The Table. It’s the heart of the family, the meeting place for friends, the place to play games, put together puzzles and EAT. I often hear people ask “why does everything have to revolve around food”? I say why not? The sharing of a meal brings people together. How about preparing food together? If you don’t feel comfortable cooking for people other than your family…make it an event. Invite people to bring ingredients and try a new recipe together. You can laugh and bond. The entertainment and the meal can be rolled up into one! We did just that with some new friends last weekend. Actually, Joanne and I have know each other since high school, but we have never socialized together with our husbands. We traveled an hour south of the city to their beautiful countryside home in the middle of beautifully restored prairie land. When you walk into the house it is perfectly serene with views of the wooded lot it is nestled into. But the best part…a gourmet kitchen with a center island, perfect for a group cooking experience…topped off by the garden delights we picked from their garden. Try Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, arugula, garlic, onions and plenty of fresh herbs…I could hardly contain myself. This is a recipe for a beautiful evening ending at a table bathed in candlelight and topped off by great conversation and fresh berry kuchen (I know…I make that a lot) and whipped cream.
Maintaining connections with friends and family is an important part of maintaining good health…there are studies to prove it. Are you concerned about your health and your families health? Make a point of meeting at the table everyday. After raising four kids, two out of the house, the advice I give new parents is just that. Make every effort to eat meals together. Of course I always put some Shaklee supplements beside everyone’s plate.
Especially now that school has started it is so important to get all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy. I can’t fully explain how great these products are, you just have to try them for yourself. The research has been done for you and there is a 100% money back guarantee. What do you have to lose?
Here is a wonderful soup we made that night with the bounty of tomatoes from the garden! So good I made it twice this week. Thank you, Patty, for the gift of tomatoes and kale you left on my doorstep! This is one of the things I made out of them. I made a kale pizza too…but I’ll share the recipe for that another time.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Chipotle Cream
Fresh Tart (freshtart.net) Stepanie Meyer
- 3 lbs. garden tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
- 3 unpeeled large garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. butter 1 1/2 c. chicken broth (perhaps more, to thin the soup to your liking)
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1 chipotle chili (from a can of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce), minced to a paste (add some of the adobo sauce as well for more heat)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the tomatoes, skin side down, in the one layer in 2 foil-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a little salt. Add the garlic to 1 of the pans, and bake the tomatoes and the garlic for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are very soft and their skin is dark brown. Let the tomatoes and garlic cool in the pans on racks.
Stir together the cream and chipotle pepper and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan cook the shallot, the oregano, and a sprinkle of salt over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallot is soft. Add the tomatoes, garlic (skins discarded), and broth. Simmer the mixture, covered for 15 minutes. Puree in a blender, or use an immersion blender, until soup is smooth. Add more broth to achieve desired consistency. Stir in balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve swirled with chipotle cream. (Can be made one day ahead, cover and chill.)
This next recipe might sound strange, but I made it twice last week as well and it was a big hit. How can you go wrong combing lusicous ripe peaches and tomatoes…it’s the season.
Peach, Tomato and Basil Salad
(Penny De Los Santos)
- Dressing Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine
Arugula Salad with Roasted Figs and Goat Cheese
Use the same balsamic vinaigrette for this salad.
Fresh figs are in season, so buy them while you can. I cut these in half and sauteed them in a bit of olive oil. Then I roasted them on a baking sheet in the oven for a short time.
Peppery arugula is perfect to offset the creamy goat cheese and sweet figs.
We made these potatoes from the garden potatoes. The recipe calls for preserved lemon (which I found in the product dept. of Whole Foods) for a great price…but forgot to bring it to our gathering. We used some from lemon instead…the recipe didn’t turn out the way it was intended, but our theme for the night was “It’ll be just fine” and it was.
- 12 whole new potatoes
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary (or other fresh herbs)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 of a whole preserved lemon, seeds discarded, minced (I find jars of whole preserved lemons at Whole Foods)
- coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook them until they are fork-tender.
While the potatoes cook, add heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the rosemary and garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant and just softening, about 4 minutes. Stir in preserved lemon and set aside.
Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil on a baking sheet and spread evenly. Drain potatoes and place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato. With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly crushes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and crush lightly again. Spoon a bit of the garlic oil on each potato, using all the oil. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt.
Place potatoes in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Grind black pepper over the hot potatoes and serve immediately.
Truly, these potatoes were even better the next morning for brunch. I added the forgotten preserved lemon, cooked them up “hash style” added some arugula and cooked an egg on top. DELICIOUS!!
Don’t waste any time enjoying the fruits of the season and this gorgeous Fall weather. Plan some get togethers with friends new and old. I would love to cook with you and share Shaklee. Call me, or I’ll call you…so don’t be surprised if you hear from me soon