Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A time for tomatoes and basil

Well hello there! 

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to write a blog post, and I miss letting everyone in on our family’s silliness and my artistic adventures. I don’t mind saying that you all have kept me busy busy busy getting orders mailed out from our last stamp release, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you!!! With the kids home from school, going on a quick trip to the Ozarks, working on the upcoming release (more information on that coming Friday), several summer birthdays and celebrations, starting school and open houses and ah heck, JUST LIFE — it’s been tough for me to keep up.

Blogging isn’t the only area that has been affected by the far-from-lazy summer. I am sad to admit this. It’s embarrassing, really. And it’s a downright bummer for the foodie and pleasure-seeker in me. But I have not made my summer go-to dish of tomatoes & basil a single time this summer. NOT ONCE!!

There was a time, like, say every single summer before this, when tomatoes and basil were consumed 1-2 times a week, in some configuration or other. I’d buy tomatoes at the farmers market, or get them from my sweet neighbors and friends who had abundant crops. I would resort to good Italian canned ones if fresh weren’t handy. I grow basil in pots, along with my other herb obsessions: marjoram, lemon thyme and anything else I can cram into the containers. I’d snip up the herbs with kitchen shears or pull the leaves off by hand, chiffonade it all up with a chef’s knife, or throw the entire sprigs into the dish, but one way or other, tomatoes and basil USUALLY make their way into what I’m cooking all summer long. 

Last summer, I found myself with so many gorgeous heirloom tomatoes (red, orange, yellow, shades of pink and green and everything in between!), I took to photographing my concoctions. This one had fat blobs of fresh goat cheese from Baetje Farms. Check out that juicy yellow-pink number!

I’d add a drizzle of olive oil, and something acidic (whether lemon or lime juice, Balsamic or white wine vinegar), and always big, flaky kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper. Lunch is served!

Girl, you know I added avocado, smoky local bacon, and blue cheese to this one! HOW could I have let a summer pass without having made this?! I’m shaking my head at myself as I type.


Lulu and I made our own fettucine using the heavy (do not let it drop on your foot) Italian pasta maker I inherited from my Grandmother Dorothy. We simmered a slew of homegrown tomatoes with a whole chopped onion and lots of garlic, a little red wine, and a hunk (or 2... or 3) of butter — it was pure divinity! Lulu asked if she could “style the photo” (she is so my child) and she ran out to the overstuffed pots, picked the herbs, and placed them “just so” for our picture. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of her work!

One afternoon called for tomatoes and basil with gorgonzola, and the pièce de resistance was several nasturtium blossoms and tiny leaves. Whew, they are peppery!

Even scrambled eggs weren’t safe from my tomato-basil rampage. This creation was for dinner, as evidenced by the glass of white wine waiting in the wings.

OK. Just writing this post is seemingly enough to get my rear in gear to correct this problem.

About midway through writing just now I found myself running downstairs and yanking a bunch of purple basil, marjoram, and lemon thyme out of their pots in the garden. I found the lone tomato leftover from last week’s shopping, and, after I publish this very post, I am going to EAT IT ALL UP. The time for tomatoes and basil is nigh! 

Hope you are enjoying your last days of the warm summer, with tomatoes and herbs, the bounty of your farmers markets, or maybe you’re making cards with the Farmers Market stamp set (did you notice them tucked into the group of fresh veggies? I even DRAW tomatoes and basil!). Have a lovely, lovely day, and don’t forget to pop back over on Friday to read news about my upcoming release, find out who we’ve chosen as our latest Power Peep of the Week, PLUS who wins a free Power Poppy stamp set! Bye bye!


Julie Koerber said...

Okay, I am officially hungry! I think you and I would jive in the kitchen. I LOVE TOMATOES! My "go to" sandwich is grilled tomatoes on a whole grain English muffin that's been sprinkled with honey balsamic and fresh Parmesan. SO GOOD! :-)

CherylQuilts said...

LOL, I agree with Julie!! Wow, what gorgeous photos and yummy dishes of fresh delight!! I LOVE tomatoes too, and having grown up in New Jersey, I still remember the beefsteak tomatoes, like no where else in the world!! Big, red, juicy and delicious!! Yum! Thanks for sharing your delicious dishes and the fun you all had! Hugs!

ChristineCreations said...

I just made my first batch of pesto yesterday....I have so much basil I could make a whole lot more. And my tomatoes are going crazy too :) So I’ll have to throw some goodies like this together! Enjoy lunch...and lots of other meals lady!

Crestajune said...

Our tomato plants are out of control, and the basil is almost as bad! We are enjoying tomato/basil concoctions nearly every day. It is wonderful! I love your photos, your blog, your stamps! I just discovered you yesterday, and I am SO glad I did! I will be placing an order this week! =)

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so delicious :)

Allison Cope said...

Oh my Marcy... this is drool city here after reading all your tomato & basil adventures! Yum! I sure hope you enjoyed your last one. Makes me want to grow some herbs in my own garden. Hope you're having a great summer!

Katie Sims said...

OHmygosh.....I LOVE fresh tomatoes and herbs!! I could totally scarf up a plate of that anytime and fresh goat cheese? just doesn't get any better!! Great, now I'm hungry! Love this beautifully photographed and "styled" post! Way to go, LuLu! :)