Summer is coming to a close and the afternoon and evening lighting is beginning to fade.  This is some sorry news for a food blogger…


(Yes, I am wearing zebra print and highly bedazzled and fluffy slippers, folks).

You see, I do most of my food preparation and cooking in the evenings, just before dinner, as to bask in the glory of an amazing meal and full belly prior to turning in for the night.  These days, my habit of sipping on a full glass of wine, the passing of time, and the imminent arrival of the fall of dusk chime, has lead to photo food sessions falling later and later into the evening.  With less and less lighting around the corner…
…well, the results are impossible.


Weekends, thus, will be filled with food photography and tasty experimentation.

In the mean time, while the light remain somewhat stable these last few days, I’m hunkering down for the thought of heartier winter meals ~ warmth in my belly and the aroma of simmering sauces.

Combining the best of both worlds – the last of the summer tomato crop and the nourishing warmth of a sauce on the stove:


Simple Sweet and Spicy Tomato Sauce**

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (I don’t typically heat olive oil, but for the purposes of flavor, I make an exception here)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely diced
2 lbs. garden fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
2-3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon** (I always add cinnamon to my tomato basil concoctions…it’s the secret weapon!)
1/4 tsp. + Jacobsen Lemon Zest Sea Salt (any fine sea salt will do – but this is truly the best)
1/8 + tsp. freshly ground pepper

In a medium sized pot, heat oil over medium to low heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  As the onions begin to caramelize, add the tomatoes.  Once bubbling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover, allowing the juices to release and the tomatoes to cook down.  Every 3-5 minutes, check the tomatoes, stirring, to ensure no sticking and that things are beginning to reduce into a chunky sauce. (If additional moisture is needed, slowly add vegetable broth or additional tomatoes).  After about 15-20 minutes, add basil, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Stir for an additional 2 minutes and remove from heat.

For maximum flavor development, allow to cool overnight and reheat to serve the next day.  Otherwise, drizzle over grilled pork chops, steak, or even chicken…or serve over perfectly baked spaghetti squash.


Thank you, Shun, for adding an extra splash of color to my kitchen these days.

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