Silence is Golden

My Life has been, is, and always will be a bounty of blessings.  I close my eyes and breathe in the cornucopia of grace presented before me each and every day.  In silence, in my quiet moments, I breathe it, I feel it, I know it.

My Life is a Gift.

The hustle and bustle of Life, though: events, tasks, changes, – noise – has a tendency to echo above the supreme and very much sublime silence the other side of Life has to offer.  The peace and thanksgiving drowns amid the bubbles of excitement.

When we sit in silence, we see Life for what it truly is…

…and the benefits abound…

 “In silence, we can hear our soul speak.”

As I enter into a new season in this Life, I make the choice to retreat into a period of ‘blogosphere’ silence.  Less noise.  Less words.  Less photos.

Because, Silence is Golden.

~ See you on the other side ~

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October 6, 2014 · 7:30 am

Fire Roasted Green Tomato and Chile Salsa

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Without a garden of my own this year, I have been amazingly blessed by the continuous outpouring of generosity of others.  From fresh herbs to intensely rich spinach to baskets of summer squash and crisp kohlrabi, the produce kept on coming.  And now, I’m reveling in the scarlet red richness of fresh tomatoes off the vine.  There’s nothing like it.  Nothing.

Although the warm weather still lingers on most days, we experienced the threat of the season’s first frost.  Thus, the remaining tomatoes were harvested and I was once again gifted a giant bowlful ~ this time of green tomatoes.

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Certainly not a fan of the oh, so prized “fried green tomatoes,” which are apparently a rarity in these parts, my mind immediately composed dreams of greens…green tomatoes, green chilies (chiles), and green cilantro.

I mustered over the process for a day or so, before I took to the kitchen.

Instead of striking “green,” I believe I struck gold!

Fire Roasted Green Tomato and Chile Salsa

Yields about 1 1/2 cups

3-4 cups chopped green tomatoes
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tsp. coconut vinegar
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/4 cup fire roasted green chilies, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine the chopped tomatoes, shallots, oil, vinegar, and salt in a large baking dish.  Toss well.  Cook the mixture 25-40 minutes (depending upon the heat of your oven), stirring occasionally.  Once the shallots begin to caramelize and the tomatoes are wilted and losing juice, things are about done.  Remove from the oven and add the chilies and cilantro, stirring well.  Allow the mixture to cool.
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and pulse until you reach a happy medium of somewhere in between chunky and smooth.

**Serve warm over cilantro-lime marinated flank steak (oh yes I did) and then serve AGAIN (if you have any leftover) the next morning cold over steamed eggs and sweet potato hash.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!

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Simple Sweet and Spicy Tomato Sauce

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Summer is coming to a close and the afternoon and evening lighting is beginning to fade.  This is some sorry news for a food blogger…

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(Yes, I am wearing zebra print and highly bedazzled and fluffy slippers, folks).

You see, I do most of my food preparation and cooking in the evenings, just before dinner, as to bask in the glory of an amazing meal and full belly prior to turning in for the night.  These days, my habit of sipping on a full glass of wine, the passing of time, and the imminent arrival of the fall of dusk chime, has lead to photo food sessions falling later and later into the evening.  With less and less lighting around the corner…
…well, the results are impossible.

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Weekends, thus, will be filled with food photography and tasty experimentation.

In the mean time, while the light remain somewhat stable these last few days, I’m hunkering down for the thought of heartier winter meals ~ warmth in my belly and the aroma of simmering sauces.

Combining the best of both worlds – the last of the summer tomato crop and the nourishing warmth of a sauce on the stove:

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Simple Sweet and Spicy Tomato Sauce**

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (I don’t typically heat olive oil, but for the purposes of flavor, I make an exception here)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely diced
2 lbs. garden fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
2-3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon** (I always add cinnamon to my tomato basil concoctions…it’s the secret weapon!)
1/4 tsp. + Jacobsen Lemon Zest Sea Salt (any fine sea salt will do – but this is truly the best)
1/8 + tsp. freshly ground pepper

In a medium sized pot, heat oil over medium to low heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  As the onions begin to caramelize, add the tomatoes.  Once bubbling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover, allowing the juices to release and the tomatoes to cook down.  Every 3-5 minutes, check the tomatoes, stirring, to ensure no sticking and that things are beginning to reduce into a chunky sauce. (If additional moisture is needed, slowly add vegetable broth or additional tomatoes).  After about 15-20 minutes, add basil, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Stir for an additional 2 minutes and remove from heat.

For maximum flavor development, allow to cool overnight and reheat to serve the next day.  Otherwise, drizzle over grilled pork chops, steak, or even chicken…or serve over perfectly baked spaghetti squash.

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Thank you, Shun, for adding an extra splash of color to my kitchen these days.

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