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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cake Wrecks

I got to go on a fun Field Trip last night :). I ventured into the city to see none other than Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks blog fame. If you haven't heard of this site yet, then you should definitely visit, and on the right hand side, click on anything under "Fan Faves" or "Classics". You are sure to be laughing so hard you're crying in a good five minutes. Jen got the idea for the blog after someone sent her a picture of a cake they ordered that was made wrong, and after a few hours of searching the web, and realising there were so many more out there, she started the blog that very same day. She posts every day, and it's a fun site to look up once in awhile when you want a laugh. Jen herself is hilarious, and it's not just the pictures, but the writing that makes the site so funny. Both her and her husband were at Tattered Cover last night, promoting a book they published full of the funniest cakes from the blog. They were hilarious, and showed slides of their favorites, signed books, and held a cake wrecks cupcake contest. I didn't even find out about the event until right before it happened, otherwise I would have totally entered! I hope you enjoy the pictures, and can maybe catch Jen when she's in your area, or her book at your local store. ( A local cupcake shop provided the cupcakes in the second picture. They were SO good I wish I could give her credit, but I can't remember the name :(

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Zucchini Casserole

I'm still going through all my zucchini recipes this fall, among other things. A friend left to go to Hawaii for the weekend, and gave her huge family size share of CSA goods. I've got onions, beets, radishes, lettuces, corn, potatoes, zucchini, pears, peaches.....and more! Last night I made some roasted potatoes and onions, with an Organic Chicken for the kiddos. I also made this Zucchini Casserole, which my kids inhaled, and declared tasted like lasagna. I think they are on to something, as once they said it, I thought it DID taste like lasagna. Only without the pasta and meat, it's like a healthy version. (I'm not saying "light" version though, you can't leave out that sharp cheddar folks, sorry.)

Zucchini Casserole
from The Not-Strictly Vegetarian Cookbook, by Lois Dribin and Susan Ivankovich

4 zucchini squash (or 1 ginormous one, like I used)
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1 lg can tomato paste (i used a small one, cause that's how we like it)
salt and pepper
olive oil

Grate cheese. Wash & slice zucchini (I used my trusty mandoline). Oil a 2 qt casserole with lid. Layer casserole with: a layer of zucchini, sprinkle of salt and pepper, then a heavier sprinkle of parsley, oregano, and basil. Then add a layer of cheese and scatter a few dabs of tomato paste on the top. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil. Continue to layer until you reach the top. Cook, covered 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You say Tomato......

Got this yummy recipe from a friend on Facebook. Tried it out tonight, and it was so good! Now if you look at this, and you are tempted to leave out the mint, and cream sherry, and maybe substitute mozzarella for the cheeses, then stick out your hand for a minute. *slap* not okay! If you want to make Cappellini Pomodoro, then by all means do! I love it - it's a great quick night meal when tomatoes are so yummy like they are right now. However, if you have been making Cappellini Pomodoro for awhile now, and are ready to make a grown up version, or want to impress some guests by talking about how you've been letting the tomatoes soak in cream sherry for the past 2 hours before they arrived, then you want to make my friend's Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Cheese. When I went to my trusty wine guy (if you don't have one, you need one. Not the kind that is just working in the wine store because he can't let go of the college years, but my kind. The kind that still looks a little punk rock, is actually a sommelier, and you are pretty sure he owns the place. Oh, and he has to be willing to let my kids raid the lollipops, and listen to me give intimate details about what I'm making for dinner. and like it.) he hooked me up with a huge bottle of cream sherry, that can be kept in the fridge, and I guess you can drink it over the rocks. It's a bit sweet and is supposed to go well with coffee and dessert. I've never had it outside of this pasta, but I'll let you know how it is. For wine to go with the meal, he paired this with Podere De Giuggiolo 2007 Toscana.

I thought the flavors in this were subtle, and I liked them. It won't be too spicy for your kids, so don't worry about those red pepper flakes.

Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Cheese


2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cream sherry
12 ounces spaghetti (I used Whole Wheat)
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
2 cups fontina cheese, shredded

In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, salt and black pepper, hot pepper flakes, olive oil, and cream sherry. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Cook the pasta In a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but firm to the bite.
Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Drain 1/4 cup of the liquid from the tomato mixture, and toss with the pasta to coat. Add cheese, and toss until it begins to melt. Add the tomato mixture, and toss until mixed.