Tuesday, August 16, 2016

5 Ways to use Zucchini

At the beginning of zucchini season we love, love, LOVE, zucchini fried in butter or olive oil.  We could eat it every day with dinner!  However, by the middle of zucchini season we're pretty ready to let our zucchini taste buds branch out with new zucchini recipes!

Here are 5 of our favorite ways to use zucchini fresh off of the plant!  (or frozen if it's winter and you've wisely planned ahead!)

1.  By far our favorite.... Ooey-Gooey Zucchini Brownies!  I could easily eat 5 servings of vegetables THIS way!

2.  A healthy snack of .....  Zucchini Bread!   I like nuts in this but my kids don't so one of these days when they've all left home I'm making this and adding EXTRA nuts.  In the meantime I see no reason to waste a good thing on someone who can't appreciate it. :)

3.  Zucchini Frittata can make a simple dinner, delicious lunch, or even a savory breakfast!   I love freshly picked tomatoes diced on the top and sprinkled with a little salt.

4.  Rattatouille!   (The food, not the movie.)  Savory and delicious!  I've read it described as a meatless stew.  A beautiful meld of flavorful summer vegetables no matter what you choose to call it.

5.  Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.   These cupcakes are tasty and classy enough to serve at a party.  The frosting is to die for!  If it were acceptable I'd probably be fine with just a bowl of frosting and a spoon.  The Zucchini Cupcakes are a good carrier though.  So moist!

And there you have it!  Five of my families favorite ways to eat zucchini!  Sometimes the kids don't even know they're eating it!  Give a few of these recipes a try and let me know how you like it!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

My kids have been watching Cupcake Wars on Netflix this summer.  We don't watch a lot of TV so the kids have only been able to watch while they fold clothes, shell peas, or snap green beans.  This gets some work done for me and they get an opportunity to watch TV.  Happy arrangement for all of us. (Though sometimes I suspect the clothes are taking longer to fold than usual towards the end of an episode!)

Last year our zucchini didn't grow as well as we wanted so this year we planted extra and it is ALL growing well!  

The combination of Cupcake Wars and our prolific zucchini plants brought about these beautiful and tasty cupcakes!   The cupcake is light, very moist, and the perfect carrier for a delicious Cream Cheese Frosting. (I find some people frown on just eating the frosting with a spoon.)  This is high on my list of ways to fix fruits and vegetables!

Zucchini Cupcakes

1 C. oil
1 3/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
2 C. finely grated zucchini
1/2 C. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla well.  Add dry ingredients and mix.  Add buttermilk and zucchini and mix well again.  Be sure to scrape the sides of your bowl.

Place cupcake liners in muffin tin.  Fill each cup about 2/3 full.  I love to use my muffin scoop for this as it measures perfectly for this size cupcake!  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cupcake springs back easily when you lightly touch the top.  Remove from oven and cool.  Makes 26-28 cupcakes.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese softened to room temperature
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. heavy whipping cream, whipped until fairly stiff

In one bowl beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Set aside.

In separate bowl whip cream until it is fairly stiff.  Add to cream cheese mixture and gently fold the whipped cream in until it is all blended.   Load decorator bag and pipe on to top of cupcakes.   Prepare soon before serving or store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator until time to serve.  Frosts 24 cupcakes.

Joy's Note:  If you'd like a lighter frosting, double the whipped cream.  It is still able to pipe on and is so light!