Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Squash

It's that time of year, when zucchini is almost as plentiful as mosquitoes... almost. I try to find as many creative uses for zucchini as possible, for ourselves and for those who are buying the produce at our farmers markets. This one was DEEE-licious!

Stuffed Zucchini Squash

4 large-ish zucchini, about 3 inches in diameter
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2-3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
3 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup mozerella cheese

  1. Boil zucchini, whole, for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool to the touch.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out all the pulp. Save the pulp for later! Place zucchini in a casserole dish. (I needed to use two because I had such large zucchini halves.)
  4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add onions and carrot and cook until onions are translucent. 
  5. Meanwhile, mush the zucchini pulp with a potato masher or fork.
  6. Stir the zucchini pulp into the skillet with the onions and carrots. Add the bread crumbs, sour cream, cream cheese, 1/2 cup cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir over low heat until cheeses are melted. 
  7. Spoon the cheese-zucchini stuffing into the zucchini halves.
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup mozerella cheese on top of the zucchini. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until cheese is melted and stuffing starts to golden.

Summer Garden Casserole

We picked a Napa cabbage this week and, it was so huge, I stretched it out into three meals. The first meal, we made a Napa cabbage salad. The second, we had cole slaw. And the third, I intended to make cabbage rolls. But, the leaves remaining weren't big enough to roll around the meat. So, I put together this summer garden casserole from a few different recipes.

Summer Garden Casserole
2-3 cups of cabbage leaves
4-5 carrots, cut matchstick-style
4-5 small onions, diced
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cup cooked steamed rice
10-12 small new potatoes, cut in half
1 pound ground beef, thawed
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce
1 can pureed tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Sauted diced onion in olive oil until translucent. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix together ground beef, onion, minced garlic, rice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place cabbage leaves in a microwave-safe bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of water.
  4. Microwave cabbage leaves in covered dish for two minutes.
  5. Make sauce by combining tomatoes, garlic powder, white vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. In a dutch pan, place carrot matchsticks.
  8. Layer steamed cabbage leaves on top of carrots.
  9. Place new potatoes on top of cabbage leaves.
  10. Mix meat mixture with 1/4 cup (or so) of tomato sauce. Mix well and form into 1-inch balls. Place meat balls on top of cabbage leaves.
  11. Pour remaining sauce over meat balls.
  12. Cover the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  13. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese for the last 5 minutes, if desired. And we desire it, because we are a cheese kind of family.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Weekly menu, June 13-19

    Sorry I haven't been posting many recipes. We've been on rerun mode, as far as cooking. Most of what I've made lately are things I've already posted or are old standbys. But, I do still have our menu to share, and this week has some new items on it. I'm just hoping Sunday night is a bit cooler, so I won't mind heating up the oven for baked potatoes and yummy chicken! The good news is that, despite our go-go-going and K&M home from school, our grocery bill has dropped considerably. That is due in large part to our garden veggies.

    Sunday, June13
    Chef salad
    Twice baked potatoes, parmesean chicken

    Monday, June14
    Dipping lunch

    Tuesday, June 15
    Taco salad
    Vegetable stir-fry

    Wednesday, June 16
    Hot dogs, Mac-N-Cheese salad
    Picnic supper

    Thursday, June 17
    Fish sticks, mac-n-cheese

    Friday, June 18
    Cheesy tacos
    Tater tot casserole

    Saturday, June 19
    Stuffed pasta shells

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    French Toast Casserole, aka Hot Dog Bun Breakfast

    Hot dog buns were on sale for 68 cents for a pack of 8. At that price, I had to pick up a bag, even if we don't eat buns with our hot dogs. Since we are big breakfast eaters around here, I decided to make it into a breakfast.

    6 hot dog buns, cubed
    6 eggs
    1/2 cup milk
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon alspice
    1/2 teaspoon cloves
    1/3 cup Splenda or sugar
    1/2 cup raisins
    2-3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
    Syrup or powdered sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 dish with Pam.
    2. Beat together eggs, milk, sugar and spices. 
    3. Add the buns (cubed) and raisins until the bread is covered.
    4. Pour egg/bread mixture into the dish.
    5. Bake 40 minutes.
    6. Add butter and about 3 tablespoons of syrup to the casserole. Bake 5-10 more minutes.
    7. Serve with syrup or powdered sugar.

      Katie added, "If you don't have a sugar allergy in your family, you could top it with a dusting of confectioner's sugar to make it fancy." I think she's watched too much Food Network.