involved on our end.  Of course there is.  You can't prepare your heart and home to be ready for another baby without letting yourself emotionally attached to the possibilities.  But, mixed beautifully with that sadness is happiness for K that she has come to a decision that she is really comfortable and happy with.


Pretend Annie's in this photo too.  I cannot for the life of me get the 3 of them in a picture together.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Perfect Mojito

I don't have the mental fortitude or emotional energy to explain in written form what is happening with the potential new baby, so instead you get...mojitos!

Mojitos have quickly become a favorite summer drink around here.  They TASTE like summer.  Here's what you'll need to make 2 mojitos.

Ingredients

20 mint leaves
10 blueberries (optional)
6 oz rum
6 T key lime juice (or regular lime juice, but key lime is tastier and milder)
4 T simple syrup
1/2 cup club soda

Instructions


  • In a martini shaker, muddle the mint leaves.  If using blueberries, add them after you've muddled the mint and squish them up as well.
  • Add rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and some ice.  Put a lid on your shaker and shake thoroughly.
  • Pour, using a strainer, into 2 glasses filled with ice.  Top them off with about 1/4 cup club soda each.

If you want to skip the work of muddling, or don't have a martini shaker, instead of using fresh mint and plain simple syrup, you can make mint simple syrup instead.  It's really easy to make.  In a small pot, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar.  Bring to a simmer and stir until all the sugar is well dissolved and the liquid reduces to the consistency of maple syrup.  Remove from the heat and stir in 1 unpacked cup of spearmint leaves.  Cover the pot and let steep for 15 minutes.  Then, strain out the leaves, and store the syrup in a jar in the fridge.  
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