Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cheaters Bruschetta

Another one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes are as a bruschetta. I take the easy way out on this one. I slice some french bread, drizzle with olive olive and toast it in the oven for a bit. Then I take chive cream cheese and spread it on the french bread slices. On top of that I sometimes put some thinly sliced roast beef, tomato slice, and slices of olives. It is also good with just the cream cheese, basil, and olives. Whenever I take this as an appetizer people always ask how I make it. I think the secret or special ingredient is always home grown tomatoes.


We've been enjoying our tomatoes over the last month. There are so many great ways to enjoy them, and it's so fun to share them. I love to eat fresh salsa, but I also like to can it so I can enjoy it while snow is on my garden. Every year I like to can salsa, and this is by far my favorite salsa recipe to can. Canning salsa is not difficult, but it does take a lot of time and patience to make it. The rewards are definately worth it!

10 lbs tomatoes (romas are my favorite for this, but any kind will do)
4 onions
2 green peppers
3 small cans green chilis or 2, 3 fresh chopped
4 jalapenos chopped (You can take the ribs out of the jalapenos if you don't want the heat. I always make one batch with more jalapenos. This recipe isn't really spicy, so don't worry about that too much)
1 cup vinegar
2 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. sugar

Peel and mash tomatoes: For this step I get a pot of boiling water, pierce the skin of the tomatoes, drop them in for a few seconds, take them out and when the tomato cools down you can peel the skin right off. I throw my tomatoes in a food processor or blender and pulse them.

Chop onions and green peppers, and add to mashed tomatoes. Add the other ingredients and cook for 3 hours. It may seem like a long time, but it really thickens the salsa and also meshes the flavors well. Process in pint jars for 30 minutes. If you need info on processing or canning this website has a ton of info: If you know me and would like help (I have the canning supplies) I'd be happy to help you.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blueberries and a Great Berry Muffin Recipe

It's been such a long time since I last posted. Summer has been really busy and the garden is producing a ton. In the next few days hopefully I'll get around to posting some recipes with zucchini and tomatoes. Each day I come in my bowl/basket gets fuller and fuller. I love it. It's so nice to eat all the fresh things from the garden, and to also share it too.

Even though I don't have blueberries in the yard they have been on sale at the grocery store. I've bought two 2 lb containers for $3.99 each. Megan loves to eat blueberries as a snack. We go through about as quickly as raspberries. It makes me happy to see my child open up the fridge and go to the produce drawer. It makes me happy that she enjoys eating fresh fruits and veggies.

Freezing Blueberries (or any berry):

After washing and letting the blueberries dry I spread them on a cookie sheet. I put the cookie sheet of berries in the freezer. When they freeze I then convert them into a freezer bag, remove all the air and seal it shut. Not only are frozen blueberries great for using in recipes, but they make a really yummy and healthy snack right out of the freezer.

Berry Muffins

This recipe I got from my cousin Wendy a few years back. It is good with any berry (raspberry, bosynberry, blueberry, etc.).

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh berries (blue, black, raspberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups, or line with liners.
2. Combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with the flour mixture. Fold in the berries. Fill muffin cups right to the top and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3. To make crumb topping: mixt together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, butter and cinnamon. Mix with fork or pastry blender. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.