I thought about making something sweet for zucchini month here on the blog. Strudel’s Zucchini Chocolate Cake is a hard act to follow though so I opted for savory! One quick internet search and I happened upon the always fabulously tasty recipes of Ina Garten!
Her Zucchini Tart called to me so I made it for a little party I had this afternoon welcoming a new puppy into our home! It’s actually my daughter’s dog and his name is Oscar. Everyone loved him and loved this tart! I think mushrooms would be really tasty on this tart as well. Easy to make and easy to impress, it would be a great appetizer for any party.
I’m very proud to say that my garden is growing beautifully this year – the tomatoes (my favorite!) are coming along nicely – the plants are huge and have tons of fruit, I’m just waiting (im)patiently for them to turn red. The zucchini – also ginormous – are already producing like the champs they are.
This year’s zucchini have been restorative for me – everyone talks about how easy it is to grow, and while I’ve historically had luck producing great big zucchini plants, I’ve had no luck growing the actual vegetable. Not sure what I did wrong in years past, but I’m excited to figure out what to do with this year’s abundant crop.
The other season that’s closing in on us here in the PNW is blackberries – Himalayan blackberries grow as an invasive plant all around the area. I’d never want in my yard, but it does mean that we can find them everywhere (and it’s not uncommon to see folks snacking directly off the branches). Every summer, we (Brandon) picks a bunch, then we (me) freeze them for use throughout the year. In rooting through the freezer, I came across a small bag from last summer – with a new year of blackberries upon us, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to use up what we have.
For the final 9 x 13 pan recipe for this month, I thought I would end July with an out-of-this-world cornbread recipe. I know what most of you are thinking, meh cornbread, I can take it or leave it. No. You cannot leave this cornbread. This is the kind of cornbread that is perfect sitting next to your hot-off-the-grill BBQ or your big ole spoon full of baked beans.
I adapted this recipe from “Huckleberry” by Zoe Nathan. Remember this recipe? It came from this cookbook as well. It’s a gem of a book! I made this recipe with a Colorado favorite, 4 ears of fresh-cut Olathe sweet corn kernels. Olathe sweet corn is something I get super excited about this time of year here in Colorado. I have never tasted any other corn so sweet! You’ll want to make this delish cornbread for your summer BBQ before summer comes to an end.
First up, let’s address the photo above. I know it doesn’t make this dish look delicious, but as it turns out, it’s pretty difficult to make a bean dip look exceptionally tasty. I’ve seen other photos, so I know others know how to make this magic happen, but I’m afraid I’m not one of those bloggers. So, we’ll have to settle for a delicious tasting food. Also – this gave me my first opportunity for a video! Fun! See below – maybe not fascinating, but definitely realistic.
So – about this dip! Once again, I’m faced with the reality of bringing snacks to a team meeting. This time around, we’re doing a little staff appreciation activity, and I want to bring some food for people to enjoy while we hang out together. I always try to find things that can please many people – healthy but not too healthy, hearty but not overly filling (it’s meant to be a nibble, not substitute for lunch). I thought about bringing just guacamole, but that’s not as healthy or hearty as I’d like. And since I like to add kale to everything, by the time I was done daydreaming about this appetizer, it had turned in to a (mostly) healthy seven layer dip. Remove (or reduce) the cheese, and I think we could even commit to calling this Entirely Healthy Seven Layer Dip.
The resulting dip is tasty, filling, and quick to make for a crowd. Enjoy!
I love Molasses. I didn’t know how much I loved molasses until I made Amish Shoofly Cake. Due to my love for molasses I later adapted the cake into cookies. As I thought about a bar recipe to make this week I knew I wanted it to contain molasses and cashews since I bought two pounds of unsalted roasted cashews when they were on sale this week at Sprouts.
I adapted this recipe quite a bit to create these easy bars. So easy that I didn’t even take pictures while making these bars. They are quick, tasty and are fabulous with my morning cup of coffee.
Making my own granola bars has never really been on my radar – I don’t eat them often, so why would I make my own? But in chatting with my lovely and thoughtful and smart pal Amy a few weeks back, she mentioned that “granola bar recipe from Smitten Kitchen is the best granola bars I’ve ever had, I make them as gifts all the time.” And since Amy is – as mentioned – quite brainy, I figured I’d have to add them to my to-bake list.
And then this week rolled around, and I was in charge of snacks for my team meeting at work. As the boss lady of this team, I’ll admit that one spot where I flex my power is that I almost never bring the snacks to our bi-monthly meeting (I figure that since I’m in charge of planning the agenda and running the thing, I get to avoid bringing snacks – obnoxious, I know). Anyway, I felt guilty about making some last-minute changes to the meeting agenda, and figured the best way to assuage my guilt was through baked goods. Obviously.
I have to say, these bars are basically perfect. They’re sweet, sticky, chewy, adaptable, and incredibly delicious. They’re also easy to make and pack along, and can serve as a breakfast treat or an afternoon snack. I highly encourage making them ASAP, for yourself for a snack or as a treat to bring to a group of folks.
July is the ultimate backyard cookout… invite friends over…drink cocktails on a warm summer night…kind of month. The best kinds of desserts for backyard cookouts are the 9 x 13 favorites! Easily transportable, easily enjoyed. Strudel and I decided this month we would share our favorite dessert bar recipes!! First up, blueberry pie bars, a perfect treat for your 4th of July get together.
This recipe is easy and after cooling completely cuts up nicely into hand-held bars that taste like a big slice of blueberry pie. This recipe comes courtesy of the Food Network and Trisha Yearwood (apparently she sings and had a cooking show on the Food Network). The original recipe called for an 8 x 8 inch square pan but I converted it to a 9 x 13 inch pan. I found a great conversion guide at Food52, one of my favorite food sites! I additionally tweaked a few amounts of the ingredients to suit my taste, a little more cornstarch and lemon juice than the original recipe called for.
I’m not too shy to acknowledge that, for this week’s post, I got fancy. Well, fancy on the outside – since I’m generally interested in making foods that are delicious yet simple, I wanted to see how I could incorporate flowers to dress up one of my favorite recipes. And, since it’s summertime and cherries are everywhere, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get seasonal with my baked goods.
I used my go-to recipe for the scones, subbing chopped cherries instead of blueberries, and I have to say – the fresh sweet cherries are superstars, adding a fresh, sweet flavor. Brushing on a layer of glaze, and decorating with flowers, elevates the scones to another level of fanciness; they seem perfect for cutting into rounds and serving with afternoon (iced) tea. Also, these scones look high-brow enough that it may be appropriate to wear an all-white outfit and a fancy hat while serving.
After perusing Gourmet Sweet Botanicals I couldn’t resist purchasing their squash blossoms! One of my fondest memories of visiting Italy 5 years ago, was visiting an open-air market near the Vatican and seeing all of the zucchini for sale with the flowers still attached. I have never seen that at any farmer’s market here in Colorado.
When I saw them for sale online it took me back to Christmas Eve in Italy when I wished I could have bought them then and cooked them up.
I stuffed these beauties with goat cheese and chicken, rolled them in egg and dipped them in seasoned coconut flour, baked them up and drizzled them with salted butter!
Seltzer is my drink of choice, and a few years back we got a Soda Stream, which meant that my pantry was able to morph from looking like a seltzer bottle storage area into a space that actually held food. It also made going to the grocery store a lot less annoying (back when I lived in NYC, I used to get 1-2 flats of seltzer delivered every time I went to my neighborhood grocery store).
I never get tired of seltzer per se, but I do occasionally like some flavor to my fizzy drinks. I really dislike those pre-made drink mixes (blech to artificial flavorings) and with summer very nearly upon us and edible flower month here at S&S, this seemed the perfect time to experiment with some syrup mixers.