Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tomato Takeover Part 1: Stuffed Tomatoes

We are in the midst of a tomato takeover in our house and quite frankly, it's getting downright scary around here. Before our home explodes like a tightly squeezed ketchup bottle, I thought I'd put them to good use. (I didn't photoshop these tomatoes--my camera just hates red. It likes to transform anything that's a perfectly normal shade of red into a blinding, nauseating, fluorescent red. Nice).
This recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes is the first in a three part series (oh good grief, who do I think I am, Katie Couric?) of recipes that one might be interested in if one were looking to use up lots of tomatoes to avoid a tomato coup.
I'm really excited to show you this recipe because the stuffed tomatoes look so sweet plated up. Plus they taste divine! I'm not kidding, you will truly love these.
First we'll get some rice going because we want it to cool before we use it. We need a cup of cooked rice. It's the only thing that is cooked in this recipe.
I love this Full Circle brand. I've seen it at Save Mart and Raley's/Nob Hill. It's like organic for people who still wish to keep making the mortgage payments. This is the bowl I'll be using to mix all the ingredients. While I'm not normally inclined to show you pictures of my dishware, I had to put this picture in here just because I know Dawn will like it. (And right now Dawn is wondering why I keep mentioning her in my posts and hopes she hasn't acquired a nut-job stalker). (It's just that she mentioned Pyrex Love on her blog). In whatever bowl you use, be it vintage pyrex or an old margarine container, add 1 3/4 cups corn kernels. This is equivalent to about 2 1/2 ears of corn. Yes. Yeeeeeeessss. Fresh would be best. However, I will confess that I used a can of corn and it was just lovely. Not as lovely. But just lovely. Then we need 1/2 of an avocado, chopped. Look at these foxy ladies: Avocados are one of my most favorite things in all the earth. They're quirky. But so creamy and buttery that I forgive them their quirkiness. Aren't the bright colors wonderful! Look at these two interesting characters: Oooo! That reminds me. Look what I did to green peppers for a Halloween party we had a few years ago. Talk about foxy ladies! Isn't that fun? I also did this to a pair of goofy butternut squash: Then look what I did to poor little Bug: DfS's son doesn't look particularly amused at his mother's choices either. Oh! And the twins last year! The poor poor twins! No one but a mother with little babies will ever understand what drives another mother to dress up her little babies any which way she pleases for her own delight and perceived photo opportunities. I remember (from the foggy recesses of my weary unslept brain) that all the twins wanted to do at that moment was sleep. But I was ever so determined that they would join in on the Halloween fun. See there? Don't they look like they were having a barrel of laughs? Well, that was the mother of all tangential babbling. I think we were talking about yellow peppers. It was ages ago, but the dark hollows of my 'weary unslept brain' do hold on to a few key pieces of information. Once in a while. We need to add 1/4 cup of chopped yellow pepper.
It really wasn't my intention to deviate from the recipe again, but around the time I was chopping yellow pepper, Bug was using her "magnifying glass" to study all things small. It was terribly cute.
Alrighty then. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup chopped green pepper,
but I only had red, so red it is. Then we add 1/4 cup red onion, chopped.
To this, we add 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
That I should get some kind of compensation from Trader Joe's for
all the advertising I do for them? Me too!
Honestly, I love the way this olive oil tastes.
Maybe it's because it's cold pressed. I don't even know what that means.
The recipe then calls for 3 tablespoons of cilantro.
Alas, I didn't have any, so I omitted that.
(But I was secretly happy because I sooooooo dislike chopping fresh herbs.)
Next we add 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Yes. Yeeeeeeessss. Fresh would be best. However, I will confess I used this bottle of lemon juice and it was just lovely. Not as lovely. But just lovely. (I just had a weird case of deja vu. Huh.)
Okay, I'm not even kidding.
My kid is scampering around
handing out Trader Joe's stickers.
This is getting out of hand.
That's it.
I'm demanding a paycheck. Now we're going to add 1/4 tsp sea salt.
Meanwhile, Bug is observing the
engrossing details of a 1/4 teaspoon. Also, we'll throw on 1/4 teaspoon each of pepper and cumin.
We grab 4-6 tomatoes from our tomato army and slice their tops off.
Off with their heads!
I was busy scooping out the insides of these tomatoes
when I realized Miss Blue Eyes was over
in her high chair being beautiful.
So I had to go over and dote on her a little bit.
The rice has cooled so we'll add it to the mix.
We'll toss all the ingredients and spoon it into the
hollowed-out tomatoes. This is what it turns out like.
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Aren't they precious?!
Besides being ridiculously cute,
these stuffed tomatoes taste like summer in a dish.
If you taste these and don't immediately have visions of
sipping lemonade on a porch swing, then put on a straight jacket
and commit yourself because you are certifiable. I just could not stop taking photos of these little darlings.
And what's more--Bug devoured them.
She found it so pleasing that the "bowl" was edible!
After about 1 minute, the spoon proved to be too slow,
so she picked up the whole tomato and ate it like a taco.
It was an ingenious idea, so following her lead, we all ate them like that.
Going, going, gone. Mm, mm good.
An update on Spellchecker. As some of you may know, Spellchecker and I have had a long and tenuous relationship. We reached our breaking point last week with a certain word (which I have promised to never retype). After a good deal of soul searching on both sides, we decided to patch things up and try to move on. Everything was going swell until smartypants Spellchecker thought it best to point out to me that "unslept" is not a word and suggested I change it to "unsalted". I think that's a little unreasonable. I feel the truce starting to unravel.


SouthernDogwoods said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day (Tuesday TLM Craft Day). I love your blog! Your children are so precious! And I love the tomato recipe - we have a garden with lots and lots of tomatoes so thank you for sharing! YUMMY!

McVal said...

LOL! I love it! Do I sense a feeling of ADHD? (Hey, let's go ride our bikes!)
I'm going to HAVE to try out that recipe! Looks fabulous! Of course I can't print it out because the page is probably 25 pages long... But I'll have my daughter read it to me as I fix it up.
Your kids look adorable! Especially in those little costumes! I do the same thing!! Even now when they're older... I probably won't get away with it too much longer...

monica said...

What a beautiful receipe so many colors. Too bad I don't like tomatos.

Dandy said...

OMG can you please be my stalker!?! `look over shoulder~ What am I wearing right now?

I feel honored to be mentioned in your blog. I LOVE that Pyrex bowl but you knew I would.

I love the recipe and the "interruptions" in which we divert to Halloweens where you and your friends torture you poor children, and precious little girls look at things thru magnifying glasses.

It makes me feel like I am actually there!

Meghan said...

So Grace ate this, huh? How on earth do you get her to eat veggies? I've tried since birth practically to get my kids to eat veggies and it's a no-go. I've gotta start adding them in secret to different recipes. Sad thing is, how am I gonna add carrots and broccoli to chicken nuggets and mac n cheese?

Toothfairy said...

oh I love the pic with the twins! so cute!


Dana said...

Are those "Topsy - Turvy" tomatoes?!?
The pictures look deeelish! (And the food doesn't look bad either! :) )

Elle Bee said...

Dana, my topsy turvy plant died!! I'm not sure what happened. I'll try again next summer. :o)

Scrappy Girl said...

That is alot of tomatoes! I love how colorful this dish is!

Linda Stubbs said...

I am not sure what is going on on my computer. It has been dropping things. Soooo I just wanted to come and thank you for coming and signing up to my giveaway. Thank you also for the compliment!!!!! You are toooo sweet!

I loved the recipes I saw. I will definitely have to make some. My garden is doing really good so far. I am so thankful.

The strawberry salad is toooo num! I was going to some day get a post up about making strawberry dressing. Take the tops of the strawberry that you would normally throw away. Pour white vinegar over the top and set aside. Let it sit for 12-48 hours. Drain the juice. Add oil and honey to taste and store in mason jars. MMMMMMM good. It is so good on your salad. I will get that recipe up soon!!!

Well I did have good time reading your blog! You are truly adorable and don't worry about spellcheck. I have my own words also. Ask my family. I get words mixed up..... oh well!

Well I off to paint. Thanks again for stopping by and thank you for giving my heart a blessing by coming by your blog!!! Enjoy those little ones. I would have more if the Lord would let me be a Sarah. I miss having children. It was my favorite time in my life.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Oh, and those tomatoes are so pretty too! Great recipe - again, and I thank you. And again... Trader Joe's?! Did I tell you I have to drive 2 1/2 hours to get to a TJ's? And now I'm contemplating TJ's as our 'vacation' this year? How sad is that? I do love it that much! Your kids are just precious, and as usual, you've made everything fun.. even cooking! Have a great weekend! -Tammy

Unknown said...

Now those look so good! I have massive amounts of tomatoes too. Can't eat them fast enough!
Thanks for stopping by Spruce Hill! Hope you come by again!

Jana said...

you are absolutely HI-larious! I swear I end up reading your posts more than once just to laugh, I read the tomato pie recipe 3 times now. You are adored!!