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Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer Harvest

Ah, yes. The garden is really coming along. We have been blessed with an abundance of summer squash, cucumbers, and finally, tomatoes. There's been some green beans, hot and mild peppers, bell peppers, okra, and a few strawberries as well. There's abundant fresh basil, mint and oregano, and a bit of rosemary, thyme, and catnip! We have three cantaloupes and three watermelons, but not sure they will ever be edible. They are softball to football sized now, so not quite ready to sample.

Over the warm weather holidays, Chuck really loves to grill. He'll load up on ribs, chicken, and pork tenderloin and become "Grill Master Moe", as his brother Mike called him. So on the fourth of July we had some neighbors over to share the feast, and we've (mostly he!) enjoyed the leftovers the rest of this week.

Unfortunately the chicken came out very dry. He normally grills it with the skin on, but this time bought chicken breasts with the skin already off. I hate to waste, so came up with this simple recipe last night and it was pretty good! It looked pretty too, but I forgot to take a pic! Thought I'd share.

Leftover Chicken Italian Style

2 boneless chicken breasts (if pre-cooked, slice thin)
1 medium summer squash, halved and sliced thin
1/4 cup sweet onion
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced green and red bell pepper
1 jar Ragu (or your favorite Italian sauce)
Fresh Italian style cheese mix, shredded
Chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the thin sliced chicken in a bit of olive oil to moisten, along with the onions. Add in the squash and bell pepper until lightly cooked, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in sauce and simmer. Add cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, and then top with cheese. Turn off heat and allow flavors to steam together and cheese to melt.

I served this over multi-grain angel hair pasta and topped with Parmesan cheese with a side of garlic bread.

Quick and easy, even if you're cooking with fresh chicken. Enjoy!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Squash It

This year’s garden so far has produced an overabundance of summer squash. With the freezer full, I went searching for another idea.

I love zucchini bread so I thought, why not use squash? I wanted something with a little less oil and sugar than some of the recipes on Pinterest, so here’s what I did:

Lemon Squash Bread

½ cup canola oil
6 oz unsweetened applesauce
6 oz lemon Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 eggs
3 tsp lemon zest

1 cup Stevia (or your favorite sugar substitute)
1 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

2 ½ cups grated yellow squash (about three mid sized squash)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp lemon zest


1.       Preheat oven to 350 and coat two loaf pans with Crisco or baking spray. (I use Crisco.)
2.       In a large bowl cream together oil, applesauce, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, stevia and sugar. Once combined, add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in lemon zest.
3.       In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4.       Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined.
5.       Add in squash and vanilla extract, stir.
6.       Divide batter evenly between loaf pans.
7.       Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
8.       Allow to cool 10-20 minutes in pan and then place on a cooling rack.

Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar together until combined. Pour glaze over the bread while on cooling rack. Sprinkle zest over the top of the glaze.

I was pleasantly surprised how good this came out. The sweetness and lemon flavor is just right, and the squash and applesauce give the bread the perfect amount of moistness. I could eat the whole loaf! ENJOY!