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[tweetmeme] From The Classic Zucchini Cookbook: 225 Recipes for All Kinds of Squash I decided to try out

Tomato Zucchini Soup

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 Small fennel bulb or 2 celery ribs, minced
1 carrot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ounce ham, minced (optional)
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable brother
2 cups diced and seeded tomatoes
2 cups grated zucchini
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, fennel, carrot, garlic, and ham.  (if using)  Saute until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the broth and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes

3. Add the zucchini and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until the zucchini is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

4. Serve hot.

Serves 4

I modified things a bit…

  • I used butter instead of olive oil
  • I opted to use 5 stalks of celery instead of the fennel or 2 celery ribs
  • I forgot to buy a carrot…
  • I used about 10 cloves of garlic
  • I didn’t use ham
  • I probably used about 6 cups of chicken broth and could probably use a bit more due to all the extra stuff I added – most of it absorbed the liquid….
  • I used a 24 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • I used about 6 cups of zucchini
  • I added a 10 oz. container of sliced mushrooms
  • I also mixed in a pound of mini shell pasta

It came out really really yummy!
I highly recommend….

Do any of you have any good recipes that use ingredients from your garden?
I’d love it if you shared.
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[tweetmeme] Spicy Shrimp and Pasta

Recipe Courtesy of Blue Crab Bay Co.

1 lb. linguine or spaghetti
1 lb. frozen cooked shrimp
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 cups Blue Crab Bay Sting Ray Bloody Mary Mixer
1/4 cup parsley

Defrost shrimp in cold water and drain.
While cooking linguine, heat garlic in olive oil for one minute in skillet.
Add shrimp and saute for 3 minutes.
Add Sting Ray and heat for one minute or until steaming.
When pasta is al dente (slightly firm), drain. Do not rinse.
Add parsley to shrimp and toss with pasta.
Season with cracked pepper, grated cheese is optional.
Serves 4

You can see other recipes for Blue Crab Bay Co. products by clicking on their name.
You can view other recipes I enjoy at Rose’s Recipe Group.

What are some of your favorite recipes?

I’d love it if you added them to Rose’s Recipe Group!!

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[tweetmeme] I found this recipe in The Classic Zucchini Cookbook.
I highly recommend this cookbook, especially if you have zucchini growing in your garden.
It had a recipe for a Zesto Pasta Salad and it had a separate pesto recipe.

Pesto

Making pasta every summer is my favorite food preservation task.  There’s no boiling water to fuss with, no steaming hot stove to worry about.  The food processor takes the labor out of making pesto.  If you have a garden, or if you can buy basil in quantity from a farm stand, it’s worth setting aside some time to make pesto in quantity for the freezer.

1-1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoon pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly round black pepper

1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Process until finely chopped.  With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and continue to process until a paste forms.  Add the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste; pulse to combine.

2. Let the pesto stand for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Note: To preserve the light green color of the pesto once you have transferred it to a storage container, cover the pesto with a film of olive oil to seal out the air.

Makes about 2/3 cup.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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This picture was taken before we combined with the pasta so you could see the main ingredients. It came out really delicious!

The pictures a little dim, but we had out first dinner with zucchini out of the garden!  Michael has worked so hard on making the garden a success.  He wrote a nice blog about things he learned from his first garden.  Check it out.

Here’s how I made dinner:

Boneless Chicken Breasts
Zucchini
Mushrooms
Butter
Chicken Broth
Garlic Powder
Beau Monde
Salt
Pepper
Pasta of choice – I used Penne

Make pasta to instructions on package.  While it is cooking do the following:

Chop up the boneless chicken breasts into cubes.  (I used 3 breasts)
Saute the chicken in some butter until they’re cooked through.
Remove from pan and cover to keep them warm.
Next saute the zucchini in the pan with butter.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Heat until they are soft, but remove them from the heat before they get soggy.
Then saute the mushrooms in butter. (YES, I KNOW I LIKE BUTTER!!)
Sprinkle with garlic powder, beau monde, salt and pepper.

Combine the chicken, zucchini, and mushrooms all in a pan together.
Pour in some chicken broth, about half way up the pan.  Heat until the broth is warm.
Combine with the pasta, mix and serve.

Do you have a garden?
Have you harvested anything yet?

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The basil was fresh out of our garden 🙂

[tweetmeme]

Today was one of those days where I was running around like crazy trying to get a lot of things done.  So I decided to make a meal that will last us for a couple of days.  We can probably get 10-12 servings out of this so we definitely have leftovers whenever we make it and it’s so easy to make.

What you need.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of ground beef.  I used 93/7
2  packages of mushrooms (I think they were 10 oz. packages)
Butter
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 pound of pasta (I used rigatoni)
8-10 leaves fresh basil
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Prepare pasta to directions on the box.  I make mine al dente.
Brown the beef in a deep frying pan.  Drain out any excess grease.

Sauteing The Mushrooms

In a separate pan I saute up the mushrooms in a couple teaspoons of butter.
(I cut the mushrooms into quarters.)
While sauteing, I add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the mushrooms.


Next I put the can of tomatoes in the pan with the beef and carefully split the whole tomatoes with a spoon.
(Be careful, they’ll squirt all over your stove if you’re not gentle)
Once the tomatoes are heated, I add the mushrooms to the pan.


Tear up the basil leaves and add them along with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Combine with the pasta and enjoy.
(I like to sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on mine)

I hope you enjoy it.
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Do you have any great recipes you’d like to share?

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A friend of mine forwarded this to me today and there seems to be a lot of good tips.  I figured I’d pass this along!

Do you have other household tips to share??

  • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not get moldy.
  • Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  • Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  • To make scrambled eggs or omelets really rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream, then beat them up and cook as usual.
  • For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in a double boiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
  • Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
  • Use mini snickers bars to make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!
Reheating Pizza
Reheat leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, re-seal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done. Easy clean up.

Extending Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds-away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic but they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle them with cayenne pepper (the plants, not the squirrels). 😉 The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it. (We found this works for deer as well to keep them out of our roses. Put some cayenne pepper in an old nylon stocking and tie the stocking to the rose bush. Saved the rose buds and we had beautiful roses last summer.)

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or from under the fridge, add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get into narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety-pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and… ta da! Static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth.


Reopening Envelopes
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.

Conditioner
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2 way with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it ‘home,’ can’t digest it, so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS:
The heating unit went out on my dryer. The gentleman that fixes things around the house told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material. I’m sure you know what your dryer’s lint filter looks like. Well…the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn’t go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that’s what burns out the heating unit. You can’t see the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free…that nice fragrance, too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box…well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down. He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. That preserves the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! Learn something new every day! I certainly didn’t know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I’d share!

Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it…the water ran right through the screen! There wasn’t any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

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The other night I decided to go healthy and make a yummy dinner.  This time of year I tend to crave fresh veggies.

The Supplies

The Shrooms marinating in the balsamic....

The tomatoes sliced - notice my Henkel tomato knife on the side.

I didn’t get a picture of it, but I also sliced up some mozzarella cheese.

The finished result

Later when I scooped out a bowl I also added some roasted red peppers and some basil.
I also added some salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

My turkey, cheese, tomato, avocado and mayo sandwich

My sandwich was delicious!!

Two great tastes side by side.

Dinner was so yummy!!

What spring meals do you enjoy?
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