• Fresh Roasted Tomato Sauce

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    With a bumper tomato crop this year, we’ve had to figure out more ways to use up the pounds and pounds of fresh tomatoes. This sauce is absolutely delicious. I didn’t strain the sauce, because the seeds don’t both us, but if you don’t want the seeds in your sauce, strain the sauce through a mesh strainer.

    Ingredients:

    • 8 c. garden fresh tomatoes, halved (I used mostly grape and roma tomatoes)
    • olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 tsp. thyme
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • sugar to taste (I didn’t need any, but it all depends on how ripe and sweet your tomatoes are)
    • hot pasta

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and liberally toss with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven until skins start turning black, about 30 to 45 minutes. You can remove the skins from larger tomatoes, but don’t waste your time with the smaller grape tomatoes.
    2. Put tomatoes and all the juices in the food processor until everything is well combined.
    3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes from the food processor, and season with thyme, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and sugar (if needed). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes.
    4. Serve over hot pasta.

    Fresh Tomato Sauce:

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  • Fusilli alla Caprese

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    My version of Fusilli Caprese is based on Giada’s recipe.  I added more tomatoes, basil, and cheese to my version, and Giada’s recipe recipe doesn’t have the crushed red pepper in it.  I think it needs that little bit of heat, otherwise the dish is lacking something.  I made the dish without the crushed red pepper, and -s and I both added the crushed red pepper to our servings and liked it much better that way.  Our pickiest eater loved this, which was shocking, since he generally will not eat tomatoes, unless it’s ketchup or pasta sauce from a jar.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. fusilli pasta
    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
    • 1 c. packed fresh basil leaves, torn
    • 10-12 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced 

    Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
    2. In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist (I didn’t need to do this, but it probably depends on how juicy your tomatoes are.

    Fusilli alla Caprese:

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  • Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast with Watermelon-Jalapeno Salsa

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    This recipe comes from the August 2007 issue of Cooking Light. It was delicious. The chicken tasted great, and the marinade would be great for a fajita marinade. The Watermelon-Jalapeno salsa was also delicious and the kiddos even ate it!  Excellent summer dish!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • Cooking spray
    • 2 c. (1/2-inch) cubed seeded watermelon
    • 1 c. (1/2-inch) cubed peeled ripe mango
    • 1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
    • 1/2 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
    • 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1/2 tsp. sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator up to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.Prepare grill.
    2. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Combine watermelon and remaining ingredients. Serve watermelon mixture with chicken.

    Marinated Chicken Breasts with Watermelon-Jalapeno Salsa:

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  • Crockpot Thai Red Curry

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    I found this recipe at A Year of CrockPotting. The Crockpot Lady got it from Rachael Ray. I thought this dish tasted really good, and it was really good the next day for lunch. It had really great flavor, and since I think so many crockpot recipes are light in flavor, I was really pleased with this dish. I’m always looking for good crockpot recipes for those busy weeknights that are filled with my kiddos’ activities. I’ll definitely put this dish in the crockpot rotation. You can skip the chicken and make this vegetarian or you can add tofu at the end.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (if you use light, add some cream to finish the sauce at the end)
    • 1TBSP brown sugar
    • 1 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 TBSP Thai red or green chili paste, or more or less to taste
    • 1 tsp. fish sauce
    • 2-3 inch knob of ginger, minced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
    • 1 sweet potato, cut into 2 inch pieces
    • 1 yellow onion, rough chop into large pieces
    • 1 small eggplant, cut into 2 inch pieces
    • 1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • Lime, quartered
    • Hot white rice
    • Garnish with cilantro, green onions, basil, and/or peanuts

    Directions:

    1. Combine coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili paste, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic in the crockpot. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Then add the sweet potato, onion, eggplant and peppers.
    2. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. If you used light coconut milk, stir in some cream to thicken the sauce and give the sauce some richness.

    Crockpot Thai Red Curry:

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  • Mango Salsa

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    This is one of our summertime go to dishes. The salsa is delicious over grilled chicken, and you can make it as spicy or mild as you like depending on how much hot peppers you add. It’s super easy to make and always a crowd pleaser.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 mangoes, diced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1/4 c. cilantro, minced
    • 1 small serrano pepper, minced (seeded and deveined)
    • Juice of 1 or 2 limes
    • Salt to taste

    Directions:

    1. Combine everything and serve over grilled chicken.

    Mango Salsa:

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