Tag Archives: tomatoes

I have 270+ followers?!?!

I was just messing around on my blog tonight and adding a little ‘Yelp’ review button so people can see my restaurant, etc. reviews over there and I was shocked to discover I have that many followers to my blog!  Super excited am I!!!

I am going to have to get more serious as I see that my little blog-that-could which I started to give recipe tips to my friend Jenny now far more readers that I expected.

Tonight, BTW, I made more Slap Yo Mama Chili in the Crock Pot – Winter is just made for Crock pots – don’t you think?  It was raining today and chilly outside and this just seemed like the thing to do.

Refresher on recipe –

1 T olive oil with 3-4 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 chopped red onion, 1t curry powder, 1T slap yo mama spice, 1t cocoa powder, dash S&P, pinch of crushed red pepper, 1T balsamic vinegar – let that all cook and get hot for a little bit and then add 1 lb ground beef (87/13 works great) until it starts to change color and then 1 can each of Northern White Beans and Dark Kidney Beans (both drained AND rinsed) along with about 1/2 cup stock – I used homemade veggie – and 1 LG can each of tomato sauce and petite diced tomatoes

Let that all cook for about 2-3 hours on high and 1-2 hours on low and then serve – YUM!

We had this for dinner and you can always (just like my husband, Wes) add some sriacha sauce for extra heat or sour cream or yogurt to minimize the hot.


Dolores’ Hamburger Pie

I give my mom total credit on this recipe and total props on the yumminess of it all.  Yes, I just made up a word…

John, Nik, Jeff, and I remember Hamburger Pie growing up and I think it is on the ‘List of things we love about mom’ that we made for her 60th birthday hanging in my hallway.  I also think many of our friends from high school can vouch for the merits and delicious-ness of hamburger pie!


1 lb ground turkey or beef, 1 can crescent rolls, 1 can corn, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can green beans, 1 can diced tomatoes/drained, s&p, fresh garlic (can be granulated), crushed chili powder or hot sauce, grated cheddar cheese, 1 egg

Put the crescent rolls in a pie pan to cover the bottom and sides (I recommend a DEEP pie pan) and bake on 375 for about 15 minutes.  Now – Dolores would mix 1 egg and cheese and put it in the bottom of this…I don’t do that as I make it a little lighter….

In a non-stick pan, cook the meat and add the other ingredients (all drained, except for half of the juice from the tomatoes) with the seasonings.

Scoop the pan mix into the baked shell – you should use about half of it….I always save the other half or just make two (2=2 cans crescent rolls, FYI).

before the cheese

Mix about 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese with one egg and put over the top – bake for about 15 minutes until cheese melted and brown.

baked and ready to eat

Slice like a pie and eat up!  Yummy!  I made the one tonight with ground turkey and it was light and delicious!


LOVE me some homemade pizza – last night, Wes was craving it and suggested homemade pizza earlier in the day.

Have a great recipe for whole wheat pizza dough from an Italian cookbook I have.  Used the tons of tomatoes from our garden with fresh basil and balsamic (and a little canned diced tomatoes) to make homemade tomato sauce.

Rolled out the dough super thin – actually made 2 pizzas – and then sautéed some peppers and put peppers, sausage, turkey bacon, and mozzarella cheese on each.  Baked at 425 until crust was brown and finished with fresh grated parmesan.  YUM!

Simple Dinner

Boneless Pork loin chops/Butterflied – marinated in red wine, garlic, pepper, lemon juice – cooked on medium heat in a non-stick pan, browning both sides – cooks them perfectly/not too tough

Cauliflower – mashed with a laughing cow cheese mixed in and some S&P and a little butter – just like potatoes….but a little better for you!  *cook it in the microwave, lightly covered with a little bit of water in the bottom of a bowl for about 10 minutes – then mash it up and add what you would add to potatoes – Laughing Cow Cheeses are perfect – one wedge for one head of cauliflower -my niece Karina LOVES mashed cauliflower!

Fresh tomato salad with balsamic and extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper and a little bleu cheese or feta cheese – totally forgot I had fresh basil until JUST NOW (damnit!)

Simple, took hardly any time at all – healthy!

Things you should have in your kitchen

Jenny (of Hey Jenny!) called me the other night and said she needs ‘an app’ for my blog.  Not quite sure how to do that or if that is even possible, but instead I promised her a list of things I think everyone should have in their kitchens.  These are things I always use, or just plain like to have around in case I need them.  Some of them are not 100% necessary, but if I ever come visit you and I need to ‘Iron Chef’ it up for dinner – having these items would be most helpful!

List form?  Sure, why not!  These are not in any order, just how I am thinking of them while drinking Cupcake Cabernet and not allowing myself to get up and ‘go look’!

1 – Sun Dried Tomatoes – a must!  I found a great 2 lb bag at Costco for cheap, already hydrated.  You can throw these in hummus, pasta, salads, stuff them in chicken breasts – versatile!

2 – Fresh Garlic – don’t have to refrigerate this stuff.  I keep it in a small dish in my spice cabinet and keep the ones I am not using in the fridge.  You can also buy the pre-ground garlic in a jar that is refrigerated.  Either will do nicely, thank you.

3 – Kosher Salt – just rocks, great to cook with

4 – Canned Chick Peas – always have these around to make hummus, add them to curry, put them in a salad

and along with this comes

5 – Tahini – I personally think everyone should have tahini in their cabinet.  Don’t refrigerate it, not necessary and makes it icky.  I use it pretty much only for hummus, but hummus is a great snack you can whip up with just about any bean and eat with chips, veggies, pita.  You can get tahini in the international section of a grocery store or at an Asian-type market

6 – Olive Oil – I like to have both spray and stuff you can pour.  I also try to make sure my Olive Oil is cold pressed and from Italy or Spain only.  You can cook with it and it is healthier than most oils.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good, but the smoke point isn’t that high, so if you cook with it, expect your food to burn in the pan.

7 – Good Balsamic Vinegar – spend a little $$ on this stuff.  It is great to marinate pork, beef, chicken – great tossed in pasta, great on salad.  We brought some good stuff back from Germany when we went to see JM.  I don’t expect anyone to travel to Europe, but get the good stuff.

8 – Fresh Parmesan or Asiago cheese

9 – Frozen Chicken Breasts – Lately, I am buying this from Wal Mart.  When I am feeling ‘culinary’ I buy the bone-in breasts and remove them, freeze them, and save the bone for stock (Steve, we can discuss this later so you can start making it).  Having chicken in your freezer that you can just throw in a pot and boil is GREAT!

10 – Frozen Shrimp – preferable the ‘bigger kind’ 21-35 (in that range) – Raw, Tail On OR Raw, Heads On.  You can make GREAT shrimp stock from the heads and shells (again, Steve, we will discuss) and use it for rice, cous cous, or quinoa

which brings me to:

11 – Cous Cous or Quinoa – I know, I know.  People love rice.  These two other grains are so much better for you!  And so easy to make.

12 – Whole Wheat/Whole Grain Pasta – maybe 1-2 boxes each of whatever type you like (We like penne and linguine in the Blanton house)

13 – Cumin – you can get this at a Hispanic Market or the grocery (Hispanic market is cheaper).  Great to put in hummus or as a marinade herb

14 – Fresh Lemons & Limes – another great thing for marinades and lemons are necessary for hummus.  As my 1st teacher at AIA said, “lemon juice is an abomination” – so I always prefer fresh

15 – A good microplane zester/grater

16 – A good cheese grater (this one’s for you, Schupacks)

17 – Large non-stick saute pan and Large regular saute pan

18 – 4-6 Qt Saucepot

19 – 8-10 Qt Stockpot

20 – Soy Sauce – again, good marinade, good to make stir fry, etc.

21 – Corn Starch- I know, sounds weird, but helpful to make stir fry or thicken any sauce you have

22 – Canned Black Beans – again, just something that can be added to anything and a good staple

23 – Canola Oil – natch

24 – Ground Turkey – Whenever this goes on sale in the 1 lb package, I always buy about 3-4 of them and freeze them.

25 – Pork tenderloin – again, buy it when it is on sale and you can throw the package right into your freezer

25 – Frozen Tilapia – Again, Costco has this fresh in family packages.  You can take it home and separate it into smaller bags

which leads me to:

26 – 1 QT Freezer Bags – a MUST in my house

OK – I think this is a good enough list to start with.  I also always have Pita Bread in the house for hummus – but that is just me!

Bo Benny – hope this helps!