Baking with Zucchini

I’ve improved on one of Mom’s staples for feeding zucchini to kids: chocolate cake. Get zucchini recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I lost all sense of theme in this month’s blog posts, which ranged from grilling tofu, to induction cooking and canning, to pickling eggs. So I might as well round it out with another random topic: baking with zucchini.

People rarely plant zucchini seeds without later bemoaning the endless crop. It’s hard to plant just the two or three hills recommended for a family and even harder to thin each zucchini hill to a single plant. I watched my dad make this mistake every season and then watched my mom as she stared at a kitchen counter hidden under baseball bat-sized zukes, wondering what to do with them all. Yet year after year, I make the same planting mistake, and although I’m diligent about plucking zucchini when they’re about the thickness of an empty paper towel roll, some always get away.

So every year I eat, process, and give away lots of zucchini. But only recently have I returned to, and improved on, one of my mom’s staples for feeding zucchini to kids: Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
Learn to bake with zucchini and make Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Pickled Eggs

Pickled eggs keep and travel well, and some tricks will help you when making pickled eggs. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Harvest is in full swing, which means my canning and fermenting supplies dominate my mudroom and my refrigerator is packed with produce waiting to be preserved. But after the successful launch of my pickling cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling, last fall, I’ve made time for some recipes that make minimal use of my homegrown produce, including pickled eggs.

We have a rich supply of eggs on the farm where I garden. As I created pickled egg recipes for my cookbook, I fell in love with the rich colors of brine-infused egg whites against bright orange yolks. Since then, I’ve been playing with all sorts of brines—reused from other pickles and made from scratch—to produce a range of colors and flavors.

Pickled eggs keep and travel well, and we’ve been eating them regularly all summer. They have become staples for multiday cruises aboard The Blue Mule, and they make a great post-yoga snack or grab-and-go breakfast with the garden’s latest berries. I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that will help you when making pickled eggs.
Learn to reuse pickle brine and make pickled eggs

Grilled Tofu

Grilled Tofu and Veggies. Learn more about the recipes in the ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook.
Grilled Tofu and Veggies. The ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook / Dawn Sakamoto.

Since last week’s post, I’ve been continuing to sample and enjoy recipes from The ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook. One of the first to catch my eye continues to be a favorite, so I was thrilled when author Adrienne Robillard and photographer Dawn Sakamoto Paiva allowed me to share it in a bonus grilling post this week.

The book’s 50 recipes put Hawaiian flavors on the grill, no matter where your grill is located. I had no trouble finding most of the ingredients listed, even in northwest Montana, and my homegrown vegetables had plenty of chances to play with pineapple, mango, and other tropical flavors. I tried many fish and shellfish recipes from the collection—and more than 20 recipes will satisfy meat lovers. But one I’m going to be making again and again should be on everyone’s list, from carnivores to vegans: Grilled Tofu and Veggies.
Learn to make Grilled Tofu and Veggies from The ‘Ohana Grill Cookbook

Grilled Shrimp

Chipotles in adobo boost the smoky heat of a marinade or sauce. Get grilling recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
In case you haven’t noticed, I love the flavor of smoky chilies. I buy cans of chipotle chilies for my favorite salsa. I also home-smoke homegrown chilies to dry or turn into paste and then use in everything from spiced nuts to cheese dip to fish cakes. In my pickling cookbook, I recommend Fresno chilies in many recipes because of their natural slightly smoky flavor.

Chipotle peppers are actually jalapenos; they’ve just been smoked and dried. When you buy them canned, they’ve been rehydrated and stored in a spicy tomato-based sauce. The sauce can be as flavorful as the peppers, and they boost the heat and smoky flavor of a marinade. You only need a little chipotle flavor for a marinade, but don’t let that stop you from opening a can. Scoop any leftover chilies and adobo into an ice cube tray, and then freeze and bag the cubes for future use. A standard ice-cube tray holds about 2 tablespoons per cube.

After I’ve used a marinade for grilling, I hate to toss what’s left. So I boil it into a sauce and mix it into a second meal.
Learn to make Chipotle-Marinated Grilled Shrimp and Spanish-Inspired Fried Rice