Monday, July 22, 2013

10 Delicious Ways to Use Up Extra Squash And Zucchini!

10 Ways to Use Extra Zucchini - This Blessed Life 011


YOU GUYS!!!! I actually EDITED A PHOTO AND PUT IT ON MY BLOG!  hahaha!  This is a huge first for me.  So don’t laugh at how dark the photo is…or that it’s probably out of focus.  I am learning. 

Slowly.  But hey, I’m getting there. 

I figured around this time of the year, most people fall into one of two categories:  either a) you have zucchini falling out of your garden, and not enough time to use it all {aka us last year} or b) you have friends with zucchini falling out of their garden, and they are happily giving it to you {aka us this year, because we have awesome friends}.  I actually love the taste of zucchini and squash, so I thought it might be fun to do a compilation so that you can see the ways we like to cook it in our house! 

Enjoy! :)



Chocolate Zucchini Muffins from This Blessed Life

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- Okay, shameless plug for my own recipe – but these muffins are like eating chocolate cupcakes for breakfast.  All the zucchini dissolves while baking – you’d never in a MILLION years guess these were full of veggies! Chris and Luke get SO excited when I make them!



Zucchini Tots from The Curious Country Cook

Zucchini Tots by raylynntexas

{image via The Curious Country Cook}

- Only 5 ingredients and super yummy.  If you’re out of bread crumbs, or just want a clean option, you can follow my “recipe” here (just add Italian seasoning!).  You’d definitely want to triple or quadruple this for a family dinner, though – I ate 5 just myself. ;)

And we may or not be having this for dinner again tonight.  Two nights in a row.  They’re that good.



Cheesy Zucchini Pizza from Eat Live Run

{image via Eat Live Run}

- This pizza is DELECTABLE, FABULOUS, AWESOME, pick your adjective.  You won’t regret making it!

Zucchini Parmesan via Alicia’s Homemaking

{image via Alicia’s Homemaking}

- Nice vegetarian dinner option, and much easier (in my opinion!) than eggplant parm! 



Zucchini Sticks with Marinara 

I copied this years ago from a blog and don’t have the original link anymore.  (Sorry!!) But the great news is that you can use squash OR zucchini for this one!  Here’s the recipe for you:

1/3 C bread crumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
4 small zucchini or summer squash, cut into short strips and pulpy centers removed

Combine dry ingredients in a shallow bowl.  Dip squash in egg, then in crumb mixture. 

Place on cookie sheet and bake at 450 for 20 minutes.  We like to serve ours with warm marinara sauce sprinkled with more Parmesan cheese!  Mmmm!



Cheesy Squash Casserole from Paula Deen

Picture of Cheesy Squash Casserole Recipe
{image via Food Network}

I made this once before when I had a ton of summer squash. It wasn’t my absolute favorite, but it was still tasty!  I didn’t use a vidalia onion, because all I had was a yellow one, so that might have affected the taste, as well. 




Zucchini Brownies from All Recipes

Zucchini Brownies Recipe
{image via All Recipes}

I’m having trouble finding the original brownie recipe I copied down years ago in the dark ages of 2007, but this is pretty similar.  I’d cut out the walnuts and the frosting, but that’s just me.  lol



Sauteed Zucchini and Squash

This is the way we always ate squash growing up – chopped into rings or small strips, often with a red bell pepper if my mom had one on hand.  Throw some olive oil in a pan and throw the squash on top.  Season with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper if you like a little heat.  Cook on medium high until desired “doneness.” 

This is really good alongside burgers or grilled chicken!



And here are two more recipes that I’ve pinned but haven’t gotten the chance to try yet – they look awesome, though!

Zucchini Fritters from Alexandra’s Kitchen

zucchini fritters

{image via Alexandra’s Kitchen}

- She serves hers with homemade tzatziki sauce but I’m willing to bet they’d be pretty fabulous dipped in a little sour cream, too. ;)


Zucchini Chips from Vittles and Bits

{image via Vittles and Bits}

- Don’t these look so interesting?  They’re next on my list to try!


Hopefully this list inspires some of you!  What’s YOUR favorite way to cook these summer vegetables?  I’d love to hear – and if you have a link to share with me, even better! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

If You’re New Here, WELCOME!

Just wanted to send out a warm welcome to anyone visiting today from Money Saving Mom!  Seeing my photo and submission on her site was my blogging equivalent of seeing my name in lights!  HOW FUN!

My blog is currently undergoing a total makeover, so I sure hope you’ll stick around to see the finished product in a few weeks!  Until then, I’ll still be posting and you’re also welcome to check out my right sidebar for any topics that might interest you.  I’ve got everything from clean eating to thrift-store decorating to Goodwill finds to my daughter’s recent heart surgery down there! 

I hope you have a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Decorating Around Our House {2013}

Hey everybody!  Did you have a nice 4th of July?  I hope so!  We went to a parade in the morning and a picnic in the late afternoon.  I made deviled eggs and chocolate Coca-Cola cake – doesn’t get more American than that, right?!  It really was a lovely day.  Although it was hotter than…I don’t know what.  But it was ridiculous.  Every time I think I would love to live in the South I remind myself of how much I HATE humidity!   It does not do good things for or to me.  lol

Anyway, I thought I’d show you all my simple summer decorating this year!  When I was typing this post, the first thought that came to mind for a title was “My Summer House.”  HA! As if.  Maybe someday…but probably not. ;)

I have a “rule” for myself that any shells or ocean items in my house have to be actual things that I’ve collected from a real beach.  No fake shells for me.  I mean really, I live like 12 minutes from the beach so I have no excuse.  The only exception is starfish – I have a few of those around the house and I have honestly never once found one in all my beach trips over my lifetime.  So I bought a bag last year at Christmas Tree Shop.  ;) But that’s the only fake stuff you’ll see!  The rest is all legit. :)

{Oh and P.S. Yes the blog is still under construction!  Bear with me for a while! }


On top of the bookshelf…lantern and picture and cork jar all thrifted! 

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The little sailboat painting came in a different frame and I just popped it into a white-washed one for a more summery feel. 

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And I love the simplicity of white shells in a cork jar! 

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Driftwood and another corked jar (again, thrifted).  I love the look and texture of driftwood!  So fun and each piece is so different. 

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Over on the entry-way hutch…I’ve been using these pieces for years and love mixing them up a little with each new summer.  

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Driftwood is from my favorite place on earth…Mount Desert Island, Maine. 

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This was the first year I’ve made a little rag garland and I love it!  Seriously so easy to do from fabric scraps…I remember the Nester making these years ago and that’s where I got the idea. 


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Pinterest-inspired and used from last year – simple paper star garland in the hallway (sorry, it’s really dark!)

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More Pinterest-inspired crafts!  Luke and I had fun doing these together.  Although I’m totally the mom who says,  “Let’s do a craft, buddy!  It will be awesome!” and then realizes she doesn’t have half the materials actually needed to do it.  Hence why our crab is not walking anywhere near water (aka no blue paper) and has one lame little cloud above his head.  haha!

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He also made these watercolor fish during his last week of preschool.  I have them hanging in the dining room.  I love them!

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Our bathroom…again, it’s really dark in here (no windows if you remember!).  This “vingnette” (wow that sounds snooty) is actually my favorite in the whole house…but it’s so dark.  With flash and without flash.  Driftwood is real, starfish is the fake.  ;)

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Above la toilet…my brother gave me this giant shell years ago.  I think this will actually stay all year now. 

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I added starfish to the tray table I showed a few weeks ago. 

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Here’s what it actually looks like on a normal day…medications, coupons, amber teething necklace, paci, etc.  And etc.  And etc.  lol


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Last but not least, I HAD to share my most recent Pyrex acquisition: 

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Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL?!  I AM IN LOVE.  99 cents at the Salvation Army.  Lindsay and I went thrifting when she came to visit last weekend and I spotted her on a bottom shelf.  Love the summery vintage vibe! 


Well, there’s my house for the summer! Only 1 month and 26 days til I can decorate for fall!  hahahaha ;)


Summery house past links: 2010 & 2012.