Homemade Tomato Sauce
The quantities in this recipe have been kept intentionally vague; the tomatoes you see pictured above produced 1 (qt) jar of tomato sauce.
A bunch of tomatoes (lots of them!)
1-2 onions (chopped fine)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2-4 cloves of garlic
Plenty of salt, pepper
Oregano or Basil
Fill a medium sized saucepan with enough water to cover any one of the tomatoes. Cut a small X into the bottom side of each tomato and place it into the boiling water for no longer than 15 or 20 seconds. Work in batches of three tomatoes at a time. Take the tomatoes out of the boiling water and place in a prepared bowl, filled with water and ice. Once they are cool (which only takes a few seconds) immediately take them out of the water. Gently pull the peel of the tomato. Peel approximately half of your tomatoes. Chop coarsely.
Quarter the other half of your tomatoes and place in a food processor. Pulse until the tomatoes and peels are liquified.
Heat the oil in a pot and saute the onions and garlic. Add your tomatoes (both chopped and liquified) to your pot, let them heat up and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Add oregano (or basil) and season with salt and pepper. Be careful when you season, as the sauce will reduce and thicken. As the sauce thickens, the seasoning will intensify…
Let the sauce simmer for several hours (depending on the amount of tomatoes you started with). Let it reduce by 1/3 to 1/2.
Place in jars and either keep in your refrigerator, or use your favorite method to can (if canned then it does not have to be refrigerated).
Lamb Shoulder Chops and Grilled Zucchini
1 Lamb Shoulder Chop for each diner
1 1/2 small or 1 large Zucchini/yellow squash for each diner
Garlic, Salt and Pepper
Lamb shoulder chops (not the little dinky ones that restaurants charge you a fortune for): put the chops in some sort of vessel where they can lay flat, salt and pepper generously, brush with olive oil (also generously) and sprinkle with oregano (you can also add garlic but I do not use the powdered kind). Flip chops, repeat. Let them sit in the marinade (as long as you can, anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours); the longer you marinade, the more the meat will be infused with flavor.
Now, turn on the grill (medium high)…
Zucchini: Cut in thick slices, drop in a bowl, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on top and toss until all pieces are glistening in olive oil.
Arrange zucchini in sigle layer on grill. If you cut the pieces thick enough (see photo) and arrange them with tongs, they will not fall through the slats…. add the lamb chops to the grill. Grill zucchini approx. 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on how you like yours done). Grill chops approx. 3 1/2 min on each side. Remove all from grill; while chops are resting (for approx. 5 min) drizzle the juice from 1/2 lemon over the zucchini.
Blueberry Cake (Peach, Apricot, Plum, Apple, Pear, Cherry, Apple)
NOTE: I usually double this recipe as I like my cake thicker on the bottom!
7 Tbsp Butter (100g)
1 cup all purpose flour (100g)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of sugar (100g)
2 Egg Yolks & 1 whole egg
1 lb of fruit
Cinnamon, Sugar (optional)
Place softened butter and sugar into mixer bowl and mix till light. Add egg yolks, egg and lemon zest and mix until well incorporated; add the flour as the final ingredient.
Spread the dough into a greased and floured cake pan. Add the fruit; if you are using berries, just sprinkle them on top, if you are using apples, pears, peaches or apricots: peel, core and slice them).
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (if desired) and bake at medium heat for approx. 30min (cake will be golden brown on top and fruit will look done).
It is imperative that cake be allowed to cool before cutting into squares and serving (it looks pretty if you sprinkle powdered sugar on top too)
Homemade Ranch Dressing (Low Cal, Low Fat)
1 packet ranch mix (dressing/dip)
1 cup Greek non fat yogurt (my favorite brand comes in 6 oz cups, so I used that)
1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk (buttermilk works too)
Put everything in a jar, close the lid and shake like mad. Let sit in the fridge for one hour before using so all the flavors can marry!
Refrigerator Pickles or Peppers
6 or 7 peppers (Jalapenos or other hot peppers), sliced
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup White Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar
3/4 Tbsp Salt
1 clove Garlic (crushed or rough chopped)
1/2 tsp Oregano
Put all ingredients except peppers and oregano in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add sliced peppers and oregano. Make sure that peppers are submerged in hot liquid. Set aside and let cool.
When everything has cooled, put in a jar (8oz) and place lid on the jar. Refrigerate; wait 24 hrs. to enjoy.