Hey everyone! I hope ya'll are having a great week. Things are good around here, & I've been having some fun cooking from our garden. It isn't a large garden this time around, but it has been producing like CRAAAZY! Shall we take a look?
No, it's not a baseball bat, but it might qualify as a lethal weapon....lol! I truly try not to let them get this large, but these zucchini were hiding in the big plant & I almost tripped & fell over them! Totally true! There were several yellow crooknecks, too, but they are a little hard to miss in all their lovely
I'm getting a basketful of these little beauties every day or two. I wash them & keep them in a bowl on the counter so we can grab & munch any time we pass by. Sooooo good!
I had been waiting & waiting, watching all these big green lovelies; then, YIKES, they all ripened at the same time. Now what?
What shall I do with all this bounty? I decided to make Marinara Sauce -- yum! I used the tomatoes, of course, both big & small. I also cut up zucchini, the red peppers that were ripe, fresh basil, oregano & rosemary. I cut up onion & lightly chopped several garlic cloves.
I loaded everything into the crockpot, added kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes & drizzled on some olive oil.
I cut everything in chunks & didn't peel anything except the onion & garlic. I did remove the seeds from the tomatoes. I started the crockpot on high for about an hour & then cooked it the rest of the day ( like 8 hours) on low until all the veggies were very tender. This smelled sooooo good. I then ladled off the excess liquid & used my Cuisinart Smart Stick to emulsify all the veggies. I did a taste test & added a bit of sugar, & it was good to go.
As soon as the sauce was cool enough, I put it into 2 freezer bags with 4 cups each. I also froze the extra broth which I will use in a soup or stew. Oh, I feel so "Betty Crocker-ish!"
I've also been trying some vegetarian dishes once-in-awhile. The one I made this week was
Black Bean & Zucchini Quesadillas.
Check it out at Health.com. Even The Man, who was so skeptical, thought they were very good. Super-easy to make, too!
My other new recipe is THIS Mock Apple Pie made with......
ZUCCHINI -- I'm not kidding! This was a great way to use up one of those "club-size" zucs
that I had. I pared the squash, sliced in half length-wise, removed the seeds (a grapefruit spoon works great for this little job), & then sliced it up. Looks like apple slices, doesn't it?
It has a crumble topping & no pastry crust. Sorry, I forgot to take an After pic. It was very good!
I was kind of on a roll at this point & decided to try THIS
recipe for Iced Coffee Concentrate. I know, not exactly anything from the garden, but I did need a "pick-me-up" after all of that cooking!
This is a "cold brew" method which is supposed to be the best for iced coffee. Just as an aside, you may remember that I gave up coffee (caffeine) a few months ago. I still do not drink coffee in the mornings & have no cravings for it, but I do enjoy an iced coffee "sometimes" in the afternoon. It's my special treat.
You do have to plan in advance for this, because the coffee & water needs to sit on the counter & brew for a day or overnight. I strain mine through a fine wire mesh thingy lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. This recipe is a stronger version of The Pioneer Woman's, which you can find HERE
. I keep mine in a couple of Pampered Chef pitchers in the fridge.
I fill my insulated tumbler with crushed ice, then fill about 2/3 to the top with the coffee concentrate, add milk & then top it off with a flavored coffee cream. Because I was feeling very naughty (& because I had the ingredients), I made my own sweet cream using Dulce de Leche (melted slightly in the microwave) & Half 'n Half. Dulce de Leche is the Mexican version of our canned sweet cream, but it is caramel-like. It doesn't take very much of this delicacy to make my "tumbler runneth over with sheer joy!"
Well folks, that about wraps up today's post. I love throwing in a little cooking session every once-in-awhile just for fun. If you have any good zucchini recipes you want to share, I would totally appreciate it. It's amazing what one lone zucchini plant can produce.....lol!
Thanks so much for stopping by, & I will see you next time!
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