Monthly Archives: October 2011

Halloween and Other Events

This past weekend, Hubs and I went to exactly 2 birthday parties, 2 Halloween parties, 2 surprise parties, and 1 outdoor bonfire. (Granted, some of these events overlapped on these qualifications. All in all, it was 4 events in three days.)

Needless to say, we’re a bit partied out. Not that these parties weren’t a good time. We’re just ready to stay home and enjoy the inside of our apartment for a few nights. (But not too many nights because we have tickets to watch Sporting KC win a soccer game on Wednesday night.)

This weekend was busy, yes, but it was also great. For lots of reasons I’m going to share with you. (Order may or may not matter in this list.)

1. The Cardinals won the World Series. Wooooooohooooo! I am a Cards girl, despite living in Royals country now, and was super pumped to watch the games all last week and listen (because we were at the outdoor bonfire/birthday/surprise party) to the big win on Friday night.

(Sorry, Father-in-law, that you had to hear it as well, but just try to see it from my perspective. I’d be excited for you if the Royals were to ever win…unless they were beating the Cardinals, which yes, I know, has happened, but not in a LONG time, ok?)

2. We got to hang out with two groups of friends we don’t see often enough. These were for the two Halloween parties and one of the surprise parties. The other surprise party was for my family, but it also counts as a group of friends we don’t see often enough.

3. Wyatt and I have now reached the point when we have been engaged/married for a year. Yay us.

4. I spent some time in the kitchen with my mom. Cooking with her is more fun now than I ever remember it. (Although I don’t really remember us cooking a lot, so maybe that’s why.) (Mom, we should do this more often.)

5. We got to attend the 3rd birthday of my little cousin. The joy of a little kid at his birthday is so pure and unequaled. It puts life and growing older all in perspective. Plus, I got to hold a sweet baby girl. Don’t tell Wyatt, but I think my uterus might have skipped a beat or two.

6. The chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese chocolate peanut butter frosting I made went over pretty well. Yay. And they looked prettier than the last ones I made.

7. Wyatt sent me this link to a sweet video on Friday. I love “Christmas” lights.

And courtesy of Wyatt: 8. Our costumes were a success because most people knew who we were and we got lots of points for creativity and awesomeness. (Ok, I’m not sure how many awesome points we got, but it was fun!)

So, here’s a picture of us in our costumes, just to make sure you’re all still in the Halloween spirit of things.

Can you guess what we are? Wyatt's name badge would help, but I'm curious to see if you can get it.

And tonight, as we sit at home and wait for any potential trick-or-treaters (Wyatt says we won’t have any. I’m not sure, but nothing so far..) we’re enjoying our festive dinner, courtesy Papa Murphy’s.

I've always wanted to have one of these...Yum and cute.

And I had to take one more picture after Wyatt cut it because it looked evil.

See? It's an evil Jack-o-lantern pizza, now!

So here’s to a Happy Halloween, everyone! Enjoy the candy!

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Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pumpkin Seed Specials

So, remember when I posted all about roasting my own pumpkin and said I couldn’t tell you about what I did with the seeds yet because they were a special surprise for a friend?

Well, if not, that’s what happened, and you should check it out here.

Anyway, it’s time to spread the news about my special seeds. I have to admit that I don’t really like pumpkin seeds. They’re a bit too crunchy for me I think. But I also think they’re a bit…boring.

So I decided to divide my seeds into three groups and make three different flavors. I’d love if any pumpkin seed lovers tried them and let me know what you thought. I tasted them, but since I still don’t really love them (something about the texture I think…) I’m not sure which is the best recipe.

So, recipe number one: Almost Basic Pumpkin Seeds

Before roasting...

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed

1 Tbs olive oil

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Place the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet, top with oil, salt and pepper (sea salt and fresh ground black pepper will make this better!) and mix with clean hands to make sure seeds are evenly coated.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, “stirring” every fifteen minutes to prevent burning. Add extra salt on the last two stirrings.

 

After roasting! I love how golden they turn.

Recipe number two: Hot and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

See those red pepper flakes? These are too hot for me!

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Melt butter in a small sauce pan on stove, add Worcestershire sauce, spices, seeds, and salt and pepper (again, sea salt and fresh ground if possible!) Mix until seeds are evenly coated.

Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 60 minutes at 350 degrees, “stirring” every fifteen minutes to avoid burning. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper for the last two stirrings.

Ready to eat! (But not for me..)

Recipe number 3: Maple Brown Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

All ready for roasting. These smelled SO GOOD. I wanted to lick the skillet clean!

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs REAL maple syrup

2 Tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

salt

granulated sugar

Instructions:

Melt butter in a small sauce pan, add maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and seeds. Stir until evenly coated.

Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the salt and sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Add extra sugar the last two stirrings.

These have an almost candy-like coating and they stay a bit sticky until they're cooled.

And there ya have it! My special seeds. Hope you guys enjoy!

They look so festive on our table in my pretty serving dish.

(Because as delicious as they were, Hubs and I still don’t love them. But I hope you do!)

 

 

 

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

When did I sign up to play soccer in the cold?

When I met Wyatt, I knew he loved soccer. When I got to know Wyatt, I realized, he really loved soccer. That’s great. I love to see him get excited and I love watching him run around in his element.

But when I married Wyatt? I think that meant that I was automatically entering myself into the soccer club, too. I should have received an ” I heart soccer” shirt after making it back up the aisle at the wedding.

(Just kidding.)

But seriously.

I’d never played soccer before I married Wyatt, unless you count this one time at recess when I landed square on my rear in the middle of the field. I’ve watched a lot of soccer. (Wyatt played, after all.) And I honestly and truly enjoy watching soccer. (Go Sporting KC!) But I’m terrible at playing soccer. Really.

And now? I play soccer every Thursday night with a bunch of guys (and 1 other girl!), most of whom I don’t even know their name. And they are all WAY better than me. And it’s cold out there. And anyone who knows me at all knows I don’t like the cold.

But it’s fine, because I usually have fun just running around trying to do more decent things than bad. I own soccer cleats now. And I am getting better. Very slowly, but still. Better is good, right?

So, here I am, all bundled up and waiting to go play a sport that I’m terrible at, in the cold with my husband.

Is that love?

I think so.

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Making Up and Making Peace

Hubs and I had our first “real” fight on Monday night. It started so simply. He made a joke that struck a very personal chord with me. I knew he didn’t mean anything by it, but I got upset anyway and pouted for about an hour.

(insert regret here.)

And then when we went to bed, I tried to apologize for my reaction. He was already too tired and had moved on, so he didn’t reply to my attempt at making up like I wanted him to. In fact, he didn’t say anything. So I laid awake for over an hour stewing, switching back and forth between being mad at him, being hurt, and being torn as to what to do about it. So I did nothing.

Except listen to him sleep. Actually listen to him snore. He snored a LOT, and loud. But I didn’t wake him up because I wasn’t sleeping anyway. And even though I was angry, there was no reason to wake him up. He was already way too out to have an intelligent conversation (judging from the seemingly foreign language he sputtered out at some point…) and I knew he’d be tired in the morning anyway, so I just let him snore, and by the time I was ready and able to fall asleep, he’d rolled over and quieted down.

But the next morning, I was still angry. As he got ready to walk out the door, we said our goodbyes and had a quick kiss, but then I told him he hadn’t said anything to me when I’d tried to apologize. His response? “I know.”

And then I was really hurt and angry all over again.

And he had to leave for work, so I was left sitting there on the couch with all day to think about what had happened and what it meant and what to do to fix it. I was tired of being upset. I wanted to make up and move on.

I sent an email, and he replied, and to him, that was probably all that was needed. I still wasn’t satisfied. I needed some sort of closure.

So I planned my peace offering.

I went to the store and had dinner ready and waiting when Wyatt got home.

Blue cheese and bacon burgers, with fried potatoes. I knew it was a meal he’d really love. He’d been talking about burgers like that for awhile.

How could he stay mad at me with a burger like this? Yum.

And I think it worked, because he complimented me, the meal, and helped do the dishes. For all practical purposes, everything was back to normal.

For him.

Because I still needed that verbal closure.

So I brought it up again. And we talked about it a little bit. And honestly? I’m still not sure anything was said that really made me feel better, but I sensed it was over, and happy or not, I moved on, and we had a nice night. We didn’t do anything super sweet. Actually, he played video games and I worked around the house or read all night. But we were content and it was fine.

So my question now is this. How do you get that verbal closure when the argument seems to just fizzle out like this? Sometimes it comes naturally, but in an argument like this, where there was no yelling, no crying, no major issue, I’m not sure how it really comes by itself. Wyatt and I barely ever fight, and when we do, it’s usually short and to the point. We always try to fight fair, and while we’re good at arguing and maintaining the peace in tough situations, I’m just not sure we know how to really resolve something like this.

What about you? Is there a way to make up easily and “once and for all?” I hate dragging things on for no reason, but I’m not sure how to get that closure when there’s no big culmination to the argument. Have you ever felt this way? What works for you? 

Categories: Love Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Plenty of Pumpkin: How to Roast Your Own

I love pumpkin. I love carving pumpkins (see this post) and I love to eat pumpkin. That being said, I’ve never made anything pumpkin myself. I’ve always just enjoyed the lovely delicious treats others have made. And I’ve certainly never considered roasting my own pumpkin to make my own puree…until this year.

Then again, there’s a lot of things I’ve never done until this year…

Anyway, once I got it into my head that I was going to cook from real pumpkin and not the canned stuff, I did some research and set out to buy a “pie pumpkin.” (You can use a regular jack-o-lantern pumpkin, but we had already carved ours and didn’t want to “waste” them by turning them into puree. You can’t use the stringy inside part of the jack-o-lantern that you scoop out–it’s too stringy–you have to use the meat of the pumpkin, the part you carve.)

So on Saturday while Wyatt was across the parking lot helping a new neighbor try to get his way-too-big couch into his apartment, I set to work with the roasting.

To start, I chopped the pumpkin in half with a big knife (thanks to Wyatt who made sure we had big knives on our registry).

See how few "guts" there are? That's because it's a pie pumpkin!

And then, just like when making a jack-o-lantern, you scoop out the “guts” and seeds. (You can reserve the seeds if you’re into roasting them.)

This was the hardest step for me. It just didn't want to come out of there. Then again, all I had was a spoon...

When you’re done, it should look like this.

Ready for roasting!

And then, just put the pumpkin upside down in a large roasting pan and add about a quarter-inch of water to the bottom. Cover and roast at 350 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin and your oven settings.

In the meantime, I used the time to sort out the seeds from the guts, including the guts from the two big pumpkins we had carved Friday night.

I rinsed them in the sink in our colander to help get off any extra pumpkin mush.

This would have been easier if the pumpkin didn't blend in, but orange is all we have.

And then, I have to admit, that at one time in this process, I dropped the pan I was keeping the seeds in…and this happened.

Aw man...I guess those are going into the trash...

It was a HUGE mess. I was both annoyed and embarrassed and tickled. I mean, it was something out of a movie. The way they flew up into the air and pitter-pattered all over my floor as they fell…oh man.

And before long, the pumpkin was ready to take out of the oven. It turns a bit darker and gets very soft.

It reminds me of the color and consistency of cooked sweet potatoes at this point.

You’ll know it’s done when it’s soft to the touch, and the meat part is fork tender.

Slides in like butter!

By this point, our whole apartment smelled like wonderful Fall goodness. Too bad Wyatt missed it all since he was away at the neighbor’s all afternoon.

While the pumpkin was cooling a bit, I worked on my seeds some more. And since they are going to be a surprise for a friend (Miss Liz!) I won’t give away my secrets just yet…

There will be more later in this post, but for now, here’s a sneak peek.

Ready for roasting...and with secrets mixed right in!

By this time, the pumpkin was ready to be scooped out. This was a fun part of the process.

It just scoops right out! How neat!

I got really excited at this point because I realized I had succeeded at what seemed like a pretty scary endeavor. And it wasn’t even that scary!

See? I'm not scared, I'm happy!

And at this point, you can run it through a food processor or blender to have it ready to use in recipes. I decided to just keep mine as is until I was ready to use it.

Yay for fresh pumpkin mush!

It was certainly an adventure. And I guess it was worth it, but I’m not sure I’d do it every time I want to make something with pumpkin. It took me several hours, and honestly, it doesn’t taste that different to me once it’s all cooked into whatever you make.

And what did I make?

Well, aside from the smoothie attempt that we threw out, prompting me to ask my good friend Alysa for her recipe, which I’m sure will be much better, I made a four layer dessert, with a recipe I created myself. Yay.

Bottom later: pumpkin cookie mix and graham cracker crust, baked to make it crispy.

Second layer; creamy pumpkin pie filling (hard with no recipe, next time I’ll find something to copy!)

Third layer: no bake cheesecake mixture (note, allow the pumpkin layer to cool before putting this layer on!)

Top layer: fresh homemade vanilla whipped cream. Yum.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

I was worried, but it came out great!

And last night was the night to prove it, relaxing with Hubs on the couch while he played video games and I read Jane Austen. and enjoyed a bit of homemade “apple pie,” i.e. spiked cider.

A great end to any Fall night. Trust me.

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Pumpkin adventures

Wyatt and I love to carve pumpkins. More about that later… It’s our favorite tradition. (It used to be our only tradition…)

And on Friday, we bought some pumpkins and did some carving…in our little apartment…in our living room. (We may do some more carving this weekend with some pumpkins my grandma dropped off for us at my mom’s house.)

Good thing I save all our ads and newspapers for recycling (or in this case reusing to save me from having to clean our carpets!)

We usually pick sort of random things to carve into our pumpkins. We don’t like to do the traditional basic faces…though every year when our hands are sore and tired from cutting and scraping, we wish we would have!

Wyatt’s really the carving genius. I enjoy the creative part and the fun of how unique it is to use vegetables into art. But this is Wyatt’s thing. He would do it all year round if he could. Probably. That’s an inference on my part.

My happy hubby. We love pumpkin carving!

The one negative to carving? The mess. Yikes.

It's all sticky and stringy and gooey and gross. But awesome.

Aren’t things that are messy usually more fun anyway?

We didn't have these last year at this time!

And after a few hours, a big mess, and a good time, we had our newest carved creations.

For effect, here’s the before…

And the after!

The fast food pumpkins! (Wyatt's is the hamburger...even better in person!)

And of course, the view of them outside by our door.

Who cares if only our neighbors see them since we live on the third floor? We see them!

There’s something so exciting about seeing lit pumpkins. It just makes me smile.

Our first "married" pumpkins!

What about you? Did you already carve your pumpkins? Any tips or tricks? Special memories or ideas? 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Is it Sunday? Because I’m feeling salty…

I’m not always the easiest person to be around on Sunday afternoons and evenings. I know, I know, it’s a big shocker that I get moody sometimes…(just kidding.)

Anyway, not that I want to blame it on anything, but I’m going to blame it on something.

On Sunday nights, Wyatt likes to go to bed early to get ready for the work week. That’s fine. I get that. I like going to bed early, too, because I’m usually tired from all the weekend fun and festivities. But he at least has something to do the next morning. I have another whole week of looking for a job to look forward to. Yay!

….not.

And for some reason, I tend to have emotional eating issues in reverse of what normal people have. I don’t like to eat when I’m unhappy (maybe because to me, good food=happiness). And if I don’t want to eat when I’m unhappy, I also don’t want to cook when I’m unhappy. Which can cause some issues when there’s no more leftovers and it’s dinner time.

So on Sunday, after pouting while Hubs relaxed on the couch watching football and boring movies (i.e. “Boy movies,” and not even good ones…) I tried to get my sunshine fix by sitting on our balcony and reading a magazine. But there was no sun on our shady little deck, and my body craved movement. So I laced up my shoes and grabbed a hat to take a long walk. And surprisingly, Wyatt joined me!

I didn’t even have to beg him!

Although he did complain quite a bit as we were walking.

I'm not sure how he can NOT be excited about these colors and great weather!

But while we were out there, I was happy, happy, happy. And despite his complaining, we walked all the way to Hyvee (about a 2.5 mile round trip) and had a pretty good time. (Having things within walking distance is a fun perk of living in the city!)

And then when we came back inside and he immediately turned the TV back on, I immediately got salty again. Dangit.

So I took a long, hot shower. That usually makes me feel better.

And it worked, so I was inspired enough to start dinner: mashed potatoes and my mom’s meatloaf recipe, crescent rolls, and steamed asparagus. Yum.

But when I was peeling the potatoes, I remembered how much I hate peeling potatoes, and I ended up dropping one down the garbage disposal (slippery little buggers!) and getting super frustrated all over again.

Poor Wyatt was at a loss as to what to do. He asked what was wrong, I tried to tell him, but failed on one level and refused on another, because I knew he would be his usual stubborn and sweet self and immediately try to fix the problem, which would solve one problem and create another. Because I respect that he should be able to watch what he wants, but what he wants to watch makes me angry.

So I steamed silently while prepping the meatloaf and potatoes, as the loud violence played on, and when I got the pan into the oven, I set the timer, grabbed my laptop, and headed to the bedroom to escape the movie in the living room.

And like any good newlywed husband, Wyatt soon came in after me.

(insert “aw’s” and happy sighs here)

He said it was crazy for me to be in there, and I explained that I just didn’t want to watch what he was watching, but that it was fine and fair for him to want to watch that…and he, of course, said he would switch to something else, something I would want to watch. Which, if I’m being totally honest, is what I wanted, and not what I wanted.

But we made it through the night, we made it to dinner (it was yummy) and we made it to bed at a reasonable hour and with smiles on our faces.

I guess we’re doing something right…

P.S. Hubs and I were featured on another newlywed blog this week. Check out http://www.livesimplylove.com/make-up-monday-adventure/ and leave some love for another great marriage resource!

Categories: Love Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I couldn’t sleep last night…Advice from you!

I know I often write about the slightly frustrating process of learning to share the bed and sleep with my husband, but I felt the need to share the latest development in the sleeping department.

I’m just not as tired as he is. Like ever. Even when I’m tired. Because by that time, he’s basically catatonic. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea…)

I know, I know…you’d think that my super busy schedule of sitting on the couch and writing this blog would be enough to have me dragging off to bed at a reasonable hour every night…

Actually, I do a lot during the day. I do laundry. I cook and clean the kitchen at least once a day, sometimes two or three times. I go for a run, at least 2 or three miles every day, sometimes more, do some other stretching or workouts, shower, make myself look presentable for when Wyatt gets home from work, search and apply for jobs, rewrite and rewrite (and rewrite!) cover letter after cover letter, watch HGTV and Food network, figure out which wedding pictures we need to order, continue to figure out how to best organize all the stuff we have crammed into our little apartment…the list goes on and on…

But at night, when Wyatt’s struggling to keep his eyes open while we get ready for bed, I’m still wide awake and ready to go.

And it doesn’t help to say, “Hey, honey, I’m not tired,” because by that point he’s so tired he’s not at all helpful in problem solving. Last night he suggested I go watch TV, and when I disagreed with that idea, he said, “Why don’t you read?”

And then he fell asleep.

Which is fine. Really, it is.

He’s tired, and I get that he needs to go to bed so he can get up and go to work. But I get up when he gets up every day. And while I don’t have to shower and get dressed right away, I make his lunch and try to make sure he doesn’t forget it on his way out the door. (That happens more than you’d think, dangit!)

So I guess my problem is this: Now not only do we need to learn to be comfortable with the other of us in the bed, we have to figure out how to get our sleep schedules in the same time zone.

Last night I just listened to him breathing for awhile, amazed at how fast he drifted off, blessed by how peaceful he sounded, amazed that he was really there, sleeping there beside me (I know it’s been three months, but I still grin in joy every night when we climb into bed, surprised this married part of our journey finally began).

And that seemed to work, because I don’t remember a lot after those thoughts except the sound of his breathing, heavy, but not quite a snore (thankfully!) and I woke up at 5 am this morning feeling wide awake. (I eventually fell back asleep and woke up again, super sleepy, at 7, when I had to give Wyatt a “Yay-it’s-Friday” pep talk to push him out of bed and into the shower.

What do you think? Will we ever get used to this? I know you other newlywed wives feel my pain. What do the husbands think? Is this just a wife problem? Because Wyatt says he doesn’t sleep well, but he seems to be doing pretty well to me. How do you cope? Separate bedtimes? Separate beds?!? And what about those that have been married for a long time…advice please!

Categories: Advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

I have a confession…

A guy in a truck honked at me when I was running today.

And you know what?

I smiled.

I couldn’t help it.

I also felt a little proud when our super active Australian neighbor guy checked me out after my run in my stretchy running pants on Monday.

Is this wrong?

Should I be insulted?

Should I feel guilty?

I’m just not sure. But I don’t think so.

Let’s face it, nothing at all happened, had the potential to happen, much less the desire for it to happen, but still, is this the sort of thing to cause an argument with my hubby?

He knows what I look like after a run, so I doubt he’d be concerned anyone would be overly serious about hitting on me, and he’s not really the jealous type, but still, I’m always overly aware of my wedding ring at times like this.

No matter how far away the guy honking is, I always wonder, “Does he know I’m married? Does he see my ring? Never mind that he drove by, staring out the window at me, at sixty miles an hour, and I was running a good twenty or thirty feet off the highway on a side road’s sidewalk, and thus, there was no possible way he saw my hand, much less my ring. And besides, it isn’t like the guy in the truck is really actively pursuing me.

So here’s my question, if I’m not at all attracted or interested in the random honking man in the garbage truck, does it mean that I need to “confess” that the “interaction” took place?

And yes, this may be a silly example, but it’s something I’ve thought a lot about as I’ve watched different married couples interact with others. I mean, I can honestly say I don’t feel at all guilty or concerned about this instance, but I am certainly passionate about my beliefs about what is appropriate in marriage.

For instance, I don’t think wives should be flaunting their bodies to other men, in ANY way. That means modest bathing suits at the pool when Hubs isn’t there, no low cut shirts to the office, and a decent length on all skirts or shorts when you’re out running errands. It’s just out of respect to your husband. If you don’t want him looking at other women, you shouldn’t dress in a way that encourages other men to look at you!

And it goes for men, too, though I doubt most married men own a lot of “provocative” clothing. But it applies in other instances. I know I may be in the minority with this, but I just don’t find it appropriate for someone who’s married to hang out with someone else of the opposite sex one-on-one. (Of course there are special circumstances, but overall, it’s how I see it.)

So, yea, I wore my tight running pants in public, and yes, technically, I got “hit on,” a little bit, and yes, it made me feel strong, sexy, and powerful. And no, I don’t feel guilty about it, because after all that, I rushed inside and made sure I knew where my pepper spray was and my blinds were closed as I got unbundled up and into the shower.

What else is a wife to do when she’s hit on like this? I mean it’s not like I can rip out my ear buds and yell “I’m married!” to any guys that give me a double take while I’m running. I mean, I could, but the neighborhood watch might call the cops on me. Yikes.

I guess I’ll just keep smiling in spite of it all when I get hit on by the garbage man. Wouldn’t you?

 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Have you heard of zucchini fries? If not, you’ll be glad I told you. Yum.

I love when people give me fresh vegetables from their garden. To me, there’s nothing better than home-grown, and free(!) produce. I love to eat fresh veggies in so many different ways, too, so it’s great when I can get them given to me (insert a quick shout out of thanks to anyone who’s blessed Wyatt and I with food from your garden, especially Grandma L!)

But, I do have to say that sometimes all these fresh vegetables can present a challenge in the best way to cook them. For instance, we had two giant zucchini to use up. And while Wyatt is very supportive of my efforts to feed him healthy green vegetables, he doesn’t love the way zucchini can be a little mushy (especially the huge squash-like ones we have).

So I found this idea for zucchini fries on a friend’s Pinterest page and immediately repinned it to my page to try later. (P.S. Do you follow me on Pinterest? There’s a link to the right.)

I thought Wyatt would like them because they would be crispy and crunchy for him, full of that fresh zucchini flavor for me, and healthy for both of us.

Here’s the original recipe, but as usual (you should know me by now!), I changed it up a bit.

Here’s how I did it.

Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients
Zucchini (however much you need for however many servings you want. I made enough for 10-12 fries each)

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 Tbs Mrs. Dash, or other seasoning mix

1 tsp salt

1tsp lemon pepper seasoning

2 Tbs melted butter
1 small egg
Method
Heat oven to 450ºF.

Cut zucchini into thin sticks, about 3-4 inches long. The thinner the sticks, the crisper the fries will be.

Yummy zucchini fries to be!

Whisk the egg and mix in melted butter.

Dip each stick in the egg mixture to coat.

You want to make sure they have egg on all sides.

Then dip the coated sticks in the bread crumb mixture. And roll them around in there very gently just to make sure your fingers don’t knock off any of the crumbs.

This process gets your fingers a bit messy, but you can always use tongs to help if you want.

Spread the coated sticks onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Ready to turn into "fries," though...if we don't fry them, can they ever really be "fries?

Bake for 20 minutes, turning them once in the middle, then turn the oven setting to broil for a few minutes to make sure they’re extra crispy. Just make sure to watch them so they don’t burn.

Mmm....

And of course, you can serve them with a dipping sauce. I just sprinkled some salt on mine, but Wyatt dipped his in ranch dressing. I was going to whip up a special sauce, but we decided we were hungry and just ready to eat.

Fry time!

And then, Ta-Da! You have a meal! I made twice baked potatoes topped with some of our remaining leftover BBQ brisket from our wedding. (Don’t worry, it’s been frozen, not just sitting in our fridge this whole time…)

And now I can honestly say we have a new favorite way to eat zucchini. At least I do. Wyatt had a headache last night so it was hard to tell how much he loved them, but I’m hoping it was as much as I did. Because, yum.

What about you guys? Do you have a favorite way to eat zucchini? What about other vegetables to make fries out of?

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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