Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Really Random Tuesday #78: Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes, a Spring Surprise, and a Book Winner

Several months ago, I was intrigued when I found a recipe within a recipe for making your own sun-dried tomatoes on a vegetarian blog that my daughter loves.  The recipe is super easy, and I've made sun-dried tomatoes many times since then.  Unfortunately, I can't find the original recipe that sparked my interest, so I can't give credit and thanks where it's due.

Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes
  
To make your own sun-dried tomatoes, coat a small pan (such as a toaster oven pan) with cooking spray or oil.  Slice desired quantity of cherry tomatoes in half and place upright on pan.  I usually get sugar plum cherry tomatoes from Trader Joe's; they are the best--sweet, tasty, and inexpensive--and they're organic!  (This year, I'm also trying to grow some of my own cherry tomatoes, from a Home Depot plant, as well as from seeds I've recently planted.)  Sprinkle sliced tomatoes with salt, spices, and herbs.  I like to use pink Himalayan or Hawaiian salt, and organic oregano, basil, and rosemary from my garden, or from Trader Joe's, and black pepper.  Then mist everything with some organic olive oil.  I use a Misto which is a nice way of controlling the amount of oil.

Cook tomatoes in a 200° or 225° oven for about 2 to 3 hours, until the tomatoes look like "real" sun-dried tomatoes.  This recipe is foolproof as long as you check on the tomatoes every so often and don't forget about them altogether.  Setting the oven timer helps me, especially when I'm multi-tasking.   :)
 

Before cooking

After cooking

Once they're made, it's hard to resist popping them into your mouth.  The flavor becomes so concentrated and delicious.  I like to add sun-dried tomatoes to pasta dishes.  I'm not sure how else to use them.  What are some more creative ways to use sun-dried tomatoes?

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I wasn't expecting to see this "amarylllis" in the garden this spring, popping out above the geraniums and sea lavender.  I planted the bulb outside about a year ago, and basically forgot all about it.  And now it has bloomed!  I think it's grown because this area (the side of the garage) gets watered automatically and regularly. 
April 2014

February 2013

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Please help me to congratulate Julianne from Outlandish Lit.  She's won a copy of  The Frangipani Hotel: Stories by Violet Kupersmith.

Congratulations, Julianne!  I think you'll enjoy this collection of short fiction. Your blog is new to me and it looks quite inviting.  I'll visit it again as soon as I have a few minutes to spare.

Afternoon update:  I just found out that Julianne has won a copy of this book elsewhere, so I drew a new winner, Rebecca Orr.   Congratulations, Rebecca!

If you didn't win this time, don't be dismayed!  Please take a look at the other book giveaways listed the right side of my blog, and click on the book covers that interest you.


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Appearing on random Tuesdays, Really Random Tuesday is a way to post odds and ends--announcements, musings, quotes, photos--any blogging and book-related things you can think of.  I often announce my book giveaway winners in these posts.  If you have miscellaneous book news to gather up and are inspired by this idea, "grab" the button for use on your own blog, and add your link to the "master" Mister Linky on the Really Random Tuesday page

As always, your comments are welcomed!

11 comments:

  1. Those sun-dried tomatoes look delicious! I add them to salads sometimes, especially in the winter. Fresh Market sells olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and they are divine!

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  2. I like the idea of adding them to salads. And the stuffed olives do sound divine! Thanks for adding your ideas to this post, Kathy!

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  3. Congratulations Rebecca!


    I love sun dried tomatoes. Though my wife and I are adventurous cooks we have never tried to make them ourselves. I will give this a try.

    Thanks for the recipe!

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  4. I had to learn how to dry figs because our tree is so generous. Now that I know, I can keep up with its bounty. I love making a bowl of oatmeal and dropping a few figs from our garden into the water. It seems so decadent for some reason.

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  5. Well done and happy reading to your lucky winner.

    Those sundried tomatoes, one of my favourites on a salad or in a sandwich, look yummy.

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  6. Beautiful flower and congrats Rebecca!

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  7. I need to try making those sundried tomatoes! I could see these with fresh mozarella cheese and whole wheat crackers as a snack. You know I am a fellow Trader Joe's fan myself :)
    Congrats to Rebecca and the amarylllis flower is beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a fabulous snack, Naida!

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  8. You can also throw some in a blender with cream cheese to make a sun-dried tomato flavored cream cheese. Yummy on crackers or a bagel! I like them in salads too, especially quinoa salad, rice salad or lentil and roasted vegetable salad.

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  9. Yum! Laura, thanks for sharing your ideas!

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  10. Thank you so much! I am very excited to be the winner of this book!

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