I’m so glad that I keep up w/the food blog…it’s nice 😉

Anyway, our garden has been exploding w/veggie-goodness over the past few days, and it’s honestly pretty inspiring, food-wise, when you see so many yummy, home grown things coming into the house.

For instance, those beautiful tomatoes and gorgeous basil had me drooling over bruschetta…only we didn’t have any good bread in.  But then, that got me thinking of using my stand mixer to just make some bread, only quickly, bc most bread recipes seem to take hours for rising time.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it’s for French Bread (used for pizzas), and I loved it bc it only took about an hour and a half, start to finish, including rising time.  And, there were like, four ingredients.  Sold!

I forgot to take “before” pictures, so after mixing the ingredients together and then letting the dough rise for an hour, here’s the almost-finished product:

(I was pretty surprised that my dough had actually doubled like it should, bc I normally don’t have the best luck w/dough.  I love the stand mixer!)

Then, I formed the dough into a long sort-of log shape, and set it to bake for 30(ish) minutes:

Tada, bread!

PS- this is soooo good, too!  I couldn’t help cutting a few pieces off while it was still hot, and wow, warm bread and butter?  Really doesn’t get any better, if you ask me!

Later that night, I cut up the tomatoes, ripped up the basil, and we had bruschetta (w/chicken alfredo…bc we’re super-healthy over here!).  The bread was perfect- definitely a recipe I plan to use again and again 🙂

Presented beautifully on the prettiest cookie sheet I could find! 😉

After walking to store after closed store in search of a few things for tonight’s dinner, I decided to scratch this plan and move it to another day.  This cake-thing has turned out to be a headache!  It involved a dash of brandy- and, the liquor store near us used to open at 9, but when we got there, the hours had changed to 11.  (Fantastic).  So, we headed off in search of a special pan, only to find that store was closed on Mondays!

So, on w/a new plan!  Since we have loads of tomatoes, I think I’ll work on something that might use ’em all up…

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I decided to go to Superior Pasta, and get lobster raviolis for dinner.  Yum!  The raviolis are made on location, but then are frozen- still, that seems pretty fresh to me!

Raviolis, all in a row

I love this place- it’s close (right on the edge of the Italian Market- so easy to get to, you totally should go!), and the people that work there are so nice!  Also, the 3-cheese raviolis are amazing, but I decided to branch out and try another kind this time.   The man that was working today said that lobster was their most popular ravioli- I asked bc I was torn between the lobster and the crab.  Hmm, I’m definitely going to work my way through them, bc on my way out, I noticed shrimp & garlic in the case!  Yum!

Anyway, in an effort to use up all the crazy tomatoes we have (I call them ‘crazy’ bc they’re really starting to grow in weird shapes now!  Definitely at the end of the season!), I’m making homemade sauce again.  And, so far, this is probably my favorite batch of sauce- I came up w/a new technique that seems to have made all the difference.  The video I watched initially about making homemade sauce made it seem so easy, as though simply boiling down and squishing the tomatoes would make them small bits- it doesn’t.  One batch I made was actually like eating big chunks of boiled tomatoes- the flavor was right, but the texture was all wrong.  This time, though, I just tossed my tomato-mush into a blender for all of 3 seconds- instant sauce!  I then added about 2 small cans of tomato paste-  our tomatoes were going bad before they were quite red, so I picked them when they were still a bit green/orange, so the “sauce” I made was kinda pale.  The two cans of paste were perfect!  Check it out:

Sauce, right?  And, this time, there’s a lot of it- I think about 2-3 inches in the pot.  We had about 30-40 tomatoes, mostly some teeny-tiny ones, but still- that’s a lot!  I let it stew for about a half hour, while I added in some onions, garlic, basil, oregano, and salt & pepper to taste.  Yum!  I’m really just impressed w/how it looks- it’s real sauce!  🙂  I think I’m extra-impressed bc, when we first got married, I couldn’t make anything- seriously.  I almost freaked out when E asked me to make mac & cheese!  I dreaded each meal time, bc he wanted me to cook!   Oh, how far things have come! 🙂

Anyway, more to come when E gets home- ravioli only takes a few minutes, so no need to cook quite yet!

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Adding some bruschetta to the mix:

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Oh, sheesh!  This is the stupidest…I set up my plate last night, all nice w/yummy raviolis, topped w/sauce and parmesan, and w/spinach salad and a piece of bruschetta.  It was all set for a pic, and then I stopped to get a drink, and…started eating and completely forgot to take a picture until I only had nearly eaten the whole meal!  Krikey…

But, it definitely was good! 🙂

Do those even go together?  Whatever- today they do, and I’m sure that they’ll be yummy!

The crabcakes were from “The Book Lover’s Cookbook,” and are really good, and uncomplicated- again, if you would like the recipe, just leave a comment!

Oh, but the BRUSCHETTA…sooo good!  I watched a YouTube video (seriously, this is a great resource!), and it’s really worth the time- this guy is just funny! 🙂  I’m honestly thinking of eating just bruschetta until our tomato plants stop producing- so good!

About to go into the oven...

We also had broccoli and some homegrown carrots- weird mix all around, but it was all good, so you can’t complain!

Why are my carrots yellow?? Oh well...still good!