Monday, June 1, 2015

Rain + Heat = Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

One of the benefits of an early summer is a boat load of ripening tomatoes. These "Juliets" are growing in an Earth Box and are very prolific. Last week I used them in the Galettes and charred them first. Several people have asked me how to do that, so I'm sharing a simple salad recipe here. The concept is to cook them briefly in a hot frying pan, which causes the skin to burst & char. Easy, quick, delicious & they're tasty on pizza, pasta or incorporated into other dishes.

Charred Tomato Basil Salad

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, any variety
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
4 cups baby arugula or other soft salad greens
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the sherry vinegar, minced shallot and Dijon mustard. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper and put aside.

Heat a medium cast-iron skillet on the stove until hot. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat, shaking the pan a few times, until the tomatoes are charred and the skins begin to split (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and mix in basil. Add the tomato mixture to the vinaigrette and lightly smash the tomatoes to release some of their juices. Gently toss in a bowl with the salad greens and serve.

Nesting Dove Update:  Now that I've learned that the parents take turns sitting on the eggs, I wasn't spooked when I heard wings fluttering above my head while raking leaves. The nest was unattended for a bit so I climbed up on a ladder to have a look. There, in a neatly built nest of sticks, were two little white eggs. Not wanting to disturb things further, the dog & I went inside. An hour later a bird was on duty. I can't tell if it's Mom or Dad, but they take their parenting responsibilities very seriously.

3 gallon open pickling crock
Hand-painted blue on grey

This is the week of the crocks...big, small, open, covered, wide-mouthed or jug. I've got them all.
Pommery Mustard crock
Tall open crock
Some I bought when we lived in Vermont, others are from NYC. I have over a dozen adorable little Pommery Mustard crocks, with red plastic lids, that look great in groups. The big crocks have been used to make pickles and sauerkraut. The tall open one held a batch of 6' high dried grasses in a corner of our living room. I can only imagine what kind of wine or liquor was carried in the 5 gallon jug from a shop in old Brooklyn.

Wine or liquor jug
Large stoneware mixing bowl
Twenty five years ago I bought this 8 quart mixing bowl so I could bake multiple loaves of bread. This type of Ohio stoneware will last a lifetime and holds lots of good memories. I won't have room for it in a NYC apt. You can see them all when you pick up your order on Friday.

Twelve years ago this week, my loving husband Rea died. It feels like yesterday. Fortunately, he was a good listener because I still talk to him every day. Thanks for listening & guiding me still. xoxo 

These last two months have taught me something. Although I can chew gum & rub my tummy at the same time, I truly cannot continue to plan/bake/package edibles at the same time I need to unpack/clean/dispose of my collected "stuff", without getting exhausted. So this will be my only week of baking in June. I'll spend the rest of the month focused on downsizing, selling off things I won't be moving to NYC & finding the right tenant(s) for my property. I'll keep you posted via this blog. I plan to stay in Bradenton through July so there may be more baked goodies next month.

THIS WEEK'S MENU   Pick-up  Fri  June 5   1-5 pm

A BONNI BAKES all-time favorite, this buttery muffin carries the flavor of fresh lemons throughout and is punctuated by big juicy blueberries that burst in your mouth. YUM!

FRUIT & STREUSEL BARS     $3.50/pkg
An assortment of apricot or lekvar prune filling between the shortbread base & streusel topping, then sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cut into small bars so they're easy to share.

Each cookie has its own personality & unique flavor profile. Some are seductive, using the allure of Belgium chocolate to get your attention. Others invoke memories of childhood or a less complicated time. Find your match amongst Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Walnut Raisin, Snickerdoodle, Pecan Coconut Belgium Milk Chocolate. 

My legendary chocolate delivery system made with melted Belgium bittersweet chocolate throughout, toasted fresh almonds, chocolate chips & very little flour. Sold in packages of 4 because you must have more than one.

When you want something light, crisp and full of flavor, try a bag of these. Each one is rolled out by hand, seeded and broken into unique shards. Perfect with cheese, soup, salad, dips or in a bread basket.

Ever since I tasted David Leader's Cranberry Pecan loaf in Woodstock last February I've wanted to bake something similar. My version is inspired by his, with the addition of coarse rye flour that was milled in Sweden. LIMITED AMOUNT, ONLY 1 PER ORDER

JAM & CHUTNEY      $4/jar 
Made in small batches with locally available fruit, including Keitt mangoes & Meyer lemons from my own pesticide-free trees. ONLY A FEW JARS LEFT! GINGER PEAR CHUTNEY, BERRY BASKET JAM or MANGO PINEAPPLE RUM JAM.

No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives EVER!!


all items in limited supply... first come, first served

PICK UP FRIDAY 1-5 pm at former BONNI BAKES bldg

in the Village of the Arts

   930 12th Street West 


or call me at (941) 746-6647 


 Hugs from my kitchen,


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