Posts Tagged "zucchini"

Pinteresting Breakfast Recipes

Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Cooking/Recipes | 2 comments

This month I have decided to work my way through some of the recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.  I am a great collector of recipes, and wanted to actually try some of these out before my boards got too big.

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so seemed like a good place to start!  For each recipe I include a link to the original source (in case you aren’t on Pinterest) and the pin.

Overnight Oats

I absolutely love this recipe.  It was incredibly simple to put together, and it was so wonderful to wake up in the morning and have a hearty breakfast all ready to go.  I was a little worried that the oatmeal would be a strange texture but I needn’t have worried – smooth and creamy would be the best way to describe it!  I had mine with banana and a spoonful of mixed fruit jam – so good!  I did find it made enough for two, but it was just as good for breakfast the second day.  The second batch I mixed with coconut milk and pineapple, also very yummy.   Found here and pinned here.

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

I love smoothies but I would never have thought to put oatmeal in one.  I halved the recipe so it would just serve one, and true to its promise I really did keep me filling full.  Rather than cook up oatmeal, I just soaked the oats in the yogurt overnight, like I did for the overnight oats.  I also added a little almond milk when I blended it to thin things out.  I will definitely be making this again!  Found here and pinned here.

Quinoa For Breakfast

I wasn’t sure I would like this one but was presently surprised.  I used quinoa I had left over from another meal, mixed it with almond milk, fresh pineapple and coconut.  Found here and pinned here.

Recipes I won’t make again

Pineapple Ginger Smoothie

Not all recipes are worth keeping, and this was one of them.  It certainly didn’t live up to its beautiful picture on Pinterest, and although I loved the ginger flavour, the pineapple flavour really didn’t come through, leaving it a little bland.  I love the idea of ginger in a smoothie and will definitely try that on my own.  Pinned here.  

More Yummy Breakfast Ideas from this Pin Board

A few of the recipes on this board I had already tried.

Sourdough Pancakes – truly the best sourdough pancake recipe I have tried!  Found here and pinned here.

Cheesy Potato Cakes  - with a little minced onion thrown in I think these are perfect.  Found here and pinned here.

Zucchini Waffles – like zucchini bread, only in a waffle.  Found here and pinned here.

Enjoy!  If you know of any other “pinteresting” breakfast recipes, feel free to link to them in the comments! :)

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Harvesting the Garden

Posted by on Oct 2, 2011 in Gardening, How Does Your Garden Grow? | 1 comment

The nights are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to turn, and my garden is starting to look a lot more brown than green.

It is time for the fall harvest.

After another two frosty evenings in a row, some plants in the garden are finished for good.

I went out in the garden and harvested all of our tomatoes.

Red – Northern Delight and a few Beefsteak, destined for salsa, bruschetta, and BLT sandwiches (where the “B” stands for Basil - yum!)  I already canned the bulk of them as salsa and stewed tomatoes. 

Green – not even enough to make green tomato mincemeat!  I might try to half (or quarter!) the recipe and at least make a small batch for winter desserts.

I also harvested all of the Mystery Keeper tomatoes, which will keep us in garden-fresh tomatoes for at least the first few months of winter.

The green and yellow beans are finished, but I did manage to have a snack of fresh green peas while I was poking around the garden.  This is my absolute favourite way to eat peas, in fact, they rarely make it into the house (there’s local eating for you!)

Our soldier beans are not quite dry yet (and with the wet season we have had, many have rotted away), but I did collect a small bag of the first of the season.  These will be made into baked beans (Hubby’s favourite!) throughout the winter, as well as substituted for other varieties of beans in burritos, nachos, soups and stews. 

And what would a garden harvest be without a zucchini or two?  We almost missed out on these with our cucumber beetle attack, but one plant survived and I have been able to harvest enough for fresh eating on pizza, in omelettes, and stuffed, and have frozen some of the bigger specimens, pre-grated, ready to keep us in muffins (and more muffins!) for the next few months.   I also discovered a wonderful recipe for zucchini waffles which I made yesterday and loved!  Kind of like a waffle version of zucchini bread.  I added orange juice along with the milk in mine for extra flavour. 

I pulled out the pepper plants which are no longer producing, and harvested jalapenos for salsa and jalapeno cheese sauce.  I like to cut them in half, seed them, and then freeze them for later.

The carrots, squash, lettuce, spinach, chard, and potatoes are still growing nicely.  The onions are curing on our deck, although I must admit I have already started cooking with some of them, I just couldn’t resist!

Most of the herbs are still flourishing, except for the basil which I pulled out by the roots yesterday and incorporated every leaf  into making pesto, which I also freeze for later, some in ice cube trays and some in small glass jars.  I of course saved a few plants to go with the delicious tomatoes all over my counter, but their season is almost done. 

I must admit I have a certain satisfaction in knowing that our freezer and store room are starting to fill up with the food that will take us through the winter.  Food that started as just a tiny seed in the ground only a few months ago.  Growing your own food is a wonderful thing! 

What are you harvesting from your garden?

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Summer Harvest Muffins

Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 in Cooking/Recipes | 2 comments

Zucchini and peaches and blueberries, oh my!  What’s a girl to do?  Make a batch of summer harvest muffins, of course!

Although we lost all but one of our zucchini plants to cucumber beetles this year, we returned from vacation to find this big boy waiting for us:

And with peaches ripening on the counter, and blueberries in abundance, inspiration hit and I made these yummy zucchini muffins with peach pieces throughout and a big blueberry on top. 

Aren’t they pretty?

I used the recipe for “Kitchen Sink Zucchini Muffins” but added 3/4 cup of finely chopped fresh peach instead of the other add-ins, grated a little extra nutmeg into the batter, and then topped each with a plump blueberry before putting them in the oven. 

Would you like a bite? :)

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Garden Pests: Cucumber Beetles

Posted by on Jul 10, 2011 in Gardening, How Does Your Garden Grow? | 1 comment

We have been very lucky with our gardens the past few years that we have not had a lot of trouble with insects on our favourite crops.

Not so this year.

Not too long after they sprouted, the leaves of our squash, cucumber, and zucchini plants started to get holes in their leaves.  I must admit that, at the time, I was too busy trying to get all the gardens cleaned out and planted that I didn’t think much of it at the time. 

But yesterday, while I was weeding, I discovered that our plants were looking pretty poor, and also that they were covered in these little yellow and black striped bugs.

A little Google detective work led me to discover that our garden has been attacked by the aptly named cucumber beetle.  They will eat the leaves, flowers,  and fruit of the plants, mate (and let me tell you, there was a lot of mating going on yesterday!), and each female will lay 1500 eggs in the soil at the bottom of the plant.  When the larvae hatch they will feast on the roots of the plant.  Yep.  Not a gardener’s best friend.

So now, how to get rid of the little beasts?

The “pick and squish” method of bug removal which has worked well for me with slugs and cabbage worms is not effective with these quick-moving and flying bugs (although they are an easy enough target when mating…) 

So yesterday I made a batch of some old-fashioned insecticidal soap (recipe below) and went bug hunting.  I have to admit, I did get a certain joy out of seeing the bugs falter under the spray of the soap, and the ants were happy as they dragged all of the carcasses away to their nests (homicidal clean-up: nature at its best)  But the fight is long from over.  The soap is only effective if the bugs get hit with it, so I missed any that flew away, or that were hiding.  I went hunting twice yesterday and found about the same number of bugs each time, and I am sure I will find more out there today.  But it’s a start in the right direction, and hopefully in time to rescue at least some of our plants. 

Next year, we are going to grow these plants under floating row covers so the beetles can’t get at them (an ounce of prevention….)

For this year, I think the squirt bottle and I are going to be good friends.

Make Your Own insecticidal Soap

To two cups of water add 1 tablespoon of liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s).   Mix and spray.

I also read somewhere yesterday that a little oil makes the soap more effective on hard-shelled bugs like these beetles.  So I added 1 tablespoon of olive oil to mine. 

Have you had difficulty with any garden pests this year?  How have you handled it?  Please share your ideas in the comments!

Happy growing!

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Favourite Zucchini Muffins

Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Cooking/Recipes | 1 comment

Zucchini is something that grows very well in our garden.  So well, that with only 3 plants we (or I…hubby won’t touch it) ate it all through the summer, shared some with neighbours, and stocked the freezer with bags of grated zucchini for baking.

For the last three years I have frozen enough zucchini to bake muffins and breads all through the winter.

And then I forget about it.

And much of it is still waiting for me when I go to freeze the next batch the following year.  (I know, I know, sometimes I think I’m hopeless too….)

But not so this year!   I made it my mission to test out new recipes this winter and to use up what was in my freezer BEFORE the first yellow zucchini blossoms appeared this summer.

And so it was that I have discovered my new favourite zucchini muffin recipe.  It’s based on one found in “Cook Once a Week: Eat Well Every Day”  by Theresa Albert-Ratchford, but adapted of course to my whole grain, skip the refined sugar, baking style.    They are moist and stay moist even a day or so after baking and freeze exceptionally well (and the double batch is perfect for freezing!) 

Favourite Zucchini Muffins

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup date palm sugar (this is what I had on hand, feel free to substitute whatever sugar works for you)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (thawed and drained if frozen)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

Beat the eggs, and add in the honey, sugar, applesauce, oil, butter, almond butter and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl combine the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

Add to sugar mixture with zucchini and stir until combined.

Fold in raisins and flaxseed.

Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes. 

Enjoy!

 

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