Easy Cook: Zucchini, Cherry Tomato & Couscous Medley

Here’s a rather unique dish for using some of the abundance of zucchini which shows up in our gardens, grocery stores and farmer’s markets each summer. This recipe is simple to mix up and quite tasty. The dish pairs roasted zucchini squash and cherry tomatoes with couscous and a splash of red wine vinegar. What is couscous? It is sort of like a pasta which is about the size of small barley. This pasta-like ingredient sits on my kitchen shelf, lonely, just waiting for a recipe to come along to use it. Here’s a great pairing — the neutral couscous blends well with the tomatoes and zucchini. We really like this recipe!

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Yellow Squash Ratatouille

It looks like I am going to have a bumper crop of yellow squash this summer if my giant squash bushes keep growing. I am actually observing a few bees in my garden; that’s a good sign. If yellow squash is fixed properly–it is very tasty. Otherwise, it can turn out to be the vegetable that nobody likes. To get ready for my explosion of squash, I am trying to recall all the squash dishes that taste really good! Today I am making an easy recipe which marries yellow squash with tomatoes and herbs. The dish bakes slowly in the oven which allows all the herbs and spices to meld with the squash and tomatoes. Even if you are not a fan of squash — the dish tastes great! I served the ratatouille with pasta.

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Kansas City PlowBoys Dry Rub Roast Chicken

My blog post this week is about a delicious Oven Roast Chicken recipe inspired by a cross-country road trip. Several weeks ago my daughter and I took a marathon auto trip — driving from Boston, Massachusetts, to Aspen, Colorado, where she was going to live for the summer. Let us just say, it was a long — and boring — drive! We listened to lots of murder-mystery podcasts and watched the scenery go by. Kansas was interesting — this state must have the record for most windmills; a sight that you don’t see in Louisiana. The huge, silent and futuristic windmills filled the countryside and provided lots of photo opportunities for the passenger. Clean energy and our future, I presume!

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Easy Cook: A Small Batch of Air Fryer Granola

Wow, I’ve just made the best and easiest batch of granola possible. It is crunchy and aromatic. And I used my newest kitchen “gadget,” an air fryer, which I purchased around the holiday season. The air fryer was intended as a Christmas present for a relative. But when the relative stated that she already had an air fryer, I decided to keep this Christmas present for myself. Do you ever do that? Although other friends say that they “love” cooking with air fryers, I really haven’t figured out a way to make good use of my air fryer. Today I decided to give this little appliance another try and am pleased to report that I made a very successful batch of granola.

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Love ‘N Knishes Cheesecake with Blueberry Swirl Sauce

I love cheesecakes. It is one of my favorite desserts. There are so many variations to the cheesecake theme that I don’t have to worry about running out of ideas for blog posts. My cheesecake recipe this week makes a delightful little dessert which is incredibly easy to mix up. Plus, it is rather unique — as there is no sugar in the bottom layer. At first I thought I was reading a misprint of the ingredients. But, I followed the instructions exactly and everybody loved the resulting cheesecake. Sometimes “sweet” isn’t always the best thing. I added a blueberry swirl topping and sauce made with fresh blueberries from this year’s crop. I hope you will try making this recipe, too, and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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Easy Cook: Skillet Zucchini and Corn Sauté

Everyone should have a couple of good zucchini recipes for the summertime. This squash is so plentiful and inexpensive during the summer months; it’s a great way to get fresh vegetables into a person’s meals. And cooking zucchini doesn’t have to be difficult. My recipe for “Skillet Zucchini and Corn Sauté” sort of sneaks the zucchini into the dish. It is turning out to be one of our favorite zucchini recipes. The dish has only a few ingredients, uses “one pot” (a skillet) and tastes great. Let’s eat zucchini!

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Steen’s Cane Syrup Whole Wheat Rolls

Today, I’m making “Whole Wheat Rolls” using my Instant Pot. These flavorful rolls have a hint of molasses flavor due to the Louisiana Steen’s Cane Syrup which I added. What does an Instant Pot have to do with making yeast rolls? One of the most difficult steps in baking breads, in my opinion, is finding a warm spot in my kitchen which is just right for the dough to rise. Too hot, and the dough is hard as a rock. Too cold, the dough never rises. I’ve had so many flops. I was excited to learn that my new Instant Pot has two modes — Yogurt and Sous Vide — which can be used for the first dough proofing step. I’m experimenting today. I am using a food processor for mixing and kneading the dough, so this recipe is super simple.

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Delicious, “Crumbly Blueberry Bars”

Here’s a delicious dessert, “Crumbly Blueberry Bars,” which combines two of my favorite ingredients and flavors — blueberries and oatmeal. Both these ingredients have many nutritional benefits which adds to the appeal of this dessert bar. I still have blueberries in my freezer to use from my last summer’s backyard blueberry crop. So, I’m making this very simple recipe for “Crumbly Blueberry Bars” with some of these frozen berries. These bars are very soft and crumbly — they are best eaten when served as a dessert bar with a fork. They make a great breakfast bar when served with yogurt as well as a snack or dessert.

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Cajun-Inspired Shrimp-Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

“Cajun-Inspired Shrimp-Stuffed Patty Pan Squash” may be my best recipe ever for fixing all the numerous summer squashes which grow my garden. I used these cute little “space ship” shaped patty pan squash and stuffed them with a savory shrimp filling. The patty pan squash are very bland compared to other summer squash varieties. They pair perfectly with a classic Cajun-type shrimp stuffing. If you are looking for an unique dish to share with family and friends, here it is.

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Authentic Cajun Dirty Rice

This week I’m featuring a recipe for “authentic” “Cajun Dirty Rice.” What is so special about “Cajun Dirty Rice”? When this recipe is made properly, it is absolutely delicious. Long ago, I worked in a small town outside of Baton Rouge. Upon leaving work, I would drive out of my way just to purchase a helping of “Cajun Dirty Rice” from a local fried chicken joint, “Danny’s Fried Chicken.” It was that good. This is one of those recipes which you will probably never find outside of Louisiana but it epitomizes Cajun cooking to me. It is full of the “Cajun Holy Trinity” of vegetable seasonings, fluffy long grain rice, meat, green onions and spices — yes, this dish can be quite “hot.” The mixture is slowly cooked on the stove to blend the flavors. It reminds me of a “jazzed-up” rice pilaf. This recipe does include two “secret” ingredients which make it unique. Read on.

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