1) Pasta with Snap Peas, Basil, and Spinach
(My kids LOVE this!!! We've made it twice this summer and they ALL gobbled it up both times.)
sea salt/ground pepper
A 16 oz. box of pasta (preferably something spiral-ish) ;o)
3 garlic cloves, peeled/chopped into coarse pieces
8 oz. of snap peas, halved
10 oz. baby spinach
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of (real) Parmesan, shredded
In a large pot of boiling water cook pasta and garlic 1 minute less than package instructions.
Add snap peas and cook 30 seconds. Add spinach and basil, stirl once to wilt. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain.
Add cream to pot and heat over medium-heat until bubbling. Return the pasta mixture and 1/4 of saved pasta water, stir for two minutes. Add parmesan. If necessary add the remaining pasta water to create a light sauce that coats pasta, season with salt/pepper.
2) Summer Fresh Freezer Pickles
7 cups of thinly sliced cucumber with peel
1 large Vidalia onion sliced into thin ringlets
2 TBSP pickling salt
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 cloves of garlic, crushed (or chopped small)
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup distilled water
2 cups white sugar
Slice your cucumbers--preferably with a mandolin, toss them in a large bowl with the onions and garlic. In another bowl mix the remaining ingredients, stir well, until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over the cucumber mixture. Cover and let stand for 1-3 hours, then refrigerate every day, stirring once a day. Pack into small freezer containers, freeze as desired and thaw before serving.
(This is how I've been dealing with the over abundance of cucumbers--I had another 16 waiting for me after getting back from vacation. We've tried one of our containers already and Josh and I like them . . . the kids are kind of "eh" about them, but at least the cucumbers aren't going to waste).
3) Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
5 TBSP butter, divided
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium sized zucchini, seeded, chopped into small chunks, steamed/drained
1 cup Velveeta, cubed (I tried the "queso blanco" but I think either would be fine)
1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2-1 cup shredded Pepper Jack
1 roll of Ritz crackers, crushed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and 11x7 baking dish; set aside. In a frying pan, melt 2 TBSP of butter, add onion, stirring frequently until tender. Add zucchini. Fold in cheeses. Spoon zucchini mixture into prepared dish; sprinkle with crackers. Melt remaining 3 TBSP of butter and drizzle over the crackers. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
(I LOVED this! Josh and Marissa thought it okay, even though they aren't big on zucchini . . . nobody else wanted to try it. But it was a really yummy way to use up extra zucchini I had on hand. I enjoyed eating the leftovers for my lunch over the next several days).
*And one more thing to add on zucchini--add almond flavoring to your zucchini bread or muffins--It's really yummy!
the date of the great "eight"
2 weeks ago