Kurt & Mary’s Rhubarb Crunch

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Twenty years ago, we moved into our “starter” home. It was a small house but it was in a quiet neighborhood of a growing community and it had two very important things: an attached garage and a fenced-in yard. It didn’t take long before we realized the most important thing about our new home was great neighbors.

We were surrounded by awesome, friendly people of all ages. This was the neighborhood where May baskets weren’t just exchanged, you actually waited for the doorbell to ring so you could chase after the deliverer. On Halloween, you didn’t just say “trick-or-treat”, you were expected to have joke to tell. In the spring, everyone marvelled at how much the kids had grown over the course of a long winter. Run out of sugar? Send your kids next door and they would come home with the exact amount you need.

Our driveway was the meeting place for watching the fireworks on the 4th of July. Our house looked directly down a two-block street and just over the trees at the end of that street was the park where the fireworks were detonated. The kids had their sparklers and snaps, the adults had their popcorn and beer, and everyone had a blanket or chair.

Not only were we blessed to have settled in such a friendly area, we settled next door to a family who had just moved in a few months before us. Their kids were about the same ages as our boys. They were ISU alum just as we were. They were Catholic, we were Lutheran (close enough). We quickly became the “go-to” friends for each other. You know you trust someone when they know the combination to your garage door as well as they know their own.

  • Did you ask Kurt & Mary if they will get our mail while we are gone?
  • Mary, my washer just died … can I use yours?
  • Can we borrow your patio set for the party?
  • Would Brie or Dani be willing to take care of our dog this weekend?
  • Feel free to kick Marcus out of your house whenever you want.
  • Could you run over to our house, let yourself in, and make sure Cole is out of bed? He’s not answering his phone.

Over the years, the only battles we ever had involved the trees on our property. We have big maple trees … the kind that produce ridiculous amounts of helicopter seeds in the spring and leaves in the fall. Seeds and leaves that, with a good south wind, inevitably end up in Kurt & Mary’s yard. Not sure how many times Kurt threatened to rake them up and dump them back in ours.

It is always good to know your neighbors’ weaknesses so you can make up for those unfortunate (and, I might add, uncontrollable) incidences.

Kurt & Mary’s weakness? Rhubarb.

Many years ago, I made a huge pan of Rhubarb Crunch, using fresh rhubarb straight from my garden. Since Kurt & Mary’s birthdays are both in May and their anniversary is as well, I thought I’d share some with them. Mary’s text came the next day and it said something like “Thank you so much for the rhubarb crunch. I finished it off for breakfast this morning … fruit and oatmeal? That’s healthy, right?”

Twenty years later, we are still in our “starter” home. Kurt and Mary are still our neighbors … for a few more days. They are moving into a new home and we will miss them. I think it’s only appropriate that they are moving just as my rhubarb is ready to pick.


Kurt & Mary’s Rhubarb Crunch

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
5-6 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup margarine, softened

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar with 3 tablespoons of flour and pour over sliced rhubarb; toss to coat and evenly distribute. Pour into a 9″x13″ baking dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.

In the same bowl, combine brown sugar, oats and 1 1/2 cups flour. Using hands or forks or a pastry blender, cut butter and margarine into oat mixture until small clumps remain. Sprinkle evenly over rhubarb mixture.

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Bake for 40 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 10-12 servings.

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This will make the perfect house-warming gift. May God bless them in their new home and with neighbors who value them as much as we do. And technically, they aren’t moving that far away that I couldn’t take them some next year.

Rhubarb crunch in the spring and a bag of leaves in the fall.


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A Handful of Mixed Nuts

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Pfeffernüsse … pebernødder … pebernoten … peppernuts …

Whether they have German, Danish, Dutch, or English/American influences, these cookies are an addictive, tasty bite of holiday goodness best accompanied by coffee, tea or wine. (Yes, I know everything is better with wine but bear with me here.)

I grew up with, but failed to fully appreciate, these tiny treasures. Looking back in older versions of my childhood church’s cookbooks (1952 and 1980), there are primarily German influenced recipes with some Danish and Dutch versions as well. My grandmothers and mom recruited my help at an early age when making two different versions of peppernuts. Little hands are very useful when you are cutting 1/2-1 inch ropes of dough into 1/4 inch slices, rolling hundreds of them in cinnamon and sugar, and carefully placing them on the cookie sheet. At this young age, I was more interested in the frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles and the peanut butter kiss cookies than these spicy-sweet “nuts”.

Foolish child.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the word “peppernut” might imply a combination of “pepper” and “nuts”. What is interesting is the list of ingredients for these cookies typically excludes both. The “pepper” in the name refers to aromatic spices. Some recipes will include finely diced nuts but the reference here refers to the size of the cookies. They are meant to resemble nuts and be eaten by the handful. Can you think of a single reason I shouldn’t be completely infatuated with this concept??

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When I see peppernuts for sale in stores, they are frequently rolled in powdered sugar. This is not traditional (at least from any recipes I have found and Wikipedia agrees so it must be true). There are, however, many variations on the spice combinations, sweeteners, and additions of fruits and/or nuts. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, anise, ginger, allspice and cardamom all make appearances in my cookbooks. Molasses, honey, dark corn syrup, brown sugar, and granulated sugar are found in varying combinations. Until this year, I had only made or tried peppernuts without nuts or fruits. That changed when I found a recipe right next to my two go-to recipes that looked so interesting I had to try it. It had citrus peel, coffee and walnuts! (Shhh … don’t tell my grandmothers, but this might be my favorite.)

Even the choice of fat … butter, margarine, lard … makes a big difference in the flavor and texture of each recipe. If you have been following me for a while, you probably know that I have a mild obsession with lard. It probably has something to do with my Grandma Glienke’s peppernut recipe that reads “1/2 pound butter or goose or duck lard”. Yep … because everyone has goose or duck lard hanging out in their refrigerator. I wish!

Now that you’ve allowed me to ramble on the history and variations of these simple-looking tidbits, we should get started on the recipe. Time consuming? Yes. Difficult? No. Worth it? Definitely!

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Christmas Peppernuts

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1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2  cup butter
2 medium eggs (or smaller “large” eggs)
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped lemon peel
1/8 cup finely chopped orange peel
1/2 cup granulated sugar

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Cream brown sugar and butter together until smooth; add eggs and coffee and blend until creamy. Fold together or sift 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, flour and baking powder together and slowly add to batter. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in citrus peel and walnuts by hand until evenly distributed.

Roll dough into ropes 1/2-3/4″ in diameter. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or place on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine granulated sugar and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon in a flat-bottomed bowl. Remove 2-3 ropes at a time from refrigerator and place on a slightly floured cutting board. Cut into 1/4″ slices, roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture, and reshape into circles if necessary. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets that have been lightly coated with cooking spray (first batch may take longer as cookie sheets are cool). Reapply a small amount of spray after each use. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies are done when the bottom of the cookies are golden brown. Allow cookies to cool 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to parchment or waxed paper. Make sure pans are completely cool before refilling.

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The cookies at the bottom are all from the same batch. The one on the left was baked a minute too long. The one on the right needed another minute or two. The one in the middle is perfect. Good news? None of them are anywhere close to ruined. It just makes them look more like mixed nuts!

This is the recipe for half of a batch. You can easily double it (only use 3 large eggs not 4). A full batch will over-fill a gallon-sized ziploc bag.

Danish Peppernuts

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1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 egg yolk
6 tablespoons cream or evaporated milk
3 cups flour, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Cream brown sugar, butter, and margarine; add egg yolk and cream/milk and continue mixing until smooth. Mix in 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and the ginger. Sprinkle the cupboard with the additional cup of flour and place dough on flour. Gently work flour into dough in a kneading motion (lifting and turning) until all flour has been absorbed into the dough.

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine granulated sugar and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon in a flat-bottomed bowl. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch diameter ropes and cut into 1/4″ thick slices. Toss the slices in the sugar/cinnamon mixture and place, 2 inches apart, on a cookie sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray (first batch may take longer as cookie sheets are cool). Reapply spray between uses. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottom of cookies are golden brown. Allow cookies to cool 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to parchment or waxed paper. Make sure pans are completely cool before refilling.

This recipe will fill a gallon ziploc baggie about half full.

German Peppernuts

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1/2 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup lard
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 (rounded) tablespoon baking soda
2 tsp boiling water
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Place corn syrup, molasses, lard and 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan and bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently, until well mixed.  Remove from heat and stir for 2-3 minutes to cool.  Combine baking soda and boiling water and stir slowly into molasses mixture.  Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.  Sift flour and spices into mixing bowl.  Slowly add warm cooled molasses mixture with the mixer on low until combined.  Dough will be sticky.  With floured hands, divide dough into four parts; wrap in plastic wrap and let dough stand for at least one day in a cool, dry place; do not refrigerate. (This is the original instruction from the days when everyone had a cold room … refrigerating for one day is permitted.)

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a shallow pan, combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon; set aside.  On a lightly floured surface and working with one portion of dough at a time, divide into two or three parts and roll into a 1/2-3/4″ rope and cut rope into 1/2″ slices.  Place cookies in sugar/cinnamon mixture and toss to coat.   Place on cookie sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set in the middle and the bottom of each cookie is golden brown (first batch may take longer as cookie sheets are cool).  Remove from oven and allow to cool 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet.  Remove from pan and cool completely on parchment or waxed paper.  Make sure pans are completely cool before refilling.

This last recipe is credited to my grandmother in one of those church cookbooks I mentioned earlier. I love her final instructions:

Do not freeze; store in an air-tight container in a cool place. 

“These will keep until all gone.” 

They will indeed!

But once you start giving some of these little delicacies away to friends, you will not have to worry about how long they will “keep”. I like to combine all three kinds into small cellophane bags and tie them shut with cording or ribbon. As the recipient starts sampling, they can taste the subtle differences and struggle to decide which is their favorite.

Joy in tiny morsels …

… by the handful!


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Fudge and the Blue Bowl

 

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I am a sentimental fool.

When I decorate for Christmas, there’s a story behind every decoration. Not just the random assortment of ornaments, but the nutcrackers, the nativities (yes, plural), the lighted village and train, the Santa collection and even the books. When I run short on space and have to decide which things are not going to be displayed, it tugs at my heart. But I still go through the memories as those pieces get put back to wait for next year.

It is the same with baking. The recipes trigger memories of baking with my mom and grandmothers worthy of a Hallmark movie script … well, I’d watch it anyway. There’s the labor-intensive batches of German cookies like Lebkuchen and Pfeffernusse of my maternal grandmother . The fun and whimsical “cookies” I made at my paternal grandmother’s house involved melted caramel and Ritz crackers and required two sets of hands. My mom and I would break out the third generation cookie cutters to make sugar cookies and take turns watching the oven so as to catch the “kiss cookies” … you know, the peanut butter cookies with the chocolate kiss on top? … before the chocolate kiss turned into a chocolate puddle.

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Just last week, I was walking through a grocery store in Minneapolis and spent way too much time browsing their bakery. Their gingerbread display was GORGEOUS! My eyes caught a box of sugary, crispy confections that look like snowflakes. I was transported back to my aunt’s house. Every year for Christmas, she would make Rosettes. I never knew anyone else that made them and I haven’t met anyone since that does. She also made Spritz cookies which, lucky for me, I can get at our church’s annual cookie walk!

And, I’ve gotten carried away …

The blue bowl. I have a big attachment to this bowl. I’m guessing at least a few of my cousins saw this picture and immediately thought, “Anita has Grandma Glienke’s bowl!” It is funny that something as simple as a depression-era bowl that is bright blue (not red or green or gold or any of the traditional Christmas colors) could invoke such a response. Each and every year, my grandmother would serve her fudge and “Mounds Balls” (a.k.a. coconut truffles) in this bowl. When I see it, I remember not only the fudge (wasn’t a fan of coconut at the time) but the bigger picture of 40-50 people crammed into her living room on Christmas Eve, singing hymns and exchanging gifts.

So, today, I give you my recipe for fudge. It isn’t my grandmother’s recipe (at least as far as I know) but it is a tried-and-true, McVey-family-favorite recipe.

DECADENT

RICH

CREAMY

EASY

EASY? It IS easy. You need patience and time, but it is not difficult.

The key to smooth and creamy fudge is to work slowly. If you rush the process, you will get a “grainy” texture or, worse yet, a burnt flavor you did not intend to introduce. Take your time! After all, methodically stirring the sugar mixture and inhaling the scent of melting chocolate can be almost as therapeutic as eating it!

This recipe (Semi-Sweet Chocolate Fudge) comes from a small cookbook called “Hershey’s Homemade“. I have been using this recipe with the semi-sweet chips for years. Last year, I noticed the dark chocolate chips right next to the semi-sweet and decided those could only make the recipe better.

It’s true.

Dark Chocolate Fudge

1 1/2 tablespoon butter, divided
1 1/2 cups (12 oz can) evaporated milk
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
4 cups sugar
24 oz dark chocolate (or semi-sweet) chips

Line a 9×13-inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Lightly coat foil with butter (1/2 tablespoon at most); set aside.

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In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat. Add evaporated milk and marshmallow creme, stirring until marshmallow creme starts to dissolve. Add sugar and stir until well dissolved. Bring mixture to a slow boil over medium-low to medium heat, stirring almost constantly (a rubber scraper allows you to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to avoid scorching). This will take 15-20 minutes, depending on the temperature of the burner. A “low boil” is when lots of small bubbles form (especially around the edges of the pan). Continue cooking (and stirring) for 5 minutes (may reduce heat a little at a time to keep the temperature steady).

Remove pan from heat and turn off burner. Stir in chocolate chips. Fold chips into hot sugar mixture until smooth.

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Pour into prepared pan. Tap pan on countertop a few times to evenly distribute the fudge and to draw any air bubbles to the surface. Allow to cool; cover and refrigerate. When completely chilled, remove fudge from pan using the edges of the foil. Pull back the sides and cut into one inch cubes.

Store in air-tight ziploc bag or wrap in plastic wrap and keep in an air-tight container. Refrigerate.

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This year, since I knew I would be dividing the fudge into thirds, I bought smaller, decorative 5×8-inch pans with lids. You could also use small bread loaf pans or other heat-tolerant containers for gift giving.

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I am a sentimental fool.

But isn’t Christmas a holiday for just that sort of thing?

May your Christmas season be ever so sweet!


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Thanksgiving Meatballs & Cranberry-Mustard Sauce

Photo Credit: Mary Kuster-Shell

November. Halloween is over and everyone is jumping right into Christmas. Music, movies, decorations, shopping …

Not me. I’m a Thanksgiving girl. I love everything about this holiday. I love the hymns we sing at church, the story of the Pilgrims and Indians sharing a meal to celebrate the bounty of the land, getting together as family and friends without feeling like you have to exchange presents, and the anticipation of the feast to come.

I don’t complain about “slaving over a hot stove” to prepare a meal that is much too much for one family or making everyone’s favorite dishes. The greatest disappointment for me is that it’s over too soon and another year must pass before the smell of turkey, sage dressing, and pumpkin pie fill the house again.

I just couldn’t wait that long this year. Why not have a simpler version of a Thanksgiving feast to tide me over? So, how do you get the flavors of turkey, sage dressing, and cranberry sauce into a simpler form?

Meatballs, of course!

What goes into sage dressing? Bread, onions, celery, sage … it’s the perfect set up for a meatball. No brining, no basting, no defrosting or carving involved. And, since every meatball needs a sauce, we will be serving these with a simple cranberry-mustard sauce.

Print Recipe
Thanksgiving Meatballs with Cranberry-Mustard Sauce
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
meatballs
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
meatballs
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion and celery in the butter and olive oil until tender.
  2. Add half the salt, half the pepper, the sage, and the bread crumbs; stir until well combined and bread crumbs are lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, combine turkey and sausage and add the bread crumb mixture, eggs, Worchestershire Sauce, and remaining salt and pepper. Add just enough milk (start with 1/2 cup) to hold the meatballs together but not too much to make the mixture soggy.
  4. Scoop out meatballs with a large cookie scoop (about 1 1/2″-2″ in diameter).
  5. Place in a baking or roasting pan. If you have fresh sage, place several leaves between meatballs.
  6. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and discard fresh sage leaves (if using).
  7. Serve with Cranberry-Mustard Sauce.
Recipe Notes

1. Not all bread crumbs are created equal. Different brands have different textures and different textures will change the texture of the meatballs. Look for "flaky" breadcrumbs rather than coarse or dense kinds.
2. Add the milk last and in moderation. The different types of ground meats vary greatly and some will require less/more milk than others. Start with 1/2 cup and add more if the meat mixture is not holding together well when meatballs are formed.
3. Meatballs can also be made on the stove top. Start by adding a light layer of olive oil/butter over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Reduce heat to medium-low to finish the cooking process.

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Special thanks and credit to Mary Kuster-Shell for the recipe photos!

Since my favorite accompaniment to turkey is cranberry sauce, I decided to experiment with the combination of cranberries and BBQ sauce. When I went to the refrigerator to choose a sauce, I noticed this Georgia-Mustard Sauce from Famous Dave’s as well as a bottle of apple cider. Cranberries … mustard … apples …

Print Recipe
Cranberry-Mustard Sauce
Cranberry Mustard Sauce
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Cranberry Mustard Sauce
Instructions
  1. Bring cider to a boil in a sauce pan; add honey and cranberries. Return to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook cranberries 10-15 minutes.
  2. Cranberries will pop/break as they cook. Smash the cranberries against the side of the pan with a large spoon, if needed.
  3. Add Georgia-Mustard (or BBQ) sauce and stir to combine and heat through.
  4. Stir in a little more honey if you like a sweeter sauce.
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There are always so many sides to choose from when deciding on a Thanksgiving menu. Celebrating a little early allows us to have some of those sides that don’t make it on the official holiday table. To kick off November and the season of gratitude, here’s a simple menu for a special meal:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Meatballs
Cranberry-Mustard Sauce
Fried Apples
Parsley-Mustard Glazed Carrots
Cornbread Muffins
Pumpkin Parfait Cups

Now, if I could just get the Hallmark Channel to make more Thanksgiving movies. Until then, I’ll stick to Charlie Brown … never underestimate the power of popcorn, jelly beans and toast!



 

 

Iowa: Home of Giant Poblanos

As I mentioned in a previous blog (Zucchini Bread), for reasons unknown to me, I cannot seem to grow zucchini in my suburban garden. Whatever causes that must not bother my poblano pepper plants. Everything I have read about these peppers indicate the plants should reach heights of 24″-48″. So explain this …

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I am 5’8″ tall. I am standing in my garden, holding on to my two poblano pepper plants. I have no explanation. And before you accuse me of abusing Miracle Grow, I will plead guilty to two counts of liquid fertilizer this whole season. My cucumber plants failed. My green beans failed. But I have a poblano jungle!

dsc_5214I’m okay with that.

A poblano pepper falls in line between a bell pepper and a jalapeno pepper. I like to describe its flavor as warm rather than hot or spicy. The popular Mexican dish, Chiles Rellenos, is often made with poblano peppers.

I became a bit obsessed with these peppers a few years ago at the farmers’ market in downtown Des Moines. It was a fall day and I could smell them before I saw them … roasted poblanos. Not just roast-ed, roast-ing! This guy had a big metal cage filled with peppers, rotating over a flame. He had the warm peppers in plastic bags to take home. SOLD.

The next year, they were in my garden. The warmth and flavor of these peppers are magnified when they are roasted. My favorite ways to use them?

  • stuffed with seasoned pork, beans, rice and cheese
  • diced and folded into scrambled eggs with salsa
  • added into mexican soups/stews like Mexican Chicken Soup or Carrot-Poblano Soup
  • cut into strips and layered onto a burger with some pepper-jack cheese
  • added to guacamole and fresh salsa

I know it sounds like a lot of work but it is so worth it to have these guys hanging out in my freezer, waiting to make a  reappearance this winter!

Roasting Poblano Peppers

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  1. Wash and dry whole peppers, stem on.
  2. Drizzle peppers with olive or avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place peppers on a hot grill.
  4. Rotate peppers until charred and blistered on all sides.
  5. Remove from grill and place in a resealable plastic bag.
  6. When cool enough to handle, put on rubber or vinyl gloves and gently rub off the thin skin.
  7. Remove the stems, seeds and membranes.
  8. Dice, slice or leave whole and place in portion-sized resealable plastic bags and freeze.

There are many things about my garden that I cannot figure out. Sometimes those horticultural mysteries are what make gardening fun (a.k.a. frustrating). For now, I think I’m going to go make some burgers.

Can’t you just smell them now?


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Zucchini Breads

Zucchini Bread

Have you heard the one about the woman who grew the world’s largest zucchini? She wanted to take it to a friend to show it off. The zucchini was so huge, it stuck out the car window and she couldn’t lock the car. Stopping at the grocer’s for a few things on the way, she returned to her car to find something awful happened while she was in the store… someone had left her the world’s second largest zucchini too!

You thought that was going a different direction, didn’t you? 😉

dsc_4963Growing up, everyone had more zucchini from their gardens than they could use or give away. After all, how much zucchini bread could you eat? And there seemed to be only one recipe which varied with the addition of walnuts or raisins. We didn’t really treat it as a vegetable … it was the magic ingredient for super-moist bread! And cake. Mom had a really great chocolate cake recipe too now that I think about it!

And, wouldn’t you know it? Now that I have my own garden, I can’t seem to grow it! I do not know what happens but it just doesn’t survive. After all those years of not being able to give it away, I am buying it. I am buying it, grilling it, roasting it … making things like ratatouille and harvest vegetable medley … and baking all kinds of sweet and savory bread.

My favorite zucchini recipe discovery is Parmesan Zucchini Bread. It is a savory quick bread with just a hint of onion. This bread is so amazing warm from the oven but toasting the cooled slices with a little butter is incredible! Then there’s always the good ol’ grilled cheese option. All I need now is a bowl of tomato soup!

Zucchini Bread

Print Recipe
Parmesan Zucchini Bread
Parmesan Zucchini Bread
Cook Time 50-55 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Cook Time 50-55 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Parmesan Zucchini Bread
Instructions
  1. Mix together the flour, sugar, cheese, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add zucchini and stir to separate the shredded pieces. Set aside.
  2. Stir butter into buttermilk.
  3. Gently whisk the eggs and combine with the buttermilk/butter mixture.
  4. Add the onion and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Pour batter into a greased 9"x5"x3" loaf pan (or 3 mini-loaf pans or 12-cup muffin pan).
  7. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  8. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes (20-25 minutes for mini-loaves and 15-17 minutes for muffins) or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes a loaf of savory zucchini bread with a mild onion flavor and a hint of Parmesan cheese. It's excellent with soup and elevates a grilled cheese sandwich to another level.

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Zucchini Breads

Since you can never go wrong with a chocolate variety …

Print Recipe
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Zucchini Breads
Cook Time 50-60 minutes
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Cook Time 50-60 minutes
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Zucchini Breads
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, stir together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla; stir in zucchini.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder; stir to mix.
  3. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture and stir until moistened.
  4. Stir in nuts (optional).
  5. Spoon or pour into 3-9"x5"x3" loaf pans.
  6. Sprinkle with coarse decorating sugar.
  7. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Recipe Notes

This recipe can also be made into muffins as shown in the picture. Reduce baking time to 15-20 minutes.

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