Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another chance to win . . .

Just in case you think you might have use for an extra $100, you might want to check out my latest post on Tuppence Reviews. The nice folks at Pepperidge Farm and BlogHer have given me the opportunity to review some new baked cheese crackers and to give away a chance at a $100 Visa gift card.

Go ahead and check it out. Winner is chosen by random number generator, so you have as good a chance as anybody at winning. If, you know, you think you might be able to use that extra money.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tabbouleh ~ Honoring the Last Gasp of Summer

Perhaps it's because they know that autumn is here. Perhaps they're mustering every last bit of energy they have to prove that they can, and will, proceed to produce long into the shorter days, chillier nights. Whatever the reason, my grape tomato plants have gone into hyperdrive, sprouting tomatoes and ripening them at a pace unrivaled at any other point during the summer. Which leaves me with the strange quandary of having a surfeit of sweet, tangy little tomatoes at just the point when no one wants to eat them any longer.

When it rained each and every single day of June and much of July, and I was reduced to purchasing my grape tomatoes for salads, everyone had a craving, a taste for the tiny fruits that I had to satisfy with the store-bought. And now? Too many, too late. We're tomatoed out. It's October, and we want beets (well, I do, anyway), broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and soon . . . Brussels sprouts. Tomatoes? Not so much.

I've roasted them. Dried them. Eaten them ad nauseum. Fed them to our guinea pigs. And still, we have ruby clusters emerging daily, an embarrassment of riches. So, here's what I've done. I've gone elsewhere in my late-summer garden for inspiration. There's not much left, but there's enough.

I picked tomatoes, mint, parsley . . . and made tabbouleh. It's easy, quick, healthy, and it uses as many tomatoes as you care to halve and include. The more herbs you put in, the better it is. It's good the first day, better the second. It's eaten by the vegetarian teen at my table ~ without complaint. And it's lunchbox friendly. Therefore, a winner.

Tabbouleh ~ for the End of Summer
~ adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe in How to Cook Everything.
  • 1/2 cup fine or medium bulgur
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the bulgur in a medium mixing bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes, until bulgur is tender. Drain excess water and return bulgur to bowl. In a small mixing bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Pour over bulgur and stir to coat.
  2. Add parsley, mint, and scallions to bowl; toss to combine. Gently stir in tomatoes. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. May be made a few hours in advance and refrigerated, but let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to serving.
Recipe Notes:
  • If you're not a fan of bulgur, don't be tied to it in this recipe. Feel free to replace it with couscous, orzo, or rice.
  • If you find yourself without a fresh lemon, do not use the bottled version of the juice ~ the taste will be inferior. Instead, use lime juice, rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
  • Feel free to experiment with add-ins. A few suggestions: thinly sliced radishes, toasted pine nuts, or crumbled feta.

Friday, October 2, 2009

An appetizer . . .

Wow, can it possibly be October? It seems like the last time I checked, it was mid-August. At least, that's what my desk calendar says (and will likely say for another month, till I clear off the pile of work stacked on it).

The good news is, I have a new post coming up for you . . . but first, an appetizer. As many of you dear readers know, in addition to Eat Real and At the Baker's Bench, I write a review blog called Tuppence Reviews. If you have some time to spend while I'm putting the finishing touches on my latest Eat Real post, you might want to take a jump over to Tuppence. As a BlogHer reviewer, I recently took a crack at a few recipes featuring Ragu pasta/pizza sauces. Read the review, leave a comment according to the guidelines, and you have a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Seriously!

That's pretty appetizing, no? So mosey on over . . . I'll let you know when my post here is ready.

Cheers,
Sandy

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