Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tomato Soup, enameled dutch oven

 Who doesn't love Tomato soup?  Well, I have a fab recipe for you.  Pictured here is my new cast iron enameled skillet.  I got this beauty at Costco and spent about 1/5 of what you would spend at any other store.  It's my favorite new toy!  I have made this soup twice and it's easy, yummy and slightly addicting.  Here's what you need:

2  (28 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
1  (14.5 ounce) can of chicken broth
3 TBSP of unsalted butter
1 onion chopped
1 bay leaf
2 TSP brown Sugar
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1/2 TSP baking soda
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

*drain tomatoes in a colander set over a large bowl, pressing to release juices.  Transfer tomato juice and broth to large measuring cup (should measure 4 cups or more); reserve.
*Melt butter in dutch oven over med heat.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 min.  Add 2/3 of drained tomatoes, bay leave and brown sugar and cook, sirring occasionally until tomatoes begin to brown, about 15 min.
*Add tomato paste and flour to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until paste begins to darken about 2 min.  Stir in tomato juice and broth mixture, remaining tomatoes, baking soda and 1/2 TSP of salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly about 5 minutes, remove from heat
*Discard bay leaf and puree soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.  Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper.  I also like to add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper for an extra kick. 

Try this NOW, you will be hooked!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

When life gives you Lemons....

  MAKE LEMONADE!  I love lemons and wish I had my own tree.  Luckily, my mom-in-law has a lemon connection and hooks me up with the most beautiful lemons.  Obviously lemons are only in season for so long.  Here's the secret:  juice them, pour the juice in ice cube trays, freeze the lemon juice cubes then put the cubes in large ziplocs in the freezer!  You will have fresh lemon juice ALL YEAR!  I also zested about 1/3 cup of the lemon zest and put in a snack bag and froze that as well.  Here's some pics for your enjoyment.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Jimmy and I are planning out our garden.  We decided to rip out all of the bushes on the back wall and to plant a garden.  I planted some seeds today in hopes that they sprout and I can eventually plant them in the garden.  The seeds I planted are:  Tomato, wax beans, cucumber, radishes, pansies and four o'clocks.  I went to home depot today (see picture above) and got some husky cherry tomato plants and a couple zucchini plants.  I also have  basil in a container on the patio.  I want to plan another jalopeno but couldn't find any at home depot.  I may just buy a jalopeno at the grocery store, remove and dry the seeds and try to start a plant from the seeds.  We are going to shade the garden so that when it's blazing out, the plants don't cook out there. 
We have 2 rose trees in containers, 1 in the front by the door and 1 on the back patio.  A few weeks ago I pruned them up significantly.  Now, there are an insane amount of buds.  I can't wait for them to start blooming. 

Stay tuned for the next post:  Homemade Tomato Soup

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Family baseball day

Yes, we are out in front of my home where the sweet LA Dodger's flag is flying high!  This was before the game

Our seats were literally where I was sitting takng this pic and yes, Matt likes Mustard on his dog!

View of the field from our Seats.  They were THE best- in the shade behind home plate.

There we are.  Enjoyed the game but we left in the 5 inning because the Dodgers were losing 14-3 and we had enough!

Took a pic of this in the 4th and you can see the score- 3-12 Royals.  Love the surprise stadium.  The prices are the best, nice people working there, clean, not too crowded and easy to get in and out. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dad and Mel see the Dodgers take on the Padres

The hottest day of the  year so far....  We had incredible seats (see pic- FIRST ROW) and enjoyed the game until the Dodgers threw 5 runs away in the 5th inning.  Here's some pics.  We are so happy that dad and Hahn are visiting.  We are going to a casino tomorrow, another game on Saturday and in between Hahn is going to teach me how to make egg rolls.  We went to the Pacific Seafood buffett tonight and it was so good!  More pics to come. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FAN atic!

You may or may not know this but I am a Los Angeles Dodger Fan and I have been since before I was born.  I have many fond memories of being taken to Dodger Stadium with my brother and dad when I lived in socal.  So naturally when I saw earrings I HAD TO HAVE THEM!  Yep.....  Personalized Jersey, check-  Hat, check- bracelet, check- EarringS, CHECK!  We saw the Dodgers vs. Colarado and before heading to talking stick we went to Camelback ranch to go to the team shop to pick up some gifts and of course these sweet earrings.  The first pic above is the new skipper of the Dodgers, Don Mattingly. 

With my Dad and step mom coming to town, we are most definitely gonna see some sweet spring training.  More pics to come!