Wow, where did the summer go? Between the busy season of my work as a landscape designer, and spending time with family, I have been slightly overwhelmed.
I spent some time in the mountains, enjoying the sunsets and wildflowers
Sunset on the lake
One of my favorite things is to find an orchid in the wild. Orchids don’t just grow in the tropics on trees, or in a pot on your desk.
Took this one on the 4th of July. I think it looks like a firework
And making birthday cakes for my nieces and nephews (I have 18).
I had a niece request a Rapunzel cake for her birthday
Another niece wanted a ‘Frozen’ cake.
Now that things have started to calm down, I wanted to get back to creating recipes. So to re-introduce myself into the blogosphere, I have a tomato recipe. I figured with a website name like One Fine Tomato, it was high time I do a recipe that has tomatoes as the main ingredient.
Another reason for this recipe is I had to come up with a use for my overabundance of roma tomatoes. Seriously, I have not been able to keep up with these tomato plants. Made salsa with one harvest, but you can only do so much salsa before you just can’t look at another tomato or pepper without a shudder.
I was searching the internet for something to do with this all of these tomatoes that didn’t involve an excessive amount of work (unlike salsa where you have to chop, steam, peel, can etc.). I came across this recipe from Martha Stewart’s website. It sounded somewhat promising (other than the carrots, that just seems weird to me). I modified it a bit to my liking, and the result surpassed my expectations (being one who prefers an vegan alfredo-type sauce to a tomato sauce).
Roasted Tomato Sauce
This sauce is great on pizza and pasta
- 3 pounds of roma tomatoes
- 2 medium onions, halved, and sliced into 1/4" slices
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or more to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice all tomatoes in half and remove the core (this is one reason I like romas, you can just cut off the top 1/2 inch of the tomato and you're done).
- In a large bowl, toss all of the ingredients together. Divide evenly between two 9x13 glass dishes. Arrange tomatoes so the onions are on the bottom of the pan (otherwise they can burn), and arrange the tomatoes to they are cut side up. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Transfer mixture to a high-powered blender (in batches if necessary), and blend until smooth. If you don't have a high-powered blender, remove tomato peels before transferring to a blender. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
One Fine Tomato http://onefinetomato.com/
Even my dad who dislikes tomato sauces more than me likes this sauce. Roasting the romas really concentrates the flavor, and lends it some depth. Seriously, this sauce is delicious and it makes the house smell AMAZING.
Two flavors that to me say spring like no other is citrus and tropical. I was in the mood to try out a new cupcake when I thought about making a coconut cupcake. To take it one step further in the spring flavor department, I figured a filling would be good. That brought to mind a song I heard once when I was only 6: “Put the Lime in the Coconut.” There was my answer for the filing: lime curd.
I know I am completely biased, but these cupcakes really are delicious. The people I have given them to are shocked when they find out they are gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free. Consequently, I felt it was worthy of entering into the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest
Put the Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes
- 2/3 cup sorghum flour
- 1/3 cup millet flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon soda
- 4 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, mixed with 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 cup So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk.
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk, unsweetened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon lime zest
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
- 1/2 cup shortening (non-hydrogetnated preferred)
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk
- Toasted coconut (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside. In a small bowl, combine flours, starches, xanthum gum, salt, baking powder, and soda. In a large bowl, beat together margarine, coconut oil, and sugar until combined. Mix in extracts and applesauce mixture.
- Add half of coconut milk, then mix in half of the dry ingredients. Repeat with remaining coconut milk and dry ingredients, mixing until fully combined. Fill lined cupcake tins 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, stir together lime juice and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. In a saucepan, bring So Delicious Coconut Milk and sugar to a boil. Slowly pour in cornstarch mixture, whisking continuously, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Let cool slightly, then transfer mixture to a piping bag fit with a large round tip.
- In a large bowl cream together coconut extract, salt, margarine, and shortening together. Slowly beat in powdered sugar. Add coconut milk and beat until nice and creamy.
- There are two ways that I have assembled these cupcakes. With one way, I take an apple corer and remove a portion of the center of the cupcake (being sure to not to go through the bottom). Fill cupcakes with lime curd. The second way, I put a large round tip on the end of a piping bag, insert the tip into the center of the cupcake a little over halfway down. Squeeze in a small amount of filling while pulling the tip up.
- Frost with coconut frosting. I find using a piping bag is easiest. Top with toasted coconut and lime zest if desired.
One Fine Tomato http://onefinetomato.com/
You have to admit, that any time you hear someone say the phrase “Let it Go,” you starting singing (whether in your head or out loud) the popular song from Frozen. For me, whenever I hear someone say “Now let me get this straight,” I think of this song and video and it makes me chuckle every time (not only because the lyrics are ridiculous, but because the dance is equal in ridiculousness). For everybody’s sake, the video has been shortened significantly.
I figure since this is over 20 years old, the people in the video are likely unrecognizable so I hopefully won’t get in trouble for posting it (especially since my uncle is wearing parachute pants).
I know I have previously posted this recipe, but recently I made some changes to the recipe that I think improved on it. One thing that I changed (and one I can’t believe I didn’t think of before) was using So Delicious Cultured Coconut (which is basically coconut yogurt) instead of sour cream or the vegan sour creams.
In the past I had used the vegan sour cream, but I greatly prefer the use of the much more natural So Delicious Cultured Coconut. The result is, or course, delicious. So delicious is fact, I decided to enter it in the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest.
- 3 tablespoons oil or non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
- 2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1-1/2 cups loosely packed dairy-free cheddar cheese (one that melts well such as Daiya)
- 8 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
- 1/2 cup So Delicious Cultured Coconut, plain
- 1 cup crushed gluten-free cornflakes (remember regular corn flakes often have barley malt in them, making them not gluten-free)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon oil or non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (Earth Balance), melted
- 2 scallions, greens only, thinly sliced (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute, until slightly golden.
- Whisk in broth, scraping the bottom of the pan in order to get all of the brown bits off the bottom. Stir in milk, salt, thyme, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in cheese until smooth. Stir potatoes into sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat until thawed, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in yogurt until combined.
- Scrape mixture into 13 by 9-inch baking dish. If using the topping, mix together cornflakes and 1 tablespoon of oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over casserole. Bake 45-50 minutes until topping is browned and sauce is bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes before serving (the hardest part of the recipe). Top with sliced scallions.
- This dish can be made ahead and refrigerated for 2 days (wait on mixing the topping until ready to cook). To cook, cover the refrigerated dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil (add topping if using) and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 45-50 minutes).
One Fine Tomato http://onefinetomato.com/
In previous years, this was a standard dish on our Easter table. In previous years, however, it was laden with preservatives, and many things I’m now allergic to. This version is allergen friendly and I promise, you won’t miss the preservatives.