3 Quarters Today

My Life, my photography, my passions

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Prepping Tomatoes for Salsa

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Tomatoes are in season and ripening at an amazing rate. Time for me to break out the stew pots and start cooking up some salsa, stewed tomatoes and chopped tomatoes for future recipes.

Deskinning tomatoes

Step one to any tomato based recipe is to prep the tomatoes properly in a hot and cold water bath.

Step 1: Clean the tomatoes, cut off the stems and bruised spots

Step 2: Dunk in boiling water for about 30 seconds until the skins start to wrinkle

Step 3: Remove from boiling water and dip in a bowl of cold water

Step 4: Skins should then easily slip off the tomatoes

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Fresh Garden Broccoli

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I never knew that broccoli fresh from the garden could taste so good. This was our first garden together, and it’s pretty successful. So far we’ve harvested radishes, lettuce, potatoes, cucumbers, a few beans and zucchini. Our most successful has been the broccoli, didn’t know the plants got so big, but well worth the space.

First Year Vegetable Garden

Broccoli in the Vegetable Garden

Broccoli in the Vegetable Garden

The heads were huge, the size of dinner plates. From what I understand when you harvest the center bunch the secondary cluster will still produce. I hope so, four out of five of us love broccoli.

Cleaning and prepping fresh broccoli

Cleaning and prepping fresh broccoli

My Mother-in-law suggested I soak the broccoli in salt water to clean out any bugs. However, we didn’t have any problems with bugs, not one floated to the top. An added benefit to soaking the broccoli in salt water was the increased flavor.

Fresh cooked broccoli

Fresh cooked broccoli

I steam my broccoli, el dente, to a bright green still a little crisp, but making the florets nice and tender. Put a pat of butter and cracked pepper on top. It’s literally a fight to the last spoonful.

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Easy Banana Dessert

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Banana Parfait Dessert

Easy Banana Dessert

A quick and easy dessert, sliced bananas, instant banana pudding, vanilla wafers, and Cool Whip  layered in individual cups. Oh and mine had an extra treat of sliced strawberries on top. I crushed the vanilla wafers for a middle layer, but it’s not necessary.

All I can say is “Yum, yum!”

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Portebella Mushrooms and Onions

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I love mushrooms and there is nothing better than sauteed mushrooms and onions on a steak. Shoot I don’t even need the steak to enjoy this treat. Simple to fix, 1/4 cup butter (what else) melted in a frying pan, (I prefer cast iron) slice mushrooms and onions and slow cook till tender. Season with your favorite flavors, mine include cracked peppercorns (pepper) and garlic salt.

Portabella Mushrooms and onions

Portabella Mushrooms and onions

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Day 209/365: Grilled Yellow Zucchini

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Grilled Yellow Zucchini  recips

Yellow Zucchini (My Olympus is back)

I’m the first one to admit that I don’t like yellow and green mushy vegetables. This includes squash, asparagus, and zucchini. But on the prompting of my good friend Beth, and my daughter who is a good sport about trying new foods, I have decided to expand my horizons. Nelson Farms is helping a great deal as they have a produce stand set up in the parking lot where I work all summer.

These were so pretty at the stand I just had to pick up a few and try grilling them. Because everything taste better grilled.

Grilling Yellow Zucchini

Grilling Yellow Zucchini

So, if I’m going to grill I’m going to use my new Pampered Chef grilling basket. Not knowing which way to slice these veggies, I tried the circles and lengthwise. After digging through my spice cabinet I picked two out, a vegetable supreme and a Mrs. Dash Tomato, Basil and Garlic mixture. Wasn’t sure what would be best so I just experimented by adding the herbs to some olive oil and coating both sides of the sliced zucchini.

Grilled Yellow Zucchini

Grilled Yellow Zucchini

Doesn’t it look delicious? I even impressed myself.  Still not too much of a fan of the mushy factor, but I did like the long skin side pieces. My son thought they tasted like weird tasting eggs, he wasn’t a fan. But I ate them all and would try them again with different seasonings.

Anyone have any ideas with what else to do with yellow zucchini?

Photography notes: I’ve brought out my Olympus E10 camera again. I have it handy at work (Hamilton Color Lab) so I can take photos of various projects for an upcoming new blog series. Yes I take photos of photos. Redundent isn’t it.

 

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