roasted tomato frittata

My dog Jezebel died last week. She wasn’t sick, so it was a shock…a hard thing for my family to go through. (Not that it’s any easier when your animal is ill and you have time to “prepare”: I have been through that scenario a number of times and it’s very hard, too.)


Jez was a leonberger: they are very beautiful, very big dogs (she was 125 pounds). She was a fun-loving gal, and loved to play (and often caused mischief) with her brother Jake.

jake and jezebel

The unfortunate reality is that leonbergers (and other giant breeds) don’t live as long as smaller dogs. But because Jez was such a puppy at heart (even long after she stopped being an actual puppy), we hadn’t really faced the fact that she was getting on in years for the breed. She was 8 1/2 when she died, which is sadly about average as far as the leonberger lifespan goes :(


Jez wasn’t just a big dog…she had a seriously big personality! So her passing has left a big hole in our family. For a couple of days after it happened, I couldn’t do much of anything because I was too upset. Accomplishing the simplest of tasks was like trying to cross a river filled with molasses. It was so hard…I just wanted to lay in bed and cry.

On the third morning, though, I woke up and reflected on how Jez died outside under a tree where she’d spent a good deal of time since we moved to this house 6 years ago. I am guessing she enjoyed that spot a lot, and I believe she was happy each time she lay down there, even the last time. I’ve been told that it is a blessing for one’s dog to pass on in their sleep at home, as they are near their family and the surroundings that make them comfortable. Thinking about things this way has helped me to feel better.

Rest in peace, sweet girl.


Working in my garden has also helped me to feel better. Thank goodness for that, because it’s kind of a mess…it’s like the weeds are on steroids or something this year. But my garden is also bursting with many different types of heirloom tomatoes, and for that I am so grateful. I’ve been using them in all sorts of ways and will be sharing a few different tomato recipes with you in the coming weeks, beginning with this Roasted Cherry Tomato Frittata.

cherry tomatoes

This frittata may not be appropriate for those super hot summer days when you don’t want to turn the oven on, but our weather has been blissfully pleasant as of late. And now’s the time for the best tomatoes, so get ’em while you can. I made this for my family last Sunday morning before we took my kids to sleep away camp and we all loved it; I hope your family loves it, too.

cherry tomatoes roasted

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roasted tomato frittata


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  1. 1

    Beth @ Tasty Yummies — August 14, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

    Totally crying! What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. I am so so sorry again for your family’s loss, Winnie. No matter what the circumstances, it is never easy, but not having time to prepare is just soo difficult. Our last dog, Derby, passed away a couple years ago, totally unexpectedly as well, she became ill and less than 36 hours later, she passed way. We weren’t with her when it happened, she was in emergency surgery at an emergency clinic we didn’t even frequent normally. It was heartbreaking, strange and horrid. I am so happy you can at least take comfort in knowing your girl, Jezebel, was right where she wanted to be, in the place she loved most. What a wonderful blessing. Thinking of you all. Lots of love.

  2. 2

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — August 14, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

    So sorry about Jez, she looks like such a sweetie! It’s hard to lose a pet; they often become like family. Hugs to you!

    I love your frittata, it sounds so wonderful with the roasted tomatoes!

  3. 3

    Carol Sacks — August 14, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    Thinking of you and your family, Winnie. Sending love and healing thoughts. Take good care.

  4. 4

    Laura — August 14, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

    I’m so sorry about your sweet dog, Winnie. One of our cherished pups passed away a couple years ago and gosh, so hard. I was grateful for the support of so many people, even just acquaintances at work were so kind and generous. Sending you a hug from out here and I’m glad that you’re finding a few moments of peace in the garden too.

  5. 5

    Sonnet — August 15, 2013 @ 12:17 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this Winnie. It’s so hard to lose a loved one and Jez looked like such a sweet girl. Thinking of you and sending love & healing thoughts. Take care.

  6. 6

    Hannah — August 15, 2013 @ 1:23 am

    I’m so sorry, Winnie. Your pup sounds like she was such a loving part of your family. I’m thinking of you.

  7. 7

    Donna C. — August 15, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    Winnie, my heart breaks for you over the death of your beloved Jezebel. I have been there several times with precious pets and it is a tremendous grief. You did lose a loved and trusted family member and it takes a long time to recover. Thank you for sharing this with us, as I believe we are all closer when we share grief and joy. May God bless you.

  8. 8

    Georgie — August 15, 2013 @ 8:38 am

    Winnie, sending you the sweetest blessings to you and your family! You honored Jezebel in the most beautiful way in this moving tribute. Big huge hugs to you!

  9. 9

    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper — August 15, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    I’m so, so sorry to hear about your pup. That was a beautiful tribute that you gave her.

  10. 10

    Eileen @ Phoenix Helix — August 15, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    Love to you and your family, Winnie.

  11. 11

    Lizthechef — August 15, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    So, so sorry – losing a pet is such a sad time for the entire family, including your other pets. X0

  12. 12

    Kathryn — August 15, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    I’m so sorry about your loss Winnie, what a beautiful dog. I’m glad you’ve been abl to find some solace in your garden.

  13. 13

    Stephanie — August 15, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. She was a beautiful dog. One of mine is getting quite old (14 yrs) and I hope every day that if this is her last she will enjoy it, and pass in her sleep at home in comfort. Maybe you will like this post:

  14. 14

    Jeannie — August 15, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    I understand how the passing of Jez is loosing a loved member of the family. When it is time for my Buddy to go I pray he will be able to go just as Jez did, laying under his favorite tree and guarding his loved ones as he always does. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  15. 15

    Salixisme — August 15, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    So sorry about your dog. I know I will be totally broken hearted when my boy Caesar passes away.

  16. 16

    Judy — August 15, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    Aww your dog is very cute. And that photo of the recipe looks amazing. Mmm! Something great for family dinners, I think I might try to cook this for dinner next week. Looks great, so I hope it taste as great.

  17. 17

    Trish — August 15, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    So sorry for your loss. That is really difficult. I am glad she died peacefully. My big dog Rex, is a mix I found as a skinny puppy on a country road several years ago. Rex has Wobblers, which is a neurological problem, breed-related. He is having more difficulty moving around (he just fell down the stairs in fact, giving me a horrible shock, and himself too i imagine). I know I face a difficult decision in the not too distant future. My comfort is that he has a very good life, with 3 girlfriends and lots of countryside to roam around in.

  18. 18

    Aimee — August 15, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

    So sorry to hear about your girl. It’s been a year since I lost my Rottweiler and I still miss her every day.

  19. 19

    Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator — August 15, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

    Winnie, what a lovely tribute to your Jez. Thank you for sharing. They do leave a huge enormous hole when they pass. I’m glad she passed at home in her favorite spot. XOXO

  20. 20

    Jen @ Savory Simple — August 16, 2013 @ 9:15 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a pet it brutal. :(

  21. 21

    June — August 16, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    I am so sorry for you loss. It is never easy to loose a pet. Remember the good life you gave her and the joy she brought to your family. You will always remember her and miss her, but it will get a little easier each day. Prayers to you and your family.

  22. 22

    Julie — August 16, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet pup! xoxo

  23. 23

    Trudy Holtz — August 16, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

    What a beautiful baby! So sorry for your loss!

    On a food note, I made something like that last night! Except I put in chunks of day old french load so it was more of a bread pudding. But otherwise, almost exactly the same ingredient list! I’m posting mine at the end of the week. :)

  24. 24

    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet — August 16, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    SO sorry about the loss of your sweet pup! I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through these past few days. I am sending lots of hugs your way.:)

  25. 25

    Lolly B — August 16, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I believe our animal companions choose us, and I’m sure the love you exchanged made both of your lives much happier. My thoughts are with you.

  26. 26

    Janet Sarandon — August 17, 2013 @ 3:04 am

    That’s a heartbreaking story. I’m sorry for your loss. Anyway, I love your tomato recipe. It looks so delicious and easy to do. I can’t wait to try this.

  27. 27

    Karla — August 17, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    My condolences.

  28. 28

    Paula — August 17, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

    Winnie, my heart goes out to you and your family over this sudden loss of your beautiful Jezebel. Though her time with you was not as long as you all hoped for, I can imagine that she has left you all with many loving memories that hopefully in time, will bring you much comfort. It is so very hard to say your final goodbyes to a loyal and loving member of the family and I’m so sorry that you are having to do so. May the fact that she passed away in one of her favourite spots at the home where she was deeply loved help you through this difficult time.

  29. 29

    Alan — August 17, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

    Oh my goodness, that story really touched me. I mean your dog is so adorable, it’s sad to know about how it passed away.

  30. 30

    Always Wright — August 19, 2013 @ 6:07 am

    So sorry for your loss. Jezebel was a beautiful girl. I’m glad she had a good family. We have lost many dogs and each held a special place in our hearts. You are in my thoughts.

  31. 31

    autumn — August 19, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    Oh, Winnie! I’m so, so sorry for your loss. I’ve had you and your family in my thoughts.

  32. 32

    Jayne — August 19, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    So sorry to hear this sad news Winnie! Thinking of you. xx

  33. 33

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — August 19, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    I’m so sorry, Winnie… Losing a pet is so hard because they become such a big part of the family. I have tears in my eyes reading about your sweet Jezebel. *hugs*

  34. 34

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — August 19, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet Jez, losing a cherished pet is devastating especially when it’s out of the blue, my heart goes out to you and your family.

  35. 35

    Phil — August 20, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    It’s always sad when a family pet passes away, especially suddenly. At least you can take comfort in that she passed away peacefully under her favourite tree without having to suffer.

  36. 36

    Elaine Mitchell — August 20, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

    Jezebel was very blessed to have a family like yours. She was loved, appreciated and nurtured. What a great life! In return, she gave you unconditional love. What great memories!

  37. 37

    Sarah — August 24, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    Thank you for this post. Just yesterday, my sweet Sady dog passed unexpectedly. It hurts so much, but your words give me comfort knowing that I am not alone.

  38. 38

    Beth (OMG! Yummy) — August 26, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

    Our dear friends just lost their 10 yr old golden almost the same time as you lost your beauty. I am so sorry Winnie. My dog is my first and I am dreading the time when we face the same but it is the circle of life, I guess. Hope everyone is bearing up.

    I can almost imagine the imbalance as our son just left for college – while we know he’s coming home, when he’s not here we all feel like something is just not quite right…

    This frittata is just the kind of thing I love. Simple and beautiful.

  39. 39

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