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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Taking advantage of Zucchini Mother Lode

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zukesBeing out of town for two weeks meant a couple of Zucchini had a chance to grow to baseball bat size in my garden.  For some people, this is a catastrophe.  They seem to think the zucchini is too starchy and tough.  For some recipes, this is true.  But I have a couple that don’t care what size your product is – the end results are equally good.  Today’s blog post will share a couple of my favorites.

Zucchini Pickles – from Mary Jacobs – it was her mother in laws – really old recipe4 qts Zucchini sliced very thin – do not peel

2 green peppers sliced thin
6 small onions – sliced thin
1/2 cup salt 2 trays of ice cubes
5 cups sugar
3 cups vinegar
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 tsp tumeric

Directions:
Put sliced vegetables in a bowl. cover with salt and ice. Let sit at least 3 hours. Drain and rince once.
In a pot on the stove, combine sugar, vinegar and spices and bring to a boil.
Prepare jars. Pack in zucchini, peppers and onions – fill with syrup to the top of the jar.
Cover jars and process in a water bath.

These photos show the sliced zucchinis in a bowl with ice.  The ice melts down thru the salt to remove the moisture from the zucchini.DSCF7303 DSCF7314 Here are the finished jars.  This used up half of one of the large zucchini.DSCF7315
Zucchini Bread – Don’t remember where I found this recipe.  Have been using it for years.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Directions
Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool.

I shredded the other half of one of the large zucchini with my food processor blade.  I just love that device.DSCF7307 I got two loaves from half the zucchini.DSCF7317
Zucchini Lasagna

This was an experiment.  I didn’t want to defrost hamburger, so I used soft chorizo sausage instead. The idea of this recipe I’ve seen before.  You use zucchini slices instead of noodles.  I grilled the slices first to help remove some of the water and to give them more flavor.Since I make this from scratch, I didn’t measure ingredients so you’ll have to make some assumptions here.

For my marinara sauce, I sauted onions, garlic and the chorizo.  Next I added a jar of Classico spaghetti sauce and some oregano.  I keep this sauce around for times when I don’t want to do my “all day” sauce.

In the pan, I start with a single layer of grilled zucchini slices, next I layer on some of the tomato sauce mixture.  Next, I top it with a few tablespoons of cottage cheese (you could use Ricotta), and mozzarella.  I repeat this two more times topping with a layer of marinara sauce and mozzarella.  Bake it for an hour at 350 or until the top is nice and brown.

Here’s the start of the assembly process.
DSCF7298
This is the finished product.  It’s a good idea to let it sit for a spell before cutting so the zucchini can re-absorb their liquids.
DSCF7310

That’s it for now.  Ciao y’all.

Written by pregen

August 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Cooking

Facebook – the next frontier

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My last several blog entries have been talking about Twitter and social networking.  During  my journey of discovery, it quickly became apparent I also needed to look at Facebook.

I had a Facebook page that I had started months ago but never did anything with.  Having not spent much time logged in I had no idea what the Facebook environment entailed and what it had to offer.

To learn more about what was going on I decided to update my Facebook page and start poking around.  Well, if I thought Twitter was amazing, Facebook blew it away.  In fact, it’s much more viral.

Within a day, I was getting emails from friends asking me to connect with them on Facebook.  I get emails from LinkedIn connections, but not nearly so fast.  This was literally within hours. 

Not only friends contacted me, but family members I hadn’t heard from in decades.  There was a tragic death in my family and my niece was trying to reach  me.  She found me on Facebook and sent me an email.  I had lost touch with her and didn’t know her married name so it was impossible for me to find her.  Instead, she found me.  The circumstances were a sad one, but the results were phenomenal.

That was just the beginning.  I started to explore the applications, some of which are just downright annoying.  Some, however, are fun and make it interesting to use Facebook.

My network started to broaden based on who my friends were linked to.  It’s not quite the same as Twitter where people you don’t know start following you because you posted a very public comment and they thought it was interesting.  On Facebook, you get connected to people similar to Linkedin.  These are connections you know and trust.  Next, I learned that people update their status on Facebook which posts on their “wall.”  You can see what people have said, and they, in turn, can see what has been written on your wall.  People can comment on your status or on any links, pages, or groups you have set up.  It’s a wonderful way to market a business, or champion a cause.  The next thing I did was connect Twitter to Facebook.  By that I mean I enabled the Twitter connection on Facebook so my Twitter comments updated my “status” on Facebook. 

This weekend, though, I found out the real power of Facebook.  I was working on an issue with an Act conversion.  I was lamenting about the complexity of moving attachments during my conversion.  Three of the people connected to me on Facebook saw my status update and commented with suggestions on what I could use to handle my situation.  That was a surprise and extremely helpful.  And unexpected.

Later in the evening, someone else commented on something posted by another of our “friends in common” and I liked what I read and commented as well.  The topic was cooking and a nice long dialog started.  I thought this would be good as a group and setup one and invited the people in the discussion to the group.   Several others noticed the group and joined as well.  Within minutes.  That’s what I meant by viral – it spreads like a virus.  But a good virus.

As I watched the events occur during the evening, it hit me that this was way beyond emailing and instant messaging.   If I wasn’t on Facebook, and wanted other people to know what was happening, I would have had to send out a broadcast email  or instant message to everyone.  Point of fact, I wasn’t really asking for help – I was commenting on something that was happening during my day.  The help came free of charge – without me asking.  Whoa Nelly, that’s amazing.   I didn’t have to send it an all points bulletin to everyone.  

Well, actually, by posting my status, I did send it out.  But in a different way.  I “posted it” to my Wall.  Anyone logged onto Facebook who was connected to me saw my status updates.  The notification section told them I had posted an update.   It’s like Twitter, but different.  It’s Twitter on steroids.

So, where does this take me in my journey of discovery.  Well, a lot further down the trail.  I realize you need both.  Twitter is the short, quick updates of 140 characters that you can manage updates from a phone.  Facebook is a page of your life.  Your Twitter updates are there to update your status and spread the word, if that’s what you are trying to accomplish.  Facebook then takes it to the next level allowing you add groups and specifically target projects, business applications and personal interests, like cooking.

It’s not a case of which one you use.  You use them both.  It’s how you use them to the best advantage that is the question. My next step is to figure this out along with how LinkedIn fits into the puzzle.

Oh, and warning, don’t get sucked into the games that Facebook has.  I was sent an Easter Egg and several hours later I am still here gathering away.  Help me – I’ve fallen and I can’t get up……

Ciao for now.

Written by pregen

February 16, 2009 at 4:08 am

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