We had a unique twist on our dinner a few nights ago, when my dad and his wife came for dinner, and they brought the steak!
Because we were heading out of town the next morning, I knew I didn’t want to complicate our dinner by going to the store, so I used what I already had. I did splurge while taking my son to get his hair cut, and stopped off at the local bread store and bought a fresh loaf of garlic/cheddar bread.
I also knew that I had a whole garden full of crookneck squash! What’s a girl to do with all that squash? I asked myself. In the past we’ve had an abundance of zucchini, but I've found that you can also make many recipes with just about any kind of squash, by improvising!
I pulled out my Walla Walla Onion casserole recipe (thank you Judy G!) and I did improvise a little. Instead of all onions, I added fresh peppers and a couple of crookneck squash. Delicious!!
2 large Walla Walla sweet onions, 3 medium crookneck squash, red (yellow or orange) peppers – all sliced.
½ cup of butter, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 cups milk (I used ½ and ½), 3 eggs
Salt, pepper & 2 cups of cheese (I used 1 of cheddar, 1 of parmesan)
Preheat oven to 350. In sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter. Sauté veggies until softened. Grease 9x13 pan with butter. Line bottom of baking pan with bread crumbs. Place veggies on top.
In mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients (minus cheese) and mix. Pour over veggies and top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (uncovered).
Remove from oven, cover with a dish towel and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Our home was built 30 years ago. I happened to run into the builder’s wife a few weeks ago in the grocery store and she said they were dying to see our house, and the changes we’ve made (not all that many, but enough to be different in 30 years!)
The fun “twist” on the evening with my Dad and Ginny was when we called up Fred and his wife and they came over and we gave them a tour! It was fun to talk about the differences in the house, and why Fred did what he did, what the original counters and floors were, and what the neighborhood was like when the house was first built. We specifically asked him about “header” issues in the kitchen, in case we ever remodel that room.
We got to tell Fred how much we love our 70’s back patio. And how so many people come over and comment on it. It was very well built and designed back in 1978, that is for sure! We still have the cool 70’s globe lights, too.
I also tried a new dessert recipe that I found in a Paula Deen magazine as I was perusing it during a soccer game a few weeks ago. Every recipe looks so incredible, but this one caught my eye because it was easy, light, and I could use our (still) ever bearing, huge strawberries from our yard! Using what I had in my kitchen, I again improvised with the ingredients that worked for me.
Delightfully so, our strawberry patch is still producing the most amazing, huge strawberries. We've been spoiled, from May to August!
PAVLOVA W/CREAM & STRAWBERRIES
6 egg whites, ¼ tsp. cream of tarter, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar, 1 tsp. chocolate extract (I used almond ).
1/4 cup cocoa, 1 tsp. cornstarch
Cream (recipe below)
Fresh fruit for topping
Preheat oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 10-inch circle on the parchment.
In large bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tarter. Beat at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in vinegar and extract.
In small bowl, combine cocoa and cornstarch. Mix well and gently fold into egg white mixture. Spoon mixture onto circle drawn on parchment paper. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Turn oven off and let meringue cool completely in oven.
Just before serving, spoon cream over center of meringue. Top with berries and serve.
2 cups heavy whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar, 2 TBS Chambord liqueur (I used Grand Marnier because that is all I had). Beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the liqueur, mix, cover and chill.
If you have an older home, would you like to meet the builder who built it?
If so, what questions would you ask?
And, what is a girl to do with all that squash?
(My daughter and I on our way to dinner last night with friends to celebrate her (late) 5th grade graduation. Thank you Jill and Ally for sharing a fun mommy-daughter time with us!)
I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesday, over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam! Thanks, for hosting, Jen!