Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn comes to DC

Here's the prettiest tree in President's Park.

Happy Halloween!

We made the usual trip to the farm to get pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks. This year they had a lot of funky pumpkins in different shapes, colors and textures. Of course I had to buy the wierdest ones I could find.

Here's our home, all ready for the trick-or-treaters.

If you look closely at the 1st photo, there's a small grey animal inside the front door -- it's Vince! He loves sneaking in the photos.

I was particularly proud of my planter arangements -- I stacked funky pumpkins with Spanish moss in between. I used wooden skewers to secure the pumpkins. The greenery is left over from the summer, and the berries are a la Michaels.

Here's another one of those funky pumpkins -- how could I resist this striped guy?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Roasted tomato sauce

At the end of the tomato season I like to make roasted tomato sauce with all the seconds that are cheap and easy to find at my local farmers markets.

I couldn't resist buying a big bag of these "second" heirloom tomatoes priced at just two dollars a pound (half price). Even Johnny had to agree that they sure smelled good.

Sliced in half -- so pretty!

I start with a layer of sliced onions with olive oil, salt & pepper in baking pans.

Then I add all the halved tomatoes.

Next I take some peeled carrots,

and dice them.

Then I grab some of these cool garlic heads (still attached to their stems)...

and smash them.

Here's what my pans look like after I add the carrots, garlic, and cherry tomatoes from my garden. Ideally these pans wouldn't be so crowded. But, I got a little carried away, and I was trying to use up all my ripe tomatoes.

Here's a close-up of a baking sheet ready for the oven...

and after about an hour in a 450 degree oven, here's what comes out.

I let everything cool a bit, then run it through my Kitchenaid to get rid of the skins and seeds, and turn it into a nice pureed sauce.

In the end, I'm left with one big pot of sauce.

Later on, I make up a bunch of these little baked ziti casseroles for the freezer.
(And one for dinner, too!)

Porch kitty

Samantha is queen of the porch... she can spend hours outside lounging on the gliders. Must be nice to be a kitty of leisure.