Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zucchini Abundance Solved!

There are a few solutions to not wasting the overabundant zucchini you may gather from a few plants in your backyard (see previous post). I have 4 zucchini plants and there are more than enough zucchinis to go around from just these few. The zucchini are the big-leaved plants in the foreground in this pic. Here were my solutions:

1) Snuck over to my neighbor Olivia's house and left a few zucchinis the size of baseball bats on her welcome mat (evil chuckle).

2) Steam them and puree for Bryan's babyfood dinners for the next 5 months (joking, but only half). He should have enough zucchini puree frozen in the freezer to last for some time.

3) Made zucchini bread which was a hit with husband, although I'm still looking for a better recipe.

4) Made zucchini pasta sauce which can be frozen for future use. The key thing with this trick is that it's tasty and also uses 2 lbs of zucchini for a single batch which is enough for Paul and I to have dinner with it and then leftovers for lunch tomorrow (so not a huge batch that feeds an army). So you figure: double or triple it and you use up 4 or 6 lbs of zucchini and have some good sauce frozen for those nights you don't want to "cook." Recipe is as follows:

2 lbs. of zucchini thinly sliced (use a mandoline or food processor if you have one - goes a lot faster)
1/2 cup of chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic with skin removed
2 tsp. of herb de Provence (I don't have this but it consists of many herbs. I used the ones I had but didn't have all of them on hand (missing savory). I used a combo of these herbs: rosemary, basil (heavy on this one), marjoram, fennel seeds, oregano, and thyme to add up to about 2 tsp.)
olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Saute the veggies and herbs and seasoning for about 3 minutes in a few Tbsp. of olive oil. Use a LARGE wok or saucepan or you will get zucchini everywhere. Add the vegetable broth and simmer for 7 minutes. Blend/puree in blender/Vitamix with a few more Tbs. of oil to make a sauce of desired consistency. Serve over pasta and enjoy! Now just a warning: the appearance isn't fabulous- husband thought it looked gross, but he loved the taste. I had to agree that the green slop didn't look so appetizing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Summer!

Spring/summer has been a whirlwind this year with me doing field work in May (my mom came out to come with me on my trips and babysit Bryan in the hotel room - lots of adventures there) and gardening galore, keeping Bryan occupied and such. It's amazing how busy I am and how little I feel I have accomplished to show for it. And here we are, already at the 4th of July! Hope you all had a good one. We went to our neighbors' for a BBQ lunch.. Bryan loved watching the 'big girls' while he was eating.

We also went to a co-worker's BBQ party this weekend and Bryan chilled out in the Ergobaby carrier most of the afternoon - he was being a little shy.

What do you do when you have more zucchini than you can give away?

You play with your food, of course!

Simple, inexpensive entertainment for everyone!

I must remind myself to post this great zucchini pasta sauce recipe that I found. The zucchini bread recipe I have isn't so good.. on the prowl for a new one so send it along if you have one.

We've been taking lots of walks with the infamous tag blanket that Bryan adores.

and he's learned to love water like his mom...

.. and he's not so sure about the "new" high chair we found at a local garage sale on one of our morning walks.

Hope you are all staying cool and enjoying the summer!