Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Italian Stuffed Zucchini

If you decided to grow zucchini in your garden this year, you're probably facing the age old problem of what to do with ALL of those glorious green squashes.  Let's face it, you can only make so much zucchini bread.  And while I love it sliced up and grilled or roasted with just a little olive oil and salt & pepper, you again start to get tired of having it with every.single.meal.  In my searching around to find new ways to use up my zucchini harvest, I saw lots of recipes for stuffed zucchini or zucchini boats.  So I figured, I can make something like that no problem!

Italian Stuffed Zucchini
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef, elk, deer, etc.
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 can tomato sauce
  • Splash of red wine
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 4 large zucchini, halved crosswise and again lengthwise, seeds scooped out
  1. Saute onion, pepper, and garlic until onions just start to turn translucent.
  2. Add meat to pan and brown, breaking up into small pieces.
  3. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and cook until all liquid has evaporated and brown bits appear.
  4. De glaze the pan with a generous splash of red wine making sure to scrape up all the brown bits.
  5. Pour in the diced tomatoes with their juices and the tomato sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Meanwhile, cut zucchini and scoop out the seeds.  Spray a large baking dish with olive oil and place zucchini in it.
  7. Spray with olive oil spray and salt and pepper the zucchini.
  8. Spoon meat and veggie mixture into the zucchini quarters.  Top with parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.

These turned out sooo good!  My husband especially loved them and told me this was a keeper recipe.  These kept great in the fridge, and I think would freeze marvelously wrapped in tinfoil and placed in a freezer bag or container.  Hope you enjoy! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Make It Yourself Pennant Banner

Here's another DIY project that I used for both my boys' 1st birthday and my friend's baby shower.  Yet another great way to save money on party decor and customize it to whatever colors you desire.

Here's what you need:
  • Wooden Pennant Form (I found mine at Michael's)
  • Scrapbook or Other Colorful Paper
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • String, Yarn, or Twine
  • Double Stick Tape or Glue Stick
  • White Paper
  • Round Object such as a Glass
  • Pinking Shears

Trace the pennant design on the back side of your paper.  I was able to fit 3 per piece of paper.  Cut them out with your scissors and use a hole punch to make the holes.

I used my computer to make letters for my sign because I am not at all artistic.  But you could definitely draw the letters yourself if you are good at that sort of thing. ;)  Trace around your letters with your glass, then cut out with the pinking shears or other decorative scissor.  Glue or tape the letters to your pennant pieces.

String your pennant pieces in order, alternating with putting the string in the front and back of the piece.  This helps the pieces to stay in place when you hang them.

And there you have it!  A custom pennant banner for whatever your next shin dig may be. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Vegetarian Cassoulet

It just so happens that my husband's whole family are vegetarians.  I'm always trying to come up with yummy dishes to make when they come to visit.  Plus, sometimes you just don't want to take the time to thaw meat (or you forget), and a vegetarian meal is an easy alternative.  So, when my husband's brother came to visit us at the end of August, I threw together this veggie dish for one of our dinners together.  It actually worked out great because most of the ingredients came right out of my garden.  Yay for homegrown eats!

Vegetarian Cassoulet
  • 1 medium summer squash, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 7 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  1. Saute summer squash, zucchini, onion, pepper, and garlic until veggies start to soften.
  2. Stir in garlic salt and Italian seasoning and saute with veggies for 1-2 min. 
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and white beans to pan.  Cook until tomatoes release their juices.
  4. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 13 in. baking dish and top with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.

This dish is so fresh tasting!  A perfect end of summer meal using the spoils from your garden.  Enjoy!