There are only a few ways to respect a perfectly ripe, garden fresh tomato. A tomato sandwich with baked white or sourdough bread, Hellmann’s Real Mayo, and salt/pepper is a classic favorite. I would even put a toasted BLT in this catagory. However, if you want to take it up a notch, tomato pie is absolutely a little slice of heaven.
There are a million ways to make a tomato pie, but this is one of my favorites. For those who don’t know my cousin (remember, the one with the unbelievable shrimp and grits recipe?!), she’s quite the cook also. This is her recipe that has come down from her mom’s side of the family. Her mom (my aunt) is one of the best cooks and bakers I know. Period.
You obviously want to begin with the most perfectly ripe tomato slices you can find. These came from our garden.
Slice a large vidalia onion and sauté it with a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. I like to let the onions cook way down until they begin to caramelize.
Rinse and pat dry about 15 basil leaves.
Now here is where this recipe stands out from the rest. Instead of using cheddar cheese, combine 1 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Set aside.
Cook your pie crust according to the package instructions and let cool completely. Layer your tomatoes and generously salt and pepper them.
Now layer in your onions and basil leaves. Repeat 2 more layers of each, ensuring you salt and pepper each tomato layer.
Top with your cheese and mayo mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pairs well with fresh corn and a mixed green salad. Enjoy!
Adapted From: Catherine Ballard Logan
We just returned from a week at the beach. The beauty of living here is that we didn’t feel the need to eat out whatsoever. We simply picked veggies from our garden, brought fresh local shrimp from The Shrimp Lady, and bought some good bread, meats, and fruit. I mean, no place in town could beat the view from the porch anyways….
Every dinner felt like a date night…..
One of my favorite meals that we cooked were these Sliders. Now, these could easily be served as full size sandwiches or even bite size mini biscuits for the perfect brunch treat. Any size, they are absolutely delicious.
Begin by whisking together 1/3C mayonnaise, 1tbl chopped basil, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed orange juice + 1tsp orange zest, and 3/4tsp Old Bay seasoning.
Fold in a pound of cooked & chilled fresh shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or smaller for smaller servings), 6 crispy crumbled slices of bacon, and 1/4tsp each of salt and pepper.
Prepare your buns by buttering each side and sliding them under the broiler or onto the grill until the edges begin to brown.
Spoon some of your shrimp mixture onto one half and top with fresh basil leaves and garden fresh tomatoes before capping with your top piece of warm buttered bread. OMG.😃
Adapted From: Southern Living
These tacos can be made with a variety of fish and with a variety of different seasonings. This is how I make our white fish tacos (and will share my red snapper seasoning in another post).
These are made with tilapia. I season the loins with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and dried parsley. Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat until the oil begins to ripple. Cook the fish for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel lined plate.
I serve these with my 234 sauce (2tbl mayo, 3tbl Greek yogurt, & 4tbl Franks hot sauce) and pico (recipe on blog). As a side I like either my Best Black Beans, Mexican Corn Salad, or Mexican Street Corn (all on blog).
Warm raw corn tortillas (Tortilla Land are awesome) and serve immediately. So, so good.
This is not an over statement – it really is the best Mac I’ve ever had, and my friends and family would agree. It’s a bit tedious, but WELL worth the effort!
Begin by shredding 8oz of gruyere, 10oz of white cheddar, and 10oz of yellow cheddar.
Now warm 3.5 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of heavy cream together over medium heat in a saucepan.
In a large saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter bubbles, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk for about a minute until it combines and thickens.
Slowly add in your warm milk/cream mixture whisking continuously until sauce thickens and bubbles.
Remove from heat and add 2tsp salt, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, & 1/4tsp black pepper.
Stir in grated cheeses.
Now add 2lbs cooked elbow macaroni.
Prepare 6 slices good white bread, crust removed and ripped into 1/2inch size pieces. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of melted butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Cover your pot of macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until top begins to brown. Enjoy!😋
Adapted from: Eat Drink Smile
With yesterday’s harvest of 15 banana peppers and 18 jalapeños, we felt compelled to try something new.
We took a small batch of 5 banana peppers and hollowed out the seeds and membranes.
Slice them lengthwise almost all the way down one side.
Combine 4oz of cream cheese and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Then add: 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4tsp basil, 1/4tsp oregano, 1/2tsp salt, pinch of pepper, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup parmesan. Fill each pepper with mixture.
We capped the ends with foil and put them on the grill until they blackened on the bottoms and began to brown on top.
These were really tasty, however, we love spicy food, so next time we make them we will either use spicy cheese or leave some of the seeds inside!
Adapted from: Cooking a la Mel
With our abundance of beautiful zucchini from our garden, I decided to give this recipe a try. It exceeded my expectations, and was quick and easy to prepare.
After slicing up 2 huge zucchinis, I combined 1 cup of Panko, 1/2 cup of parmesan, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and salt/pepper. In small batches I dredged my fries through flour, then beaten egg, and then my Panko mixture.
Place a cooling rack (or 2) on top of your baking sheet and coat thoroughly with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the fries begin to turn golden brown. Enjoy this delicious guilt free snack plain or pair it with aioli, marinara, or ranch dressing.
Adapted from: Damn Delicious
With a million jalapeños from our garden and a cheat day/Father’s Day upon us, what better way to use some of our fresh produce than load them up with cheese. These were a bit labor intensive, but worth it.
I used 12 jalapeños and halved them, removing the seeds and membranes.
Combine 1 cup shredded cheddar, 8oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Use a dinner knife and spread each half with as much as it will hold.
Cut 12 strips of bacon in half and wrap each jalapeño, placing a toothpick in each to hold the bacon in place.
Grill with the cheese side down for 6-8 minutes and then flip and grill until the bacon blackens.
Try not to eat the entire batch!
Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction
Tip of the day: Eggplant is another veggie that many folks seem to avoid. The most common complaint is that they taste bitter. Well, the simple secret to bringing out their wonderful flavor without a trace of bitterness is salt. Peel and slice your eggplant. Arrange a layer of slices in the bottom of your colander and salt HEAVILY on both sides. Now stack the remaining slices on top of each other ~ now you only need to heavily salt the top (see what I did there?!). Let those beauties sit in the colander in their salt rub for a good 30-45 minutes. Now rinse well, dry, and they are ready for your grill, oven or pan.🍆🍆🍆
Aside from eggplant lasagna, eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite dishes. It’s a bit labor intensive, but so worth it!! Once you have prepared your eggplant slices, coat each in beaten egg then Italian style breadcrumbs. I place 4-5 slices at a time in EVOO warmed to a medium heat. They take about 3 minutes per side depending on thickness. Once all of the slices have been lightly fried and placed on a paper towel lined plate, prepare your marinara as follows:
This is how golden I like mine. (I have a freezer meal business and this is a top seller. This pic is from a meal prep.)
One pot of homemade marinara (or you can use a store bought jar if you like) plus 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce.
Layer your eggplant in a baking dish, top with marinara, then mozzarella and parmesan. Repeat.
Finish with a healthy amount of cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!
Adapted from: EatingWellSpendingLess
Need another vegetarian option that is packed full of flavor plus fiber and protein? This was another dinner my husband was initially skeptical about, but is now one of his favorites.☺️
Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas:
Heat a tablespoon of EVOO over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Toss in one small diced onion, 3 minced cloves of garlic, and one seeded diced jalapeño (or you can leave in the seeds for added heat). Cook for 2-3 minutes.
2.5 cups of cubed butternut squash
1 can undrained Rotel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Cover and cook over medium/low for 30 minutes until squash is tender, but not mushy.
Pour about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce (I use the homemade version I’ve shared recently) into the bottom of a large baking dish. Fill warmed fresh flour tortillas (I love Tortilla Land found in the refrigerated section of Walmart) with a generous helping of your mixture. Roll and place seam down in your prepared baking dish. Top with more enchilada sauce and a generous amount of Mexican blend shredded cheese. Cover with foil and warm for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. We top ours with plain Greek yogurt, avocado, and Sriracha. Sooooo good!!!!
We LOVE eggplant at my house. One of my 2 year old’s favorite things besides Eggplant Parmesan is my Eggplant Lasagna. This low carb meal can be served meatless or with the ground meat of your choice. Essentially the eggplant replaces the pasta, and the flavor goes through the roof!!The easiest way to slice the eggplant is with a mandolin, and I use the largest setting (1/4 inch). (Peel them first!)
Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté salted eggplant slices for a couple of minutes on each side until they soften. I only do a couple at a time and then place on a paper towel lined plate. Once you finish sautéing all of your eggplant, prepare the sauce of your choice. Construct just like lasagna:
Eggplant Slices ~ Ricotta ~ Sauce ~ Mozzarella ~ Shredded Parmesan ~ Repeat
Finish with a layer of eggplant topped with cheese.😋
Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about an hour until browned and bubbly.☺️
We grow lots of eggplants. Most of the veggies we use come from our garden during the summer months including the eggplants I use in my freezer meals. So much fun!
Look how beautifully the eggplant slices replace boring ole lasagna noodles.
Fresh from the oven. It’s impossible not to have seconds. 🍆🍆🍆