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Friday, July 29, 2011

Apricot Vanilla Jam

         A few weeks ago, I got absolutely giddy over the sight of apricots.Really I did and my reaction even stunned me a little.I was so happy to see apricots at the grocery store I just couldn't keep it together.And this is not the first time this has happened.
Yep it's true and I'm totally ok with admitting it.

   The same giddy-over-apricot happened last year about this time and again I fell for some fresh apricots.
Sucker.
 
   They are a delicate fruit and in this almost oppressive Southern heat I just don't expect to see them much.So that means that they might be shipped in from somewhere else and well thats ok by me.I only want enough to make one round of apricot jam and I will be on my merry way. Thank you.

  Apricot jam is one of my most favorite jam flavors.I love apricot jam and ooohhh the other day I saw a recipe for Apricot Butter. Now slap me silly that sounded amazing! Luscious,sweet,clean flavors of fresh apricots cooked down to make a rich butter and wait for it...and if I can it,I can have have a jar of that goodness in the middle of winter. The thought was almost too much to bear and well I'm sorry to say my dreams took a detour.

   So what had happened was I bought the two pounds of apricots the Apricot Butter recipe called for (hopes building,oh joy!). Saturday morning rolls around and....
I rinsed off the fruit,halved them and took out the pits. Then had a brilliant idea (Well truth be told I've been on a vanilla bean kick. I've put it in two other jams I've made...there are worse things I guess.) So the idea: let's put some vanilla bean in this delish apricot butter and ooh for more flavor cook down the apricots with the vanilla bean,fine fine fine idea. And hey the pretty little vanilla bean black specks all throughout the bright orange jam,now thats gourmet people.
  The smells that came out of this pot were just beautiful and it wasn't just the simple,rich orange color ...I'm telling you just sweet enough,a whiff of vanilla and all apricot. Heaven.

I broke out the food mill,fashioned it with the medium-size texture disc (that sounds somewhat technical,the texture size is well medium. it's not big chunks and not super fine,just in between...medium).

I carefully poured batches of the cooked down apricot mixture into the food mill and went to work workin' down that mixture into apricot/vanilla bean puree.***Here's the fun part,ready for it? Ok here goes: the Apricot Butter recipe calls for 6 cups of apricot puree. SIX WHOLE CUPS! Now I'm no magician and I'm not fussing at the writers of the recipe (in my most trusty canning recipe cookbook) but, there was no way! on this planet that I was going to get 6 whole cups of apricot puree out of 2 pounds of apricots. NOT GONNA,WASN'T GONNA HAPPEN. What did happen was a little canning genius...think Meredith think Meredith...Apricot Vanilla Jam.

Oh thank my lucky stars something came to me.

  I have made enough jam to know a few of the ropes and I knew I had enough puree to make a few jars of a fine apricot vanilla jam. Called off the dogs,shut off the alarms and my blood-pressure came down a few notches,now off to make some jam.

I used the apricot jam recipe  in the same trusty canning recipe cookbook. Measured up some sugar.

  I also squeezed up the juice of an orange. The orange would brighten the apricot flavors,who doesn't need a little bright orange juice in their lives.




        The apricot jam is this trusty canning recipe cookbook was a big hit last year,so hey I broke out the pectin,followed the recipe for the jam substituting the apricot puree for the chopped apricots. I knew the jam might be a little thinner,but just as tasty. It was tasty,so tasty.
     Apricot Vanilla Jam! Ta-da!  I know you're thrilled and probably still a little shocked. Funny thing is I will probably just act just as excited as the first time,the next time I see apricots in the produce section. I love them that much. If you see them,make this jam. And after you taste this jam,you will act giddy all over again.Enjoy!

Apricot Vanilla Jam
adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
makes 6 half-pints ( 8-ounce jars)
Ingredients:
2 lbs apricots-halved and pitted
1/4c water
half of a vanilla bean
juice of one orange
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
7 cups granulated sugar
Directions:
1. Prepare your canner,jars and lids.
2. In a large stainless steel saucepan or preserving pan,add the halved apricots and water.On a cutting board carefully split the vanilla bean half down the middle,turn the knife over and with the dull side of the knife scrap out the middle of the vanilla bean. Add the vanilla bean piece and vanilla specks to the apricots. Cook the apricots down over medium-high heat until tender and a little juicy.
3. Add the apricot mixture to either a food mill with medium grade disc or a food processor. THIS MIXTURE IS HOT,BE GENTLE AND WORK IN BATCHES IF YOU WANT. Puree the mixture until you have 3 cups of puree.
5. Add the puree back to the same pot you cooked the apricots in,whisk in the orange juice and pectin until completely dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat,stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full boil,stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam if any.
6. Ladle hot jam into prepared jars,leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rim,center the lids and screw one rings until resistance is met and then increase to finger-tip tight.
7. Place jars in canner,ensuring they are completely covered with water.Bring to a boil,return canner lid and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid,wait for 5 minutes more then remove jars to a cooling rack. Let sit at least 12 hours to cool and seal.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mid-Week Moment # 34

"What is human life? The first third is a good time;the rest of it is remembering about it." -Mark Twain

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mixed Berry Champagne

So it's 4 million degrees outside and I know it's hot where you are...it's summer for heaven's sake.

So it's 6 million degrees outside and what do I want to do on a Sunday afternoon????

  Any takers???

  Go have drinks with my friends of course on their gorgeous back porch,of course! Oh and not just any drinks,but mixed berry champagne! Let me tell you about my Sunday afternoon,it was wonderful.

     The theme for iheartcookingclubs this week is chilling...or chillin'. Our spotlight chef for the next few months is Jamie Oliver. I found the recipe for Strawberry Champagne in his cookbook Jamie at home and I knew it was the drink for me...and some selected friends.

Oh those lucky friends.

  I had to move quickly on this one because before going to have a cocktails with some dear friends we were going to see a movie. And that means my recipe ingredients had to be prepped and chilled as they would be sitting in a hot car for the duration of the movie. Good grief,makin' me work for that bubbly.
So here's what I did:



   I cooked down some berries and mint in a large pot. I chose blueberries,strawberries and cranberries for our berry mix. I snipped some mint out of the garden and got to cooking. I cooked the berries just a bit too long,BUT! that worked in my favor. (I'll explain in a bit.)
Ran the cooked-down berry mixture through a food mill and then poured that into a mason jar (well technically an  Atlas jar.) Next I poured up some sugar in another jar,twisted on the lids,grabbed the champagne out of the wine cooler and threw all of that in a cooler with some ice packs.Sheewww,cutting it close.We were off to see the movie .














  We finished the movie and set up the bar at my friends' house. Soooo.... I had this fun notion to dip the champagne glass in the berry puree and then in the sugar and ta-da! have a pretty pink-sugar rim on the glass. Nothing of the sort happened the first few times I tried it.
  Why you ask?
  Well the berry puree was hot and the glasses were room temperature,so nothing (not berry juice or sugar) was sticking to any glass of any kind.I had a quick thought (and at this point some patient friends) CHILL THE GLASS! See while we drink our lovely-non-pink rimmed-glass beverages,the test glass would be chillin' like a villain and I would have my pretty pink sugar.


This drink was just fine. I mea fine,pink and bubbly and perfect for a Sunday afternoon with friends.

(Gorgeous back porch huh?!?! They are some classy folks. Lucky me.)














  My friend Mark had a brilliant idea,stir in a little orange juice to soften the bite of all that berry goodness.That man is brilliant,brilliant.



And look I got my pink-sugar-rimmed glass after all. The chilled glass worked well and if the berry puree' had been cold then I thank (read think) it would have been almost perfect. The sugar just adds a sweet touch to an already delicious drink.














    OH ! And what did I do with all that extra berry puree'...('cause there was a lot leftover). I measured out 2 cups,poured it in a ziploc freezer bag and come wintertime I'm gonna make me some mixed berry jam! Ok well I might not wait until winter,but I can only imagine how good that mixture would taste as a jam,minus the champagne of course. (Champagne in jam ?!?! I don't have the jam-making knowledge to make that one work.)

Mixed Berry Champagne
adapted from Jamie At Home
Ingredients:
a leaf of fresh mint
3 handfuls of berries
a little water
a bottle of bubbly-Prosecco or Champagne
Directions:
1. Heat the berries up in a large saucepan with the mint and a little water to cover the pan (so the berries don't scorch). Cook the berries until soft over medium heat,about 8-10 minutes.
2. Run the berry/mint mixture through a food mill or press through a fine mesh sieve and get out as much berry puree' as you can.
3. In each glass drop 2 tablespoons of the berry mixture and fill with Champagne the rest of the way.ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mid-Week Moment # 33

"Dance,dance,dance little lady,/leave tomorrow behind." -Noel Coward

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Broccoli Slaw.

Yes that is holiday fabric underneath that dishes on the buffet. That means this picture was taken at Christmas time. I know...that long ago.
      Soooo I should have told you about this recipe a long time ago. I have been holding on to it for a while and really I can't tell you my reasons.

Truth be told...I have none.
(insert humble,sheepish grin with genuine feeling)

I realized that it's now well into July and I have made this broccoli slaw now twice in the last year and still not told you about it.

(insert humble,sheepish grin with genuine feeling)


          So I figured now would be as good a time as any AND! this broccoli slaw recipe would be great for those summer cookouts,church luncheons on the lawn or heck just because.Folks will love you making it and bringing it to said social event (where food is involved...don't show up at a wedding with broccoli slaw. Not so much...) And don't be like me,share this recipe with the folks who ask for it. It will be loved by all.

Moving on : Broccoli Slaw.
  One of the many fantastic qualities of this recipe is (drum roll please) it's raw broccoli. No boiling water/ice bath/blanching business. The broccoli stays in it's natural state for just a bit...well until the buttermilk dressing gets ahold of it.  (Clean up might be messy after chopping all that broccoli,but hey it's worth it.Did I mention buttermilk dressing?)
  So here we are: toss together some chopped broccoli,toasted chopped pecans   (The recipe calls for sliced almonds,I had pecans. I have used the almonds,whichever one you use,be sure to toast them just a little. It makes all the difference in the world.),next some finely chopped red onion and some dried cranberries. The red onion and cranberry are a fine combo and really make this salad.
   Ooooohh the icing on the broccoli salad. The buttermilk dressing is so rich and well just heavenly. Pour a little of this dressing over a pile of cardboard and you would be in heaven,so   dang    good.
Now I will warn you it's a little sweet. 
The cider vinegar gives this dressing just enough zing and really highlights the cranberries and red onion.Oh! Oh ! and the toasted pecans are coated with the sugary,buttermilk goodness and what a treat!

       One last handy dandy quality of this salad: You can make it ahead of time! Ta-da!!! Yep,lets say it's a crazy week already and you know you have a summer cookout to go to at a friend's house on Saturday,well you can make this slaw a few days in advance and it will be perfect. I have made it up to 3 days in advance,but really no more than 5 days. The heavenly buttermilk dressing is wonderful,but! can work it's magic on the salad contents and it might be a wee bit mushy if it sits tooo long.

Just sayin'.
  So yes this broccoli slaw has it all: 1. Sweet,creamy buttermilk dressing! 2. Fruit,protein and fiber! (Hello it's broccoli,it balances out the dressing it's coated in.) 3. You can make this up a few days in advance.
What a slaw recipe!

Broccoli Slaw
adapted from smitten kitchen
This is one of my top 5 favorite food blogs. 
Ever.
Deb rocks.

Ingredients:
for the slaw:
2 heads of broccoli,
1/2c chopped pecans,toasted
1/3c dried cranberries
1/2 small red onion,finely chopped
for the dressing:
1/2 c buttermilk
1/3c mayo
2 TBL cider vinegar
1 TBL sugar
3 TBL finely chopped shallot (or use a little bit extra red onion)
salt,black pepper
Directions:
1. Trim the broccoli and cut into into smaller chunks. To get the pieces a little smaller you can: a. use the slicer blade on your food processor,use your mandoline or just chop it all by hand. However you chop it,it just need to be in manageable bite sizes.In a large mixing bowl toss together the broccoli pieces,toasted pecans,dried cranberries and red onion.
2.In a small mixing bowl,whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing: buttermilk,mayo,cider vinegar,sugar and shallot (or red onion). Season with a big pinch of salt and black pepper.
3. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mix and toss well to coat. Taste a bite or two and season to taste if it needs it. Let the slaw sit covered overnight in the fridge.It needs at least 8-12 hours to marinate. Serve cold and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mid-Week Moment # 32

"If you find it in your heart to care for someone else,you will have succeeded."        -Maya Angelou

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Carrot and Cilantro Treat For All

 Jamie Oliver has the title of this recipe almost right.
Almost.

   I have learned that there are people that love,LOVE cilantro and there are people who just don't like it.I am one of those folks that LOVE cilantro. For those who aren't big fans of the fantastic herb,I know there are lots of other herbs out there that need love.

   For the folks that like (or even LOVE ) cilantro this recipe is for you. I have fallen for the combination of sweet carrots, ray-of-sunshine bright citrus,toasty sesame seeds and kickin' cilantro.The olive oil in the dressing ties the whole package together and adds a buttery glaze over the whole salad.

I just love this salad.
 AND!
It made a fine side salad to the balsamic glazed pork medallions. Yum,yum,yum...Ok carrot and cilantro treat for all:
Slice up 4-6 medium carrots.Next add in a handful of fresh cilnatro leaves,probably a cup or so of leaves total.Then add in some sesame seeds.
( I decided on slices only because I had this fancy mandolin to use.I could've been more adventurous and tried to make the classy lookin' ribbons...but nah... hey it's taste that matters.)

Squeeze the juice of two lemons.Then use your math skills and pour up 4 times that amount of lemon juice of extra virgin olive oil.Pour that juice into a small mixing bowl.









I did the math and called it even at one cup of olive oil.Add the olive oil to the lemon juice.










So this is my version of a mortar and pestle.I haven't gotten around to adding that handy kitchen appliance to my collection,until then its a wooden spoon and a plastic dip bowl. Hey it gets the job done,point with the mortar and pestle is to heat up the sesame seeds,get a little friction going in there and bring out the natural oils of the seeds. Thank you wooden spoon and plastic dip bowl.
Oh and a note... my mother-in-law had some extra sesame seeds laying around,she drop them buy yesterday and ooohhh look two different colors,tan and black sesame seeds. Talk about fancy,taste-wise they are the same. Fancy though.
After you have have gotten some friction in those sesame seeds,toss them in the bowl with the lemon juice and olive oil. Next zest one orange and add the zest to the bowl.Then juice that same orange. Add in some salt and pepper,whisk  all os these ingredients together and there you have it,your dressing. The flavors in that bowl are almost there... wait for it.Oh woh it's magic.
Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and and toss well to coat everything in the bowl,this is when the magic happens. The sesame seeds and the olive oil... buttery,nutty heaven. The citrus and carrot,like a ray of sunshine is a bowl.Oh my stars the cilantro and the citrus flavors... outstanding. Make this salad.

Carrot and Cilantro Treat For All
(thats the title and I'm stickin' with it.)
adapted from Jamie's Dinners
written by Jamie Oliver
serves 4-6
Ingredients:
4-6 medium carrots,sliced into thin rounds
a large handful of fresh cilantro,leaves picked
4 tsp sesame seeds,toasted
For the dressing:
zest and juice of one orange
 2 lemons
extra-virgin olive oil
2 heaping TBL sesame seeds,toasted
salt and pepper
Directions:
1.In a medium size mixing bowl combine carrots slices,cilantro leaves and sesame seeds.
2.In a small mixing bowl,add the orange zest,orange juice,salt,pepper,toasted sesame seeds. Then juice the 2 lemons and measure how much juice you get out of those 2 lemons. Pour the lemon juice in with the orange juice,zest,etc... Now pour up 4 times that amount of lemon juice of olive oil and add it to the dressing ingredients.Whisk all of that together.
3.Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss together coating everything well.ENJOY!














Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pickled Tomatoes with Rosemary

 I can find any excuse to use any of these ingredients: tomatoes (little,bitty cutesy various color tomatoes...compact goodness),rosemary (woodsy,fresh,beautiful green rosemary),garlic (or as Emeril calls it "gaahh-lick),balsamic vinegar (mmmm slightly sweet,brugundy balsamic vinegar...love it) and mason jars (clear,transluscent,tapered at the top mason jars...not nearly as sexy as the culinary ingredients listed above).

Yeah I know mason jars,Ball jars,canning jars aren't nearly as sleek as rosemary,fresh as tomatoes or as sultry as balsamic vinegar but folks when those gorgeous glass jars hold pickled tomatoes,they are the best looking thing since sliced bread...or in this case sliced mozzarella.
Just wait and see.

   I have found that when word gets out to those friends and loved ones, that you are canning/preserving ,well it's over with. Done.
Jars show up at every direction and at every turn you have new best friends.Not tons,but a handful of loyal pals hang around to see what recipe you are going to can next.I have been blessed with some of those friends who provide jars for me to can in and I repay their generosity a few months later with some preserved goody. It all works out for both of us.


One sweet,generous person in particular is my husband's aunt.She loves me,my creativity and the fact that I share with her my canning adventures. I've mentioned we moved closer to my husband's family and that includes his sweet aunt.I stopped by the other day to pick up a few things from her,on the way to my car she handed me a box of half-pint jars and this canning magazine... a really neat canning magazine that has some fine recipes in it. the first recipe I turned to was a recipe for Pickled Pear Tomatoes with Rosemary.
It was love at first site. The 2011 canning season had now begun and with the pickled jewels the summer was lookin' good.
I found these jewels at the farmers market two Saturdays in a row and I really felt like I had hit the jackpot.The color was just stunning and the flavor even better. I picked up some simple,classic red grape tomatoes at the grocery along with the other ingredients for the recipe and it was time to get canning.
The ingredients list was pretty straight-forward : tomatoes,sweet onion,crushed red pepper flakes,garlic,white balsamic vinegar,water,sugar,fresh rosemary,various peppercorns and bay leaves.Now wait a dang minute white balsamic vinegar! I knew what it was and lovely as it is,I knew in my neck of the woods it wasn't cheap.So the back up plan went into effect : I would use half white balsamic vinegar and half regular balsamic vinegar.The pickling liquid would not be clear as in the picture,but the flavor would be outstanding! Yay!
  Toss together the tomatoes,sliced onions,sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Simple as that,next is was the pickling liquid.
So yeah that part about the pickling liquid not being clear,absolute fooey,ka-put,old news. The prettiest pickling liquid I have seen yet and the smell intoxicating (...a bit strong,but hey for vinegar it smelled delicious).

  After mixing up the liquid part of the recipe,heat up your jars,pack them full with the tomato/onion/garlic mixture and carefully pour your vinegar mixture over the tomatoes and screw on the lids.Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack.



  I tell you this recipe on a Thursday so this gives you enough time to plan your grocery/farmers market list for the weekend.The farmers market list should include: some amazing cherry,pear or grape tomatoes,some sort of sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla will do you right) and pick up some garlic too.The summertime garlic is so fresh and so hard to pass up.
 On that grocery list don't forget to include: some mozzarella,. Now some times in this crazy,unpredictable canning world things can happen. Awful,bad,not so great things...in my case none of those sort of things happened. Yes all but one of my jars "took" i.e. sealed and yes that might be viewed in some circles as "not great." It meant to me that I got to enjoy one of those jars of pickled tomatoes EARLY!!! 

  I have a solid rule : I don't open or give away any jar with anything in it that is currently in season.
In other words,I would not have normally enjoyed a jar of these pickled tomatoes until sometime in November,or heck February. You can enjoy fresh tomatoes in the summertime when they are in season,all season long. In November,not so many fresh,tasty tomatoes hanging around,so a jar of summer tomatoes pickled in balsamic vinegar WHAT A TREAT! Point made.   On this random occasion,one jar didn't "take" and I broke out the mozzarella and had one heck of a snack. I even had some tomatoes over a bowl of mixed green and drizzled a little balsamic vinegar over the greens and had one heck of a salad. Enjoy!

Pickled Tomatoes with Rosemary
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
special interest issue Canning
 makes 7-8 half-pint jars
Ingredients:
5 cups pear-shaped or round tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 cloves garlic,thinly sliced
1 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 cup burgundy balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
3 TBL pickling salt
1 TBL fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 TBL various color peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Directions:
1. Wash of tomatoes.In a large bowl,toss together the tomatoes,onion,crushed red pepper and garlic.Set aside.
2.In a large stainless steel,enamel, or nonstick heavy saucepan,combine vinegar,the water,sugar,salt, rosemary,peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a boil,stirring until the sugar dissolves,reduce the heat. Simmer,uncovered for 10 minutes,stirring often. remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
3. Heat up your jars in your boiling water bath ( water should be at least 185 degrees),take out the jars carefully with a jar-grabber and set on a towel. Pack the tomato/onion mixture into the jars,pour the vinegar mixture over the tomatoes,leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims clean,adjust and screw on lids to finger-tight.
4. Process filled jars in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes (start timer when water returns to a full boil). Remove jars from canner to a wire rack. Allow to cool at least 12 hours up to 24 hours (this gives the jars time to completely cool and the seal to adhere completely (assuring fresh tomatoes mid-November).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mid-Week Moment #31

"Kind hearts are the gardens,kind thoughts are the roots,kind words are the flowers, and kind deeds are the fruits.Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds. Fill it with sunshine,kind words and kind deeds.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, July 1, 2011

Zucchini Pie...well Squash Pie really.

 Now here is one fine cookbook that supports one fine organization,but for someone unknown reason I cannot for the life of me get the title right.Let's take a clearer look folks.
     Yep the title of this fine cookbook is called Great Performances. I call it (every single time I think about it,cook from it and recommend it to people,like I will throughout this post,because it is that good.) get ready,oh I get creative on this one : Great Expectations.
Every     single     time.
It's a reflex that I can't control.
   On the other hand my english teachers all would be proud of me for also referencing a fine Charles Dickens novel. Heck Charles Dickens might have been proud.

Moving on.

   I have cooked a handful of recipes from this cookbook and all have been fab-u-lous. I mean top notch and really so simple.My mother-in-law swears by this cookbook,so much she has two copies.And the other night one of those copies came in handy.My in-laws planted a fairly sizable ( read big,large,borderline massive) garden for my husband and I.
    We (my husband and I ) really got into canning last year and fell for fresh produce at the farmers markets.After our move ( a little closer to them,i.e. closer to future garden!) they mentioned they wanted to plant a garden for us all to share and I had a feeling some good-lookin' produce would soon be on it's way.

It was and I am thrilled!

   A few days ago I get a voicemail to come by their house once I get off work to pick up some produce from the garden.About four days prior to this voicemail,he dropped a big bag of produce by my house.And that phone call wass for more of the same fresh produce goodness: hot peppers,cucumbers, and yellow crookneck squash.So with the bag from this past weekend and this bounty now in front of me I HAVE TO MAKE SOMETHING WITH SQUASH IN IT. HAVE TO.
   Oh what comes to mind,some sort of casserole.Cheesy,buttery,crusty,herb-filled casserole, I just knew there was a recipe right in front of me that would satisfy my craving for casserole.It was right in front of me,on the shelf  in my mother-in-law's kitchen, literally right in front of me .I found it in the Great Expectations Performances cookbook and after I read through it,  
it    was    on. 
Here's Zucchini Pie made with yellow squash.
Here's what choo need: yellow squash (or zucchini),one medium onion,butter,fresh parsley,various spices,two eggs,one 8-oz can refrigerated crescent rolls,dijon mustard and Muenster cheese.
 Slice the yellow squash and onion thin. I used my handy-dandy mandolin and trust me this baby will come in handy when slicing cucumbers for pickles.
  Heat the butter in a large skillet,cook down the squash and onion for aout 10 minutes until tender.Toss with the spices.Then stir in shredded cheese and eggs.
 Next roll out the crescent rolls into a 9 x 13 baking dish and brush the dijon mustard all over the dough.
  Bake that delicious casserole in the oven for 18-20 minutes and get ready for some goodness on your plate.
This was one of the best casseroles I have ever had...fresh,cheesy,savory and with a divine crescent-roll crust. This is the third recipe I have made from the Great Performances cookbook and I can't wait to make more fantastic recipes in the future! Enjoy you some casserole while the squash and zucchini gettin' is soooo good. Love me some summertime produce.


****(quick note-the great thing about this recipe is that you have most of these ingredients in your cabinets and fridge. The only thing I had to buy was the crescent rolls and cheese.And with squash being in season right now,you can get a deal on it. See even more reasons to love this casserole.)


Zucchini (squash) Pie
adapted from Great Performances cookbook
serves 6-8
Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
4 cups thinly sliced squash
1 cup onion,thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp basil ( I had some fresh chopped basil frozen,just used some of that.)
1/4 tsp oregano
2 eggs,well beaten
8 ounces Muenster cheese,shredded
8 ounce can refrigerated crescent rolls
2 tsp dijon mustard.
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.Saute' zucchini and onion for about 10 minutes until tender. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the seasoning and parsley. Combine eggs and cheese and stir into vegetable mixture.
2. Roll out crescent rolls into a un-greased 9x13 baking dish,press together the edges to make a solid rectangle. Brush the dijon mustard on the crescent dough. Pour the vegetable mixture over the dough,smooth over dough and place in the oven. Bake 18-20 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.