Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marcella Hazan's Amazing Tomato Sauce Recipe

Our garden has been on fire this summer!
All of the tomato plants we planted, especially the Mortgage Lifter
beauties have produced more tomatoes than we can possibly eat!
I've waited all summer to make my own tomato sauce...
And, today... My day to make sauce arrived!
But for my tomatoes, not just any sauce recipe would do... Oh, no!
The only sauce recipe worthy of my beautiful tomatoes
is none other than the incomparable, Marcella Hazan's!
Just like these organically, home-grown tomatoes,
Marcella's recipe is pure, simple and incredibly delicious!
After a minute in boiling water I let
the tomatoes cool, then peeled them...
Cut them up into chunks...
Then placed those chunks into my Dutch
oven, along with butter and one large onion...
A little salt finished it off to simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes...
While I prepared my homemade meatballs!
I use a mixture of veal and pork (one pound) mixed with one egg,
one half cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, three cloves of garlic,
chopped, a tablespoon of parsley, also from my garden and breadcrumbs!
Mix it all together with a little bit of water and salt and pepper until
consistency is moist but still holds shape when formed into balls...
Fry in a bit of olive oil until all sides are golden brown...
While Marcella's sauce bubbles away, filling the entire
house with the smell of velvety, buttered tomatoes!
As meatballs finish, move them to a plate to drain...
But be warned! These babies often have a tendency
to disappear before my pasta is finished cooking!
Therefore... To keep them safe, I always move mine into the sauce!
If you haven't already tried Marcella's famous sauce recipe...
You're missing out!
So whether you have a garden full of vine-ripened tomatoes like
we do, or you use canned... Treat yourself to this sauce soon!
And, don't forget the meatballs!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blueberry Cobbler {Thanks to Wish Farms and Dixie Crystals #FWCON}

As you know, last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the
Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, presented by
For nearly three days I watched Isabel pour every ounce of herself
into this conference... She gave so unselfishly and, I was truly inspired
by her generosity of spirit and the passion she shared with all of us!
Although it would be impossible to choose a favorite sponsor since
there were so many that spoiled us rotten... I must say that today I'm
loving the girls from Wish Farms just a little bit extra for these
beautiful, fresh blueberries they insisted I take home with me!
I have never worked harder to ensure
fresh berries made it back home with me!
Because I had a cobbler recipe just waiting for them!
Remember what I said when we made peach cobbler together...
Forget the non-stick spray and butter your baking dish! Also,
when I make cobblers, I always mix together a little Dixie Crystals
brown sugar and cinnamon to dust the bottom of my dish!
Add the blueberries!
And cover with 3.5 tablespoons of Dixie Crystals white sugar!
Pour in the orange juice!
Cream together your butter and 1/2 cup sugar...
Then beat in the egg and vanilla extract or paste. I prefer
vanilla paste since this cobbler crust is inspired by my cookies!
Fold in flour and baking powder and combine...
Don't over-mix... Just until it comes together like this!
Drop by spoonfuls over berries...
Covering them almost completely...
Then, smooth your topping just a bit...
And bake in a 375 degree, preheated oven for 35-40 minutes!
Or just until cobbler is golden brown!
Serve warm... With ice cream, of course!
After this plate returned to the kitchen completely clean...
I was told, I know this sounds goofy... but
your cobbler was so good I almost cried!

Trust me... This is one cobbler you'll want to make right away and again and again!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Exploring Beech Mountain and Valle Crucis, North Carolina

As I rode around Salem Lake this morning...
I thought about what fun thing we could do with the rest of our day...
After our mountain crawl adventure a couple of weeks ago...
I knew I wanted to go back to the high country!
Also, I heard that the ski lifts at Beech Mountain run all year long,
so I thought it might be fun to go up there and see what we see!
So I went home, took a shower and sprung my plan on my
true love... Who was fortunately keen to follow along! By the
way, I've been keeping a secret from you about a huge change I
made in the way I eat and move... But more on that another day!
Anyway, before we knew it, we were back in the mountains!
Beech Mountain, to be exact! We are so coming here to
see this place in the snow and, sitting around that firepit!
Whose idea was this again?
You can bike Beech Mountain... How cool is that?
Wait until my riding buddy hears about this!
Here we go!
I swore when I stepped off the plane from Orlando last
weekend that I would keep my feet on the ground for a while!
So much for that!
Oh, look! Refreshments!
Check out this view!
Totally worth the $20 lift ticket!
We could have sat in this spot all day!
This settles it... Beech Mountain will see us again this winter!
I can't wait!
On the way to Boone we stopped in Valle Crucis, where we found Sunflowers!
I love Sunflowers!
Can't you tell?
This was a fantastic garden...
Another spot I could have easily stayed all day!
Gardens are my happy place!
Here's another happy place in the mountains...
The original Mast General Store is in Valle Crucis!
Nothing beats Mast for vintage candy!
And, plenty of other stuff too!
I love bacon... Don't you?
This is the inside of the original Mast General Store...
Where the post office is still working!
Love it!
This was a great way to spend a beautiful Friday off from work!
We saw a little of this and a little of that...
Then we stopped in Boone for a little dinner...
And headed home!
Vowing not to leave again until Monday!