Friday, September 30

Vegetable Stuffed Zucchini

It's really hard for me to capture our dinners in an attractive manner. We tend to eat pretty late most nights, closer to 9 or 10pm because that's just how our schedules work out. As such, all the photos I take of dinner are taken in our poorly lit kitchen and they just end up dim and fuzzy most of the time. It doesn't matter how attractive the food looks right in front of me... it never looks as tasty in photos.

Who am I kidding? I'm no food photographer, that's for sure. But I've noticed that the photos I take early in the day always turn out ten times better than the dinner night shots...

But who really has the time to cook dinner at three in the afternoon when the sun is actually out? Or set up an elaborate system of lights just to get proper photos at night? Especially when this is dinner we're talking about! I don't know about you, but I really don't want to wait another 20 minutes to eat something I just spent 20+ minutes making. So instead of taking 50 or so photos like I do when I'm not rushing and my tummy isn't grumbling, I end up taking maybe 15 photos and hope that I get at least one decent one from the group. Most of the time I'm lucky if I get that one.

So forgive me if these photos don't make this vegetable stuffed zucchini look as appealing as it really was. Honestly, sometimes I think trying to capture a decent photo of food is way harder than making it. These zucchini 'boats' were simple to put together and didn't need a whole lot of time in the oven - perfection! We filled ours with rice, red and green peppers, and onion. Oh, and we topped them with a gruyere/cheddar mix which might have been the very best part of the whole meal. I kid, of course, but seriously. Oh! Or maybe the best part was that all of these veggies came from the farmer's market! Can I get a heck yeah? Heck Yeah.

Vegetable Stuffed Zucchini

serves 2 people as an entree, 4 people as a side

2 medium zucchinis
1 small onion
1 cup of sweet peppers
salt & pepper, to taste
paprika & garlic powder, to taste
olive oil
1/2 cup rice, cooked according to package
cheese, to grate (we used a gruyere/cheddar mix)

- Rinse and dry your zucchini, and slice each one in half. Chop off the tops of zucchini if desired.
- Spoon out the zucchini pulp with a spoon (Don't throw it out though!) Once you've made little zucchini 'boats', place them in a casserole dish and brush a little bit of olive oil along each half.
- Chop up the zucchini pulp and set it aside. Dice the onion and peppers and set those aside as well.
- Make your rice according the directions on the bag, and set it aside once it's done.
- In the mean time, heat up some oil in a pan and saute the onions and peppers until they're soft and the onions are beginning to become transparent.
- Combine the zucchini pulp, sauteed onions and peppers. Stir in the cooked rice, and add salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder to taste.
- Once everything is well incorporated, spoon the mixture into each of your zucchini 'boats' and top each with some shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, until the zucchini is tender and easily pierced with a paring knife.
- Gently plate the stuffed zucchini and top with fresh herbs if desired.
- Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28

Another Trip to the Farmers Market

Beautiful potatoes, two ears of corn, and a half gallon of apple cider.

Fresh herbs: spearmint and lemon thyme.

I love it when my schedule works out so that I can get to the farmers market once a week. Most of the summer fruits and berries are gone already, but I'm always happy to see the start of autumn because it means it's apple cider season! Cider aside, I figured I can't go wrong with corn and potatoes, and the herbs I bought with something special in mind to use them for... stay tuned!

Friday, September 23

September floats on by...

Lately my posts have been more photo-heavy and less wordy...
But you know what? I'm ok with that. There's not much to say these days anyway.

Shawn's birthday was last week. He never likes to make a big fuss about it but this year I made him a big cake (yellow cake with chocolate sour cream frosting, to be exact) and got him a few unexpected gifts. He was pleasantly surprised!

We also made meatballs with a side of tortellini for his birthday dinner - quite possibly the best meatballs Shawn has made yet!

I realized I never talk much about what I bake at work. Honestly, I always forget to bring my camera in with me! Here's a peek at what I'll usually make on a weekly basis.... cookies, muffins, scones, and some sort of loaf. And yep, that's all the workspace I have. Hey, you don't need a whole lot of space if you keep it organized properly!

Oh, and pies! I made a lot of pies this summer using up all sorts of fresh fruits, but I'm really excited about making some pies for autumn!

Zucchini bread gets its close-up. I honestly had never made or really even eaten zucchini bread until this summer, but now I think it's absolutely wonderful! It's a lot of fun to bake with vegetables too.

...Of course, what's a post on here without some gratuitous pictures of what we made for dinner?

Mini pizzas made on naan bread! My parents made some the last time I visited and I thought "What a genius idea!" Indeed. We used Trader Joe's frozen naan (warmed in the oven before adding toppings) topped with tomato sauce, red and green peppers, onion, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

This week we also splurged and bought some steaks which we paired with homemade sour cream mashed potatoes and green beans. Yummy! Shawn cooked those steaks perfectly!

Oh, I know that's not food up there, don't be silly! But I was too proud of myself not to share a photo of this pillow case I 'fixed'. There was nothing wrong with it to start, it was just made for a bigger pillow that we no longer have, so I sewed it down to fit this smaller pillow. It was a simple sewing project, I can't believe it took me weeks to get motivated to do it! I'm so proud of myself every time I look at the bed now though :)

Expect an onslaught of photos on our flickr soon; we went to Longwood Gardens yesterday and took over 200 photos each! We're so excited to share them once we sort through them all.

Wednesday, September 7

Chop chop!

This weekend, I did a little chopping outside of the kitchen...

A whopping eight inches! I took my chances and went to one of the local salons after hearing only good things about it. And in case you couldn't tell, I'm absolutely lovin' it. That's the long and short of it! (Oh, and Shawn likes it too! :D)

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