Harvesting Tomatoes – Garden Update

Harvesting tomatoes was the main reason behind starting a garden. After one plant was stricken with some sort of bacteria, getting to the final stage with one of the tomato plants was a huge personal victory. When harvesting tomatoes, you want to make sure the orb is red/not green. The cherry tomatoes turned more of a purple-ish hue. To pluck them off all you do is lightly twist the sphere and it should pop off without much effort.

Enjoy this week’s video!

Tomato Watch – Weekly Garden Update 7/12

We start this week with a moment of silence for the early girl tomato plant that has been laid to rest. Last week I noticed black spots on the tomatoes and yellowed leaves. I had hoped reading the plant bedtime stories and crushing old antibiotics into the soil would nurse the plant back to life. Alas, neither proved to be a formidable solution against what the Internet tells me was bacterial speck. 

The tomato plant was put to rest tonight at 6PM central time. Visitation will be the remainder of the week. 

Enjoy the rest of the video highlighting the other plants in their efforts to avoid the plague.

Make Trader Joe’s Your Sous Chef

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It’s good to be known for something.

I’m known for a few things: cooking, an insatiable appetite for Mexican food and being funny.

At least that’s what people tell me to my face. I suspect that’s so they get invited to future dinner parties and taco excursions.

Once a month I have board meetings for my alma mater. Sometimes I attend and others I’ll skip the commute into the city and join remotely. I’ve been working later into the night recently (not as a gigolo) and can’t make it downtown in time to fraternize. So tonight in my rear view mirror I got to see a man vigorously drumming with drum sticks on his steering wheel. Once home, I made a quick pasta sauce from scratch to accompany a package of pesto tortellini from Trader Joe’s.

Bachelor Tip: Trader Joe’s and pre-made food can be your friend.

Ravioli or tortellini make really quick dinners. If you’re watching your carb intake, I’m sorry you aren’t blessed with my metabolism. But like all things in life, moderation. Add a salad or some grilled veggies to substitute for eating all the carbs in the pasta.

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This sauce was inspired mostly by America’s Test Kitchen. They have yet to lead me astray in the kitchen. I also implicitly trust a man in a bow-tie.

Quick Marinara Sauce

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 can organic, whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 mini sweet peppers, sliced in rings or diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 3-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 splash of vodka (chef’s choice if you want a shot for yourself, too)
  • Sprinkling of oregano

Process

  1. Put your phone on mute for your conference call.
  2. Heat skillet on medium heat.
  3. Cut up all the veggies.
  4. Add tsp olive oil to hot pan.
  5. Add onions and carrots to pan. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Add butter.
  7. Stir.
  8. Add mushrooms, stir. Add garlic.
  9. Add can of tomatoes. Mash with the back of a spoon. Or you can also use crushed tomatoes, if you don’t feel like the hulk tonight.
  10. Keep stirring and smashing. Add a splash of vodka or wine. Alcohol always adds more depth of flavor to sauces.

Total cook time was about 30 minutes before it thickened and the raw taste was cooked out of the tomatoes. Be sure to add crushed red pepper flakes if you like a little heat in your sauce.

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