Friday, September 23, 2011

Perfect Summer Ending

Since we planted our garden a little later than usual we just now have our tomatoes coming in. So what better way to end summer then with a tomato salad straight from the garden with herbs. This salad is so easy you could make it with your eyes shut. You could make it with your eyes shut while chewing gum and riding a bike; seriously. Plus it's ultra "pennyless" especially if you have a garden with tomatoes and herbs. Here it is; the perfect summer ending.

Tomato Marinated Salad*

8 oz grape tomatoes, sliced length0wise
1 bunch basil, chopped
5 sprigs chive, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste.

Slice tomatoes directly in a bowl. Add basil and chives. In a small jar add rest of the ingredients and shake till you can't shake anymore. Add half of the dressing to the salad. Let it sit in the refrigerator covered for a couple of hours before serving.

*see another version of this salad at

The tomatoes are finally growing!

Chop up the fresh tomatoes and then use kitchen shears for the fresh chives (those are from the garden too!)

Fresh basil, from the garden of course! You can use the kitchen shears here as well.

Throw in the herbs with the tomatoes.

This is the magical ingredient.
Pour into a small jar.

Add the oil.

Next, the brown sugar.

Salt and pepper, then prepare to shake what your Momma gave you!

Shake your money maker!

Gently toss together with the vinaigrette.

The perfect accompaniment to pretty much any dish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Am I The Biggest Loser?

Does this make me a loser? I don't know if I really want you to answer that. But I have been asking myself that question since the new Fall line-up of the television series has begun. I think I may watch too much TV. I was in kind of a funk ever since Friday Night Lights ended so TV shows haven't been on the forefront of my mind, but last night I dreamed a version of Glee and Parenthood; don't really know how it turned out, but I do know that I might be a little obsessed.

Here's all the shows I've started watching or am planning on watching or I'm dreaming in. Don't judge....












It's sad, but I have really been looking forward to this!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Soupy Kind of Day

This recent weather has inspired me to take out my soup pot and start simmering. Fall finally seems like it's arriving. My air-conditioning has been turned off and windows have been pushed open. Cool, fresh air has blown in and leaves are beginning to fall causing branches to be exposed in all of their nakedness (hehehe I know I'm immature). 
Another season is making an entrance.
I love soup and for some reason with this pregnancy it has heightened my taste buds to want soup that much more, but with the hot weather I just haven't been able to stomach it too often. Today because I have been in my WKU sweats and snuggled up in my Slanket (yes, I have a purple one and I am not ashamed of it); soup is what would be the perfect finish to this day. 
I can't wait for you to try this on a day when you're all comfy in your sweats or maybe even when you come home exhausted wearing your power suit. 
My dear friend April introduced me to a version of this soup and I hope you share this version with your friends.

Taco Soup

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground turkey, browned
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 small bag frozen lima beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
2 cans Rotel, original
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1-2 cups water

tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheese

Add oil to a large, soup pot on medium heat. Add onions, cumin, oregano, and hot pepper flakes. Cook until onions are caramelized. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Mmmmm I can smell it cooking now. Serve in a soup bowl and top with broken tortilla chips, cheese of your choice, and a dollop of sour cream.

Caramelize the onions and add all the spices.
Sorry for the eery darkness; my stove light is burnt out.

Brown the meat.

Add all the beans.

Add water and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer till it is spoon worthy.

Top with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream.
Mmmmm I love this simple, yet satisfying soup!
And not to mention it's "pennyless"!