Totally Amazing Tomatoes – GF, SF, DF, NF, and V of course

Once you’ve had fresh tomatoes from the garden that have been grown with love and tender loving care, then there’s just no comparison to the taste of mass-produced tomatoes that can be found at your go-to grocery store chain. The taste, the flavor, the color and even the texture are different between the home-grown or farmer’s market tomatoes and store-bought tomatoes. Don’t you agree? I adore tomatoes. Really truly. Sun-dried tomatoes are a must-have in my pantry at all times. I cannot run low on sun-dried tomatoes. Speaking of which….have you seen the ingredient list on the back of a sun-dried tomato jar? Brace yourself. Vegetable oil to top the list and too many other crazy things in there that shouldn’t be in there to be honest. So I took matters into my own hands. I bought a dehydrator and set out to dry my own tomatoes! The result?! Incredibly tasty tomato chips if you like crunchy things without preservatives and artificial ingredients. They are absolutely delicious. I’ve also made dehydrated tomatoes and am preserving them in olive oil. They are waiting to be consumed with other Italian delicacies one day soon. This is not a new idea, many people have dehydrated tomatoes, but I’m here to share with you how easy and amazing they really are and urge you to get a dehydrator!  photo 3photo 1

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Dehydrated Tomatoes by Allison

Tools: 

sharp knife

dehydrator

delicious tomatoes from a farmer’s market

cutting board

Method:

Rinse tomatoes, you may also need to de-stem and de-core your tomatoes depending on the variety to prepare them for dehydrating. Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch slices and place on the dehydrator trays. Leave space in-between slices so the warm air can circulate around and between the tomato slices. I dehydrate mine at 55 degrees Celsius for 20-24 hours depending on the variety of tomato I used. You can sprinkle with salt, oregano, basil if you’d like. They are finished when they are dry and leathery. Sometimes I dehydrate them for 24 hours until they are brittle and eat them like chips or crisps. Either way they are delicious! Store in a sealed jar or freeze. Enjoy!

 

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Back-to-school breakfast frittatas!

I love spending 3-4 weeks in the US during the summer holiday. I spend most of my time with family and friends mostly enjoying all my favorite Portland spots for beers, meals and dessert. But Mom and Dad’s house is one of the best “restaurants” in town!

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Thanks to my brother D for fishing and catching some beauties this season, we were able to enjoy a lot of fresh fish on the grill. And thanks to my Dad, and his trusty smoker, we also continuously snacked on smoked steelhead!

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Paired with fresh veggies from my Mom’s garden, we ate like kings and queen this summer!
But the time has come to head back into the classroom and start preparing for the new school year. The summer was refreshing and full of tasty treats, but now we must get back into daily routines.

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After a summer living alarm free, Monday morning is already on the horizon! And that means the alarm will go off and I will grudgingly get up for my morning run. But I won’t have to think about breakfast because I will be prepared with these mini frittatas! They are super easy to make and you can add whatever ingredients you want! I made these with mushroom, garlic, green onion, fresh rosemary and a dollop of goat cheese. My flat smells amazing and now I feel one step ahead of myself… Come on people, it’s time to get prepared! Enjoy

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Mini Frittatas
First, choose your ingredients…
I chose 10 small mushrooms, 1 green onion, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped and a bit of goat cheese.

Second, decide your number of cups…
For 6 egg cups, I used 6 eggs and 1 tablespoon soy milk.

While the ingredients were sautéing, I greased the muffin tins with PAM spray. Then beat the eggs and milk together. Place the ingredients evenly in the desired number of cups and pour the egg mixture to fill cups almost to the top… Leaving a little room for rising!

Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your number of cups and ingredients.
When Mini frittatas are finished baking, let cool for 5-8 minutes then remove from the pan! Eat fright away or freeze them for later…

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It’s Rootbeer Float time!

Summertime is meant for spending time outdoors. I grew up on a street that is above a lake and when I am home visiting my parents during the summer this lake is my oasis.

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It is a short three minute walk down the hill to spend a couple hours floating in the sunshine! But summertime is also about satisfying my sweet tooth! Usually folks enjoy a bowl or cone of ice cream to cool down and satisfy their sweet summer cravings. I usually enjoy sorbet as it is lactose free. I have a sensitivity to dairy and have not eaten real, creamy ice cream in a very long time! But after a random conversation about old fashioned rootbeer I decided I really wanted a rootbeer float! I satisfied my sweet tooth with a cold, Pacific Northwest brewed rootbeer and two scoops of coconut milk ice cream!

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This Oregon rootbeer is made with 100% cane sugar and without high fructose corn syrup and it is gluten free! Combining it with the coconut milk ice cream, I made a gluten free and lactose free treat and it honestly tasted just as good as the real deal!

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This sweet summer treat brought back memories of childhood summers with my siblings… and during this last week in Oregon, I fully intend not only to enjoy a few more “floats” on the lake but also another float with this fancy Oregon rootbeer!

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How to make your own rootbeer float!
1. Put two big scoops of your favorite vanilla flavored ice cream in a tall glass. (If you are a non-dairy or lactose free person use a soy or coconut milk based ice cream!)
2. Pour 1/2 a bottle (or can) of rootbeer over the ice cream and let it fizz! Then pour as much as you want to fill the glass!!
3. Enjoy with a spoon or straw, inside or outside and alone or with people… Just enjoy it!