Summer Vegetable Bake

We have a small garden and some things grow successfully (like our cucumbers and radishes), and some things don’t grow well, or at all.  This year there is no sign of the green peppers we planted, or the brussel sprouts that I got all excited about growing.    So when our neighbor came over bearing yellow squash, zucchini, red onions and green bell peppers I graciously accepted them.         


I don’t think I’ve ever made anything with zucchini other than breads, or a chocolate zucchini cake.  This year I decided it was about time to live on the edge.  Maybe, I should actually use the vegetable in a vegetable dish – a novel idea.  And here it is – Summer Vegetable Bake.      

1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash and some baby carrots cubed – (approx 1 large) onion, diced – 1 green bell pepper – 1 tsp. Italian seasoning – fresh garlic, crushed -1/2 c. margarine -1 can of diced tomatoes – grated Parmesan cheese      

Bring the squash and carrots to a boil for 3 minutes in salt water and then drain.  Melt margarine in skillet.  Add onion, green pepper and garlic and simmer until soft.  Add diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and squash to skillet.  Cook until mixed well, and tomatoes start to soften.  Pour into a greased baking pan and cover liberally with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (veggies should be tender but not mushy)       

Squash and carrots after bringing to boil


Onions, peppers and garlic cooking in skillet


All the veggies in the skillet


In the pan ready for the oven


Out of the oven


Served and ready to eat!


With all said and done I would have to say this is one light and tasty summer vegetable dish.  I’m not a vegetarian but with a dish like this I might change my mind.  No disappointments here.  Enjoy!

Finally found time to bake – lucious lemon blueberry bread

What a combination


The batter


Bottom side of bread fresh out of the pan


Life is good, and busy.  This time of year the nice weather calls me outside.  Because of this I  put baking on the back burner, so to speak.    

This week we planted our garden which now has a variety of fruits & veggies and herbs packed into it.  Today was more or less, a day of rest, and I finally found time to bake.    

I found some nice looking blueberries at the grocery store and they help inspire me.  I had been wanting to make something on the lemon side so with that in mind I dug through my (not quite organized yet) recipe box and found a great recipe I’ve made many a time.  Lemon Blueberry Bread   

The recipe is as follows:  3 tbls shortening, 3 tbls margarine, 1 c sugar, 1 tbls lemon juice (I used real lemon extract), 2 eggs, 1 1/2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 c milk (I used skim), 1 cup fresh blueberries.  Mix in order.  I used  3 mini bread pans and baked for 37 mins in a 325 degree oven.  You know the routine.  Whatever you bake it in, make sure the toothpick comes out clean in the center.  Enjoy!   

We are enjoying it as I type….. Moist and tasty – not overly sweet.

“Try it you’ll like it”

Brussel Sprouts Galore

“Try it, you’ll like it.”  Who hasn’t heard that line before?  My parents tried desperately to get me to try new foods.   There wasn’t any amount of convincing that was going to get me to taste or eat certain foods as a little girl.  Specifically, vegetables.  Sure, I liked potatoes and corn but forget the cauliflower, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, artichokes,  and asparagus.

As I’ve aged so have my taste buds (thankfully).  Veggie recipes have come a long way too.  What I remember about  brussel sprouts?  The strong odor they produced as my mother cooked them.  What I’ve learned since then?  She probably was over cooking them creating glucosinolate sinigrin, a sulfurous acid to emanate from the pot convincing me they were horrid long before she set them on the dining room table.

Slowly, over the years, I have come to like all of the vegetables I disliked as a child. It wasn’t until my husband and I took a recent trip to Charleston SC  that I was brave enough to try brussel sprouts.  A restaurant where we dined served pancetta braised brussel spouts.

These sprouts were so tasty.  When we got home I bought some on my first trip to the supermarket.  Winging their preparation without a recipe, my husband who is an awesome cook, whipped up a special marinade of olive oil, red wine vinegar, herbs, and garlic to brush on them as he grilled them.

These little beauties were to die for.  I’m now looking for plants or seeds to put in our garden so we can grow enough to stock our freezer for next winter.

Does anyone have a good veggie recipe to pass on?  I’m game…