Creamy tomato soup
There’s nothing better to do with a surplus of homegrown tomatoes than make tomato soup. I can only eat so many of them fresh. This year we have a super abundance of tomatoes. We harvested 25 pounds just in the last week! I will be making this soup a lot this summer. So much so that I decided to buy a food mill to make the straining step easier.
Creamy herb dressing
Creamy herb dressing is a staple in our house. I started out making it as a classic ranch with fresh dill and parsley, but over time have made many variations with different herbs from my garden. My favorite way to eat it is as a dip for fresh celery. Celery has such a fantastic texture and flavor that combines perfectly with this dressing. I love how when I crunch down on the celery the cells burst open and release their watery juices. It reminds me of the way it feels to jump into a pool on a hot summer day. The dressing is also delicious on a salad or heaped onto a fish fillet or chicken thigh and baked.
Tomato basil turkey meatloaf
This meatloaf is many steps above the bland and boring meatloaf we all know and loathe. The combination of almond flour and egg mixed with the ground turkey gives it a cheesy flavor and texture. The tomato-basil topping is downright delicious. I found it challenging to take a pretty photo of it. I hope you’ll trust me that it tastes great! It looks appetizing in person. It is Whole30 and Paleo approved, gluten free, and dairy free. It is very quick and easy to make too.
Chocolate microwave mug cake
I promised this recipe back in January when I posted the recipe for a banana microwave mug cake. Mug cakes come together in just a few minutes, and make one to two servings. They typically cook for just one minute in the microwave. This chocolate version is my favorite and the one I make most often. The mug cake has a surprisingly rich chocolate flavor. The texture is between cake and brownie. I enjoyed it last night in preparation for another Whole30 (my second). This is the last chocolate or sugary dessert I will have for at least 30 days!
Garden tour summer 2017
A few (not all) of our harvests over the last week:
We moved into our house in March 2016. Since then, we have been busy as beavers setting up our space. The 1/3-acre yard came with a 100-square foot garden bed, complete with a blackberry bush and an orange tree. All last summer, we thought it was a lime tree. We ate the green fruits quite a few times, and were disappointed in the poor flavor. Then, late in the year, the flesh inside turned orange. I identified them as Rangpur limes. They still weren’t very good. Around October, the whole fruits turned orange, they became juicy and sweet, and we finally realized they were oranges the whole time! There were hardly any fruits left by that point. Whoops! We’ve also planted a fig tree and a pomegranate tree, and we have room for at least two more fruit trees.
Sweet potato chicken nuggets
This is another fantastic Whole 30 approved recipe. Who doesn’t love chicken nuggets? These are particularly yummy with a hint of sweetness from the sweet potato, perfectly sized for dipping. The nuggets are surprisingly easy to make too.
My go-to fish recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express. The fish fillets are smeared with a paste made from garlic, oregano, olive oil, and lemon juice. Then they're baked for just eight minutes and sprinkled with olives. I make this recipe time and time again because it works with any kind of fish, it’s easy and made with ingredients I always have, and it consistently comes out delicious. This time I used fresh mahi mahi that we got on trip to the Texas gulf coast.
We discovered the slow cooker is by far our favorite way to cook turkey legs. When you do nothing more than add salt and pepper and cook low and slow, the meat ends up so tender you can pull it cleanly off the bone with your fingers. It tastes so delicious we end up with nothing left but a pile of shiny white bones and tendons. There are so many little bones in turkey legs a lot of it usually ends up not getting eaten. Carnivals are always full of people walking around with a carnage-covered turkey bone. The slow cooker totally solves this problem, and the flavor and texture of the turkey soar.
This is an outstanding cake. It is subtly sweet and fluffy. The fresh fruit is dreamy with just a touch of vinegar and sugar to bring out the seasonal flavor. The mascarpone whipped cream filling is to die for. I wrote on my printed copy of the recipe “Best whipped cream ever!” And it really is. The cake comes together easily, even though the instructions look long. Fresh fruit is such an easy and pretty cake topper, assembly is a cinch.
Peach vanilla jam
Texas Hill Country peach season is here! I got giddy with excitement at my first stop at my trusted peach guy’s roadside stand, and ended up with about 60 peaches. I just can’t resist peak season local fruit. I thought it would be a challenge to use them all, but it wasn’t. I used them all and I’m ready for more. Many of them went towards this peach vanilla jam. It is incredibly flavorful and not too sweet, so you really taste the peaches. It’s easy to make too.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.