Friday, August 17, 2012

summertime tomato sandwich party!

As part of my love for Summer, I really LOVE fresh garden grown tomatoes. It's such a treat to have tomatoes that haven't been manufactured in a greenhouse, 5 states away, picked green & stacked in pallets, polished with chemicals & sticker'ed with a bar code. No, you want the kind of tomato that is imperfect from bug bites, warm & vine-ripened from the sun, wobbly, juicy, the simple pleasure that someone held a water hose to & checked on daily.

This recipe requires one of those good Summer garden tomatoes. My family always had a garden & as a girl who grew up with a plate of sliced homegrown tomatoes on the supper table every single day of Summer, I know my tomatoes! Mix one with garlic, herb butter, cheese & fresh bakery bread & you've got the simplest of pleasures and the perfect Summertime lunch.

Summertime Tomato Sandwich 
recipe inspired by a delicious sandwich I had at the USU food court while on a college visit with my daughter. The sandwich is called the "Marv 'n Joe" & was created by two engineering professors.

makes 1 open-faced sandwich but you can multiply everything & make 4 just as easy as 1.

1 thick slice of French bread
2 thick slices of ripe tomato
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (balsamic vinegar would also work great, if you prefer it)
1 tablespoon butter, softened
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of dried parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 slice provolone cheese
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat oven to broil.

2. Place tomato slices on a plate & drizzle with olive oil & vinegar. Turn them over a few times & allow to marinate for a minute while you prepare the herb butter.

3. Stir together butter, oregano, parsley & garlic. Place bread on a baking sheet & spread the herb butter over the bread.

 4. Place provolone over the buttered bread.

5. Place marinated tomatoes on top of provolone. Do not overlap the tomatoes. Discard extra oil & vinegar or save it to dip your sandwich in. Salt & pepper generously.

6. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan.

7. Broil for 5 minutes, watching closely, until the cheese is browned & bubbly.

P.S. This is also great using fresh herbs instead of dried & sprinkled with a bit of fresh chopped basil after you take it out of the oven.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

peanut butter sandwich treat party & giveaway!

Raise your hand if you're sad that summer is winding down & back to school is getting close. I honestly LIVE for Summer. I barely survive Winter every year & I really need to live somewhere that has a longer Summer season (like Southern California)! Very few people love Summer best of all the seasons but I definitely DO love Summer best!
We had so much fun on our summer trip to Southern California & had some EXTREMELY yummy treats. One of them being this amazing peanut butter sandwich from Disneyland. And you guessed it, I came home & re-created it just for you...well...and me! Here is a pic of the one I ate at Disneyland. Graham cracker, peanut butter & chocolate PERFECTION!

Peanut Butter Sandwich Treat
makes 6 treats

6 graham crackers
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate for dipping (I used chocolate Candiquik today) but you could also use the chocolate chip/shortening combo in the pb balls recipe linked above.

1.  Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar & vanilla with a fork in a bowl & stick it in the freezer to firm up a bit.

2. Melt chocolate (Candiquik melts beautifully in the microwave) & brush one side of the graham crackers with melted chocolate using a pastry brush. 

3. Scoop peanut butter mixture on top of chocolate side of the graham crackers. I used about 2 tablespoons of pb mixture per cracker. Spread pb evenly to edges of cracker.
4. Place crackers in freezer for a bit to firm up the pb.

5. Reheat the chocolate if needed. Dip the pb graham crackers into chocolate. I set them in the bowl of melted chocolate, one at a time, & spooned the melted chocolate over the top. Then lift the cracker out of chocolate with a fork & tapped the fork on the side of the bowl so extra chocolate drips off into the bowl. 

6. Place on waxed paper or parchment paper & allow chocolate to set up. I drizzled extra melted chocolate over the top. Store in refrigerator & serve very cold.
Giveaway is closed! Congrats to Leah!! The cute Minnie apron is on it's way to you! celebrate SUMMER I'm sharing this adorable Polka Dot Minnie Mouse Apron (pic below is from It's adult size & super playful & fun!

To enter all you need to do is 1. "Like" Sprinkle Some Sunshine on FACEBOOK and 2. Come back to this blog post & leave a comment telling me where your very favorite vacation ever was OR where your dream vacation would be. If you already like Sprinkle Some Sunshine on FB then just leave your vacation comment here! To leave a comment click below where it says "1 comment" (or whatever number) & a comment box will pop up. A random winner will be selected Sunday night, 8/19/12 and notified. Please leave your email address or someway to contact you.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

guacamole and baked tortilla chips party!

I could eat this guacamole every single day and always get raves when I make it for friends or family. You can add or subtract any ingredient and make it your own, just the way you like it. You might want to double the recipe, it’s THAT GOOD!

We also love baked tortilla chips. In my opinion they are better than store bought chips. They turn out crunchier & thicker & much less greasy than a store bought tortilla chip & will hold up to any dip. They are also great served with chicken chili or homemade salsa! I love them warm out of the oven.


2 medium ripe avocados, halved, peeled & pitted
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice, fresh or bottled
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 medium tomato, seeded & chopped finely
1/3 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ a jalapeno pepper, seeded, de-veined and finely chopped (don't forget to use plastic gloves or cover your hands with plastic baggies when cutting)
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, optional
fresh ground pepper to taste

1. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice and salt with a fork. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover tightly with plastic wrap against the guacamole. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor or up to 4 hours. 

P.S. Make sure your avocados are ripe. They should be soft yet slightly firm, kind of like a ripe tomato. You don't want them to be firm like an apple. If you buy them firm you can just let them sit on your kitchen counter for a few days & they will ripen. Or to speed up the process stick them in a paper bag on your counter.

Baked Tortilla Chips

12 ounce package corn tortillas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice, fresh or bottled
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.     Stack tortillas on a cutting board and cut through the stack into wedges. I cut mine into eighths. Arrange on a large cookie sheet in single layer. You will probably need to do this in 2 batches unless you have a larger cookie sheet than I have.

3.     Mix oil & lime juice in a small bowl & brush each chip with the mixture, just on the top. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

4.     Bake 12 minutes or until chips start to brown. Remove from oven, stir the chips around on the pan & rearrange in somewhat of a single layer. The single layer is not as important now. Return to oven and bake for another 3-4 minutes or until chips are crisp and browned. Watch them closely as they can burn quickly. I have had different results with cooking times, depending on the brand of corn tortillas I buy. Some are thicker than others so just keep your eye on them so they don't get too browned. If the chips are still chewy, they need to bake for a couple more minutes. They will also crisp up a bit more upon cooling.

P.S. For more flavor you can also sprinkle the chips with some cumin or chili powder along with the salt before baking.
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