Sunday, January 13, 2008

My contribution to dinner with Tim's parents!

We had dinner the other night with Tim's family, but since I don't eat meat like all the other sane people, Tim's mom had an alternate recipe for me, and since we got there hours before dinner, I helped prepare it. I'm not sure exactly where the recipe came from, and I looked for it online with no success, so if anyone knows where it came from, please let me know. I decided it is called yummy zucchini potato bake.

Here it is, with some modifications:

Yummy Zucchini Potato Bake

2 medium zucchinis, diced into tiny pieces
7 baby sized red skin potatoes
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 head broccoli, cut up into florets
1 carrot, diced
1 tsp diced garlic or garlic powder
1 bag shredded Italian or Mexican cheese (we used mexican)

Throw the potatoes & carrot together in the bottom of a greased glass casserole dish with salt & pepper. Drizzle with olive oil (add more if you wish). Toss. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 min.

Remove the dish from the oven and add the rest of the vegetables, as well as the diced garlic or garlic powder. (We used garlic powder because it seemed easier, but diced garlic probably tastes much better!) Mix thoroughly. Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cover top of casserole with cheese, and put back in oven for a few more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

It was very tasty & the spices (& veggies) can be adjusted according to your taste!

For dessert we had a cake that I made for Tim's sister Kate because it was her birthday, and while I wasn't entirely successful in my cake making, it was my first time making a cake from scratch (I must confess, I love cake mixes) & it still tasted pretty good!

Let's see, where did I get the recipe from...

It was originally from Gourmet, January 2008. I found it on my #1 favorite website (I know, I've said that about a million different websites already): Smitten Kitchen

I definitely can't explain it better than her, so please click on her link if you want to try it! I can say, I've never made caramel before, so this was definitely hard for me, and I ended up almost burning it (ok, ok I burnt it the first time & had to make a second batch, which was successful until I realized I made it too early, had to turn off the heat, and reheat it later), which caused me to completely forget the vanilla. I know it would have had much better flavor with the vanilla, but I got compliments without, which means you should try it, it can turn out great even if you mess up!

(This is me making caramel, possibly unsuccessfully, but it will definitely boil a lot. I had more success putting it on medium heat to keep the temperature rising slowly.)

I think the success to the cake recipe is the buttermilk, which definitely added a good texture & moistness to the cake. I often don't like yellow cakes, but this one was better than most I've had. And, as I've already mentioned, everyone really liked it.

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