Tag Archives: dinner

Tomato Habit

19 Mar
I haven’t blogged since I came back from Florence, which has been awhile. Sorry about that.
But todays is about tomatoes :). I had the most excellent tomatoes while in Florence.  When I came back, I started craving and eating a ton of tomato products (tomato soup, mass amounts of ketchup, tomato slices on everything, etc…). It’s kind of becoming an obsession.
But heres pictures of the dishes in Italy that had some tomatoes in them:

Dinner in Rome. Bruschetta, cheese, and prosciutto.

Last meal in Firenze; lasagna and esta the (popular peach tea)

tomato basil ribollita and pasta

pasta with meat and tomato sauce

personal pizza

Yup. spaghetti with basil and tomato sauce. it was great 🙂

There was bruschetta at basically every nice dinner I had there. I bought nice olive oil in Italy and I grow basil in the summer so I’m going to try to make some. And the tomato basil ribollita, which was just excellent.
I have yet to make homemade tomato soup, so thats a goal of mine as well.
On a side note, only because it deals with food, I gave up meat (other than seafood) for lent. So far so good. I made salmon burgers yesterday for the first time, they were awesome (with a large slice of tomato on them, of course 😉 ).

This Year’s Valentine’s Day Dinner

16 Feb
So, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. The past few years, we decided to cut down on the gifts, and focus on dinners. Eat in, of course. We go out enough. So. He bought the out-of-season expensive ingredients, and I cooked. Fair trade 😀
I usually use a recipe but this year I decided to wing it, based off of a meal we had at Olive Garden, actually. What ended up on the plate: a pile of delishiousness. Harmony of flavors. Music to my TASTEBUDS. 😉 It doesn’t look all that great, but you get the idea- it was freaking fantastic.
It consisted of: cheese filled tortellini. I bought the fresh, refrigerated (not frozen) kind. Worth it. Alfredo sauce, from a jar. Next time I’ll try to make my own, but it was still great. Chopped, cooked pears. I’ve never cooked pears before this. So I chopped them up, without the skins, and threw them in a pan with a cup and a half of water and a tablespoon of sugar. I covered the pan and let them boil/simmer on medium heat until they were soft. Sauted shrimp. You know the drill; butter, pepper, frying pan. I did get the kind without tails and whatnot. And finally, a balsamic vinegar reduction drizzled on top. I’ve never made this before either. I basically put a cup of water and some balsamic vinegar with a few tablespoons of sugar. I let this simmer down until it was a bit thicker, and all the water had “steamed out.” It was great. Perfect touch, particularly with the pears.

Layers: tortellini, alfredo, pears, shrimp, balsamic vinegar reduction. Garnish: pears dipped in dark chocolate 🙂

Meatloaf for Picky Eaters

16 Feb
Meatloaf looks gross, there’s no getting around that. But this meatloaf is not only gluten-free, its healthier (it uses ground turkey meat), and GOOD. My picky eater loves it. Which is weird. There are very few meals that I can repeat once a week.
– 1.2 lbs ground turkey meat (I suppose you can substitute ground beef if you really need to. ;))
– about 1.5 cups cooked rice
– 1 egg
– 2 tbsp ketchup
– 1/2 cup chopped onion
– 2 tbsp sugar OR 3 tbsp molasses. (I normally prefer molasses. Turkey when cooked is whiter than ground meat, molasses darkens it. And it makes a pretty awesome glaze on top. But in the batch featured I used sugar)
– dash of pepper


Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix all of the ingredients together in a largish bowl. It looks gross. I refuse to show my picky eater this step, in fear of refusal to eat the result.

Mixed Together....yummmmm hahaa

Put the mixture into a loaf pan. Shape/smooth it the best you can with the spoon/spatula. Place in oven, uncovered*** for about 45 minutes.
***Covered in foil if you used molasses. Take off the foil for the last 15 minutes, and drizzle a spoonful of molasses on top for a glaze.

In the Oven

Take out, let sit for about 3 minutes. Cut and serve :). We like ketchup on ours, but honestly this recipe is sweet enough so that you don’t need it.
I use the same basic mixture for my meatballs, as well. Substitute the ketchup for whatever marinara sauce you want, and throw in some Italian seasoning. Roll into balls. Smother in marinara sauce.  Bake covered for the same time and temperature.

Slice & Serve

P.S. I apologize for my blurry pictures! I had to use a phone camera for these.