Life Hacks: Slicing Cherry and Grape Tomatos in Half

If you follow me on SnapChat or Instagram you'll know I'm a salad kind-of-a-girl.  I usually have some kind of salad ever day.  I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables that add color and life to a salad.  There's just one problem...those cherry or grape tomatoes.  I prefer them sliced in half.  Otherwise, they can be just a little bit too big.  But have you tried to put a pint of to tomatoes?!  That is a chore.  Well, it used to be a chore.

Recently, I discovered the most amazing cooking hack ever.  EVER!  (Thank you Martha Stewart youtube videos.)  I have no doubt that this is going to save you a ton of time.

Here's how it goes...

You're going to need a long serrated knife, two lids (just use two of those plastic lids from your tupperware), and tomatoes.

 1.  Prep your tomatoes.  Go ahead and wash them.

2.  Place tomatoes in between the two lids and cover with the 2nd lid.

3.  Run your knife through the center of the two lids.  I used a long bread knife.

4.  Viola!  You're ready to use those tomatoes on the stove in a pasta or in a salad.

Super simple, but pretty genius.  Thanks again, Martha!


Short & Sweet

Every week, usually on Wednesday, I post an inspirational picture or quote that I found floating around the internet.  It's just something short & sweet.

June is an exciting month at Mary & Martha.  We are having three flash sales.  Plus, there are a couple of great deals.  Tomorrow starts one of our flash sales and it's super good.  Let me know if I can order you something.  Just email me if you want {danetteleah [at] gmail [dot] com}.  Or, if you'd like, you can view the catalog and place and order here.

Here's the deal...


Meatless Monday: Pad Thai

Most people I know struggle to add fruits and vegetables into their daily diets.  I love fruits and vegetables, but sometimes (ok, most times) the breads and chips and meat just look a little better.  But subtracting meat from your diet on Mondays is any easy way to force the consumption of more vegetables.  (Plus, you get to use the cool alliteration thing...Meatless Monday.)

Adding vegetables isn't difficult at all especially with something like a stir fry or a pad thai like this one.

All you need is super simple ingredients.

Rice Noodles
Soy Sauce
Garlic (I used paste)
Squash and Zucchini
Bean Sprouts
Sesame Seed Oil (not pictured)

Stir fry your vegetables until they are tender in sesame seed oil (just a touch) and garlic.  While stir frying, bring water to a bowl for the noodles.  After the water comes to a bowl, remove the water heat and add the noodles.  Be careful to follow the directions very carefully or your noodles will become soggy and sticky.

After the noodles are finished, drain and bring your stir fry pain back up to temperature.  Combine the noodles and vegetables and splash with soy sauce.  Move to the dinner table and serve hot.


Short & Sweet

Well, there ya go.

Recipe: Summer Pasta Salad

A few weeks ago I shared a recipe for a Very Berry Fruit Salad and wow!  What a response.  Summer just brings people outside and together.  Sometimes it's around a pool other times it's just a trip to the park.  Whatever that occasion, good food and refreshing drinks help make those outdoor occasions better.

Here's a super easy recipe for a delicious pasta salad.

assorted grape tomatoes
seedless olives
mozzarella cheese pearls
olive oil
pasta (I used bow ties, but any should do)
1 tablespoon garlic (I used paste, but I would use 2 whole cloves.)
5 tablespoons basil (I used paste, but if you use fresh basil chop 1 bunch slightly.  I love the green!)
salt to taste

Cook the pasta until tender.  While the pasta is cooking, slice the tomatoes (Check back tomorrow for a super a-ha! way to cut those little tomatoes up.)  and combine with the pitted olives.  Break apart the mozzarella pearls and set them aside.  In a small mixing bowl combine the garlic, basil, and salt with olive oil.  Allow this mixture to set so all the flavors can combine.

After the pasta is finished, all it to cool down until it's room temperature.  (I prefer this recipe at room temperature or slightly chilled.  When the pasta has cooled, combine the tomatoes, olives, and mozzarella pearls.  Lastly, cover with the oil mixture.  Again, allow the ingredients to mold together.

And there you have it.  A delicious, pasta salad dish for your next outdoor event.


Short and Sweet

"Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying somewhere you don't belong."
Mandy Hale
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