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
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
We have picked approximately 2 million jalapeños from our garden this year so I love trying different ways of preserving them. This recipe only takes about 25 minutes for a jar that can last for weeks.
Begin with about 15 large jalapeños sliced with the stems cut off.
Combine 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 garlic cloves (slightly smashed), 4 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil and add in your jalapeños.
Remove promptly from heat and press all of your slices down into the mixture. You will begin to see the jalapeños turn color.
After 15 minutes transfer the jalapeños to a jar using tongs and pour the remaining liquid over the top. Let cool completely before putting the lid on. So good!!💃🏻
Adapted from: Simply Scratch
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
Another summer staple is the almighty dill pickle. Nothing completes the sandwich and chips trio more perfectly. Well, with the insane amount of cucumbers we have growing, I knew I wanted to not only have cucumber water in the fridge daily, but also plenty of pickles! They could not be any easier to make.
I used 3 of our garden fresh cukes about this size.
Chop off the tops and bottoms, and slice the haves into spears.
Bring 3.5 cups of water and 1.25 cups of white vinegar to a boil. Then add 1 tablespoon of sea salt and remove it from the heat. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, chop up a small container of fresh dill and put it in the bottom of a large mason jar. Cram as many cucumber spears as will fit on top of the dill. Drop a teaspoon of minced garlic on top and a handful of black peppercorns. Then pour the cooled mixture in. Once you screw your top on, give it a good shake and put them into the fridge. So Good.👍🏼
Adapted From: My Frugal Adventures
I LOVE banana peppers on sandwiches and salads. They add a little heat and a ton of flavor….however (for me), only if they are pickled. Our garden is kicking off some serious banana peppers already, so I couldn’t waste time preserving these beauties as more are ripening right behind them!
These were literally all picked within the last 3 days.
I cut the tops off, ran my knife around the inside to seed and devein, then sliced away.
After transferring the peppers to a mason jar and topping with about a teaspoon of minced garlic, I combined 3 cups white vinegar, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar and whisked over medium heat until the salt and sugar dissolved. Let it cool completely, then pour mixture into your mason jar.
Refrigerate for at least 24 hours ~ these puppies just get better with age.😋
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!!!!