Not My Grandma’s Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie {Gluten-Free, Vegetarian} | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

This pie is a great way to use all of those garden fresh summer tomatoes. It’s named Not My Grandma’s Tomato Pie because the recipe comes from a good friend’s grandma.

Kalinda mentioned in her Buttery Green Beans and Radishes recipe that we have a Monday Night Dinner crew. Grandma S debuted this pie last summer. I fell in love with it but sadly forgot about its existence just days later. A couple weeks ago she baked it again and reminded me just how tasty it really was. She gladly shared the recipe. I adjusted a couple items and went to town.

I made this pie two days in a row. Unfortunately, I only have pictures from the first pie. The second was much better. I adjusted a few measurements and the pie construction, so the pictures don’t show the revised and polished recipe. I figured some pictures was better than no pictures.

Tomato Pie

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 gluten-free pie crust

For the pie crust, I used Pamela’s Pie Crust Recipe. You could also save yourself the trouble and buy a pre-made crust. The funny part about my crust is that I used the pancake mix instead of the bread mix, but the crust came out just fine. If you are making your own crust, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Next wash and peel the tomatoes. I blanched and shocked my tomatoes to expedite the peeling process. Slice the tomatoes, and place in a colander in a sink. Salt the tomatoes to help draw out some of the liquid. Next, chop the green onions and chiffonade the basil leaves. After 10-15 minutes, lightly press the tomatoes to help release any extra liquid. Mix the tomatoes, green onions, and basil together.

In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese. Place the tomato mixture inside the partially baked pie crust. Next take a spoon and drop the cheese mixture in globs over the top. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then spread the cheese mixture out so it covers the entire top of the pie. Bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the top of the pie is slightly brown.

Serves 6-8

Cucumber Sorbet Duo

Cucumber Sorbet Duo | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

I was excited when my first batch of pickling cucumbers came in, and I quickly used them all for the Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles. I checked my garden a few days ago and only had one small pickling cuke. But there were a couple teeny-tiny growths starting on some of the other plants. Two days later and I’m buried in cucumbers! These refreshing sorbets are an attempt to use up the cucumbers and throw together a quick dessert.

The sorbets were not made with my ice cream maker, but with my good ol’ freezer. Both sorbets are light and the mint makes a great palate cleanser. If you do use an ice cream maker the sorbets will be a bit easier to scoop, plus it will speed up the freezing time.

Note: We separated the two recipes for easier reading, but as you’ll see, it likely makes sense to make them both together (or double either recipe) in order to use a whole number of cucumbers.

Cucumber Mint Sorbet

  • 2 ½ cucumbers; peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • 10 medium-to-large mint leaves (more or less to taste)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • juice and zest from one lime

Make the simple syrup first. Take ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Place both ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and gently stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Peel 2 ½ cucumbers, size in half length-wise, and remove all of the seeds. Then slice into chunks.

Place cucumbers and the simple syrup in a blender or food processor. Next add 10 medium-to-large washed mint leaves. Zest the lime into the blender, slice it in half, juice it and add the juice to the blender. Puree until smooth and well combined. Place in a container that has a lid and place into your freezer.

Strawberry Cucumber Sorbet

  • 1 ½ cucumbers; peeled, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • juice and zest from one lemon

Again, make the simple syrup first. Take ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Place both ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and gently stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Peel 1½ cucumbers, size in half length-wise, and remove all of the seeds. Then slice into chunks.

Next cut strawberries into halves until there is 1 cup of strawberries sliced. Combine strawberries, the simple syrup, cucumber, and the zest and juice from one lemon in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Place in a separate container with lid and move to a freezer.

Give the sorbets a stir every 30 minutes, making sure to break up any ice crystals. Continue checking and stirring the sorbets until frozen solid.

Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles

Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

These pickles are fast and easy. It’s been a long-time goal of mine to dabble with pickling. My first batch of pickling cucumbers showed up in the garden this week! I was excited to finally have the opportunity to give pickling a try.

I opted to make my own combination of pickling spices, but you are more than welcome to use a store-bought version. This just allowed me to tailor the spices to my taste buds (surprisingly, despite all my recipes for sweets, I am not a fan of sweet pickles). Refrigerator pickles might not last as long as a traditional pickling and canning, but they are super tasty.

Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles

  • 6-8 small-to-medium pickling cucumbers
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced in long, thin slivers
  • 8-9 cloves of garlic, about 3 in each container
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt (Any salt without iodine will work.)
  • 2-4 cups fresh dill weed, depending how much flavor you want (I went heavy.)
  • 3-6 whole dried cayenne peppers depending on the level of desired spice, one in each jar unless you want it really hot
  • 3 quart-sized jars with lids (I used 2 quarts and 2 pints to experiment with different levels of spice.)

Pickling Spices

  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsp green peppercorns
  • 2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 6-8 bay leaves, around 2 per jar

First sanitize your containers. I ran mine through the dishwasher.

Slice cucumbers in quarters or into rounds and set aside. I opted to try both for this experiment.

Next you will prepare all the other ingredients that will be packed in the jars with the cucumbers. Wash the dill. You can chop it or leave the sprigs whole (which is what I did). Halve and then quarter the yellow onion, slice into thin slivers. The garlic cloves should be left whole, but slightly crushed. If using whole, dried cayenne peppers, rip the stem off of each pepper. If these are not available, crushed red pepper will work.

Combine all the pickling spices in a small bowl.

Mix the vinegar, water, cream of tartar, salt and pickling spices in a large sauce pan. Heat all ingredients over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost at a boil. Remove from heat once you reach this point. We have a family favorite cook book by Justin Wilson, Home Grown Louisiana Cooking. Wilson’s advice for heating pickling liquid: “Don’t bring to a boil. Stir the liquid with your finger; when it gets too hot to keep your finger in, it’s ready.” As you might guess, Wilson’s cook books have a lot of Louisiana flair and are littered with humorous stories about the culture and food of his era. While certainly not vegetarian, they’re still fun to read.

I’m not actually recommending you to stir the liquid with your finger. I just wanted to give you a general idea of how much to heat the pickling liquid. I cooked all the spices, but if you want a more organized and even system of adding the spices to the individual jars, cook just the vinegar, cream of tartar, salt and water. You can distribute the spices into the jars without heating them.

Let’s pack the jars! I started each jar with one clove of garlic, a small portion of sliced onion, a cayenne pepper, and a chunk of dill. Next, pack down the sliced cucumbers, followed by a second addition of each of the ingredients (if you only want lightly spiced pickles skip the second cayenne). Repeat this process until your jar is tightly packed full of ingredients.

Once the jars are packed, distribute the bay leaves by scooping them out of the heated pickling mixture and placing 1-2 in each jar. Using a funnel, slowly pour the liquid into each of the jars. You’ll notice a lot of the spices stay in the sauce pan. Distribute the remaining spices evenly throughout the jars with a spoon.

Place the lids on the jars and refrigerate. Let the pickles sit for at least 24 hours. If you allow the pickles to rest longer, they will pick up more flavor. I made it a whole 36 hours before cracking open a jar (but that’s why I made 4 jars).

Makes 3 quarts

Ready To Refrigerate

With so many other fresh vegetables and fruits at a surplus right now, I’m ready to move beyond cucumbers. Expect more recipes throughout the summer. :)

Chocolate and Caramel S’more Cookies

Chocolate and Caramel S'more Cookies {Gluten-Free} | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

This recipe is going to seem fairly complicated and involved, but I promise it really is simple. It does consume a bit of time, but these suckers are worth it! I made the graham crackers and caramel one day and put everything together the following day.

Something to keep in mind: If you want to make this easier on yourself, you do not have to make everything from scratch. I just thought it would be a fun experiment.

I’ll post everything separately to (hopefully) make things easier.

Graham Cracker

  • 2 cups Pamela’s Ultimate Baking Mix plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Chop the butter into slices and combine with the dry ingredients using a stand mixer on medium speed. In a separate bowl, mix the honey and cold water. Turn the mixer speed to low and gradually add the honey mixture. Combine for a couple minutes, then remove bowl from the mixer. Dust a couple tablespoons of Pam’s Mix over the dough and start to form a ball. You may need to use a spatula to scrape the sides.

Spread a sheet of wax paper on your counter top and sprinkle with Pam’s Mix. Using your hands, flatten the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. I used a circle cookie cutter to make my crackers round. Alternatively, you could roll the cookies out and cut them into traditionally sized graham crackers and design patterns with the prongs of a fork. Place the crackers on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. After the baking sheet is full, sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the tops and bake for 15-20 minutes. These cookies would also make a fantastic pie crust.

Now for the caramel sauce. After Googling how to make caramel sauce, I came across a recipe on cakecentral.com. Here’s what I learned about the recipe: It makes a very large quantity (I ended up using less than half of it for the s’mores), and it is very yummy. This sauce can also be used as a cake filling, a dipping sauce for fruit, really anything. It keeps well in the refrigerator. I made the sauce in advance and allowed a little time for the caramel to come to room temperature before spreading on the cookies.

Caramel

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup butter (do not substitute)
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a heavy saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Carefully stir in the whipping cream. Attach a candy thermometer to your pan. Continue to stir until the caramel reaches 238 degrees, or the soft ball stage. Remove the pot from heat and add vanilla and salt. Stir until everything is combined. Let cool before serving.

The hard part is over!

S’More Cookies

Here’s what else you will need to put the treats together:

  • one bag of gluten-free milk chocolate chips, chunks, or pieces
  • one bag of very dark (60% or higher cacao) gluten-free chocolate chips, chunks, or pieces
  • 1-2 bags of Dandies vegan marshmallows (depends how many s’mores you’re making)

If you want to make things easier, use only one type chocolate instead of two. The dark chocolate melted and coated everything more evenly. The milk had the traditional s’more taste.

Take chilled caramel sauce and spread evenly on one side of the graham crackers. Place the dry side of the crackers on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or wax paper.

Next melt the marshmallows over medium to low heat in a large sauce pan. Take a large spoon and place melted marshmallows over the caramel coated side of the graham cracker. Or you could place non-melted mini marshmallows on top of the caramel and proceed to the chocolafication.

Using a bane-marie or double boiler, melt chocolate over medium heat. Once completely melted, dip a caramel and marshmallow cookie into the chocolate with a slotted spoon. Completely submerge the cookie, then remove. Place on the wax paper lined baking sheet to harden. Repeat this process with the remaining cookies. I placed all of my cookies in the refrigerator to allow them to cool faster.

Makes ~18 cookies

Mr. Steve’s Coleslaw

Vinegar Coleslaw | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

It is incredibly difficult to squeeze a recipe out of our father unless you physically assist him with cooking and record everything as it happens (maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but it is pretty tough). He very rarely uses recipes and frequently changes his cooking approaches and styles. However, he has used all of his children as Sous Chefs since we were young, so this was an easy recipe to pick up and share.

Vinegar Coleslaw

  • 1 small cabbage, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • a pinch of salt (or to taste)

Combine vinegar, oil, sugar, dry mustard, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together until combined. After combined, mix all of the vegetables in until coated. Chill the coleslaw for an hour or two before serving.

Please enjoy.

Serves 6-8

One great thing about a vinegar coleslaw is that the longer you let it sit, the more the flavors soak together. If you can, make the dish a day in advance.

If you want to add more color to this dish feel free to sub out some of the cabbage for red cabbage. They both taste great!

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