Tuesday, September 27, 2011

(Fo)odds and Ends

The retired life is good, I tell ya! It is also delicious. I have had the time to cook up so many things during the past week that I'm having trouble remembering it all. A few examples include: Lasagna, Banana Crumb Muffins, Roasted Broccoli, Turkey Cranberry Paninis, lime kiwi fruit leather, Mulligatawny Detox Soup with homemade croutons, Mulligatawny Shredded Chicken over brown rice, guacamole, Crustless Quiche...

I could make a comment about each of those foods and how much I or Hylan has delighted in them, but I'll spare you (but you should really try the banana crumb muffins--they have been one of my go-to recipes for the past 10 years, literally. The date on my recipe shows it was printed in 2001. Hylan strongly endorses these muffins. I've made variations with whole wheat flour that have turned out delicious as well.)

Today, I gave myself the task of using up a giant zucchini from my mother and father-in-law's garden. Instead of picking between two recipes, I made them both. I was surprised that both were blog-worthy and well worth the two hours it took me to make them.

I present you with Italian Zucchini Pie.

(The top slice in the book is the one I made)

If you can't read that, I'd be happy to send you a better photo of the recipe if you're interested.

The zucchini pie was surprisingly delicious. I was skeptical at how the pastry would turn out because it uses olive oil instead of butter, but it was flaky and tasty, just as it should have been. The filling was as simple as zucchini, garlic, eggs, ricotta, and provolone cheese. Also, I had to substitute fresh parsley for the basil because that's all I had on hand, but basil would have been good too. It had a great garlic flavor and a creamy texture. Hylan said it tasted better than he thought it would, but I think he's just weirded out when I make recipes with lots of veggies. I would definitely make this recipe again. We had it for dinner but it would also be perfect for brunch or a lady's luncheon. It's certainly another fantastic use for your bounteous zucchini harvest!

And now I present you with Carrot Zucchini Mini Muffins.

By the way, I took these pictures with my phone because I'm not a food blogger with a super sweet expensive camera, but what the pictures lack in quality, I can assure you was made up for in actual tastiness. You can take my word for it, or come over for samples.

These muffins happen to be gluten-free, though that has nothing to do with why I made them. I just love Giada's recipes, and they just looked and sounded delicious. And now that I've made them, I highly recommend. I love the nuttiness the almond flour lends, the moist crumb texture from the zucchini and carrot, the bright cinnamon flavor, and subtle amber sweetness from the maple syrup. You can make a quick frosting with whipped cream cheese and honey to make the muffins kind of cupcakey, but the cream cheese I had was getting a little old, so I chose to forgo the topping and enjoy them plain.

A side note: I kind of love muffins a lot, especially when they tend towards healthy! :)

On another topic, I've recently noticed quite a few intriguing recipes using Biscoff spread - you know, that delicious cookie served on Delta Airlines made into a peanut butter-like spread. I have to admit that each time I've ever eaten biscoff cookies, I marvel at how much I enjoy them. Anyway, biscoff spread is going around the blog circuit, so I looked up where to buy it and of course, good ole reliable Harmons sells it (I miss living within walking distance of my favorite grocery store). I bought a jar to sample and I can assure you it is as delicious as the crunchy airplane treat. Just so you're aware. You're welcome. Ha! Perhaps, I will have to try one of those foodie blog recipes.

Anyway, um, how is it that I never knew snickers ice cream bars are now sold in in miniature size? Yes, those delicious chocolate covered caramel peanut ice cream bars that I haven't eaten probably since I was a teenager come in a perfectly portioned 90 calorie size! I'm so happy to have (re)discovered these. It's perfection.

So, happy eating delicious foods to you and to me! And if you want to invite yourself over for dinner, Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays work well for us. Just let me know. But you might end up eating more vegetables than you're used to, just so you're prepped, okay? Ha! Don't worry though, I'll still pump you full of meaty protein and sugary sweet treats.

1 comment:

Ginny said...

We love muffins so I would be happy to see you post more of those recipes. Also, the fruit leather sounds interesting is it hard to make?
I envy you your retirement. Enjoy.