Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zucchini Patties

Last night I was too exhausted to cook, but I wanted something homemade. Cause I've been too exhausted to cook for about 2 months, and I needed some good home cookin'. Oh, and I was out of practically every ingredient (because, like I already mentioned, shopping is a chore best left for times of the year that aren't summer). Oh, AND I had already made the tuna salad sandwiches I bragged about earlier one too many times this week. So I was at a loss. I got on Pinterest, since flopping down in a chair and staring at a computer screen were the only two things I could convince my body to do.

I came across these little gems, and my stomach growled, so I took it as a sign. Well, that, and we have zucchini coming out our ears around here, so I had at least one of the ingredients. And THAT is basically how I decide what to cook these days.

Anyway, here's my version of Zucchini Patties (I knew that if I called them 'cakes', the kids would be too disappointed to give them a fair shake):

1 large (mine was huge) zucchini, shredded and rung out between paper towels
1/2 C. parmesan cheese
1-2 eggs (start out with one, but if your "batter" doesn't stick together at all because your zucchini is the size of a transatlantic jet plane, add another)
1 C. bread crumbs (I just took two slices of bread and broke them up)
Nutmeg (maybe 1/8 tsp? I don't know. Just sprinkle some in)
Smoked Paprika (again, no idea. But make sure there's enough that you can taste it and everything is tinged orange. If you don't have smoked paprika - it's not the same as regular paprika! - go get some. It is amazing stuff.)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt (lots)

Heat large skillet over med heat. Add some olive oil. Place 2" patties in skillet and cook 2 minutes (or more - use your judgement) on each side. Transfer them to a cookie sheet. Broil them for 2-5 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing.

I loved them. They made a perfect light summer dinner when served with melon, blueberries, and cherries. While no one asked for seconds, my children all ate their serving without complaint, and then ended up eating a LOT of fruit.

And that, dear readers, is what I like to call,


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Improvise: Tuna Tuesday

What happens when you are planning on Cafe Rio (Taco Tuesday - every Tuesday!) for dinner, and out of nowhere your husband tells you he has to leave at 5:00 for meetings. And it's 4:30. And your car is in the shop, so that means you'll be stranded at home. And you haven't gone grocery shopping in almost two weeks (because it's summer, and who has time for grocery shopping in the summer?), so your fridge is empty? And your husband's answer to your despair is, "How about tuna sandwiches?" But you hate sandwiches (unless they are hot)?

You google 'Tuna Melt'. That's what happens. Because you remember a few years ago when you found this fabulous tuna melt recipe (before Pinterest was invented), but you didn't print it out like a level-headed person, and instead lost it to the black hole of cyber space.

What then happens when you find a recipe that tickles your fancy over at Pioneer Woman's blog, but you don't have any of the ingredients? Except for the tuna?

Why, you channel your Grandma Orton, of course! You improvise like it's going out of style!

(minus the raisins, though)

You combine tuna, zucchini, onion, tomato, dill pickles (you were just barely smart enough to can oodles of your own last summer - whew!), mayo, spicy brown mustard (remind yourself to buy more of that, cause you canoodled every last scrap out of the jar), Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. Then you pile it onto sandwich thins, bake it, top it with shredded cheddar, broil it, and dinner is served! In about 15 minutes flat. Well, with a little help from fresh cherries, melon, and chips. Gotta have some fruit and chips to make it a real meal.

That's what.

*No pictures were taken because I didn't expect it to be terribly good. But it was. Terribly. In a very unterrible way. Also, I am convinced that you could add whatever vegetables you have in your fridge, and it would be fabulous. Just make sure you have the pickles and onions in there. And the cheese.