Fall has started way too soon for me. We didn’t have much of a summer and I was hoping for some warmth in September. Alas, it looks like that is not going to happen. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love all seasons and especially Fall. I love the changing colors, the fact that it gets dark sooner isn’t such a bad thing as you can light candles to make it all cozy and you can snuggle up under a blanket. Well, I do need more than a blanket… warm pants, stick jumper and woolen socks is more like it.
Zucchini season is almost over. Although you can get zucchini all year round nowadays, they are now at their best (and cheapest, which comes in handy if you don’t have a garden full of zucchinis yourself). I absolutely love zucchini, it’s such a versatile vegetable. You can cook it, grill it, stuff it, layer it, grate it and bake it.
When I found some cute round zucchinis at the supermarket, I knew I had to buy them and make some delicious stuffed zucchini. And while I was at it, I stuffed some peppers as well. Well, actually I had only bought 4 round zucchinis and had too much stuffing. So I added two bell peppers to the mix. Which proved to be a good thing, as the 4 zucchinis simply weren’t enough for that hungry bunch here at home.
Banana recipe #… I know, another banana recipe. And guess what, I still have a bunch of recipes I want to share with you. So stay tuned if you like banana bread and similar recipes. This recipe is really different from all the other recipes. Why? Because it’s made with ground hazelnuts.
Gluten & sugar free
As I’ve used ground hazelnuts instead of flour, it’s gluten free and fairly low-carb. Fairly low-carb as it doesn’t have any flour, but probably still too carby for those on a strict low-carb diet, due to the banana. But low-carb or not, this cake is definitely worth a try. It tastes amazing and is super light and fluffy (due to beaten egg whites added to the batter). And, I did not use any added sugar or sweetener. The bananas and the ground hazelnuts are sweet enough together.
Pizza is always a winner, with both adults and kids alike. Especially if it’s homemade. No need to let homemade pizza dough scare you. It is really easy to make and this dough doesn’t need to rise for an hour or more, no kneading skills required, it’s really fast. I do have to admit though that I always keep a pizza kit from the supermarket in my fridge for emergencies (read: need to have dinner ready in 15 minutes flat but I have no inspiration whatsoever to prep something). It’s fresh pizza dough in a can plus tomato sauce. For me, it can be a life saver (at least for my nerves on one of those frantic days).
The sun has forsaken us a bit this summer. Just like the last couple of years, July and August have been rather cold and wet, with just a few days of real summer. Guess this is what summers will be like in our little part of the world. Well, we’ll have to bring the sun in ourselves. And what better way than bringing the sun on your plate with this Lemon Blueberry Crumb Cake?
I made this cake last week to bring to a little family gathering. It was a sure hit with everyone, kids and adults alike. It’s fresh and sweet and the perfect cake for an afternoon tea, a brunch or as a dessert.
Tomatoes are available at supermarkets all year round, but only now is the right season for super tasty and juicy tomatoes that have soaked up all the summer sun. Now, they are at their best. There is so much you can do with tomatoes, but you know what I like best? A simple tomato salad, where that juicy tomato is the star.
The most simple way of course, is a delicious Caprese salad. Sliced tomato, with Mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of good olive oil and Balsamic vinegar, and if desired a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Nothing more. And all with minimum effort, just slice it up, dress on a plate, dig in.
Have you ever made Bread Pudding before? It’s a perfect way to use up stale bread and I can’t believe I have never tried it. This recipe is one of those that are the result of throwing together some ingredients that need to be used before you have to throw them out. Another recipe that I came up with during our holiday at the farm.
Using up ingredients
I had a whole baguette left from a barbecue two days earlier. Too dry and too hard to eat it like that. There is a lot you can do with a stale baguette:
- make bread crumbs/panko (let it dry out even more and then blitz it up in a food processor)
- make croutons (cut into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, add garlic and spices, toss, then roast in the oven until golden brown, great on salads or in soups)
- cut it open, add tomato sauce, ham/salami, cheese and pop it under the grill
- make french toast
I also had a few nectarines that needed to be eaten soon. Seeing them together on the counter, I realized that I could go a totally different direction with that. Sweet instead of savory. Being at a farm, I had more than enough fresh milk and eggs at my disposal. But… I did not have my cabinet with spices. The stash I keep at a holiday home, is very minimal. Luckily, a previous guest had left some cinnamon. Hallelujah!
Couscous salad is a staple in our house for parties and barbecues. You can add basically anything you want, but my absolute favorite is couscous with roasted or grilled vegetables. And feta. The feta is optional of course. If you have eaters that don’t like feta or cheese in general, simply serve it as a separate topping, so everyone can add it if they want to.
We had a barbecue with all the guests at the farm, where we’re staying during our holiday, and everyone brought something. There was potato salad, bell pepper salad, egg salad, macaroni salad, garlic bread and more. And I decided to make this couscous salad. I usually grill the vegetables, but as I did not have a griddle or grilling pan, I roasted them. Which is just as delicious! Got raving reviews from the other guests and more than a few asked for the recipe. So I decided to share it with everyone :).
Rainbow is this week’s Crea-Cross 2017 challenge. For those of you, who don’t know yet what this Crea-Cross 2017 entails, check out Kreanimo, an inspiring personal blog with loads of creative ideas, for more information.
Although I’ve contributed just last week, I’m not a very regular contributor to the challenge. To some, I might even be a bit of a strange addition to all those creative bloggers. But hey, cooking is all about creativity as well. But I have to admit that it can be quite hard to come up with a recipe that expresses clearly the given challenge. But not so this week’s prompt: rainbow. I’m proud to be a co-host yet again, and I’m not alone this week. Anne from Simple Thoughts is co-hosting this week’s challenge as well. Go check out her blog with loads of DIY idea’s, beauty tips, recipes and so much more. Please feel free to share your own idea’s, work etc related to this week’s prompt, using the blue button at the end of this post.
Star Wars Cookies? For real? Yes, for real.
That’s kind of the short version of my conversation with the boys when I showed them what I had made. Their eyes almost popped out of their heads when they saw them. Followed by questions and remarks in the range of ‘are these Star Wars Cookies?’, ‘are they edible?’, ‘are those real cookies?’, ‘can we have these cookies?’, ‘are they really for us?’, ‘wow, how did you do that?’, ‘you really made these yourself?’, ‘WOW’, ‘COOL’, etc. And now imagine two excited boys jumping up and down, talking simultaneously, that my ears started ringing. Get the picture?