Tag Archives: garden

Fresh Off The Vine

It’s almost that time of year again…tomato season is just around the corner, pretty soon you will see an abundance of these beauties stocked up at your local store or farmers market.

Call me weird, but I love the smell of freshly picked tomatoes off the vine. It reminds me of summer ahhhh. We normally plant tomatoes in our garden, but unfortunately this year we didn’t get around to prepping the garden boxes in our new home in time for the season ūüė¶ Oh well, there’s always next year. Last season we planted over 32 tomato plants…they were literally coming out of our ears! But we enjoyed using them in different recipes, we even made and canned our own tomato sauce. Yum yum, that will have to be another post. Our friends and family definitely were not complaining about our plethora of red beauties.

Did you know there are over 10,000 known varieties of tomatoes? Wowza! It can be overwhelming when trying to decide what kind you want to plant. Here are some of our favorites:

San Marzano – great for sauces
Sungold Cherries – explosive sweet flavor that is amazing in a salad or just snacking on
Radiator Charlies Mortgage Lifter – think tomato and burrata salad! Or piled on a juicy hamburger or sandwich!

Here is a quick and flavorful way to prepare tomatoes to add to pasta (check out my Chicken Caprese Casarecce Pasta recipe), fish or chicken dishes. You can even serve this as a healthy, vegetable side dish.

Sauteed Garlic Tomatoes:

Heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan
Add in 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Dice your cherry tomatoes into halves
Saute the tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until tomatoes soften and absorb the flavors of the garlic
S&P to taste and that’s it!

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Who said cooking was a lot of work?! Enjoy.

From our kitchen to yours,

Melissa

Garden Cocktails

With spring well on it’s way and gaining those extra hours of daylight, it’s time to spend more time out in the yard. My husband, Greg, and I love to have a lush garden full of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Having a variety of fresh herbs on hand is wonderful, especially if you like to cook or experiment with different flavors and recipes. An herb garden is something that you can easily plant in any sized yard and can utilize for so many wonderful things like cooking, cleaning, medicinal purposes, the list goes on. Plus, there is definitely a difference using fresh vs. dried that’s for sure.

Did you know that fresh herbs¬†are wonderful enhancements to your favorite¬†cocktail recipes or a great garnish for those non-alcoholic drinks such as lemonade and teas.¬†Pictured here is what we like to call the “Melissa Special”. For all those grapefruit lovers, it’s a skinny version of a greyhound and makes for a perfect garden cocktail.

Recipe:
2 oz vodka
Sparkling water – I prefer lemon, orange or plain flavored
Ruby red grapefruit juice
Snip some fresh herbs from your garden and viola – you have a beautiful garnish and a boost of flavor taken right from your backyard!

We added fresh lemon verbena (on the right) and fresh mint (on the left). It boosted the flavors and added the perfect touch to an already tasty refreshment. The aroma of the lemon verbena quickly brought us back to summer while we enjoyed relaxing in the backyard with the pups.

Looking for other inspirations to add to your adult beverages? You can also add basil, lavender, lemongrass, and cilantro.  Cheers!