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Recipe Time! Gazpacho

Are you ever in the mood for a light lunch, something like a salad, but don’t have lettuce, don’t feel like making a salad, or just want something different? I have the solution for you!

Gazpacho!

gazpachoI don’t remember the first time I had this dish, but remember my Mom making it when I was in high school. It’s basically a liquid salad (I know it sounds gross, but trust me, it’s not). It’s a salty, tangy mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and really anything that would go in a salad. I usually make a big batch and eat on it during the entire week. One of my favorite meals I ate on my honeymoon was Gazpacho, it was at every restaurant and I probably ordered it every time!

This recipe is very basic, but check out Ina Garten’s and The Pioneer Woman’s recipes for a little bit more dressed up version.

P.S. This ia a perfect Summer/Spring picnic item 🙂

Gazpacho

2 large tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 to 1 onion (depending on how big), cubed
1 28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes
Couple glugs of olive oil
Couple splashes of red wine vinegar
1 tblsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and liquefy! Some people do each vegetable separately and then mix together with a spoon. And some like it more liquid, but I tend to keep it a little on the liquid-salsa consistency side. Chill in fridge for about 20 minutes and then serve.

Add any toppings you like: avocado, cheese, croutons, grilled shrimp, etc.

 

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Manna From Heaven

And then manna sprang forth from heaven, bursting with life and yummy-ness

tomato

My first tomato, friends. I’ve watched over, prayed over, did a rain dance over my little garden, since I planted it earlier this Spring.

I’ve got plans for this little guy. And they include my friends salt and pepper. And that’s it. It’s officially Summer.

P.S. My zucchini were not so lucky and well-loved. I’m still holding out hope for them, but they are very small, and turn very dark green, way too quickly. Poor little things. But if you want basil or parsley – I’m your girl.


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Planting Tomatoes

This is it. This is the year. No, THE year.

THIS. Is the year of the tomato.

For three years now, I have tried in vain to plant one of my favorite things in the entire world. Homegrown tomatoes. I was raised with slices of tomatoes served with every meal in the summer, and there is no comparison to how these suckers taste to the plastic tomatoes served in the grocery store. I have no idea why I have such trouble growing things. I come from a food-growing family. I lived on homegrown corn, tomatoes, black eyed peas, mustard greens and blackberries for years. But for some reason, I have the ability to kill a cactus. Don’t ask.

Oh, but this year. I will not fail. I experimented last year and was successful with about 3 ripe banana peppers, but that’s it.

I’ve also been successful with Thyme and Rosemary (after several failed attempts as well). But this year, I want a freakin salad station in my yard.

Here’s what I’m thinking:
– banana peppers again
– cucumbers (maybe??)
– TOMATOES
– parsley
– cilantro

I could eat that combination with some olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper every meal for days. I have the pots. I will get the soil. My neighbors can deal with my annoyingly moving the pots around each day to get as much sunshine as possible. And I hope that this year I can be “that” girl who shares her bounty with her fellow man. And eats her weight in tomatoes.

Any tips or tricks for planting these types of veggies in pots? I’ve found a few helpful articles here and here. But what else should I know?