Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Marcel the Shell with Shoes on

This little video of happiness has launched a whole new series of bedtime stories and short films around here... but none of them are as unbelievably cute as the original.
You needed this today.

We LOVE Zucchini. (even my picky picky kids)

I've had this conversation with so many friends and neighbors lately that it merits a blog post to share with everyone. I have two very picky eaters and zucchini is a tough veggie to get into them. This time of year it seems to be something that everyone is looking for recipes to use it in... so here's my zucchini post.

Recipe #1 - PASTA SAUCE
I literally take store-bought pasta sauce (my faves are the Classico brand) and I blend in zucchini and parmesan cheese. I prep the zucchini by cutting it into chunks, microwaving it in a covered dish for 3 minutes and then add it to the sauce.  I make sure it's pureed really well and my kids eat it even faster than they normally eat pasta. And mommy seems to smile bigger when serving it, too.

I can't take credit for these, nor would I try, but I will tell you that we are on our third batch of these this summer. My kids beg for them. I actually make them without the frosting that is recommended - instead we warm them in the microwave and butter them up as muffins.  The picture is not mine (as we don't use the frosting)... but it's super pretty and they're really easy to make... you can find the recipe by clicking here.

Recipe # 3 - ZUCCHINI SOUP
My kids won't touch soup. I tell them they are crazy in the head, because this is so good. When we make it here, we often make double batches because my hubby and I love it so much.
It's my mother-in-law's recipe, but J says I do a pretty good job of it on my own. (duh, it's a little hard to mess up, but that's okay, I'll take the compliment) - you can serve this cold or hot with sour cream garnish.

1/2 c. onion
3 Tbs butter
6 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. brown rice
5 med zucchini, sliced (approx. 8 cups)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dill weed
sour cream
Brown onion in butter. Add broth, rice, zucchini, and cool till done.  Salt and pepper to taste. Add vinegar and dill weed. Puree in blender. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
(may be frozen)

This one is from my mom and I love how fresh it tastes. It is the perfect pasta salad to serve to guests or to take on a picnic.  It also goes well as a side to grilled or breaded chicken. (Plus it's pretty)

3 cups cooked orzo
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add tomatoes, zucchini and garlic. Saute 2 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.  Saute 1 minute or  until zucchini is crisp-tender. Combine tomato mixture, 3 cups hot cooked orzo and 1/4 tsp salt. Toss well.



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