Summer Break, Broken Computer
Hi There, It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I could wax on about being busy and not having time to blog. But the main culprit of my absence was the star-crossed romance of these two lovers.
It took awhile to fix my laptop, and then right when I got it back it broke again (a non-liquid related break the second time around!) But now, finally, we are back in business! Here is a recap of what Ben and I did this summer while I was on my blogging hiatus.
We visited beautiful places in Oregon including Crater Lake, Smith Rock, and the Oregon Coast.
Garden: We watched the garden grow… Tomatoes, summer squash, cabbage, beets, purple cauliflower, and even some super ginormous sunflowers. In a matter of weeks the garden went from itty bitty to total squash-tomato invasion!
Cooking: When all of the traveling, hiking, and growing was finished, then then processing, storing, and cooking began. Here are a few notable kitchen adventures from the summer:
This year I made my first foray into jamming. We had an abundance of berries on our back yard blueberry and raspberry bushes. I ate berries straight from the bush until my fingers were stained, then I went to Fred Meyer and bought my first water bath canning kit and got to work on making jam.
Berries weren’t the only productive thing in the garden. In fact, we had so many veggies within 10 steps of our back patio that we stopped buying them at the grocery store. Nearly all of our produce came from the backyard and, man, was it fresh! The squash was particularly abundant, and like most people who grow squash we were looking looking for new ways to use it. I found this recipe for Potato, Squash, and Goat Cheese Gratin on the White Barn Farm website. I used some purple and pink farmers market potatoes and the results were beautiful.
With the beginning of fall, comes the tomatoes, tomatoes, and then more tomatoes. We are eyeballs deep in salsa, salads, and sauces.
Last night, I used two extra large zucchini and stuffed them with spicy chicken sausage, bread crumbs, and topped it with stewed tomatoes from the garden and fresh mozzarella cheese. I adapted the recipe from this one I found on All Recipes.
I served it over some rice pilaf, and it was so amazing. Try it out:
2 Large zucchini
1 lb spicy chicken sausage
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 pints stewed chopped tomatoes ( I strongly recommend using homemade stewed tomatoes like I did, but I think canned will work fine)
2 balls fresh mozzarella, shredded
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the ends of the zucchini,cut them in half, and scoop out the seeds. Place the shells in a rimmed baking pan. Reserve the seeds and mix it in the with spicy chicken sausage . Stuff the sausage mix into the shells and sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the sausage stuffed squash. Completely cover the zucchinis with the tomatoes, and sprinkled the shredded cheese on top. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, remove the foil, crank up the heat to 450 degrees and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and brown.
Now that my laptop is finally here to stay, I will be blogging on a regular basis again. I love writing about my food adventures, so I’m really excited to be back at it and sharing with all of you!