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Grilled Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas & Homemade Tomato Soup

Grilled Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

A neighbor gave us several jars of tomatoes from his garden last year (20 jars) I am finishing them up so I can hand them back to him; my husband goes over and helps him pick and can the tomatoes. Last night I made a tomato soup dish Jim’s grandmother taught me over 20 years ago, which takes brandy. So I’m using the bottle of Brandy she gave me. I wanted to show you the vintage bottle holder her husband made out of metal for her. I adore the look of this bottle holder – it sits proudly on top of my refrigerator.

Grilled Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas were made from a recipe I found in a Better Homes and Garden Ultimate Mexican 20011 magazine. (recipe in photos)

They are delicious!

Mammah’s Tomato Soup

2 jars of tomatoes (probably about 28 to 32 oz each)

½ cup broth (I have used vegetable – this time I used chicken)

3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1-2 tsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking soda

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp Brandy

½ – 2/3 cup heavy cream (taste it after ½ cup and decide)

(If you do not have cream, tear up 3 slices of bread, crusts removed. Add this with the sugar)

Drain tomatoes in colander set over bowl, press lightly to release juice. Pour tomato juice and chicken broth in large measuring cup (this should measure 4 1/2 cups) Set this to the side for later. Set tomatoes to the side.

Melt butter (I used a Dutch Oven) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add ¾ of the drained tomatoes, bay leaf, and brown sugar. Cook stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. If tomatoes brown before 15 minutes, move on to next step.

Add tomato paste and flour to pot and cook, stirring until paste begins to darken, about 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in reserved tomato juice broth mixture, the remaining tomatoes, baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and Brandy; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. When soup has cooled a bit, puree soup in blender (I scooped out enough to fill blender ½ way, pureed, poured in the large measuring cup I had used previously; did this until I had it all pureed. Return the soup to the pot. Stir in cream.


This is good topped with croutons also


Fruit and Caramel Brie

Fruit and Caramel Brie in the TOH 2011 Holiday Gathering cookbook.
This is delicious! I doubled the topping, and added half to the bottom of the brie. First, I put half of the topping on the tray, and set the brie cheese on that; I then added the rest of the topping to the top. I would definitely make this for gatherings.

I would definitely make more of the topping just to have on the side of this for anyone who wants extra.

Tip: I used a fresh apple as I didn’t like the smell of the dried apples which I had on hand. I tossed those and grabbed a granny smith, diced it and added to the cranberry and nut mixture.