Category Archives: Roasted tomato

Rice Cooker Fiesta Mexican Rice


Recently, I added a rice cooker to my collection of useful kitchen appliances. I didn’t spend much, in fact, this little guy was under $20.00. Not sure if It would end up in the appliance graveyard or a much appreciated purchase, I was reluctant to leave us eating hotdogs and pasta for the week so, I bought the second cheapest model.

To my great surprise, I am in love with my rice cooker! Like a crock pot, this is a busy mom’s dream! Fill it and forget about it. Perfect rice in about 30 minutes. 

Unfortunately, I have not found many rice cooker recipes that impress me. So, today, after spending too much time browsing the internet for a tasty Mexican Rice recipe to serve for a Fiesta night, I made my own.

Slice a lime and crack open a Corona, this recipe deserves a toast!

Note: Recipes Yields about 6 cups cooked.

All the goodies for our recipe



1 Cup white uncooked rice
1 med onion diced
2 cloves garlic diced
1 Can (about 15 oz) of diced tomatoes (I used fired roasted)
1 small can of diced green chilies
1 Can of beans (about 15 oz) drained and rinsed (pinto or black beans are perfect)
1 Cup chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian recipe)
1 Cup of corn (I used a leftover ear of grilled corn removed from cob, adds great flavor, but frozen would be fine)
2 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp of Smoked Hot Paprika (if you do not have, substitute with cayenne)
1/2 tsp dried Oregano


In a frying pan, brown rice in EVOO to make it toasty. This is what adds the nutty flavor to traditional Mexican rice. Add onions and garlic, stirring often until onions are beginning to turn translucent.

Your rice should turn golden brown, and the onions should become translucent


 Lightly spray inner part of rice cooker with cooking spray and add rice/onion mixture. Combine remaining ingredients, set cooker to cook.

Add all ingredients into Rice Cooker....Whoa, careful, this baby sure is full!



 When cooker turns to warm setting, give a stir and return cover. Let stand for another 10 minutes.

Look at that fluffy spicy goodness...Ole I say


Serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream or shredded cheese if desired.


Easy Baked Meatballs


Roll mixture into 1 inch balls

How many times have you been at a potluck where there is a crock-pot of frozen meatballs in BBQ sauce? For me, too many times! They don’t taste right to me, I’m not even sure there is real meat in there! My children really enjoy spaghetti and meatballs. I have, in the past, made complicated mixtures that are fried, turned often and leave me a slave to the stove for at least 30 minutes. Relief at last! I have an easy solution to your meatball fears! Let’s just mix and bake. Toss them with your favorite pasta sauce, I recommend Roasted Tomato and Green Pepper Pasta Sauce or add to a BBQ. Even better, put on a skewer and quickly grill with pineapple, green peppers and onion basted with BBQ sauce. 

Note: Make extra and freeze. Can be quickly defrosted, save yourself some time on another night!  

Recipe yields about 24 meatballs 


1 lb of lean ground beef
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp dried parsley ( 1 TBS if using fresh)
1 tsp dried chives (better yet, fresh, then 1 TBS)
1 Egg
3 splashes Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste 

Mix all ingredients by hand and make into 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and place into a pre-heated 425 degree oven. Bake for 10 minutes, turn meatballs, cook an additional 8-10 minutes. Toss with your favorite sauce or eat plain. Yummy!

Roasted Tomato and Green Pepper Pasta Sauce

Once you've made this sauce, you'll never go back to the jar again!


Oh how the bounty of fresh produce keeps spilling over into my kitchen. I was given a bag of fresh Roma tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and some Green Peppers at work yesterday fresh from her garden. Oh how happy I am! Every since I made my Creamy Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup I have been eager to use my new-found roasting method in a pasta sauce. I saw a recipe on a co-bloggers post that has really inspired me, Two Guys with an Appetite, I encourage you to visit as they have some great ideas too! This is how I made my Roasted Tomato and Green Pepper Pasta Sauce.  

Please note: If you are trying to increase your and your childrens vegetable intake, this is the sauce for you! Hidden carrots, less salt and no sugar, and no preservatives make this a wonderful recipe for your family. Please consider making a double batch as this freezes very well!  

Recipe yeilds about 3 Cups Sauce  

 4-6 servings of pasta and sauce  


7-8 Roma Tomatoes halved and not seeded
1 pint of cherry tomatoes halved
1 med-large red onion peeled and cut into chunks
2 Sweet Green Peppers seeded and cut into chunks
5 Garlic cloves peeled
2 Carrots peeled and sliced about 3/4 inch
1/3 cup quality EVOO
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
Sea salt and Pepper to taste  

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees  

Place all veggies and Garlic onto a large jelly roll pan. Pour EVOO all over and add seasoning. Toss to coat with your hands (your best kitchen tools). Turn Roma tomatoes cut side up and roast in oven for about an hour. Turn garlic and onions about 3/4 way through cooking time.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend on high until you have a chunky sauce. Add a bit of EVOO if desired. Sauce should be thick, not watery.  Add to a medium sauce pan and simmer on low until hot again, serve over your favorite cooked pasta and toasted Italian Bread from Jimmy John’s. They sell a whole loaf of their bread for only $.27 out the door! Brush with a little EVOO, Sea Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper , toast in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes, turn and finish toasting for about another 8 minutes. For a garlic toast, rub, while still hot with a peeled garlic clove.

Creamy Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

It’s that time of year here in Michigan, seems there are more tomatoes than one can use fast enough. BLT’s, Salsa’s and Salads are often staples on your menu if you too, are blessed with the abundance of our seasonal produce. But what do you if your garden is still bursting or your counters are full with ripe tomatoes begging to be part of your next meal. Short of canning (a task that does not appeal to me), I’m quickly running out of ideas. As I was visiting other blogs I ran across a recipe I couldn’t wait to try! Inspired by another co-blogger’s post, Roasted Tomato Soup. I decided that fresh basil from Ma’s Garden must be a Co-star to what is now, my very favorite soup to compliment my grilled cheese

Share with me, your favorite tomato recipes, I would love to hear your input or suggestions, as I’m sure there will more from the garden soon!


4-5 large ripe tomatoes (about 4 1/2 lbs) halved and seeded
1 large Vidalia onion peeled and cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves peeled
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

On a large baking sheet, place halved and seeded tomatoes, onions and garlic. Pour about 2 TBS EVOO over the top, salt and pepper lightly. Toss and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Turn onions and garlic about 2/3 way through cooking time. Remove pan from oven and let tomatoes cool. Carefully, peel skins from tomatoes right on the cookie sheet so not to lose any juices. Roughly chop tomatoes removing the top piece where the stem was. Pour all contents of baking sheet into a stock pot with chicken broth. Bring to a low boil then turn back heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add chopped basil and cook an additional 10 minutes. With an emulsion blender, very carefully blend until smooth. If you do not have an emulsion blender, do small batches in a blender. Be sure to let liquid cool first. Reheat in stock pot on low, slowly stir in heavy cream, simmer for another 10 minutes careful not to bring to a boil.

Serve with toasted bread and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.