a little of each

A family's cookbook

Cream of Tomato Soup May 16, 2013

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:33 am
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From America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

4 Tbl unsalted butter
2  cans (28 oz) each diced tomatoes, drained with 3 cups of the juice reserved
1 onion finely chopped
2  Tbl light brown sugar
1 Tbl tomato paste
2 Tbl all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups  low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the drained tomatoes, onion, brown sugar and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the tomatoes begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the broth and the reserved tomato juice, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender  (or food processor) until smooth.

3. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the cream. Bring to a brief simmer, then remove from the heat. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste and drizzle with a little balsamic glaze before serving.


Skillet Tomatoes March 29, 2013

Filed under: Fruits and Vegetables — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:27 pm
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4 large tomatoes, sliced and seeded

1 Tbl butter, melted

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 Tbl parsley, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 Tbl vinegar

2 Tbl olive oil



Cook tomatoes in butter in a skillet for about five minutes. Turn over. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate dish, stirring well. Pour over tomatoes and simmer for five more minutes.


Scalloped Tomatoes

Filed under: Fruits and Vegetables — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:26 pm
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Aunt Doris gave Robin this recipe years ago.



½ cup herb stuffing

½ tsp garlic salt

¼ tsp oregano

2 tsp sugar

1 (1 lb, 13 oz) can tomatoes

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 Tbl butter



Grease a 10 x 6 baking pan. Combine stuffing, garlic salt, oregano, and sugar; mix well. Arrange half of the tomatoes in pan; top with layer of stuffing. Sprinkle with ½ cup of cheese and onion. Spread with remaining tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


The Famous and Much-Coveted Spaghetti Sauce

Filed under: Pasta and Grains — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:49 pm
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This is the Holy Grail of our family’s cooking traditions. The recipe makes a large pot of sauce which can be divided. While some is served immediately, the rest is frozen for future meals.


NB's spaghetti sauce



1 (12 oz) can tomato paste

1 (28 oz) can tomato puree

1 (15 oz) can chicken broth

2 lbs sweet and mild Italian sausage

1 bone-in pork chop

1 cup dry red wine

3 large cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped

1 Tbl oregano

1 Tbl basil

1 Tbl sugar

½ tsp red pepper flakes

salt, to taste

Grated cheese


Brown the sausage and pork in a small amount of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until it is light brown. Add the tomato paste and tomato puree. Add two cups of water, the chicken broth and the red wine. Add the herbs. Add up to one cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Simmer on the stovetop for two hours. Taste every time you walk by. Go, “Mmmmmmmm.”  Tweak seasonings to your taste.


Grilled Feta March 28, 2013

Filed under: Sandwiches — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:33 pm
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This is truly one of the best things you’ll ever eat.

It’s made at a small diner-style restaurant in St Petersburg, Florida, called The Kopper Kitchen.  My family has been going there for decades.  And we’ve been ordering this pita sandwich that entire time.  Some people (yours truly) omit the onions, others remove the tomatoes and grill the onions, everyone makes a mess while eating it.  And don’t tell Owner Fred, but I’ve made it in a frying pan, and it worked.


1 pita bread

3 Tbl feta cheese

2 tomato slices

bean sprouts

onion, sliced and grilled

Thousand Island salad dressing



The grilled feta is prepared on a griddle at low heat. Do not use a frying pan. Cut pita bread in half to form two pockets. Spread dressing inside bread. Place cheese inside bread. Layer tomato, sprouts and onions on cheese. Place sandwich on griddle and heat both sides until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.


For the Thousand Island Dressing:

2 cups mayonnaise

½ medium onion

½ green pepper, pureed

1 ½ tsp. garlic, pureed

¾ cup sweet relish

½ cup catsup


Combine all ingredients. Mix well with a wire whisk. Makes three cups.


Tomato Salad #2

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:12 pm
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8 oz grape tomatoes, halved

4 oz mozzarella cheese (solid)

fresh basil leaves

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar dressing



Chop up the cheese into rough cubes or slivers. Slice the fresh basil leaves. Combine the cheese and basil with the tomato halves. Toss everything with the dressing. It can sit or be served immediately.


Tomato Salad #1

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:10 pm
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5 medium tomatoes, sliced

4 oz crumbled feta or blue cheese

½ cup olive oil

1/3 cup wine vinegar

2 Tbl finely chopped fresh basil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper



Arrange tomatoes and cheese in a 13×9 dish. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Pour dressing over tomato mixture. Cover and chill at least four hours.


Tomato, Dill and White Cheddar Soup March 27, 2013

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:11 pm
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Serves six

We prefer this soup only partially blended.



2 Tbl olive oil

3 cups chopped leeks

4 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juices

4 ½ cups chicken broth

6 Tbl chopped fresh dill or 2 Tbl dried

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ cup light sour cream

4 oz chilled sharp white cheddar



Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender, about six minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, broth, chopped dill and cayenne and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until tomatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in a processor until smooth. Return to pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in sour cream. Garnish with cheese and dill.


Mexican Tomato Lime Soup

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:06 pm
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3 gloves garlic minced

2 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbl vegetable oil

6 cups tomato juice

2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced

1 large lime, juiced

3 Tbl fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Tabasco, to taste

2 cups tortilla chips

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated



In a soup pot on low heat, sauté the garlic and cumin in the oil for a minute. Stir in the tomato juice, fresh tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for several minutes. Add Tabasco to taste. Place tortilla chips in soup bowls and ladle soup over them. Top with grated cheese and some more fresh cilantro.



Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:02 pm
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¼ lb day old French bread, cubed


1 ½ cups cucumber, peeled and diced

1 green pepper, seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp salt

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup wine vinegar

2 lbs ripe tomatoes, cubed


Soak bread in cold water, turning once.  Squeeze out excess water.  Combine cucumber, green pepper, garlic, salt oil and vinegar in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add half of the soaked bread and continue blending until smooth.  Add tomatoes to the blender with the remaining bread.  Blend.  Add salt and vinegar to taste.  Chill.  Serve garnished with croutons, chopped crisp bacon and/or sour cream