Another good recipe for using up garden veges.  And of course anything with goat cheese is bound to be delicious.  This gives me the excuse I’ve been waiting for to buy a mandoline..

Ingredients

serves six

2 medium yellow squash
4 small to medium red potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Use a mandoline or chef’s knife to slice the squash and potatoes into very, very thin slices, 1/8-inch or less. Toss the sliced vegetables with the olive oil in a large bowl.

Pour a small drizzle of olive oil in a casserole dish (around 8 or 9 inches square) and spread it around the bottom and sides. Place 1/3 of the squash and potato slices in the bottom of the dish—no need to layer them squash-potato-squash-etc.—then season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the goat cheese, scattered evenly in large chunks. Repeat with another 1/3 of the vegetables, seasoning again with salt and pepper and topping with the other 1/2 of the goat cheese. Finish by layering on the final 1/3 of the vegetables and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Pour the milk over the entire dish. Top with the parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until the top browns. Scatter on the fresh basil, if using.

From http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/main-dish/recipe-potato-squash-and-goat-cheese-gratin-090647

I found this a little too late as our zucchini yield has been growing thin, but good to remember for next year!  Looks super easy and tasty.

Makes about 2 cups. Recipe from Jennie Cook.

Ingredients

2 pounds zucchini, more or less*
1/4 cup olive oil or butter, if you prefer
2 minced shallots, garlic, or combination of both
Salt and pepper

Directions

Coarsely grate the zucchini. Let it drain in a colander for 3 to 4 minutes or until you are ready to begin cooking. To hasten cooking time, squeeze the water out of the zucchini by wringing it in a clean cloth towel.

In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil/butter. Sauté the shallots briefly. Add the zucchini and toss. Cook and stir over medium to medium-high heat until the zucchini reaches a spreadable consistency. If you scorch the bottom, turn the flame down! (And scrape those delicious bits into the marmalade for added flavor.) The zucchini will hold its bright green color and slowly caramelize into a nice vegetable jam.

Enjoy on toast, or as a side dish all summer long!

*Feel free to add extra zucchini. It may take a little longer to cook, but this recipe keeps well and can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month.

From http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/vegetable/recipe-jennie-cooks-zucchini-butter-121770

I found this recipe on the NY Times, and though it makes good use of our garden tomatoes and bell peppers, I wonder if it’ll really be flavorful enough.  Worth a try though, as I do love paella.

Ingredients

1 quart chicken stock, vegetable stock or garlic broth
Generous pinch (about 1/2 teaspoon) saffron threads
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
2 cups medium-grain rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and grated on the large holes of a box grater; or peeled, seeded and chopped; or 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in 1-inch lengths
2 or 3 baby artichokes, trimmed and sliced (may also use frozen artichoke hearts, sliced)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen lima beans
1 cup shelled fresh or thawed frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Crush the saffron threads between your fingertips, and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon warm water, and set aside.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy frying pan, an earthenware casserole (cazuela) set over a flame tamer, or a paella pan. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic, peppers and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the peppers begin to soften, about three minutes. Add the tomato paste, paprika and rice. Cook, stirring, for one minute until the grains begin to crackle. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until they cook down slightly and smell fragrant, about five minutes. Stir in the saffron with its soaking water, scraping in every last bit with a rubber spatula. Season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Add the stock, green beans, artichokes and chickpeas or lima beans. Bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer without stirring until the liquid has just about evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the peas. Continue to simmer until the rice is dry, another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.

Yield: Serves six to eight.

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/health/nutrition/24recipehealth.html?src=me&ref=general

Looks like it’ll be a Smitten Kitchen recipe night!  I’m looking forward to the rose sculpting, I’ve never dabbled in creative frosting before!

Ingredients

Yield: 17 to 18 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

Frosting
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners.

2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.

3. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners — you’re looking to get them 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.

Make the frosting:
In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. To assemble the cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top. Frost the sides and top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set up frosting.

From http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/pumpkin-cupcakes/

I’ve tried this recipe before and it’s delicious. It actually tastes a lot like my mom’s apple cobbler, just in a different form.

Ingredients

6 medium apples (I used Fuji because they were available)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
6 oz. chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a  small saucepan over low heat, or in a deep bowl or cup in the microwave.  Add sugar and cinnamon to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.  Add honey and melted butter, whisk until smooth.  Stir in walnut pieces sit a long spoon.  Set aside.

Core apples and cut a shallow slit around the center of each apple, just through the skin, approximately 1/8 of an inch deep.  Fill each apple with 1 to 2 tsp of the filling mixture. Arrange in a high-sided baking dish just large enough to hold the apples. (I used an 8-inch square baking dish for these, but a pie tin would have worked as well.)  Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until apples are tender.  If filling begins to blacken, cover the apples with foil and continue cooking.

When done, set on serving plate and serve immediately with a little honey or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

*update: I’ve had several comments about the slit around the center of the apple.  it is not cut in half, but rather a small slice through the skin to prevent the apple from bursting.

From http://cbsop.com/recipes/honey-walnut-baked-apples/

With our overflow of tomatoes from the garden and my love for grilled cheese, I’m definitely going to make this tonight.  Update: it was delicious.

Ingredients

4 slices of Pumpernickel Bread
4 slices of Provolone Cheese
1 Roma Tomato, sliced thin
1-2 Mini Bella Mushrooms, sliced thin
2 tablespoons Pesto, homemade or store bought (one tablespoon per sandwich)
Butter, room temperature

Directions

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Lay butter side down onto a preheated pan over medium/medium low. Layer with first with; a slice of cheese, tomato, mushroom, and pesto, the second slice of provolone and second slice of bread (butter side up). Cover with lid for a minute or two. Flip and repeat with the lid until both sides are crispy to touch! This recipe makes two grilled cheese sammie’s.

From http://www.simplyscratch.com/2010/03/italian-grilled-chees-sammies.html

This is a recipe I’ve seen all over the interwebs and have been waiting for a lazy Saturday to try it out.  Goldfish crackers are easily one of my favorite off-limits snack, but if I make it myself then it’s ok to eat, right?

Ingredients

1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
4 tablespoon(s) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I used salted butter, but didn’t add any salt afterward)
8 ounce(s) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (around 2 cups). 
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder (note: this is optional since it isn’t part of the original recipe, but I decided to add anyway since I used it)
1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Pulse the flour,onion powder, salt, pepper, and baking powder together using a food processor.
  2. Add the butter and cheese, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Pulse in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes (I put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and in the fridge for 10) or up to 24 hours.
  4. Bake the crackers: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness, using flour if necessary to prevent stickiness. Cut out as many crackers as possible.
  5. To add character to the fish: break off an end from a side of a toothpick so it is blunt. Use that point to make the goldfish eyes. To make the smile, lay the toothpick down on its side, press, and drag. If you try to use the toothpick point, it will ruin the smile.
  6. Optional: Refrigerate for another 15 minutes or so to make sure they won’t spread.
  7. Place them on the prepared baking pans. Bake until golden and crisp (13-18 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. They are best when completely cooled and the next day in my opinion. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

From http://www.missanthropistskitchen.com/2011/06/22/homemade-goldfish-crackers-with-a-homemade-goldfish-cookie-cutter/

I can’t believe now novel this recipe is.  Toast dipped in pancake batter??  Genius!  Can’t wait to give it a try.

Ingredients

4 whole Large Eggs
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla (optional)
½ teaspoons Cinnamon, Optional
12 slices Bread (you’ll Want Something Thick And Hearty To Stand Up To The Heavier Batter)

Directions

Beat eggs until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients (except bread). Heat a griddle over medium high heat until a drop of water skitters across the pan. Dip one slice of bread at a time in the batter until it is completely covered. Place on the griddle and cook until brown on one side. Then, flip and brown the other side. You will know the bread is ready to flip in the same way you know pancakes are ready: the edges look dry and bubbles have formed in the batter along the crust. Slather with butter and drizzle on some maple syrup. These also freeze well for breakfast later in the week.

From http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2011/08/when-french-toast-met-pancakes/

The hubster is a big pickle fan, and with dozens upon dozens of cucumbers popping up in our garden this summer, we got plenty of experience making these two Alton Brown pickle recipes.


Dill Pickles

Ingredients (altered)
2.75 ounces pickling salt
8 cups filtered water
8 cups apple cider vinegar
Enough pickles to fill 3 big mason jars
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 large bunch dill

Directions

Combine the salt, water, and vinegar in a simmering pot and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Set aside.

Place the peppercorns, pepper flakes, garlic, dill seed and fresh dill into the pot.  Add the cucumbers to the pot on top of the aromatics. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers in order to completely cover.

From http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/dill-pickles-recipe/index.html

Kinda Sorta Sours Pickles

Ingredients
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon pickling spice
4 whole garlic cloves, smashed

Directions

Combine the onion and cucumber slices in a clean spring-top jar.

Combine the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the garlic, in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 full minutes to wake up the spice flavors.

Add the garlic cloves to the jar. Slowly and gently pour the pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, filling to the top of the jar.

Cool to room temperature. Top off the pickles with any remaining pickling liquid and refrigerate.

From http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/kinda-sorta-sours-recipe/index.html

Smitten Kitchen has done it once again with this delectable looking snack.  I imagine it being a rather arduous process, but with few ingredients how hard can it be?  Oh, can’t forget a tip my friend gave me: limit the amount of baking soda you put in water when it comes time to boil, otherwise we’ll have alkaline tasting pretzels.

Update: the dough was too salty, so next time we should reduce the salt during the first step.  Also, when rolling out the pretzels make them scrawnier with bigger loops, in order for them to look more like the soft pretzels at the mall (ignore the picture below).  Finally, not too sure I was a big fan of the egg glaze… maybe butter instead?

Soft Pretzels
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Updated with a few tweaks 2/20/2009

Makes 16 full-sized or 32 miniature

2 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1 large egg
Coarse or pretzel salt
Vegetable-oil cooking spray

1. Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook* and stir to combine. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

2. Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and mix on low until combined. Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about ten times, or until smooth.

3. Pour oil into a large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

4. Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray (parchment paper, ungreased, also works). Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each) or 32 if making miniature pretzels, and wrap in plastic.

5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip. [I find the pretzels much easier to roll on an unfloured board, oddly enough, but see what works for you.] Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; eight will fit on each sheet (you may need a third sheet if making miniatures). Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (and step back, it foams up quickly) and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.

7. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

* These days, I mix all of my bread doughs by hand, with a wooden spoon. I find it a fantastically easy process, and not very hard to stir by hand. No need to mix for several minutes, just a minute or so after it looks combined. To save even more dishes, I rinse out the bowl, oil it and use it for proofing the dough. And you thought making bread wasn’t simple!

From http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/02/knotted-and-stacked-disappearing-acts/