Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Food Truck In Town



There is a new mobile food establishment in town. It has been a while since I've seen a hot dog cart or taco truck, so when a food truck advertising "Western BBQ" showed up on main street in the Jerrick's Fine Jewelry parking lot a couple weeks ago, I wanted to see what it was all about. I was running errands downtown on my lunch break and was heading back to work along main street and decided to stop and give it a try since I didn't have time to go home and make a lunch.



The owner/operator was very friendly and informative. He let me know that they don't have their full menu up and running yet. Right now he is just offering BBQ brisket sandwiches, BBQ pork sandwiches, pastrami sandwiches, and french dip sandwiches. He hopes to have an extended menu up and running in the next couple of weeks. He also told me that he was going to try and operate through November, but if the weather gets cold and snowy early he may have to close earlier.

Yep, they've got pickled eggs



They have a picnic table next to the truck so you can eat it there or take it with you. $4.75 will get you a sandwich, chips, potato salad, pickle spear, pickled banana peppers, and a mint...that is including tax. Here is the lunch I got, BBQ brisket (sorry for the poor quality photos)...







The brisket was tender and moist and had decent flavor, a nice combination of smoke, tang, and sweetness, but not overpowering. The salad was a cold and creamy mayo based potato salad with potatoes, eggs, and pickles. and not too shabby, although you may not like it if you don't like pickles. All in all, not a bad lunch for just under $5.

Stop in and give it a try, then let me know what you think. Western Bar-Ba-Que (no that isn't a typo), is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am until 7pm. He accepts call ahead orders, the phone number is 435.770.8091. In general my take on BBQ is much like my philosophy on pizza and thai food...bad BBQ is better than no BBQ at all.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bugs!

My brother in law Craig likes to catch bugs and snakes and all kinds of critters. Heck it wouldn't be a cookout or camping trip without him digging up some ant lions (it is a real thing, look it up) and showing them off in a paper cup. This Sunday he set off along the canal in search of a very specific creepy crawly and ended up finding two.

Brownie points for anyone who can tell me what sort of bug these caterpillars will turn into in a couple of weeks and what they like to eat (which is also where you can find them)...



Last Saturday

Last Saturday was busy and a lot of fun.

I started the day earlier and picked up my dad and his 1951 Willys jeep and headed to Paradise for the Trout and Berry Days parade. On the way we picked up my niece Elysa (the static electricity was making her hair stick to the canvas top).



The parade in Paradise is the shortest in the valley, roughly 5 blocks, but there were no spectators on the last block. Even though we bought 2 5lb bags of tootsie rolls, we only managed to throw a little over half of one of the bags.















After we were done with the festivities in Paradise we headed back to Logan and picked up Elysa's sister and dropped my dad and the jeep off at his house and headed to Lewiston to pick up the meat from a hog I bought at the county fair. Of course a trip to Lewiston wouldn't be complete without a stop at the malt shop at the Casper's ice cream factory. And Megan beat me at arm wrestling...I totally let her win, totally...





For future reference, the "small" lickety split could feed a family of four.

USU Activites

School starts today for USU students. The university is hosting many events and activities this week to welcome back students.

Monday - *Imagine Dragons of Las Vegas, Nevada will be playing live on the TSC Patio! With local support band. http://www.myspace.com/imaginedragons 8pm to 10pm. This event is free and is open to students, USU staff, and the general public.

Tuesday - *Free walking tacos on the TSC Patio for USU faculty, staff and students from 11am to 1pm. *Free screening of THOR on old main hill, from 8:30pm to 10:30pm, bring your own blanket or chairs to sit on.

Wednesday - *Day on the Quad, From campus clubs and organizations to local businesses and vendors, there's something for everyone at Day on the Quad! Come see what Cache Valley has to offer and see what SWAG might be there! From 10am to 3pm, this event is free and open to USU students only. *RHA BBQ, RHA presents a BBQ for all on-campus residents! Come enjoy a bunch of free food from 4pm to 7pm, free to all USU students that live on campus. *Derek Hughes Stand Up Comedian & Magician, from 7pm to 10pm in the TSC Evan Stevens Ballroom, this event is free and open to USU faculty, staff, and students.

Thursday - *Free aggie ice cream, 11am on the TSC Patio, Come enjoy free Aggie Ice Cream and meet the members of ASUSU, open to the general public, USU students, faculty and staff. *High Stakes Bingo, Come and play Bingo for the chance to win a variety of prizes worth up to $500. There are two Bingo sessions one at 7PM and the other starts at 9PM. Bring one can of food and get an extra Bingo Card! This event is open to USU students, faculty and staff.

Friday - *80s Dance on the quad. Starting at 9pm rock out into the late hours of the night in all your 80s gear to a poppin mix from the one and only DJ Marcus Wing. Neon and spandex are encouraged! Free and open to USU students, faculty and staff.

Saturday - *Free Rocket Summer concert. Check out one of the hottest bands on the market, The Rocket Summer. This open air FREE concert will be held on the street corner of 7th North. The public is encouraged to come and participate! This event starts at 7:30pm and is open to the general public, USU students, staff & faculty.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Means to Attain a Happy Life

MARTIAL, the things that do attain
The happy life be these, I find:—
The richesse left, not got with pain;
The fruitful ground, the quiet mind;

The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;
No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;
The household of continuance;

The mean diet, no delicate fare;
True wisdom join'd with simpleness;
The night dischargèd of all care,
Where wine the wit may not oppress.

The faithful wife, without debate;
Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
Contented with thine own estate
Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.
~Attributed to Henry Howard

Citrus Mint Salad Dressing



This is the recipe for the salad dressing I served for the surprise dinner date for my sister.


  • 3 whole Limes

  • 1 teaspoon Lime Zest

  • 1 whole Lemon

  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest

  • 1 cup Sour Cream

  • ¼ cups Honey

  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Mint

  • 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Zest 2 limes and the lemon, place zest in a mixing bowl. Microwave limes and lemon together for about 20 seconds, then firmly roll each one on your counter under the palm of your hand. Slice each fruit in half and juice, strain out seeds and pulp, add strained juice to zest in the mixing bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour into a dressing cruet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before serving.

Recipes from Kristeen's birthday dinner

I try to keep all my recipes in one place and that place is here...

http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/members/nachista/recipe-box/

I am in the process of adding the recipe for the salad and potatoes from the dinner in my previous post. Both of them are an amalgamation of other recipes or ideas I've seen before, just combined and tweaked. The salmon recipe is located here...

http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/grilled-lemon-dill-salmon/

For the dinner I actually changed the recipe because Kristeen doesn't like dill very much. I left out the garlic and the dill and added fresh basil to the sauce. The fish I rubbed with olive oil then seasoned with salt and pepper, but I didn't add the sauce before cooking. I served the salmon with the sauce on the side and garnished with a couple fresh basil leaves.

The fizzy nectar recipe is here...

http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/drinks/fizzy-nectar/

Fun Surprises - Part 2


Confession: I like other people's birthdays.

I like to surprise people on their birthday with cool stuff they never saw coming and would probably never do for themselves. Like Mike's birthday the first year we were together. He thought I was going to take him to a country concert (he hates country music), and them BAM! we were at Park City Mountain Resort doing the zipline and alpine slide.

So last year was my oldest sister's 40th birthday. She didn't want anyone to make a big deal about it, so we didn't, she didn't say anything about her 41st birthday though. So for the last 2 weeks I have schemed with her husband and kids to keep an evening free for a surprise (this was, by the way, a herculean task).

Her birthday was on the 19th and it came and went without much ado, then August 26th was the day we sprang the trap (coincidentally also my brother Dave's birthday, but he's travelling in Japan so he doesn't get a surprise, lucky duck). I called Kris and planned a movie night with her kids (this is almost a monthly occurrence so she didn't think it was out of the ordinary), then her husband told her he was going to take her out for date night since the kids were gone, but he first had to stop at my parents house to help my dad with something (just something, we are crazy vague like that).

I got off work at 2pm and cut fresh flowers from my little garden, put all the food in a cooler, collected the decorations we were going to use, and headed to my parents house. I unloaded the table and chairs and decorations in the orchard and headed back up to the front of the house to unload everything else. I prepped everything I could and then left to pick up movie tickets (Harry Potter bk 7 pt 2) for Kris and her husband as part of the surprise, and pizza for the kids (little sneezers ran out of cheese and pepperoni right as I got there, not so hot and ready, oh well).

While I was gone my little sister Holly and my mom started prepping the orchard. They put down a large board and then placed one of mom's persian rugs on top, followed by my table and chairs (which Mike gave to me for my birthday this year and I LOVE), and mom's table cloth and cloth napkins. When I returned I put the potatoes in the oven and headed outside where we hung my saris from the pear and plum trees to make an outdoor room around the table and I set up my ipod boombox just outside the room and started the playlist I'd made. Then we set up a table in the corner for the bread, appetizers, and drinks. Holly and mom got the salads ready while I prepared the salmon.

Once I got the salmon in the oven I ran out and took some photos with my cell phone because I had left my pocket digital at home (hence the crappy quality).









Holly did a great job hanging the saris to obscure the old beater truck "big red", the car barn, the vegetable garden and the playset. You can see we already had the salads at the table and the drinks poured. I had meant to get photos of the salad and the peach beverage to post to their corresponding recipes in my tastykitchen.com recipe box, but I totally flaked it.

I ran back up to the house and plated the potatoes and took the salmon out of the oven, just as I was unwrapping it I heard Kris and Craig walk in the front door and my mom say "Happy Birthday!". Kristeen then replies "No, mom, it's Dave's birthday". I yell from the kitchen "Go around back!", while burning myself on the hot tray the salmon was on...ahhh you got to love it when a plan comes together, or not *sigh*.

One the salmon was on the plates my niece Nicole and I took them out to the table and I snapped this pic.



When they were finishing up their dinner we took out a tray of desserts from Sweetly Divine (Mark is a genius!), and sang "happy birthday". Quickly followed by my 4 year old nephew, Caden, plucking the chocolate head off of the pastry swan and eating it...classy! Then I brought them dessert plates and forks and "the bill", which was really the movie tickets.

In case you were wondering:

Flowers: Pink and white hydrangeas with dark purple clematis (the vase was made from an old wine bottle by my talented friend Kim Tellez.)



Starters: Crumb Brothers rustic garlic loaf with olive oil and vinegar, and shrimp cocktail.

Beverages: Fizzy nectar and ice water.

Salad: Avocado, grapefruit, nectarine topped with shaved parmesan on a bed of field greens with a creamy honey citrus dressing.

Entree: Lemon salmon baked in parchment served with a creamy basil sauce and a side of bacon onion au gratin potatoes.

Dessert: A selection of pastries and cupcakes from Sweetly Divine. (helpers helped eat the desserts the couple didn't choose for themselves, we're generous like that)

Playlist:
"Il Faut Du Temps Au Temps" - Makali
"Breezin' along With The Breeze" - Josephine Baker
"Je Chante" - Charles Trenet
"The Wedding Samba" - Edmundo Ros & His Orchestra
"J'Attendrai" - Jean Sablon
"Old Cape Cod" - Patti Page
"Never Ending Song Of Love" - Delaney & Bonnie
"Le Chant Du Gardian" - Tino Rossi
"The Song Is Ended" - Louis Armstrong
"Dream A Little Dream Of Me" - The Mamas & The Papas
"It's Only a Paper Moon" - Benny Goodman
"And The Angels Sing" - Benny Goodman
"La Vie En Rose" - Edith Piaf
"They Can't Take That Away From Me" - Ella Fitzgerald
"Them There Eyes" - Billie Holiday
"Minor Swing" - Rachel Portman
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World" - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
"Feeling Good" - Nina Simone
"Caresse Sur L'Ocean" - Les Choristes
"On The Sunny Side Of The Street" - Louis Armstrong
"Easy Living" - Billie Holiday
"A Kiss To Build A Dream On" - Louis Armstrong
"Complainte De La Butte" - Rufus Wainwright
"Ain't No Sunshine" - Bill Withers
"Love You 'Till The End" - The Pogues
"All The Miles" - Runrig
"Captain Wedderburn" (live version) - Great Big Sea
"All I have To Do Is Dream" - The Everly Brothers
"Moon River" - Louis Armstrong
"As Time Goes By" - Jimmy Durante
"A Kiss to build a Dream On" - Louis Armstrong
"A Wink And A Smile" - Harry Connick Jr.
"Daphne" - Django Reinhardt
"Bei Mer Bist Du Schon" - Sammy Cahnm, Saul Chaplin, Jacob Jacobs
"Something Stupid" Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra
"Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" - Lila Downs
"Human To A God" - Gaelic Storm
"Something's gotta Give" - Sammy Davis Jr.
"I Won't Dance" - Frank Sinatra
"I've Got The World On A String" - Peggy Lee
"Blue Skies" - Lyle Lovett
"In The Cool Cool Of The Evening" - Rosemary Clooney

After they were finished eating, Kristeen insisted on helping to clean up. What can I say we are our mother's daughters, Gibbons girls through and through. She even went so far as to change our nephew's dirty diaper...that was NOT supposed to be part of her birthday surprise.

Here is the stinking diaper culprit trying to evade detection.


Kristeen and her daughter Nicole folding up saris


The helpers taking a break


It was so much fun to plan and do. If I could have changed one thing it would have been the temperatures, I didn't plan on doing this during the hottest week of the year, but that's what happened. All in all I think it was a very successful evening and everyone had fun.

Fun surprises

I like fun surprises, even little ones. Like when we were in the line up for Black & White Days Parade in Richmond. My mom and her friend were speaking to my cousin's daughter who is in the Smithfield City royalty this year. They were discussing her dress and tiara and the topic fell on shoes, that's when she showed us what footwear she preferred to wear when she was on the float and no one could see her feet.



She's my kind of girl!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The end of the world is not nigh...

Dear World:

Glenn Beck does not speak for nor is representative of the LDS religion or its members...or christians in general...or for the USA and its people...or for God. He is an extremist and an eejit. God is not punishing people for not being prepared. Should you prepare for emergencies? Uh, yeah it is a good idea. Will God smite you with a tornado/hurricane/earthquake/rain of fish? No, crap happens.

Sincerely,
Me

PS - All the natural disasters lately have many thinking about ways they can be prepared. For a list of items that will help you in an automotive emergency please check out the tab at the top of this page.

PPS - Remain calm and carry on.

Homemade Muffinless Egg McMuffin



This is a fast breakfast that you can make and eat on the go. They are basically egg mcmuffins without the muffin. There are two versions, the basic one and the scrambled/omlet style one, the photos are all from the basic one.



You will need:
1 - 6 cup muffin pan
cooking spray
6 slices of ham or canadian bacon
6 whole eggs
shredded cheese of choice



Preheat oven to 400F. Spray the muffin pan with the cooking spray, line each cup with a slice of ham. Crack an egg into each cup and break the yolk with a fork. Top each cup with some cheese and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the egg is set. Remove from oven and loosen each "muffin" by running a butter knife in between the ham and the muffin tin, turn upside down to remove muffins. They can be eaten on a plate with a fork, or just picked up with a napkin and eaten on the go.

The omelet version (my favorite) is a little more involved but gives you a lot more flavor. You will only need 4 eggs for this version and in addition to the ingredients listed above you will need:

Salt
Pepper
Dried dill
Minced onion
Evaporated milk



Preheat oven to 400F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Break eggs into a mixing bowl, add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 tsp dill, and 2 tsp minced onion, then whisk in 1/4 evaporated milk. Pour egg mixture into prepared muffin cups and top with cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until egg is set.

Porcupine Music Festival

Sorry for the late notice on this, but I just found out about it today.

Today and tomorrow is the Porcupine Music Festival in Avon, UT.

Cache Valley's musical party of the year!
$15 includes camping
Children 12 & under free
Come early, stay late! Afternoon folk artists, late night dancing!
Great swimming/ kayaking/ cliffs nearby!
Spread the word! And don't think your absence will go unnoticed!
Tickets available at the gate, or in advance at Earthly Awakenings or Citrus & Sage
Onsite food vendors: Tandoori Oven, Jack's Wood Fired Pizza, Sunday morning breakfast burritos and coffee with Parkside Farm
No pets, please.

Festival Schedule

2:00-- Eric Hash
3:00-- Hilary Murray
4:00-- Kate MacLeod & Kat Eggleston
5:00-- Jen Hajj
6:00-- Timmy Pearce
7:00-- Davina Tribe Bellydancers
7:20-- Shaky Trade
8:50-- Dawi West African Drum & Dance
9:20-- James Shook and the Resolutions
10:50-- G.O. Trio Firedancers
11:20-- Wade Evans &; Friends
-------& Hilary Murray-----& Houston Guy

Sunday Morning: Dry Lake Bluegrass


For more information please visit the event's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=216942678354401

Thursday, August 25, 2011

GOOD LUCK!



Mike is taking the GRE tomorrow. GOOD LUCK! Remember, leave the duck, take the train.

I love...

...a good surprise, watch this space...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

APPLE DAYS - Next Weekend



So this event is next week but I am posting it this week for a reason.


Last year River Heights hosted a movie in the park for their town celebration Apple Days. It was an older Disney movie "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" and it was a lot of fun. The city provided the movie and free popcorn for everyone. When I looked on the Apple Days website this year I noticed the movie in the park wasn't one of the listed activities.

I contacted the event organizer and was told that they simply didn't have enough money in the budget for it this year and had to cut it out. The average fee for publicly showing a Disney movie is about $300, sometimes it can be a lot more. The organizer told me that they would really like to do it again but they needed to find a sponsor or sponsors to help offset the costs.

If you would like to sponsor the movie (or know a business or individual that would) or one of the other activities, please contact Elizabeth Kramer at elizabethkramer@appledays.org Sponsorships are tax deductible.

For more information about Apple Days visit their website http://www.appledays.org/

Cache Valley Century Bicycle Ride



The Cache Valley Century Ride is this weekend.

The Cache Veloists are hosting the 13th annual Cache Valley Bicycle Tour with 100 mile, 60 mile or 40 mile routes. The ride starts and ends at the park in Richmond. Richmond is 15 miles north of Logan and the park is between 1st and 2nd west on 1st south. Proceeds support Common Ground, a nonprofit organization that provides outdoor recreation for persons with disabilities.

For more information or to register, please click on the following link...

http://www.cvveloists.org/century/

Other Weekend Events...

This Saturday there are several other events going on around the valley...

Old Juniper District presents the Cub Scout Mountain Man Rendezvous – Aug 27th at the Hyde Park Church park (65 E Center, Hyde Park). Featuring a Trading Post, Wells Fargo Race, Log Hoist and Fish Scramble. Cost is $1. For more information: (Dale 435-258-2908 / Steve 435-563-5876)

A fun family friendly comedy hypnotist show. With your local hypnotist Abracadan. Show starts at 7p.m. with the doors opening at 6p.m. tickets are 5 dollars and the show is on August 27th. Also after the show Abracadan will be hosting a special showing of Logan Out Loud a comedy improv group. Tickets can be purchased day of the show at the Logan Art House or online at LoganArtHouse.com

Cache Humane Society fundraiser at the USU amphitheater. Remembering the Fab Four! That's what this Beatles tribute band is all about. From their convincing Liverpudlian accents and Beatles wit, to their pointed boots and totally fab gear. Like seeing the Beatles for the first time. Saturday, Aug 27th at 530p.m. Tickets on sale now. For more information- Cache Humane Society (435)792-3920. (PS - I was given 2 free tickets to this but I can't go, if anyone would like them let me know and they are yours.)

Another Restaurant Closed

Mike and I had date night last night at the South end of Logan and I noticied that the Bajio franchise is now closed. It looks like it is soon to be replaced by something called "Sushi Ya" which appears to be an all you can eat sushi buffet.

Another one bites the dust.

Trout And Berry Days




Ok, apparently Paradise's website doesn't like Firefox, I got the page to load with exploder...uh, I mean explorer.

This weekend is the annual Trout And Berry Days celebration in Paradise. They will be having a fun run, community breakfast, parade, vendors, activities, trout scramble (try to catch a live trout with your bare hands), volleyball tournament, and a trout dinner.

Here is a link to the calendar with a list of the days events...

http://paradise.utah.gov/calendar

The events start tomorrow with a golf tournament and then resume on Saturday at 7am and go through 6pm. It looks like a really fun lineup, go check it out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bread, Love & Chocolate: Tastebook is saving my life

I recently read the following post on one of my favorite food blogs. I think it is a great idea, check it out by clicking on the link.

Bread, Love & Chocolate: Tastebook is saving my life: If you haven't heard of tastebook.com, you are seriously missing out. What's tastebook? Well it's an awesome site where you can upload you...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aggie Street Dance



This Saturday, August 27th, at 8pm there will be a street dance for USU students. The dance will be held in downtown Logan on Church street. Church street runs between 100 N and 200 N and is about 50 E, you can access via the road just West of the Logan City fire department on the North end, or the road just East of Zions Bank on the South end.

This event is sponsored by student services and is free for all USU students. They will be selling pizza for $1 a slice. For more information contact Gary Saxton at 435.554.8696 or email him at logandowntown@gmail.com.

Cache Valley Celtic Festival



Another event this weekend is the third annual "Cache Valley Celtic Festival".

The festival will be held at the American West Heritage Center in Wellsville, this Saturday, August 27th from 9am to 6pm and will be followed by an evening concert of celtic music. Admission is $8 for adults (age 19+), $6 for students (12-18), Free for children 11 and younger, and includes the evening concert.

There will be highland games, dancing, vendors, music, story telling, and food...as well as the regular daily adventures offered by the AWHC (pony rides, train rides, hand cart treks, cow milking, and other living history activities).

For more information visit the following websites:

http://www.utahscots.org/#/info/4547830563

http://www.awhc.org/index.php/2011/08/15/celtic-festival-returns/

Busy Weekend



There will be lots of events to keep you entertained this weekend. I will post about them today and tomorrow. The first event I'd like to list is "The Ride For The Fallen".

This is the fourth annual motorcycle charity ride in memory of Lance Corporal Michael Allred who was killed in combat in Fallujah, Iraq on September 6th 2004. The ride also honors other members of our armed forces from Utah who have fallen in service during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.



The ride will be held September 27th, 2011 at Elk Ridge Park in North Logan at 8am with a breakfast, followed by a service for the fallen and then the riders pull out at 10am. The route goes North through Idaho, down past Bear Lake, and then Southwest through Logan Canyon to return to Elk ridge park for a BBQ lunch and prize drawing at 2pm. The cost to register is $20 per rider or $30 per couple and includes a free commemorative pin, lunch is an extra $6 per person.

All proceeds from the ride go to a scholarship fund for students attending USU. To register, donate, or find more information please visit the website for the ride...

http://www.rideforthefallen.us/index.html

The couple in green tshirts in this photo are Mike's parents.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lasagna

The lasagna wasn't bad. It tasted good and smelled good, but when we cut into it there was a lot of extra moisture that hadn't cooked out and it made it soupy. I should have squeezed the extra moisture out of the cottage cheese and the zucchini, and I should have cooked the tomato sauce about 15 minutes longer. After I adjust the recipe and make it again we'll see about posting it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Night Dinner

Last night after dinner I prepped dinner for tonight...lasagna. I added zucchini to it for the following reasons...


  • To sneak in extra veggies.




  • I had it, it was staring at me, it was freakin' me out man!




  • I wanted to experiment, hey I experimented with the latkes and they turned out tasty.




  • Because I can.


  • That about covers it.

    If it tastes ok I will post photos and the recipe here later. If it doesn't taste ok the dogs will have a really good dinner.

    I've been looking at and playing with zucchini in a lot of recipes. What is your all time favorite dinner zucchini recipe? Favorite way to sneak it into a dish without people knowing? Favorite breakfast zucchini recipe? Favorite dessert zucchini recipe?

    Did anyone else make boats out of them and float them down the canal when you were a kid? Or is that just my family?

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Zucchini Latkes



    This isn't a food blog. I am not a food blogger, just a girl who sometimes likes to cook (especially when someone else is doing the dishes). Some of my recipes come from other people or cook books or the interwebs. The rest come from trial and error and a lot of common sense.

    That being said, this is a blog post about cooking. And zucchini, oh that sneaky green zucchini. It is that time of year again. You can't leave your car doors unlocked, not because you're afraid someone will steal something, but out of fear that you'll come back and it will be filled with zucchini and crook neck squash.

    You can pan fry it with a little butter and serve it up plain, you can put it in bread, but after a while do you just sit back and wonder if they are good for anything else besides target practice?

    This is my favorite way to use it up. Even my veg hating devil dog will eat these and not complain, so getting your picky kids to eat them should be a snap.

    Keep in mind that this recipe is easier if you have another person in the kitchen, if you can find 2 helpers you can do twice as many at a time by having each helper manning a frying pan and you form the latkes. This isn't a fancy dinner party item, it is however a fun casual food to make with a couple of friends who like to help, don't mind getting grubby, and just want to hang out in your kitchen and eat good food. If you have a grill with a range style burner on it, I suggest you do this on it outdoors to keep your whole house from smelling like frying oil.

    Potato Zucchini Latkes



    Ingredients:



    2 heaping cups shredded potato
    2 heaping cups shredded zucchini (leave the skin on to get all the nutrients)
    1 cup minced onion
    1 TBSP lemon juice
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    ¼ cups grated parmesan cheese (or cheese of choice)
    4 whole eggs
    2 TBSP milk
    4 TBSP flour
    1 TBSP minced garlic
    ¼ cup peanut oil
    ¼ cup butter

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 200ºF. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Place some paper towels or newspapers on a plate.

    Place potatoes, zucchini and onions in a dish towel or cheese cloth. Roll it up and squeeze out any excess moisture. Unwrap potatoes, zucchini and onions and put them into a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parmesan. Toss to combine.

    In a separate, large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, and garlic and then stir in the potato mixture until evenly incorporated.

    Heat oil and butter (one tablespoon of each at a time) in a large skillet over medium heat. Scoop up small handfuls of potatoes, squeeze out any excess moisture, and smash them flat into a pancake. Carefully add pancakes to hot oil/butter (no more than 3 or 4 to the pan at once or the oil will cool off and they will be soggy), fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.



    Transfer to paper towels on a plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, until you have fried all of it. If you find it is really soupy or you use all of the potato mixture and have a lot of batter left, you can add more onion/zucchini/and potato to use up the batter. (I generally end up using an entire bag of frozen hashbrowns when I make this recipe)



    Once drained, either serve immediately or transfer to the cookie sheet and keep warm in the preheated oven until you are ready to eat.



    These can be served with a variety of condiments: ketchup, sour cream, marinara sauce, pico de gallo, sriracha sauce, apple sauce, alfredo sauce, picante or pesto.

    If you want to make a sweet variety try substituting the regular potatoes with shredded sweet potatoes, add a cup of shredded apple or a cup or shredded carrots, leave out the onion/cheese/garlic/salt/pepper, and add a little bit of vanilla extract/brown sugar/cinnamon.