Wednesday, July 30

need to change my zucchini bread recipe

I'm not sure what's different lately but I don't like how it's turning out. I am going to update it now by reducing the amount of flax meal and maybe a little more oil?

Tuesday, July 29

Zucchini Corn Casserole

My neighbor gave me the recipe yesterday. I had to make some adjustments based on what we had on hand, but we really enjoyed it.

Zucchini Corn Casserole

1 onion in 2 Tbsp olive oil til softened

stir in
4 c sliced zucchini
2 cloves minced garlic

allow that to cook down a little

add 1/4 c chopped peppers (I used anaheims, the original called for chiles that I didn't have defrosted)
4 c frozen corn, defrosted (the original was a can of creamed corn, but I used what I had)

allow that to cook and reduce about 10 minutes

remove from heat and stir in 4 beaten eggs and 1/2 shredded sharp cheddar cheese

pour into prepared casserole, cover with another 1/2 c shredded cheese

bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until hot and bubbly

Sunday, July 27

the long awaited....

Peanut Butter Oat Bars with Chocolate Chips and zucchini

Cream together
1 c natural peanut butter
1/2 c butter
1/4 c sucanat
1/2 c turbinado

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 c shredded zucchini

Stir in until combined
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Then stir in
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 c chocolate chips

Spoon into prepared 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes

This recipe comes from combining my favorite peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with my zucchini oatmeal cookies. I made them as cookies and didn't really like them. They were a little cakey. So I tried them as bars. I didn't used butter in that try and had more oats. My friend Lorrie suggested more moisture. I am running low on peanut butter so i decided to add the butter that was in both original recipes. My reason for butter and not another fat comes from my desire to use what is most natural and adds more nutrition. Did you know that butter has Vitamin A? Check here for more info on butter. And click here to see the nutrition on margarine.

I didn't use as much oats this time simply because I ran out. I added all the oats I had.

Let me know how you like them!

Saturday, July 26


mmmmm...that was a new thing this week from our farm share. We got "slicers" this week. Those are what we typically think of as eating cucumbers. I like pickling cucumbers to eat too, but they weren't ready yet. I don't know that I plan on making many pickles this year. I made soooo many pickles last year and we still have quite a few. That way I can hopefully focus my energy somewhere else.

I took advantage of the cucumbers by making a big batch of my Grandma Joy's cucumbers and onions. It's one of those things that everyone has their own way of making. I like this version because the cukes and onions soak in salt water for 24 hours first. That really helps them to last a long time. My Grandma uses a lot of sugar in hers, but I don't add nearly that much. The bad part of that recipe is that it's 48 hours before we can eat them.

I made a batch of cucumber sunomo to eat in the meantime. It's the Japanese version of the recipe I guess. Here's my recipe for it.

Cucumber Sunomo

In a covered contained put
2 large cucumbers, sliced

Pour over the cucumbers
1/3 c rice wine vinegar
4 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp salt
about an inch of shredded gingerroot

Chill for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

I use white sugar here because I want it to totally dissolve. More natural sugars would work too, I just use white here. And for my ginger, I buy a gingerroot, peel it, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it. That's a trick from Rachel Ray. I like to do it that way because the ginger just kind of melts into whatever it's going into.

Wednesday, July 23

where have I been this week?

D (my hubby) has been out of town this week. I have taken advantage of that and just not done as much in the kitchen. In fact, I have been going to bed earlier and enjoying not get up to make his coffee and lunch and see him out the door. (Although at this point in the week, I'd rather be getting up than being a single mom!)

I did some baking on Tuesday. The same banana zucchini bread and zucchini chocolate oatmeal muffins. I also tried my cookie/bar thing again. I'm not sure I like it yet. I'll post a recipe soon, promise!

Sunday, July 20

OK, so it wasn't TERRIBLE

the not enough zucchini bread that is. It's a little dry and crumbly, but it's still totally edible. I love the flavor of that bread...honestly love it

Saturday, July 19


I totally love this vegetable. It's so prolific and a huge meal stretcher. We had it in several forms yesterday. First I sauteed some with some onion and a little ancho chile powder to use as a filling in a quesadilla. It was delicious. Different than a plain old cheese on a tortilla thing, but still really simple.

Then I baked. I made a cookie that will be better as a bar I think. I will try them again tonight to take to church in the morning and then post the recipe. I also made zucchini bread that was TERRIBLE. I only used half the zucchini I should have so it's really dry. I was distracted by my kiddos being crazy and swimming and driving each other nuts. But they are still eating it so go figure.

Then for dinner, I made a HUGE batch of my zucchini pancakes. We had some fruit with it and that was dinner. Well except for the q-ball zucchini that Duane "grilled" on the griddle. It's a round zucchini with a really mild taste. It's about as big as a grapefruit with pale skin. It has small seeds and really a firm texture. I will be using it to make a zucchini parmesan soon I think.

So we had zucchini for lunch, for snack and for dinner. And it was all different. No wonder our ancestors loved this vegetable!

Thursday, July 17


The other night I needed an idea. I was in the mood to do pasta for dinner. It's just easy and quick...and requires no baking or early planning like the crock pot. But I also felt like I needed to use more of the vegetables that are in my fridge. So I took a couple of ideas from a couple different places and made this sauce.

Vegetable Pasta Sauce

I'm not going to really write this out as a recipe since it was more an idea that can be adapted to whatever you have on hand. I used all vegetables from our farm share, the onions, peppers and tomatoes were frozen from last year, too.

I added these in the order listed. I cooked the onions and peppers on high to cook off a lot of the liquid, then I turned the heat to medium high until after the tomatoes were soft.

2 c chopped onions
1 c sliced bell pepper
broccoli, 2 medium crowns florets went in whole, and the stems were chopped first
2 c chopped carrots
2 large kohlrabi, shredded
2 1/2 large zucchini (about 6 c shredded)
9 medium tomatoes
6 cloves mashed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Italian seasoning

I let the onions and peppers cook away the liquid, then added a couple Tablespoons of oil to the pan with the broccoli, carrots and kohlrabi. That cooked for about 3-4 minutes then I added the zucchini. Another 3-4 minutes then I added the whole tomatoes (which I partially defrosted in the microwave). I let that cook for 10 minutes then I used my hand blender to puree it all. In went the seasonings, and the sauce was ready for a pound of pasta.

This was a chunkier sauce, not necessarily a tomato sauce. The leftovers were good too, and then I could really taste the broccoli in the sauce. It was a great way to have pasta and a veggie heavy sauce. High in vitamins and fiber, too.

Wednesday, July 16

yet another baked good with zucchini

I needed some muffins for the morning. I had shredded zucchini to use up. You know what happens then. Instead of going to an old standby, I totally made this one up. Hope you like them.

Chocolate Oatmeal Zucchini Muffins

Soak for 15 minutes
2 c rolled oats in
2 c milk

In a large bowl, cream together
2 eggs
1/4 melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c turbinado

Stir in
3 c shredded zucchini
and oatmeal mixture

In another bowl combine
3 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Add dry ingredients to wet just until combined. Fill prepared muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Makes 24 larger muffins

I used the rest of my whole wheat flour from my big baking day on Saturday. But that was only 2 cups so I added 1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour. My kids will think they are in heaven with such light muffins! :P

Tuesday, July 15

Zucchini Banana Bread

A combining of recipes. One was from Laurel's Kitchen, a favorite of mine, but it's vegetarian so I tend to change things up there. This turned out really well. Very much a banana bread, and it's lower in fat, too. It's really moist because of the zucchini so you won't miss the fat at all!

Zucchini Banana Bread

Cream together:
1/3 c melted butter or coconut oil
1/3 c sucanat

Beat in
4 bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c shredded zucchini or other summer squash yellow would blend in really well

In another bowl, mix together
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour today I used a mix of soft wheat and hard wheat flours that were leftovers from my baking on Saturday
1/2 c wheat germ
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then stir in 1/2 c chopped nuts.

Pour into prepared 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

I think this would also make good muffins. I'll let you know how those turn out next week! :P

Monday, July 14

what's for dinner?

that was a question that plagued me all day today. Monday's are not good days for me. I work and don't get home till around 2, and then I have to leave at 4:30 to take Clay to his drum lesson. I walk back in the door around 5:45, met by starving children and a starving husband. Lately the weekends have been crazy too, so I don't have much of a plan or many leftovers to go from. Then there is the issue of produce.

A huge part of why we get a farm share is so that we really buy very little produce in the summer. I have bought only one or two onions since we have joined the farm. Those were to grill since we have chopped onions in the freezer to cook with. That's 2 onions in over 3 years. I bought a bag of potatoes last spring. Again, those were the first in YEARS. We really try to eat what we are given and not really buy much else. I do have a fridge full of vegetables right now, but I didn't have a lot of time to deal with things. In the past I have prepared casseroles to bake while I am at the lesson, then we have a hot dinner waiting for us. It was just too hot for that today. And I didn't spend any time prepping things for dinner when I came in from work today, because I was scrubbing my wood floors.

So here's what I had to work with in the meat department:

leftover grilled pork sirloin steaks

leftover roasted chicken

leftover shredded chicken in BBQ sauce



my veggies on hand?



zucchini/yellow squash

yukon gold potatoes/new red potatoes


green beans




leftover turnip puff

leftover broccoli salad

There was a time when I would have really just wanted to order pizza or get burgers on a night like tonight. Instead I ran in the door at 5:50. I sauteed some onion in olive oil, then added diced new potatoes. While they cooked down a little I chopped 2 yellow squash and sliced the pork sirloin. I added that to the skillet too with a little chicken broth, covered it and let it simmer for 10 minutes. I reheated the turnip puff and pulled out the broccoli salad, too. By 6:15 we had dinner on the table. whew...

and I felt better for using what I had. I didn't defrost any extra meat since I had some cooked that I didn't want to go to waste. Tomorrow will be interesting again because I have an interview at 4 that will take about an hour. But I have more time at home to prep what I am doing. I am really in the mood to have chicken pot pie with that leftover chicken and some carrots and potatoes. We'll see what I do. It's supposed to be like 93 tomorrow so I don't know that I want to bake in the afternoon.

As far as the summer squash bread I made on Saturday goes, I decided I really don't like the way I made it. So I will tweak it again. I had used honey, and I just didn't like the honey taste in there. I want to make some zucchini banana bread tomorrow. I'll be putting a few different recipes together. I'll let you know how it turns out. And the sandwich bread I made the other day is AWESOME. But I want to do it again, to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

Sunday, July 13

only brownies

Today I baked my zucchini brownies. I took them to a party and left them. (It's a LONG story of why I had to run off.) When I got back a few hours later, the brownies were almost gone. And someone had also gotten into the summer squash bread! When I mentioned that the brownies had zucchini, one guy in particular was shocked. No one stopped eating them because of the green stuff, they just don't taste like they have a veggie in them. I also used my turbinado and sucanat in them along with some whole wheat flour. Since I was taking them to a gathering I did use some unbleached flour in there too.

Soon I'll post about why I choose the ingredients I do. But not tonight. I'm tired!

Saturday, July 12

Sour Cherry Cake

I found this somewhere online once when I was looking for things to do with sour cherries. My neighbor has some trees in front of her house and I always spend some time picking and pitting them. Growing up my mom had a friend with HUGE sour cherry trees and we would pick soooo many of them. I don't ever really remember what we did with them after the initial pie. Maybe my mom can remind me of that?

I picked some cherries the other night and froze them all once they were pitted. A friend came over yesterday and picked some too and she had asked me about this recipe. It's like a science experiment. When the sour cherries are added to the bowl, it has a little reaction in there. Aleena loves to make this cake about as much as she loves to eat it!

Sour Cherry Cake

1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c milk

Beat until smooth. Then add
1 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Fold in
2 c pitted sour cherries
1/2 tsp almond extract

that's the fun part!

Stir in 1/2 c pecans if desired

Pour into greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Let cool and serve with whipped cream.

busy day of baking

Today the weather here was a good 15 degrees cooler than it was yesterday. Much better day for baking, so bake I did! What I made today:

Noelle's Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

a new whole wheat sandwich bread, recipe to be posted soon!

Summer Squash Bread, but a little different version

I haven't tasted any of the last bread yet so after I do I will decide if I want to post that recipe as is or tweak it a little more. The sandwich bread really is awesome. I used a mix of my hard wheat flour and my soft wheat flour and I'm really happy with it. Like I said, that will come later.

The plan for dinner? Since I've been baking all day, I'm not really in the mood to cook a lot. I cooked 2 whole chickens in the crock pot yesterday with some of the frozen veggies I had in the freezer. I put the chickens in the crock pot (a 6 quart one) then put a couple of spoons of bottled minced garlic on top. I sprinkled on frozen chopped onion, red bell peppers and celery tops all pretty liberally. I then put about 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules on top. poured in 1 cup of water and let it all sit for about 12 hours. Then I picked the bones clean. Now I have lots of yummy flavorful chicken.

I'm about to mix up some BBQ sauce and let some chicken simmer in that. We will put the chicken on buns for sammies tonight. We'll have a broccoli salad and not sure what else. Maybe a whipped turnip puff? Just reread the recipe for that and it sounds easy enough to do when I am this tired of the kitchen. I'll let you all know if it's a keeper or not.

Friday, July 11

Zucchini Pancakes

A holdover from our low-carb, Atkins days. I'm not sure which one of those cook books this came from originally. This is a savory side dish that my family absolutely inhales!

Zucchini Pancakes

1 c grated zucchini

Put the zucchini in a colander with a sprinkle of salt and allow it to drain for 30 minutes. Squeeze out all the excess water and blot with clean kitchen towel.

In a large bowl, combine the batter

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp water
2 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 Tbsp flour
lots of black pepper
1 tsp dried basil (or even more to taste)
the drained zucchini

In a non-stick skillet (or on a griddle), melt 1 Tbsp butter with 1 Tbsp olive oil until foaming. Drop the batter by Tablespoons onto the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned. Turn over and brown the other side. Pile the pancakes on a platter, salt lightly and serve.

Squash Brownies

from Old Fashioned Zucchini and Squash Recipes published by Bear Wallow Books

This of course is MY version.

Squash Brownies for any summer squash

1/2 c butter
1/2 c oil
3/4 c turbinado
1/4 c brown sugar

Beat in
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk (or soured milk)

In a separate bowl, combine
2 1/2 c soft wheat flour*
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.

Stir in
2 c grated summer squash

Pour batter into prepared 9x13 pan.

Sprinkle with
1 c chopped nuts (optional)
1 c chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.

*That is what I am calling my home milled flour made from soft white wheat berries. It would be similar to whole wheat pastry flour. Unbleached flour could be substituted, too

Summer Squash Bread

This one is super cakey. Sweet and totally different from my whole wheat zucchini bread. I can't claim this one either, though I probably don't follow the original recipe to the letter.

Summer Squash Bread

Beat 3 eggs until fluffy

Beat in
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c oil
2 tsp vanilla

Sift together in another bowl
3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Gradually mix flour mixture into egg mixture

Fold in 2 cups shredded yellow squash

Pour into 2 prepared 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes.

Or this can be poured into a 9 inch x 13 inch pan and baked for 45 minutes

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies-Updated

This is from my beloved allrecipes again. I think it was originally called like Martian Cookies or something. They aren't green at all, but do have the green skin of the zucchini in them. I guess you could peel the zucchini if you were truly trying to camouflage that, but here at our house we embrace our weird zucchini recipes! I haven't made these since I have been using alternative sweeteners. I think that is on the agenda for tomorrow so I'll update this recipe then!

I did bake these today, and though they are not pretty, they are pretty tasty! I used home milled flours and more natural sweeteners. I wanted to use half applesauce and half butter, but apparently the kids have eaten all the applesauce. So they are heavy on the fat side, but not as processed as typical oatmeal cookies. I am putting the updated version under the original in italics. Choose if you want familiar looking oatmeal cookies with green flecks in them or if you want to be adventurous and try the second version. With alternative sweeteners, I use much less than the refined counterparts and I am also trying to get my kids' palate adjusted to less sweet.

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 c butter
3/4 c sugar

1/2 c butter
1/4 c turbinado
1/4 c sucanat

Stir in
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla


1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

same, but today I used a little yellow squash since I had frozen the rest of the grated zucchini

In a separate bowl, sift together
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 c whole wheat pastry flour*
1/2 c whole wheat flour
other dry ingredients are the same

Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture

Stir in
2 cups quick cook oats

today I used rolled oats since that's what I had

1 cup chocolate chips (also YUMMY with butterscotch chips)

today's version was a mix of chocolate and butterscotch chips

Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

*this is the flour I mill at home from soft white wheat berries.

Noelle's Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

I kind of don't want to put this out there. Yes, it's honestly THAT good. But I'm beginning to think it will be just easier to keep my recipes on a blog site instead of always emailing them to different folks. So here's the first one. This recipe is one I created from several on allrecipes, but it is now completely mine. I have changed a lot of things about it in the past 2 years so this is how I make it these days. It used to have more fat, no flax meal, all purpose flour and white sugar. I always double this and make 4 loaves. I typically freeze 2 wrapped in foil. Those can be defrosted for an easy breakfast or taken to a friend when need be.

Noelle's Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

Cream together:
3 eggs
1/2 c melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 c turbinado
1/2 c sucanat
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 c shredded zucchini

3 c wheat pastry flour
1/4 c ground flax meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Mix until just combined. Pour into 2 prepared 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pans and bake at 325 for 50 minutes.

Like I said, I used to make this with no flax, but we like it better this way. And I used to use 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar. My earlier version had 2 cups of white all purpose flour and 1 cup of store bought whole wheat flour. Now I use a mix of home milled flour that is from hard red and soft white wheat berries. Let me know what you think!