Category Archives: Lovely Eats

Zucchini For Dayz

It’s no secret that I love food.  After God and family it’s a close third.  I mentioned in an earlier post that my parents have a ton of zucchini from their garden, so the previous week I tried out a handful of recipes that I think are worth mentioning.  Also next year when I have tons of zucchini I hope I remember I did this post so I can refer back to this!  That’s always a gamble though, but here’s to hoping I’m getting more sleep a year from now.  So friends let’s all support each other during the crazy zucchini season and swap tried and true recipes, ok!!

Zucchini Casserole – This is such a tasty recipe and such a comforting meal that I enjoyed having in the summer.  I really miss soup and fall recipes a lot during the summer!

Zucchini in Olive Oil – Like Molly suggested in the post, please eat this with fresh mozzarella and crusty bread.  I did this recipe with 2 large zucchini and pretty much ate it all by myself.

Breaded Zucchini – Nola and CJ both liked this recipe!  I just did a typical breaded recipe for this.  Cut the zucchini 1/4 inch thick and dip it first into an egg wash, next bread crumbs with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.  Lay them on a baking sheet and put in a preheated oven at 450.  Bake until golden brown and crispy.

Raw Zucchini – olive oil, and salt and pepper.

For some reason I always gravitate towards savory recipes.  Has anyone tried zucchini chips?  I am considering trying that next!!  And please share your favorite recipes as well!

IMG_7067 Zucchini & sprinklers mean summer, right?!  This pretty much means I had no zucchini photos, so this will have to do :)

Sweet Treats

My longtime friends will know that when I was a kid I didn’t like sweets.  Weird I know…I mean I didn’t even want a birthday cake!  My mom got one anyways for everybody else, but I preferred the salty snacks.  As I have gotten older that has changed, in fact attending weddings I can’t wait to get a slice of cake with coffee.  And during my pregnancies, oh man oh man, I want sweets multiple times a day!!

As much as I love Pinterest, recently especially I have really gotten into it, I don’t really use it much for recipes.  Or if I do pin a recipe I am very skeptical.  The reason being, any blogger can make a photo of food look delicious, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to taste great.  I also have made some recipes that were not up to par.

My #1 go-to for food recipes is Allrecipes and if the recipe is rated by a large amount of people with 4 stars and up I have always have pretty great results.  I also like to go to reputable websites like The Kitchn, Bon Appetit, anything from Ina Garten (of course), Giada De Laurentiis, Ree Drummond, and last but not least these food bloggers ALWAYS have top notch recipes, Orangette, Dinner A Love Story (I recently made their coke braised carnitas) and Smitten Kitchen (I want to make her key lime pie, if I do will you come over and hang out with me?).

I have to confess, this was on my mind to post for sometime now and these are more Christmas treats, but just yesterday we made Valentine’s day sugar cookies and well, fudge, my husband can eat that anytime of the year.  We all know my motto, simple and easy and all these recipes are.

Fudge
adapted from Allrecipes

3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of butter

– Place all ingredients in microwave safe bowl and heat for 3-5 minutes in microwave
– stir mixture every minute and until chocolate chips are melted
– Pour in a greased 8 x 8 glass dish and put in refrigerator until set.  (highly suggest adding parchment paper to easily take out fudge)
– Store in fridge

Rolled Sugar Cookies 
adapted from Allrecipes
makes 5 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups of butter
2 cups of white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt

–  Cream together butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in eggs and vanilla and lastly stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt
–  Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour, overnight is best
–  Preheat over to 400 d F
–  Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes with desired cookie cutters
–  Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven, cool completely

This recipe is great because the cookie cutter shapes retain their shape.  Plus they taste great with or without frosting, they are not too sweet!

Saltine Toffee
adapted from Allrecipes

Saltine Crackers
1 cup of butter
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
– Line 1 layer of saltine crackers onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with greased foil or parchment paper
– In a saucepan combine butter and brown sugar and bring to boil on medium high heat.  Make sure to have mixture boil for a 3 full minutes
– Pour mixture onto saltines and spread evenly
– Bake in oven 5-6 minutes.  I will warn you that you may panic when you look in the oven.  The saltines are floating and not nicely lined as you had originally placed them.  I thought I made a mistake b/c the mixture was under the crackers but that’s ok!!  Remove from oven and realign the saltines with a fork.
– Spread chocolate chips over mixture and let them sit for a couple minutes so they are softened and then spread evenly.
–  Let brittle harden in fridge and once completely cooled break into pieces
–  Store in fridge

These recipes I have made multiple times now and they are ALL awesome.  I love when people share their tasty recipes and why I can’t help but share good recipes when I come across them.  After this I am going to start working on meal planning, I want to be better at it this year, lately it’s been disastrous!!  Any tips?!

photo 2

if you come over and we have sugar cookies i promise we won’t use those sprinkles!!  nola claimed they were delicious btw

Recipe: Apple Oatmeal Crumble

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

A couple weeks ago, I signed up for a produce delivery service with Winder Farms. We had a positive experience with New Roots Organics in Seattle and so I thought I’d give this one a try. In our introductory box, we received several Granny Smith apples. They’re a bit tart for me to eat as a snack but I heard they were delicious in baking. Off I went in search for a crumble recipe using apples and oatmeal (sounded like a good idea). There’s something about crumbles that I find so warm and comforting. You can hardly mess with it and it’s the perfect way to begin the fall season. Here was one from my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes, that turned out so well. It was simple to make and great as a dessert with a dab of vanilla ice cream, or even as an indulgent breakfast.

I love fall!

"Breakfast"

“Breakfast”

Apple Crisp with Oat Topping
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes

Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
6 apples – peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Toss apples with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl to coat; pour into a 9-inch square baking dish.
3. Mix brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 forks to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; spread over the apples to the edges of the baking dish. Pat the topping gently until even.
4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes.

Recipe: Summer Gazpacho

The DL Co-bloggers!

Last weekend, something exciting happened which occurs only once in a blue moon. The DL co-bloggers were reunited for a few short hours! Missy, CJ and their cutie Nola stopped in Salt Lake for the night on their way to Wisconsin. We were so excited to meet up with them for dinner. After all, it’s been over two years since Missy and I last saw each other when she and CJ were visiting Seattle. Coincidentally, it was also when they broke the news that they were expecting with Nola. :) How time flies. (if I had a nickel every time I wrote that..)

We met at the Dodo, which is a few blocks from our house. It was as if the last two years hadn’t passed and we were able to pick up right where we left off. Except now we have little ones! Watching our husbands be fathers to their little girls was both fun and endearing. It’s funny how much more “active” dinners out are when wrangling kids at the table. Gone are the days of leisurely meals for now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Parenthood is certainly a game-changer.

Toto, we’re not in Seattle anymore. Summer in Utah is H-O-T.  We sat outside on the patio in 90 degree plus heat and honestly, the only thing that sounded good to me was something chilled. The restaurant had gazpacho on the menu and I gave it a try. It was refreshing, the perfect dish to eat in the heat. I went home and immediately made plans to try making it this week. After a few online searches, I found Ina Garten’s recipe for gazpacho which of course was simple, elegant and delicious. The only tweaks I made were to add chopped shrimp and chunks of avocado in the end to make it more of a meal (how the restaurant served theirs.) I also added a squeeze of lime to brighten the flavors. It was a great way to use the yummy summer tomatoes out now and it tasted even better the following day. I now have lunch for the rest of the week. Extra points for it being healthy too.

Chopped!

Chopped!

photo 4

Gazpacho
Recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999
Ingredients
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
*My note: I added chopped avocado and cooked shrimp in the end to make it more of a meal. I also recommend a squeeze of lime!

 

Surfacing

Ara, 1 month

Ara, 1 month

She’s napping! Which means I’ve been wandering around the house trying to remember the things I need to get done, like folding laundry, starting dinner, clearing out the dishwasher, tidying up the living room because it looks like a bomb hit it, paying bills, petting the dog because the poor guy has been admittedly neglected lately, etc.

Most of the time though during these periods when I MEAN to be productive, I’m really trying to sneak a nap in while she’s napping, or checking my phone and posting the latest photo of her on Instagram because I’ve become one of those parents. Sorry for inundating our followers, I don’t know if that’s going to stop anytime soon, we’re long distance from most of our loved ones, the grandparents love seeing daily photos of her and that’s my excuse.

Missy has been sharing all these great posts about her travels, crafting, and recipes! Unfortunately, my life isn’t very varied these days, although we are slowly coming out of the newborn fog and finding our footing again with each day. Because Ara will not be getting her first round of vaccines until the end of May, I’ve been afraid to take her out, what with all the news about the measles and whooping cough outbreaks here but I’ve realized that that’s ridiculous and I’m only driving myself crazy staying inside. Plus, Nick has been on this difficult rotation and has been coming home in the late evenings so it’s just us girls most days. We’ve been slowly venturing out beyond walks in the neighborhood, and are making an effort to see friends, receive visitors, and go on more outings to various parent groups or baby activities. Small steps! While the days seem long, the first five weeks have whizzed by and it’s nice to be regaining our balance again.

Nick’s mom sent us the journal she kept after Nick was born and I’ve loved going through each entry to catch a glimpse of his early days and read how he grew in that first year. This journal has inspired me to keep my own for Ara, so hopefully one day she could read it and see what her life was like in the beginning. It’s nothing fancy, I try to jot down observations each week of what she’s currently doing- (You have started to track us with your eyes and now turn your head in the direction of my voice! You have started to coo and smile! You love being changed but hate baths!)

I’ve been writing these notes on my phone since it’s easier to access than my laptop these days and have been looking for a service online where I can upload the entries and photos and eventually print out a baby book. Ah technology! Got to love it. I think I’ve found an online baby journal that fits the bill- Kidmondo, which has been featured on the BBC, NY Times, UrbanBaby, Kiwi, and Mashable among others. I’ve just started using it but will let you know my thoughts as we go further down the line.

As for a keepsake baby journal for footprints, mementos, documenting milestones, I was kind of aghast by the limited choices out there (pastel-colored, cartoon-y books anyone? Carter’s, I’m looking at you) and was so happy to find in a local card shop this journal, printed by Compendium, that strikes the right balance of sweetness without being too precious. There are pages where both mom and dad can write a letter to their baby, document the first year, hopes for the future, and an area where you can write down what was happening in the world at that time (big item in the news, latest inventions, our current favorite songs and TV shows, price of a stamp, loaf of bread, movie ticket). Nice, huh?

So that is what is going on now. I’m amazed she slept long enough for me to write this. Hopefully I’ll be able to post again soon. It’s a sunny day so we’re off for a walk with the dog!

p.s. Here’s a great recipes for this quinoa salad I’ve been loving lately. It is from our local natural market, PCC, which has an amazing deli section. I can eat this salad every day. Add chicken to make it more of a meal if you’d like.

PCC Sesame Quinoa with Edamame

Serves: 16 side portions

These ingredients are:
vegetarian iconVegetarian vegan iconVegan corn-free iconCorn-free dairy-free iconDairy-free egg-free iconEgg-free gluten-free iconGluten-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free wheat-free iconWheat-free

This recipe makes a party-size batch: about 16 side portions. You may cut it in half for a family meal or just enjoy the leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce arame seaweed
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 pound frozen edamame (soybeans)
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tamari

Preparation

Soak arame for 20 minutes to hydrate; drain well.

Boil 3 cups water; add quinoa. Bring back to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to sit covered until water is absorbed, stir to fluff.

Steam edamame for 2 minutes to thaw; let cool.

Toast sesame seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. When ingredients have cooled, mix together quinoa, arame, edamame and sesame seeds.

Heat sesame oil, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes for a few minutes in a sauté pan over medium heat; pour over quinoa mixture. Add rice vinegar and tamari; mix well and serve.

Recipe by PCC Deli