Happy July! We have been having such a great summer so far, with lots of swimming and playing outside! We had Asher's pirate birthday party a few weeks ago and it was so much fun, complete with a treasure hunt and walking the plank! But the best part of summer is the complete lack of anything pressing... no early mornings, no lunch boxes to pack or permission slips to sign.... just us and endless possibilities. :)
Another fun thing this summer, Asher has basically potty trained himself (with a little help from sissy :)! I couldn't believe it! I thought he might be more difficult, but I should have known better. This is my child that can't stand the feel of anything wet or messy on his skin, so it shouldn't surprise me. But one morning I put his new big boy undies on him, he peed in them twice, and then decided he would go in the potty, haha! Now he both pees and poops and is so, so proud of himself. :) What a smart little sweetie!
Annabel is swimming! We had "swim camp" earlier this summer (our neighbor's 5yo granddaughter was here for a week, so we went over there every day and swam for 4-5 hrs each day) and by the end of the week both girls were jumping in without any floaties and were doggy-paddling around the pool! Asher has been going off the diving board since the beginning of swim season, but Annabel just went off for the first time yesterday- boy, was she proud of herself! Now she won't stay off! And she loves to do "belly slops," lol.
In addition to our big garden out at camp, we have three raised beds in our backyard. Our strawberries did really poorly this year, but the pickling cucumbers and squash and zucchini have all done really well! We also got some broccoli and peas earlier in June, but we didn't end up doing much with them. I'm not sure why we even plant broccoli, nobody really likes it! But oh, the zucchini. That humble, hard working vegetable of late June... how I love it. I love it breaded and fried, roasted, grilled, in casseroles, and in yummy breads and pies... the list goes on. Anyway, I wanted to post two of my favorite recipes for zucchini and squash this summer. The first recipe is courtesy of my friend Jennifer from church, but the second one is all mine. I hope you will enjoy them as much as we have!
1 c. corn muffin mix
3 c. sliced zucchini/yellow squash
1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1/3 c. veg. oil
4 eggs, well beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. cream (or half and half)
1 Tbsp. dill weed
Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie pan. Bake at 350 for 45 min. or until set.
Summer Vegetable Alfredo
1 zucchini, chopped in bite-size pieces
1 summer squash, chopped
1 c. chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (or to taste- we love garlic!)
6-8 rashers bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
Enough pasta to feed your family (I recommend shells, fettucini or angel hair)
1/2 c.-1 c. cream
1 c. freshly shaved or shredded parmesan (NOT that powdery stuff!)
salt and pepper
Additional seasonings of your choice- I use one called "Bombay Vegetable Blend" by Tastefully Simple that is kind of like a curry seasoning- it's amazing.
Use your biggest skillet- preferably cast iron- and saute up the bacon and vegetables, until bacon is done and veg's are tender. This will take about 15-20 min. You may need to add some of the pasta water and cover so that the veg's steam, if they aren't getting done fast enough. Meanwhile, start your water boiling in a separate pot. Add pasta and cook until done; drain. Return pasta to the hot pot. Add enough cream to generously coat the pasta. Add your parmesan and salt/pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. **(Look! You just made alfredo sauce from scratch! Wasn't that easy?!)** Add the pasta to the vegetable blend in the skillet. If the mixture looks a bit dry, add more cream. The sauce will thicken a bit upon standing. Serve and enjoy the quiet that a good pasta dish brings to your family- because everyone's mouth is too full to make any noise!