June 25, 2007

Feta-Stuffed Zucchini

Have you visited your local farmers' market yet this season? If not you are missing out on some of the best local produce in your area.

I've changed career paths this past month and moved into a new position with the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture as an Ag Promotions Specialist. I now handled statewide promotions and marketing for the more than 115 farmers’ markets across Missouri, as well as Organics and Agri-tourism.

If you want more information about markets in your area please visit A Look at Missouri Farmers’ Markets, a new blog that I’m working on with my new position.

Speaking of the markets…this is one of my favorite recipes to make in the summer. Feta-Stuffed Zucchini goes perfect with anything you bbg outside and most all of the ingredients you can get from your local farmers’ market.

Feta - Stuffed Zucchini
5 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Italian bread crumbs
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh or dried basil
½ tsp. fresh or dried thyme
7 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 475°.
Scoop out zucchini centers to form canoes, leaving a 1/4-inch border, set aside.

Arrange zucchini, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, salt and basil and thyme; cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and garlic, and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.

Fold in feta and tomatoes and fill zucchini with mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

June 7, 2007

Buttermilk Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream

How good does this cake sound!

This is one of my favorite desserts to make during the summer because the fresh strawberries. The berries really bring out the goodness in this cake.

I like to make this cake the night before, so it will be even more moist the next day. The buttermilk gives the cake a tangy and fun taste and texture also.

This dessert is sure to be on the table’s of many summer bbq’s this year!

Buttermilk Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream
by Paula Deen

3 C. flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
½ C. vegetable shortening (oil)
3 C. sugar
5 eggs
1 C. buttermilk
1 T. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 10 inch bundt pan.

Sift flour, soda, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

Cream butter, sugar and oil with mixer till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, ending and beginning with the flour mixture. Add vanilla and mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until cake is done. (Cake will pull away from the sides of the pan when ready). Let cake cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate.

Serve slices with drizzled strawberries and whipped cream.

Fresh Strawberry Topping
½ C. sugar
2 pint strawberries, sliced thin and hulled

Dissolve sugar in 1/3 C. warm water, add to strawberries in a medium bowl and toss and smash berries a little. Let stand for 1 hour. The berries will make their own juices.

Whipped Cream
1 C. whipping cream
½ C. sugar

Beat together until stiff with mixer.

June 6, 2007

Straight from Savannah

Straight from Savannah today…I little sweet treat from Paula once again.

I love tiramisu, and this easy dessert can be made ahead of your upcoming summer party. It’s very easy to whip up and “oh so yummy!”

Also, if you still haven’t checked-out Paula Deen’s website you should really take some time to do so. It’s organized so that you can search all her recipes and there’s an print button to easily print out her recipes…see here.

Savannah “Tiramisu”
By Paula Deen

2 dozen macaroons, crumbled
½ cup bourbon or rum
½ pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans
1 dozen double ladyfingers
¾ cup heavy cream, whipped with 3 tablespoons sugar until stiff

Soak crumbled macaroons with bourbon or rum. Cream butter with sugar. Beat in lightly beaten egg yolks; add melted chocolate, vanilla, nuts and macaroons. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into chocolate mixture. Grease a spring form pan; line with separated ladyfingers. Alternate layers of chocolate mixture with remaining ladyfingers. Chill overnight. Remove from pan and decorate with whipped cream.

Yield: 12 to 16 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: none chill overnight
Ease of preparation: Easy

June 4, 2007

BBQ Pork Chops

I’ve got something that’s going to be perfect for you next bbq…maybe even try this one out this weekend.

If there is one thing I love it’s good bbq and Ms. Paula has another great bbq recipe to add to the books. I’m using this one this weekend for a bbq party at my house with some good friends…it’s sure to be a hit! I’ll be serving Paula’s Buttermilk Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream for dessert.

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that recipe though!

Barbecue-style Pork Chops
By Paula Deen

6 pork chops, trimmed of fat
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
One 14 ½ ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown pork chops in oil. Drain, then place in a 13x9 inch baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients and spoon over chops. Bake for 45 minutes. Great served with macaroni and cheese!