Candied Cherry Tomatoes

For the first time in years, I didn’t have a summer tomato garden; we traveled a lot and were thinking about moving, and quite frankly, I just didn’t want one more thing to keep alive. Nevertheless, a volunteer tomato plant sprung up while I was busy neglecting the back yard and is, as I type this, pumping out cherry tomatoes at a record pace.

Cherry tomatoes are delicious, but they don’t do much for you in the tomato sauce and canning arenas. So, what is a person to do with literally, hundreds and hundreds of tiny tomatoes?

Candy them of course. I saw a recipe on www.eatliverun.com for candied standard-sized tomatoes and wanted to see if it would work on their smaller cousins. My concern was that they wouldn’t dehydrate well because they are mostly all juice, but I revised the temperatures and cooking from the original recipe I saw from @eatliverun and they dehydrated perfectly.

Here is how I did it.

Ingredients

1 lb cherry tomatoes
1/4 c olive oil
1tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

 

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Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss or stir to coat the tomatoes well. 
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Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil (to save time on cleanup). Slice the tomatoes and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Bake on 250F for 3 hours then reduce the heat to 170F for 2 hours or until they look chewy and dry. Note: this will burn, even at a low temperature. So keep an eye on them when you think they are getting close to finished. 
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Store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use them in place of sun-dried tomatoes in recipes. We put them on everything.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.

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I gave up Chataranga and got my yoga practice back

For the past 7 years, power vinyasa has been my preferred and regular form of practice. So you can trust me when I tell you that power yogis are obsessed with Chataranga Dandasana.
For my non-yoga readers, Chataranga, also known as 4 limbed staff pose, is basically a yoga pushup. This pose is used to build core strength and stamina and features prominently in sun salutations. It is also used heavily as a transition pose throughout many vinyasa sequences.
Chataranga Dandasana, followed closely by arm balances, is the most workshopped asana in all of modern western yoga. Countless hours of discussion and demonstration have gone toward attainment of the perfect Iyengar Chataranga Dandasana. I’ll be the first to admit that I have never missed a Chataranga workshop.
And until recently, I completely subscribed to the idea that to be power yoga, a sequence must have Chataranga. Even after my orthopedic surgeon reviewed my MRI showing shoulder damage including bone spurs, tendinitis, and bursitis, from repetitive stress (i.e., too much chataranga) I kept at it. I thought that at some point the anti-inflammatory medications, all the icing, and the physical therapy would negate the harm I was causing with Chataranga. And with every practice, I was giving up other key asana because I was no longer able to do them while in excruciating pain.
Then one morning I awoke to find that my arm was too weak and painful to carry my little boy and I couldn’t raise my arm to hold the hairdryer.
And there it was. I could no longer ignore all that I was giving up to hold on to my notion of what a yoga practice should be. For fuck’s sake, I had given up the ability to raise my arms above my head so I could do 50 pushups every day. I had become so attached to the meaning I had assigned to Chataranga Dandasana that I had given up my ability to do 50% of the other poses in a power sequence. I had given up my practice for one asana.
It was time to let yoga cure my yoga. It was time to practice aparhigraha, or non-attachment. Time to let go of the idea that a perfect Chataranga was proof of a strong practice.
That day, I replaced Chataranga with a plank and never looked back. It’s three months later and for the first time since quitting Chataranga cold turkey, I can get my hands behind my back without pain. For the first time in more than a year, the entire power yoga sequence is accessible to me because I decided to surrender.

 

The article originally published on www.groundingup.com

Summer Is Over Fruit Galette

I know summer is officially over when the fruit in my kitchen starts to look pathetic.

Only at the end of summer, when we have binged on fresh fruit for 3 months, will we let bing cherries and peaches wither in the fruit bowl. It is this time of year that I rally the remaining troops and position them to fulfill their destiny as something edible rather than consign them to the compost bin.

Summer fruit’s last chance for redemption comes in the form of this fruit galette.

Fruit Galette Ingredients
1/2 of the Galette Dough (look down)
1 1/2 cups pathetic fruit, peeled
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cold unsalted

Your first order of business is to make your galette dough, which is basically, just fancy pie crust. This recipe, calls for 1/2 of the recipe I provided above and will make 1 galette approximately 8 inches in diameter.

Galette Dough Ingredients
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

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I make my dough in a food processor because I’m new school. It goes like this. 1) mix ice cold water and sour cream together and set aside 2) Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of your processor and give them a churn. 3) Drop the butter pieces in and pulse 8-10 times. 4) With the machine running drizzle the water and sour cream mixture in just until the dough forms moist curds. 5) wrap it in wax paper and put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

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While your dough is chilling, prepare your filling. The technical recipe for this calls for berries; however, I use whatever waining fruit we have on hand. In this instance, the fruit du jour was decrepit cherries and an emotionally damaged pear. I slice my fruit but you could also dice or chop, the idea is to get it small enough that it will cook in 30-35 minutes.
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When your dough is finished chilling’, place it on a highly floured work surface and, to the best of your ability,  roll it into an 11-inch circle. I’m going to take this moment here to remind you that the grocery store sells pre-made and pre-rolled pie crusts. This galette dough can be frustrating to work with for newbies because it is basically just butter and some flour being held together by miracles. Anyway, spread your fruit on leaving about 2 inches all the way around for you to fold it over.
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Fold your edges over. Tell your inner perfectionist to F-off because it’s supposed to look “rustic”. Wet the edges with a little bit of water and then sprinkle the top with sugar and drizzle with honey. Bake at 400 F for 30-35 minutes. I bake mine on a stone baking sheet, but any baking sheet will work.
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You’ll know it’s finished when it’s golden and the fruit is well cooked.
 FYI, this recipe was modified from Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America’s Best Bakers because we are fancy here.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com