Posts Tagged ‘Tomatoes’

It is always a treat to have some extra time to prepare a meal and leaving the hustle and bustle of the day behind and enjoying some fun time in the kitchen. Having a recipe that required to be cooked in the oven… well that is the ultimate dream for me.

Besides having more free time, I love the wonderful aroma that will welcome you and will linger in your house making you hungry for the meal to come.

I do love this recipe and I love how my family cannot wait to sit at the dining table. Not to mentions simple, delicious and great leftover tasting even better the day after.

TIP: You can add peas if you wish when you add the carrots. When selecting the red potatoes make sure that they are all the same size so they all will all cook the same. Insert a knife in the middle of the potatoes to make sure that they are cooked through and done.

Bon Appetit!!!


Pot Roast with Vegetables


1 tablespoon vegetables oil

1 4 pounds boneless chuck roast, rolled and tied

2 onions, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, chopped fine

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

¼ cup red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1 pound carrots cut diagonally into 1 inch thick slices

1 ½ pounds small red potatoes, peeled

1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 ½ tablespoons cold water

Minced fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a large heavy flameproof casserole heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it brown the beef, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper on all sides. Transfer the beef to a plate, add the onions and the garlic to the casserole, and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, until the onions are soft and golden.

Stir in the tomatoes, the vinegar, the sugar, the bay leaf, and 2 ½ cups water, bring the mixture to a boil, and add the beef. Braise the beef, covered, in the oven for 1 hour, add the carrots, and braise the mixture covered for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and braise the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the beef and the vegetables are tender.

Transfer the beef with slotted spoons to a cutting board and let it stand, covered with aluminum foil, for 10 minutes. Skim the fat from the top of the cooking mixture to a boil. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add enough of it to the boiling cooking mixture, stirring to thicken the gravy to the desired consistency.

Simmer the gravy mixture, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes, season it with salt and pepper, and discard the bay leaf.

Slice the beef, arrange it on a heated platter, and transfer the vegetables with a slotted spoon to the platter. Spoon some of the gravy over the beef and serve the remaining gravy on the side. Garnish with the parsley.

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School is out, triple digits are in. Finally catching up on all my dinner that I did not post.

I will start with this simple and yet very delicious Vegetarian Quiche. Perfect for lunch and dinner and enjoying it with a nice chilled glass of white wine.
Green salad as a side, and ice cream to top off a perfect evening.

Bon Appetit!!


Tonight’s dinner:

Vegetarian Quiche
Green Salad
Vanilla Ice cream with Blackberries in sugar


1 Puff pastry sheet (Pepperidge Farm), thawed
4 tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas thawed
1 teaspoon sugar
½ of a can of artichoke hearts
4 eggs
1 ½ -cup heavy cream
½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1-tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven at 400°
Roll out the puff pastry sheet to fit a 9” pie dish. Butter and flour the pie dish. Place the pasty and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile peel cut and removes all seed from the tomatoes. Chop them roughly, salt and pepper them.
Add the peas, artichoke and tomatoes to the puff pastry.
Beat together the eggs, heavy cream and the Gruyere cheese and pour over the vegetables.
Lower the heat to 375° and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the eggs mixture is solid.

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Almost homemade pizza was on the agenda for last night dinner. With the help of store-bought pizza dough, we each had our own individual pizza in less than 30 minutes and with our toppings of choice.

Cheese, ham, artichokes, olives…. the possibilities are endless.

After a long day it was wonderful to have quality time with the family as we each created our masterpiece.

Bon Appetit!!


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It all started with a tomato….. Beautiful fragrant tomatoes.  And what a better way to have it with fresh  mozzarella. Or so we thought!!!!

Here I am, in my kitchen putting together dinner. In one hand, I have the tomatoes that require a few seconds assembly, in the other hand, beautiful chicken breasts that will be prepared according to my son’s wishes: breaded.

Assembly starts: cutting the tomatoes and mozzarella and placing them in a bowl. Opening the refrigerator to get basil, parmesan and an egg. As I am doing all this, my mind is going over all the wonderful events of the day, the wonderful time I had with a very dear friend of mine as well as answering homework questions.

Where am I? Oh!!! Yes!! As I reach to the crisper drawer instead of getting basil, I grab green leaf salad. At the sink I clean and wash my salad, and on auto pilot, I am placing it in the bowl with the tomatoes and the mozzarella.  I proceed to season the salad.

My son walked back into the kitchen wanting to taste the caprese and at that moment I look down at my little bowls and realize that somehow I do not have your typical  caprese anymore, but a caprese salad with real salad in the mix.

Now… you may ask: what happened to the chicken?

Well the chicken that was to be breaded ended up along the way skipping the egg and the bread crumbs mixture, but just been floured and placed directly in the hot skillet. Once I realized what I did, just added some Marsala wine to the skillet, more butter and had the most tender chicken breast we ever had.

A bit of an eclectic dinner but I do not have any left overs.

… and yes those are mint leaves with the chicken, I did not have any basil  on the refrigerator.

Tonight’s August 28, 2013 dinner:

Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Red Leaf Salad
Chicken Marsala
Roasted Potatoes


4  large chicken breasts, pounded thin of needed – or 8 small
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ to 1 cup dry Marsala wine
Salt and pepper

In a large skillet over medium low heat, add the olive oil and butter.
Drench the chicken breast with salt and pepper and flour. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet, making sure that the skillet is not over crowded.
When tone side of the chicken breasts are almost done, remove the skillet from the heat and add the Marsala wine. Return the skillet over the heat and turn the chicken.
Add a teaspoon of butter. Blend well together.

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When we use the grill, I enjoying placing vegetables in some aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil and cook them along side what ever we are preparing at that time.
Last night dinner was an adaptation from “The Grilling Cookbook” from Bon Appetit. and it was just that: incorporating vegetables with fish. We love orange roughy, but any white flaky fish will be a good alternative.
Light and easy, perfect for a great summer night.
TIP: Make sure that you keep your face away from the packets while opening as steam will come out and burn.
Bon Appetit!!


Tonight’s June 11, 2013 dinner:
Orange Roughy Packets with Vegetables
White rice with butter


4 medium size assorted zucchini and summer squash, thinly sliced
¼ cup onion, thinly sliced, almost shaved
¼ cup thinly sliced basil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons dry white wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 6 ounces orange roughy

Fold four 24×12 inch pieces of aluminum foil, heavy duty preferably, in half crosswise. Open and place on a work surface.
Divide zucchini and summer squash evenly between the pieces of foil and arrange on layers on one half of each piece of foil. Divide equally and add the onions and sliced basil to it.
Drizzle each packet with 1 tablespoon of wine and ½ tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the orange roughy fillets in top of each portion of vegetables and season with salt and pepper and the remainder of the olive oil over each fillet.
Fold and crimp edges of foil to seal packages.
Build the heat on the grill to a medium heat. Place packets on the grill grate. Close the cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Open carefully the packets as steam will escape and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

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With our days getting longer and hotter, we really enjoy grilling on our barbeque, and last night we could not pass up the opportunity for  another meal cooked outside on the grill.
Steak was in our mind after a day of swimming, and a light tomatoes radish salad to go alongside was just the perfect combination.  Dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes and devoured in less than 5…
As I had the grill going, I added some bread drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt. Perfect to absorb the remaining juice from the tomatoes salad.
Bon Appetit!!!


Tonight’s June 10, 2013 dinner:
Grilled Thick Cut Ribeye  Steak with Tomatoes and Radish Salad

4 8 ounces boneless ribeye steaks
4 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and cut in small chunks
4 large radishes, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Heat the grill to high.
Season the ribeye steaks with abundant salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and crusty, 4 minutes. Turn the steaks over, reduce the heat to medium, close the grill hood, and grill until medium-rare, 6-8 more minutes.
Remove the steaks from the heat and let them rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile in a bowl place the cut tomatoes, radishes. Season with salt, parsley, olive oil and lemon. Mix well and serve alongside the steaks.


Meat purchased from Pete at Personal Gourmet Foods

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We live next to wonderful neighbors that this year have started their own vegetables garden. As you know, we live in Phoenix and gardening can be, for lack of better word,  a bit of a challenge. Not only our summer heat is cruel to our garden, but we have an abundance of bunnies that adore anything that we plant. You can actually see those little furry creatures patiently waiting for the little buds to come up from the ground, so they can have a feast. 
Bunny situation under control by using a high bed and double chicken wire, “J & J”, my neighbors, have been successful on growing zucchini, squash, herbs as well as great salad.  Salad that I have enjoyed for the past week as they kindly share it with me.
During one of our walk I noticed that they have zucchini flowers and could not stop myself of mentioning that I really love them stuffed with anchovies and mozzarella.  Yesterday “J” brought me some and I was thrilled. 
Anchovies and mozzarella purchased, our little treat was prepared while fixing dinner.  I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  Not having my mom recipe with me and not having her at a phone call reach, I made the batter as I was going along.  It turned out good even though I know I was missing something in the batter.
For dinner a one meal dish was of order. Penne with sausage, tomatoes and potatoes. Simple and easy and nothing to it.
Bon Appetit!!


Tonight’s April 24, 2013 dinner:
Zucchini Flower
Penne with Sausage, Tomatoes and Potatoes


Zucchini Flowers
Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying
Rinse the flowers delicately under cold water. In the inside part of the flower stuff a small piece of anchovies and mozzarella.
In a shallow dish beat the egg and the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
Dip the stuffed zucchini flower in the egg batter and fry over medium high heat, turning one until golden.
Drain on a paper towel and enjoy.
1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 sweet Italian sausages cut in chunks
2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into medium size cubes
1 cup tomatoes diced in large chunks or 8 oz. can
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a large pot add the potatoes and salted water. Bring the water to a boiling and cook the penne pasta until they are al dente.
Meanwhile in a large deep skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until warm, but not smoking.
Add the sausage to the skillet. Cook on medium high heat until nicely browned and cooked through. About 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook over medium low heat.
Add the pasta and potatoes to the skillet and add the butter and cook stirring until the pasta is well coated.
Transfer to bowls and serve right the way.

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