Mediterranean Tomato Salad & #BlakesPairing Giveaway

Thank you to Blake’s All Natural Foods for sponsoring this post, inspiring me to share my recipe for Mediterranean Tomato Salad, and providing coupons for the #BlakesPairing Giveaway. All opinions are mine.
Mediterranean Tomato Salad #BlakesPairingIf you’re swimming in tomatoes like I am, this Mediterranean Tomato Salad recipe may be just the thing you need to serve today! This gorgeous salad is not only beautiful to look at, it’s a delicious addition to most any meal. The flavors of garden-ripened tomatoes, fresh feta cheese, and kalamata olives blend together perfectly and the salad comes together very quickly – making it an easy side dish for busy nights.
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How to Can Roasted Tomato Sauce #foodpreservation #prepping

One of my new favorite home canned foods is Roasted Tomato Sauce. This tomato sauce is an easy, delicious, and versatile sauce. It’s great for quick pasta night meals – fabulous in lasagna, spaghetti, over ravioli or tortellini.  I came up with the idea for this sauce last year thanks to many other awesome bloggers, but this is the first year I have canned it. Last year I froze the extra I had and it was really nice to pull a bit of this out of the freezer for a quick meal. We loved it so much, that I decided I must can it this year. Even though I liked it frozen just fine, I just don’t have the freezer space for as much as I need. I have a lot of shelf space though!  So far, I have canned 26 quarts of this delicious roasted tomato sauce. Here’s how you can to!

How to can roasted tomato sauce

How to Can Roasted Tomato Sauce

tomatoesFirst, make the sauce. Start with a good amount of tomatoes. I grew San Marzano tomatoes this year from seeds I purchased at Baker Creek. This is the first year I have grown them, and I am very impressed! I will grow them again next year for sure. I also throw in any cherry or grape tomatoes I have, as well. First, wash tomatoes thoroughly. Cut off any bad spots and the stem and bottom end if you want. You do not need to peel them. Scandalous, I know. I never peel tomatoes I can – it takes too much time and I am a lazy canner. :-) I have to find ways to reduce my time commitment.
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Tuesday Garden Party – Garden Inspiration for 8/26/2014

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Tuesday Garden Party – Garden Inspiration for 8/26/14

From your host for this week, Michelle @ SimplifyLiveLove

Tuesday Garden Party Scenes from Iowa Aug 26

My garden actually looks terrible after weeks of dry weather and I haven’t been doing much in it. I should have been watering, but didn’t. Now that we’ve got heat indices back in the 100s – right in time for the beginning of the school year - we finally got much needed rain.  I’m hopeful that that with the heat and the water, my garden will back in business and I will gather enough tomatoes to make the most awesome Roasted Tomato Sauce ever!

If my own tomatoes don’t do much, I’m taking comfort in the fact that I’m heading down to Missouri later this week and will can up my dad’s surplus tomatoes. He got all the rain we did not and his tomatoes look absolutely amazing this year. I’ve got tons and tons of green tomatoes in my garden – just need them to turn red now. Since my garden is nice and moist again, I really, really need to get out there and weed, finally! I haven’t weeded in soooo long.

Weeding and drying herbs will keep me busy early next week and canning my dad’s tomatoes will keep me busy later on. What will be your garden tasks for the week?

…..On to this week’s lovely features…..

Tuesday Garden Party - Garden Inspiration for 8262014

1. The Potential Of A Broken Rocking Chair – by My Creative Days - I love this DIY flower planter and would love to see how it looks now after a few months of growth!

2.  Dallying in the Dahlia Garden – by Garden Grumbles and Cross Stich Fumbles - I planted dahlias in my own garden for the first time this year and am stunned by the varieties pictured in this beautiful post!

3.  Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -  by A Student Gardener - if you like flowers, check out the gorgeous beds in this post. The colors are beautiful!

4. A Garden Birthday Party – by Pondside - Wow! What a perfect setting for a first birthday party. I adore these pictures.

5. The Bug Detour – by GardenUpGreen - I often grumble about the harmful bugs in my garden. I love this post about beneficial insects!! It’s a refreshing change.

Now onto what you have to share this week!
To Join the Co-Hosted Garden Party:
        1. Link anything garden related: what’s growing/blooming, tips, ideas, progress, harvests, recipes using the harvests, preserving tips and recipes – even garden decor (but, please no other decor links – lets keep to the theme). Links will be open from 5:30am (PST) Tuesday through 11pm Thursday of each week.
        2. Please link directly to your blog post URL, not your blog homepage URL. Please do not link Etsy stores, giveaways, or other link parties.
        3. By linking up to the Tuesday Garden Party you are giving the five blogs,listed above, permission to feature your project and/or photos on our social media outlets and blogs.
        4. If you wish to be featured, please include the Tuesday Garden Party button or a text link in your linked post (feel free to use the button found on the host’s blogs).
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No Mayo Cole Slaw

No Mayo Cole-Slaw

 My trusty Better Homes and Gardens: New Cook Book includes a recipe for a Vinaigrette Coleslaw which I love. It’s super easy, delicious, and much healthier than mayo laden coleslaw. I love coleslaw, but I’m not that crazy about mayonnaise – especially when we’re outdoors and it’s not being refrigerated. Call me crazy, I’m just a little worried about spoiled mayonnaise.

I grow a lot of cabbage in my garden this No-Mayo cole-slaw, along with homemade sauerkraut, is one of my go-to recipes for using up cabbage.

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