Wednesday, August 27


I haven't baked bread in nearly a month it seems. I finally baked a batch last night. So good. And for those of you who feel daunted by it, it is really easy with a stand mixer. That does all the work for you.

Monday, August 25


It's not that we haven't eaten or haven't had kitchen time, but life has been busy between school starting and my getting ready for a new job. I pickled a week ago Saturday. A few days before that I made plum jam and plum preserves. Last week I froze some corn and melon cubes. I have frozen cauliflower. I have canned green beans. I have some tomatoes that I need to do something with.

My goal for this week is to use up as much of the produce we have on hand as possible. Beets, turnips, cabbage, squash, peppers, eggplant. So I have some menu planning to do. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 12

chile relleno casserole

I was looking for a casserole idea yesterday afternoon that I could put together and leave it to bake while I took Clay to his drum lesson. Little did I know it would also have to wait through my trip to after hours trauma with Jack E. Thank goodness for time bake on the oven!

I started with a large white onion and a pound of ground beef. After that was mostly browned, I added 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 cups of shredded zucchini (I feel guilty not serving some farm veggies with every meal these days) and let that cook down. I sprinkled in a good dose of salt and pepper and about 2 Tablespoons of chili powder. When it was cooked through, I stirred in about a dozen roasted green chiles. (I freeze my chiles in bags of 3 chiles per bag, so I defrosted 4 bags to use.) I probably could have gotten away with less chiles, but it was quite tasty as it was.

I poured that into a prepared 9x13 baking dish and topped it with cheese. Then I poured over that a mixture of 6 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 2 cups milk, seasoned with salt and pepper.

It baked at 350 for about 50 minutes, until it was bubbly and brown on top. We served it with a dollop of sour cream on top. That was the only offering for dinner and there was NONE left after half the family had seconds.

So here's the recipe in a little more readable format.

Chile Relleno Casserole

Brown together
1 large onion, diced
1 pound lean ground beef

when nearly done, add
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 cups shredded zucchini
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chili powder

Then stir in
diced green chiles, 6-12, to taste

Pour into prepared 9x13 pan.

Top with 1 1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese or jack cheese...more or less to family preference

6 eggs, beaten
1/4 c + 2 Tbsp flour
2 c milk
salt and pepper

Pour egg mixture over meat and cheese. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Sunday, August 10

more zucchini ideas

I really love this time of year in my kitchen. The abundance of fresh produce makes last minute meal planning really simple. If I had the foresight to thaw some kind of meat, I can go from there, and if I didn't, then I quickly defrost a pound or two of ground beef, grab my big skillet and start throwing stuff in.

The last couple of weeks I have tried to have more of an idea in place. Did you see the new thing in my sidebar that says what's for dinner this week? Really that's there for me. I have a place to write down my plan that won't get misplaced or colored on or thrown out. Friday I was going crazy looking for my grocery list. I couldn't find it and had to make a new one. I did finally find my list. Duane had taken my notebook with my list to drawn some plans for his dream bathroom. lol

I am starting to dread Sunday nights. Since Duane has been doing construction, I pack a lunch for him in the mornings. And I like to send him out the door with some kind of breakfast thing too. That means on Sundays I need to make sure that I have all the stuff I need for that ready. Baking bread, mixing up chicken salad or tuna salad, and getting an egg casserole ready is on the list. By Sunday night I just want to sit down and relax. Not the plan these days.

Today we are going to some friends' after church to brew beer. (That sounds kind of odd doesn't it? That's the oddity of my life!) I am taking some crock pot meatballs. I found the easiest thing. I take the frozen meatballs, add a jar of chili sauce and a can of cranberry sauce. Yum. Totally easy too. I need to go get those in the crock pot come to think of it.

I am also taking zucchini brownies.

Oh, back to the title about more zucchini ideas. This week I was looking at recipes online and found an Italian type of zucchini thing. I sauteed onion, zucchini and garlic, mixed it with some spaghetti sauce and baked that with a little cheese on top until it was nice and bubbly. It was a nice side dish that was different. I also thought it had a lot of possibilities. Adding ground beef or TVP or pasta.

Friday night we had a similar dish. I cooked some cheese tortellini and put that in the bottom of a casserole dish, Then I covered that with the onion, zucchini, garlic and bell pepper mixed with spaghetti sauce. Again with the cheese on top. It was a nice casserole to eat while we watched the Olympics.

OK, have to get to baking now. More later.

Friday, August 8

wow, it's been almost a week

It's not that we haven't been eating or that I haven't been baking. I guess I have just been busy. I have made a couple of new baked items that I'll post soon. And I'm making a veggie and tortellini casserole for dinner that looks promising. I'll get that up soon too.

Saturday, August 2

leftover mashed potatoes

When there are leftover mashed potatoes, it always inspires me to make shepherd's pie. I can't believe we never had it when I was growing up. Really....meat and gravy-ish sauce topped with mashed potatoes. What's not to like? I only started making it here a couple of years ago, but it's easy and always a winner.

Since we have an abundance of zucchini right now, I did add that to my meat mixture. And it was really hot, so I just put the hot skillet, topped with mashed potatoes, under the broiler for a second to melt the cheesy top. It was a little runny, but still disappeared quickly.

Tonight, we're not going to the BBQ so I am making a big skillet of sauteed veggies and some pasta. Yum. And Aleena says we have to use the "good cheese".

Friday, August 1

good food is just good

Lame title, but last night for dinner we had the first of the season's corn. I'm an Iowa girl. I love my corn on the cob. Not the kind that's at the grocery store and has been sitting around for days or even a week. That's the stuff that is starchy and gross. I always think of that as feed corn. No, I grew up getting corn off the back of some guy's truck on highway 5. Corn that had been picked that day. Corn that was fresh. Our farm corn now is a very close rival, let me tell you.

I had 4 ears last night.

And our melons are on at the farm too. We brought home muskmelon and red watermelon. I woke up this morning and could smell their flowery fragrance all through the house. mmmmm

We ate a watermelon for dessert last night. I think we have enough melons to have one a day until we go to the farm next week.

When we eat the food that is in season...locally in season, not in season a few thousand miles away, it just tastes better. I really think it's OK to gorge on corn and melon now. After all, the fresh corn will be over in about a month. We will most likely have melons for about 6 weeks. Just long enough to really get the taste and enjoy it before fall and apples and pears come into the daily rotation again.

Good thing zucchini season lasts all summer! :o)