Friday, June 29, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These are almost like a less-sweet version of a chocolate cupcake. The zucchini keeps them so moist, you don't need any frosting or glaze. If you want to pretty them up, you could sprinkle with a little powdered sugar before serving, but I think they're perfect the way they are!

Makes 12 muffins


  • 1 1/4 C. AP flour
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1/4 C. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 C. grated zucchini (about one medium zucchini)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the zucchini and stir to distribute evenly. Add the melted butter, beaten egg, and vanilla, and mix until just combined. Pour into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake for 17-20 minutes at 350, until the tops spring back and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan. These are great warm!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Individual Cherry Crisps

I love my ramekin set. I think I bought them on Amazon for about $10. They are great for portion control and also make a nice presentation. A lot of people think ramekins are for making creme brulee, but they are also great for making little baked desserts like this one.

I used tart cherries to make these, so if you happen to have sweet cherries, you'll want to cut down on the sugar.

This recipe is for 4 individual servings.


  • 2 C. cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 4 tsp. flour, divided
  • 1/2 C. oats
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Divide the cherries between 4 ramekins. Add 1 Tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. flour to each ramekin and stir to coat the cherries. In a small bowl, mix the oats, brown sugar, and melted butter. Divide it between the 4 ramekins and press down lightly to form a crust on the top.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Homemade Fudge Pops

My 6 year old absolutely loves those fudge pops you can buy at the grocery store. But I just cannot stand all of the additives and artificial sweeteners they put in those things. So this summer, we tried to make our own.

It is really easy. I bought these rocket ship ice pop molds on Amazon, and they work great!

The basic recipe is like making hot cocoa. I used skim milk, so the pops were a little icy. You could try using  2% or whole milk to make them more creamy, but then they won't be fat free.


  • 2 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan over low heat, simmer the milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla, stirring constantly, until everything is dissolved. It should take 5-10 minutes. Keep the heat low, so that the milk doesn't scald.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to a measuring cup or other container with a spout. Carefully, pour the hot liquid into the molds, leaving a little space at the top for the pop to expand. Affix the lids tightly and freeze overnight.

Pull gently on the tops to remove the pops from the molds. If you have trouble, run a little warm water along the outside to loosen it.

Note: This makes 12 pops in the small molds we have. The same company makes larger molds, but I think these are the perfect size.

Sauteed Cod with Homemade Spinach Pesto

Tonight's dinner was brought to you by the goodness of in-season and local veggies! I made a delicious spinach pesto to serve over some cod fillets. I served the fish with sauteed squash and corn on the cob (first of the season). Yum!

For the Pesto:

  • 2 C. spinach leaves, washed and dried (could also use arugula)
  • 1/2 C. basil leaves (could use parsley)
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/4 C. grated parmigiano reggiano (or other hard cheese like pecorino or romano)
  • 1/4 C. chopped walnuts (could also use pine nuts or almonds)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 C. good-quality extra virgin olive oil
In a blender or food processor, blend the spinach, basil, garlic, cheese, nuts, and salt. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until the pesto is smooth. This makes lots of extra pesto, which you can use on pasta, eggs, sandwiches, pizza, bruschetta, etc. Or you can freeze the extra - I use small 1/4 or 1/2 cup plastic containers, so I can thaw only what I need.

For the Fish:
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or oil
  • 2 cod fillets (or other white fish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. pesto sauce
In a small saute pan, heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Add the fish, season it with salt and pepper in the pan, and cook for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Spoon the pesto over the top of each fillet, then cook for 1 minute more, to just heat the sauce.

I sauteed the squash in a little oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. It's great with a little sprinkle of feta, goat, or parmesan cheese.

I steam the corn in the microwave. I take off the outer husks and trim the silk at the top. Then I microwave it for 6 minutes (for 2 ears), then allow to stand in the microwave for 5 minutes. It turns out perfect every time (and it is so easy to remove the remaining husks and silk).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Zucchini Quiche

I modified my Potato and Onion Quiche recipe so that I could use up some more zucchini. I used yellow zucchini, but you could use regular green zucchini or other sliced summer squash.

For the crust:
  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water       

In a medium size bowl, combine flour and salt with fork. In a measuring cup, whisk oil and water to thicken. Pour into flour and mix with fork, until combined. 

Press into pie plate.

For the filling:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, or other summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced (could also use half of a regular onion)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Saute the zucchini and onions for about 10-15 minutes, until they become softened and slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While the zucchini and onions are cooking, whisk together eggs and milk.

Pour the cooked zucchini mixture into the prepared pie crust. Pour the egg mixture onto the zucchini, then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until brown and set throughout.

Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Zucchini Breakfast Pancakes

Once again, I'm looking for ways to use up the massive amounts of zucchini that we've gotten from our farm share so far this year.

Normally, when I think of zucchini pancakes, I think of fritters or latkes. But these are traditional buttermilk breakfast pancakes. I modified my basic Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes recipe to add zucchini, and boy, are they yummy. You could easily add chopped nuts or chocolate chips, or add some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.


  • 1 C. AP flour
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. grated zucchini (about half of a medium-sized zucchini)
  • 1/4 C. butter (half a stick), melted
  • 1 C. buttermilk (can substitute regular milk, but the pancakes won't be as fluffly)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the zucchini, and stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, mix the melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If you over-mix, the pancakes will be tough.

Heat a griddle (or a large pan) over medium heat. Grease with oil or butter if desired. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter per pancake onto the griddle.

Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook just slightly more. Keep warm until ready to serve. Spread with butter, if desired, and serve with maple syrup.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Zucchini Muffins with Chocolate Chips

I currently have an entire crisper drawer full of squash in my refrigerator, including some mammoth zucchini. This comes courtesy of the past two weeks of CSA deliveries. The warm winter and spring here on the East Coast has contributed to some really early harvest times (we already have peaches!) so this is the first of several zucchini recipes to come.

These muffins are super moist and delicious. You could easily substitute chopped nuts for the chocolate chips.


  • 1 C. AP flour
  • 1/2 C. white whole-wheat flour (could use all AP flour if you want)
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 C. grated zucchini (about half of a medium zucchini)
  • 1/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt) in a medium sized bowl. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, mix the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just moistened. Do not over-mix. Carefully add the zucchini and chocolate chips and stir just to combine.

Fill greased muffin tins about halfway with the batter. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Makes 10-12 muffins.

These are super served warm. They will keep for several days in a sealed container, but they won't last more than a day around here.

Here are some shots of our last two weeks of CSA deliveries. Huge haul of squash!

Easy Cherry Compote

I'm a little behind here, but I wanted to post about this easy cherry sauce that I made to put over crepes for breakfast on Father's Day. As always I used Emmy's crepe recipe (makes 8 crepes).

You can use either tart or sweet cherries. With sweet cherries, you should cut back on the sugar a little bit. This makes enough for 3-4 servings, but you can easily double it to serve more.


  • 1 C. tart or sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1/3 C. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice (could substitute lemon juice, but I like the cherry-lime combo)
In a small saucepan, heat the cherries, sugar, and lime juice over medium heat. When the sauce begins to bubble, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens and the cherries soften, but still retain their shape.

This sauce is also great over grilled pork or chicken or as an ice cream topping!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

CSA Week 1: Kale with Lentils and Sweet Potato

It's that time of the year! We got our first box from our CSA yesterday. This week's box contained sweet cherries, spring onions, a garlic scape, radishes, yellow and zucchini squash, and a huge bunch of kale.

Kale is one of my favorite dark greens. I would be happy if it came in every week's basket! Two of my favorite recipes I've made with kale are Butternut Squash and Kale Soup and Kale and Bulgur Wheat Pilaf. I also like this Sweet Potato Cream Pasta with Crispy Kale from the blog How Sweet It is and this Fusilli with Prosciutto and Kale from The Six O'Clock Scramble. And don't forget simple kale chips (roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper).

For tonight's dinner, I had a sweet potato that I wanted to use up, but I didn't want to make pasta, so I thought lentils would make for a good meatless meal.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 bunch of kale, torn and washed, large stems removed
  • 1/2 C. green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 C. vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste
Over medium heat, saute the onion and sweet potato in the oil for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften slightly. 

Add the red pepper flakes and kale, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the kale has wilted. 

Add the lentils and broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft and all of the liquid has been absorbed.

I served it with a little fat-free greek yogurt on top, but if you leave that out, this is a vegan dish.