Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer = Zucchini

This is a picture of what happens in your garden around here when you go away for 12 days (note the 12-inch ruler at left).  There were four of them, but we were able to slice and grill one of these babies and eat it the day after we returned from our vacation.  That of course left me with about 10 pounds of zucchini to use up (we planted one zucchini plant in the garden this year, mind you).  Fortunately I have joined the trendy web site Pinterest, which is actually really helpful when searching for new recipes.  So when I searched 'zucchini' and found a recipe for zucchini hummus, I was happy to give it a try.  It didn't involve any cooking whatsoever, was easy, used up an entire zuke, and I figured if it was a huge fail, it wouldn't be that big a deal since it only takes about ten minutes to make.  I am low-commitment and really lazy this summer.
But it wasn't a fail!  In fact, it was delicious!!  So delicious that I have now made it twice - once for the family and once for the neighbors at our local farmers' market, who raved about it and are putting the recipe in our neighborhood 'Garden Farms Gazette'.  We used it as a dip with carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and with crackers.  I realize that if you don't enjoy hummus, you might think it looks gross, and in that case, feel free not to try it.  But if you, like all of us around here, spend time during the summer trying to come up with creative uses for the ever-prolific zucchini, this might be for you!

Here's the recipe:
4 cups peeled and chopped raw zucchini
3/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cumin
Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until thick and smooth.  Garnish with paprika and parsley.
(Recipe from "I Breathe....I'm Hungry")

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Kids-At-Camp-Week" 2012

I love my kids so much it's crazy, but they left for Hume Lake on Sunday morning, and holy cow  are Jamey and I having fun at home all by ourselves!  On Sunday, we had our friends Reid and Misty over for dinner (without their kids - they have 3 and 1 on the way; clearly they needed a break!) and Jamey smoked a tri-tip and we grilled a bunch of veggies and had a big salad and cake (food that grown-ups like to eat).  Yesterday I made some shrimp po' boy sandwiches and we took them down to the beach, along with the dog, and enjoyed dinner by the ocean (doesn't the photo look absolutely peaceful?  Well, truth be told, it was horribly windy, so we didn't stay all that long, but still....).  This afternoon we are heading to SLO for some thrift-store furniture shopping (we are looking for a coffee table) and then dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, Upper Crust.  I think the best part is that we decide what we want to do and then we do it - it's just so easy!  No negotiating, no working out schedules or rides, we just go!  This gives me hope for the future, because Jamey and I have joked about having to move to separate houses when we retire, since he loves the warm-water surf of southern California and I love the foggy rugged coast up north (better for hunkering down inside and reading!).  But now I have confidence that we will indeed be good empty-nesters when the time comes (still years from now).  And of course I couldn't relax at all if I didn't know that my kids are having a fantastic time at camp.  Grace is a counselor for the week with the junior-high girls she's been leading all year in Sunday school, and I'm sure Jason and his friends are having fun although I really don't want to think about what exactly they might be doing at this moment (chances are it involves a game of some sort, or eating some kind of food, or a bodily function...). I think about them often but I hope they have such a blast that they don't really think about us at all.  Or all the fun we have planned for the rest of the week (Fourth of July in Cayucos, drive-in, bike rides, neighborhood bbq, and so on).  Who knew that not going anywhere could be so relaxing?!