Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day

We planted one zucchini plant this year.  Usually you get more squash than you can eat. Not this year. We have only gotten 2 huge zucchini and a couple small ones.  It’s funny that we pick vegetables on Friday before going to work on the weekend.  Than on Monday we end up with this size of zucchini. How did we miss it on Friday?

Whether you grow your own zucchini or buy them at the store. Try this Zucchini Parmesan Crisps by Ellie Krieger, Food Network.

Cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (¾ ounce)
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

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National Meatball Day

Because it is National Meatball Day, I will be sharing a recipe for  Turkey Meatballs & Slow-Roasted Tomatoes.

Tomatoes:
2 pints (4 c.) cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ c. olive oil
Pinch each of fine seas salt & dried oregano

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 sheet pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper. On one of the pans, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer with the garlic cloves.

Evenly drizzle everything with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt & oregano. Toss to coat, then turn the tomatoes cut side up. Bake the tomatoes on the lower rack, rotating the pan halfway through, until they are puckered, crinkly and sweet, 30 minutes to 1 hour (the longer the tomatoes roast at a low temperature the sweeter they’ll get).

Meatballs:
1 small yellow onion, peeled
1 ½ lbs. Ground turkey
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c. chicharrones, crumbled
½ tsp. Herbes de Provence
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. Ground mustard
2 Tbsp. Olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 Tbsp. Chopped basil leaves
4 Tbsp. Cream cheese
2 Tbsp. Sour cream

Use the larges holes of a box grater to grate the onion into a large bowl. Add th turkey and other ingredients except the cream cheese & sour cream, and use your hands to gently mix everything together until combined. Do not over-squish the meat.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into 24 golf-ball-size balls and place them on the other sheet pan, leaving just a bit of space between the meatballs. Once the tomatoes have been cooking at least 30 minutes, turn up the oven to 375 degrees F. Slide the meatballs into the oven on the upper rack, above the pan of tomatoes. Bake everything until the tomatoes are puckered and sizzling, about 15 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set them aside. Flip the meatballs, rotate the pan and continue to bake until they are no longer raw inside, and additional 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve the meatballs warm on a bed of the tomatoes, with dollops of the cream cheese & sour cream combined on top. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with extra basil.

NATIONAL WALNUT DAY

We eat a nut mixture which contains walnuts, almonds and Macadamia when we are driving.  I like to season them with either Tabasco, creole seasoning, vegetable oil and salt & pepper or Wasabi, Five Spice, Sriracha, peanut oil and salt & pepper and bake them on a low temperature around 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour.  The slow baking allows the nuts to absorb the flavors from the seasoning.  Nuts are a very good snack for a Ketogenic diet because it has good fat and protein.

national-walnut-day-june-17

*** May 17th recognizes a “nutty” holiday.  Each year on this day, it is National Walnut Day.

Rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree, walnuts are a high-density source of nutrients, particularly proteins and essential fatty acids.  Like other tree nuts, walnuts must be processed and stored properly.

Grown for their seeds, the Persian or English Walnut and the Black Walnut are the two most common major species of walnuts.

  • English Walnut
    – originated in Persia
    – commercially produced
  • Black Walnut
    – native to eastern North America
    – high flavor
    – hard shell and poor hulling characteristics prevent it commercial growth for nut production.

The husk of the walnut, which is peeled away from the shell at harvest, and contain juice which will readily stain anything it comes in contact with.  The husk juice has been used as a cloth dye.

The United States is the world’s largest exporter of walnuts.

Ninety-nine percent of the nation’s commercial English walnuts are produced in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys of California.

 

 

*** http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-walnut-day-may-17/

Week Gone By

We have been gone for 4 days and we have a 10 hour wait for our next load so we came home to shower and check on the dogs & cats.  I noticed that the next five days celebrate some food items: Eggs Benedict; cheese balls, garlic, Amaretto and lima beans.  Since I haven’t had a chance to make a recipe for any of these, I thought I would share one of my favorites with you.  By the way this is a great dessert that can be eaten if you’re on the Ketogenic diet.  Just be careful of how many carbohydrates are in the fruit you choose.

mini cheesecakes (10)Mini Cheesecakes

Serves 24 cakes

mini cheesecakes (2)

32 oz. Cream cheese
5 large eggs
1 c. Truvia
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla

Topping: 16 oz. Sour cream
¼ c. Truvia
¼ tsp. Vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Beat first 4 ingredients together. Fill paper cups and bake for 30 minutes. mini cheesecakes (5)

mini cheesecakes (6)

While baking, make topping by mixing together topping ingredients. Add one tablespoon into each one and cook for another 15 minutes.

 

mini cheesecakes (3)

Cover with fruit of your choice. I combined peaches & blueberries.

 

Mediterranean Hens

I did purchased a tray and pencils for Easter this year.  The tray was only $1.99 and the pencils were only $1.  I thought they were cute.Easter Stuff (1)

Here is an easy and very tasty way to cook these small Cornish game hens

¼ c. red wine vinegar
¼ c. honey-Dijon mustard
2/3 c. olive oil
3 Tbsp. Rinsed, chopped Spanish olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ tsp. Dried oregano
¾ tsp. Dried thyme
Salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 Cornish game hens, split in halfMediterranian Hens2

Mix vinegar & mustard together in a large bowl. Mix in oil, olives, garlic & seasonings. Add game hen halves, coating well on all sides. Cover bottom of large baking pan with heavy foil & place game hens cut side down. Spoon remaining sauce over top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done, rotating pan about halfway through.

NOTE: Hens can be marinated in sauce for several hours, if desired.

National Artichoke Hearts Day

Artichoke-Heart_Small-Bricklet_tcm28-68478

* Although we refer to artichokes as to vegetables, they are actually the flower buds of the plant. They are so delicious that deserve their own holiday. By the way, March 16 is National Artichoke Hearts Day.

The first mention of artichokes was found in a book on the medicinal uses of plants. The book dates around 40-70 AD, so it gives us a hint, that artichokes has been known for ages.

Artichokes are believed to originate in the Mediterranean region and are the part of sunflower family. Food historians do not know when artichokes became the part of our diet, but we know that Spanish settlers cultivated them in California during the 1600s. However, artichokes didn’t gain popularity in America until early 1900s.

Did you know, that artichokes were outlawed for a week in New York? This happened in 1920s, when officials decided to try to curb mafia-driven price gouging. Today artichokes are totally legal, so why don’t you try a new recipe with them to make a dinner and celebrate National Artichoke Hearts Day?

 

I found this yummy recipe for artichoke hearts to share.  Enjoy!

Artichoke (1)

16 oz. Marinated artichoke hearts, drained
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 tsp. Dried parsley
Ground pepper to taste
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the artichokes, garlic, oil, parsley & pepper in a shallow casserole dish. Toss to combine.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the artichokes begin to turn deep golden.

Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve hot.Artichoke hearts (2)

 

Spicy Wings for Super Bowl

These are simple and you can marinade overnight and cook right before you want to serve them so they are hot and yummy.

Spicy Wings (5)1 pkg. chicken drummettes (Party Wings) – about 20 drummettes
14 ½ oz can tomato sauce
½ c. hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1/8 c. oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. ground cumin

 

Spicy Wings (8)Place chicken in 9 x 9 x 2 baking dish, set aside. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour marinade over chicken; completely cover drummettes with marinade. I prefer to use a gallon food storage bag or the bag the chicken comes in for the marinade. This always seems easier than dirting-up a couple of extra bowls.

 

 

Spicy Wings (14)

 

Cover/seal the bag & refrigerate 2 to 4 hours, turning twice during marinating. Place marinated drummettes in a single layer on a foil-lined, lightly greased, 15 x 10 inch baking sheet.

 

 

 

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 min; turn drummettes. Bake for an additional 20 min. or until chicken is no longer pink in center.  I like mine a little crunchier so I leave them in for another 10 minutes or so.