Apr132013

Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta

Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta

Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta is one of those recipes that I started out using years ago and which slowly morphed into something that fits my family a bit better. This happens pretty often and usually results in a family favorite.

And though this is a family favorite, I actually forgot about it for a while. A year or so ago I went through and tried to organize all of my recipes. Most of them are just full-sized sheets of printer paper, and I figured the easiest way to reign them in was to put them in all sheet protectors in a binder.

However, a few seemed to have been lost along the way and this was one of them, and I didn’t realize it until Mike was going through our external hard-drive this week and came across some pictures of it that I’d taken for some reason (I had to double check to see if I’ve already posted it and hadn’t, so I don’t know what the pictures were for). I have no idea what happened to the original print-out with all of my notes, but I’d made it often enough that even after so long I remembered the changes I’d made.

Anyway, this is a great dinner for summer. There is no oven involved, and if you end up with an abundance of zucchini it’s a great way to use them up. You can also easily make it vegetarian by leaving out the kielbasa.

Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta

3 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 can (14 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb tube pasta (I used rigatoni, but penne, ziti, etc, works fine)

In a large skillet, saute the zucchini, onion and red bell pepper in the olive oil until zucchini is tender (I usually put a lid on it for a few minutes to let the steam help it cook).

Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook until heated through.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Pour the zucchini kielbasa mixture on top and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Mar302013

Fish Fingers and Custard for the Doctor

fish fingers and custard

The family and I are celebrating the return of one of our favorite geeky shows tonight with fish fingers and custard! If you’re also a Doctor Who fan you know what’s up, if not you can get a little background here.

This is actually a surprise for the girls — they know I’ve been in the kitchen all morning baking but haven’t been allowed to come in and see what it is yet. And with that I have to admit that it’s not really fish fingers — we’re not that hardcore! These are actually shortbread cookies rolled in graham cracker crumbs, swiped from bakingdom.

fish fingers and custard

We’re fairly new to the Doctor Who obsession — I want to say it’s only been a year or so — but it makes my little sci-fi heart happy, and fills a void left by Battlestar Galactica and Firefly and Star Trek: The Next Generation as a teen (it was not cool to be into sci-fi when I was a teenager so many hundreds of years ago, so it’s fun to get into it with the girls now, as evidenced by the TARDIS cake for the 14-year-old last November).

fish fingers and custard

The custard (actually vanilla pudding) was also homemade because I’d already run out once to pick up forgotten graham crackers, and I couldn’t bring myself to run out again for a box of pudding. I put up with standing at the stove for what seemed like forever, but it was worth it. Homemade pudding is cool.

fish fingers and custard

The fish fingers are delicious too, very light and crunchy. They’re really close to being too salty, though, so when I make them again I’ll go with just 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

If you’re a geek at heart and a fan of the Doctor, you can get the fish finger cookie recipe from bakingdom.com, and the homemade vanilla pudding recipe I used is below:

Homemade Vanilla Pudding
serves 6

3/4 c granulated sugar
3 Tb cornstarch
3 c cold milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tb butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add milk and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until bubbly. Lower heat and cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually stir 1 cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs.

Add the egg mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture and bring almost to a bubble but do not boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

Pour pudding into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least six hours before serving.

Jan222013

TWD: French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie is French Apple Tart, and is hosted by Gaye, who has the recipe on her blog.

French Apple Tart

As others participating pointed out, this was a really labor-intensive recipe! It easily took half a day to complete, and while it was delicious I’m not quite sure it was worth it. The whole family loves apples and apple desserts, but I kind of wish I’d followed a few of the tips that pointed out you could just use a jar of apple sauce for the filling.

I actually left out the fresh white bread crumbs because I didn’t have any (just wheat, which probably would have been fine), but it worked just as well.

I also wish I’d stuck with my usual pie crust recipe since this one crumbled right up on me and I ended up having to just press it into the pie pan (no tart pan here — yet 😉 )

It really was delicious, and while I probably won’t make it again we’re all glad I gave it a shot!