Bloody Mary Mix with Fresh Tomatoes

September 20, 2015

Yeilds about 4 quarts (or about 16 cups), plus some (so about 10-16 bloody drinks depending on size of glass and how you mix them)


8 lbs of roma tomatoes, quartered (about 8 romas/lb so about 65 romas total)

  • If using heirloom or other, see tomato conversion chart 
  • 3 med globe tomatoes = 1 lb
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes = 1 lb

3 green peppers, chopped

3 carrots, diced

3 celery ribs, diced

1 small onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 bunch of italian parsely leaves, looseley chopped

1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped

3 small or 1 lg banana peppers, chopped (not the canned kind) (optional)


1/4 c sugar

1/2 c lemon juice

1.5 T salt

generous grinds of fresh black pepper to taste

1/5 t hot sauce

1 T worstichire 

1 T Horseraddish


Canning stuff & 4-5 quart jars and lids

2 large stock pots (I doubled this recipe and did all the veggies accept tomatoes in my dutch oven, then 1 batch of tomatoes in the tall duch oven, and two more batches of tomatoes in the regular duch oven. This was the worst…accept the strainer.  You need two because you cook in one, batch in the food processor and strain into the other and you want to keep it hot for canning. It’d be worth borrow ione if you only have one.)

Fine mesh strainer – large and commercial grade (Even though it was two batches, straining this amount of crap through my super fine mesh sieve was the worst thing ever. I will never do this again.)

Food processor


Go easy on yourself and chop all the veggies a day ahead of time and place them in the stock pot in the fridge. Let it come to room temp before putting it on the stovetop. Also go easy on ourself and do this on a Saturday or Sunday where you have a long time to puts and can. 

Place all the chopped vegetables (including tomatoes) in large Dutch oven. Add a splash of water just to get things started and not burn the bottom, cover the pot, and cook until the vegetables are mushy, 30 – 40 minutes. 

–> While you’re waiting, this would be a great time to wash your jars and lids and stuff if you need to

Stir occasionally, breaking up the vegetables with the back of a spoon. When everything is mushy, leave to cool for a few minutes.

–>If you’re going to can, this would be a good time to fillthe pot with your jars, water and turn the heat to high to sterilize for 10 min under a rolling boil.  When done, kill the heat and leave the pot of hot water and all jars in there.

Working in batches, carefully puree the vegetables in a blender/food processor. When each batch is done, press it through a fine sieve, extracting as much liquid as possible. Discard the pulp left behind. Return all the extracted liquid to the pot. 

Add the sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, horseradish and hot sauce. Bring the mix to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.

You can now cool the mix, pour it into a pitcher, chill it and use it right away, or can it in quart jars for long term storage. You can also cool it, pour it into ziptop freezer bags or freezer jars and freeze it for up to six months.


Now that your cans are sterilized, remove the jars and put them on a towel so they’re ready for the recipe. 

Ladle the hot mix into a large measuring jug or gravy separator for easy pouring. Fill each of your warm jars with the hot mix, leaving a ½ inch head space. 

Process the jars for 40 minutes in a boiling water bath. 

 If you have a bit of extra mix, pour it into a refrigerator container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Freeze for 6 months of storage or can for 1 year of storage. 
Adapted From:

Zuchini “Pasta” with Fresh Tomato Sauce

September 6, 2015

Thank God for other people’s gardens. This is good enough to serve to company!  

Serves 3-4 adults


Pasta: 2-3 large zuchinis, spiralized (the equivalent of about 6-8 store zuchinis)

1/2 large onion

3 large tomatoes, fresh, diced & seeded (to get as much of the liquid out as you can)

2 cloves garlic

5 leaves fresh basil, chopped

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 lb italian sausage

Parm to taste


Borrow someone’s spiralizer. 

Spiralize the zuchini and top with salt in layers in a strainer, in a bowl to let the liquid seep out.  Squish it down every so often over the course of a half hour.  

In the meantime, brown the sausage and set aside.  Keep the fat in the pan and brown the onions with some additional butter.  When they’re tranlucent add the garlic and red pepper flakes. 

Add the tomato and simmer for a few minutes with the sausage back in.  

After the zuchini has been sufficiently drained, add that and cook for a few more minutes and add S+P to taste. 

Top with parm and serve. 

Benihana Fried Rice

September 1, 2015

Tastes exactly the same.  Exactly. The. Same. Serve with Shrimp Sauce.

Makes 4 dinner servings


3 cups UNcooked rice, (brown, white, quinoa or a mix of these) cooled to room temperature

4 tablespoons butter (softened)

2 garlic cloves, pasted (use 1 if you want a lighter garlic flavor)

3 eggs, beaten

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed

1⁄2 cup frozen peas, thawed (may omit)

1⁄2 cup frozen carrots, thawed

1 cup onion, diced

1⁄4 cup green onion (optional)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)


The rice and chicken could be pre-cooked the night before.  If you haven’t done this, start cooking the rice and bake the chicken to make things easier on yourself!

Make your garlic and butter compound. Put softened butter in a bowl large enough to allow you to mix the garlic into the butter. Needs to be well blended. Keep the bowl next to the stovetop for when you’re ready.

Scramble the eggs in a frying pan with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Then cut the cooked eggs into small pieces and put aside in a large bowl (that you’ll serve the rice in).

Sautee the onions, carrots, peas for 5 minutes in sesame oil.  When almost cooked, add 1 tablespoon of the garlic butter compound. Leave in pan.

Add 2 tablespoons of garlic butter compound and add the cooked chicken and then rice a handful at a time. Carefully stir everything together and keep adding rice until all the rice is added and well mixed together. At this time add 1 more tablespoons of the garlic butter compound. Cook rice for 5-7 minutes stirring often. 

Add the cooked eggs, stir well carefully. Now add your soy sauce. Mix well to distribute evenly. Add remaining salt and pepper to taste.

If you wish to add the toasted sesame seeds do so now and stir and serve. Since we used sesame oil in the recipe the seeds are optional.

Adapted From:

Mediterranian Veggie Salad

June 27, 2015

Another salad win from our Lutsen trip. 

Use a variety of fresh veggies: briccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, seeded tomatoes, green onions, cooked chickpeas.


1/4 c EVOO

1/4 c red wine or cider vinegar

1 t dried oregano

1 t dried basil

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 t salt

1 t sugar

*Combine up to 1 hour before serving

Can make both ahead, just wait to combine!

Garbage Salad

June 27, 2015

  This is from our cabin weekend at Lutsen! Sooooooooo good.

2-3 c cooked brown rice/quinoa

1 can corn, drained

1 red pepper, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

3/4 c dried cranberries

1 carrot, grated

3 T fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 c sliced almonds

1/4 c sunflower seeds

Dressing: 1/3 c EVOO, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 T lemon juice, 1.5 T soy sauce

Banana Yoghurt Muffins 

June 3, 2015

SO GOOD.  When you have a few ripe bananas and greek plain yoghurt laying around, this is what you should do with it. 

Yield 12 muffins


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, mini or regular


Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a muffin pan with liners. 

Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips to a food processor and process on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity until it is about ¾ full. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for ~10 minutes before removing. 


Healthy Pancakes

May 31, 2015



1 C quick oats

1 t baking powder

1 t cinnamon (optional)

1 T walnuts (optional)

1 t ground flax seed (optional)

1 banana

4 eggs

1/2 c yoghurt

1-2 T milk

1 t vanilla


Place all in a blender in this order (works in the bullet with blender attachment).  There’s your batter!  Works well with chocolate chips :).
Adapted from 

Chickpea Avocado Salad

May 27, 2015

Side dish for 4 people


1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 avocados, pitted, and chopped

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons green onion

1/3 cup feta cheese

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions: throw it all together.  

Mushroom quinoa side

May 10, 2015

GREAT with steak.
1 lb mushrooms, chopped
1 t fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, Rosemary) 

1 T butter 


S + P

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1/3 c shredded parm
Start cooking the quinoa in the rice cooker to package directions.  

Later… Preheat the oven to 500. 

Sauté the mushrooms with the rest of the ingredients accept for the parm and quinoa.  When quinoa and mushrooms are al dente, put them in a baking dish and top them with the parm. Keep it in just long enough for the parm to get a little crispy.  

Roasted cauliflower 

May 10, 2015

2 heads cauliflower 

1/3 c EVOO

10 cloves garlic chopped 

1/2 t red pepper flakes

4 thresh thyme, chopped

4 t salt
Preheat the oven to 400. Put the dressing in a bowl and coat the cauliflower. Put in a single line on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 min.