Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thrifty Tasty Tuesday: Individual Zucchini Quiches

        For the past several years, we've had a vegetable garden in the summer. The most successful plant is always zucchini. I love picking them when they're small—still tender and slightly sweet. They're delicious sauteed with a little chopped onion or brushed with olive oil and grilled with a sprinkling of herbs. But zucchini plants are HUGE and every once in a while you end up with these giants that go unnoticed until they're the size of baseball bats.
         So I'm always on the lookout for recipes that use grated zucchini. This week I tinkered around with a recipe for individual quiches. These are just what my diet ordered—a make ahead breakfast or lunch with lots of protein and veggies that can be frozen and reheated in the microwave.

Individual Zucchini Quiches
makes 12

2 cups of grated zucchini
¼ teaspoon salt
6 eggs
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup feta cheese*
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese*
¼ teaspoon thyme
dash pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray (or line with muffin papers).

Sprinkle grated zucchini with salt and set aside in a colander while you prepare the other ingredients.

Whisk together eggs and buttermilk thoroughly. Add cheeses, thyme and pepper.

Squeeze as much of the water out of the zucchini and fold into the egg mixture.

Pour into prepared muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until puffy and slightly browned.

Allow to cool in tin for a few minutes before removing.

*You can use whatever cheese you have on hand. I chose feta and parmesan because you get a lot of flavor in a small quantity of cheese.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

100 Word Song: Mirrors

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

         I'm linking up with the 100 Word Song over at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog. This week's prompt was Justin Timberlake's Mirrors. As I read over the lyrics, I thought it would be fun to write two pieces that “mirror” each other about how others see us—and how sometimes people get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. Depending how you look at it, I've either done extra credit, or I cheated by writing 200 words. I'll leave it up to Professor Leroy to decide. This piece picks up where I last left Karen and Danny. You can read more about them here

Karen's Mirror
         Karen and Danny spent the afternoon decorating the church basement for the CYO dance. They transformed the cold gray room with crepe paper and balloons before the Ladies' Guild arrived with cookies and punch.
         Mrs. Doyle looked scandalized to see Karen with Danny. To her, Karen was the girl who “got in trouble” after her father ran away and her mother drank herself to death. Unfit to associate with the deacon.
         To Danny, Karen was the little girl who got straight A's and sang the “Pie Jesus” at Mass.
They were both right. And they were both wrong.

Danny's Mirror
         Karen could still see the same old Danny under the cassock—the boy who had holes in his jeans and dirt under his fingernails and got into fights. When the Ladies' Guild arrived, they treated him with a reverence that made him uncomfortable.
         “Deacon Daniel, you mustn't bother with moving those chairs. We'll take care of it,” Mrs. Doyle insisted, banishing the Prodigal Son to his office to work on his next sermon.
         The coffee she brought him tasted bitter in his mouth. Mrs. Doyle couldn't see that he had come home to get his hands dirty, only Karen saw that.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fiction: Yes Captain

         Nora watched him get ready for the day through a crack in the doorway. Everything he needed for the day was laid out on the glass top of his bureau—tie, glasses, watch, cufflinks, phone, wallet. He put each one to use, working left to right. He didn't hurry, but wasted no time. She had never known a man who took such care getting dressed. She stiffled a giggle and wondered if he put his accessories away right to left.
         When he was nearly finished, Nora hurried down to the kitchen. She had already set the table with his Wall Street Journal folded in thirds on top of his New York Times, which was folded in half. She placed an ironed linen napkin to the left of his bone china cup, ready to be filled with black French-pressed coffee when he sat down.
         One her first day, Nora let his egg cook for twenty seconds longer than necessary. He noticed and without raising his voice, made it clear that three minutes was his expectation and she would follow his instructions to the letter from then on. She did. His needs were no more than anyone else she had ever worked for, just more specific. Her pay, however, was the best it had ever been—well worth meeting his exacting standards.
         Nora brought out his breakfast tray with his (perfect three minute) egg and his one-cup serving of Capt'n Crunch in milk. It was the one glimmer of whimsy in his otherwise severe existence. He nodded in acknowledgement and opened the Times and Nora returned to the kitchen. Moments later she heard the china cup clatter in its saucer and the chair legs scraping the hardwood floor. When she looked, he was gone.
         The newspaper lay on the floor. A photo on the front page showed an shapely blond wearing a slinky dress and high black boots. The headline read, “Espionage Suspect Flees to Cuba”.

        I'm linking up this week with the Trifecta challenge which offered the word "crack" as our prompt and with Write at the Merge which gave us a wonderful photograph of men's accessories and the iconic Nancy Sinatra song, "These Boots were Made for Walkin'" for inspiration.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lessons from Vacation

A family adventure at Universal Islands of Adventure.

         Did you ever wake up from a nap or finish a meal and think, “Wow. That was exactly what I needed.” Maybe you didn't feel tired or hungry. Then you took care of your needs and suddenly it becomes crystal clear that you needed that nap or that perfect grilled cheese as much as you need oxygen. That's how I've been feeling since I got home from vacation last week.
Legoland: The Holy Land for my boys.
         For five days I didn't cook a single meal, wash a dish, pack a lunch, fold laundry, or even drive a car. For five days I drank Butterbeer, watched people make balloon animals for my kids, played with Legos, screamed on roller coasters, read a novel, and wrote in my journal. I went an entire week without needing to see my chiropractor (something I haven't done in a year).
         I came home wanting to write—not feeling like it was something I was supposed to do like taking out the garbage or making the bed. I went to work happy to be there (not as happy as I was to be on vacation of course, but definitely happier than I had been before). My chores seem a little less chore-like this week. I know this afterglow won't last forever. I just hope I'm perceptive enough to not wait so long before I go on vacation again. I needed that time off... like a long nap on an overcast day or a perfect grilled cheese when I've waited to long to eat. I needed that time off like oxygen.
Sometimes you need to get dizzy to feel grounded.