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Archive for October, 2013

When we were getting zucchini pretty often this summer, I wanted to find a way to make it in a new way. Grilled, sautéed in a pan, breaded and baked — all were delicious.

Then I came across a recipe we had to try: zucchini noodles (zoodles). It was really easy and tasty. I’m not going to lie and say it tastes just like pasta because it doesn’t.

Before giving the recipe, I should mention a few things. This would have been way easier if I had this tool called a julienne peeler or a mandoline, but I didn’t. We used our regular vegetable peeler. It worked, but then I had to pile them all together and cut into smaller strips.

Also, don’t go all the way to the seeds. You really just want to fleshy part, but don’t waste perfectly good zucchini. I diced the core part and baked it in the oven with some grape/cherry tomatoes to add to the cooked zoodles, but you can use whatever sauce you want. We also added cooked garlic and onions.

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Our lettuce looked promising when we transplanted it.

Our lettuce looked promising when we transplanted it, but it hasn’t grown much bigger than this.

As some of our space cleared from summer vegetables that stopped producing or died, we were really excited to plant our fall garden. Peas could go where the cucumber was, lettuce could take over the first bed, Brussels sprouts and broccoli could fill in wherever they’d fit. It was a great plan, or so we thought.

We should have known that when multiple sowings of lettuce, spinach and broccoli seed never sprouted that it was probably a bad sign. I assumed we hadn’t watered them enough, the seeds were bad, something. So we decided to try to start everything in pots and transplant where needed later.

This part worked wonderfully. We had lots of baby lettuce and almost a dozen Brussels sprouts plants.

The peas we planted in place started to sprout and grow. It looked promising.

But looking promising and being productive are two different things, and our fall garden excitement quickly turned to disappointment.

The lettuce transplants look great, but they aren’t any bigger than the day we put them in the raised beds. All the Brussels sprouts either wilted or had their leaves chewed by something. And the kale we tried to grow in a pot? Knocked over and spilled everywhere –probably as a result of the squirrels trying to bury acorns wherever they can.

While it was unfortunate we couldn’t keep the harvest going into the cooler months, we’ll try again next year. And we hope, with a little more planning, we’ll have a fantastic fall garden.

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A few weeks ago we were having a lazy Sunday morning, drinking our coffee and catching up on Top Chef: Masters. I don’t remember anything else about the episode except the Quickfire challenge: make an upscale version of nachos.

I’m sure each chef made something fancier than we ever could, but for the rest of the episode that’s all kept thinking about.

It ended up working out pretty perfectly — we had all the ingredients on hand. Plus, it was a great way to use up the variety of hot peppers and tomatoes we had picked earlier that week.

Ours were your standard nacho recipe, but they were so delicious, I think even Curtis Stone would have been impressed.

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