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Archive for July, 2007

At the place of employment, large zucchinis and juicy tomatoes often appear on the kitchen table.  I am quite thankful that the folks I work with have the space and time to tend to gardens.  Today was a day where the fruits of other’s labor appeared.

 huge-zucchini.jpg

This beast was huge. So huge, in fact, that I felt compelled to snap a photo at work on my cell phone during my break and send it to a friend…

Well, I thought I had sent it to a friend.  About 20 minutes later, I received a text message asking, “Who is this?” I had sent it to a complete stranger. Folks, this is not the first time I have done this.  My fingers are not nimble. Fortunately, this picture was much more tame than the last one I misdirected. (Note to the friend I misaddressed said photo to: Thank you for pretending that never happened. Note to my mother if this photo ever surfaces on the internet: I am sorry. You raised me better than that.)

Above is a recreation of the photo I snapped today, with better (i.e. trashier) shoes used for scale.

So, yes, this was a large zucchini.  It would not fit in my purse. I carried it, football style, under my arm. People stared as I walked down the street, and I heard one woman exclaim on her cell phone, “Damn, some girl just walked by with a huge ass zucchini!”  I stabbed a woman with Mr. Zucchini on the crowded metro ride home.  That was awkward. 

 So, once I got home, I needed to figure out the fate of this bad boy. Inspired by the talented Deb at Smitten Kitchen, I decided to make some zucchini bread.  Except in muffin form…with chocolate chips.

 This recipe only slayed about 1/3 of this monster.  I will probably grill up the rest.  After eating all those muffins, I will need a light day tomorrow. Luckily, I am unloading most of them on my co-workers. Someone there inspired these;  it really is only fair I share the calories. 

 zucchini-muffins.jpg

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (or Bread)

Adapted from Cooks.com

3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 1/4 c. crushed pineapple, drained (20 oz. can)
3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. mini chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts

Combine eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla; beat until smooth and thickened. Stir in zucchini and well drained pineapple, flour, soda, baking powder, salt, spices. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread batter in 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pans or in muffin cups, filling cups to about 1/2 full. Bake loaves at 350 degrees 1 hour or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Noodley Goodness

I am an amateur cook, with the occassional culinary disaster. I have been serious about trying new recipes for about three years. Hope you enjoy this nonsense.

square_noodles.jpg

The innagural recipe here is destinctly un-couture–it’s simple, tasty and really easy to make. But that is how things will likely be like in these parts. I love to cook complicated soups, meat and deserts. Lobsters and truffles taste like heaven to me, but just as much as I love all that fancy crap, God, I love garbage. Fat is my friend. A bowl of cake can make my day and, as a wise friend once said, cheese on carb is the best food group. I would kill a man for the perfect piece of pizza. I am known to watch commericals for the latest monstrosity KFC has put on the market and salivate. (Really? Fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes AND a biscuit in a bowl? COVERED WITH GRAVY? Sign me up.)

These asian sesame noodles are a snap to make. They would be perfect to bring to a bbq as a vegetarian dish, as a nice cold midnight snack straight from the container, or along side some salmon, as I served them tonight. The peppers taste like summer and the seasame adds some nuttiness. The next time I make this I will probably throw a few handfuls of edamame in for some protein.

Consider yourself warned: this makes a lot of food.

Peanut Sesame Noodles

Adapted from Gourmet, June 2002

Ingredients

For peanut dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons powered ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
For noodle salad
1 box thin spaghetti or angelhair
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

preparation

Make dressing:
Purée dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.
Make salad:
Cook pasta until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water.
Add pasta, scallions, bell peppers, and sesame seeds to dressing, tossing to combine, and serve immediately.

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