Our fantastic neighbors have been setting us up with a nonstop supply of fresh garden veggies. I simply love the anticipation of coming home to find another back sitting on the front stoop and wondering what is inside. Last week, they started to harvest these Patty Pans.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. They are a squash, but I wasn’t sure if they were more of an acorn squash or a summer squash. I quickly went to work scouring the internet for interesting recipes for Patty Pans. I found what seemed to be a very simple recipe. It suggested cutting off the tops of the Patty Pans, scooping out the seeds, stuffing them with a pre-sauteed mixture of onions, garlic and fresh thyme and topping it off with an egg. I thought it sounded fantastic. A perfectly balanced meal all in one squash.
Then reality set in. The squash took way longer than the recipe called for in the oven to soften up. I added the filling and topped with an egg, which took even longer. Once they were finally ready, we dove in. The tastes didn’t blend together well at all and it turned out that the Patty Pan is actually more like a Summer Squash than an Acorn Squash. It was a terrible disappointment. Luckily, that wonderful neighbor I speak so highly about, brought over two more. I plan on grilling them with some salt, pepper and butter tonight. Simple, easy and a great way to enjoy these beautiful squashes.
Something about this time of year makes me crave red sauce and pasta. So, when I saw the beautiful eggplants at the market this week, a craving for Mama’s Lazy Eggplant Parm overwhelmed me.
I love this recipe. This time around, I mixed it up a bit. I’ve noticed a trend in people using Panko crumbs and whole wheat bread crumbs in lieu of the old fashioned “Italian Style Breadcrumbs”. This gave me the idea to use yesterday’s Tuscan wheat panini bread as today’s whole wheat breadcrumbs.
I love to make my own sauce, but to be honest, most of the time, time is not on my side. So, I am always on a quest for the best jarred sauce. I had heard from a neighbor that this Giada brand for Target has won a few taste tests lately. I hadn’t heard of it, but have been impressed with some of the other Target brands, so I figured it why not?
The sauce has a handful of natural ingredients. It’s very fragrant and has a nice thick consistency. I used the whole jar on the eggplant parm. The taste is a sweet sauce with a slightly tangy after taste. It tastes much like a homemade sweet sauce. I usually prefer more of a savory sauce, but for a jar, I’d buy it again.
Ah yes, this dish hit the spot.
What have you been craving?
I mentioned last week in the Yarn Along that I was reading SOS – The 6 O’clock Scramble to the Rescue. I have been cooking two recipes a week from this cookbook. More if you count the side dishes that are included in the recipes. Every recipe has been a winner so far. This was the Eggplant and Chic Peas with Mint (and feta!) I never would have put these tastes together, but they were SO FRESH and yummy! I was so excited to find a use for my mint besides mojitos!
I served it over cous cous. If you haven’t checked out this book – you MUST!
What cookbooks are you finding inspiration in these days?
I sent out the call for help with my picky eater last week and got a great response from the soccer moms (thanks Sarah and Lauren). This is a nice buttery and salty treat.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pick stems off the fresh kale and clean under cold water.
Toss it in olive oil, add salt and a touch of pepper.
Spread on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for 20 mins or until crispy (you may need to toss them a bit here and there to be sure they don’t burn).
Enjoy the salty, buttery treat!
Do you need a good recipe for all those fresh winter veggies from the farmers market? This is one of my favorite winter recipes.
Here’s another addition for my growing recipe box on the Taste Of Home website.
Mushroom Pepper Steak
I substituted grape tomatoes for whole and served it over a bed of white rice. It is quick and so fresh tasting. A nice refreshing dinner to combat cabin fever. Happy Cooking!
I found another great recipe from tasteofhome.com. I thought I would share. This is the Vermont Turkey Loaf. It’s a loaf filled with veggies and topped with a maple syrup Dijon mustard sauce. It’s fantastic and worth a try.
As I posted on Sunday, we picked up some VERY yummy things at the farmers market. I decided to grill and marinate the eggplant and peppers with some zucchini from my neighbors garden and onions I had on hand. I marinated them based on a recipe from a very good friend, I don’t think she minds if I borrow it to share with you.
Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Marinated Grilled Veggies
Any veggies will do, but these have great tastes together – Eggplant, Green Pepper, Zucchini, and Onions. Cut them into large strips for grilling.
Grill on low to medium heat until veggies get soft.
This takes a while, but trust me, it’s worth it!
Once you have them all grilled, cut them into small cubes.
Place them in a big bowl.
Measure out 1/3 cup of Balsamic Vinegar and two HEAPING tablespoons of honey, mix well in separate container.
Add to bowl with veggies.
Let marinate for at least 30 mins. This mix gets better with time. Letting them sit in the fridge over night is the best! I simply add them to a whole wheat bulky roll for a perfect sweet and tart veggie sandwich dinner!
Simply delicious! Enjoy!