I have a whole mess of pictures to show you, starting with my first stab at making tomato sauce from scratch. I got some tomatoes from a Farmer's Stand near our house, and after removing the seeds and adding some spices, I cooked them down in the crock pot for about 4 hours. One thing I learned was this: the amount of tomatoes you use seems a lot smaller once they're cooked down! I only did about 10 of them because any more seemed like an awful lot to me. This is all I ended up getting, minus some that we used to make a pizza on Thursday night:
The sauce could have stood a few more hours of stewing, because it was still kind of watery. They're in the freezer now, however, so I'll have to cook them some more when I decided to use them. I only wish the herbs I planted for my greenhouse window had already come in so I could have used those instead of dried! I'll post more specific directions on my recipe blog soon.
Next, I made a special dinner on Friday, as that date celebrated Mike and I being together for 4 years [awwwwwwwwwwww]. I can't believe our 2-year wedding anniversary is coming up! I had some blueberries that needed to be used up, so you'll see that as a recurring theme. First, blueberry-lime daiquiris, made with banana-flavored rum.
I got some T-Bone steaks for the occasion, and tried them with a Jim Bean steak marinade. The recipe came from a cookbook my mom bought when we visited the Jim Bean factory in Kentucky. When I asked Mike what he might like on the side, he requested that I get the recipe for my grandmother's mashed potato casserole, which she makes often for holidays. After a phone call to her, I had the recipe and the potatoes in the oven. While that was cooking, I sauteed some fresh green beans with garlic, and Mike finished the steaks on the grill. We had a very nice dinner! I was afraid to marinade the steaks for too long, because the cut of meat was so good, but they could have stood up to the marinade for much longer. Next time I'll make it in the morning and see how it goes.
For dessert, I finished up the rest of the blueberries by making Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake, recipe courtesy of Dee's Eating at Home? It was enjoyed with the last of the daiquiris, floating in the pool.
Now for last night's dinner. Yesterday was a cloudy, dreary day for us, and it stormed heavily all afternoon and most of the evening. I decided to celebrate the much-needed rain by trying some new recipes. First, Irish Whole Wheat Soda Bread. The recipe does not require any risings, although you do have to knead it a little. While that was baking, I tried my hand at some sauteed apples. The original recipe (from Taste of Home) was for Sauteed Apples and Raisins, but I didn't have any raisins. Along with that we had a wee bit 'o bacon, and I made myself some scrambled eggs. The bread was a little undercooked in the middle, but we enjoyed the pieces closer to the end. I'm beginning to think my oven is a little funky, because stuff like this keeps happening. The apple recipe is definitely a keeper. I want to get some raisins and some Granny Smith apples (I used Galas this time) and try it that way.
Howie the Guinea Pig was glad that my apple recipe called for peeled apples! He had quite a feast.