We don’t always associate soup with summer, but in the same way fresh, sweet-scented peach pie demands to be baked in the dog days of August, we have to stir up zucchini soup at the exact moment the counter begins piling up once again with unending stacks of zucchini (tomatoes, cabbage…). Or when a very inexpensive, but large bag of zucchini somehow gets into our cart at Costco. And we get home only to wonder just what to do with all of that squash.Continue reading
About this time of year — right after the 4th of July, in fact — the typical grill faves at our house seem to fade off into the proverbial sunset. They’re not nearly so exciting as they were when we dusted off the patio in May and had the first cheeseburger with grilled sweet potato wedges and Sriracha Mayo dip. Or even when the early sweet corn got overly buttered and salted just a week or two ago and I thanked God my dentist had only two weeks before — and for the third time (sheesh) — fixed the snaggletooth chip in my right front tooth. (Just you wait for the Olathe corn coming up next month! I’m ready.) The sides, particularly, feel a bit lackluster. Another ho-hum pasta salad or middle-of-the-road caprese? More lemony green beans?! “What’s for dinner?” begins again, especially as the sun seems to just hang there up in the sky something like forever and it’s hot as ________. Are we bored that easily? It seems we may be. A bit of an embarrassment, isn’t it?Jump to Recipe Continue reading
It doesn’t matter what sort of baker you are, you’ve probably made zucchini bread. It’s that quintessential August oven project that comes up every year when there’s more zucchini than you know what to do with. Not that it uses all that much zucchini; it doesn’t. But it’s the thought that counts for this late summer pastime: I have lots of zucchini, ergo I make zucchini bread.Continue reading
Perhaps you have too much zucchini in your garden … or your friends keep pawning it off on you. If so, this is a place for new ideas to freshen up your late summer table for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
This post combines the current week’s tasty zucchini frittata, zucchini favorites from the past few years, and a zucchini roundup I did in 2014. Just below the frittata recipe are more recent recipes, which are followed by the original post including zucchini goodness 2009-2014. I’ve got them all here together now just to make things easier for you and for me! Enjoy.
Jump to Recipe Continue reading
Now you and I know that there might not actually have been something called Basil-Bacon Salsa, but there is now. It could be mis-named, but it seems to work for gilding the lily of this tender, crisp, juicy simple grilled chicken. I occasionally do a sort of Italian salsa (generally called Raw Tomato Sauce) with just tomatoes, basil, and garlic or onion for a quick topping of meat, grilled bread, or pasta; this time I had bacon cooked and thought, “Why not?” Chicken and bacon are certainly compatible–and now “Basil-Bacon Salsa” is a thing around here.
Cooking with Addie posts will come up periodically and are designed for older kids or teens learning to cook. Not a kid? Cook this anyway!!
Grilled Cheese Zucchini Bites with Salsa probably will be thought of as a SNACK, Addie. Maybe a
- starter, (UK terminology)
- an hors d’oeuvres (French version–scroll down for definition) or
- an appetizer (USA)…
…something you’d serve before dinner if you’re hungry or if there’s company and some drinks are being served. I think they’d also be good as a meal–perhaps with other fresh vegetables and whole wheat crackers or maybe in addition to turkey rolled up in tortillas if you’re really hungry. However you might want to serve them, I think you’ll be happy because this is fun food. While I sometimes want chips, I often would rather eat veggies. These crispy bites kind of hit the sweet spot that wants crunchy, but hopes for healthy, too. You may feel the same way. My zucchini bites could also be made topped with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, in which case you might use a marinara or even pizza sauce for the dip. Continue reading
It is the time of the year when zucchini gets a bad name. There are boring jokes bantered about, lots of eyes rolling, and tired recipes for zucchini bread dug out of old recipe boxes. While good cooks guard against eating anything but the tiny, tender cigar-tube-shaped baby bitty zukes, some of us still end up with nearly Little League-sized bats on our counters. (Below are medium-sized squashes perfect for grating or stuffing grown by my old neighbor, Wendy Ruble.) Continue reading
Last summer, when I began to make the first vegetable curries of the season, I was right here in our Colorado house up on the mesa. I needed a quick dinner and had a bunch of vegetables lying around the counter–including lots of tomatoes. A pot of rice was put to boil and I threw a bunch of vegetables and a little curry powder into a big skillet. We ate quite happily very soon thereafter.
DISCLAIMER: I’ll freely admit I’m no authenic Indian cook; check out Just a Girl from Mumbai or The Lady 8 Home (two of my Ina Friday friends’ blogs) for authentic recipes. Or, for a general set of instructions, check out this post.
Last week, we moved permanently from Saint Paul back to Colorado into the house we’ve owned there for eight years by now. To say it was or is a wrench is an understatement, because we love Saint Paul and I so loved my choir job at Prospect Park United Methodist in Minneapolis. Finances dictated a change to owning one house only and here we are. I’m still in the midst of figuring it all out and can’t believe what an emotional upheaval it’s been. After all, it’s just a house–right????
|St. Paul backyard|
|Gab and Tuck were both puppies in CO|
While we are born midwesterners through and through (Dave from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and me from the south suburbs of Chicago)–and adore the four seasons, as well as the Twin Cities culture, we have always just sunk into the beauty and comfort of our ranch house in Colorado. At night in bed in the middle of a frozen Minnesota winter night, I’d walk through the Colorado house in my mind–poring over each room, looking out each window, nearly crying that no one was there. Come holidays or summers when the choir was off, we’d drive out west with Miss Gab and Tucker, and I often sobbed in relief as I walked into the house. I spent hours on the living room couch, reading and dreaming out over the city of Colorado Springs, which spreads just east of our property. On a clear day, you can see forever. I often watched Dave’s planes take off from the airport which is over 13 miles away. The same distance in the opposite direction brings views of approaching winter storms from the north or, in the case of this last summer, fires from the northeast in Black Forest. Step Inside this House–sung by Lyle Lovett.
And while it appears idyllic (“Oh, Colorado is so beautiful!”), and often is, it can be a harsh environment. Bears, coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional mountain lion make it through our neighborhood. Right now, we have a bear family traveling between our houses, snacking on available garbage, charging people and dogs and simply refusing to hibernate. In other words, sitting outside at night in the summer is best done on the deck with quick access to the house through a strong door! Fires — and recent floods — are often our frightening nearby companions. Sudden winter storms create havoc and, here in the ‘hood, mean walking home up the steep icy hill unless you have a great four-wheel drive vehicle.
|Stollen cooling on the east deck|
|bear photo borrowed from a neighbor|
|Dave with grandson, Rhyan. One of the joys of living in Colorado is our son Sean and family are here–living with us temporarily while their house is being renovated.|
|Sunrise in my backyard|
- 4 cups–give or take– cooked couscous (I used 1 box Near East couscous with olive oil and garlic)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Large onion, chopped
- Celery stalk, chopped
- Red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced (don’t peel)
- 2 cups chopped zucchini
- 1 cup chopped cooked butternut or acorn squash
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons curry powder*
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper or a small pinch of cayenne, optional
- 1/4 cup white wine or vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated or finely chopped ginger
- 2 cups chopped cherry or regular tomatoes
- 1/4 cup each chopped fresh basil and fresh parsley
3. Stir in wine or broth and let cook down a few minutes, adding more if the vegetables appear dry.
If you liked this, you might also like my curried peppers and tomatoes on rice with grilled chicken or cooking in a time of grief
|Fresh sliced cherry tomatoes are hidden at the bottom of the bowl for a surprise.|
There may be more recipes for zucchini than anything else at this time of the year. Long gone are the tiny, tender and sweet pencil-slim squashes of early summer. Here now are baseball-bat sized –could I say clubs?–appearing on back porches, in countless loaves of bread, stuffed and broiled, or any of the above.
|My basil died while I was gone. Market had plants 3 for $10 this week. I’m starting over.|
Since zucchini is my favorite vegetable, perhaps after asparagus… or maybe green beans…I just don’t care. I’ll buy or take all I can get and never be tired of it. Shredded, mixed with egg, onion, and a bit of flour, it’s a supper pancake served with grated cheese. Slit open, scooped out — the moist innards sauteed with onions, garlic, and pepper–and refilled, I’m thrilled to stick it under the broiler under nearly burned and definitely crispy. But what I really love to do is make soup. Any kind. Especially with lots of fresh herbs Which you knew. (And the new soup book, Soups & Sides for Every Season truly is done! Available through amazon.com. (edited September 18, 2014)