At the change of seasons, I always find myself a bit down. It’s the whole leaving one season behind to get to another… the weather changes just a bit at a time until you’re suddenly 100% in a new season.
This summer/fall, I have been feeling a bit foggy. I feel as if I’m covered in those opaque and sticky clouds. I just can’t see the outline of myself and my true shape. I feel smudged. It’s 3L year, and I’m so excited that the end is near… but I’m so so anxious because I just don’t know what happens next. I don’t know! And I feel so uncertain and insecure because I know I am overqualified for anything entry level, but underqualified for anything I want… and I have the burden of over a quarter million dollars of student debt. And? There are just so many things to do. And there are so many things I want. I feel unprepared for all that is coming, and I know there is so much more to come. I don’t like feeling as if I am hanging on by a thread, I want to feel as if I am dominating.
Anyway, when I doubt, I stand at my kitchen counters and put together pretty food to cheer up.
Tomato and Pesto
- 1 Heirloom Tomato, sliced
- 1/4 cup of pesto
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar glaze
- Arrange the tomato on a platter
- Dollop just a bit of pesto on each stack of tomato
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze
(Whole wheat pizza with Easy Tomato Sauce, mozzarella and artichokes)
A while back there was a recipe for tomato and butter sauce that everyone was raving about. It was simple – tomatoes, butter and an onion. The result was a velvety sauce with the richness of the butter just shining through. It is a good recipe. It’s easy and all you need to do is stir. As a law student, I like easy recipes that stay delicious through multiple meals and that store easily. So, this recipe was my go to for quite some time. I used it on pasta, pizza, eggs, whole wheat tortillas, you name it.
However, like anyone who spends a lot of time puttering around the kitchen, I believe that there is always room for improvement. So I changed the recipe, but I didn’t want to spend more time stirring or chopping so only added one ingredient and condensed the steps so that I could put this sauce up, study, and when I’m finished reading my sauce is done. I love things like this, the kind you can set up and leave alone while you do your work. It makes me feel like I’m doing more.
This sauce freezes beautifully and pairs well with just about anything. I freeze 1/2 cup portions and toss it with fresh pasta as needed. I noticed that full cup portions are a little too hefty for me, and the 1/2 cup keeps me in check. I might run a lot, but not enough to burn 2,000 calories of tomato and carb.
Easy Tomato Sauce
- 2 cans of 28oz of whole tomatoes, try to find cans that are lined and BPA free
- 2 medium sized yellow onions, peeled and halved root to tip
- 7 tablespoons of salted butter, sliced in 1 tablespoon increments (I have a feeling you could get away with as few as 5 tablespoons of butter and still have a great sauce)
- 1 1/2 cups of good red wine (I wouldn’t open a good bottle of wine just for this sauce, but if you have a cup or two left over from your last bottle – the kind that is too good to chuck but too aired to save – this is the place to use it right up)
- Begin to heat your pot and pour in the tomatoes. (I like using my Le Creuset for this project). With a pair of kitchen shears, cut each of the whole tomatoes into 3 or 4 pieces. I find that by cutting apart the whole tomatoes you can skip the pureeing and the squishing of the tomatoes during the cooking process.
- Add the butter, wine and onion. Stir until the wine is incorporated well.
- Cover the pot and lower the heat to just below a simmer.
- Set your timer for 2 hours.
- Read, do homework, clean your bathroom. Periodically (say every 30 minutes) take a peek and stir your sauce so nothing sticks to the bottom of your pot
- After 2 hours has elapsed, stir your sauce thoroughly, mashing any large bits of tomato that haven’t broken down (or leave them if you like more texture).
- Remove the onion halves from the sauce. The original recipe tells you to discard this. But as a poor as a church mouse and gaining debt by the minute law student – I make use of every single thing I can. Put the onion in a glass dish and store for later. I served the onion sprinkled with a little balsamic vinegar, heated with slices of buttered, crusty baguette at a wine party. It was delicious.
- Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. I found that with the delicious addition of red wine that no other seasoning was necessary.