Tomato Head’s Mini-Cheesecakes with Local Black Raspberries

Cool and sweet, these mini-cheesecakes take advantage of the berries plentiful this season at local farmers’ markets. They’re also easy to prepare ahead of time, making them an ideal, refreshing dessert for dinner with friends.

19 lemon snap cookies (2-inch in diameter)
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, soft
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 pint black raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 2 cupcake pans with 19 cupcake liners (If you do not have 2 cupcake pans you can bake the cheesecakes in 2 batches). Place one lemon snap in the bottom of each cupcake liner and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat softened cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add sour cream, beat until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk, beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl down well. Beat once again until mixture is lump free. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until incorporated.

Pour batter into a measuring cup for easier pouring. Fill each cupcake liner with batter, leaving ¼ inch of space before the top of the liner.

Place cheesecakes in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving.

To serve: gently wash black raspberries with cold water. Lay black raspberries flat on paper towels and gently pat dry. Mound tops of cheesecakes with fresh black raspberries.

VIDEO: Mahasti Presents Tomato Head’s Mini-Cheesecakes on WBIR

An “Everything Happening” Weekend

You know, it seems like every month or so there comes a week or a weekend when everything is going on. This weekend is one of ’em. If you live in Knoxville or Maryville, or even if you’re just passing through, here’s a quick list of some of the events or opportunities that are on our radar that we suspect you might enjoy.

Friday, June 4th

  • It’s First Friday in Knoxville, which means doors are swung open throughout downtown, with galleries offering new exhibits and shops extending their hours. It’s a rolling, walking, strolling night on the town. It’s also the last night to see the current exhibit at The Tomato Head, titled, “Watercolors by Kelly Coffey, Mixed-Media & Works On Paper by Diana Rogers.” After tonight, the show will be moving to Maryville.
  • In Maryville, The Clayton Center for the Arts is hosting its Friday Night Live Music Series, featuring Barry Roseman & Friends. Good tunes=good times.

Saturday, June

  • Start the day with a quick cooking lesson from Mahasti on WBIR as she demonstrates how to use some of the season’s best ingredients—fresh berries (available from the Market Square Farmer’s Market)—in a mini-cheesecake. The show usually airs around 8:15am and the recipe will be posted to the Tomato Head site later in the day. That is, if we can tear away from all the other stuff that is happening this afternoon.
  • Julie Bernal’s exhibit of acrylic paintings, “Nature In Color” is available for viewing in the Knoxville restaurant.
  • Smoky Mountain Blast featuring Scott Miller and the Commonwealth and Mic Harrison and the High Score at the World’s Fair Park (11:30am-9:30pm).
  • Where we’ll be…at IjamsFest! This event celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ijams Nature Center begins at 3pm and will be featuring music, outdoor fun, art and food. Tomato Head will be selling vegetarian burritos on site. Good eats in the great outdoors.

Sunday, June 6th

  • Green thumbs unite for a good cause at the Community Nourishment Garden at Tyson Park. You can volunteer a little time in the dirt or spend the whole day, either way you’ll be helping provide a nourishing greenspace for folks who need it most. The event starts at 10:30 in Tyson Park.

Hope to see you and some of these fine events around town!

Three Winners from the “Favorite Pizza Combinations” Survey

Well, truth be told, every answer was a winner (at least in the sense of being a tasty combination to try).

Over the last couple of weeks, we asked (through Facebook and Twitter) for folks to share their favorite pizza combinations.  Some we recognized right away…others were less familiar, but just as interesting. So, from the replies we decided to do a little drawing and name a few winners as a thank you for sharing and being part of our Facebook and Twitter conversations. And the winners are…

“Tomatoes, feta & capers,” the favorite pizza of Shawnee Casteel

“Garlic, oregano, gorgonzola, Italian sausage, & red onions,” shared by Kelly Blair Clapp

“Spinach, red onion & herbed tomato,” much-loved by Jill Reed Chaney

Shawnee, Kelly and Jill, we’ll be sending a gift certificate code directly to you so you can come in and enjoy your favorite pizza, try a new topping, or create an entirely new combination.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and please, keep the comments and messages coming.

-ps-Just a reminder…we’ll be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

Square-Side Service for Tonic & Aftah Party Shows at Sundown

Quick reminder that you can enjoy performances – for free – by Tonic and Aftah Party at Sundown in the City tonight (May 20) on Market Square. The Sundown in the City web site offers sample clips from each band and additional details about the event (parking, recycling, etc.).

As for The Tomato Head, the Knoxville restaurant will be offering “Square-Side” service for show-goers, featuring pizza by the slice (both a meat and vegetarian option), burritos (both a meat and vegetarian option), and non-alcoholic drinks. These easy-to-eat-while-enjoying-the-show options will be available starting around 6:30pm until right before the music ends, around 9:30pm.

Tomato Head’s Cole Slaw for a Crowd

Mahasti appeared on WBIR yesterday morning, sharing The Tomato Head’s “Cole Slaw for a Crowd,” just in time for Memorial Day cookouts and parties. This quick-to-make recipe is ideal for topping a barbecue sandwich and also serves as an excellent side dish for everyday summertime meals.

Tomato Head’s Cole Slaw for a Crowd

4 cups red cabbage, sliced thin
1.5 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
.5 cup red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine or cider vinegar
1.5 tsp cumin
.5 tsp salt

Place cabbage, carrots, and onions in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 – 10.

Makes a great side for fried chicken, fried or grilled fish, grilled steaks and barbecue.

Wednesday Farmers’ Market & WDVX Blue Plate Special

It’s a bit drippy this Wednesday morning, but hopefully the mist will burn away before noon because there is a lot happening on Market Square today. The mid-week Farmers’ Market will be in full swing and our homegrown radio station, WDVX, will be broadcasting its Blue Plate Special live from the Square. The Farmers’ Market takes place from 11am – 2pm and the WDVX Blue Plate, featuring Sam Quinn and Bill Mize, starts up at noon.

Ways to enjoy these noontime events? First, move some of those clouds. Second, our specials will be posted around 10-ish…call ahead, order lunch to go, and sit on the Square to enjoy the music and people watching. Or eat-in and extend your lunch break to stretch your legs and visit some of the farmer and vendor stands.

Sundown in the City!

It’s that time again…another free, outdoor concert in downtown Knoxville.

The Eli Young Band and Jill Andrews will both perform at the Thursday, May 6 edition of Sundown in the City. If you want to get a quick listen of either of these artists, you can sample sounds from the Sundown in the City web site.

Since The Tomato Head has a front door to Market Square, we’ll be offering special “square-side” service for all the show goers starting around 6:30pm. You’ll be able to purchase pizza by the slice (both a meat and vegetarian option), burritos (both a meat and vegetarian option), and non-alcoholic drinks. These easy-to-eat-while-enjoying-the-show options will be available until right before the music ends, around 9:30pm.

See you on the Square for Sundown!

May’s New Art at The Tomato Head

Today marks new art at both the Knoxville and Maryville restaurants. The Tomato Head Knoxville is currently showing, “”Watercolors by Kelly Coffey, Mixed-Media & Works On Paper by Diana Rogers.”  The exhibit will be up for viewing from May 1st through June 4th. Below are a few sample pieces from the show:

The Tomato Head Maryville is now showing high-resolution scans featuring species from the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory. The show is presented by Discover Life In America (DLIA) and the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks (GSMNP). The show will be on exhibit from May 2nd through June 5th. The blog post from earlier this spring provides more information about both DLIA and this particular exhibit.

We hope to see you at the restaurant and we hope you enjoy the work of regional artists (and native species) as well as the work of the Tomato Head kitchen.

Tomato Head’s Onion Pan Pizza

Mahasti shared this recipe on WBIR this morning and the video clip is available for viewing here. Recipes for both the pan pizza dough and the onion version are presented below. This really is a treat both to make and to eat.

Tomato Head’s Onion Pan Pizza

One recipe pan pizza dough (see below)
6 cups onion, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Shredded parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves – chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare pizza dough according to recipe (see below). Press the dough into a 13 x 18 greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes – or until top of crust becomes dry to the touch. Remove the dough from the oven and set aside while preparing the topping.

In a large bowl mix the onions, heavy cream, salt and pepper until the onions are well coated. Pour onion mixture on top of pizza dough and spread the onions out evenly.

Place back in the oven and bake 20 – 25 minutes longer until crust has browned and onions are soft.

Remove from oven – sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Cut into 8 – 10 pieces. Serve with a salad.

Serves 8 – 10 people.

Can be cooled and refrigerated. To serve, reheat in a 425 degree oven for 7-8 minutes.


Tomato Head Pan Pizza Dough

2.25 cups bread flour
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
7 – 8 oz water, room temperature

In a medium bowl mix together flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add water and stir with a spoon until dough comes together. Place mixture on a floured work surface and gently knead until a smooth ball forms. Place dough in a greased medium bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours or until dough has doubled in volume.

Lightly grease a 13 x 18 inch cookie sheet. Scrape dough onto the pan. Gently pull and stretch the dough to fit the pan. If dough is slipping sprinkle a light dusting of flour under the dough.

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design