Tomatoes Galore

This year Aaron and I decided to plant some veggies along the side of our house. We decided on (or Aaron bought and brought home) tomato, cucumber and zucchini plants. The cucumbers did okay for a while and I maybe got a dozen cucumbers. They were awesome, but now the plants have all shriveled up and died. Not sure what happened there. The zucchini plants took off, but never have really produced very many zucchinis. I think I have picked maybe 6 or 7? I wish there were more. I could eat zucchini for breakfast, lunch & dinner. The tomatoes have completely taken off. I have more than I know what to do with. I plan on learning how to do some canning when I meet my Mom & Step Dad to pick up Jon tomorrow. I would love to make my own marinara sauce this fall & winter. So until I figure out the canning, I wanted to try out a recipe that my sister passed along to me a while back, but I never made. It is called Broiled Parmesan Tomatoes. I asked where she got the recipe and while she isn’t positive, she thought it may have been Southern Living. I had these along with a grilled burger with swiss cheese, mushrooms and roasted red pepper and sweet potato fries (made by Alexia).

Broiled Parmesan Tomatoes

2 firm medium tomatoes
2 TBSP mayonnaise
1 TBSP grated fresh parmesan cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh basil or 1/4 tsp dried basil leaves (I only had dried on-hand & it was great)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1TBSP grated fresh parmesan

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Core tomatoes. Cut crosswise into 3/4 inch slices. Place in a single layer on rack in broiler pan.

3. Mix mayo, 1 TBSP parmesan, basil & mustard. Spread about 1 tsp mixture over each tomato slice. Sprinkle 1 TBSP parmesan over tomatoes. Bake about 8 minutes until hot.

4. Set oven control to broil. Broil tomatoes with tops 6 inches from heat for 2 to 4 minutes or until topping is golden and bubbly.

**I cut this recipe in half b/c I knew that I was the only one who would eat it and Kelly (sister) didn’t recommend reheating the next day.

These were so very good. I know that I always say everything is great, but I wouldn’t share things I didn’t like. 😉 Great use for all of those tomatoes coming out of the garden now. Great dish to serve at a cookout for the upcoming Labor Day weekend!

I am editing to add a note….I made these again for lunch today with fresh basil and it was in a whole different league. Not that it wasn’t yummy last night, but, OMG…..totally TDF today. Go for the fresh basil. 🙂

Sushi & A Sleepover

Anyone who knows me knows that my darling Hannah, who just turned 6, has not spent the night away from home yet. This is mostly due to me and my anxiety about her being away from me. O.K., it is all due to me. There, I admitted it. I am moving on. So yesterday on the way home from the store it dawned on me that Jon would be staying with my Mom and Step Dad this weekend and we only had Hannah. I thought that now would be as good a time as any for her to spend her first night away from home at Grandma Mary & Grandpa Mack’s house. I knew that G & G Mary & Mack would be thrilled, if they were available, and they were. I said that it needed to take place that night (Friday) before I changed my mind. So Aaron and I made plans to go out to eat and walk around the mall. We decided on Molly Woo’s, a Cameron Mitchell Restaurant here in Columbus. One thing I really like about Cameron Mitchell restaurants is their experience and willingness to accommodate gluten-free diets. I have always had great meals at all of their places.

I picked Hannah up at school, met my Mom & Step Dad at our house to pass off Jon and then packed up Hannah to go to Grandma’s. We dropped her off and I nearly had a heart attack, but nothing that a glass of wine or three couldn’t fix.

We arrived at Molly Woo’s and I decided to have sushi. This was pretty much the first time I was going to eat sushi. I did go with my Dad to Otani when I was a freshman in high school. I had to do a report for Social Studies on sushi, so Dad took me there. I don’t really remember being crazy about it at all. Recently my sister has found a new love in sushi and has begged me to give it a try again. I have been hesitant b/c it is hard enough to eat American food gluten-free, sushi & Japanese food sounded very intimidating. So, if there was any place for me to give sushi a try, a Cameron Mitchell restaurant is the one I felt most comfortable doing so in. There were 4 different kinds of sushi on the GF menu. Spicy Tuna Roll (togarushi & cucumber), California Roll (snow crab, avocado & cucumber), Veggie Roll (have no idea, no description) or Spicy Salmon Roll (cooked salmon, sriracha mayonnaise & cucumber). I chose the Spicy Salmon Roll. Aaron was having no part of the sushi, so I was on my own. I would have loved to try the Spicy Tuna roll too, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it and then it would go to waste. I am going to save that until I go have sushi with my Mom and we can share some dishes. Along with my Spicy Salmon roll I ordered the chicken lettuce wraps (these aren’t offered GF, but the server told me that they would be happy to make them GF for me ~ she brought it up, I didn’t even have to ask, very impressed). My Spicy Salmon Rolls were served with some fresh ginger on the side (to cleanse the palate ~ like I know what I am talking about!) and some wasabi. I can’t have the soy sauce there and they didn’t have a GF option. No biggie. Next time I can bring my La Choy soy sauce with me. Honestly, these rolls were amazing by themselves. No soy sauce was needed. I tried the ginger along with the rolls….OMG…I am SO in love. I see myself having to get carry-out sushi from Molly Woo’s on a semi-regular basis now.

After dinner we walked around the mall and bought Hannah a Camp Rock nightgown at The Disney Store. She loves it!! She had a blast at Grandma & Grandpa’s house! I only called 3 times; twice last night and once this AM on the way to the gym. So, I guess you can look at it this way, I had a glass of wine for each call I made. 😉 A good time was had by all.

Garlic Pork Roast with Parmesan Cheese & Pea Risotto

So my menu plan for the week was derailed once again, but for a good meal. I had planned on making grilled chicken Thursday night, but when pork loin roast was on sale for $1.89/pound, I couldn’t pass it up! I bought a 5.5 pound roast and put half in the crockpot and made pork loin chops out of the rest, froze and will cook next week. I found this crockpot pork recipe this week when browsing through a slow cooker cookbook that Betty Crocker wrote.

Garlic Pork Roast (serves 10)

3.5 pound pork boneless loin roast
1 TBSP vegetable oil (I used EVOO)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion (I omitted this b/c my body doesn’t like onions and my family would leave me if I served them anything with visible onions in it)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup chicken broth or water (I used broth; the Great Value brand says “Gluten-free” right on the side)

1. Trim excess fat from pork. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork in oil about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Sprinkle with S & P.

2. Place onion & garlic in 3.5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Place pork on onion & garlic. Pour broth over pork.

3. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 – 10 hours or until pork is tender. I cooked mine just over 8 hours and it was fall apart tender. It would have probably been fine after 6-7 hours.

This was super yummy and everyone liked it!! Another bonus, 1 serving is only 200 calories and 10 grams of fat.

Parmesan & Pea Risotto (This has been modified from Lundberg’s Basic Risotto Recipe)

1 cup Lundberg Arborio White Rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4-5 cups hot chicken broth
1/2 cup to 1 cup frozen green peas

Heat EVOO in a heavy, non-stick, 2 quart pot. Add rice and stir rice until grains are coated with oil. Add wine and stir constantly on medium heat until wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup hot broth, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes, adding the remaing liquid, 1 cup at a time. This rice creates its own creamy sauce; add additional liquid if more sauce is desired. Add frozen peas and stir during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and serve immediately. Yields 3 cups or 5-6 servings.

Everyone loved the risotto except for Hannah b/c she despises frozen peas. She wanted me to exhange her frozen peas for some canned peas. LOL!

I had a bunch of steamed mixed veggies and a salad on the side.