A Zucchini Explosion

With our vegetable gardens beginning to flourish, we might be finding ourselves with zucchini and squash coming out of our ears! Well, maybe not quite yet, but soon. VERY soon! If you are like me you look everywhere possible for recipes of all types to use up as much of this abundant crop as possible. But still, as hard as you try, you just can’t seem to keep up with this “creature” that seems to produce more and more each night!

If you are brave enough and do not fear starting a neighborhood dispute, you can celebrate “Sneak Zucchini On Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” on August 8. Those of us who have tried to unload their excess zukes on others know exactly what I mean by a dispute because after so many tries to get rid of your armloads of the stuff, folks begin to run in the other direction!

In the meantime, while you are looking for a few more recipes to use up your goods, you might give these I have listed a try. A couple on the savory side and one to appeal to your sweet tooth! Enjoy!!

Zucchini Cakes

2 cups zucchini, shredded
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs, or a little more if needed
¼ cup 4 blend Italian cheese
½ Tbsp. minced garlic
1 egg
Olive oil
Ranch Dressing

Put your zucchini in a thin dish towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Then mix the zucchini, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, egg and little salt and pepper. Shape into patties. Place in a fry pan coated with a generous amount of olive oil on medium heat. Cook for appoximately 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with ranch dressing.
Makes approx. 5 good sized patties

Zucchini Pizza
4 cups shredded zucchini, drained and squeezed dry
2 cups cooked rice
1-½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1-½ cups spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine the zucchini, rice, mozzarella, Parmesan, and eggs until blended. Press into a greased 11×15 inch baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is set and lightly browned. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and onion; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce, oregano and salt. Mix well. Spoon beef mixture over crust. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake again at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Frosted Zucchini Brownies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, sugar and oil; stir into dry ingredients until blended. Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in sugar and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook and stir 1 minute or until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in chips and marshmallows until melted and smooth; add vanilla. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with walnuts if desired. Yield: 2 dozen.

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July is for transparent applesauce.

When I moved to West Virginia one of the things I learned was how to make the most of the foods that are available. I had friends who were always canning windfalls of one thing or another, and this includes applesauce when the apples are falling. My friend Marilynn seems to know the location of every good sauce-apple tree in a four-county area. I rarely see her pass up a ripe yellow transparent apple. And you know–I think she’s right about transparent apples for sauce. I think they are the absolute best, though I enjoy other types also. (One of my fantasies is that it would become a heritage West Virginia product, known around the country and shipped by the case from Tucker County.  We could call it Angel Sauce, and have clouds on the label, because it is so sublime and ethereal.)  I try to make my folks in Maryland some applesauce using Splenda since Mom is a diabetic.  Last week I canned a dozen pints for them.  Yesterday I canned seven quarts for us.  I know that may sound pretty skimpy to those who can dozens and dozens of jars. But with another batch of fall apples, it will get us through till next July. I learned a tip from Alice Phillips to prevent browning of the apples while you prepare them for cooking:  as you get them ready, drop them in a tub of water that has a little salt in it.  About a quarter teaspoon in a gallon of water is plenty.  Don’t add enough that you can taste it.  It works– the apples don’t get brown.  I  usually drain it later and use plain water for cooking. It’s not too late to make some tangy  lucious applesauce with the wonderful local yellow transparent apples you see here and there like a golden puddle below a big healthy tree.  Then you can enter it in the Tucker County Fair and if you’re lucky, win a ribbon!

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Laurie’s Apple Pie

Laurie’s Apple Pie
A different twist on an all American favorite for the 4th of July…It’s apple crisp in a pie shell…
Recipe from Cross Country Cooking; White Grass Café’s first cookbook published in 1996.

8 medium baking apples (Granny Smith or MacIntosh do well)
1-9-inch deep dish pie shell
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ cup softened butter
¾ cup rolled oats
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pare and slice apples and toss with cinnamon.
Place apples into pie shell (they should be heaped above the crust but will cook down).
In a separate bowl, mix butter, oats, brown sugar and flour; kneading it in your hands works best to mix thoroughly.
Press topping mixture on top of apples to completely cover them.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is browned and apples are soft when a knife is inserted.
Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Independence Day ~ The Fourth of July

Celebrations, Fireworks, Family Reunions, Concerts, Barbecues, Picnics, Parades,
Baseball Games

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

And what is more American the Apple Pie? But, who wants to turn on that oven? Not me. So how about that Apple Pie flavor that you don’t have to bake. Try this delicious
Apple Pie Party Dip.

Apple Pie Party Dip

1 1/3 cups peeled, cored, and diced apple
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons apricot preserves
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

5 (6-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Combine all the dip ingredients in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate the mixture until chilled.
Brush the tortillas with butter, then cut them into wedges.
Arrange the wedges on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 350º F until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let them cool before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

And for our diabetic friends…

Double-Berry Cooler

This yummy, refreshing
treat is created from fruit juices and fresh fruit.
SERVINGS: 8 (3/4 cup cooler and 2 tablespoons topping each)

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups diet ginger ale or peach-white-cranberry juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cup blackberries and/or blueberries
2 cups small whole strawberries, halved
1 cup frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
1. In a medium saucepan, stir together gelatin and sugar. Add 1 cup of the ginger
ale. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes or until gelatin
dissolves. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in remaining ginger ale and lemon juice
(pour ginger ale slowly so it doesn’t fizz).
2. Spoon blackberries into a 2-quart glass bowl or straight-sided container. Add
half the gelatin mixture. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until set. After one
hour of chilling, in a medium bowl, stir together strawberries and remaining gelatinjuice
mixture. Cover and chill 1 hour or just until partially set (consistency of
unbeaten egg whites). Spoon strawberry mixture on set blueberry mixture. Cover
and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until set. Serve with whipped dessert topping.

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake

White Grass Cafe Baker "KB"

Gluten Free Carrot Cake
I had a request for a gluten free carrot cake this week…so I had to do some research on that one…
I don’t typically bake with gluten free flours and I know there are lots of options but some of the ingredients are hard to find around here. It seems that there are more and more people who are gluten free these days and we often get requests in the café for gluten free options. Here’ the recipe I came up with.
Carrot Cake with Butter Cream Icing

3 cups of my GF Flour Mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
5 large eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla extract

1 pound grated carrots
2/3 cup crushed, DRAINED, packed pineapple
2/3 cup packed, shredded coconut
Optional ingredients: add ½ cup toasted walnuts or ½ cup raisins or currants.
• Preheat oven to 325ºF. Position rack in the center of oven.
• Spray two 8″ round cake pans with cooking spray and place a parchment round in the bottom of each.
1. Place flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
2. Beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and almost fluffy, for 2 minutes. Add carrots, pineapple and coconut. Beat again, 1 minute
3. Slowly add flour mix into the carrot/oil mixture and beat at medium-low speed for one minute. Use a rubber spatula to make sure everything is evenly mixed together. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in the center of oven for approximately 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
• Cool cake layers in the pans on a rack. Use a small knife to cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Invert cake layers onto a rack, peel off paper.

I used Butter Cream Icing to frost the cake. A Cream Cheese Icing works well, too.
Serve cake at room temperature.
Butter Cream Icing
½ cup Crisco solid shortening
½ cup butter
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
Beat Crisco and butter together in a medium sized bowl. Add extracts and mix in.
Gradually add sugar in while mixing. Spread onto cake.

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Cool desserts for the diabetic

It’s hot. And all you want is something cool, but you have to monitor your insulin levels. Not to worry, I have some very refreshing diabetic desserts for you. These are cool, refreshing and best of all EASY.
I hope your diabetic family members enjoys these as much as mine does, and, of course, you don’t have to be a diabetic to indulge.

Hold-That-Lime Strawberries

Sweet juicy berries are ideal for scooping this citrusy sour cream dip.

1 8-ounce carton fat-free or light dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 cups fresh strawberries

For lime dipping sauce, in a small bowl, stir together sour cream, powdered
sugar, lime peel, and lime juice. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Wash strawberries but do not remove stems or caps. Drain strawberries on
several layers of paper towels. Serve berries with lime dipping sauce.

Pear-Rhubarb Crisp

Whole grain cereals increase the fiber in this low-sugar fruit crisp and make the topping very easy to fix.

4 medium Bartlett pears or Rome apples (cored and thinly sliced)
2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen unsweetened sliced rhubarb
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 cup oat square cereal, crushed
1/4 cup whole bran cereal, crushed
1/4 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 of an 8-ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine pears or apples,
rhubarb, and flour. Add 1/4 cup honey and apple juice, toss gently to coat.

Put fruit mixture to a two quart square baking dish. Cover and bake for 30 to 40
minutes or just until pears or apples are tender.

In a medium bowl, combine crushed cereals and nuts.
Add butter and the 1 tablespoon honey; toss to coat. Sprinkle over partially baked
fruit mixture. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until fruit is very tender
and topping is lightly browned.

Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm. If desired, top with whipped
dessert topping.

If using frozen rhubarb, measure while still frozen. Thaw in a large bowl about one hour or until the fruit is partially thawed but still icy, do not drain.


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Farmers Market Updates

We had our farmers market vendor meeting last night so we could iron out some details. The hours for all locations are below:

Parsons Senior Center: Wednesdays 10am-1pm
Davis Hypnocoffee: Fridays 4pm-6pm
Canaan Trail Mix Store: Saturdays 10am-2pm

We are thinking of having some 4-H involvement in the market so stay tuned for a 4-H location and time for 4-Hers to sell goods from their summertime gardening projects. We may also combine with the existing markets. Not sure at this point how it will work out.

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