Christmas Gift Giving Galore

 

We don’t normally post back to back, but as Carmi mentioned in our last post, this month we are sharing some great recipes for gift giving and we wanted to share these with you as early as possible.  If you missed Carmi’s contribution, here is the link to her Vanilla Bourbon Pear Butter Truffles.  I will confess that I may have gone overboard with my contribution to this month’s posts.  I just couldn’t decide on giving you one recipe, so I’m sharing FOUR with you!  By sharing these recipes, I’m also able to share with you a new product line I was recently introduced to.  Luigi Bormioli is a glassware company that makes high quality yet affordable items.

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Spiced Beef Kebabs with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce

 

Like most everyone I know, I sometimes feel absolutely uninspired when it comes to meal prep and dinnertime.  Cereal anyone?  Besides flipping through cooking magazines and cookbooks, I often find that wandering through a spice shop or even just the spice aisle in the grocery store will spark some new dinner ideas.  This month is all about the Harvest Package and I was once again putting the meat grinder through its paces and wanting a different take on a ground meat patty.  I’d done meatballs, burgers, sausage, and was rather at a loss for something new when pursuing the spices at World Market I remembered that kebabs can also utilize ground meat; a glorified tasty treat on a stick!

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Tomatoes! The base for every good condiment!

 

As we reach the height of summer here in Georgia, the tomatoes are turning from green to a beautiful bright red and childhood memories start pouring in. I set out to create this post as one of our bonus posts for subscribers only. As I tested recipes I realized it was much more than just bonus material. This post began to morph into three actual recipes. A basic ketchup recipe, a “fancy” ketchup recipe and a basic pizza sauce. The “fancy” recipe is a bit of a cross between ketchup and bbq sauce and the pizza sauce will have a bit more of a feature in September when we dedicate an entire post to pizza!

Now, the really funny part about this post being one that I created, is the fact that I really don’t like tomatoes. I like ketchup just okay, I’m pretty picky about pizza sauce, not really a fan of marinara, and I absolutely can not eat a tomato raw! My husband actually laughed when I told him my subject for this post. My dislike for tomatoes goes pretty far back into my childhood. I believe I was around 13 or 14 years old and though my parents had always planted a garden each year, this particular summer, my dad decided to plant 96 tomato plants. Yes, you read that correctly. 96 TOMATO PLANTS! My parents had four new dehydrators and they were playing around with the idea of slicing the tomatoes, dehydrating them for several days until they were dry and crispy, and then they would blend the dehydrated tomatoes in a food processor making a tomato powder. It was pretty ingenious as they were able to put up 800 tomatoes that summer in just 8 quart-size jars. My mom was then able to use that powder in soups, stews, re-hydrate with just a bit of water to make her own tomato paste and even added the tomato powder to tortilla and pasta dough. All of that was wonderful but to a teenage girl who already didn’t care for this particular piece of produce, the act of picking several 6 gallon buckets of tomatoes, slicing and laying them in the dehydrator just to repeat the entire process three days later was not my idea of a fun summer activity. With all that said, I actually enjoyed testing these recipes and I hope you enjoy them as well.

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