Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Summery Splash of Color for January

A couple of weeks ago, right after our blizzard and snow days, I was craving tomatoes.

I don't know exactly what it was. Maybe I was tired of all the winter squashes and soups and stews (which I DO love), but I wanted something fresh and colorful, and, well, summery.

But every store had the same stock problem - pallid, sad-looking, more yellowish-orange than red spheres that were trying to pass as tomatoes.

I was resigned. No tomatoes for me.


I happened on the most amazing looking, bright red, plump tomatoes.

I just knew I had to do something special with them.

I had some leftover chicken which I shredded. I tossed on some oregano, basil, and garlic.

Added the chopped tomatoes on top and topped with cheese. (Note the parchment paper? That was because last time, I lost half the cheesy goodness when it stuck to the pan.)

I like my cheese crusty, so I cooked it until it looked almost burnt.

There's a peek inside under the cheese crust.

While the chicken and tomatoes were cooking, I boiled up some cavatappi, then spooned the deliciousness on top.

So, do you crave summer dishes in winter and winter dishes in summer, or is it just me?

 I might be crazy, but I prefer to think I just like variety.


  1. Great minds think alike, Cate! I DO start craving lighter meals with lots of greens and veggies when we're still months away from spring. I'm so glad I can find them in our grocery store!

    Of course, like you said, the quality is often lacking this time of year...but that's when I check out the frozen foods section instead of the produce department. :-)

    And this looks like a wonderfully quick and easy dish! It will have to go on my menu.

    1. I was reading something recently about how frozen foods are really better for us than the fresh ones that are trucked in from great distances. The quick freezing retains more of the nutritional value.

  2. Mary Cate, those are some of the most beautiful tomatoes I've ever seen. I would've scooped those up, too. And you had me at the cheese. Yum!

    I do have to say that I tend to crave the cold weather foods when it's cold. Stews, soups... But salads just don't interest me when it's cold. The flip side of that coin, though, is that you won't find me making chili in the summer. That's when I want the salads and the fresh veggies.

    This discussion reminds me of one of my old bosses. I loved soup and ate it every day for lunch. Didn't matter if it was 10 degrees or 100 degrees. And he worked in a hot warehouse. I never understood how he could do that.

    1. Mindy, I went through a few years of living soup, but lately it just hasn’t been doing it for me.

  3. I start craving fresh fruit right about now. Strawberries, watermelon, peaches, blueberries....sob...You can buy all that up here in January - except for the watermelon maybe -- but they don't taste like anything and they are fiercely expensive so I'm living on apples for fruit. And I love apples but...I'm ready for a fruit expansion.

    I can't believe those tomatoes! Ours don't look like that...they are just yucky. Now I'm craving a toasted tomato sandwich!!!!!

    1. My daughter just picked up frozen blueberries for me, Kav. I was craving them too.

      Trust me. Most of the tomatoes I saw looked nothing like these.

  4. Oh my gosh, Cate... this looks amazing. I would love this. Chicken? Tomatoes? Cheese??????

    I am in love. Seriously over the moon. And don't those tomatoes look perfect??? #longingforsummer

    What a great idea, Cate!!! Thank you for sharing it!