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zucchini crostini

zucchini marcona crostini

Before I made this light and easy appetizer for the Friday the 13th Dinner Party, I’d made it the Wednesday before as part of my “Summer Entertaining” cooking class menu at Les Gourmettes Cooking School.

I loved the bright colors and freshness of it then and I loved it on the appetizer table for the dinner party just as much. It has no special powers or meaning in the “lucky/unlucky” aspect of the party, but it was a popular dish, nonetheless.

zucchini basil almond crostini

Zucchini-Basil Crostini

  • 1 sourdough baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound zucchini, washed and dried well
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup chiffonade basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Marcona almonds, toasted and finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush each slice of baguette with olive oil on both sides and toast for about 5 minutes on one side, turn the bread and toast for about 4 minutes more on the second side, or until golden brown. Let cool.

shred zucchini

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the zucchini. Place the shredded zucchini in the center of a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of salt.

wrap in kitchen towel

Let sit for 5 minutes and then wrap the towel up and squeeze the towel to remove excess moisture from the zucchini.

squeeze out liquid

Repeat until as much liquid as possible has been released; then transfer the zucchini to a medium bowl.

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May 19, 2016   5 Comments

Friday cocktail

Seriously, why am I not posting a cocktail recipe every Friday?!? While we’re all staying home, classic cocktails with new names, like the Quarentini are popping up all over the place.

This cocktail is my spin on the classic Zombie, tweaked and swirled to become a Zoombie. If you’re not on the phone with friends and family in FaceTime, you’re on your computer with friends and family in Zoom. Zoom Happy Hours have been the thing to do for weeks now. So please feel free to forward this recipe to your friends so that y’all can mix up a batch in your own kitchens and enjoy it together.

I enjoyed the Zoombie earlier this week with two dear friends who came by for a much-needed Social Distancing Happy Hour. By the way, the appetizer you see in the photos above is Zucchini Crostini. It is always a hit!

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May 1, 2020   3 Comments

new and improved

On September 16, 2009, when this blog was one-month-old, I posted a recipe for Zucchini Nut Bread. Today I’m posting an updated version. There were three large zucchini in the market box I purchased a week ago. I haven’t been inspired to use them until now. I found a recipe from the website Kitchn which used a few techniques I wanted to try on quick bread.

A quick note before I continue. I doubled the recipe, so the instructions tell you that the recipe makes four mini loaves but you’ll see that I end up with eight. That is why.

The first technique was to squeeze the moisture out of the grated zucchini. This is not a new technique, I’ve used it before, for example in this Zucchini Crostini recipe. I’d never thought to use the technique for a quick bread, but it makes perfect sense. It results in a lighter, less dense, less heavy bread. Below is a photo of how much liquid I removed, plus what was left in the wet towel.

Next, was the idea of replacing the usual cinnamon in zucchini bread with lemon zest. Less wintery, more spring and summery. You had me at Lemon!

Lastly, lay the bread on its side when cooling. The thought here is that the bottom of the loaf is the hottest part, so exposing it to more air (instead of trapping that heat between the rack and the counter -creating an unwanted steaming action) helps prevent the bottom of the loaf from becoming soggy. Brilliant! And it works!

If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see that I cooled one loaf with the bottom on the rack. It’s true, the bottom crust was not as crisp as on the others. This recipe is a winner all around. Oh and that Zucchini Crostini is a keeper too. Be sure to bookmark them both for when you have a plethora of zucchini this summer.

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April 8, 2020   2 Comments

cooking day 1- Friday

Photo courtesy of griffithimaging.com

My real work for Chante and Cody’s wedding weekend began on Friday morning. Extremely. Early. On Friday morning!

Sleeping in a “camping cabin” was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gave me more hours in the day to cook and get all I needed to get done finished. A curse because I was bright-eyed but not quite bushy-tailed at 4:45 AM on Friday morning and 3:45 AM on Saturday morning, which is why I think it would have been better to travel and stay in an Overlanding vehicle. I mean, it could have gotten the same kind of amenities in my van as I got in the cabin. Moreover, I think that I would have felt more active and more comfortable had I been in my own space. Yes, it is true that I might have to consider buying a few things like an Overlanding solar setup or a roof rack had I chosen my vehicle. But, I guess that would have been alright for me. Perhaps, I will implement this idea during the next adventure trip.

Anyway, coming back to the cabin, I felt a bit uncomfortable during my stay. On those mornings, at those times, I awoke needing to use the bathroom. At home, when that happens, I stumble a few steps in the dark to the toilet, with my eyes closed, do my business, stumble back to bed and immediately fall back to sleep.

When the bathroom is in the forest, across a little road, up a slight incline and it is a public bathroom … well, the eyes closed, barefoot, nearly naked, the stumbling routine does not fly. Shoes must be put on, more clothing is needed and the flashlight on the phone gets activated.

And on that first morning, when I turned on the bathroom light, what I thought was a bat flew in through the slightly cracked window and into the stall I was in. It turned out to not be a bat, but an extremely large bat-size moth. So basically, by the time you get back to your little cabin after that experience, you are fully awake. Time to start the day! In the dark.

Friday morning, I got dressed, drove up the windy road to Rec. 2, and started cooking. Since it was still dark and there were not only the cabins that our people had rented out but also campgrounds nearby, I locked myself in the kitchen. Once the sun came up, I opened the windows and the door and kept working.

The photo above was taken from the doorway into the kitchen. Soon after I opened that door, I was standing at the sink, with my back to said door, when I heard a little rustling behind me. I quickly turned around to see a deer standing in the kitchen. He was fully inside, with his hind feet on that door mat. He had walked up the stairs of the stone patio and came inside without an ounce of fear.

When I turned, he slowly stepped back, out the door, and onto the patio. Obviously, it was breakfast time. I grabbed my phone and pulled out a bag of carrots.

It wasn’t until then that I noticed that he’d brought his herd of 6 more sweet deer along for the morning meal.

I fed them all, then they were on their merry way. The next morning, they got corn. I’m aware that they are used to this treatment, but it just made my day.

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June 20, 2018   2 Comments

pop pop popular salad

I have brought this salad as a pot-luck dish to many parties over the years and everyone always asks for the recipe. I brought it again last weekend and promised the recipe would be here this week. Promise kept!

I use already toasted and peeled hazelnuts from Trader Joe’s for this recipe.

If you have raw hazelnuts, go to this LINK to learn how to toast and skin them.

I almost never go to all that trouble anymore. Just another reason I am always so grateful for Trader Joe’s! I also used TJ’s quinoa, a mix of red and white.

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April 13, 2018   3 Comments

Peggy’s turn to cook

This deliciousness was Tuesday night’s dinner. Peggy not only manned the grill but was master of the kitchen as well.

Since it was my night off, it didn’t even cross my mind to take any preparation photos. Sorry, but I’m on vacation! I will try to do better when Anne takes over the duties tonight.

We spent Tuesday afternoon having lunch at Stone Brewery and wine tasting at Orfila Vineyards & Winery, with a little T*J*Maxx on the side.

We were ultimate Maxxinistas. Peggy was looking for a swimsuit and I was looking for a barstool. The Carlsbad patio has only two stools. There are three of us. I had no choice but to find another stool!

I was successful, Peggy was not. I picked up this industrial-style barstool for $29.99. I’m keeping the tag on it in case I decide to return it after the week is over, although I’m leaning towards keeping it for future visits. Decisions, decisions.

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August 9, 2017   1 Comment




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September 2, 2016   Comments Off on Holidays

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Angel Food French Toast


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September 2, 2016   Comments Off on Breakfast & Brunch


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September 2, 2016   Comments Off on Vegetarian

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