Monday, July 21, 2008

Trying to keep on top of the Garden.

But first..........last week I received word that instead of starting my kitchen the 28th, they now want to start the 23rd! That's this Wednesday! Definitely good news, but here I thought I had this whole week to get ready and maybe even start painting. Oh well, the sooner the better I guess! Cabinets arrive on Friday, so they'll start tearing out cabinets and laying the floor on Wednesday and hopefully start putting cabinets in on Monday. But that sounds overly ambitious to me, so we'll see. Lots of work to do tomorrow!

Still harvesting cucumbers and zucchinis on a daily basis here. I actually let almost 3 days go past without checking the garden. I knew that probably wasn't a good idea because I noticed that zucchini grow very, very fast but we were busy and it was hot.......excuses, excuses. Sure enough, here's what I found this afternoon..........

Super Zucchini

That zucchini had been closer to the size of the smallest one there just the other day. It is now over 14 inches long. Oi. Now to use it all up. We did the saute the other day, we made two loaves of zucchini bread, we made zucchini pancakes last week and last night I made a yummy pasta dish.

Zucchini Pancakes
The zucchini pancakes were based on a recipe from Mark Bittman, posted on the CLBB. I also threw in some leftover cooked corn. My son thought it sounded gross, but I told him that I was pretty confident he'd like it, just like the zucchini bread. My mixture ended up being quite watery, so I had to keep adding flour and probably ended up with a full 1/2 cup more flour than the recipe called for. I imagine this made them a bit more doughy than intended, but they were still quite good. These were perhaps a tad bland, so I served them with salsa. I would have preferred maybe a curried sour cream - the salsa was a bit overwhelming - but we somehow have 3 open jars of salsa that need to be used up, so salsa it was.

Zucchini and Sausage Pasta
The pasta recipe was based on this recipe that someone shared on the CLBB, but I didn't follow it very closely. Instead, I used it as a basis for using up things we had around the house. As I was cleaning out the freezer for the remodel, I found 3 separate links of 3 different kinds of chicken sausage - one with spinach and feta, one Italian and a bit of smoked sausage. These are all pre-cooked - not the raw links that the recipes falls for - but I thought it was worth a shot. We had two open boxes of pasta, so instead of penne, we used ziti and farfalle. No Fontina on hand, so I used fresh mozzarella and a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Happily I had some fresh cream from the farmer's market on hand, so I didn't mess with that part of the recipe.

Surprisingly, this dish was delicious! I wasn't sure if it would work or not, but everyone gobbled it up and DH and I happily ate the leftovers today for lunch. The only thing that didn't work so well was the fresh mozzarella. The taste was great, but it tended to clump, also causing the sausage to clump as well. Certainly not a light dish, but I was craving a cheesy pasta dish after all of the lighter summer fare of late.

Haricot Verts

The green beans are finally producing so that I can actually gather enough for a meal at one time. They are lovely too......nice and thin, just the way I like them. I planted haricot verts beans from Seeds of Change and am very happy with them. They tend to get long, but not thick or tough. I've always wanted to grow green beans because the beans at the store are usually too big and/or too tough - I don't like it when they get so big that there are seeds forming inside the pod. Even the green beans at the farmer's market gave generally been too big for my tastes. But not these - they are perfect. I blanched them for 3-5 minutes and then tossed them with some garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (heated up just to take the edge off the garlic). Yummy!

It's fun to eat stuff out the garden, but I'm either going to have to give a few zucchini away or start shredding and freezing it because we're going to get overloaded pretty shortly here. But I have seen a few recipe for chocolate zucchini bread that I think I must try first...........


  1. I have those zucchini pancakes on my list for this week. Good to know about the extra flour. Funny that you added corn- I have it in my head that I've seen a recipe for zucchini-corn pancakes, but now I can't find it anywhere!

  2. I was not intrigued by those zucchini pancakes--until I saw you put corn in them. Yum. Given your bland comment I might add some Mexican spices and maybe a little cheese.

  3. Laura - They might be good with Indian spices as well. I just tried the Zucchini Pie tonight (zucchini 24/7 around here) that SueK posted and I liked it much better than these pancakes. Quite similar, but more flavor. I used feta and Parmesan instead of Provolone and Parmesan (gotta use up what's on hand). I also have a wild rice and vegetable pancake/fritter recipe that my SIL tried out on us that I thought was better......

  4. Good luck with the kitchen re-do! I've been there. I hope there are no delays!

  5. Thanks Joe. I remember how lovely your kitchen turned out. Hopefully no delays. It's a pretty straightforward job - nothing structural and no big layout changes - so I don't anticipate any, but you never know!

  6. Mmm. More ideas for the abundance of zucchini!

    I actually dug up the recipe for squash/rice casserole the other night. I believe it was posted to the CL boards years back. That was a delicious blast from the past!

    So, does this mean your garden is doing relatively well? How are those tomatoes?

  7. We'd like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me,, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details:

  8. I would like to see the new look of your kitchen .

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  10. Hey...the zucchini/corn pancakes sound good. My mom used to make corn pancakes with the leftovers from corn on the cob -- and I was just craving them today! Checked your website and there they were reminding me of my craving!

    Hope you had a great birthday and the kitchen is going well!
    C from IN
    PS - it's happy hour!

  11. Hey - Dropped back over to tell you

    1) Happy Birthday!

    2) that I read back a ways and see that your tomatoes have been doing well! Did you end up treating them for what was ailing them?

  12. Lo - Hi. Thanks for the birthday wishes. The garden is doing pretty well - lots of green beans (a first for me), zucchini and cucumbers. The tomatoes - I don't know. Nothing is even turning a little bit yellow or orange, so I'm still not sure if I'll get anything at all. On the bright side I might get at least 3 cantaloupe. I have to admit, I haven't checked the garden in a few days..... :o

    Hey there Cindy from IN! :) Thanks for the birthday wishes and the e-card. Boy, I was all set to see some action and all I got was a lot of monkeying around. Kitchen is going. Counter tops are going in today - whoohoo!

    Take care ladies. :)

  13. i put a chocolate zucchini cake recipe on my blog today (8/6/08)