Stretch out those Dog Days… 2

How has August raced half-way through?! This is the good part of summer for me and I hope you’re enjoying it too.

It is 93 right now, cooler in this old house. Days are flipping off the calendar, too Fast:

  • Zucchini every day, blueberries , sugar pod peas and cherry tomatoes to pick
  • Evenings knitting with John Merriman European History lectures (free!)
  • Daily Arsenic Hour*- well, ~4pm, time to cool off with smoothies. *Named from when toddlers got cranky. 🙂
  • Juggling laundry, quilting, web sites, data bases, cooking, deadheading, prepping for family visit…
  • Auditioning wedding flowers, “sunset colors” for next summer- good friends. 🙂

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NYT’s- Are You Too Busy?

Am I too busy? Are you too busy? Feeling a bit like a hamster, maybe too hot? 🙂  Take care, slow down, keep cool, try to savor the warmth, pumpkins will be here before we know it.

Bon Appetit! Julia’s 100! 2

Moderation in all things! Today I will celebrate Julia Child’s would-be 100th Birthday!

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A box of apricots needed attention and I pulled out Baking with Julia. 

The apricots turned into a modified Lekvar, pureed apricots, brown sugar, lemon zest and juice. I just heated it through, will let it cool, then save it in small amounts for smoothies, winter oatmeal and pastries, anytime! It tastes Wonderful!

Today’s zucchini was a big one, so I sliced it, sauteed in olive oil, then simmered in lemon juice and chicken stock. I browned some of the leftover bread crumbs in butter, sprinkled those and some shredded cheddar on top and broiled the slices.  When they were bubbly and starting to brown, I sprinkled more fresh lemon juice and zest, salt & pepper. It was irresistible!!

Zucchini! Reply

We are having zucchini every day, isn’t that what August is all about?!  Baking before we left for the coast was one way to stay ahead. 🙂

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We are having zucchini:

  • Sauteed, with peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, fresh oregano
  • Baked with cumin, some other veggies and broiled to brown cheddar on top
  • Baked with basil, tomatoes etc., and broiled mozzarella topping
  • Shredded with chopped green onions into pancakes
  • Sauteed with whatever else is handy, including from the CSA bag, over really high heat, browning but still crunchy, then S&P, drizzled with balsamic.  And some sauteed, almost still crunchy garbanzoes.
  • Spears to dip into homemade hummus
  • Fresh salads, with those REAL SUMMER TOMATOES!!

The zucchini bread recipe came from 101 Cookbooks, a cool veggie blog from ~San Francisco area? I was not really brave enough to put in the cumin, curry, coriander etc., but used cardamom, wimped out- but no cinnamon!

The chocolate cake recipe was from church, the former choir director’s wife, thanks Joyce!

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

½ c. unsalted butter at room temperature
2 c. AP flour
½ c. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
1 t. baking soda
½ t. baking powder
½ t. fine sea salt
1 c. (packed) light brown sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. instant coffee granules
3 large eggs
2 c. unpeeled grated zucchini
1 c. chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar or melted bittersweet chocolate (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or oil.
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Process the sugar and butter until creamy (you can also do this by hand, armed with a sturdy spatula). Add the vanilla, coffee granules, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
  • Reserve a cup of the flour mixture and add the rest to the egg mixture. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.
  • Add the zucchini and chocolate chips to the reserved flour mixture and toss to coat. Fold into the batter and blend with a wooden spoon—don’t overmix. Pour into the prepared cake pan and level the surface with a spatula.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen the cake, and unclasp the sides of the pan. Let cool to room temperature before serving.
  • Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, glaze with melted chocolate.