Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Meat

Stuffed zucchini halves.

Our garden is so overgrown, it’s quite embarrassing.

It looks as though it hasn’t been maintained for months, and it has.  But, underneath the crowded jungle of green leaves, I recently discovered two massive zucchinis. For whatever reason, every summer we grow JUMBO zucchinis—the kind that could win an award at a local farmer’s contest.

zucchiniThis year’s bounty

In fact, last year our largest zucchini measured 23 inches.

zucchini

We love zucchini prepared any way: fried, sautéed, shredded, roasted. But, our favorite dish celebrating zucchini?

Zucchini boats stuffed with meat.

Believe it or not, it’s a tasty dish that’s quite filling. You’ll be surprised at how much flavor the zucchini substitute adds and how you won’t miss the pasta.

We eat this dish year round, and you should too.

Try it for yourself.  The appeal factor alone will get your picky eaters to raise an eyebrow and try the “boat”.

Enjoy.

 

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Summer Fruit Dips

I’m amazed that some of my friends have kids who have already gone back to school. To me, summer is finally in full bloom.  Due to the harsh winter, none of our flowers even showed signs of budding until the end of July.  The corn stalks are finally as high as high as an elephants’ eye.  The farmer’s stands are BURSTING with a plethora of colorful fruits and veggies that it’s hard not to stop and simply take in their visual beauty and splendor.

From August through Labor Day, my kitchen is usually stocked with  fresh fruits and vegetables  so I can make a quick, light, refreshing summer recipe on the fly.  For instance, last night, for dessert, my son asked for fruit salad.  This has never been requested before so I jumped at the opportunity.

Simply cutting up a variety of fruits:  apples, pears, strawberries, and bananas, and serving them with a homemade fruit dip (that literally took five minutes to prepare) was the the perfect answer to his request.  Not to mention, we enjoyed it this am for breakfast too.

Time to enhance the flavor of fresh, ripe fruits to give them the added attention they deserve.

Enjoy.

 cherryfruitdip

photo courtesy of P&G Everyday

fruit dip

 

Honey-Drizzled Watermelon

Watermelon salad, fresh ripe fruit dessert serve in white bowl

Eating al fresco is a guarantee for us in the summertime. On the weekends, if it’s not raining, you can usually find me cooking at the grill and eating at the outdoor table underneath the generous umbrella.

Another summer-must: enjoy the myriad seasonal fruit for dessert. If I’m not actually making the dessert, we head over to the local farmer’s stand to treat ourselves to one of the freshly-bake crumb pies that are beyond tasty. Our family fave: Triple Berry Crumb Pie.

This weekend I experimented (again) with watermelon.  Like Silver Queen Corn, watermelon was synonymous with summertime when I was a kid.  Mom would cut up the fruit into pizza-pie slices  and, before eating, we’d commence our family ritual: initiating ourselves into the highly-exclusive “third-eye club”  by which all members placed a watermelon seed between our eyes. It was fun to see who’s seed could stay affixed to the forehead the longest.

I’ve always been intimidated by watermelon, especially when someone shows up with it and nonchalantly hands it over like a medicine ball saying “here you go” —I’ve never really known, nor have I felt comfortable, cutting a watermelon until I watched this video:

Ok, I’ll admit that I’m lazy and usually purchase pre-cut slices from the market.  And, now that I have mastered my Watermelon, Feta and Balsamic salad as well as the Watermelon Gazpacho recipes I was looking to put a different spin on the fleshy fruit.  My son actually gave me the idea to work with watermelon and honey as he douses honey on everything from his pancakes and waffles to his apple slices.

I simply opened my fridge and started experimenting.  The end result was a simple watermelon dessert that is both refreshing and sweet and, best

part of all, not in the least bit filling.

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