Trying new things – fried zucchini blossoms

Finally getting around to posting photos of dinner I made for my mom and dad…except life happened and they weren’t able to come. Bummer! Luckily I had an additional dinner guest, so it was not all for naught.

I was excited to try eating some of my zucchini blossoms. My aunt and cousin had recently told me how they ate them in Italy, so of course I had to try it!

I found this totally awesome recipe by Giada De Laurentiis for stuffed ones.

Blossoms that are stuffed and awaiting frying.

Blossoms all fried up!

I also made some Confetti Salad, fresh strawberries, Caprese Salad, and even made some pesto with the basil in my garden. On the side were some yummy breadsticks.

The whole dinner.

I was told the zucchini blossoms were the most awesome thing I have ever made. Really, what’s not to like about fried cheese?

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Happy Birthday – No Cake.

This weekend Aunt M came down for birthday celebrations. Mind you, this was her third celebration, but who’s counting? And what do you get someone who has everything she needs? You make dinner, of course!

We had…

Caprese Salad Skewers

Amish Macaroni Salad

Marinated Portabello Mushroom Burgers with Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Beets

Pineapple Salsa

Mojitos

And, for the big birthday, neither myself nor my sis are big fans of cake. Everyone else is welcome to enjoy it, but there are so many better things in the world to eat, why waste time on cake? Although, I must admit, I love to bake them. Anywho, I went with the Southern Style Strawberry Shortcake. I even made the whipped cream by hand. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! That stuff is so awesome. I may never get my whipped cream from a can again.

After our lovely dinner we had every intention of going to the Gallery Hop, but Munchkin was begging for a movie, so we went to the movie theater. Sometimes caving to wants is easier for everyone involved, and it was super hot out, so that air conditioning was looking more and more appealing. Movie sold out. Boooo. We decided to stop in a nearby store and that’s when the storm hit. Crazy wind, rain, and even hail! The power went out, so we decided to head home. Shopping is no fun in the dark!

Happy Birthday, Aunt M!

Exercise + Cooking Show = More Exercise

Image from the Food Network

At home I only have the most basic of cable, roughly 15 channels. I get the major networks and a few random other channels. What don’t I get? The Food Network. Well, at the gym I go to they have a million channels and televisions on each piece of machinery. While exercising I tend to rotate between Lifetime Family, VH1 and of course, the Food Network. Well, actually the Food Network is most of the time. Not really a good idea to work up an appetite while exercising, but hey, it’s a great channel!

So, Saturday morning while I was on the eliptical I was watching the Paula Dean show and saw this fabulous recipe for Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw. It looks delicious, and it adds to my desire to make some jalapeno pepper jelly. Because you know, I’m obsessed with canning lately. I also seem to love anything with vinegar in it. Maybe it’s a nutritional deficiency or something.

I also watched 5 Ingredient Fix. I had never watched this show before, but it’s kinda fun. And who doesn’t love Frozen Lemon Mint Juleps?

I have been thinking about having people over for dinner sometime in the near future now that it is warming up. I think these both might make it on the menu!

Confetti!

So, I looked in my fridge and realized I get a bag of potatoes or sweet potatoes every single time I go to the store, and just had a TON of potatoes to use up, so what to do? Make my Confetti Potato Salad of course! I made this up, but it’s my absolute favorite! Hmmm…On a side note, real confetti is one of my least favorite things.  It’s fun, but what a pain to clean up, and it is like glitter – it never fully goes away.

Anyways, back to our story…

Emily’s Confetti Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 c. mayonaise
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. mustard (yellow or dijon)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. sweet relish
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Directions

  1. 1. Peel and chop sweet potatoes and boil in a large pan with a pinch of salt. While boiling, peel and chop regular potatoes and add to same pot until both are cooked but not mushy – about 20 minutes.
  2. 2. While potatoes are cooking, combine in a large bowl mayonaise, sour cream, mustard, celery, onion, relish, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. 3. Cool cooked potatoes slightly and then toss with dressing.
  4. 4. Chop and gently fold in egg. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until serving.

Since I was cooking up cubes of potatoes anyways, I boiled event more, and kept some to mash up for mashed potatoes. I haven’t decided if I am going to eat as is or use it in a casserole.

A “Whoops!” turns out yummy

So, I had this butternut squash that has been sitting around for awhile, and it needed to go. I looked up some recipes and I found a recipe for a squash casserole, but it was for yellow squash. I could sub butternut, right? However, after realizing I had lots of moments where I thought I had something and really didn’t, I made a completely new dish. And then I had some left over apples from some muffins I was making, so I threw those in too. And it turned out to be good!

Savory Butternut Squash Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2-1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 stack of buttery crackers, crushed

Directions:

  • Warm a large skillet with the butter. Put in squash and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. After five minutes add in onion and water and continue to cook until tender
  • When cooked, remove from heat. Add in milk, sour cream and apples. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish
  • Top with crushed crackers and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and top is brown.

Herbed Sweet Potato Fries

A quick side tonight that turned out great and even the munchkin loved. I’m totally bummed I forgot to take photos, but the result was so yummy!

Herbed Sweet Potato Fries

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips (or slices, or waffle…whatever your fancy)

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. paprika

Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Put potato slices in a large bowl. Add in remaining ingredients and toss.
  3. Put potatoes on a sprayed baking sheet in a single layer
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until done

Of course, this is a pretty basic recipe, so adjust to fit your taste. This can work as a side dish to your favorite sandwich, or would also work as an appetizer by itself.

I had hoped to use cayenne pepper instead of the paprika, but I am out. I’ll have to sub that next time. I’m thinking the kick with the sweet would be awesome. Regardless, I got my 4-year old to eat a reasonably healthy snack. Whoo hooo!