Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chili Cheese Popcorn

It's time for another confession.

I'm a snacker.

Actually, I'm a super-snacker. As such, I consider myself an authority on anything that could be categorized as a snack food. Peanut butter cookies, tortilla chips, popcorn, fried chicken...

Scratch the fried chicken. I got a little carried away.

But popcorn, oh mylanta.

My poor, sweet, naive Mister had no idea that popcorn is best enjoyed in bed, propped up with pillows while watching an old black & white movie on the tube. He actually believed that popcorn should be confined to the movie theater or the living room only. And he believed that popcorn in bed could lead to unexplained rashes to the torso!

Ya, because popcorn on the sofa is so much more comfortable.

I'm a much better hostess than that.

After what us home-school momma's like to refer to as a "teachable moment" that may or may not have included a few tears, my Mister eventually came around to my way of thinking.

Just as long as I stay on my side of the bed.

When I was in high school, there was a little shop that us off-campus snackers liked to frequent. They sold different flavors of popcorn, with the cheesy flavor being my favorite. I don't know what kind of ingredients were used in that decadent orange snack, but I'm fairly certain it wouldn't be considered a whole food by today's standards. In fact, I'm pretty sure I suffered from hallucinations after consuming said popcorn.

At least, that's the reason I gave my 4th period teacher when he asked why I didn't show up for class.

"Honest sir, (cause they always like it when you call them sir or ma'am) I had to wander around the mall aimlessly until my vision corrected itself. I barely remember the bus ride home..."

So, in honor of that ridiculously good popcorn of my youth, and to prevent any further hallucinations from happening to the youth of today, I'm going to share this top-secret family recipe.

Because today's youth are tomorrow's leaders.

Oh. That explains a lot.☺

~Chili Cheese Popcorn~

~The Players~

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
3 Tb. salted butter
1-1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
3 Tb. Parmesan cheese (in the can)
a hot-air popper

Using the hot-air popper, pop corn into a large bowl.

Melt salted butter in saucepan or microwave. Measure out spices and cheese into small bowl and stir well.

Drizzle butter over popcorn then add spices. Stir or shake popcorn to mix.

Serve with a smile.☺


Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Fun?

As you know, I am on vacation.

If you follow me on Facebook, you will also know that I had a little mishap 10 minutes before departure time. While packing the last of the toiletries into the camper, I stepped down and rolled my ankle on a trailer hitch that mysteriously found itself at the bottom of the stairs. I say mysteriously because it wasn't there when I entered the camper.

The case is still under investigation...

Trooper that I am, after an emergency room visit and x-rays that showed my ankle was still attached to my foot, we hit the road.

My Mister implied that I took that too literally.

While I am hobbling around on crutches meant to torture the armpits and make jello out of usually strong arms, my family is enjoying a little summer fun on the Oregon coast.

And maybe, just maybe, I'm enjoying it too...even if it is from the sidelines.☺

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Farmgirl's Alter Ego

What does a farmgirl do when she is not battling unruly turkey teenagers...

"Party's over and it's past your curfew. Get inside the coop!"

...Or trying to convince a 1,200 pound steak that the grass is most definitely greener on the the other side of the fence...

"Yes, I did say butcher truck! Don't you mess with me buster!"

She goes to the river for some relaxation with her Mister.

And tries to convince herself that she is really a fisherman woman.

This Navy ship was close enough to see that we hadn't caught anything.
Except their wake.
And a log ship's wake.

With all that relaxation eluding her...

...she packs the camper and heads for quieter waters.

Where she can truly become the fisherman woman she was meant to be.

(It's time for a little vacation with the family, so I'll see ya'll next week!)

Hidden Zucchini Brownies

Some might call chocolate a frivolous treat.

And by some, I mean men.

Not all, mind you, but some.

As a woman, I know that chocolate has its deserved place in the kitchen. In my house, it also deserves to be in the living room, bedroom, utility, dining room, basement, and dare I say it...the bathroom. There is no place that I know of where chocolate doesn't deserve to be.

With that said, there are only a few food pairings that actually enhance the yummy goodness of chocolate. Raspberry, coconut, peanut butter, mint, zucchini...

What!?! Did she just say zucchini? The woman who dislikes squash almost as much as pimples on the end of the nose?

Yes. I said it. And even better, I did it. I have found my Shangri-la. In a brownie form. These are so good, I'm betting that they could bring about world peace.

And I'm all about world peace. And chocolate.

So is she.

Maddie is also into monkeys, but we'll leave that one alone for now.

~Hidden Zucchini Brownies~
(adapted from Simply in Season)

Remember to use organic whenever possible!

~The Players~

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
2-1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup gently melted expeller-pressed coconut oil
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used the 60% bittersweet)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Sift flours, baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt into large bowl.

Stir in shredded zucchini.

Combine in separate bowl the egg, sugars, yogurt, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Add liquid mix to flour mixture and stir.

Spread evenly into greased 9x13" pan.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts onto top of batter.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serve warm with a little vanilla bean ice cream...

...or chocolate if you're trying to bring about world peace.☺


Monday, August 22, 2011

Cultured Salsa

When I think of salsa, I think of this...

Not to be confused with this...

(photo credit)
Which is just down-right dangerous in my book. Unless you think this is me in the picture, in which case, it was easy. Because I'm a pro.

Did you buy it?

I tried.

If you haven't made homemade salsa, you're missing out on a something special. Lacto-fermented salsa is not heated or water-bathed canned, so it tastes fresh up to 6 months after it's made. I make several batches every year and hide store them in the back of our spare fridge. Of course, the salsa never sees the arrival of Autumn, so it lasting a full 6 months is just an assumption on my part.

That, and I read it on other blogs, so it must be true.

Apparently, they don't like salsa as much as we do.

The key to lacto-fermenting salsa is the sea salt and whey. I have seen other recipes that do not use the whey, but use up to 4 Tb. of sea salt instead. I tried that my first year and it was way too salty for our tastes. Remember to taste test and adjust accordingly.

~Lacto-Fermented Salsa~

4 lbs. organic tomatoes (I used a variety of heirloom tomatoes.)
2 medium sweet onions, like Walla Walla or Vidalia
1 large, organic sweet red pepper, seeded and rough-chopped
**2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and rough chopped**
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
Optional: 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 2 lemons or limes
1-2 Tb. sea salt
4 Tb. whey (from drained yogurt)

Peel tomatoes by placing in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then immediately dumping into icy water. The skin will come off easily.

I guess mine would too.

Core the tomatoes, then place in food processor. Pulse until tomatoes are chopped up, but not liquefied. (Unless that is your preference.) Pour tomatoes into large bowl.

Place onions, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro leaves in food processor and pulse until chopped fine. (If using garlic, add this too.) Add this mixture to the tomatoes.

Add lemon or lime juice, whey, and sea salt. Stir will. Taste to check flavor and heat; adjust as necessary.

Pour salsa into wide-mouthed jars (I ended up with 1/2 gallon + 1 quart). Wipe top of jar and place screw-top lid on. Leave on counter for 2 days; then place in the refrigerator.

Then send the kids to Gramma's house and enjoy!

Oh wait, the kids saw me making this...darn.☺

**Remember to use gloves when cutting hot peppers! The "heat" doesn't wash off with soap and water, and can bring new meaning to the song, "Come On Baby Light My Fire"...

...just sayin'.☺

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to Basics~Pantrifying the Pantry

Yes. I made up a word.

Pantrifying: The art of stocking a pantry for times of famine, hungry teenagers, and lazy busy momma's.

Noah Webster would be proud.

The zucchini got away from me this week. In fact, I have a huge pile of over-sized squash that is going to be grated and fed to the goats and a hormone-crazed momma-to-be.

Tilly-mook tasting a pair of leather gloves.
The cravings are starting to get serious. I didn't have the heart to tell her that her "snack" may or may not have been a relative of hers.

I'm canning like a woman gone mad. I love canning season, but I really love canning season when the season actually cooperates with my schedule.

Currently the season and I are at odds.

I did find organic heirloom tomatoes on "The Island" at a farm called Bella Organics. I'm pretty sure that Green Zebra tomatoes are my favorite.

Of course, the Purple Cherokee, Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge, and German Red Strawberry tomatoes are my favorites too.

I'm fickle that way.

Together with peppers, onions, and cilantro, they make Cultured Salsa.

Otherwise known as MAGIC. *sigh*

I'll share the recipe tomorrow. ☺

As you know, I've been on a couponing kick lately. My "plan", such as I'm capable of, is to stock the pantry with foods that we'll actually use.

Organic pasta sauce on "reduced for quick sale"~17 quart jars for just $28.73. Regular price~$57.63

Beans were only $1/can. Good thing we like beans.

Buying by the case can result in huge savings.
Even during canning season, look for special deals to fill in the gaps.
Just make sure to save room for the pickles.

If Tilly-mook gets another craving, I'll be prepared.

Hop on over to the Homestead Barn Hop to see what other 'Steaders are up to!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Refreshing Lemonade

One of my favorite beverages of summer is lemonade. As a kid, I couldn't wait until Memorial Day weekend when I knew my mom would purchase that first can of frozen concentrate. See, there was this unspoken rule in our home. Lemonade was only for the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

We were only allowed to wear white shoes during that time too, but it didn't really matter. By the end of summer, our white shoes were trashed, so mom would buy us colored tenny's for p.e., just in case we decided to stomp through some puddles on the way. The following May, she'd march right down to Montgomery Wards or Sears and buy us another pair of white shoes.

Some people just don't learn.

As an avid reader, I can't help myself from reading every single label in my grocery cart. (It's a wonder that my Mister ever goes into the grocery store with me.) Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my favorite lemonade had high-fructose corn syrup in it!

As the first ingredient.

I don't know about you, but trading health for convenience is not a habit I want to have, so I did what was done in "the olden days". I squeezed some lemons myself. Then I added some sugar.

Then I sort of gagged a little.

Water should always be added to lemon juice and sugar.


Especially if you want to drink it, not eat it with a fork.

Since my first experiments with the lemonade, I've learned a few things. First, leave the lemons on the counter for a while before juicing. It makes the juicing process a whole lot easier. Second, by adding whey and allowing the lemonade to ferment for a couple of days, the health benefits increase. Now you are drinking a lacto-fermented beverage and your tummy will thank you. Third, once you try this lemonade, drinking the swill from the frozen juice aisle will just seem barbaric.

And unless your name is Conan, you want to avoid barbaric.

~Lacto-fermented Lemonade~

10-12 organic lemons*
1/2-1 cup organic sugar
1 cup organic liquid whey (from draining yogurt)
filtered water
1 gallon jar with lid

Wash the lemons. Cut lemons in half and use a hand-held juicer to squeeze juice into bowl. Pour lemon juice into gallon jar. I like pulp in my juice, so I pour the juice through a fine stainless sieve, before picking out the seeds and adding the pulp back into the juice.

Add sugar. I only use 1/2 cup and it's sweet enough for me. You can use sucanat if you want, but it will make the lemonade a darker color. I've heard of people using honey, but I haven't tried that...yet.☺

Add whey to the jar. Making whey is very simple. Go here for instructions. (After making this, bake some zucchini or banana bread and use your new yummy cream cheese! So good!)

Add filtered water to fill the remainder of the jar. Screw the lid down tight and set on the back of the counter for 2-5 days. When you see little bubbles, it's ready. Refrigerate to stop the fermenting process. Serve over ice.


*Before cutting the lemons, zest them, then place on a dehydrator at the lowest setting and dry overnight. Store zest in jar and use in baked goods, or in a favorite herbal tea.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Mid-Summer's Education

After spending the last several days canning pickles and stacking firewood, today we decided to take a break. Too broke to take a real vacation, but too ADD to stay at home and just relax, we decided to visit one of the reservoirs located just east of us.

Yale Reservoir is in between Merwin and Swift Reservoirs, and since we were afraid of the whole "middle child" syndrome thing, we chose #2.

Here's the thing. People-watching is a cheap way to spend an afternoon. Doesn't cost a dime, but it can teach more than a 4 year university ever could, in less than a couple of hours.

Consider me educated on the ways of the world.

Mt. St. Helens peaking over the trees.
So, what did I learn on my day of rest?

1. In my day we called summer slip-on sandals made of rubber & plastic, thongs. In 2011, they are little, tiny pieces of stringy material (I think?) that are firmly planted in an area that most women try to keep material out of. And let me tell, you...thongs should never, ever, ever, ever be worn in public. Ever. If you do, please familiarize yourself with the torturous ritual called Brazilian Bikini Waxing.

I choose to swim in sweatpants

2. Just because bikini's come in every size for every woman, does NOT mean that every woman should wear one. Unless she is wearing a pair of M.C. Hammer pants, singing "Can't Touch This", 99.9% of women should not wear a bikini. Ever.

3. Wondering where the melting pot is? Try the kiddie swimming area on a Wednesday afternoon. I learned a little German, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and Teenager. And the park does not provide an interpreter for any. Teenager was the most difficult to understand, because unlike the others, their body language is just downright hostile. My best guess is that it has to do with the thongs riding up.

4. The only thing you will NOT catch in the kiddie swimming area is a fish.

5. The water is considerably warmer in the kiddie swimming area.

Enough said.

6. Girls are definitely tougher than boys. My boys couldn't wait to get in the water, but lasted exactly 2 minutes, while the girls who had to be coerced, stayed in for almost an hour.

7. Boys need to save face. Especially when caught sucking the heat out of their Daddy.

8. My boys are the whitest, white boys ever. But at least they're not wearing thongs, bikini's, or have ever heard of a Brazilian Bikini Wax. They just wanted to show off their 3-packs. They're hoping for a full 6 in a few years.

9. No matter how many bottles of sunscreen you throw into the car, it doesn't work if left in the car. There's some scientific evidence of this, and Oprah said it once, so it must be true.

10. It is never a good idea to argue with a child who has "autistic tendencies". If he wants to call the only fish caught a kokanee, let him. You cannot win this argument. But, if he sees a half-naked girl in a too-tight piece of material that is riding up into her nether-region, go ahead and call that fish a trout.

And I suggest calling it a trout until you pull into the safety of your very own driveway.

Just in case he decides to look up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roasted No Mayo Potato Salad

Some things were just meant to be.

Macaroni & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, Sonny & Cher...

Wait, scratch that last one.

Not all things are meant to be, but a picnic without potato salad, well, that's just wrong on many levels.

Growing up, there were several events that I could count on every summer; camping at the coast without a toilet or hot water for 2 weeks, getting up at 4 a.m. to go strawberry picking so I could buy that pair of $40 bell-bottom jeans, a family reunion with boy cousins that were so cute one could only hide behind a tree, crying, "WHYYYYYYY!!!", and food poisoning caused by Aunt So & So's potato salad that had sat on the table for 8 hours.

I learned a lot of lessons during my summer breaks. I learned to squat at just the right angle, and how to take a cold hose "shower" in the middle of the Salal berry bushes without being seen. I learned that Levi's were a better choice of jeans because unlike $40 bell-bottoms, Levi's never go out of style, and at $1.50/flat, that was a lot of strawberries to pick. I learned that my boy cousins, while cute, had a very limited vocabulary of "home-run", "dug-out", and "first-string", and when they ran out of words, they just stood there with their hands in their pockets, seeing how far each one could spit. (I said cute, not smart.) I also learned to stay away from the potato salad at reunions.

Until now.

Some of us have missions in life to fulfill. Mine was to find a potato salad that would not only taste good, but could sit out on the picnic table for hours and not cause violent retching hours later. If you've never had food poisoning, you won't understand, but I'll try to help you grasp this knowledge. Carol Burnett once described childbirth pain as, "take your bottom lip, pull it over the top of your head..."   

I would rather give birth, standing up on the side of the interstate, to an 18 lb. child, who comes out sideways, with my lip pulled over the top of my head, than go through the torture of food poisoning.

Just sayin'.

Now that you're good and scared of traditional mayonnaise-based potato salad's, give this tangy mayo-free version a try. You may never go back to mayo again.☺

~Roasted Potato Salad~

~The Players~

6 Tb. olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
3 lbs. thin-skinned potatoes, diced to bite-size (use organic!)
2 Tb. citrus-based vinegar (I used a champagne vinegar)
2 t. Dijon mustard
3-4 Tb. olive oil
6 green onions, chopped
1 cup fresh, chopped basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix 6 Tb. olive oil, garlic, salt/pepper, thyme, rosemary, and potatoes together on a large baking pan (with sides). Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are nicely browned and soft.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on counter until room temperature. When cooled, place potatoes in large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, and 3-4 Tb. olive oil together. Pour vinegar/oil mixture over potatoes and toss to coat.

Add green onions and basil, mixing well.

Check salt and pepper and adjust as needed.

Allow to sit on counter for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to mesh.

And the best part? Serve at room temperature!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meal Plan for 8/14/11

They say "honest is the best policy", so here goes...

I have writer's block.

That's not entirely true as that insinuates that I'm a writer, which I'm not. So let me rephrase that.

I have blogger's block.

Blame it on the full moon of last week.

Blame it on the fact that my youngest son went to town without any underwear on. Twice.

Blame it on my middle son being stung by a hive of very irritated yellow jackets who didn't care for his weed-eating job.

Blame it on our multiple trips to Costco because we couldn't make up our minds.

Blame it on our trip to the recycling center where we discovered our eldest son is spending hundreds of dollars keeping Red Bull in business.

Blame it on our guinea fowl who start squawking every time a leaf blows, but watch in awe when a coyote takes off with another chicken.

Blame it on our daughter Heather, who tomorrow turns 15.

Whatever you do, just don't blame it on me.

I'm feeling a little hormonal this week.

Here's what's cookin'...

Salmon fish & chips (sweet potato fries), Zucchini Fritters

English muffin breakfast sandwich (with poached egg, crispy bacon, raw cheese)
Chicken Tortilla Soup, Homemade Tortilla Chips or grilled hamburgers (depends on the weather!)

Salmon Patties, roasted potatoes, Swiss chard

Chicken Quesadillas on Sourdough Tortillas (carried from last week), Mango Black Bean Salad

Macaroni & Cheese (still new!), elk steak, Broccoli Salad

English muffin breakfast sandwich (same as Monday)
Swedish Meatballs (new), mashed potatoes, Swiss chard

Scrambled eggs & deer sausage
Baked Chili (new), Kim's Kornbread

cereal, Zucchini Bread
Chile Rellenos Casserole, corn tortillas, steamed broccoli
We'll also be trying Zucchini Cobbler from Gina at At Home My Way. I currently have 11 zucchini taking up residence on my counter. Gina promises me that it tastes just like apple cobbler, so I'm going to put on my big girl panties and give it a try. The recipe isn't on her site, but is in my comment section under Zucchini Fritters, if you're feeling adventurous. I'll let you know how it goes!

This post is linked to Menu Mondays.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mango & Black Bean Confetti Salad

Recently, I attended my first Pampered Chef party. One of the tasty treats we sampled was Mango Confetti Salsa.

I may have doubled dipped.

Okay, I'm sure I did.

And I have no guilt. Or shame. Because it was amazing.

After I purchased the mango slicer, I booked my first party.

Because of that salsa.

Before the mango slicer came into my life, I was one of those crazy people who would gnaw and gnash, like a rabid dog with a meaty bone, trying desperately to get the mango flesh off of the pit. The pittance of mango that I actually ate was nothing in comparison to the amount of juice, and probably slobber, that dripped from my chin. But still I would try. Until one day when someone actually caught me gnawing and gnashing.

Remember, I have no guilt and certainly no shame, but for the sake of the children, we relocated.

And until now, none of my new neighbors knew about my shady mango past.

Now that I have the mango slicer, mangoes are back on the menu, and because one can't live on salsa alone (or so I've been informed), I came up with my own version in a salad form. Complete with protein.

Gnawing and gnashing are optional.☺

~The Players~

2 mangoes, diced
1 large, sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (use gloves!)
1 cup sweet corn (if using frozen, thaw by running under water in a colander)
1 cup tomato, diced (I used grape)
zest and juice of 3 limes
2 Tb. olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
sea salt & pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Can serve immediately, but flavors intensify if refrigerated for 1 hour first.

I've made this several times now and each time is different. Try adding grilled chicken, or taco meat with olives for a different version of taco salad. Or use it as a topping for some fresh caught, grilled salmon.

Guess it's going back on the menu again!☺


Monday, August 8, 2011

A Lesson in Pickle Patience

(Photo credit)
It's no secret that one of my favorite places to visit is Sauvie Island. Known by the locals as the place to go for every kind of berry, I love it for other reasons too.

The problem is that I love "The Island" a little too much.

It's not enough for me to just go for the berries anymore. It feels wrong not to visit at least 3 of the farms out there.

And it's downright sacrilegious to not purchase something from each farm.

Even though my own garden is growing the same produce.

Patience still eludes me.

Besides coming home with another 54 lbs. of blueberries (the first visit resulted in 46 lbs.), a 10 lb. bag of pickling cukes somehow found their way into my car.

Really, it's all a blur when I'm on "The Island".

Have I mentioned that my garden is perfectly capable of growing pickling cukes?

On Thursday, I canned these little island beauties.

On Sunday, I canned these. From our garden.

Early Monday morning, a walk down to the garden yielded these.

And to think, before that little garden jaunt, our day was to be spent on "The Island".

Picking cukes.

Just in case the whole garden thing didn't pan out.

Monday evening's garden walk.
I guess "The Island" is going to have to wait.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crispy Zucchini Fries

Well, now I know. God has a sense of humor. I'm almost sure it is His laughter I hear every time I walk out to the garden and find yet another zucchini.

Some might think it's summer thunderstorms, but I know better.

He's laughing.

This year, the only produce that is growing well in our area seems to be the zucchini, otherwise known as the bane of my existence, or the thorn in my side. I'm not sure why the green beans can't be as prolific as the squash, especially since I really enjoy a fresh, stir-fried, garlicky green bean. I'm unclear as to why the tomatoes, which bring me so much joy as bruschetta, fresh salsa, or nestled in-between the bacon and lettuce of a really good BLT, can't seem to get past the green marble stage before falling off the plant.

What I do know is that I can let The Year of the Zucchini continue to frustrate me, or I can learn to love it.

At the very least, I can disguise it into something I really like.

Like french fries.

Somehow, I think He expected that.☺

I didn't use exact measurements for this recipe, but it really is simple to prepare. You'll want to eat these fries while they're hot, so bake them just before dinner is ready.

~Crispy Zucchini Fries~

~The Players~
zucchini, cut into 4" french fry strips
whole wheat flour (enough to coat fries)
2 eggs
*Panko (at least 2 cups) 
fresh grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
cayenne pepper (about 1/2 t.)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.

Cover cookie/baking sheets with parchment paper. This will keep the fries from sticking and will help to brown them evenly.

Put the eggs, and Panko into 2 seperate pie plates or bowls. Add water to the eggs and beat well.

To the Panko, add Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper; mix well.

 Use a plastic bag and pour the flour into it. Add a handful of zucchini "sticks" to the bag; shake to coat with flour.

Dip the zucchini, one at a time, into the egg wash, then the Panko mixture, coating well.

Lay the "fries" on the parchment paper in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and "crispy".

Eat plain, or serve with warmed marinara sauce.

And make extra~these go fast!

Of course, that may have been my fault.☺


*Japanese bread crumbs, otherwise known as Panko, can be found in most grocery stores, health food stores, and fish markets.

This post is linked to The Homestead Barn Hop!

Meal Plan for 8/8/11

Can you believe that it's August already?

Ya, me either.

It seems summer was but a fleeting moment, here in one, gone in the next, leaving us SW Washingtonians dreaming about what might have been.

Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the rainless days. What I am missing in the summertime equation however, is heat. Not triple digit heat like some are experiencing, but the kind of heat that makes you want to tear off the fleece and invest in some new razor blades!

I've lowered my expectations and am now just hoping for an eighty-degree day.

In anticipation of what could be, I spent my Saturday in the kitchen, preparing for the heat that may never come. In my own little "preparedness" program, I made zucchini bread, sourdough tortillas, cookies, Peasant bread/pizza dough, roasted a chicken and some sweet peppers, and shredded enough zucchini to fill several quart-sized bags.

If the heat ever decides to show itself, I'll be ready.

Even if my legs aren't!☺ 

Here's what's cookin' this week...

Taco Salad

Taco Omelette's, Zucchini bread
Grilled Barbecue Chicken Pizza (carried from last week)

Yogurt Smoothies, Zucchini bread
Creamy Spaghetti, garden salad

Scrambled eggs, deer sausage
Tangy Potato Salad (new), sauteed Swiss chard w/ garlic, roasted chicken

Salmon Fish & Chips (baked sweet potato fries), garden salad

Macaroni & Cheese (new recipe), Zucchini Fritters

cereal, Zucchini bread
Chicken Quesadillas on Sourdough Tortillas (using leftover chicken from Thursday)
For more menu ideas, visit Menu Mondays at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Future Farmers of America?

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving.

And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

~Louisa May Alcott~

Dream big, my sons, dream big.