Sunday, September 16, 2012

Goat Cheese, Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad

This summer, I started growing heirloom tomatoes and basil. My green thumbs did not fail me. I think I will have tomatoes to last me until Winter.

Everyone I know loves Caprese Salad except for my husband who does not like fresh tomatoes!!! Well, more for me I guess LOL.  I decided to make a twist on the regular Caprese Salad. I used goat cheese and added a slice of watermelon for more sweetness. This is an amazing and refreshing salad and very easy to make. You just need the 5 ingredients below.

Caprese Salad for 2:

2 medium size yellow heirloom tomato 
2 medium size red heirloom tomato
1/2 log of goat cheese or crumbled
1 small seedless watermelon
10 pieces of fresh Italian basil
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Wash tomatoes and dry. Slice tomatoes and arrange on the plate. Slice watermelon in square pieces. Slice the goat cheese log and arrange them as shown with the basil. Sprinkle salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar on top of each arrangement. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Home Grown Cherry Tomatoes

This summer, I was brave enough to grow 6 different types of cherry tomatoes - Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, Sweet Red 100, Red Pear, and I forgot the name of the other two!! I also grew 3 types of heirlooms - Mr. Stripey, Black Prince and Cherokee Purple.

I'm blessed with a green thumb and all of these I planted have given me an abundant of harvest! Since I love to cook and I have this food blog, I thought it's just appropriate to include my harvest in the mix and share my other passion - GARDENING!

I used these tomatoes in salads, made pasta sauce and some other dish. I also enjoy them as a snack. Fall season is here now so  I think I will only have a few months to enjoy them before frost comes!

Enjoy the photos!

Pickled Tri-Color Beans, Okra, Green Cherry Tomatoes and Carrots

I love anything pickled! Well, except maybe for pickled pork feet and pickled eggs! One visit at a Farmers Market, I saw and bought some spicy pickled green beans. I fell in love with the crunchiness. After consuming the whole jar of these beans in one seating, I decided to call the vendor and ordered a box! The 10 jars lasted about....well, not very long!

It's been about 3 years since I saw that vendor again. Earlier this year, my husband and I visited Nellie's Crab Shack for lunch in SF. They served his crab sandwich with some pickled vegetables. I remember the okra and carrots. When I took my daughter there a few months ago, I ate more of her pickles!

Okay, now it has come to that point that I need to make my own since I now have a variety of vegetables I can pick freshly from my own garden. My husband bought me a box of pickling mason jars last year because I wanted to pickle some Meyer lemons but I never had the time. I am finally making use of the jars!


1 lb fresh okra
1 lb tri-color beans (yellow, green and purple) or just green
2 large carrots
2 cups green cherry tomatoes
2 large jalapenos
1 1/2 cup Penzys Pickling Spice Mix
5 cups of white vinegar
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup sea salt
3 1 quart mason jar

Wash the mason jars thoroughly with hot water and dry. Cut the tip ends of the okra and beans. Peel the carrots and cut about 3 inches lengthwise.Slice the jalapenos in strips. Boil in a pot the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Shake the pickling spice well inside a zip lock and pour 1/2 cup in each jar. Add about 5 strips of jalapenos in each jar. Divide the carrots, okra, beans and cherry tomatoes and stuff the jars. Pour about 2 cups or more of the hot brine and leave about 1 inch head space from the rim of the jar. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate.With this process, the pickled veggies will be good for 3 months. 

Herb Rubbed Pork Ribs

I've been slacking on blogging the food I've been cooking the past several months! I think the lazy bug stayed a bit too long in my system and got comfortable. Well, it's time to share some of the recipes I've indulged in this summer using some of the herbs and vegetables I planted in my backyard.

Any type of meat will be amazingly delicious with this recipe of fresh  herbs with added spices. My hubby and son loves their meat!  I decided to go with the other white meat - PORK!

Enjoy rubbing!

1 rack slab of pork ribs (about 15-18 ribs)
10 sprigs of fresh oregano
10 sprigs of fresh German thyme
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 tablespoon lemon-black pepper seasoning
3 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoon salt
3 table spoon garlic powder
1/2 cup olive oil

Finely chop all the fresh herbs then combine with the remaining ingredients and mixed well. Rub the mix on the ribs covering front and back. Wrap the rubbed ribs in a saran wrap, roll it and put inside the 2 gallon ziplock or cut in half and put in  1 gallon ziplock. Keep in fridge overnight and grill or broil the next day.  Enjoy with some beer or wine or just simply have it for dinner with rice, noodles and your favorite veggies.