Thursday, September 18, 2014

Roasted Zucchini/ Summer Squash

Where's the photo?!?
Sometimes there's just not a photo!  Those are the times when we are either famished or I just forget to take out the camera or the iPhone.  Last night was one of those times.

It was a very quick dinner.  Those frozen Crabcakes do come in handy!  Crabcakes with tartar sauce are always so good on a sesame seed bun.  You know the ole' combo- 1 Tablespoon Sweet Relish with about 1/2 teaspoon Mayonnaise & stir.  Making the Tartar Sauce was easy, but we also needed a veggie.  No, not French Fries.  Opening the fridge & looking down to the veggie bin, 2 Zucchini + 1 Summer Squash popped into view!  Roasted veggies are always so yummy, so I had my answer.  Roast the sliced veggies in the same cookie pan & at the same temperature as the Crabcakes while they were baking!  Now that our temps are a lot cooler, heating the oven & kitchen actually feels great!  During the HHH summer months I really do not do much baking!  

Roasted Zucchini + Summer Squash
     2 - 3 servings

2 Zucchini
1 Summer Squash

or 1 Zucchini + 2 Summer Squash

Method:
  1. Wash veggies under cool running water, dry.
  2. Cut into 1/2" slices.
  3. Using a container or Ziploc Bag, combine 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil + 1/8 teaspoon Oregano & 1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder.
  4. Add veggie slices to bag & coat.
  5. Place coated veggies on cookie pan.  I placed them surrounding the Crabcakes
  6. Roast 20 Minutes at 450°F.
Zucchini & Summer Squash were added to my list to purchase at the roadside stand today.  I'll definitely be roasting these again as long as our local veggies are available!   :)  Try it!

Enjoy!
Yummy!
 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Go BC!!!


Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, MA was rocking last night!!!  The Boston College Eagles upset 9th ranked USC with a 37- 31 victory!

Go BC!!!

    

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana
Do you have a couple of Eggplants?  Whenever I see a display of Eggplants suddenly an image of Eggplant Parmigiana comes to mind!  A forkful smothered in tomato sauce is so good.  Usually the Eggplant has been fried, so I tend to stay away from ordering it when dining out.  Not that I don't enjoy the taste, it's that cholesterol thing with me.  I try to save fried foods for that once in a blue moonLike the Whole Belly Clam Roll served with tartar sauce & a side of Cole Slaw- when we were at the Cape.

For the past 3 years I've enjoyed Eggplant Parmigiana, but the Eggplant is baked, not fried.  While thumbing through a recipe booklet from one of our local grocery stores, the recipe caught my eye.  Now, when these veggies are in season locally here, I like to bake a batch a couple of times.  Definitely there are more servings remaining after dinner.  This freezes very well and can be reheated in the microwave on a busy night.  It's easy, it's delicious!  What can be better?

You guessed it.  Sunday's trip to Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow included Eggplant.              

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana  
     adapted from Big Y Life in Balance

Ingredients:
PAM  
Olive Oil for baking & sauteing 
(2) small Eggplants
Ground Pepper
Basil
Garlic Powder
Oregano
Tomato Sauce (about 16 oz. - 20 oz.) 
(1) can 6 oz. Tomato Paste
8 oz. shredded Mozzarella
 

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a large cookie pan with foil and spray with PAM.
  3. Wash & dry Eggplants. 
  4. Cut each Eggplant into 1" round slices.  Cut an even number of round slices.
  5. Place each slice on cookie sheet and drizzle a small amount of Olive Oil on top of each slice.
  6. Then, lightly sprinkle with Ground Pepper & Basil.
  7.  Bake Eggplant slices for 20 minutes in 450°F oven. 
After slices are baked, remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 350°F.

*While Eggplant is baking continue prepping:  
  1. Spray a large baking dish with PAM.
  2.  Mix Tomato Sauce with Tomato Paste in a small bowl. 
  3.  Place a small amount of sauce mixture in baking dish, covering bottom.
  4.  Place baked Eggplant slices on bottom of baking dish.  Top each slice with shredded Mozzarella Cheese.  Then, top with another slice of Eggplant.  Place sauce mixture on top.  Sprinkle on Garlic Powder & Oregano.  
  5. Then top with more Mozzarella Cheese.  
  6. Bake for 30- 35 minutes or until Eggplant is soft. 
  7. Serve with Penne. 
For an extra great taste, I sauted 1 Green Pepper after cutting it into slices & added it to the sauce before baking.  That extra flavor was great!  Bake Eggplant Parmigiana soon!

Enjoy!
Yummy!
     

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Freezing Green Peppers

Ready for the freezer!
Fresh locally grown Green Peppers!  They taste so good!  During the colder months I really miss the opportunity to purchase a Pepper grown locally to include in a dinner recipe.  However, these days there is a Plan B going on with me & Green Peppers.  At this time of year when they are very plentiful, a quick trip to Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow makes Plan B happen very quickly.

Sunday was that day.  After a great time relaxing at the Cape, I was ready to get busy & freeze the Peppers.  It is a very easy process.

Cutting Pepper Slices
(File Photo)
 Freezing Green Pepper Strips 
  1. Rinse Peppers under cool running water.  Dry.
  2. Cut off tops.
  3. Discard seeds.
  4. Cut each Pepper in strips. 
  5. Place a handful of Pepper strips in a plastic sandwich bag.   (I do not use exact measurements.) I "eyeball" the amount I'd get from 1 whole Pepper for each bag.
  6. Close the sandwich bag and fold over. 
  7. Carefully, place all sandwich bags in a Ziploc Freezer Bag.
  8.  Seal, label and place in freezer. 
***Usually from the "cut off" Pepper tops a few chunks of Pepper can be saved to freeze, also.  These chunks are also placed in sandwich bags & then in a Freezer Bag.  (See photo above.)

During the harsher winter months whenever a Green Pepper is an ingredient in a recipe, I head to my freezer to remove 1 sandwich bag.  They are already cleaned & cut into strips/ chunks.  So tasty!  Well worth the small amount of time to prep them in the summer!

It did not take long to find my kitchen!  :)

Enjoy!
Yummy!
          

Sunday, September 7, 2014

R-e-l-a-x-i-n-g!

Nauset Beach, Orleans, MA
Getting back into the swing of things after a great vaca at the Cape!  Sunny days in September, watching & listening to the waves at our fave beach - Nauset Beach, dining on fresh seafood every evening- ahhhhh!  Totally FuN!

Stopping in at the Fishing Pier in Chatham, MA.  One Fishing Boat had finished unloading its "catch of the day".


Taking in the view on the right side-


"Who is watching who" moment between a Seal & a Sea Gull!


Now where is my fridge & my stove?  :)

We did enjoy!
  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Peachy Craisin Crisp

Ready to mix the Topping!
Got Peaches? Got Craisins? Got Oats?  If you have these ingredients just waiting in the wings - bake a delicious juicy colorful Peachy Craisin Crisp!  This dessert is the perfect addition to the menu for this holiday weekend!  Everyone will enjoy it!  No need to roll out a pie crust, either!

Ever since our local Peaches have been available, I've purchased them weekly.  The sweet fruit is so good in a fruit salad.  Some mighty tasty Peach Freezer Jam can be enjoyed all year, also- that is until your supply runs out!  Every week we devour the ripened fruit & I purchase them again.  Not this past week.  I did buy them, but I had the sole intention to bake a Peachy Craisin Crisp!  It was the perfect dessert for my DH's b'day!  A cake can be baked any time of the year, but local fresh Peaches come only once a year here in New England!

This is a family fave dessert!  My 8" x 8" rose colored Pyrex baking dish was filled with Peach slices.  About 1/4 cup Craisins were sprinkled on top & mixed in with the slices.  After 45 minutes of baking it came out of the oven.  Yum, yum, yum! 

To remove the Peach skins easily With a spoon place Peach in simmering water (enough water to cover piece of fruit) for about 25 seconds.  With spoon remove from water & cool until easy to handle.  Peel fruit & cut into slices.

Peachy Craisin Crisp
File Photo
In both my former & now my new oven the baking time is 45 Minutes.
Peachy Craisin Crisp
Oven Temperature:  375°F    Time:  45 Minutes

Ingredients:
6- 8 ripe Peaches

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 Cup softened Butter or Margarine
1/4 Cup Craisins (dried cranberries)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray glass baking dish with PAM.
  3. Place sliced Peaches in baking dish.  
  4. Sprinkle on Craisins and mix.
  5. In small bowl combine all dry ingredients thoroughly.
  6. Add softened Butter or Margarine & combine thoroughly.
  7. Sprinkle this Topping mixture evenly over Peaches/ Craisins.
  8. Bake 45 minutes or until Peaches are tender. 
  9. Serve warm or cold topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  10. After cool, cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
This is a very yummy dessert!  During the summer months I don't roll out pie crusts & I do not like the taste of the commercially prepared crusts.  No pie crust needed here- this is a tasty treat!

Enjoy!
Yummy!
           

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

~Summer Guests~

Our summer guests!
This past month whenever I have been outside during the daylight hours, a quick glance at one of our colorful gardens is always going on.  The vibrant Zinnias that we planted from seeds are constantly blossoming.  I've learned from past experience that there will be an opportunity to suddenly see a brightly colored butterfly gliding in to check out our Zinnias.  Suddenly, today, it happened!  Sure looked like an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail!  Every year our guests return!

We are enjoying!