7 Ways to Fix Zucchini

We’ve reached that time of the year when it feels like the zucchini is secretly multiplying behind closed refrigerator doors.  This week I was determined to use all the zucchini before the next CSA pickup.

Zucchini

Veggie Quiche– Since this was a complete attempt to use what was available I did not follow a recipe. (Actually, unless I’m baking I rarely follow a recipe.)  I used the food processor to slice up about two zucchini, added onion, garlic, and kale (about 1/2 a bunch) and cooked all the veggies until slightly soft. I placed the veggies in a mixing bowl and added sun-dried tomatoes, a few bacon bits, some feta cheese, and 3 eggs and poured the mixture into a pie crust.  I covered the pie crust edges with aluminum foil and baked for about 45-50 minutes at about 400 F.  (The boys offered the following improvements: Eliminate the zucchini – use more spinach and kale instead.  Replace the feta cheese with Mexican cheese and add more bacon bits. )

Zucchini Cupcakes – Absolutely delicious!  I replaced half the oil with peach mango applesauce.

Black Bean Zucchini Enchiladas –  Again this was a “use what’s available” creation.  I chopped up about 1 onion and 1 largish zucchini and a bit of garlic (I would have added red pepper if it had been available).  Then I added about 1/2 cup of frozen corn and seasoned the whole thing with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  I sautéed all the ingredients in a small amount of oil.  Once the onions were almost soft, I added a can of rinsed black beans.   When the mixture was all warm I placed it in enchiladas in a baking pan, covered with enchilada sauce and baked at 400 F for about 15 minutes.  Then I added a bit of cheese and baked until the cheese melted. Serve with sliced avocado and cilantro for garnish.  There were probably about 3-4 servings.

Zucchini Fritters – I used the leftover grated zucchini from the making the cupcakes mixed with some beaten egg and a little flour to make fritters.  I served with a little sour cream and sliced tomato.

Black Bean Zucchini Quinoa Burgers – I linked to this recipe because the instructions look  fairly close to what I actually did.  Again I really didn’t follow a recipe, but I really should have taken notes while making mine because they turned out great.  I know I used some curry, nutmeg and turmeric as seasoning.

Zucchini Brownie

Also popular with my kids although not made this week:

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Brownies

What are your favorite zucchini recipes?

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Inspirations

Every so often I like to share some of the people and projects that are inspiring me.

This week the boys and I watched SHARK GIRL, an amazing documentary from the Smithsonian channel.  Madison Stewart is exceptional and inspirational.  It was great to see a young woman able to follow her passions, do research and change the world.  Right now the full episode is available via the link above.  If you have cable, SHARK GIRL will be airing on the Smithsonian channel at 8 pm and 11pm on Wednesday July 16.

 

IMG_0966I’ve read FIMBY by Renee Tougas for a few years now.  Renee and her family strive to live consciously and with purpose.  They are a homeschooling / unschooling / project based learning family living in Quebec.  Over the years they have chosen to hike and camp together as a family instead of having the kids in team sports.  Renee’s husband, Damien, had a dream to thru-hike the AT and this year the family is making that dream a reality together.  The Appalachian Trail is a 2,200 mile (3500 km)  foot path that stretches through the peaks of the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine.  The trail is quite remote which means the family is carrying tents, food and other supplies with them and stopping to resupply at approximately 5 day intervals.   Did I mention their kids are approximately 15, 13, and 11?   I am completely blown away by their ability to get up and walk with a heavy pack EVERY DAY.   The planning and organization that went into this trip is just incredible and now the physical and mental fortitude required to stick with it is astounding. You can find periodic updates by following FIMBY on Facebook OR even better you can subscribe to their video series on Toe Salad (Damien’s blog).

code doodles

Back in November a friend of mine shared a post about “The Hour of Code“.  The challenge was for kids across the country to spend one hour learning how to program a computer.  The boys really enjoyed the first hour and readily did the “Beyond One Hour“.  Recently I got a bug to do use the artist section of the “Beyond One Hour” to make some doodles.  It was sort of like spending the afternoon with a spirograph, but easier to make designs in multiple colors and shapes.  If you haven’t had the chance to visit code.org yet, I highly recommend it.  They also have lots of links to kid friendly sites that promote learning code in a fun way.

Scott and Boys At Yellowstone

Sometimes inspiration is personal.  I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to my husband.  He inspires me to stay fit so we can do fun active things as a family.   He doesn’t nag me to work out more (which I should), instead he sets a good example by staying incredibly fit himself and being disciplined about his food choices.

What stories and projects are inspiring you right now?

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7 Places our Summer is Going

Hope you are all having a great summer!

I’m finding myself looking back at the last month and saying, “Where is this summer going?” I vacillate quickly between feeling like we’ve accomplished a lot and nothing at all.  While consciously creating space in our schedule for rest, spontaneity, and UNscheduled time, I feel anxious that we haven’t DONE more.

So where has our summer gone so far?

IMG_0906 1. Camping – During the dark cold days of winter we set a goal to go camping every month this summer.  So far we’ve gone on two trips.  They were both full of gorgeous settings, hiking, and learning. The picture above is from our hike at Old Man’s Cave, part of Hocking Hills State Park.

Foot Golf 2. Soccer –  One of the MetroParks near us offers “Foot Golf”.  It’s played on the golf course but using soccer balls.  It’s a fun way to spend time together as a family and practice our soccer skills.  E attended a week of soccer camp and we’ve been trying to keep up with the World Cup action.  We don’t have cable, but we do get Univision (the Spanish channel) via our antenna.  I find it a bit difficult to pay attention to the visuals for the full length of a game when I can’t understand the audio. It makes a good hardship story for the boys.  “Our parents make us watch soccer in Spanish.”

Bedford MBT 13. Mountain biking!! – Some really nice trails just opened this month close to where we live.  10 miles of trails just a 20 minute drive away.  Yeah!  We’ve taken the kids out for a short ride there and just the other day my husband and I had a mountain biking date.   One of our camping trips had some ridable trails for the whole family and the other had some good trails for dad.   After nearly 12 years of riding only “rail to trail” type bike paths I’m really excited the kids are getting old enough to enjoy some single track.  This newest addition of local single track makes things much more doable for us.

 

4. Spending time with Friends – This is my favorite thing about summer.  I love the open schedule that allows us to meet friends at the pool, have friends come for dinner, and just have time to hang out.  This is one of those areas where creating space in the schedule is so necessary, but we also need to be intentional about ACTUALLY inviting someone for a playdate or dinner or field trip.

Declutter collage

5. Decluttering  – I really wish it hadn’t been necessary for me to spend so much time on this project this summer, however I’m so happy with the results. Our house feels more spacious and peaceful.  Preparing meals is easier with less stuff in the kitchen. I can actually go down to the basement to work out without feeling overwhelmed by clutter.  I wanted to think that because I try to be conscious about the things I buy, I didn’t have a lot of extra stuff hanging out around the house (well, except in the basement, there was no denying that).  I do have a lot of good habits – sorting our clothes at each change of season to get rid of things that don’t fit, avoiding the dollar aisle, and doing periodic purges of junk drawers and other hot spots – yet we still had a lot of miscellaneous / duplicate stuff in the house.   It’s been really eye opening.   While we don’t tend to be big shoppers we still have a lot of free stuff enter the house and kids outgrow clothes and toys.  I wish I had taken some pictures along the way during this process, but I never realize how big the change will be until I’m done.  There were also some time consuming tasks like taking an old dehumidifier to the scrap yard (where they are qualified to capture the coolant), making a trip to the Household Hazardous Waste Depot (open once per week for 6 hours), and converting some paper files into digital ones.  The huge stack of 17 plastic containers is the result of all the purging I’ve done so far.  My little Doxie scanner has been a big help in getting rid of paper clutter and using baskets in the cabinets really helps me keep things easily accessible and organized.

6. Listening to Audiobooks and reading – We are having a great time working our way through the Harry Potter series via audiobooks.  This is such a great way to make use of car time.  Of course we all want to continue listening when we get home too.   During our morning reading time, the boys are continuing to read book after book about a variety of animals.

NXT

7. Learning computing skills – The boys have learned a little about creating Minecraft mods.  E has also been getting together with his FLL team to do some informal programming on the NXT.  Every little bit helps.

What have you been doing this summer?

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