zucchini spice bread

I love to make zucchini bread in the summer. This batch was made from the GIANT zucchini that my colleague Bob brought me from his garden.

This is the sight that greeted me when I came into work (I put the dollar bill there for scale):
This behemoth measured 12" long, and 4" in diameter. I got 2 batches of zucchini bread out of it, and still had a chunk left.

I've brought this zucchini bread in to work a few times, and have had many people ask me for the recipe.  Click here to get it, from Everyday Food magazine.


basil frozen custard

One of my favorite frozen treats of all time: the basil frozen custard from Shake Shack. In addition to their standard vanilla, they have a special flavor of the day—a weekly schedule which changes each month. I can't tell you how delighted I was to find that basil made a comeback as August's Thursday flavor. My coworkers can attest, as they all heard my loud gasp of joy upon checking this month's schedule. They can also tell you that I haven't stopped talking about this basil frozen custard since the last time Shake Shack offered it... which was 2 years ago.

Time to clean out the freezer... I have a feeling it's going to get filled with pint containers :-)


israeli couscous with veggies

Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a pot on medium heat, add 1 cup israeli couscous, and toast lightly for about 4 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cups water, season with salt, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer (covered) until water is absorbed. While couscous is cooking, sauté vegetables (here, I've used cremini mushrooms, corn, and roasted red peppers). When vegetables are done cooking, add in some fresh basil, then combine with the couscous. To finish, season with salt & pepper, and the juice of a lime.



Two of my new favorite things to make with ricotta cheese...

Slice a loaf of ciabatta bread into 1/4" slices. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, and stick in the oven to get warm & toasty. Just a little bit crisp around the edges (the idea is to get warm, soft bread—not toast). Season some ricotta with salt & pepper, and spread it onto the warm bread. Top with a kiss of honey.

And, I just discovered this deceptively easy—and incredibly delicious—dessert recipe in the latest issue of Real Simple magazine. It uses only 3 ingredients: 2 (15oz) containers of ricotta, 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and chocolate wafer cookies. And there is no baking.

Whip the ricotta with an electric mixer, to get it smooth & airy. Add the melted & cooled chocolate chips and combine thoroughly. Layer the ricotta mixture in a loaf pan, alternating with layers of overlapping cookies. Let chill overnight (for at least 12 hours), and you will end up with a fluffy, cheesecake-esque dessert.