“No Cook” Tomato and Basil Pasta Toss

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Bring me your battered, your broken, your bruised…tomatoes and I will show you how to have a star on your table!

This no-cook sauce will become a regular in your kitchen repertoire every summer and fall. As soon as the tomatoes ripen this sauce should always be on your counter. The leftovers make a great pizza!

Click here for the recipe. Below you can see a step by step way to turn “almost bad” tomatoes into a “so good” dinner.

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Core them and gently squeeze the tomatoes into a bowl.

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20120929-083448.jpgStrain the discarded tomato pieces into a large bowl.

20120929-084416.jpgChop tomatoes and add to bowl.

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Smash a few (2-3) garlic cloves to remove the skin. We are big fans of garlic so I smash a bunch (5-6).

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20120929-085035.jpgChop it but don’t concern yourself with even pieces…part of the beauty of this dish is the lack of perfection!

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20120929-085434.jpgChop some fresh basil leaves. I clipped some from my plants outside on my deck.

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20120929-085549.jpgStir in the garlic, basil and olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remember, you can always add but can never take away…use only a little at a time and taste as you go. Don’t worry if the garlic tastes a little sharp…it will meld with the other favors as it sits on your counter.

Please do not refrigerate this sauce…it completely changes the character. If you do not use it for a few days and must refrigerate, let it sit on the counter until it gets back to room temperature. Do this in the morning and let it sit all day stirring occasionally, gently mixing all the ingredients. If you are not home all day…no worries. It’s just fine on it’s own.
When it’s time for dinner, fill a large pot with water and cook the Penne according to package directions. Drain and add to a pasta bowl.

20120929-090239.jpgWith a ladle, gently press down on tomatoes and add 2-4 (depending on how juicy the tomatoes are) scoops to the macaroni.

20120929-090530.jpgAdd most of the cheese and toss gently.

20120929-090608.jpgAssemble into individual bowls, first a serving of Penne, a scoop or two of the tomatoes and a little more Fontinella cheese.

Have a yummy day!

No Cook Tomato And Basil Sauce

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No Cook Tomato And Basil Sauce

Servings: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 8 hours or overnight
Categories: Pasta, Sauce & Salsa
Source: JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients

• 6 Ripe Tomatoes
• 3-4 Stems Basil (20-30 leaves)
• 4-6 Cloves Garlic
• ⅓ Cup Herb Infused EVOO
• Coarse Salt
• Fresh Cracked Pepper

• 1 Pound Penne
• 1 Wedge Fontinella Cheese (about 6-8 oz)

Directions

This is the perfect use of scratch and dent tomatoes at the market. I paid $2 for 8 tomatoes.

Core tomatoes and trim any bruises. In a bowl hold the tomato in hour hand with the cut side down. Gently squeeze seeds out and remove most with your hand. Do not worry about any seeds remaining. Once they are all seeded, chop them into ½ inch cubes. Put them in a medium bowl.

Remove the stems from basil and coarsely chop. Add to bowl. Skin, trim and chop fresh garlic. Garlic adds a sharpness to the sauce so adjust the amount according to taste. Add to bowl.

Add ⅓ cup herb infused extra virgin olive oil, crack pepper to taste and about 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Stir and cover with plastic wrap. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. Stir occasionally being sure to replace plastic wrap for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Grate Fontinella cheese. Set aside about a cup.

In large pot cook Penne pasta according to package directions. Drain well and put in large bowl.

With a ladle, press down gently on sauce and scoop 2-3 ladles full of liquid and add to pasta bowl. It is ok for a few chunks of tomato to get in, as well. Add cheese Stir gently.

To assemble: scoop pasta into individual bowls. Add a few spoons of tomatoes and some cheese.

Use any remaining sauce as a topping for a pizza.

Have a yummy day!

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from http://therecipeboxapp.com

It’s Big Anne’s Birthday!

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As you can see from this picture, my mother comes by the name “Big Anne” honestly. Ok, well it may not be so apparent next to my son who is at least a foot taller than her.

She is “Big Anne” because even though she has a small stature she has a very big reach.

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 When we were kids all she had to do was look at us and we would straighten up. The pool was in our backyard and my cousins towered over her but just one crack of the window and we would all freeze frame on the pool deck.

Here are my top 10 nuggets from my mom:

10. Thanks for making me spell the word A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E. when I was a kid. As it turns out, a good one is nearly all you need to live a good life.

9. You were right about not fighting with my sister and pulling all her long straight hair out when we were kids because she ended up being my best friend.

8. Homemade birthday cakes really are better. Thanks for that!

7. You will always be my Miss America to me. I remember watching the pageant every year and being envious of their long legs and their long hair and before she would kiss me good night she would give me that affirmation…a very sweet memory. We also got to meet several of them and go to dinner with them because somehow my father booked their first public appearance at his car dealership for the new car introduction. Amazing when I think back…

6. Treating your mother-in-law well is just another way to show your husband you love him. Thank you for modeling that for me.

5. I’m no better than anyone else. BUT, no one is better than me. Wow…I just love that one…

4. You want to do it, then do it. She was way before Nike’s time!

3. Think about how long you think something will take and double it. God I wish I paid attention to that one more…

2. Friends may come and go but family is forever.

1. Faith, family and food…and if you can have all three at the same time you are triply blest.

20120926-131632.jpgHappy birthday to my most wonderful mother!

Have a yummy day!

A Garbage Plate? Ick! Or Is It?

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Folks under 35 years of age or from Rochester NY look at me funny when I say I have never heard of a garbage plate.

So this guy named Jimmy V (I thought he was a late great basketball coach but apparently there is another one) reached out to me on Twitter then sent me a package filled with “Plate Sauce” I decided to at least try the stuff.

Here is a link Rochester Plate Sauce.

I am seasoning a pork loin roast, putting it in the crockpot and covering it with a packet of plate sauce.

It says it’s hot but by Buffalo standards just has a nice kick to it. I’ll let you know later how it comes out.

Who doesn’t love coming home to cooked food? Short of a power failure it should be a good dinner.

Have a yummy day!

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Cerebral Palsy: We Fear What We Don’t Know

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Two days after my son Tommy was born we learned he had a serious congenital heart defect. Prior to his diagnosis he had what a young British intern described to my husband as “a bit of a fit.” It was his first seizure and what could have been called a stroke in an adult.

We believe that was his traumatic brain injury that caused his cerebral palsy.

Did you know that cerebral palsy is NOT a disease? You can’t catch it.

What is cerebral palsy (CP)? Cerebral palsy, also referred to as CP, is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development; before, during, or shortly after birth; or during infancy. Thus, these disorders are not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. Instead, faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain disrupt the brain’s ability to adequately control movement and posture.

“Cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” to muscle weakness/poor control. Cerebral palsy itself is not progressive (i.e. brain damage does not get worse); however, secondary conditions, such as muscle spasticity, can develop which may get better over time, get worse, or remain the same. Cerebral palsy is not communicable. It is not a disease and should not be referred to as such. Although cerebral palsy is not “curable” in the accepted sense, training and therapy can help improve function.

Tommy didn’t progress physically like other kids but since he was my first child and had such a rough beginning we just thought he was delayed. When he was 14 months old, even after we brought him back to Philadelphia for his one year follow-up at CHOP and his heart got a “looking good” by his cardiologist, he had a massive seizure. Once he was stabilized he was brought to Buffalo Women’s and Children’s Hospital he was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and spastic diplegia.

Did I know spastic diplegia was a form of cerebral palsy? Nope, I did not. Did I know what CP was? Apparently nope, I did not know about that, either. We told our parents and tried hard to explain it to them, too. When it was time to tell my grandmother my mother suggested I actually use the term spastic diplegia rather than CP because she would be afraid of the term CP.

Can cerebral palsy be treated? “Management” is a better word than “treatment.” Management consists of helping the child achieve maximum potential in growth and development. This should be started as early as possible with identification of the very young child who may have a developmental brain disorder. A management program can then be started promptly wherein programs, physicians, therapists, educators, nurses, social workers, and other professionals assist the family as well as the child. Certain medications, surgery, and braces may be used to improve nerve and muscle coordination and prevent or minimize dysfunction.

As individuals mature, they may require support services such as personal assistance services, continuing therapy, educational and vocational training, independent living services, counseling, transportation, recreation/leisure programs, and employment opportunities, all essential to the developing adult. People with cerebral palsy can go to school, have jobs, get married, raise families, and live in homes of their own. Most of all people with cerebral palsy need the opportunity for independence and full inclusion in our society.

We are often afraid of what we don’t know.

Tonight I am attending Niagara Cerebral Palsy‘s Annual Awards Gala. Since Tommy’s death my husband and I sponsor an award given to someone at Niagara Children ETC who lives the mission and shares it with all the students. it is my annual opportunity to thank them for the profound impact the school had on our family and on all of those they serve.

NCP is just another example of why my glass is half full!

Have a yummy and inspired day!

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Peaches With 18 Year Balsamic and Mascarpone

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20120916-143840.jpgI just couldn’t wait any longer to crack open my first pint of peaches I canned last week.

I treated myself to a simple dish of peaches, aged balsamic and a dollop of mascarpone.

I really love peaches…I think I’m going to have to can more to get me through the winter.

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Linguini and Littleneck Clams

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20120915-083514.jpgA bag of Littleneck Clams jumped into my shopping basket. The fishmonger put them in a plastic bag so it wouldn’t leak but gave me stern instructions not to close the bag and suffocate them. I appreciated the info but was a little bummed about the image…I try not to meet my food before I eat it. That may be a strange characteristic of a foodie but it works for me!

I know many of you need a recipe when you cook but read this through and get some confidence. You can do this!

Buy a bag of fresh Littleneck Clams, a pound of linguini, a package (jar or tin) of anchovies packed in oil, 2 lemons, a container of vegetable stock, fresh thyme and fresh parsley. You could use fresh garlic but this is a perfect use of the chopped garlic in a jar. No! It is absolutely not cheating! Absolutely not! You also need a bottle of good white wine…some for the pot and some to drink while cooking and eating :o)

Put a pasta pot filled with cold water on high. When the clams are steamed (see below) cook the linguine. Do you know why you should use cold water? Your hot water pipes may have sentiment or other things which can alter the quality of drinking water so always use cold water for cooking, coffee, tea etc..

With a brush, over cold water, scrub each clam vigorously to remove sand. You will never completely eliminate all of it but do this to remove as much as possible.

Remove stems (keep them for the clam pot) from parsley and coarsely chop. Zest one lemon and add it to the chopped parsley. Set aside for plating.

Open the white wine and pour yourself a glass. That’s what we call cooking wine in our house.

Put clams into a pot and pour about a cup of white wine (don’t use a measuring cup, learn to eyeball, it’s about four “glugs” from the bottle). Add about a cup of the stock to the pot along with a handful of fresh thyme. If I were to say what the most critical add in here, I would say its the thyme. It makes a big flavor impact. Dry is ok, too but the fresh looks cool and we want our food to look cool, right? After all, we do eat with our eyes first!

Put a cover on the pot and heat on high until the liquid gets to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and check in 5 minutes to see if they are opening. Once the clams begin to open remove each opened clam with tongs into a big bowl. If there are any unopened clams in the pot once the majority are open, discard them. They are not good and potentially dangerous to eat. Keep the precious liquid in the steam pot for use in the sauce.

In a heavy skillet (my well seasoned cast iron is my pal) heat about 1/4 cup good EVOO on medium high heat. Add anchovies in their oil (I got this great idea from Rachel Ray) and cook until nearly melted into the oil. Add about 4-5 minced garlic cloves or 2 heaping teaspoons of jar garlic and stir for about a minute. Lower heat to medium low.

Set aside about 5-6 clams per serving (technically you should get 4 servings from this but we usually barely feed 3) then remove the clams from the remaining shells and add to pan.

Roll each lemon a few times to release juice, slice in half and squeeze juice into pan over your cupped hand, catching the seeds. Remember, seeds taste bitter so try to avoid them. Add another cup of wine. Raise temperature again to medium high and reduce liquid by about half. Add a tablespoon of butter and melt into the shiny sauce.

Drain pasta and put into a large pasta bowl. If you don’t have a large pasta bowl, no worries, simply put the cooked linguini back into the pasta pot. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons herb infused olive oil and toss. Ladle 2-3 scoop of the clam cooking broth into bowl and toss again to coat.

Heat pasta bowls gently in oven for a minute. Put one ladle of clam broth in bowl. Add pasta then clams from the pan. Sprinkle some parsley and lemon zest on top then add the clams in the shell.

Now read this again. You CAN do this. Give it a try, take a picture and post it on my Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/JudeTheFoodie

Have a yummy day!

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