Category Archives: Recipes

Oh my zucchini

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This year has been a banner year for zucchini.  Oh, I can just sense your excitement, calm down a bit!  But truly I am excited.  In years past, I had some sort of ROT problem with the Z.  Last year, after some research I discovered that it is due to inconsistent moisture. 

Really, every problem in my life somehow boils down to inconsistency! 

We won’t get into all that.

But this year, I was diligent with the Z.  Watered frequently, kept them happy but not soggy.  And my efforts are richly rewarded, and rewarded and rewarded.  I swear if I got myself a chair and sat by the zucchini hill I could watch those babies grow by the inch. 

My old neighbor, Floyd, used to pull up a chair and sit all day long next to his vegetable garden.  We’d walk by, and ask how he’s doing.  He’d say, “I doin’ fine, just watching my corn grow”.  Once I asked him if he was serious, and he said if you sit and listen, you can also “HEAR” the corn grow .    Back then, with little babies about, I had no time to stop and listen to the corn grow though. 

What to do with all that zucchini?????

Well, there is zucchini bread.  But baking is such a chore, really.  Not my favorite thing, especially in August.  But here is a worthy recipe, a really good way to use up lots of zucchini.  I just got done making a triple batch.  Of course, this is just a guide.  Mine today had carrots, celery, green beans in it too.  Plus a little cayenne.  We put it in our huge canning pot, and cooked it on the outdoor burner. 

Zucchini Soup

1 large zucchini (really, one the size of a Chihuahua), peeled and chopped

6 ears of corn, cooked.  Then remove from cob.  (This is what makes this soup so delicious, don’t use frozen corn)

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon oregano

Salt and pepper

1 46 oz can V8, or tomato juice

2-4 cups water

1 clove garlic (double, triple this)

Chop ingredients and assemble.  Cook 2-3 hours.  Top with parmesan cheese and croutons.

I have recently discovered that a topping of feta cheese is even better.

Another batch

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of Strawberry Goodness, this time from the Barefoot Contessa—Easy Strawberry Jam.  Lots of sugar, strawberries, blueberries, granny smith apples and the intense orange flavor of Grand Marnier.  Its definitely looking delicious.  We shall see how it sets up in the morning….on the liquid side right now but then it is still hot.  

I’ve used up all but one quart of the strawberries, which are the cream of the crop and I will use them on Thursday when the Baguettes come over for the day. 

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What to do with strawberries

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Today was a kitchen day, mostly.  Those strawberries were so fresh, I had to take advantage of them.  (Hey, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it.)  I found this recipe for Rhubarb-Strawberry Sauce, and made one test batch.   Afterall, its an all time favorite combo: strawberries and rhubarb, sweet and tangy.  This is a worthy recipe, most definitely.  I made 2 more batches.  But  rather than freeze them, I put them in glass canning jars and processed them in a hot water bath.  Wish I could include a taste, but you’ll have to settle for a picture:

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This sauce will be yummy over ice cream, yogurt, toast or hot cereal.   I shall have my own homemade preserves in my pantry, isn’t that exciting!  It does make my heart sing! 

For supper, I made that  Strawberry Spinach Salad.  We have all had Strawberry Salad before, with lettuce.  This recipe beats them all, especially with the goat cheese accompaniment.  I could eat this every day.  A little over 200 calories per serving is a bonus too. 

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More strawberry adventures are in store for tomorrow…hope they turn out as well. 

 

 

Rhubarb Cake

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We all love rhubarb around here.  All spring and summer we harvest rhubarb from the backyard.  With June being a big birthday celebration month, the most requested cake is definitely rhubarb cake.  It is moist inside, crunchy on the top, just sweet enough with small morsels of tangy rhubarb in every bite.  Right now I’m trying to forget that there is half a cake in the kitchen. 

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Of course, for illustration purposes only, I need to show you the best way to serve it:

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With a side of vanilla ice cream of course.

Here is the recipe for a 13 x 9 pan.  Usually I multiply it by 1.5 to fill my larger glass pan.  A side note, I always use glass, not metal with rhubarb, it can pick up a metallic taste. 

 

Rhubarb Cake

3 cups of rhubarb cut into small pieces.

Mix together:

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

Mix the above with a pastry fork, like a pie crust, cutting in the butter.  Set aside 1/4 cup of this mixture, adding 1/2 cup brown sugar for the topping.

Add:

1   1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

Beat by hand until all is smooth.

Add:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

rhubarb

Transfer to greased 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle on crumb topping.  Bake at 350 for 45  minutes or until done.

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Zucchini Stirfry

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Last evening I combed through my cookbooks and combined several recipes to come up with this new stirfry recipe. 

I harvested all the baby zucchini’s in my garden, and french fry sliced them into smallish strips.  Then I salted them well with about a generous teaspoon of salt, stirred them to coat well, and let them sit for about a 1/2 hour.  Afterwards, I rinsed them in a colander.  And placed them on a paper towel to dry. 

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frypan or wok. 

Add:

1 teaspoon of ginger (depends on how you like the taste, can get strong real quick)

1+ teaspoon of cilantro (2 t if fresh)

thin slices of red onion

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

Let cook a few minutes until the onion are softish.

Add the zucchini, and stir fry until just crispy tender. 

 

So simple, and so good.

Tomato Prolifery

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 This is an annual event, the making of the tomato pie.  You may want to try this rich bit of late summer goodness:

Tomato Pie

4 tomatoes, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped

9-inch pie crust, baked

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Layer half of tomato, onion and basil in pie crust, repeat layers.  Mix mozzarella, cheddar, and mayo together.  Spread mixture over top of pie, top with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes.  Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. 

Thank you Susie, for this recipe…..years ago.