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Alphabet Soup "T"
"T" Is For TOMATOES
The History of the Tomato:
Tomatoes are apart of the nightshade family, which include potatoes and
eggplants. Tomatoes originally come from South America and were introduced
to the European cultures, via the Spanish. The Europeans were not open to
trying tomatoes, as a lot of members of the nightshade family are poisonous.
Later, the French tried these tomatoes and began to call them "pommes d'amour",
apples of love. They felt that tomatoes carried aphrodisiac qualities! It wasn't
until the 1900's where the tomato gained popularity in the United States.
There are many different types of tomatoes, including, but not limited to:
Beefsteak tomatoes and Globe tomatoes, excellent raw or cooked, Plum (or Roma)
tomatoes come in yellow and red varieties, Grape tomatoes are baby romas, Green
tomatoes, excellent for relishes, frying and broiling, and Cherry tomatoes and
Yellow Pear tomatoes, great as a garnish or for salads.
How to Choose a Tomato:
Tomato season is June through August. The best tomatoes available for purchase
are vine-ripened tomatoes. Unfortunately, these are the most perishable, which
is a reason why most supermarkets purchase green tomatoes and allow them to
ripen at the store. These, unfortunately, will NEVER have the flavor or texture
of a vine-ripened tomato. Look for firm tomatoes, with no blemishes, a distinct
tomato aroma, that gives slightly to pressure, and should be heavier than it
How Do You Store a Tomato?:
At room temperature. They should NEVER be placed in a refrigerator or placed in
If I Have An Unripened Tomato, How Do I Ripen It?: Place in a pierced paper bag
with an apple at room temperature for several days.
The Nutritional Qualities of a Tomato:
Tomatoes are high in fiber, Vitamins A, B & C, potassium, iron and phosphorus. A
medium tomato only has 35 calories.
Depending on what you serve with your tomato dish, try drinking a Chardonnay, a Fume Blanc, a Chenin Blanc, a Zinfandel or a Syrah.
copyright by Jennifer A. Wickes
4 tomatillos (Mexican green tomatoes, if none are in your area, use more tomatoes)
4 Roma tomatoes
½ yellow onion
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño peppers (or more for heat)
4 garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro
1-tablespoon lime (or lemon) juice
1-cup corn (optional)
1-cup black beans (optional)
1.) Peel tomatillos (like an onion). Put in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes.
2.) Mince tomatoes, onions, celery, jalapeños (if extra heat is desired, use seeds), garlic and cilantro.
3.) Crush tomatillos and add to tomato mixture.
4.) Add salt, cumin and lime (lemon) juice.
5.) Mix thoroughly. If "optional" items are desired, add now, and mix again.
6.) Let the salsa sit over night.
Serve with chips, eggs, grilled meats, tacos, burritos or fajitas.
Makes 4 cups.
This article was previously published at Suite101.com.
You Bet Your Tomatoes: Fun Facts, Tall Tales, and a Handful of Useful Gardening Tips
by Mike McGrath
Tomatoes are the most popular home garden vegetable crop. Based on McGrath's
personal adventures in tomato-growing,
You Bet Your Tomatoes guides would-be gardeners through choosing, planting,
growing, and harvesting homegrown tomatoes of many varieties. Along the way,
he weaves in fascinating tomato lore and tips. McGrath also explains why
readers should grow their own tomatoes in the first place: You just can't
beat the taste.
TEMPERATURE NOT TIME IS THE KEY IN COOKING
Cooking time is influenced by the type, size, and shape of the food, the degree of intended doneness,
the initial temperature of the food and the oven, the idiosyncrasies of your particular stove, the
presence of other items you are cooking concomitantly, opening the oven door, and the cooking vessel.
TEACHING KIDS TO COOK
Supervision is the key ingredient to cooking with kids. All children develop cooking skills at
different rates - having an adult introduce cooking skills that match their ability is essential.
TIPS FOR SELECTING THE BEST SUMMER FRUIT
Summertime brings with it a bounty of fresh fruits, but consumers often have no idea how to choose
the best fruit. This can lead to the frustration of lackluster fruit, which can make all the
difference in the quality of your dining experience.
TIPS FOR USING HERBS IN COOKERY
In recent years, more and more cooks are using herbs in their recipes. People on salt-free diets
find herbs a great help in adding flavor to their otherwise bland foods.
LOVE TOMATOES? ENJOY THEM ALL DAY LONG!
With their tangy-sweet flavor, rosy color and nutritional benefits, fresh tomatoes are a welcome
part of any meal, starting with breakfast and going right through dinner.
TABLE TALK FROM SARGENTO®
Cooking enthusiasts looking for simple, exciting ways to infuse their favorite dishes with bold flavor
without spending hours in the kitchen will appreciate the creativity offered by new Sargento® Bistro
Blends shredded cheeses.
TRIFLE - ONE EASY RECIPE, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES
My trifle recipe is a lifesaver when you have to feed a crowd. Using cake and custard mixes, it's fast
and easy to make, it looks spectacular layered in a large glass bowl, and everyone (and I do mean everyone)
loves it. There is never any leftovers and even people who don't normally eat dessert have been seen
chowing down on huge bowls.
TUSCAN STEAK WITH MUSHROOMS
Steak and mushrooms are one of those duos that have as much taste appeal today as ever.
This classic Italian dessert is one of the most popular sweet endings ordered at restaurants, but it isn't difficult to make at home.
This incredibly easy yet delicious way to prepare potatoes is sure to add a little flare to your next meal.
"T" Is For...
To brown by direct or oven heat.
To mix with light strokes, usually by lifting with a fork or spoon.
To fasten in position with skewers or twine, as to truss the legs and wings of a fowl for roasting.
Sesame seed paste.
Black olive paste made with anchovies, capers and olive oil (and some times a little tuna) from the south of France.
Mexican green tomatoes available here in tins.
To have a delicious, tender roast beef, cut a piece of an onion (1/4 inch thick) and place
under the roast beef. Also, if the roast is resting on the pantry, never baste with the hot
sauce because this will prolong the cooking time.
While there are many reasons for teaching kids to cook -- less expensive than eating out, preserves family heritage, etc, the most important
reason is that by teaching your child to cook, you're giving him a better chance to be a healthy grown-up. Enabling your child with the ability
to appreciate freshness and to transform ingredients into tasty foods opens their eyes to making wiser choices about what to eat...