Sun Dried Tomatoes

Last spring I found a recipe to make sun dried tomatoes.  So, we planted oodles of cherry tomatoes this year and voila…we have sun dried tomatoes.  Every time we’ve harvested we make another batch of sun dried tomatoes.  The ones in the store that you can buy are outrageously priced and packed with oil.

Sun Dried Tomatoes

4 c. cherry tomatoes                                                                       1 tsp. kosher salt

½ c. very thinly sliced basil leaves                                           2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Wash the tomatoes, trim spots and remove stems.  Halve all of the cherry tomatoes.  If you have very large ones, quarter them.  Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up on a cutting board and sprinkle with the salt, basil and garlic.  Press the garlic and basil gently into the tomato halves.

Dehydrator Instructions: Transfer the tomatoes, cut side down onto your dehydrator trays, do not over crowd or they may not dry well.  Some garlic and basil will fall from tomatoes.  Dehydrate for 6-12 hours or until they are very shriveled.  They should be rather leathery and pliable but not moist when you put a fingernail in the centers.  When they reach this stage, allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container for storage.  Stored in a cool dry place in airtight container they should be good for up to 1 year.

I don’t really measure the seasonings, and once my basil was done for the season, I’ve been using Italian Seasoning and Granulated Garlic mixed in with the Kosher Salt.  I mix it all up and toss it in with the cut tomatoes.  Then I put them in the dehydrator for 6 to 12 hours.   Last night I made some of my own Sun Dried Tomato Cream Cheese.   I bought a container of the Weight Watchers Whipped Cream Cheese and put it in my mixer with a handful of sun dried tomatoes and added a little extra salt, Italian Seasoning and Garlic. It’s delicious!! Next trial is my own Garden Veggie Cream Cheese.

 

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The Tastes and Smells of Autumn

I love this time of year… the beautiful colors all around us, the cooler temperatures and the harvest.  When I think of fall cooking, the first two things that come to mind are Pumpkin and Apples.  We were so blessed last weekend to be able to go and pick some apples at a friend’s house.  I’ve been searching through all my recipes to find great things… This afternoon I made an Apple Crisp…

 

We occasionally order from King Arthur Flour and I have a wish list a mile long.  But, a couple of months ago I found a doughnut pan at a thrift store for 3.99, which I consider a great buy, especially since they are around 20 dollars new.  I’ve been searching for doughnut recipes on the internet and found a great one here http://www.food.com/recipe/Baked-Pumpkin-Doughnuts-45429 .

Last fall, I pureed my own pumpkin so I pulled some out earlier this week to make this delicious recipe.  I don’t remember where I found it, but it’s a great alternative to Starbucks.

Decadent Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 1 level tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 c. strong coffee
  • 4 tbsp coffee creamer
  • 4 to 8 tbsp sugar
  • Whipped Cream

Begin brewing coffee. In a blender puree the milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar and vanilla.  Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until milk is warm and begins to froth.  Remove from heat.  For each serving: Pour 1/2 c. pumpkin into your mug, add 2 tbsp coffee mate creamer.  Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, then add 1 c. brewed coffee. Add 2 to 4 tbsp more sugar.  Top off with more “pumpkin milk” then cover with whip and sprinkle with nutmeg.  Serve immediately.

I used the rest of the pumpkin making the doughnuts and some pumpkin pudding.   Overall, it’s been a very productive day.  We’ve hooked up the Wii, watched an amazing movie..”Soul Surfer” and spent time together as a family.

Shonna


 

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