Tag Archives: pineapple

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

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My little garden is a well planned garden.  It’s a lot of work but it’s completely worth it.  In comparison to other people’s gardens, my garden is small, efficient and in my opinion, for its size, it kicks some serious butt.  By the time spring rolls around, I know exactly what is getting planted and where.  What’s even worse is that I am extremely picky about the tomato plants that I grow every year.  If you don’t believe me, just ask Bruce.  I have limited space so I have to choose my plants wisely.  I make a list and I stick to it.  When it comes to tomatoes, I like a variety of shapes, colors and flavors.  This year I chose Green Zebra, Early Girl, Pineapple, Sun Gold, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Sweet 100, Lemon Boy, Japanese Black Trifele, Mortgage Lifter, Caspian Pink and Moskovich.  That’s my list and I’m sticking to it.  Until today…

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I prefer to do my gardening early in the cool hours in the morning.  I hand water my plants everyday and inspect every one for pests or other possible plant problems.  Everything that I grow is organic and free from pesticides or sprays.  Sometimes, the veggies that I grow are not as pretty as store bought but I don’t care.  Pretty is not everything.  What’s important is that what I grow in my garden is safe for my family to eat.

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My tomatoes are ripening and I just realized that have an alien specie in my garden.  The tomato that you see is not what I intended to plant.  This little unripe tomato completely threw my well planned orderly universe on it’s side.  This tomato was supposed to be a Green Zebra.  Green Zebras are my son’s favorite.  That is why I planted two plants.  This is no Green Zebra and frankly, I was a bit miffed.  Either someone switched tags at the nursery where I bought it or the seeds were switched at birth.    Fortunately I have a backup.  As for the alien specie, it took me about an hour of internet time to figure this one out.  This tomato is called Stupice.  Yes, Stupice.  Go figure.

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One of my favorite ways to prepare tomatoes from my garden is to oven roast them.  It’s easy to do, they taste freakingly amazing and once they are roasted, they are so versatile.  Just toss them in your favorite pasta dish or blend them up for a delicious sauce.  They also taste great on pizza, in soup or even in scrambled eggs.  The possibilities are endless!

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Just toss the tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper.

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And roast them…  Roasted tomatoes are seriously delicious.  As for the Stupice tomatoes,  I don’t know why I was having such an issue… Stupice have a wonderful sweet and tart tomato flavor.  It’s highly likely that Stupice will find a place in our little garden next year and possibly in the many years to come.

Ingredients:

  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half or into large chunks and remove the tops.  If the tomatoes are small, then there’s no need to slice them. Gently squeeze out some of the seeds.  Toss lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper.  Arrange tomatoes in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet (for easy cleanup).  Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the size or variety of tomatoes.  Cook until the tomatoes start to shrivel and get a bit of color or until your liking.  Remove from oven, let cool and toss in the refrigerator.  Use within a few days.  Can be frozen for later use.  Note: if you don’t like the skins on the tomatoes, just pull the skins off after cooking.  They pop off pretty easily.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Over 25 years ago I created a quick bread called Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  I posted the bread recipe on my website about a year ago and it was a real hit.  Since limes are some of my favorite citrus fruits, I naturally thought it would be a great idea to substitute the lemon flavor with the lime.

With zucchinis growing like crazy in my little garden, I thought I would give my new quick bread idea a try…  I grabbed my garden basket, a sharp knife and my camera and headed out to the garden.  While picking my zucchinis I had to stop and check out the other plants in the vicinity.

Fresh picked zucchini.

Grape leaf.  I just love the shape, color and its jagged edges.

Some of the first tomatoes of the year.  These are the Sun Gold variety.  Whenever I weed or water my garden I stop by and pop a few of these juicy tomatoes in my mouth.  I also like to pick a handful for my lunch or for a snack while I am working at my desk.

Part of my little garden.  I try to utilize as much space as possible.  Lemon cucumbers share the same pot as edible nasturtiums.  Winter squash, yellow zucchini and green zucchini share a small 3 by 8 foot planting strip.  There’s even mammoth sunflowers growing behind them in the strip.  No space in my little garden goes underutilized.  Plants have to learn to share space if they want to exist in my garden.  I make it a point rotate my crops from year to year to ensure good soil health.  Rotating crops means I will not put plants in the same place as they were planted last year.  Zucchini squash might get planted where tomatoes used to reside the prior year and vice versa.

Fresh home grown zucchini ready to be picked.  Later on that afternoon this zucchini ended up in my Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  Adding the fresh squeezed lime juice, brightly flavored lime zest and sweet crushed pineapple makes a delicious loaf of zucchini bread.  It’s light, moist and perfect for a quick breakfast or with a cup of coffee on break.

To prove that my recipe was a keeper, I had to test my new bread recipe on Bruce without telling him what was in it…  First of all, the man claims to hate zucchini.  He would not try it in a million years if I told him that there was zucchini in it.  Unknown to him, I slip zucchini in many of the dishes that I prepare for him.  Okay… I guess what he does not know won’t hurt him.  I look at it this way.  I’m doing him a huge favor.  He’s eating his veggies without really knowing it.

After I pulled the loaves out of the oven and let them cool, I walked downstairs with a huge grin and popped a piece of the Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread in his mouth as he relaxed on the couch.  He looked back at me and told me that it tasted good.  I then happily confessed to him that there was zucchini in it… Makes 2 fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained well
  • 2 cups zucchini grated
  • 1 Tbs lime zest
  • 1 Tbs lime juice

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, pineapple, zucchini, lime juice and lime zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Slice and serve!

Lemon Pineapple White Chocolate Cookies

Lemon Pineapple White Chocolate Cookies

Bruce and I spent the last two days up in Eugene at the Prefontaine Classic track meet at the University of Oregon.  The Prefontaine Classic draws the many of the best track and field athletes from all over the world.  What’s even better than attending a world class event is that I had the opportunity to visit my son since he is a student at the university.  Fortunately, in a few short weeks he will be home for part of the summer.  I have one last chance to send him a care package this week before the school years ends.

Eugene, Oregon is also known as “Tracktown, USA”.  Bruce and I attend the Prefontaine Classic nearly every year.

Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa getting ready to run the Men’s 400 meter race.

Women’s Pole Vault

Men’s 100 Meter

Women’s Long Jump

Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States.

Athletes lining up for the final race of the day, the Bowerman Mile.

When Bruce and I got home, I decided to make Lemon Pineapple White Chocolate Cookies for the final care package of the term. My Lemon Pineapple White Chocolate Cookies are made with an interesting combination of fresh lemon zest, tender chunks of dried Philippine pineapple and creamy white chocolate chips.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.  Oh and by the way, Bruce liked the cookies so much that only half of the cookies will make it up to Eugene :).  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup  butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • 1 cup chopped dried Philippine pineapple chunks
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with a silicone liner.  In a medium sized mixing bowl blend together the flour, baking soda and salt.  In a large mixing bowl with a mixer, cream the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon extract and lemon zest.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well.  Fold in the pineapple and white chocolate chips.  Drop the dough using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until done.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.  Store in a tightly covered container.   Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread

It’s summer here in Southern Oregon and in no time I will be dealing with the onslaught of fresh zucchini from my garden.  I learned from mistakes of prior years, and this year I planted only one zucchini plant.  There have been times that I had so much zucchini that I could not even give them away.  One of the things that I like to make with fresh zucchini from my garden is my Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  The fresh lemon zest and the flavor of the crushed pineapple make these little loaves of bread bright with flavor.  Make these and share with your coworkers at the office or for a quick breakfast on your way to work.  Can be frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.  Tessa

Ingredients:

3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2/3 c. canola oil
1 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained well.
2 c. zucchini grated
1 Tbls. lemon zest

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, pineapple, zucchini and lemon zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Makes two fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!