It’s zucchini season and time to pull out the plethora of excellent recipes to use this bountiful summer squash. If someone secretly leaves zucchinis in your car or at home, be thankful!!
A bountiful number of bread and dessert recipes are found in cookbooks and internet and i will share a couple of our family favorites, but i’m focusing more this year on casseroles and main dish recipes. Here’s one i just developed sort of combining two recipes I already have. It turned out fabulously!!! Not like pizza or anything, but definitely ranks high enough that it can remain in the regular lineup of meals.
From the kitchen of Tauna M (Falconer) Powell
2 cups shredded zucchini
½ lb cooked beef sausage or beef brats* cut in small pieces
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon mustard
¼ tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Layer half the zucchini, onion, sausage, and cheddar cheese in a buttered oblong baking dish, 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inches; repeat. Mix eggs, milk, mustard, pepper, and salt very well, then pour over the layered ingredients. Sprinkle over top with Parmesan cheese. Cook uncovered in oven until set, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes then cut into squares for serving.
Note: Once assembled, this casserole can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours before cooking.
*I use all beef brats from Coleman Farms grassfinished beef. However, it will also be good with my own home made beef sausage.
Our daughter introduced us to chia seeds a couple years ago, but then we did without since she left again, this time for Hanoi, Vietnam. However, I’m creating some protein bars made without toxins, preservatives, etc, ad nauseam, and needing some additional protein. Flax seed fits that bill, but flax also has a laxative affect (that’s right, you do not need to consume synthetic harsh laxatives) that is not comfortable for some people, (though they are higher in protein and lower in carbs). SO, chia to the rescue! (Chia seeds are also absorbed by the body unlike whole flax seeds which generally pass through which is why they need grinding before ingesting for best results). Both flax seeds and chia seeds are good for us, they have different nutritional values, making neither better than the other, so i include both in our diets.
Sure, we knew of chia seeds, but primarily as a novelty!
Incredibly (and thankfully), i discovered that chia seeds are grown here in the United States, though they are native to Mexico and Guatemala. This one producer is Heartland Chia – seeds are grown, harvested, packaged in Franklin, Kentucky.
Here’s a link to the published Pumpkin Chia Granola Bars. But for now, since i have an abundance of home canned unsweetened applesauce, i replaced pumpkin with it. (Until this fall, when my winter squashes should be ready and i’ll make these with pumpkin)
Cold, windy, blustery, and a bit of snow flurries. Forecasted up to 5 inches, but i sure hope we miss that!
2 lbs grass finished ground beef
1/3 cup dried minced onion flakes or one large fresh onion chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder ((optional)
2 tablespoons dried cilantro or parsley flakes (double for fresh)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or up to 10 cloves of fresh garlic)
6 cups water or beef broth
1/2 cup dried red kidney beans
1/2 cup dried navy beans
1/2 cup dried black beans
45 ounces or so tomato sauce
In a 6 quart kettle, brown the 2 lbs ground beef; drain if necessary. Add all ingredients except tomato sauce, to pot and bring to boil, stir, cover, and lower heat to slow boil. Simmer at least 3 hours or until beans are softened.
Stir in 45 ounces or so of tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Notes: adjust ingredients as desired – flexibility is key in cooking – use whatever combination of beans you like. Chopped tomatoes work as well and gives a different texture to the chili. (see cover photo)
Add the butter and flour to a small sauce pot. Heat and whisk the butter and flour together until they become bubbly and foamy. Continue to cook and whisk the bubbly mixture for about 60 seconds.
Whisk the milk into the flour and butter mixture. Turn the heat up slightly and allow the milk to come to a simmer whilst whisking. When it reaches a simmer, the mixture will thicken. Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, turn off the heat.
Stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until melted into the sauce. If needed, lace the pan over a low flame to help the cheese melt. Do not overheat the cheese sauce.
Once all the cheese is melted into the sauce, stir in the salt and chili powder. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the sauce becomes too thick, simply whisk in an additional splash of milk.
Cooking time: about 4 hours Servings: 12-24 servings
2-3 lbs stewing hen (you’ll need about 6 cups of ground meat)
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon sage
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
2 teaspoons black pepper
Slow cook stewing hen until tender. Remove meat from skin and bones and cut meat into pieces. Place meat back into cooking water with sage and cayenne pepper and simmer 2 to 3 hours. Drain and reserve stock.
Chop meat with a knife or food processor, being careful not to grind it too fine. Set aside.
(Note that i had already done all the above and just froze ground meat separately from plain chicken stock – i only add spices when ready to make this recipe)
Measure 5 cups of stock and return to pot. Bring to a simmer, add meat, cornmeal, salt, and peppers, then stir constantly until thick and smooth – about 15 to 30 minutes.
Pour mixture into 2 loaf pans and refrigerate until completely chilled. Un-mold scrapple. Slice and fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
I hadn’t made this favorite of my children in several years, but since there was an opened package of beef hot dogs which needed using, i decided on a trial to see if they would be acceptable substitute for sausages. It worked out great and was a hit with my 93 year old father-in-law and husband’s 100 year old aunt this past Sunday lunch.
1 lb beef or lamb sausage links (or beef hot dogs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Drizzle olive oil in an 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch baking dish and place sausages/hot dogs in baking dish and bake at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Whilst those are baking, mix the remaining ingredients until smooth. Remove baking dish from oven and pour batter over links/dogs. Pop dish back into the 400ºF oven uncovered for about 30 minutes until golden. Cut into squares.
Wowzer! the wind has been blowing like a banshee all day and temps dropped from 75 to 45 in about 2 hours this afternoon. Will spring ever arrive in earnest?! Vina’s Brownies to the rescue.
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together the softened butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time. Continue mixing and add remaining ingredients then bake in a greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake about 40 minutes at 350°F oven.