Apple Streusel Cheesecake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour

3 apples
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 (250 g) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 lemon, juice and zest

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust:
Cream butter and sugar thoroughly, blend in flour. Press onto the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden.

For the filling:
Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/3 inch thick slices. In a frying pan, melt sugar with butter over medium heat, cook apples for 3-5 minutes or just until tender (and lightly browned) but not mushy. Add cream and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese with brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time until just blended. Beat in sour cream, lemon zest juice.

Using a slotted spoon arrange apples over crust,cover with cheese mixture.

For topping:
Mix the ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake 45 minutes or until centre is just set. Cool thoroughly at room temperature. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

This recipe is also linked to...

Food on Friday: Desserts
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Apples
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Cast Party Wednesday
Sweet Treats Thursday
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
This Week's Cravings: Apples
It's a Blog Party's Fall Fest Apple Recipes 2011

Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Countless amounts of miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups, smashed or cut up.

Peanut Butter frosting recipe follows


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then the yolks one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); mix only until each new batch is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the cake pans.

Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (Once the layers are cooled, they can be wrapped airtight and left at room temperature overnight or kept frozen for up to 2 months.)

To Assemble the Cake: Place one layer top side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Frost the top of the layer, and sprinkle the smashed up peanut butter cups inside. Be careful to not overload the inside with peanut butter cups or else it will look uneven when you place the top layer.

Next, cover with the second layer, top side down. Frost the sides and top of the cake, either smoothing the frosting for a sleek look or using a spatula, knife or spoon to swirl it for a more exuberant look. Press the remaining peanut butter cups around the sides of the frosted cake, and if you want you can sprinkle them on top too.

Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour (or for up to 1 day, if that’s more convenient) to set the frosting, then bring it to room temperature before serving.

Peanut butter frosting:


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tspsalt
1/3 cup whipping cream


Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

NOTE: Next time, I’ll double the frosting recipe so that I can frost the sides… although I have to say that the naked sides do look pretty cool.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch


6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (16 oz) jar creamy peanut butter
3 cups rice crispy cereal
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar


Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, melt half of the chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter over low heat. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 cup peanut butter, then 2 cups rice cereal. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan; refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Wash out the saucepan.

In the saucepan, combine the remaining cup butter and the salt; melt over medium heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining peanut butter and the confectioners’ sugar. Spread half of the peanut butter mixture over the cereal layer. Top with the remaining 1 cup cereal.

In a small bowl, microwave the remaining chocolate at medium power until melted, 1 1/2 minutes. Stir into the remaining peanut butter mixture. Spread evenly on the cereal-topped peanut butter layer; refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes. Cut into 16 pieces.

Awesome Banana Muffins


3 or 4 Large bananas, mashed (the more bananas the moister, so I use 4)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted margarine or butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your muffin tin or use paper liners.

Mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg and margarine together. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour.

Mix wet and dry ingredients all together! Pour into greased/lined muffin tins, and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy!

NOTE:These are much more flavourful the next day, and they freeze very nicely too!

NOTE: Also, if you like walnuts, you can throw a handful of those in there as well for some added flavour and texture, or try adding chocolate chips, or better yet, BOTH! Yum!

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Yellow

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies


1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed very well
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt and process until smooth. Add 1/2 of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 of the chocolate chips.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.

Pulled Pork with Root Beer Sauce


2 1/2-3 pound pork sirloin roast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 cup root beer *not diet


1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 cups root beer (two 12-ounce cans or bottles) *not diet
1 cup bottled chili sauce
8-10 hamburger, hoagie, french bread buns or rolls


Trim fat from the meat. Sprinkle on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brown on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat.

Transfer meat to slow cooker and add the 1 cup of root beer. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

30 minutes before serving, make the sauce:

In a medium saucepan combine the 3 cups root beer and the chili sauce. Bring to boiling and reduce heat. Boil gently uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2-2 cups.

Transfer meat to a cutting board or serving platter. Discard juices.

Using 2 forks, pull meat apart into shreds.

Put meat and sauce into a large bowl and mix.

Serve on a bun.

This recipe is also linked to...

It's a Blog Party's Fall Fest Recipes 2011
Simply Delish Saturday

Raspberry Lemon Bars


1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
2 egg yolks
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
juice of 3 large lemons (about 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons juice)
zest of one lemon
3 cups fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, etc.)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9" square baking dish or a 9" springform pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and lemon zest. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely while you prepare the filling.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk until blended. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest and continue to whisk for a few minutes until the mixture thickens a bit (it will feel lighter as you stir). Very gently fold in your berries and pour the filling into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the filling is just set, and cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving.

This dessert is prettiest the first day, but keeps well and tastes just as good the second and third day! (If there is any left that long, that is!)

Coconut-Lime Cupcakes


1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sweetened coconut

1 cup butter
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp lime zest


Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with liners. Again, this recipe makes 18 regular cupcakes or 36 mini cupcakes.

In a medium bowl, mix vegetable oil and sugar. Add the coconut milk, milk, vanilla extract, and lime zest. Mix well.

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until smooth.

Add the coconut and gently mix to incorporate.

Fill cups about 3/4 full. For regular cupcakes bake 20 minutes. For mini cupcakes bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.


Beat the butter until fluffy.

Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat for 3 minutes.

Add the vanilla extract and lime juice, beat for another 5 minutes or until fluffy.

Add the lime zest and fold into frosting.

Chill until ready to frost.

This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Cupcakes
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Green

Pear Almond Tart


for Crust:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp cold milk or ice water
1/2 tsp of vanilla

for Filling:

3 small, firm but ripe pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou
6 Tbsp unsalted room temperature butter
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
2 tsp flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract


for Crust:

Add the flour, confectioner's sugar, and salt together in a food processor and pulse once or twice to combined. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the butter pieces are no bigger than a pea. Alternatively use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in the butter, or freeze the butter and coarsely grate it then use your fingers and rub the pieces into the flour. It is very important to keep the butter cold otherwise it will melt and make the crust greasy and you'll lose all the flaky layers.

Mix the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla together. Drizzle the mixture over the butter and flour mix in the food processor. Pulse again until the dough start to form large clumps. If it looks too dry add a little more milk.

Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press the clumps together to form a disc. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and chill at least an hour up to overnight. Or store it in the freezer for as long as you want.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough to into a large circle. Move the crust around often to make sure it doesn't stick to your work surface.

Transfer the dough to an 8 or 9 inch tart pan. To make this easier, drape the dough over the rolling pin and lay it over the pan. Lift the edges of the crust and gently press the dough down into the pan. Roll over the top of the pan with a rolling pin to trim any overhanging dough.

Prick the surface of the dough with a fork. Press a sheet of aluminum foil onto a crust and add pie weights, beans, or clean pennies on top. Bake the crust for 25 minutes lined with foil and weighted down with pie weights, beans, or pennies, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the tart pan, keeping the crust in the pan, and cool the crust until it is room temperature.

For filling:

In a bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, and cornstarch. Process the butter with the sugar in the food processor then add the dry ingredients and process until smooth. Then add the extracts and egg and blend until smooth. The cream can also be made with a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer. The almond cream can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or you can freeze it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and core them. Rub them with fresh lemon juice and then pat them dry. Slice each pear half and then cut each half into thin slices.

Spread the almond cream evenly in the tart crust. Lift the sliced pear half with a spatula, gently press down on it to fan it out, and lay it on the almond cream. The skinny part of the pear should face in. Repeat with the other 5 pear halves. The 6 pear halves will form spokes. Optional: decorate the tart with some almond slices.

Bake the tart for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the almond cream is puffy and brown. After baking let it cool until it is warm or room temperature to serve.

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Nuts
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Cast Party Wednesday
Sweet Treats Thursday
Sweet Tooth Friday
Saturday's Seasonal Inspiration
It's a Blog Party's Fall Fest Recipes 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 butter, room temperature, in small pieces
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioner's sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway.

Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed.

Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese on medium speed for several minutes, until creamy. It's hard to get out all the lumps, but keep beating!

Add vanilla.

Gradually add butter while beating on medium speed. This will take several minutes. Turn up to high speed for 30-60 seconds; frosting should be smooth.

On low speed, add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. If the frosting is stiff enough to pipe, you can use it now, but depending on the temperature in your kitchen, you may want to refrigerate it before using.

If it's too stiff after refrigeration, just mix again for 30 seconds or so.

Frost the cupcakes once they're completely cooled.

This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Cupcakes
It's a Blog Party's Fall Fest Recipes 2011
Food on Friday: Parsnips and Pumpkin

Root Beer Float Cake


2 cups root beer (not diet, old fashioned if you can find it)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

For the root beer Bundt cake:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it, dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy--do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.

For the root beer frosting:

Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.

Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the Bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving, with the ice cream on the side.

NOTE: I made mine into cupcakes and garnished with a scoop of vanilla butter cream icing and a piece of a bendy straw.

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Eat with Your Kids Day
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Cupcakes
Sweets for a Saturday

Coca Cola Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup Coca-Cola (not diet)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp cocoa
6 Tbsp Coca-Cola
3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, sift sugar and flour. Add marshmallows.

In saucepan, mix butter, oil, cocoa, and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients; blend well.

Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well.

Pour into a well-greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.

To make frosting, combine butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

Variation: Use Cherry Coke instead of regular coke. I used maraschino cherries with stems on dipped in chocolate to garnish (a 9x13 pan makes 24 pieces (depending on how big or small you want to make the pieces) or 24 cupcakes (if you don't want a cake). Whatever cherries are left after you pick out 24 for dipping in chocolate, chop them up and mix them into the batter just before you pour it into the pan. Because the cherries are so sweet, I cut back on the sugar (used about 1 cup instead of 1 1/2). Also, I wanted to bring out the vanilla flavour (I used cherry vanilla coke), so I used whipped vanilla icing. It also played up on the contrast of the chocolate dipped cherries.

Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans


1 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 egg white
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp buttermilk
3/4 cup grated raw zucchini, wring out moisture slightly and loosely pack into measuring cup
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Measure almond flour into medium-sized bowl. (If flour has been stored in freezer, let it come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes.) Add salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to flour and use a fork to combine and press out any lumps.

Put 1 egg and 1 egg white into small bowl. Add sugars and use a electric mixer to beat until the mixture has tripled in size, about 2-3 minutes. (You shouldn't beat it until the eggs begin to form peaks like meringue.) Gently stir in canola oil and buttermilk.

Wash zucchini and grate with large side of a hand grater. Squeeze water out of zucchini if it seems wet, then loosely measure out 3/4 cup of grated zucchini. (Zucchini doesn't have to be completely dry but shouldn't be dripping water.) Add pecans.

Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, only stirring enough to barely combine, then gently fold in the zucchini and pecans. Spray 6 muffin cups (or a muffin tin) with non-stick spray or oil, then divide mixture evenly into cups.

Bake muffins about 45 minutes, or until top is browned and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I was surprised they took that long to bake, but the batter is quite moist and dense and I really did bake them for 45 minutes.)

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Nuts
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Gluten-Free Wednesdays
Sweet Treats Thursday
Sweet Tooth Friday
This Week's Cravings: Special Diets (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT FREE and MORE)

Ratatouille Wanna-Be


4 zucchini and/or summer squash, coarsely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
6 large cloves garlic, finely diced
6 red or yellow tomatoes, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp chopped fresh savory
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T olive oil, plus more for sauteing as needed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or less)
sea salt to finish


Heat small amount of olive oil in large, heavy pan, add zucchini and yellow squash and saute 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add a bit more olive oil, then add peppers, onions, and garlic and saute 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes to pan, gently combine vegetables, and saute 5 minutes more.

Add zucchini and yellow squash back into pan with parlsey, savory, sugar, olive oil, dried oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered one hour.

After an hour, add chopped fresh basil, season with sea salt and cook 5-10 minutes more. Serve hot or room temperature.

This recipe is also linked to...

Delicious Dishes: Fall Favourites
Gluten-Free Wednesdays
Saturday's Seasonal Inspiration

Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad


1 zucchini about 10 inches long
2 medium summer tomatoes (or 5-6 cherry tomatoes), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted (I cut the olives in half but you don't have to.)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (or less)
olive oil, to brush on zucchini
1 tsp. Greek seasoning
3 Tbsp vinaigrette dressing
fresh ground black pepper to taste


Preheat grill to high.

Cut ends off zucchini and cut into quarters lengthwise. (If you have large zucchini with seeds, cut away the white inside from each zucchini piece so you have the green skin with about 3/8 inch of white on it.) Brush all sides of zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle white side with Greek Seasoning.

Place white side down on hot grill and cook about 3 minutes, or until starting to get grill marks and barely starting to soften, then turn and cook other side of white about 3 minutes. Turn zucchini over so green side is down, brush with 1 T of vinaigrette dressing, and cook about 2-3 minutes more. Zucchini should still be slightly firm when you remove it from the grill.

Let zucchini cool while you chop tomatoes, cut olives in half, and crumble the feta. Cut zucchini strips into pieces about 1-inch wide.

Put zucchini and tomatoes in salad bowl. Pour 2 T salad dressing over (or less, you don't need much because the zucchini is already very flavorful). Add sliced Kalamata olives and crumbled feta and gently combine. Season with fresh ground black pepper to taste, and enjoy!

NOTE: This makes an individual portion of salad. It's great to take along to work.

This recipe is also linked on...

Delicious Dishes: Fall Favourites
This Week's Cravings: Summer Vegetables

Zucchini Pasta


2 pounds zucchini
2 garlic cloves
12 large basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 pound pasta, uncooked (I like Fusilli)
1 cup fresh finely shredded parmesan cheese (about 2 oz.), divided
salt & pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Meanwhile, trim and discard ends of zucchini. Cut each zucchini into 3- to 4-in. lengths; cut each length into 1/4- to 1/2-in.-thick matchsticks and set aside. Chop garlic and set aside. Cut basil leaves into thin ribbons and set aside.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, toast pine nuts, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In the same pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter with 2 tsp. olive oil. Increase heat to high and add half of the zucchini and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook zucchini, stirring frequently, until soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer zucchini to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the butter and oil in the pan as possible. Repeat with remaining zucchini and 1/4 tsp. salt. Remove frying pan from heat and reserve.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook until pasta is tender to the bite, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat reserved frying pan over medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and the chopped garlic, and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add reserved zucchini and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until well combined.

Add zucchini mixture and reserved basil to cooked pasta and toss to combine. Add 1/2 cup parmesan and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter. Toss until butter melts and everything is well-combined. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan and serve immediately.

NOTE: Cutting the zucchini into strips and cooking them until they're tender but still holding their shape allows them to twist and turn around the fusilli, clinging to the noodles like sauce. In addition, the pine nuts add richness to the plate, which—like all good pasta dishes—tastes greater than the sum of its parts.

This recipe is also linked to...

Delicious Dishes: Fall Favourites

Bread & Butter Pickles


16 cups sliced cucumbers or zucchini
4 medium onions
1/3 cup pickling salt
2 to 3 trays of ice cubes
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp whole mustard seed
1 Tbsp whole celery seed
1 tsp ground turmeric
OPTIONAL 1 to 2 teaspoons hot chili flakes


Wash the cucumbers or zucchini well, and trim off the ends. Cut them into thin, even slices, and layer them in a large perforated pot or strainer with the ice cubes and the salt. Peel and slice the onions in equally thin slices, and cut them in quarters. Add them to the strainer. Have a couple of the ice cubes and a little of the salt left to sprinkle over them. Cover and put in a cool spot for 3 hours to drain.

Meanwhile, put the jars into a canner and cover with water to an inch above their rims. When the vegetables have about 30 minutes left to drain, turn the heat on and bring them to a boil. Boil them for 10 minutes.

Just before the jars start boiling, put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a canning kettle or other very large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil until the sugar is dissolved.

Meanwhile, strain the vegetables thoroughly, shaking gently to dislodge as much liquid as possible from them. Do not rinse them. Add them to the boiling brine, and bring them up to a scant boil. This should happen about the same time as the jars are ready, but if not, turn off the heat and keep them until the jars are ready.

Put the lids and rings on to boil according to the manufacturers directions; that is they should boil for 5 minutes.

Empty the sterilized jars - half into the sink and half back into the canner - and set them out on a heat-proof board. Fill the jars with the hot pickle mixture. Wipe the rims with a paper towel dipped in the boiling water to be sure they are clean and clear. Top with the boiled lids and rims, and seal them snuggly but not too tightly. Pop them back into the boiling water in the canner, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove and let the jars cool. Test for seals, and label the jars.

Makes 6 500mL jars.

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Green