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TOMATO TIME!


Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamins A, C, & K!
If your garden is exploding with tomatoes, give these tasty recipes a try!

Tomato Basil Skewers
Ingredients
16 small fresh mozzarella balls
16 fresh basil leaves
16 cherry tomatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
Coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Directions
Thread mozzarella, basil and tomatoes on small skewers. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Tomato Gratin

Ingredients
4 slices whole-grain bread, torn into quarters
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Place bread in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add garlic, oil and cheese; pulse to combine. Spread the seasoned breadcrumbs on abaking sheet and bake until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, layer tomato slices in the prepared baking dish, sprinkling each layer with basil, pepper and salt. Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes; sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Tomato & Fennel Salad
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Directions
Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add tomatoes, fennel, parsley and pine nuts; toss to coat.

Gazpacho Recipe

Ingredients
6 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 sweet red/green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1-2 Tbspn chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbspn chopped fresh chives
1 clove minced garlice
1/4 cup red wine vingear
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbspn fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tspn sugar
Sal and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
1 tspn Worcestershire sauce
4 cups tomato juice


Directions
Combine all ingredients. Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend.
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Thank you for Caring!

THANK YOU so much to everyone who came out for United Way's Day of Caring on September 14!

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This year, three of the Gardens Project's gardens participated in the event; Brookside School Farm, Yokayo Elementary School, and Nokomis Elementary School and Head Start.

Over at Nokomis we layed down cardboard on the paths and then covered them with lots of wood chips. It was hard work in the hot sun, but we all felt accomplished after seeing the enormous mountain of wood chips decrease into just a small pile.

To see photos from the Nokomis Garden's Day of Caring Volunteers check out the slideshow below

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Seasonal Bounty... Pears!

Right now in Mendocino County, pears are in their prime! What to do with all those pears before they’re gone? Slice them and dry them (I like to sprinkle cinnamon over the pear slices so that it dries right into the pear!)… Process them and can them… Serve them freshly sliced with your favorite brie cheese… Make a pear tart… Dice them and stir them into your morning oatmeal (with a few walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon of course!). There are lots of possibilities!

For tonight though, I want easy, tasty, and SPECIAL… The recipe: Amaretti Baked Pears.

Ingredients:

4 large, ripe, juicy pears
½ cup pear or apple juice
¾ cup raw almonds
8 amaretti cookies (if needed, substitute shortbread cookies and add a ¼ tsp. almond extract)
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg white
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbs. butter

Preparation:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the almonds onto a baking tray and roast for about 10 minutes… you’re going for light, golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then roughly chop.
2) Put the amaretti biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin into tiny chunks, but not a fine powder. Tip into a bowl and mix in the almonds, brown sugar, vanilla extract, egg white and lemon juice.
3) Peel and halve the pears lengthways. Remove the cores from the pears with a teaspoon to leave a cavity for the filling but leave the stems in place. Put into a shallow ovenproof dish and fill the cavities generously with the amaretti mixture. Pour the pear juice into the dish, dot the pears with butter, cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes, until the pears are tender (a paring knife poked into the thickest part of one should meet with no resistance). Uncover and bake for a further 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Chef’s note: The amaretti mixture would also work well with peaches. If you try the filling in peaches, only cook them for about 30 minutes.
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Homegrown in Ukiah was a success!


Thanks to all of you who came out and helped make "Homegrown in Ukiah: A Community Garden Tour" such a wonderful event!



Over 50 community members came out to see 5 community and school gardens. During the tour we ate delicious snacks made from garden produce, shared gardening challenges and tips, heard stories about the gardens, and visited with new and old friends.

We visited the gardens at Orchard Apartments, Head Start (on S. Orchard), Cleveland Lane, Washington, and Plowshares.

After touring the gardens everyone gathered at Bella Vida where we drank wine, ate more delectable treats, and grooved to the music of Mendo Zone.




Hope to see you next year at our 3rd annual Homegrown in Ukiah: A Community Garden Tour!
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