December 14, 2015
CHRISTMAS ON THE FARMHOUSE TABLE...WITH SCALLOPED TOMATOES...KEEPING IT SIMPLE
No matter how pretty the entryway is,
the warmth and comfort of the family room,
everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen.
I am the only one that decorates the Christmas tree.
And....it can be rather exhausting.
So, when I finally get around to our kitchen,
I love keeping it easy, yet festive!
Even when we host a weekend gathering,
I really do keep the menus rather easy.
I am often asked,
"How many hors d'oeuvres do you normally make before dinner?"
The plan I stick to is this....
polish up your little silver bowls and fill them
with salted cashews, ripe cherry tomatoes, a savory cheese appetizer
served with mango chutney and whole grain crackers.
These days, I am keeping it light at these informal dinners.
Delicious sweet endings can be composed of
fresh farmstand apples, big ripe strawberries with a whipped chocolate mousse
and of course...
We love serving
a light, white fish and a big fresh tossed salad.
Have you ever made scalloped tomatoes?
Divine and takes about five minutes to prepare
and thirty minutes to bake......
Perhaps your guests would enjoy
an easy Parmesan Risotto....
this takes about forty-five minutes in the oven,
rather than standing over the stove and stirring, then adding.....
I also choose recipes I am familiar with....
I have learned it's not the time to try something new.
Now in Texas,
we love anything Tex-Mex!
Would you enjoy a
Pink Grapefruit Margarita
with a big bowl of chips and fresh guacamole?
Now....that all sounds pretty easy, doesn't it?
Now, how about the recipe for the scalloped tomatoes...
this was one of my Daddy's all-time favorites!
5 T. olive oil
2 cups diced bread,,,choose a rustic bread with crusts removed
3 lb.s plum tomatoes, diced
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 3 T. olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
Add the bread cubes and stir to coat in the olive oil.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.
Add this tomato mixture to the bread cubes.
and continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in the fresh basil.
Pour this into shallow baking dish,
sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
and drizzle with 2 T. olive oil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.