no csa pickup

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I have been so out of sorts and busy the fast few weeks that I let my CSA subscription lapse! Rectifying that today, but it I won’t be able to pick up my CSA box until next weekend. Yikes! Next up? A meal plan with lots of pantry meals…

weekend preserving: a list

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preserving the seasons

Lots of produce that I need to put up this weekend, so I thought I would put together a list for the sake of accountability. I’ve listed things in order of priority for my pantry, but this does not necessarily mean that I will tackle them in that order:

  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Shelf-stable salsa (small batch for emergencies) 
  • Ketchup
  • Fermented dill pickles
  • Pickled red onions
  • Fermented serranos
  • Charred serranos for freezer
  • Escabeche (small batch for botana emergencies)
  • Enchilada sauce for freezer
  • Fermented serranos

Tryint my best to not get overwhelmed by just taking things a project at a time. 

P.S. I got a batch of fig jam put up last night and feeling a little less guilty about letting the birds win today. I’ll head back out tomorrow.

P.P.S. If anybody wants watermelon rinds for pickling (not organic, sorry), let me know. Ended up with two watermelons today and feel guilty throwing out soooo much of the rind. Nobody in the house likes watermelon rind pickles, but I know you people are out there. 

tomatolandia cont.

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preserving the seasons

I have put up 7 pints of shelf-stable tomato sauce and 5 pints of oven-roasted tomatoes in the freezer to date and that is just not enough to make it through to June 2017. 10 pounds of san marzanos getting processed tonight! Stay tuned to the ‘gram and twitterverse for the play-by-play. 

no junk week

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Been snacking on lots of chips and sweets lately, so I am staying strong for 7 days. No junkie stuff. We have plenty of fruit and homemade pops on hand to take care of the sweet cravings. The salty stuff? Gonna try hydrating better to see if that makes an impact.

summer meal plan – june 26,2016

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cooking in season / vegetarian meal plans


In the middle of a cooking groove, so I am riding it all the way to an actual meal plan. This is way more food than we can probably get through in a week, but I figure I’ll just keep working through it until we run out of produce.

Putting lots of tomatoes and peaches this week, too. Excited to try Kate’s peach sauce in addition to putting away a small batch of peach jam.

Summer Veggie Burgers | Crispy Okra
Ginger Brown Rice with Carrots
Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Greens
Creamed Elote with Spaghetti Squash
Caldo de Papa
Leek & Potato Frittata (based on this recipe)
Pepperoni Tempeh Salads*
Sweet & Spicy Roasted Carrots & Parsnips

Carrot Muffins
Quinoa Cakes
Roasted BBQ Chickpeas
Roasted Beets

Veggie Scrambles
Yogurt & Granola with Peaches
Multigrain Waffles**
Breakfast Tacos


* Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero
** Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

summer veggie burgers

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cooking in season / recipes
summer veggie burger |

I have been on a quest for a homemade veggie patty for… like… ever. I’ve tried a kazillion recipes in the past few years and they are all perfectly yummy but rarely hit highs across the board. Sometimes, they fall apart. Sometimes, they are ingredient heavy. Sometimes the 9yo 10yo won’t come within inches of them. Sometimes they are ONLY yummy if you can serve them with a perfect combination of go-withs.

This recipe (originally posted last summer) is still a favorite and we busted it out as soon as we got our first eggplants in the CSA box. They are versatile, freezer-friendly, egg-free, and perhaps most importantly, both kid AND adult approved.

summer veggie burger 2 |

Summer Veggie Burgers
makes 10 slider-size patties

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium eggplants, cubed
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper

  1. Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add cubed eggplant to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden brown and tender.
  3. Salt and pepper eggplant to taste.
  4. Set eggplant aside to cool.
  5. Place cooled eggplant, cheese and bread crumbs in food processor and pulse (6-8 times) till eggplant breaks down to small bits. Note: do not puree or pulverize.
  6. Place eggplant mixture in fridge to cool for at least one hour or until ready to cook patties.
  7. Divide mixture into round balls and form patties (¾ inch – 1 inch thick).
  8. Add remaining olive oil to skillet.
  9. Brown on both sides, squishing to desired thickness after first flip.
  10. Serve with your favorite burger dressings.


We like our burger fixings simple. Mayo, fermented dill pickle slices & a single tomato slice make the eggplant-patty shine marvelously. Our late-night burgers (aka cravings) get paired with a thick slice of sharp cheddar, pickles, red onion and BBQ sauce. 😉

If you are freezing portions, make sure to wrap the patties individually to facilitate short-notice dinners and quick weekend lunches.

tomatolandia: what comes first?

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preserving the seasons

I am not sure what kind of shape my tomatoes are going to be in tomorrow morning, but I suspect that they will be very, very, VERY ripe. Although my most coveted pantry is item is crushed tomatoes, I find that knocking out a batch of Basic Tomato Sauce first helps start my weekend processing without wearing me down. No blanching or peeling! I can usually get through a solid 6-7 lbs of the most ripe tomatoes as soon as I get home with them. This helps reduce any anxiety about wasting produce (for everyone in the house) and buys me some time as I figure out a plan for the other 13-14 lbs.

2016: I’ll be using the coarse screen on my food mill this year so that I can achieve a chunkier sauce that will hopefully be more versatile year-round.

all of the tomatoes

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cooking in season / preserving the seasons

This will be my fifth season of putting up tomatoes for my homemade pantry! I’m excited to get my sad, sad pantry back into top form, so stay tuned this coming weekend as I blanch, peel, and prep my first 20 lbs worth. I’ll start with a tentative plan tomorrow (on the blog) with links to some recipes and will be posting on Instagram and Twitter all weekend long with my favorite hashtag of the summer season – #tomatolandia.


20 lbs looks like this

P.S. Scroll on down to my tag list and click on #tomatolandia to check out posts dating back to 2012 (the beginning of my homemade pantry efforts).

to all the dads

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Hope you all have awesome days doing (and eating) your favorite things and relishing in the attentions that you deserve. 

To my own beloved parenting partner: She is awesome and that has everything to do with what you do on the daily. Besos.

To my papi: Te adoro y extraño… diario. Besitos.