Cheesy Zucchini

Cheesy Zucchini
1 lb. sm. zucchini
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 Tbs. bread crumbs
1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese
Scrub the zucchini with a brush under cold running water. Trim the ends. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 13×9-inch baking dish. Spread zucchini slices in the baking dish, overlapping slightly. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, crumbs, cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the zucchini. Bake for 30 minutes or until crumbs are golden. Serve.

Zucchini Custard Pie

2 eggs
2 C. cooked zucchini (3 med. zucchinis: chop, boil, drain and cool for a few min after
2 C. white sugar or 1 C. Splenda blend
1 can evaporated milk
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put all of the above ingredients into blender, cover and blend.
Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell(you decide what you like best, pastry, graham, whatever
)….2 shallow or 1 deep dish
Sprinkle top with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.
Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes then lower heat to 325 degrees and bake until knife inserted
comes out clean, about 30-45 minutes. Let cool and top with your favorite whipped cream
topping. Sprinkle more nutmeg on top if you like

Apricot Vanilla Jam

Apricot Vanilla Jam
By Caroline Cummins, from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Total Time 2 hours
Yield 6 jars (half-pint size)

This recipe is adapted from one by the British gardening maven Sarah Raven. The use of vanilla (and, if you choose to use them, the apricot kernels) gives this classic jam a subtle flavor profile.

3¼ to 3½ lb. whole fresh apricots, washed and dried
4 cups granulated sugar (if you have vanilla sugar, use that)
1 vanilla bean pod
~ Juice of 2 small lemons or 1 large lemon

Halve the apricots. Remove the pits and reserve 4 to 6 pits, if you wish to use them for flavoring. Quarter the apricot halves.
Put the apricot quarters and sugar into a large Dutch oven or other capacious pan and stir gently to combine. With a sharp knife tip, score the vanilla pod lengthwise, then slice the pod into thirds or quarters. Add the vanilla pieces to the apricots along with the lemon juice.
If you have time, let the fruit-sugar mixture macerate for a few hours. If not, gradually bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring occasionally so that the sugar dissolves evenly. Cook at a low-to-steady boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the fruit has completely broken down and the mixture has thickened (at least 30 minutes but sometimes up to 1 hour, depending on the water and pectin content of the fruit).
If you wish to use them, prepare the apricot kernels while the fruit is cooking. Wash and dry the pits, then gently crack them open with a nutcracker. (You can also wrap the pits in a dishtowel and whack them individually with a hammer, but you will probably pulverize the kernels inside, making them harder to use.) The kernels inside look like almonds. Put the kernels in a heatproof measuring cup or bowl and pour a small amount of boiling water over them; let them sit in the hot water for several minutes, then rinse them in cold water to remove their papery skins. Add the kernels to the fruit mixture.
While the jam is cooking, bring a water bath to a boil in a large stockpot or canner and sterilize 6 half-pint jars in the water for 5 minutes. Put the rest of your canning tools (tongs, funnel, ladle, lids, ring bands, jar lifter, etc.) into a large heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them to sterilize them (let them sit in the steaming water for several minutes). When the jars and tools are ready, use the tongs to remove the jars to a countertop covered with a clean dishtowel.
When the jam is ready, use your funnel and ladle to fill each jar, leaving ½-inch of headspace. (Try to evenly divide the vanilla bits and kernels between the jars.) Put the lids and ring bands on the jars and use your jar lifter to put the jars back into the water bath. Process for 10 minutes, then remove the jars to the dishtowel, spacing them so they don’t touch each other. Let the jars cool; as they seal, the lids will make audible popping sounds.
Store the jars of jam in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Once open, store in the fridge.
This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

Apricot and Blueberry Tart

Apricot and Blueberry Tart

3 tablespoon(s) almond paste

1/4 cup(s) sugar

1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

1 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened

All-purpose flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup(s) milk

1 1/3 cup(s) milk

1/4 vanilla bean, split seeds scraped

1/3 cup(s) sugar

2 large eggs

2 tablespoon(s) cornstarch

2 3/4 pound(s) apricots, pitted and quartered

3/4 pound(s) blueberries, 2 cups

1. Make the Tart Shell: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, blend the almond paste, sugar and salt with 3 tablespoons of the butter at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the remaining butter. Add 2 cups of flour and beat at low speed until just combined, then beat in the egg and milk. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours, until very firm.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 14-inch round, 1/4 inch thick; transfer to a 12-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing over the bottom and up the side without stretching. Trim any excess dough. Freeze the shell for 15 minutes.

3. Line the shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 35 minutes, until the pastry is firm and starting to color. Remove the foil and weights and bake the shell for another 20 minutes, until golden and cooked through. If the rim starts to browns too quickly, cover with foil. Transfer the tart shell to a rack; let cool.

4. Meanwhile, Make the Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk with the vanilla bean and seeds and half of the sugar. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

5. Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs with the cornstarch and the remaining sugar until smooth. Gradually whisk in half of the hot milk. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream is thickened, 3 minutes; scrape into a stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath and let stand, stirring often, until the pastry cream has cooled completely.

6. Spread the pastry cream in the shell in an even layer. Arrange the apricot quarters in four concentric circles, leaving a 1-inch gap between the second and third circles and a 2-inch round in the center of the tart. Fill in the spaces with the blueberries. Bake the tart for 50 minutes, until the apricots are tender. Let cool slightly. Unmold the tart, cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Read more:

The World’s Best Pizza (via )

I am going to have to try something like this SOON!

The World's Best Pizza Sounds like a neon sign you'd see flashing in the window of a New York City hole-in-the-wall pizza shop, doesn't it? Well, in our little corner of the world, we have come across the world's best pizza. Well. Maybe Baltimore's best pizza. Well…maybe the best pizza in our apartment. Let's be honest – while this is the best pizza I've ever tasted, I'm pretty sure there are many better pizzas in the world. But OH MAN it was good! Best part? I made … Read More


Tomato Slices with Fresh Basil

These tomato slices simply topped with freshly sliced basil and salt and pepper. Prepare these tomatoes about 30 minutes before serving and allow them to come to room temperature.

•2 large tomatoes
•salt and freshly ground pepper
•4 large basil leaves, chopped or rolled and sliced thinly

Slice tomatoes; arrange on a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then the chopped basil. Let stand for 30 minutes. Serve with vinaigrette, salad dressing, grated cheese, or serve as is.

Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Bacon Streusel Topped Muffins

Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Bacon Streusel Topped Muffins

makes one dozen

2 cups 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 thick slices smoked bacon, diced

For the batter:

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into 12 pieces

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

For streusel topping:

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners; set aside.

Add butternut squash to a small roasting pan, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, until tender and lightly golden. Transfer to a dish to cool.

Add bacon to the pan used for the squash, and bake for 15 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined dish to drain.

To prepare the streusel, combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix well. Add the drained bacon and stir to mix well; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add the butter pieces and rub together with fingers until pea-sized bits form. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined with the dry ingredients. Gently stir in the butternut squash and ricotta, leaving some “lumps” of cheese. It will be a rather stiff dough-like batter.

Evenly spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle tops with an equal amount of streusel. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a metal skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.