Roasted Tomato Soup

The calendar is telling me that Fall has officially arrived, though (as usual) the Paso Robles weather begs to differ – it’s been in the 80’s and 90’s! Despite the heat, I needed to use up some tomatoes (I’ve picked about 6 pounds from our plants in the past couple weeks) and decided to combine two of my favorite things: roasted tomatoes and soup.

I served this with an awesome grilled cheese made with Bravo Sage Cheddar – it was a classy take on the grilled cheese that surprised me with its mild sage flavor (I was worried the sage would be overwhelming, but it was just right).

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Stuffed Heirloom with Fresh Mozzarella

I love the New York Times. When I was a student at Drew, it was delivered to the dorms (for free!) on weekdays. My favorite Sociology professor used to bring in copies of pertinent articles all the time (his kids read the Opinion section every day…which I am still in awe of). These days, Tim and I have a Sunday subscription, and of course I follow a few of the departments on Twitter.

It may not come as a surprise that my favorite links usually come from @nytimesdining and its unofficial counterpart, @nytimesfood. The Times’s Mark Bittman recently did a wonderful feature on Heirloom tomatoes for the Magazine, and the interactive page with the recipes has been up in my Chrome tabs since. This was the first recipe I made from the selection, and I am eyeing that Salsa Borracha for my next one (salsa with tequila in it? yes please).

This stuffed, baked heirloom has an incredible amount of flavor – I was pleasantly surprised. It bakes up beautifully golden and the heat deepens the flavor and color of the heirloom. Definitely give this a try before summer is over!

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Zucchini Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

I’ve been hearing that summer is over. It seems as though everyone is talking about boots and a chill in the air. Well…it’s been reaching to almost 100 here in Paso this week and the Farmer’s Market is overflowing with various colors and sizes of zucchini. It’s still summer and I’m not giving up on it just yet!

I’ve been in love with the Magda variety of zucchini – they are so pretty and not mushy at all, and they don’t have too many seeds. That’s what I used for this recipe, which I absolutely loved. I made a few swaps to the original: I used buttermilk instead of regular milk, because I just can’t resist a buttermilk biscuit. I also used half barely flour and half all-purpose flour – of course, using 100% all purpose would be just fine.

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Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganata Pasta

Having an herb garden is the most amazing thing. Tim and I did some serious gardening this spring – we have a regular garden with tomatoes, squash, green beans, jalapenos, and potatoes.  We also have this amazing planter that runs along the garage (about 15 feet); it has perfect soil and perfect shading, and it has become my herb and flower garden. We have green onions, two types of basil, parsley, thyme, chives, sage, and even cilantro (which I despise). Every night when I’m making dinner, I get such a thrill out of walking to the back yard to snip what I need.

I’ve been visiting the garden often lately because I’ve been making a lot of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipes. She was on the cover of Bon Appétit a couple months ago, and I made two of the recipes – the Halibut with Mango Avocado Salsa (Thanks, Karen!), and this one, and they were both so great that I bought her new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. What I like about her style is that it’s to the point, simple, and natural. She talks about her kids a lot, which I like, and includes a significant number of vegetarian recipes for a non-vegetarian cookbook…at the same time, my very carnivorous boyfriend found plenty of options, too. I’m sure I’ll be posting more from her!

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Have you heard of using zucchini as a substitute for pasta? I’ve seen it in raw and cleanse recipes here and there but I never thought it would be something I would be interested in. When I found some beautiful zucchini at our local farmer’s market, I wanted to do something a little different from the usual. Combined with some fresh herbs, garlic, parmesan, and some wonderful black pepper fettuccine that we picked up at the LA Farmer’s Market, it was seriously, surprisingly fabulous!

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Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

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I did a guest post for the girls at Lovely at Your Side – all I’m going to say here is that you definitely need to make these mushrooms this summer! They are the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or steak…or let’s be honest, just by them selves. Check out the recipe here: Lovely at Your Side.

Tomato Risotto

I have to tell you: I’ve fallen in love with risotto. It’s versatile and able to incorporate whatever produce I have on hand. It is an elegant dish but just takes a little time and a lot of wooden spoon action. It’s a great way to showcase spring ingredients while still feeling cozy on cool evenings…and while I don’t need an excuse to stand at the stove sipping white wine, this certainly is a romantic way to do it.

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