Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tomatillo salsa

Yummy note: It's been fun to watch our little garden boxes flowering nicely with zucchini and pumpkin flowers this summer, and the fact we are finally getting some produce is even more exciting. :)  My neighbor and I have been working together to keep it all alive, and critter-free, lol, while my husband and kids enjoy checking out our garden boxes every morning to see what new things have popped up overnight. We have had a nice run of tomatoes, peppers, and zucchinis. We've been making zucchini bread, zucchini salsas, and next on my "fun" list to try is some zucchini "cheese," but, first, I had to try this fresh recipe for tomatillo salsa from my SRC assigned blogger. The Savvy Kitchen was this month's selection from the Secret Recipe Club group C. Amy's blog- The Savvy Kitchen has some fantastic quick and easy recipes that are super family-friendly, too. Speaking of family, she has an adorable little toddler that she features on her Tiny Tot Tuesdays, really, how cute is he?! So this tomatillo salsa, it was a bit tangy, zesty, yet mild compared to your traditional tomato salsas. This fresh tomatillo salsa has similar flavors of salsa verde, but the zucchini and corn added some great texture and crunch to the salsa, instead of the smooth green sauce-like salsa verdes. This is really a fresher approach to traditional salsa verde, and with the inclusion of zucchini, it was a fun dish to try out. 




Tomatillo Salsa 


Ingredients:
1 lime, juiced
11 oz. of fresh tomatillos or 1 can of whole tomatillos, drained 
1 zucchini, peeled, seeded, and diced (or cut into small cubes)
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped 
1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 cup of sweet corn, cut off the cob (about 1 ear of corn)
1 tsp. of minced garlic
Black pepper, to taste 



Directions: 
Prepare tomatillos by chopping them into smaller pieces and slice off corn from the cob and place into a large bowl. Add the chopped zucchini, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, garlic and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients well together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to eat.

Yummy notes: I couldn't find canned tomatillos in the store, so I used fresh one for this recipe. I unfortunately ran short of the 11 ounces of fresh tomatillos, so I improvised and added a small red tomato to the mix to equal 11 ounces. Also, I have a slight allergy to raw zucchini, so I sauteed up a bit of the salsa on the stove, basically just enough to soften and start cooking the raw zucchini so I could eat it. My husband got to try the fresh version, while I got to enjoy the partially cooked one. 

zucchinis! 
My neighbor and I working in the garden boxes.

Such a fun fresh dish of tomatillo salsa! 


My portion of cooked tomatillo salsa, not as colorful, but just as tasty as the fresh counterpart.



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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sweet Smoked Zucchini Salsa

Yummy note: For the last few years, I've been lucky enough to grow a small box garden. We've been blessed with numerous zucchinis actually, a few pounds of tomatoes a year, and a few pumpkins. Last summer is when I first got this zucchini salsa recipe from our family friend, Holly. She actually had an abundance of amazing ripe tomatoes that I was like "yes, please! I will use them!" with my zucchinis and try and make this salsa you make. This salsa recipe was actually one of my very first real canning experiences, so it was pretty exciting to try it out. Scary and exciting, as I've never done a venture like this by myself; let alone a recipe that takes 2 days to finish! Yikes, luckily it really is pretty easy and the first day is really just prep, while the second day is the processing. I summed my husband into the kitchen for back-up for some of the prep and then jarring the next day. The first time I made this I think I cut down the recipe into thirds, as the recipe called to make 24 jars and that seemed scary. But in hindsight, I totally should have beefed up my ingredients then and just bit the bullet and made a full batch, as earlier this year, we were like, "I wish I had more salsa left." lol. Ah, live and learn. So this salsa is a combination of many flavors making it delicious! Sweet from the brown sugar, smokey from the liquid smoke, and just a little spicy from the onions, peppers, and jalapenos. It is a summer garden harvest in a jar!

Sweet Smoked Zucchini Salsa

Makes about 24 jars 
(Yummy note: This recipe can be easily halved or even done in third if you want a much smaller batch of salsa.)
Ingredients:
Day 1: 30 cups shredded zucchini 12 small onions, shredded 6 green peppers, shredded 6 red peppers, shredded 3/4 cup pickling salt
Day 2: 3 tbsp dry mustard 3 tbsp ground garlic 3 tbsp cumin 2 tbsp red chilli powder 3 tbsp liquid smoke 6 cups white vinegar 2 1/4 cups brown sugar 2 cups cilantro, chopped 10-15 jalapeno peppers, chopped 3 tsp ground pepper 15-20 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (leave skin on) 3-4 tbsp cornstarch 3- 12 ounce cans tomato paste
Instructions Day 1: Prepare and shred ingredients. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

Day 2: Chop tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Rinse and drain the zucchini and onion mixture well. Put into a large pot with all of the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour hot mixture into cleaned, hot jars. Put lids on, but make sure they are not too tight. Process them for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. If the jars do not seal properly or you didn’t hear any pings throughout the process, place the jars in refrigerator and use within the next few days.

Yummy note:The Ball brand website was a big help, besides a few phone-a-friends and relatives on how to can successfully. Check here for some tips - http://www.freshpreserving.com/tools/waterbath-canning

Day 1 - the prep
Beautiful big tomatoes!!
The start of Day 2 is to chop the tomatoes.
Day 2 - Process salsa ingredients. 
Salsa simmering away while we start the water bath canner. 
Hot mixture going into the jars! Again check this site for awesome canning tips and tutorial for help on this part if you are new to canning. 
Process jars in the water bath. 
Sweet Smoked Zucchini Salsa ready for storage! 
The finished product is a slightly chunky textured salsa with a mild, sweet, smokey flavor.  



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Monday, July 21, 2014

And the winner is...


The winner of the Red Gold Tomatoes prize pack is Wendy Klik! Thanks to all that commented and entered this giveaway! Congrats to Wendy and enjoy your new apron and tomatoes! 


Wendy- You may message me from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/itsyummytomytummy and let me know your email and address and we will get your prize pack out to you shortly! Thanks!! Heather from It's Yummy to My Tummy



My prize selection committee helped me cut and assemble the entries in a box and then my beautiful assistant picked one by random to ensure fairness :) 








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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dulce de leche alfajores

Yummy note: I love dulce de leche or anything caramel really. It is one of those indulgences I don't enjoy very often, as my youngest is dairy-free, so I often try and live that lifestyle too when I can. Since it was Secret Recipe Club time, I figured I could pick something out that I WANTED this time around, aka something with caramel. The beauty of the recipe I made was partially diary-free so I was able to modify it for my kiddo. So back to the yummy caramel. Delicious things (cakes, cookies, ice cream, oh my!) kept screaming dulce de leche on Gloria's Canela Kitchen blog were too appetizing to pass up. Since it was just Independence Day here, I thought it was only fitting to make what Gloria noted several times on Canela Kitchen about the traditional Chilean dessert that she had posted for their Independence Day in Chile as well. This was a fun quick recipe to make some adorable cookie sandwiches. Next time, I make them, I think I need to watch out how I roll them out. Gloria notes to roll it very thin, like an 1/8 of an inch. I think mine were a bit thicker, as I only got a few of the crispier cookie-like sandwiches, as most of mine were thicker when they rose in the oven, and almost made like a shortbread cookie. I was pleasantly surprised how sweet the alfajores were without having sugar in the actual cookie dough, as the filling made up for the lack of sweetness in the cookie and balanced it out well.  

Dulce de leche alfajores




Ingredients:
Cookies:
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup cornstarch or potatoes flour (chuño)
1/2 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of orange juice

Filling: 
Dulce de leche- prepared can or Gloria's homemade version (or a dairy-free coconut dulce de leche)

Shhh.. I took a shortcut and used already prepared dulce de leche. This is equally delicious if you don't have time to make your own like Gloria




Directions: 
Separate your eggs and reserve just the yellow yolks. In a mixing bowl, beat the yolks well. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and orange juice. Then with your hands, work with the dough, almost kneading like, until it is smooth and more firm and no longer sticky. You might need to add in more flour if it is too sticky.  Then roll out dough very thin, as Canela’s Kitchen mentioned roll it to 1/8 of an inch thick. I think I did mine thicker as my dough puffed up a lot and I lost some of the thin crispier texture of these cookies. So make sure you do it thin to be more true to the original recipe.  Cut into circles using a floured 2 to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Prink the cookies with a fork. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the cookie dough on a lightly floured or parchment covered baking sheet. Bake the alfajores for about 8 to 10 minutes, watching closing at the end, so they don't burn. Basically you want the tops of the cookies to be a light brown. Cool cookies completely and then spread the dulce de leche caramel filling between 2 cookies and sandwich together to enjoy! 




Let's get baking the alfajores. 





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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Italian Turkey Burgers & a Giveaway!

Yummy note: This is a first for me since I've had this blog for several years now, and I was recently contacted by a nice representative from Red Gold Tomatoes and she wanted to know if I was interested in trying some of their new canned tomatoes in part of their Summer Grilling' Party II kit. Hey, why not, we love to grill at our place, and we use canned tomatoes quite frequently. I have never combined the two, so it was a new recipe that sounded perfect for us to try. Thanks to Red Gold Tomatoes they have some wonderful recipes to start off with and try. Oh, and it gets better, they said I could host a giveaway and a lucky reader will win a similar prize pack! Just leave me a comment below on how you'd like to use Red Gold Tomatoes and you'll be randomly put in a drawing to win that fun prize pack below courtesy of Red Gold Tomatoes! The giveaway ends July 20, 2014, so enter today! 

The recipe we decided to try from Red Gold Tomatoes was the Italian Turkey Burger. In the past, we typically have had some rather plain turkey burgers, nothing too fancy to write about that's for sure. But this recipe definitely changed that! This simple recipe added just the right amount of flavor to jazz up our plain turkey burger and it was not so bold that it chased the kids away! In fact, my daughter proclaimed it was her favorite burger. I think she was slightly shocked when I told her it was a turkey burger, as typically she's not a big fan of turkey burgers, she prefers her all-beef burgers normally. :) This burger had delicious flavor without having to add extra seasonings; which is so amazing considering all the flavor came from these amazing canned tomatoes. Seriously, did you know that the Red Gold company has been around the Midwest since the 1940s growing tomatoes! Pretty cool, since I'm a midwestern girl at heart as well :) The freshness of these canned tomatoes really shine through, as this Italian turkey burger had just the right amount of moisture and flavor and was not dry or bland like some previously grilled turkey burgers we've had!  




Italian Turkey Burgers 

Ingredients: 
1 pound of ground turkey 
1 egg, beaten 
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs 
1 can of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste


Directions: 
Drain the can of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil well. Too much liquid ultimately will cause the burger to be mushy and fall apart. Next, mix together the ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, and tomatoes in a bowl. Shape into patties and season with salt and pepper. Place turkey patties on a preheat grill and cook until the desired temperature, which is about 160 degrees for a well-done turkey burger. I think it took maybe about 10-12 minutes to reach desired temps, so turn the burger over after about 5-6 minutes of grilling to evenly grill. Place on bun and top with any additional desired toppings and enjoy!! 

Yummy note: In exchange for this post, I was given the Red Gold Tomatoes product kit in order to try, and review in my recipes.  All opinions and statements are my own and were not influenced in any way by the compensation received.   







The Giveaway! 
Comment below & win a similar kit shown below! 
You will get to enjoy all of these delicious varieties of Red Gold Tomatoes & an apron courtesy of Red Gold Tomatoes Summer Grillin' Party II ! 



Here’s how to enter-
  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would like to try and make using a can of Red Gold Tomatoes.
  • Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Sunday, July 20, 2014. 
  • A winner will be chosen at random and the name will be posted to this entry on It's Yummy to My Tummy blog on Monday, July 21, 2014. 
  • Please, one comment per person.

~Disclosure: Red Gold gave me at It’s Yummy to My Tummy a party kit, that included the apron and canned tomato varieties you see pictured. They also are generously providing the giveaway prize at no cost to me. All opinions and statements expressed are my own.
---------------------------------------------------------

Red Gold Tomatoes Summer Grillin' Party II - Official Contest: Did somebody say a party?!?  Make sure you check out Red Gold Tomatoes site, as they are hosting this Summer Grillin' Party II and they are giving away even more goodies there. Visit Red Gold's Facebook page and enter for your chance to win; each week 1,000 people will have a chance to win a Red Gold Apron like in my picture and one lucky One lucky winner will receive a large Big Green Egg® grill! (note- the official contest ends July 23, 2014) 


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Monday, June 30, 2014

Healthier Chicken Nuggets

Yummy note: My kids LOVE chicken nuggets. If they could have chicken nuggets for every meal, I think they would. So with the frequency it seems to come up in meal planning at our house, I wanted to make an alternative option for their processed chicken nuggets. We've been making chicken nuggets/strips like these, but they often bring up the fact that these chicken nuggets aren't quite the same as the processed ones, aka the texture and shape is different. So when I came across this recipe from MOMables a while ago, I thought i would give it a try as we've never tried using the ground chicken. Wow, it was a hit! The looks of these won them over and we've been using it for several months now. It is the best to try especially if you are looking for the same feel and look of processed chicken nuggets but on the healthier side. I have modified the seasoning a bit from the original posted here, as my kids have some allergies to watch out for, so we eliminated the parmesan cheese and just used more breadcrumbs in place of that. The beauty of this recipe is that you can make them ahead of time and freeze them and keep them ready for those quick meals to reheat and serve. I love how the texture of these homemade chicken nuggets is very similar to that of the processed chicken nuggets that they love. The biggest complaint my oldest child had was that the nuggets didn't get crispy enough for her, so I'm working on that technique still. But they really taste awesome, both for big and little kids ;) we even made a batch into larger chicken patties to have for chicken sandwiches. 



 Healthier Chicken Nuggets 
Recipe adapted from http://www.momables.com/lunchbox-wars-4-chicken-nuggets/

Ingredients: 
Chicken mixture: 
1 lb of ground chicken 
1/4 cup of old-fashioned oats 
1/2 tsp of chicken seasoning (we like to use this
pinch of salt/pepper
optional: if the mixture seems too wet and not forming into shapes well, add in additional 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs or crushed saltine crackers 

Coating: 
1/2 tsp of chicken seasoning 
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp of black pepper 
3/4 cup of breadcrumbs 
optional: add in grated parmesan cheese 

Directions: 
In large bowl, combine chicken, oatmeal, and seasonings and mix well. Moisten hands to prevent the chicken mixture from sticking to your hands and form about 1 tbsp of the chicken mixture into a ball and then flatten into your nugget shapes. You could also press the chicken mixture into a cookie cutter for shaped nuggets to make more appealing for the kids. (note, this takes some time to do though, I wouldn't advise it, unless you have some patience :) as the meat can get stuck to the cookie cutters. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with remaining seasonings for the crumb coating. Press nuggets into crumb mixture and toss/pat down crumbs to coat evenly. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place nuggets on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Spray the top of the chicken nuggets with cooking spray for a crispier coating (optional). Bake 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken nugget, turning once halfway through. 

The biggest complaint my kids have sometimes with these baked nuggets is that they don't really get brown or super crispy. If extra browning or crispiness is desired, you could place the nuggets under the broiler for a couple of minutes or pan fry them at the end of cooking. If you opt for the freezer method, freeze the raw chicken nuggets on a cookie sheet, to avoid them sticking together. Once they are frozen, put them in a container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to bake, Make sure you add an additional 5 minutes or so to the initial cooking time to make up for the frozen chicken nugget to bake thoroughly, as it is raw chicken and you want to make sure to cook it properly. You could take a temperature of the chicken nugget if you wish, and it should be about 170 degrees to be cooked thoroughly.

These nuggets start with simple ingredients.

Steps to make easy healthier chicken nuggets, similar to pre-packaged processed chicken nuggets. 




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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Caprese Bites

Yummy note:
This month's Secret Recipe Club selection was amazing. Everything on the Authentic Suburban Gourmet's website was just picture perfect. Lisa is one of these people I would love to go over to her place and visit with, and or course, be one of those lucky guests to be invited to one of her festive dinner parties. She has had her blog up for many years now, starting back in 2009, and her photography skills have always been pretty top notch which truly makes her blog so appealing. I often look back at my fellow bloggers at their earlier years, as you can see how they progress and how the blog changes, especially in the digital age, people often switch to different photography styles. But Lisa's is picture perfect- since the beginning, so hats off to Authentic Suburban Gourmet. I mean she has dishes on there that I'm not a fan of, and typically wouldn't eat, like these Deviled Eggs, but the way she photographed them, made me want to try it out almost! The eggs looks so dreamy like frosting!  I knew I wanted to feature something from her Friday Night Bites series, as she had several delectable recipes that I had a hard time selecting from. So I did what any of you do, and try out a few :) I'll feature the Caprese Bites recipe, with some inspiration from this recipe as well, as my kids like pepperoni better than salami. 



Caprese Bites


original located here 


Ingredients: 
12 small mozzarella balls
12 basil leaves
12 slices of pepperoni or salami
12 cherry tomatoes
24 toothpicks
Extra virgin olive oil Sea salt or Fleur de sel

Directions: 
Cut the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half, the short direction. Then, slice the basil leaves in half lengthwise. Finally, cut the pepperoni and/or salami in half. Next comes the assembly- Put the cherry tomato next to the mozzarella ball, it should form like a small ball when put together. Next wrap the half basil leaf and half salami or pepperoni around that. Secure caprese bite with a toothpick. Continue to assemble bites. Once all are assembled, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt for tasting. This makes about 24 appetizers.
 
Yummy Note:
I had some fresh basil growing abundant in my garden patio planter, so I thought this was a perfect fit for this caprese bites recipe. 


Some more basil hanging out on my windowsill. Did I mention I really like fresh basil? ;) 



The key players - mozzarella, little cherry tomatoes, basil, pepperoni or salami, a quality extra virgin olive oil, and some sea salt. 


Look at these fresh ingredients, ready to be assembled into a delicious appetizer.


Now the tricky part, wrapping the basil and pepperoni/salami around those little buggers!


All cute, almost too cute to eat. Ok, really, it's ready to be devoured :) Finish off with some evoo and sea salt.





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