Yumola BLT Sandwich

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One of my favorite sandwiches is the BLT. I think I like it so much because my Dad loved a good BLT and I have yet to taste one that rivals his. Simple? Yes. But, even the simplest things can be delicious. It’s all about the quality of ingredients you use.

While on a business trip, close to my parents’ home, I opted to stay with them instead of a hotel. One of the best decisions EVER. It provided me with an opportunity to spend some quality; uninterrupted and ALL TO MYSELF morning time (Sorry, not sorry to my siblings ☺️) with my Dad. During that trip, he would get up every morning and make me breakfast. On some of those mornings … okay, maybe almost EVERY morning, he made me a BLT. He was a great cook and he loved bacon and tomatoes. So, it was only fitting that he made THE BEST EVER BLT’s. They always included non cured; thick slab bacon (he was ahead of his time on the organic, no nitrate, etc. thingy) and ALWAYS garden tomatoes (usually heirloom or beefsteak and often straight out of his own garden). So, this sandwich is in honor of my Daddy. Want to make it extra scrumpdiliocious? Add ripe avocado slices. Or, even better? Fried green tomato slices. (Stay tuned for the fried green tomato recipe later.)

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To make this yumola sandwich, you will need:

4-6 slices of thick cut; uncured bacon or uncured turkey bacon cooked until crispy

country white, ciabatta or your favorite wheat bread (bake your own or get from a bakery that uses quality ingredients. Whole Foods has a great selection of breads)

beefsteak, campari or heirloom tomato sliced & seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

butter lettuce, green leaf or romaine lettuce (but PLEASE no iceberg 😩)

1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise (your favorite brand or my favorite … homemade ☺️)

1/4 of a ripe avocado; sliced

Toast your bread and then assemble the sandwich. Start by putting the mayo on each slice of bread. Next, layer the lettuce & tomato on one slice. On the other slice, layer the bacon and avocado. Carefully place one half on top of the other and get ready to have a party in your mouth!

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Kimmie Bee’s Pasta Sauce

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This pasta sauce was created out of pure frustration and my trying to figure out a way to get some vegetables into my 5 year old son who wanted NOTHING to do with them. He loved (and still does) pasta and would request butter or plain tomato sauce … ONLY! So, I figured if I could somehow mask the vegetables in a sauce, I could trick him. Guess what? It worked! And, even though he’s almost 13 now and not such a picky eater any longer, this is still one of his favorite sauces. We all like it. I hope you can fool your picky eater as well. This recipe can be made with or without meat. We happen to really like it with ground turkey, but ground beef or no meat at all is just as delicious.

Kimmie Bee’s ‘fool even the pickiest eater’ Pasta Sauce

1 1b of ground turkey

2 carrots, sliced (you don’t have to be precise because you will be blending them)

1 stalk of celery, chopped (tops included … that’s where ALL the flavor is)

1 onion, chopped

1 green, red & yellow bell pepper, chopped

3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced

1 8 oz pkg of baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped

1 small jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, chopped

2 tsp of dried oregano

2 tsp of dried thyme

2 tsp of red pepper flakes (adjust to your tastebuds or omit altogether)

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (approx. 1 tsp each)

olive oil to coat the pan

1 – 28oz can of crushed tomatoes

1- 14.5oz can of tomato sauce

1 small can of tomato paste

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Sauté the ground turkey in the olive oil on medium high heat until browned. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, drizzle a little more olive oil and add the carrots, celery onion, peppers, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. Cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. You don’t want the garlic to brown. Add the tomato paste and cook; while stirring for 2 minutes. Add the basil, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme & red pepper flakes and stir. Place the veggie mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add the crushed red tomatoes, tomato sauce and the ground turkey. Simmer for at least 1 hour; stirring frequently. You can add pasta water during cooking if the sauce needs to be thinned out. Just before serving, add the cheese, stir and serve over your favorite pasta.

If you own an immersion blender, add the crushed tomatoes & tomato sauce to the pot of sautéed veggies and then blend with the immersion blender. Then, add the ground turkey and simmer. And, remember, you can use ground beef; make homemade meatballs (recipe coming soon) or omit the meat altogether.

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Kimmie Bee’s Bruschetta

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This is a crowd pleaser! Whenever I host a party, my friends ask if I will be making my bruschetta.  Okay, who am I fooling? They INSIST that I make my bruschetta!

For this recipe, you will need:

6 roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

4 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup fresh basil

salt & pepper to taste

2 cups shredded fresh mozzarella

1 french baguette, sliced about 3/4″ thick

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In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes so that the flavors can marry. Arrange bread on a cookie sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oven and divide the tomato mixture evenly amongst the bread slices. Top with the cheese and broil until the cheese is melted. Remove and serve hot or at room temperature.

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Kimmie Bee’s Guacamole

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So, let me just say that I LOVE guacamole and typically rate restaurants by their chips, salsa and guac. If you can’t get those three right, in my opinion, not much else is going to be done right on the menu. Often times, I find myself ‘tweaking’ the salsa and guacamole after it’s been delivered to the table … a squeeze of lime; a dash of salt and a teaspoon of hot sauce. My girlfriend, Patty, has even been known to carry spices in her purse for this very reason. And, I’ve been known to pick up my favorite chips and smuggle .. uh I mean carry them into a restaurant with awesome salsa and guac, but sub par chips.

This recipe came from my wanting to recreate a guacamole that was made, table side, at a Mexican restaurant many years ago. I really liked it, but thought it needed a little ‘tweaking’ to Kimmie-fy it.

What you will need for Kimmie Bee’s DELICIOUS guacamole

12 ripe avocados, mashed with a fork (Yes, TWELVE! You can cut the recipe in half if you want to, but you will wish you hadn’t! 😊)

2 tomatoes, blanched; skin removed & chopped

4 jalapeños, seeds and veins removed

1 bunch of green onion, chopped (you can include the whites, too)

the juice of 2 limes

the juice of 1/2 of an orange

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small red onion, chopped

a handful of cilantro, chopped  …. about 1/4 to a 1/2 of a cup

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl with a cover and lightly mix and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

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Kimmie Bee’s Stuffed Mushrooms

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Every time I see my handwritten notes on the page of this stuffed mushroom recipe, I think of my nephew Joshua. I, affectionately call him, “Teeny Man” and he lovingly calls me, “Auntie Mommy”. He is a grown man, now, with a beautiful wife. But, he will always be my Teeny Man. One of the memories this recipe brings to mind is the weekend I babysat Josh, and his 3 older siblings, so that my sister and brother-in-law could enjoy a weekend together on the west coast. Josh had an asthma attack that landed him in the hospital and me by his side, 24/7 (for a day and a 1/2), while my sister desperately tried to get a flight back home. When she finally arrived and I tried to leave the hospital room, for a much needed shower and BED, it took some coaxing and pleading for Joshua to allow me to leave. These mushrooms (and my Eggplant Parmesan … more like lasagna) are his FAVORITES.

1 package of baby portobello mushrooms (medium to large in size)

1 small bunch of green onions (green only), chopped

1 cup of freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (I like to grate my own cheese .. fresher and you control what’s in it)

1/4 – 1/2 cup of homemade breadcrumbs seasoned with a 1/4 t of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper (or you can use good quality store bought Italian bread crumbs)

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 T of worcestershire sauce

1 dash of your favorite hot sauce

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop finely. In a saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped stems & green onion. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the mixture into a bowl. Add the worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon each) & the grated cheese. Then, add the breadcrumbs; starting with 1/4 cup. You want the mixture to be pretty dry because when you stuff and bake the mushroom caps, there will be some liquid created. You just want the stuffing to hold together, but not be wet.

Fill the mushroom caps with the stuffing and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are heated through.

Here’s a bonus *** If you have stuffing left over, use it to stuff boneless chicken breasts or pork chops. OH MY GOODNESS, it’s so good! Just make a slit in the meat, stuff with the mixture; season the outside with salt and pepper and sear (brown) both sides in a hot pan. Finish cooking in the oven, on 375 degrees, until the internal temp of your meat has reached 165.

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johs&julia

Joshua & Julia