Thursday, August 27, 2009

Friday Recipes: Zucchini

It's that time of year again. Folks that grow zucchini sneak around the neighborhood quietly leaving zucchini on doorsteps of unsuspecting neighbors. What to do with all of that zucchini? Brenda says it quite well in one of her articles on Old Fashioned Living:

"Zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and certainly provides one of the most abundant harvests. A single "giant" zucchini can provide enough grated squash to bake a dozen or more loaves of bread. A large zucchini works well for grating and the smaller tender zucchini are perfect for slicing.

Pick most zucchini at about 6 to 8 inches for the best taste, and save those "jumbo" squash that you miss for grating and using in baking. Squash blossoms will continue to set all the way up until fall IF you continue to pick the squash before it fully matures. If you miss even one, the entire plant will stop producing. This may be something you want to encourage if you over planted and are looking at a zucchini explosion, but if not, watch for those blossoms to drop off and harvest the squash!

Remember too, if you have an over abundance of any vegetable, contact your local churches, shelters or soup kitchens to see if they need fresh produce! You can share the harvest with those less fortunate.

To freeze zucchini simply grate, and place in resealable plastic freezer bags. For sliced zucchini choose the younger squash that is still tender skinned. Wash, and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes; cool and drain. Package in containers and freeze. The zucchini bread and cake also freeze well. Cool after baking and double wrap with foil.

Shredded zucchini is a versatile ingredient. Mix 1 cup into into your favorite brownie dough, meatloaf or meatball recipes. Whenever you need extra moisture try experimenting with a cup of shredded zucchini."

Below are several recipes found on Old Fashioned Living, then below that you will find quite a few from the blogging world as well. Enjoy!

Spicy Zucchini Bread

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Dash salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Beat sugar into eggs, add oil and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients, add beaten egg. Stir in zucchini. Beat until batter in very smooth. Add nuts. Pour into greased, floured 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. allspice
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
4 Tbsp. cocoa
2 1/2 cups grated/shredded zucchini
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Cream sugars, butter, and oil. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir to mix. Sift together dry ingredients. Mix all together except chocolate chips. After mixing well, gently fold in chips. Pour into pan. Bake for 45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Dust with powdered sugar or a fluffy light frosting.

Honey Spice Cake

1 cup shortening
2 cups honey
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour milk
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

Cream shortening and honey. Add in eggs. In another bowl sift flour, soda, powder,salt and spices. Gradually add milk and flour mixture, taking turns, to egg mixture. Fold in zucchini. Pour into loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Zucchini Casserole

3-4 medium zucchini, unpeeled
2 tablespoons butter
2 tsp. parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, minced fine
1 tsp. fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup buttered, seasoned bread crumbs

Wash and slice zucchini in thin rings. In a large skillet sauté parsley and onion in the butter until soft, add mushrooms, then garlic (the last minute). Stir in remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top, and Parmesan cheese if desired. Cover with foil and bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 15 minutes longer or until browned.

Zucchini Italian

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, sliced into very thin rings
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 pound green beans, sliced into one inch pieces
1 can tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
pepper and salt to taste
Dash of dried tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh basil or oregano, or 1 tsp. dried

Brown onion, add other ingredients in order and simmer until tender.

Zucchini Cheese Soup

2 cups cubed zucchini
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 1/2 cups evaporated milk
4 cups skim, 1/2 or 2% milk
3 cups grated colby-jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chives or green onion for garnish

Saute zucchini and onion in the butter. Blend in flour. Add milk gradually and heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and soup is smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onion or chives on top of soup.

Zucchini Salad

2 medium zucchini, sliced thin
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1 cup red onion, sliced thin in rings

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons wine or herb vinegar
2 tsp. fresh chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Pour dressing over zucchini, tomatoes and onion rings. Allow to marinate for several hours.

Morning Glory Zucchini Bread

2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Click here to get the instructions

Zucchini and Summer Squash Pickles

1 pound zucchini and/or summer squash
1 small yellow onion
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed mustard seeds
Scant 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Click here to get the instructions

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 C flour
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda
6 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C canola oil
1 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 C sour cream
3 C grated zucchini
3/4 C mini chocolate chips

2 T brown sugar
2 T white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Click here to get the instructions

Stuffed Zucchini

2 medium zucchini
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2-3 green onions, chopped
2 roma tomatoes
salt and pepper
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan, plus more for topping

Click here to get the instructions

Zucchini and Tomato Casserole
(THIS is fabulous! I had it for lunch today ~Amanda)

2 large tomatoes sliced in half inch rings
2-3 small zucchini sliced lengthwise in quarter inch strips
3 large garlic cloves sliced thinly
10 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper
1 c. market cheese like Gouda or Gruyere grated on the large side of your box grater
1/3 c. whole wheat bread crumbs

Click here to get the instructions

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
6 1/8 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/8 ounces Dutch-process cocoa
(optional 1 teaspoon espresso powder)
1 cup zucchini, finely grated (middle/seeds removed)
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips

Ganache Icing:
3 ounces heavy cream
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate

Click here to get the instructions

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (NOT dutch process)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, unpeeled and shredded
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Click here to get the instructions

Zucchini with Parmesan

2-3 zucchini, washed and sliced on the diagonal into ½ inch thick slices
2-3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper
A pinch of dried red chile flakes
2-3 T grated parmesan

Click here to get the instructions

Squash Stuffed with Corn, Tomatoes, Green Chiles

3 medium zucchini squash
2 thin corn tortillas
2 tsp. ancho chile powder
3 oz. manchego cheese, cubed plus 1 oz. shredded manchego cheese
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 c. fresh corn kernels
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 oz. chopped green chiles
Salt and pepper

Click here to get the instructions

Lemon-Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 medium zucchini, grated on small holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)

Click here to get the instructions

Katrina's Zucchini Crisp

1 large zucchini (about 1 1/2-2 lbs.), peeled, seeded and sliced
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Crumb topping:
3/4 cup light golden brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, (can be pretty cold from the fridge), cubed
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Click here to get the instructions

Soba Noodles with Edamame, Zucchini, and Spinach

Low sodium soy sauce
Rice wine vinegar
Garlic Chile Paste

Soba noodles
1 T Sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup shelled edamame
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
3 green onions, chopped
Black pepper, to taste
Sesame seeds
Extra green onions for garnish

Click here to get the instructions

Zucchini Bread with Dried Cranberries

Nonstick cooking spray
1 3/4 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Fresh ground nutmeg-I didn’t measure, just a bit
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries
Cinnamon/Sugar to sprinkle on top

Click here to get the instructions

Zucchini Spice Cake

2 cups all purpose flour (or gluten free blend, Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
3/4 cup turbinado sugar or granulate white
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

Click here to get the instructions

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Kid's Chalk Board Table

A Kid's Chalk Board Table
by Brenda Hyde

Trash to treasure projects are rewarding, especially when the piece of furniture you are working on would have actually been thrown out! Our latest project was my husband's creative idea and it turned out great. He found an old coffee table in his dad's shed and had the idea to make a chalk board table for our kids.

The materials we used:

coffee table
wood putty
4 pastel acrylic paints-yellow, pink, blue and yellow
one can blackboard spray paint
Kilz acrylic primer
paint brushes
sandpaper or sander
regular black spray paint

Wash your table if it's dirty or dusty and allow it to dry. Take off the legs if they are removable. Use the wood putty to fill in any gouges or deep scratches. Allow to dry and sand. Wipe the table with a clean cloth to remove dust. Prime the entire table and the legs. After the primer dries, paint each leg a different pastel color. They will need two coats each. Allow them to dry between coats. (See tips below)

Turn the table top over so the bottom is up. Using the REGULAR black spray paint cover the bottom. Allow to dry and give it a second coat. Make sure it's completely dry. Place an old towel on your work surface and turn the table over so the top is face up. There are several brands of blackboard paint. Follow the directions and paint the top only of the table. They go on just like spray paint and our fairly easy to use. Spray evenly and make sure no one touches it until it's COMPLETELY dry. It takes longer than paint.

When the legs and table are completely dry, attach the legs back to the table. Most of the blackboard paints instruct a certain drying period of 1 or 2 days before using.

This such an easy and fun project. Our kids loved the table! If your kids are older they can even help with the project.

Working Tips

Sandpaper: A 4x6 inch piece of 2x4 wood works well for wrapping the sandpaper around the block and using this to sand rather than just the sandpaper itself. It will make it easier to sand evenly.

Painting: Take a scrap piece of wood (we used a piece of 4x4) and drill 4 holes in the wood spaced several inches apart. Screw in the 4 tables legs just enough for them to stand up. This worked great for painting the legs and allowing them to dry.

Monday, August 24, 2009

End of August Garden Tidbits

Can you believe it's almost the end of August? I still have tons of green tomatoes! The summer has really flown by for me this year. So, what can we do in the garden now?

I don't know about you, but the hot, humid days of August didn't see me doing more than I had to in the garden. I kept new plants and trees watered, plus my raised bed with the tomatoes and cucumbers. I weeded where I had to, but it's so busy in our family, combined with the heat, that I don't do a lot outside. When the weather starts to cool off though I am outside with a vengeance. Here is what I do:

WEEDS: I pull as many weeds as I can, especially after a rain. I know it's tempting to let them go but they will go to seed and make it worse next year. I pull weeds and lay down mulch or wood chips in beds that don't have them yet. Every time I do this I am thrilled in the spring when things look so nice.

MISTAKES: There is still time to move plants before a heavy frost. I have several plants that I put in places that just didn't work out and I need to move them. I make sure to add compost to the planting holes, water well, and then mulch when I move things and they are usually fine through the winter.

RESEEDING: If you've been deadheading (I know you have been!) you can stop and let the plants form seeds now. Either gather them as they dry to save for next year or let them go to reseed themselves. Snapdragon, calendula, and cosmos are seeds I usually let go to randomly grow the next season. I'm going to collect zinnia, nasturtiums and a few others to sow next year.

GENERAL: Basically, when the weather cools I do a lot of clean-up that I missed when it was so hot. Yes, I'm a tad wimpy when it comes to heat and humidity. If you aren't, then good for you, because you won't have a big fall chore list like I do:)

I still have cucumbers, beans and tomatoes growing and ripening. I won't give up on those until frost. I can even cover them for light frosts to give them more time. On OFL we do have a cool article from Cheri at Fabulous Foods on using green tomatoes: