Holy Zucchini, Batman

6 lbs 19 inches long. Mother and baby are doing well.

Grilled Meatball Subs and Zucchini Oven Chips

I found a meatball grill basket at Williams-Sonoma for $10. I couldn't refuse. But you don't need one to grill meatballs. Most grill baskets would work. You could even fry them in a fry pan on top of the stove or even broil/bake them in the oven. These can be made a day ahead kept in barbecue sauce in a crock-pot.

Grilled Meatball Subs

From Williams-Sonoma


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup torn pieces of crustless white bread (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 jar smoky bacon barbecue sauce
  • 4 sourdough sandwich rolls, each about 5 inches long, halved lengthwise
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, each 1 oz., cut into 1-inch strips


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

In a large bowl, combine the milk and bread and stir until evenly moistened. Set aside.

Finely dice half of 1 onion. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to prevent browning. Let cool to room temperature.

Add the cooked onion, ground beef, parsley, thyme, the 1 tsp. salt and pepper to the bowl with the bread mixture. Using a spoon or your hands, gently mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Spray the wells of a meatball grill basket with nonstick cooking spray. Using about 3 Tbs. of the meat mixture for each meatball, form the mixture into balls in the bottom half of the wells (the side with the handle). Close the lid on the basket.

Thinly slice the remaining onions. In a bowl, stir together the onions and the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Transfer the onions to a mesh grill-top fry pan and place on the grill. Cover the grill and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Season the onions with salt and pepper; keep the onions on the grill. (I sauteed mine on the stove).

Place the meatball basket on the grill. Cover the grill and cook, turning the meatball basket over once, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 14 minutes total. Meanwhile, continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.

Remove the meatball basket from the grill but keep the onions on the grill. Pour the barbecue sauce into a 5-quart Dutch oven, add the meatballs to the pot and place on the grill. Heat until the sauce is warm, 2 to 3 minutes.

Arrange the sandwich rolls, cut side down, on the grill and toast until golden, 2 to 4 minutes. To assemble the sandwiches, layer the onions, meatballs and cheese on the rolls, dividing evenly; spoon on more sauce, if desired. Place the sandwiches on the unheated side of the grill, cover and heat until the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes. ( I toasted the buns and melted the cheese at the same time in the oven). Serve immediately. Serves 6 with 2 meatballs per person.

For the barbecue sauce, make or buy your favorite and add bacon and liquid smoke to it to achieve the smoky bacon flavor. I bought a bottle of Annie's smoky maple barbecue sauce and it was too spicy. I added T-Dawgs sauce to it and liquid smoke to taste. (When adding liquid smoke, start with a small amount. Add more to taste.) Instead of adding bacon to the barbecue sauce, I put bacon on the sandwiches. The meatballs can be made a day ahead and kept in enough barbecue sauce to cover them. I kept them in a crock-pot and reheated on low for several hours.

Zucchini Oven Chips
From Cooking Light
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)


  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Calories:61 (28% from fat)
Fat:1.9g (sat 1g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.2g)

Save the Tomato

I picked all the green tomatoes before blight got to them. They made a delicious cake.
I picked the blighted rotting red ones as well. Then I made a major step on my road to normalcy. I had someone else throw them out.

Green Tomato CakeFrom allrecipes.com
Serves 24


  • 4 cups chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Place chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Place in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until creamy.
  4. Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add raisins and nuts to dry mixture; add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Dough will be very stiff. Mix well.
  5. Add drained tomatoes and mix well. Pour into the prepared 9 x 13 inch pan.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 176 | Total Fat: 6.1g | Cholesterol: 28mg

Mango Season is Drawing to a Close

Sad. Luckily I bought almost a year's supply of mango. They are in the refrigerator dehydrating into shoe leather. We tried to pit one with the mango pitter. It wouldn't even go through the skin. However, the inside has remained soft. Brown and soft. Nobody noticed in this yummy crisp.

Mango Macadamia Crisp
From Cooking Light

The fruit's tangy-sweet taste and velvety texture contrasts nicely with the crunchy nut topping. Bottled refrigerated mango may be substituted for fresh.
I doubled the topping which will make the nutritional information null and void.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)


  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups chopped peeled ripe mango (about 4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • Cooking spray

  • Topping:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts


Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cornstarch, stirring well with a whisk. Add mango, juice, and 2 teaspoons melted butter, and toss gently to combine. Place mango mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.
To prepare topping, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, brown sugar, and ginger, stirring well. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over mango mixture. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until browned.

Nutritional Information

Calories:238 (31% from fat)
Fat:8.1g (sat 3.1g,mono 4.2g,poly 0.3g)

Simple Vanilla Ice Cream


1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract


In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.

Turn the Cuisinart ice cream maker machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Or follow the manufacturers instructions for any ice cream maker.
The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (I'm guessing 1/2 cup)

Calories 255 (68% from fat) • carb. 19g • pro. 2g • fat 20g • sat. fat 12g • chol. 73mg • sod. 32mg • calc. 64mg • fiber 0g

Tomato Blight Jam

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head,
But that doesn't mean my tomatoes are turnin' red.
They're droppin' off the vine.
But I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining.
I'll make jelly.
Nothin's w
orryin' me.

Green(ish) Tomato Jam
Makes about 8 pints

3 cups prepared (peeled, seeded, some juice removed) tomatoes (about 1-3/4 lb. green tomatoes)
1/2 cup fresh fresh lemon juice
7-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
2 pouches CERTO Fruit Pectin

Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.

Finely chop or grind tomatoes (use a blender or food processor). Measure exactly 3 cups prepared tomatoes into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. Add lemon juice.

Stir sugar into prepared tomatoes in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands very tightly. Immediately turn jars upside down on counter. Let stand for 12-24 hours in a draft free area. Turn right side up and check seals by pressing middle of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

Labor Day Menu

Here is what I will be making:

Grilled Meatball Subs
Sliced homegrown tomatoes
Zucchini Oven Chips
Mango Macadamia Crisp withHomemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Arugula Addendum

Here are two more recipes using fresh arugula. Before things turned south. As always, spinach or salad greens can be substituted for the arugula.

Arugula Salad with Chicken and Apricots
From Cooking Light
Yield: 4 servings
This main course salad is an ideal lunch or light supper option. Plums would be a delicious substitute for the apricots.


  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon (or 1/2 t. dried tarragon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 4 cups gourmet salad greens
  • 3 apricots (about 8 ounces), pitted and thinly sliced (I used canned. Peaches could be substituted)
  • 1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
2. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound each piece to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken with parsley, tarragon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate; cool to room temperature.
4. Combine oil, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and dash of pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
5. Combine arugula, greens, apricots, and onion in a large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over arugula mixture; toss well to coat. Place about 2 cups arugula mixture on each of 4 plates. Cut chicken breast halves crosswise into thin slices; top each serving evenly with chicken. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Fat:12.9g (sat 2.1g,mono 8.3g,poly 1.7g)

Tuna-Garbanzo Salad
From Cooking Light

nspired by Spanish tapas, this salad spotlights premium tuna. Bonito del Norte or albacore packed in oil are good choices for this recipe.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups salad and 2 toasts)


  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 medium)
  • 2 fire-roasted piquillo peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 (7.8-ounce) jar premium tuna, packed in oil, drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices French bread


Preheat broiler.
Bring 2 quarts water and salt to a boil. Add green beans; cook 4 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Combine green beans, shallots, peppers, chickpeas, and garlic in a large bowl.
Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and paprika in a small bowl, stirring well. Add mayonnaise mixture to bean mixture; toss gently to combine. Arrange 1 cup arugula on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1 cup bean mixture. Divide tuna evenly among plates.
Sprinkle cheese evenly over bread slices; place bread on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Serve toasts with salad.

Nutritional Information

Calories:391 (26% from fat)
Fat:11.5g (sat 2.2g,mono 2.8g,poly 3.6g)


I cleaned out the fridge.

"It's a wonder that the refrigerator doesn't explode." --my mother