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Tag Archives: cucumbers

Super Sneaky Zucchini Apple Pie

Forgot to take a picture of the whole pie, but managed to get a pic of a slice before we devoured it all!

Many people have a mental block when it comes to zucchini. Take my dog sitter, for example. I had baked up a batch of perfectly delicious zucchini muffins and offered her one. She declined, stating that she hated zucchini. Now, hate is a pretty strong emotion for such an unassuming vegetable, and both my husband and I sensed that she had never experienced the yummy versatility that zucchini can offer. My husband started his persuasion technique with the tried and true, “But you can’t even taste the zucchini!” She looked at him dubiously. I followed up by asking her if she liked banana bread and carrot cake. When she said that she loved both of those, I explained that the muffin was similar. After a bit more coaxing, she took a bite, and was a very happy zucchini convert. In the future I may just refer to them as Cinnamon Muffins when sharing them with zucchini-phobes.

If you don’t have twenty minutes to talk your guests into trying baked zucchini products, but you have zucchini covering your countertops and must sneak them into food at every opportunity, then I have discovered an ideal recipe for you: Zucchini Apple Pie. Faced with a freshly picked monster zucchini last week, I found this recipe that would use a large quantity of zucchini and give me an easy dessert to top off a barbecue with friends.

However, I was not sure how well the pie would go over if I explained what was in it. So I didn’t. I made coy comments, such as “Bill made pickles today, and I did some baking. Now the kitchen smells like a weird combination of pickles and apple pie.” Then, when I brought out the pie, everyone assumed it was apple pie and eagerly dug in, giving it rave reviews, including, “This is the best apple pie I’ve ever had!” At that point, my husband gleefully broke the news that there was not a single apple in the pie, just zucchini. Nobody believed him. At all. So I had to fess up and show them the recipe.

Don’t they look like apple slices???

It was truly fabulous! Actually, it was a combination of two recipes. I followed this Zucchini Apple Pie recipe, but since I only had one deep-dish frozen pie crust on hand, I didn’t put a top crust on it. Instead, I made the crumb topping from this Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie recipe. The final result tasted very similar to my husband’s favorite brand-name Dutch apple pie, which he will no longer allow himself to eat because it contains trans-fats. So, now we have a tasty alternative!

At the same barbecue, I tried out this Cucumber Zucchini Salad recipe as well.  It was also a winner, crisp and refreshing, and I was asked to bring it to another event the following weekend.

A nice summer side dish!

And, after trying several pickle recipes over the years that we haven’t much cared for, we like this one: Homemade Zesty Dill Pickers and Peppers, and so did our guests. It makes a flavorful, crunchy refrigerator pickle.

Well, what are you waiting for?  Time to get busy with those zukes and cukes!

Cold Cucumber Mint Soup–What a Cool First Course!

This past spring, Bill and I went on our first cruise ever–to the Bahamas.  Besides being on a cruise ship, other things that we experienced for the first time on that vacation included:

  • A 19 hour trip from Detroit to Miami.  No, we did not drive.  We flew.
  • A Miami bar tab totaling $47.86.  For two mojitos.
  • Sleeping in a room the size of a cigar box.  At least it had a balcony!
  • Huddling inside a covered pavilion at a “resort” that had seen its heyday in the 1960s, while a violent tropical storm raged outside and blasted open several sets of French doors.
  • The extremely fun water park at the gorgeously impressive Atlantis Resort
  • Drambuie liqueur–particularly liked by Bill
  • Salsa dance lessons–not so much liked by Bill
  • Towels folded into animal shapes
  • Chilled soups served as appetizers

Each evening in the ship’s main dining rooms, a different chilled soup was featured.  How summer-y and refreshing!  I tried one every day and was hooked.  Although I cannot remember the exact names, I know that at least one of them was cucumber based.  So, when I plucked the cucumber equivalent of a monster zucchini from our garden, I decided to look online and see if I could find a tasty sounding recipe for a chilled cucumber soup.

The recipe that I chose also contains fresh mint leaves–which we grow–and dry mustard.  Based on some of the reviews, I substituted Dijon mustard for the dry stuff because it’s what I had on hand.  I love that it uses Greek yogurt, so it has a decent amount of protein.  It also called for five cucumbers, but since mine was the size of a 3-year-old child’s arm, I just used the one.   The soup was very pretty and delicious, but Bill and I found that the chopped mint leaf added in at the end created an unappealing texture.  So, I put the leftovers back in the blender and pureed it all together–much better!  I did not add the additional finely diced cucumber either, since I wanted a smooth soup.  (I forgot to snap a picture of it until it was almost gone, which is why the bowl looks barely filled in the photo.)

Here’s the link to the recipe:

COLD CUCUMBER MINT SOUP

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cold-Cucumber-Mint-Soup-12490