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Posted on 27 August 2008 by tomatocasual.com

On Cherry Tomatoes

By Kira Hamman

Just when you start to think the tomatoes will never be ripe and you’ll be stuck eating zucchini and chard for the rest of your life, the cherry tomatoes throw you a bone.

Hallelujah!

I love cherry tomatoes.

Although they lack the glamour of the big guys, they more than make up for it in spunk. Maybe it’s because I’m only 5’2” myself, but I have a lot respect for things that come in small packages.

Cherry tomatoes, perhaps because they’re on the vine for a shorter time, seem to be less prone to pests and disease than their larger counterparts. Because they’re smaller and therefore have fewer seeds, they’re less Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 13 August 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Too Many Tomatoes!

By Kira Hamman

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – the plants you painstakingly nurtured through needy infancy and difficult adolescence are coming to maturity and producing red, ripe tomatoes.

Pounds of them.

Pounds, and pounds, and pounds of them.

You’re eating tomatoes at every meal, canning and freezing as much as humanly possible, and still they keep coming.

What’s a tomato gardener to do?

1. Keep eating! Remember the dark days of winter, when a garden fresh tomato is but a distant memory, and have just a few more. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Feed your friends. Speaking as someone who went through a gardenless period a while back, I can tell you that they’ll be grateful.

3. Leave the best ones on Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 11 August 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Tomato Knives

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By Kira Hamman

I used to haul out my favorite chef’s knife to slice tomatoes — a big, heavy number that my woodworker husband keeps nice and sharp for me.

I’d draw the blade along the tomato a few times, eventually get through the skin, and try to minimize the inevitable squashing and bruising.

Then I tried a tomato knife.

With apologies to Neil Diamond, now I’m a believer! Not a trace of doubt in my mind. I’m in love, and I couldn’t go back if I tried.

Tomato knives are, as the name suggests, designed for cutting tomatoes.

They’re serrated, which gets you through that skin layer in one slice and finishes the job without a single smush or bruise. Hallelujah! So, as a service to fellow tomato-lovers everywhere, I’ve put together this list of fabulous tomato knives.

Best Overall: Williams-Sonoma, $15
Slices easily, cleans easily (in the dishwasher!), and has a handy round tip for scooping up the slices when you’re finished cutting.

Best Inexpensive: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 25 July 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Tomato-Based Sunscreen Coming to Beaches Near You

By Michelle Fabio

Protecting your skin from sun damage may get a little easier thanks to a new extract from our favorite fruit, the tomato.

LycoRed, a company that specializes in the development and production of plant extracts, has zeroed in on oleoresin from LycoRed’s specially-bred tomatoes.

Studies have shown that this tomato extract works to defeat free radicals and block harmful UV radiation from reaching the skin, potentially lowering risks of skin cancer as well as premature aging.

Lyc-O-Mato wouldn’t be recommended as a substitute Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 23 June 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Quick Tip: How to Blanche Tomatoes

By Thomas Cenci

Here is a quick tip on how to remove the skin of a tomato.

It’s called blanching and can also be used on other fruits such as peaches or plums.

It’s great when using for garnishes or sauces when you don’t want bits of the skin left in, or can be used for half cooking vegetables to be reheated later.

Method:
1. Take a tomato and cut out the green stem.
2. Then make a small incision on the other end of the tomato.
3. Place into boiling salted water for no more than 10 seconds (longer for half cooking other vegetables).
4. Take out and place straight into iced cold water.
5. Drain from the iced water and peel the skin straight off.

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Posted on 01 June 2008 by tomatocasual.com

NatureSweet Tomatoes and Weber Grills Join Forces for Healthy Grilling

By Michelle Fabio

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to grill!

And NatureSweet® Tomatoes and Weber Grills want to make sure you’re doing it right by offering a free recipe booklet called “Grilling and BBQ Cooking with Vine-Ripened Tomatoes” aimed at those interested in healthy grilling.

You can find recipes online, including Basil Hamburgers with Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Condiment, Grilled Shrimp with Ginger and Tomato Broth, and Smoked Tomato Pizza with Pesto, Grilled Onions, and Feta Cheese.

Read the rest of this entry »

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