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Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe ~

With Fall around the corner, the garden is winding down. All veggies are in ripen mode and I am harvesting tomatoes like crazy.  I thought I’d share my Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe if you are looking for something new to do with all those fresh-picked tomatoes you have from your garden! One can only eat so much salad, right?

tomatoes from the garden

You can use fresh tomatoes from your local farmer’s market if you aren’t growing your own. I prefer Roma tomatoes because they have fewer seeds and a little more pulp. But as you can see, I also use regular tomatoes for their juice.

Here are the ingredients for the roasted tomato sauce recipe:
  1. 1 lb. Fresh Tomatoes (or more, depending on how much sauce you want to make)
  2. 1 or 2 large onions (2 if you’re going big)
  3. 1 to 2 heads of garlic  (separate cloves and use all)
  4. 4 to 6 tblsp. of Virgin Olive oil
  5. 1 tsp. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  6. 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  7. 1 tsp. crushed dry Basil
  8. 1 to 2 tsp. sugar
Here’s what you do:

Slice all tomatoes into halves and place them in a roasting pan with the skin sides up in one layer. Cut the onion into quarters and add to the pan. Next, separate your garlic into cloves and slightly mash, then add to the roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over all ingredients then add the salt, pepper, basil, and sugar. (Adjust oil and seasonings accordingly if you are making a bigger batch than mine.)

Now get your hands in there and mix up all the tomatoes, onion, garlic, etc. so that everything is nicely coated in the olive oil and spices. What a mess, but so much fun! Your pan will look like this:

Tomatoes for sauce

Now you are ready to roast the tomatoes:

Pop your pan into a preheated 350-degree oven and roast for 45 minutes or until the skins begin to blacken. Be careful when you open the oven door at the end of roasting because a bit of smoke may come out. Your kitchen will smell like heaven! This is what the roasted tomatoes look like when finished roasting:

 

roasted tomatoes ready to make sauce

 

Allow the pan of tomatoes to cool a bit until able to safely handle. You can then pour all the ingredients into a pot and use an immersion blender to blend everything into a sauce. Or if you don’t have an immersion blender, place the roasted ingredients into a high capacity upright blender to make your sauce. I use my Vitamix because it makes quick work of the blending process, chopping all the tomato seeds, onions, and garlic into a thick sauce.

 

roasted tomato sauce

 

Use the roasted tomato sauce immediately or save for later:

If you are planning on using your sauce immediately, adjust seasonings to taste and if it’s too thick, add a bit of water or your favorite red wine. At this point, you can also add in other spices like oregano, allspice and more basil. Cook the sauce on the stovetop for 20 minutes to incorporate your additions, then pour over your favorite cooked pasta.  For pizza sauce, do not add any other liquid.

You can also pour the sauce into prepared canning jars and can according to your favorite method. Or if you don’t like to can, like me, allow the sauce jars to come to room temperature and then freeze. Just remember to leave enough headroom in the jar, so the jars won’t crack in the freezer. The roasted tomato sauce freezes very well, in fact, I still have jars of frozen sauce from last year’s harvest.

“Canned Tomatoes” oil painting:

Last year, as an homage to my tomato harvest I painted this painting of canned whole tomatoes. The painting hangs in my kitchen.

The “Canned Tomatoes” oil painting was inspired by the hot jars sitting on the counter after I had used a water bath canning method, which I no longer use. I don’t care for the added acidity that citric acid creates when canning. So now I just freeze my jars and all is good!

A few blog posts ago I shared a recipe for tomato salsa. Did you make salsa? If you did, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

I’m looking forward to Fall and doing some Plein air paintings of the beautiful trees in all their glory. In the meantime, I’ve been working on some previous paintings and trying to wrap things up so I can paint something new!

Until we meet again ~ Much Love

Rhonda

 


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A Pet Portrait of Zedd oil painting

New Work:

Today I am sharing with you, a recently completed pet portrait oil painting for one of my collectors. My collector is a cat lover and she commissioned me to paint a small portrait of her beloved pet, named Zedd. Zedd is 14 yrs. old and he is a Tabby cat.

Pet Portait of Zed oil painting

“Zedd” is painted in oil on a 4″x4″x2″ gallery wrapped box canvas. I’m very pleased with the results of all the work that went into creating this pet portrait, as is the collector. She can’t wait to receive her painting! Currently, the piece is drying and awaiting the final coat of varnish.

 

Pet Portrait of Zed side view

The side view of the painting of Zedd shows how the piece can be displayed without a frame since the sides of the canvas are painted black. The back of the painting is finished with wood and has a hole for hanging.

 

back of pet portrait oil painting of Zed

 


Decorating with Art:

The pet portrait of Zedd will be hung on my collector’s gallery wall. You can see how she cleverly displays her collection of cat imagery. She has illustrations, photos, paintings and even a sculpture on this gallery wall which looks great.

 

Collector's Gallery Art Wall

 


Previous Commissioned Paintings:

 

 

The above image of a painting commissioned by my collector, entitled “The Cat is Really Bad at Taking Selfies”, is also painted on a 4″x4″x2″ gallery wrapped box canvas. My collector will hang her new painting of “Zed” next to this one, and give the impression, the two cats are looking at one another.

Below is another of my collector’s commissioned paintings of Shota, her dearly departed cat.  Shota’s portrait was painted in oils on an 8″x10″ canvas panel. Her eyes were the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen on a cat! She was so beautiful.

 

And lastly is another oil painting commissioned by my collector of Zed looking out the window, entitled “I Wish”, as he looked out the window at the birds flying by. I titled it “I Wish” thinking he wished he could go outside and catch the birds flying by! But he is an indoor cat and it was in the middle of winter, so he just had to wish!

I enjoy painting animals because I love them, and have owned many pets in my lifetime; from fish to birds, to cats and dogs, even chickens! It is my pleasure to immortalize my collector’s cat in an oil painting that will last a lifetime. I know she will enjoy it as much as I did painting it.

If you are a collector, meaning you have purchased a painting/s from me, and you would like me to paint a commissioned piece, please click on the “Commissions” tab in the “Important Info tab above, for more info.

Until we meet again, much Love! ~ Rhonda

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Plein Air Painting on the Lake

A few weekends ago I had a great time Plein Air painting on the Lake. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. The wind was non-existent even though it was cloudy with the threat of rain. The fish weren’t biting so we decided to beach the boat and set up camp for the day.

 

Plein air painting set up at the lake


The Plan for the Day;

The plan was for me to paint Plein air and the husband to fish from the shore.  We were going to have lunch first, but there were yellow jackets everywhere! For those who live in the forest, you know what I’m referring to. For those who don’t, you are lucky. These nasty buggers look like a bee and sting like a bee, but they are a type of wasp that eats meat. Whaaaat? Yes, that’s right. They will fight you for your food, and around this time of year, they get aggressive. I’ve been stung on the toe before and let me tell you… that’s no fun!

Anyway, the husband decided to make a small campfire to smoke out the yellow jackets until they found the yellow jacket trap he hung in a tree. Before we could light the campfire though we had to clean out the fire-pit of the previous campers TRASH. Folks leaving behind trash in a fire-pit is becoming more and more prevalent and it really makes me upset. It’s just plain rude! We burned the trash, but as we all know, aluminum cans and tin foil don’t burn. We had to bag up the remnants of their trash and dispose of it at home.

aluminum cans from the fire pit

Rock Painting:

I decided to leave a message for the next campers who would use this campsite, by painting a message on a large rock and leaving it on the picnic table. Since I didn’t have any poster board on hand, a rock was the logical solution for a sign. “Pack it in, Pack it out” signs are typically in every campground, but these are primitive sites along the shoreline, and have no signage.

Pack it in, Pack it out

I figured since painting on rocks has become so popular I’d paint a message instead of an illustration.  I love the forest, nature, and camping and it just isn’t nice to have to clean up after someone before being able to enjoy a site. So please, if you are a camper, pack it in and pack it out…camp is not the dump!

Painting under the umbrella was not so great.

After lunch, I set up my gear and studied the landscape. There weren’t any boats around, and the mountains were kind of misty from all the humidity in the air. The overall scene was kind of ugly, so I settled on painting our boat.

The sky was growing darker and I wondered if I would have to run for cover like a previous time when I painted Plein air. This time I brought an umbrella so if it started to rain it would be okay. Problem solved! Well not quite. You see, the umbrella blocked out much of the light, and the little light clipped to my pochade box wasn’t bright enough to solve the problem. Oh well. I’d rather have less light than rain running down my painting.

 

Plein air painting at the lake

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work in progress on the pocchade box

I love my mini pochade box!

I brought the “baby box” on this outing and even though I love the compact size, the palette isn’t large enough. Here’s a shot after I had laid in all the base colors and had scraped the palette to put out fresh paint. Given that I couldn’t really see what I was doing, I’m really happy with how things turned out.

Here’s the work in progress. It will be finished in the studio. I might add a boat or two in the distance, and some houses on the shore, just for interest. I’m pretty satisfied with the loose painterly style of the mountains and the sky, so those won’t be worked any further. I need to add the details on the boat and highlights on the water.

Work in progress on Duckworth boat

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Work in progress

All in all, despite the weather, we had a fabulous day. I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude while painting Plein air at the lake. The yellow jackets hovered around the trap instead of being attracted to the oil paint. The husband caught six fish, albeit small. But as I like to say, a fish is a fish, no matter the size. We left the campground better than we found it, and it didn’t rain!

Until next time ~ much love, Rhonda

 

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The end of Summer is upon us!

Summer is winding down as fall gently unfolds

The end of Summer is upon us as Fall gently unfolds. Crisp mornings and shorter evenings say Summer is almost over. Summer has been wonderful this year because the temperatures haven’t been too extreme. There were only 6 or 7 days of temperatures in the high 80’s, barely breaking 90. We were blessed with more rain than normal too, which kept the wildfire season to a minimum.


Vegetable Gardening has been challenging!

The veggie garden has had a bit of trouble with the up and down temperatures, but luckily, my tomatoes in the greenhouse produced a decent crop and are ripening quickly. The green peppers suffered a bit and didn’t grow as big as in the past, and the same with the onions and garlic. I’ve been busy processing herbs and making spaghetti sauces and tomato salsa, with this year’s bounty.

 

Summer bounty of tomatoes

 

Here’s my recipe for salsa:

2 Cups diced tomatoes, 1 cup diced bell pepper, 1 cup diced onion, 6 cloves diced garlic, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. sea salt, pepper to taste, 1 tbsp. Lime juice.

I like to use Roma tomatoes since they have fewer seeds and a more vibrant taste, but you can use whatever tomato variety you like. I used green bell pepper, but you can use red or yellow if you prefer. Also, if you like spicy foods, add in 1/4 tsp. of chopped fresh jalapeno pepper with seeds. I don’t care for spicy food, so I omit the jalapeno pepper.  Optional, 1 to 2 tbsp. of chopped fresh Cilantro.

 

tomatoes and green peppers


Dice the onion, garlic and green pepper and add to a stockpot with 1/2 tsp. salt.

Chopped onioins


Chopped Green Pepper

Sweat the onions, garlic and green pepper on the stovetop until just barely transparent. Add chopped tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Cook gently over medium heat for five minutes stirring once or twice to incorporate all ingredients. You aren’t making spaghetti sauce, so you want to be sure to stir gently so the tomato holds shape and doesn’t liquify. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature then place salsa into canning jars, or storage containers. Store in the refrigerator and the Salsa will keep for a week. Serve with tortilla chips, or put on tacos, and even over eggs.

Tomato Salsa and Chips

 


It’s so satisfying to grow your own food and make dishes with fresh ingredients that you know haven’t any pesticides in them.

The potatoes should be ready to harvest in another few weeks. This year I planted Yukon Gold, Russet and Red potatoes for the first time. I’m hopeful all went well and we will have an abundant crop. The Butternut and Acorn squashes are beginning to ripen and I am looking forward to making my favorite squash recipe for dinner. I’ll share that later.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer! Did you plant a garden or have a fabulous adventure this Summer? Are you sad to see the end of Summer or are you looking forward to Fall? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Next post, I’ll share my latest Plein air adventure.

Until then ~ much love, Rhonda

 

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“Latour Creek” Oil Painting

A few blog posts ago I shared my camping adventures and a Plein air painting I started during that trip; you can read the post HERE.  I started “Latour Creek” oil painting in the dark and scary forest, next to Latour Creek,  where my attention was drawn to the dappled sunlight highlighting various parts of the forest, especially the creek. Sadly, I had to finish the work in the studio because of the mosquitos attacking me while I was painting. Work has been progressing slowly, on “Latour Creek” oil painting to which so far, I’m very pleased with the results.

There have been a few revisions as is typical of the editing process.

Here are my first set of revisions:

Revision 1 of Latour Creek oil painting

Did I write all over the painting you ask? No. I used a photo editing app to write my notes. I can easily see my mistakes once I’ve taken a photo of a painting. Funny how that works. I guess it’s the same as looking at one’s work in a mirror; the mistakes will be more noticeable.

 


I fixed all my edits and then rephotographed the painting which showed me I am not finished.

Here’s revision 2:

Revision 2 of Latour Creek oil painting

You can see by my edits where I feel some elements need more refinement.  More spectral highlights on the grasses need to be added and the edges of the foreground rocks need some softening. The mid-ground tree on the left needs more attention to define the shape. The tree needs some splashes of light on a few branches, to show the dappled sunlight.

I always set a painting aside for a while, not just to allow the layers to dry between sessions, but to come back with a fresh eye. This painting is a complicated scene and is taking a bit longer to finish, but that’s okay. Painting is about the journey and the enjoyment of the process, so for me, I don’t mind if it takes longer to finish a piece. It’s like reading a good book; we don’t want it to end. Right?

Every time I look at this painting, I’ll always remember what if felt like to paint this scene. I can still feel the coolness of the air and hear nothing but the quiet of the forest, and the babbling creek as the mosquitos buzzed around my face. That’s what I love about Plein air painting the most; the memories!

Much Love ~ Rhonda