Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Random sightings around the farm...

Remember the polar vortex?  Yeah, me too.  I hated this past winter!  I was hoping for weeks and weeks of sweltering 90 degree weather.

Didn't happen (or at least so far, and since we start school in 6 days, I'm done hoping for it).  We've had to wear a sweatshirt every morning except for a couple; we've had our a/c on maybe 5 days --not consecutively, either, and I haven't put more than a toe in the swimming pool.  But, these volunteer sunflowers all popped up in front of the pool and make me happy every time I look out the kitchen window!

Our garden has been bountiful, and I'm really getting into this pickling thing!  The tomatoes are coming along and I finally have strawberries!  Our second crop of green beans should be ready to harvest Labor Day weekend.  The garden is getting a little weedy, but I am o.k. with it.

So, despite the cold weather and the shortened vacation due to snow days, it has been a beautiful summer, nonetheless.

Tonight we are headed off to the fair with the cattle!  Wish us luck and patience... I know I'll need it!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Black Angus Veggie Burgers!

It's August, aka National Zucchini month.  Yesterday I whipped up some delicious brownies (more on that in a minute) and had about 1/2 cup left.  We were having hamburgers for supper, so I thought, "Hmm... what would it taste like if I threw in the rest of the zuke?"

I added some seasoned salt and a little pepper, as well...

slapped them on the grill...

...and I have no pictures to show of the final product because they were so fantastic that we snarfed them down in record time!  Absolutely the best cheeseburgers I've ever made!  I think that the zucchini helped soak up some of the grease from the burgers and while you couldn't taste the zucchini at all and we didn't really notice a difference in the texture, there was just something better about these burgers.  I would HIGHLY recommend them.  In fact, I'm going to freeze some shredded zucchini when more get ready-- some in 2 cup freezer portions, and some in 1/2 cup freezer portions for this very recipe!

And about those brownies:

In a smaller bowl, combine:
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a larger bowl, whisk together:
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Using a mixer, add wet and dry ingredients.  This will be almost powdery.  Fold in 2 cups of shredded zucchini, you may add a tablespoon of water if you need a little more binding.  My zucchini was so moist that I didn't need to add water.

Spread into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  I used a can of chocolate frosting, and these brownies turned out so fudgey and gooey!  You can barely taste the zucchini, and if I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, I'd be in heaven! A link to the original recipe, along with a homemade chocolate frosting can be found here.

What are your favorite zucchini recipes?