50 Shades of Tomatoes {recipe}

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Curvaceous. Juicy. Bursting. Plump. Tempting. Exotic. Heavenly. Sinful. 50 Shades. No, this isn’t the sexy Hollywood movie. It’s 50 Shades of Tomatoes.

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My organic heirloom tomatoes are show stopping in spectacular shades, shapes and sizes with exotic names like: Black Tula, Principe Borghese, Large Barred Boar, Brandy Wine, Purple Russian, Big Pink and Green Zebra.

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 “Only two things that money can’t buy,  

that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.” Guy Clark


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“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”  – Lewis Grizzard


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 “Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.”


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 “The tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness.”

  -Pablo Neruda


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“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.”

-Laurie Colwin


Nothing screams “Summer!!” like just-picked tomatoes, sun-kissed and dripping with juicy ripeness.  To highlight your mouth-watering garden gems, keep it simple. Start by adding fragrant basil…

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“A man taking basil from a woman will love her always.”

– Sir Thomas Moore 


Add soft, fresh mozzarella cheese…

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Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a thick, rich balsamic glaze.

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Now, how sexy is that?


Caprese Salad

(Shhhh. The secret is the glossy balsamic glaze.) For a more dramatic presentation, vary different shades, colors and shapes of tomatoes.

Serves 8 to 12

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

2 Cups balsamic vinegar

3 ripe heirloom tomatoes, preferably organic

12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thickly sliced

Fresh basil leaves

High-quality olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Make the glaze: Pour balsamic vinegar into saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat.

Cook for about 15 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the balsamic has reduced to a thick (but still pourable) glaze. Cool.

Assemble: Cut tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them on a platter. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Alternate tomato slices with mozzarella slices. Tuck whole basil leaves in between the tomato and cheese slices.

Drizzle olive oil in a thin stream over the top. Drizzle balsamic glaze.

Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper, to taste.

***

Buon Appetito!

Recipe_caprese_salad_seedylawyer

“Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes

What would life be without homegrown tomatoes?

Only two things that money can’t buy

That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.”

– John Denver/Guy Clark

(click on link to sing along to “Homegrown Tomatoes”)

***

Photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Post shared with:  Fiesta Friday, Motivation Monday, Creative Mondays, Mix It Up Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Fridays, Thursday Favorite Things, Link Party Palooza

Do you grow tomatoes? What’s your favorite heirloom tomato?

Dog Days of Summer at the Farmer’s Market

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I like dogs


Big dogs


Little dogs


Fat dogs


Doggy dogs


Old dogs


Puppy dogs


I like dogs


A dog that is barking over the hill


A dog that is dreaming very still


A dog that is running wherever he will


I like dogs.

 ― Margaret Wise Brown

The Friendly Book

August is here and so are the Dog Days of Summer.  The Romans named Diēs caniculārēs or the Dog Days of Summer after Sirius, the “Dog Star” (siriusly!)  The brightest star rose at the same time as the sun. This made the already hot days seem brighter.

During these summer months farmer’s markets are very popular and folks bring along their four-legged friends to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.  I have three pups of my own and as a dog lover, I enjoy seeing all the different breeds strolling around the local markets. There’s such a variety of dogs… some are cute, and others… well, let’s just say they range from cute, cuddly, big, shaggy, leggy, and stocky.

Keep in mind that not everyone is fond of our furry friends.  Some farmers markets have a “no pets allowed” policy. Be sure to check with your market to find out their policy and rules regarding Fido before heading out.

Here are some general rules to keep you out of the doghouse:

  • Check with the market to confirm they allow dogs
  • Keep dog(s) on a short leash at all times
  • Clean up immediately after your dog(s)
  • No barking or jumping… keep dog(s) under control and by your side
  • Keep dog(s) away from food and produce (tails, too!)
  • Dog(s) must be sociable with other dogs and people
  • Keep dog(s) away from vendors and booths
  • Make sure dog(s) stay well-hydrated by bringing a portable bowl

So, hit the market with man’s best friend. Be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your pooch. It’s hot during the Dog Days of Summer!

My rescue lab loves to carry the basket to the farmer's market.

My rescue lab loves to carry the farmer’s market basket.

 

The basket is bigger than my schipperke, Huggy!

The basket is bigger than my schipperke, Huggy!

Live. Love. Bark.

Does your dog go to the market with you?

Share your favorite dog photos on twitter and Instagram  – Tag with #dogdaysofsummer @seedylawyer

“You can say any fool thing to a dog and the dog will just give you this look that says, ‘My GOSH, you’re RIGHT! I NEVER would’ve thought of that!” 

Dave Barry

Photo courtesy of Portik Lorant and Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

 

Very Berry Summer Smoothie

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Hot town, summer in the city

Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty

– Summer in the City, The Lovin’ Spoonful

Cool off from the hot summer in the city with a Very Berry Summer Smoothie.

I started with juicy strawberries and blueberries and blended them with garden herbs, fruit juice, and a few other ingredients.

Chia seeds prolong hydration, are a great source of protein and Omega-3’s. Chia seeds also thicken the smoothie. Mint and cinnamon beat the heat with a cooling effect. Ground flaxseed boosts fiber and is loaded with Omega-3’s.   Ripe avocado adds nutrients and creaminess. Don’t worry, the flavorful fruit will cover up any taste of the spinach. (Your kids will never know that they are drinking their vegetables!)

After getting dirty and gritty from my garden, I cooled down with this refreshing Very Berry Summer Smoothie:BerriliciousSmoothie_Seedylawyer

Very Berry Summer Smoothie

Serves about 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup apple juice or water

1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk

1 tablespoon chia seeds (let seeds soak in liquid in the blender for 5-10 minutes before adding other ingredients)

2 cups fresh spinach or kale, chopped

6 leaves of fresh mint (or any fresh herb)

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon coconut oil

½ of a mango

½ of an avocado

pinch of Cinnamon

1 frozen banana (cut up)

Ice

PREPARATION:

Start by adding the liquid to your blender. Add the chia seeds. Let chia seeds soak in liquid for 5-10 minutes. Blend.

Add greens and herbs. Blend.

Follow with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high for one minute or until the smoothie is well-blended and creamy. Adjust liquid to desired consistency.

Pour into your favorite glass and add a cute straw. Garnish with a strawberry or mint leaf. Voila! 

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Enjoy every lovin’ spoonful of your summer smoothie!  What ingredients do you add to your summer smoothies?

Sharing this recipe with my friends at Fiesta Friday #24!

 

Original photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.