Food storage, Recipes, Vegetables, What’s For Dinner

Roasted Pasta Sauce

I made my first batch of pasta sauce yesterday. I usually have more than this made by this time, my tomatoes have been ripening so slowly that I have been cutting them up and freezing them until I get a nice big batch.

This batch I made with fresh tomatoes and red peppers that I bartered for from Eli at Mahalo Farm, she wanted summer squash so she could make fresh ratatouille to freeze. Since we are tired of eating summer squash at this point I was happy to make a trade! We have many peppers coming along, but we have only had one red one so far and the red ones are far tastier then the green ones in my opinion.

A few years ago i discovered that I did not need to boil away my sauce, I could cut the veggies in big chunks, roast it, pour it all into a big pot and use the stick blender since my boys prefer smooth sauce to chunky sauce. This tasted so good that I have not tried to make it another way since.

Since I am a fan of using what we have and not having to buy what we don’t, this batch of sauce had tomatoes (a mix of heirloom, paste and whatever else was ripe in the garden), Mahalo Farm red peppers, garlic, basil, a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I gave it all a rough chop and tossed it in the pan, stirred to distribute the olive oil and put it in the oven at 450 for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent burning.

Ohhhh the house smelled so good. When I have lots of tomatoes earlier in the summer, I use the back porch kitchen so the house doesn’t get too hot. This time of year, having the oven on feels really good, we have a small house and just making the batch of sauce today warmed it right up.

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Seconds! Because I forgot to take a picture of the firsts!

I didn’t even bother canning this batch, we had pasta for dinner last night and I am going to make the rest into tomato soup for lunch today by adding some milk and cream. So delicious! River said it was so yummy he didn’t even miss the meat. That is saying something lately as I have been very distracted and my meals have not been up to my usual standards. I actually burned baked beans the other day folks….that took some doing let me tell you!

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This is after we ate dinner, there was a lot more sauce in the pot.

How do you make your tomato sauce?

 

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Recipes, Vegetables, What’s For Dinner

Tomato and Bread Salad

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My sister in law works at a local farm and the other day she gave us some beautiful tomatoes. (Ours aren’t even close to ready yet, but they are looking good.)

I had some stale Wildflours bread (I am not even sure how that happened at our house, usually we eat it so fast it doesn’t have time to go stale) and I had some mozzarella cheese in the refrigerator.  All the foods to make a perfect tomato salad.

I used garlic scapes, beautiful tomatoes (I don’t even bother buying them at the store during the winter because they taste like cardboard, so these first tomatoes of the year are a real treat!), my stale bread, which lesson learned, I should have toasted up a bit first, mozzarella, fresh basil, a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar (see the link below for the balsamic vinegar that we use, so delicious!),  a little salt and pepper and a few minutes of waiting to let the bread soak up all the yummy flavors (only a few minutes because I was fairly impatient to try it), and viola, yummy deliciousness in just the amount of time it took to chop the food and toss in a bowl.

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In hind site, adding chopped bacon would have been a good way to get some protein in here and would have made this taste like a BLT in a way. Ohhh, try that and let me know how it tastes!

We ate it right up, no leftovers with this meal.

The perfect summer treat!

Farming, Recipes, Vegetables, What’s For Dinner

What’s for Dinner? New Potatoes and Peas

‘Tis the season for new potatoes and peas. If you have never had a fresh new potato dug from the garden or a local garden, do yourself a favor and go to the farmers market to get some. There is no comparison between a freshly dug new potato where the skin is peeling off and a potato that has been saved for storage. They are fresh, they are crisp, they are amazing. Slice one and cook it up with a couple garlic scapes. You won’t believe how good it is!

 

My dad’s family is from Northern Maine, potato country, and this is a recipe that we have eaten since I was little. My grandmother used to make it every time we went to Limestone.

Step one: get the children to stop eating all the peas before they get to the house…

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Everything looks so fresh and yummy!

Step two: Clean your potatoes gently, the skin is tender so you don’t need to peel it or anything. Just wash gently and chop the potatoes into bite sized pieces, better yet, get your children to help you, our five year old is a pro.

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The photo is a little steamy looking…so, so good, just imagine the creamy, buttery, salty, new potato taste.

Boil potatoes gently in water until mostly cooked. Add your fresh peas and cook for about three minutes. Drain the water and add cream and butter, bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. At this point your potatoes will be gently cooking and should be almost done.

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These are actually the left overs, they are so good, my boys even like them cold…

The best way to eat this dish is by mashing your plate of peas and potatoes together so they absorb as much of the buttery cream as possible. So delicious, if I had a photo of me eating my first bite of the year I would post it, I’m sure it would have shown a look of pure pleasure…

We had this as a side with lobster…so tasty!

Farming, Meat Animals, Vegetables, What’s For Dinner

What’s For Dinner? Summer Squash

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Yummy!

We harvested our first summer squash today from the garden, I’m not sure how many more squash will appear from this beauty. My huge and beautiful summer squash plant, has been damaged, my guess is by a boy…they are sure it wasn’t, but you know, summer squash is in the greenhouse this year, so not so many other creatures could damage our plants…

Tonight I made a lovely dish, I put chopped up garlic scapes in some bacon grease and sauteed them while #2 sliced the squash, then I added the summer squash and sauteed until cooked adding salt and pepper. When they were fully cooked I added chopped basil and turned off the stove.

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In progress

I also made a lovely salad with leaf lettuce, cilantro, basil and oregano. I added some apple (procured in the discount basket at the local market), goat cheese (I usually like to make my own, my brothers goats aren’t producing enough for me to barter with them right now), balsamic vinegar and olive oil, soooo delicious!

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The finished product, so delicious!

I sauteed up a ham steak just to warm it slightly to serve on the side.

All the greens and veggies and the ham was from our farm, I love that!

Enjoy what you can produce on your land, everyone can grow

Recipes, What’s For Dinner

What’s For Dinner: Italian Sausage Sliders

I asked the boys to help with meal planning this week, T’s first choice was Italian Sausage Sliders.

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Sliders without the tops on them.

I sliced up several potatoes about a quarter inch thick, then I fried them up in some sausage fat in the fry pan to use for buns, because we are a gluten free household we often have to come up with alternative solutions for bread. I have also used sweet potatoes for this meal and they are even better.

I served this with oven fries and a salad. I heated the oven to 475 degrees while I washed and sliced up the potatoes. I soaked the potatoes for about 10 minutes and dried them with a cloth then put them in the pan with olive oil, salt and pepper and stirred them around in the pan. I baked them for 20 minutes, stirred them and baked them for another 20 minutes. They were crispy on the outside and yummy soft on the inside.

I forgot to take the sausage out early enough so I sliced my slightly frozen sausage and cooked it the size and shape it came out, normally I would try to make them about the size of the potatoes that we were using for buns before I cooked them.

I served them with some homemade mustard pickles, (I have to admit they aren’t as good as my Nanny used to make, I will try again this summer. ) and ketchup. They were delicious!

The salad was leftover from the day before, it had lettuce, kale, swiss chard, basil, cilantro, and sheep sorrel in it, all from the farm. I dressed it with Olive oil and balsamic vinegar (this is the best balsamic vinegar I have found, I have tried to buy it in bulk from our local stores, but it has been less expensive on amazon. Don’t be fooled, it must be the reserve bottle, not the regular bottle, I can usually find the regular bottle at the store.

This was a delicious meal, every one enjoyed eating it!

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Topped off!