All this week I'm sharing ideas for using tomatoes in a little celebration I'm calling How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week, and in a minute I'll talk about great salads made from tomatoes. But first, today is Blog Day, a once-a-year event when bloggers of every kind are urged to spotlight new blogs they've discovered. I thought about skipping it this year, since I'm smack in the middle of my tomato celebration, but I love the idea of this day, so I decided I'd just quickly tell you some newish blogs I think are great. In no particular order, six food blogs that have caught my fancy recently are Quick Indian Cooking, Talk of Tomatoes, Tinned Tomatoes, A Wee Bit of Cooking, Briciole, and A Thinking Stomach. (Yes, I know I was only supposed to pick five, but I couldn't decide!) All these blogs are charming and unique, and I hope you'll go visit them and leave a nice comment wishing them a happy blog day!
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Yesterday for How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week, I revisited my time-honored recipe for Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce and then confessed I'd been experimenting a bit with a different tomato sauce recipe this year. I blame it all on Christa from Calendula and Concrete. As soon as I saw her post about the tomato sauce she calls Liquid Summer Sun, and read how she roasted the tomatoes before she made the sauce, I smacked myself in the forehead and said "duh." Nothing concentrates tomato flavor like roasting does, so sauce made from roasted tomatoes would have to be good. Once I'd committed to that step, there was no turning back. Christa used a food mill, so of course, I had to have one.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
(Updated recipe, originally posted August 2006) I first made this type of tomato sauce about ten years ago, when I realized that fresh basil was so easy to grow, and I developed this recipe through trial and error over the years. Since we're celebrating How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week around here, this marinara sauce absolutely had to be included. Making pasta sauce and freezing it is one of the main things I love to do with my fresh tomatoes every year.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:09 AM
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
For years I turned my nose up at the idea of no-cook pasta sauce. I'm not sure why I was so uninterested in sauce of this type, but for some reason I had it in my mind that you needed to cook tomatoes to make a flavorful pasta sauce. Was I ever wrong about that! This sauce ranked right up there with Bacon and Tomato Sandwiches as one of the best tasting things I've made with fresh tomatoes. And since we're celebrating How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week, this is a perfect way to use tomatoes when they're at their peak of flavor, which is precisely what makes sauce like this so fantastic tasting.
Monday, August 27, 2007
This photo of the red and yellow tomatoes is actually a favorite picture I took last year, but it's perfect for now when I'm feeling the same pressure I feel every year around this time, when my garden starts bursting with tomatoes, and the short window to preserve them seems even shorter because I have to go back to work. I have both those kinds of tomatoes again this year, and right now I have to pick tomatoes almost daily to keep up. Recently I missed a couple of days picking, and when I finally picked tomatoes again I had nearly three grocery bags full. So you can see, using the tomatoes is serious business around here.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:12 AM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
This last week I went through the yearly transition of adjusting to back-to-school routines, a change that's always challenging. Even though there are things I love about being a teacher, there's nothing I love more than being home, puttering around the kitchen or garden. For one thing, going back to school means I have to start planning what to eat more than I do in the summer. I don't find it that difficult to plan healthy lunches to take to school, but it does take a lot more thought than standing in front of the fridge, thinking, "Hmmm, what should I eat?" This salad is an example of something I'd make ahead and take for lunch, and it will last well in the fridge for a day or two.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 12:59 PM
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I've previously confessed my intimidation about cooking Indian food, and admitted I'd likely use a product like Patak's Curry Paste if I was making an Indian dish. The folks at Patak's must have heard from other timid cooks like me; they've now published a cookbook designed to help people get more authentic results while using Patak's jarred sauces for some of the dishes. Meena Pathak Celebrates Indian Cooking, was written by the wife of Kirit Pathak, from the family that owns Patak's (they dropped the "h" in the product names.) If you cook authentic Indian food from scratch, you have my complete admiration, but if you like Indian food but don't know much about cooking it like me, you'll agree this is a great book, one I've now added to my ever-growing list of Cookbooks I'm Using. This recipe was adapted from the recipe for Lamb Shakuti on page 69, although you know how I am; after I'd simmered the curry I added some cauliflower, kind of on impulse, but it was a great idea. I served this with the whole wheat couscous I featured yesterday, and it was a delicious meal. If you don't have the Patak's Madras Curry Paste the recipe calls for, use any kind of hot curry paste or powder that appeals to you.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 5:22 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Kalyn's Kitchen Picks is a blog feature where I rave about products that I fall in love with and use a lot in my kitchen. This time I'm talking about whole wheat couscous, something I heard about from my neighbor Nancy, but hadn't ever seen at the store where I shop until recently. For those who don't know, couscous is not a type of grain, but a product made from coarse ground durum wheat and flour, using a unique process. Since products made with whole grains are considered "good carbs" for the South Beach Diet, this whole wheat couscous is perfect for phase two or three.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:33 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I hope you can tell from the photo how delicious this was, because it was one of the best tasting pieces of salmon I ever cooked. There's so much background in how I came up with the recipe, that I'm going to try hard not to ramble too much as I'm explaining it. First, I went to San Francisco, where I got to meet a few of my favorite bloggers and came home with a stash of new ingredients. I always have so many things bubbling around in my brain that I'm wanting to cook, that truthfully, the new ingredients were sitting in a basket on my kitchen counter for the longest time.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:07 AM
Saturday, August 18, 2007
In Utah it's still too hot to cook, but luckily around here the garden is bursting with fresh produce and herbs, inspiring me to create salads like this very colorful one I had for lunch recently. The name of this recipe should be "Yet Another Reason I Love My Garden" and to celebrate garden season, there's a new summer header for Kalyn's Kitchen, designed by my uber-talented brother Rand. A lot of what you see and use on Kalyn's Kitchen wouldn't be possible without the help of Rand and his brilliant partner Bradley, who do so much for me, and I love and appreciate them so much.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:16 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2007
In Utah, temperatures have been hovering around 100 F for weeks now, and cold salad like this is perfect when it's too hot to cook but you want something interesting to eat. This was another recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook, one of my favorite cookbooks that I pull out every summer. Not only is it a simple recipe using canned beans the way I did, but it has so many different fresh herbs that there's something here for everyone. I used all the herbs the recipe listed, but if you don't have them all available, use a bit more of the ones you do have.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:31 AM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tomatoes are starting to ripen around here at a slow but regular pace, and we're rapidly approaching the season when my weekends will be consumed with making slow roasted tomatoes. If you've missed eating tomatoes that have been slowly roasted until they reach caramelized perfection, you may not realize what the fuss is about, but trust me; slow roasted tomatoes are not to be missed! Until I have enough tomatoes to make a batch of slow roasted ones, I'm pacifying my roasted tomato urges by making these quick roasted ones, very different, but still quite nice in their own way.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:32 AM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
We're living in an age when seeing people cooking on television has become commonplace, but in 1963 when a tall young woman named Julia Child started using television to engage America in her love for home cooking, it was a very unique thing indeed. Many people have cooked on TV in the days since Julia, but few have done it since with such style and such a remarkable sense of humor. I started thinking about that sense of humor as I looked through my one-and-only Julia Child cookbook, From Julia Child's Kitchen wondering what recipe I might make for the Julia Child Birthday Event sponsored by Lisa of Champaign Taste. I missed it last year and I didn't want to miss out again! (Edit 8-16: Here is the link to the Roundup of Julia Child recipes on Champaign Taste.)
Saturday, August 11, 2007
The weekend is here, and if you're a steak eater, I'm guessing that's the time you're most likely to throw a steak on the grill when it's summer where you live. I like steak, but truthfully I'm not a huge meat eater, so if I'm cooking beef I'll always prefer to have something to go with it like Chimichurri Sauce or this delicious tomato, radish, and onion salsa called Chimol which I learned about from Tea and Cookies. Tea says she loved this Salvadoran dish, and the minute I saw the recipe on her site I left a comment saying it had just shot to the top of my "must try" list.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
One of the wonderful things about having summer squash in your vegetable garden is that soon you'll have so many you feel perfectly justified in picking them when they're tiny, similar to the baby squash you get in the fanciest of restaurants. If you don't have a garden, or don't have that much of a squash surplus, not to worry; you can still make this recipe with larger squash that are cut in strips. Why is Kalyn roasting squash in the middle of the summer? Roasting concentrates the flavor in vegetables in the most lovely way. I cooked this in my counter-top toaster oven so it didn't heat up the house, but you could cook the squash on the grill if you don't have a toaster oven.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:39 AM
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
It's been a long time since I discovered a new product that rocked my world in the way agave nectar has done, so it seemed like a natural to be featured for Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, where I tell you about products I love. If you've somehow missed me raving about it, agave nectar is a 100% natural sweetener that's low on the glycemic index. It's South Beach Diet friendly, vegan, and reported to be safe for diabetics as well. (Edit 2011: I am told that not all sources agree that this is safe for diabetics; if you're diabetic, I would recommend following the advice of your doctor about this product.)
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:17 AM
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
If you've never tasted Greek Yogurt, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. I'd heard about Greek Yogurt for years, but hadn't seen it for sale in Salt Lake until recently when my friend Georgette informed me she found it at Wild Oats here. Imagine how excited I was when I went to Wild Oats and found three brands of Greek Yogurt. All were good, but of the three my favorite is Fage Total Greek Yogurt (pronounced Fa' Yeh). Normally Greek yogurt has more fat than regular yogurt, but I bought the fat free version of Fage Total Yogurt, and it tastes fantastic.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:01 AM
Sunday, August 05, 2007
This is Weekend Herb Blogging #94, which means in ten more weeks we'll celebrate two years of Weekend Herb Blogging. Even though I can barely believe it's here, I've been thinking about what to do for the two year anniversary. For those who missed it, for the one year event, we asked bloggers to write about their favorite herb, then collected all those posts into a big collection of Favorite Herb Recipes From Around the World. I'm not the only one who's been thinking about the upcoming anniversary. Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once had an idea of asking people to post about their favorite vegetable this year. I like that idea a lot, and what a great collection of vegetable recipes that would be! We have ten weeks to decide how we'll be celebrating, so let me know in the comments if you have thoughts about this.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 5:41 PM
Saturday, August 04, 2007
It's been nearly a month since I gave an update about the garden, and things are really growing around here. This is a slightly diagonal view of my vegetable garden which covers the south end of my backyard. The bushiest plants you see are tomatoes (no idea why some are so bushy and others aren't!) A few of my tomato plants are so big that I'm going to trim off the ends of the branches, leaving 2 or 3 bunches of tomatoes, but removing new flowers and even baby tomatoes farther down the branch. This is a good trick if you have tomatoes that don't seem to be getting ripe. It's a bit painful to cut off those potential tomatoes, but it sends more energy to the bigger tomatoes. (Not sure if this is scientifically verifiable, but it works for me!)
Friday, August 03, 2007
When I arrived home from the Blogher conference, my garden was bursting with tomatoes. I'll try to take some shots of the garden this weekend, but meanwhile it's time to start sharing some of my favorite ways to use that garden produce. I love this time of year when you can start eating things from your garden!
This salad would have to be one of my very favorite ways to eat tomatoes when they're fresh and sun-ripened. It's actually very good made with Roma tomatoes since they have less seeds and the flesh is firm, but you can make it with any type of tomatoes. I learned to make this from my friend Massoud who came to the United States from Iran many years ago, and this combination of salad ingredients is often called simply "salad" there. You might also see it on a restaurant menu called "Shirazi Salad." You can vary the proportions based on your own taste or what you have in the garden, but don't skimp on the mint and parsley.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:42 AM
Thursday, August 02, 2007
|Lamb Souvlaki is the first Greek Food I ever tasted!|
Souvlaki (also called Souvlakia) is the first Greek food I remember ever tasting as a college student, and recently I realized that although I have a recipe for Souvlaki using pork, I'd never made this traditional Greek dish using lamb. Wikipedia defines Souvlaki as "a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables, grilled on a skewer." For this version, I defied tradition by cooking the pieces of marinated lamb directly on the grill.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:57 AM