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[sticky post] Community Design Photo Contest

Before the holidays, I was contacted by LiveJournal about working with them to create a new (professional!) design for cooking that was more user-friendly, organized and attractive. They'd also like to help us promote the community on LJ in other communities and sites (including promotional placement on the LJ homepage).

On the topic of the design, though; we'd like to hold a photo contest here so that the community is represented in the design as well! Photos will be arranged in a collage for the header of the community. We will need at least five photos for this, and the exact number will be based on how many submissions (and therefore placements) we receive.

  1. Submitted photos must be photos you took yourself.

  2. Submitted photos must be cooking/food-related and not have a promotion or advertisement of any kind.

  3. Each person may submit up to two (2) photos in a comment to this post. All comments are screened.

  4. Photos should be at least 800px wide.

  5. Retouching is permitted for things like contrast, brightening, etc. but try not to go overboard with it.

  6. Photos must be submitted before 11:59PM EST on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 Tuesday, February 24th 2015 @ 11:59PM EST (will extend if needed).

The top 3 entrants will receive a free paid account that lasts a year! \o/

Submission form for submitting one photo:

Submission form for submitting two photos:

Moist Zucchini Carrot Bread

zucchini carrot bread

Moist Zucchini Carrot Bread - This moist, nicely spiced quick bread is perfect for breakfast or with a cup of tea, and extremely versatile. It can even be made into muffins! Recipe and more at The Alchemist.
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Zucchini burghers with basil

Yesterday my grandmother presented many large zucchini to me. And I wanted to cook vegetable burghers. Also, I have decided to bake it in the oven. Burghers were delicious, with the flavor of basil. Yummmmyyy!

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Grilled Courgette, Asparagus & Feta Salad

A nice, easy, tasty summer salad. When the weather is as warm as it is, light refreshing salads are the way to go. Full of goodness and no compromise on taste, that’s my kind of salad.

This particular salad is just sooo easy to make! It takes 10 mins tops. The courgette and asparagus are grilled and served warm, which is a lovely contrast against the cold feta. I have cooked the veg on my griddle pan and on a BBQ. It was nice cooked in the pan in my kitchen but it was exceptional cooked on a charcoal BBQ on the beach. What is it about a BBQ that makes the food taste so good!!

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Date-night dinner. Results!

Hi guys!

About a week ago I asked y'all for date night dinner inspiration and you were wonderfully helpful! In the end I made piri-piri chicken and rice, with a side of cucumber-cheddar-red onion salad and pickled beets.

Alas, I have no pictures but under cut are recipes!

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Dinner was very well welcomed; I served everything with pear cider which complemented the spices nicely. :)

Deep-Fried Zucchini and Summer Squash

Picture from Tara Cooks

This was one of the first recipes I've made from scratch (experimenting with the measurements, ingredients, etc...) but as I was searching the internet, I find that it's already a popular recipe!
Usually I like to deep-fry squash in tempura batter, but I love to deep-fry food in huge batches since cleaning the deep fryer is a pain. I noticed the panko breading reheats much better than the tempura breading. So I use it for everything now. The parmesan cheese adds oomph to the bland squash.

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Fresh Zucchini Salsa

1 big Zucchini
2 Medium Red Peppers
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Medium Onion
about 6-7 Small-Medium Tomatoes
4 Jalapeno's
Lime Juice

Summer Vegetable Tart

Summer Vegetable Tart

This tart is full of great flavors conspiring on your behalf to provide you with an amazing food experience! Flaky puff pastry is topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella cheese, and summer vegetables. This is the best thing I've put into my mouth in a while.

Recipe and more over at The Alchemist.

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My friend Vova is a beautiful and passionate cook. When we met several years ago he was the first to introduce me to, say, Jamie Oliver books. He lives in Moscow, but his origin has to do with Ukraine and Odessa in particular. Recently he told me about a the "Sauce" and this gorgeous summer dish really intrigued me.

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I had a sweet little boy in my 3rd grade Vacation Bible School class this year who brought me little presents every night. The second night he surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that his Grandma revealed he had arranged himself (that's talent!) I was tickled to get them, but just imagine my surprise when he showed up on Night 3 with another treat! This time it was gluten-free zucchini bread that he had helped bake. My co-teachers and I scarfed down our delicious slice before the night was over, fussing over how moist and amazing it was. Night 5 found me in possession of a delectable iced sugar cookie and a photo of Anthony making it.

Don't worry, I didn't forget Night 4. On Night 4, Anthony gave me another gift, but he also gave you one: he gave us the recipe for the amazing zucchini bread. I gave him a Willow Bird Baking card and told him to watch the blog to see his bread in lights. :) Here's the recipe for you, too.

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To offer Anthony some life advice, read more about VBS, and see more photos, please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, cooking, picturing_food, and bakebakebake

Favorite caponata

You might well tell me that it is not the classic caponata and perhaps you will be right. It happened so that I tried caponata in different interpretations here and there and there was one I liked by far the most. It was at l'Osteria (tiny Italian restaurant of Toni Vianello in Paris). Since then I was dreaming to recreate it and finally it worked.

Slow cooked vegetable tagine

I got used to eating tagine in Fontainebleau. The town though small has two or more Moroccan restaurants, one of which was almost next door to our house. We frequented that tiny hospitable place with dark red walls and always well made food. I loved the tagine there, but once I made it at home I realized it can be even better when you can afford to cook it really slowly.

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Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread- Moist, rich, delicious and filled with lots of home grown zucchini and three different kinds of chocolate.

More over at The Alchemist.

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I have just been gifted some lovely zucchinis! Normally I would make zucchini bread or muffins but I'm a recently diagnosed diabetic so I'm trying to stick to less carb-heavy recipes. What's your best non-bread-non-pasta zucchini recipe?

chickpeas and other CSA surprises.

Recently, I received some garbanzo beans in my CSA box (we signed up for a weekly one last month), and after stripping the pods and shelling the seeds, what seemed like a large bundle of produce has now been reduced to about half a cup of of chickpeas. Now I've never worked with chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzo beans) before in any form, and while I've been Googling around for recipes, I'm uncertain as to whether they imply fresh or canned peas, and whether I should prep the peas beforehand (soak them? roast them?). At the moment, I'm leaning towards roasting them in the oven (and seasoning them afterward) to eat as a snack or maybe making a garlic hummus? I don't need specific recipes (though I wouldn't mind them!), but any hints or suggestions as to their preparation would be greatly appreciated.

Other things in the CSA box that I could use ideas for are yellow tomatoes, amaranth greens, Citrone cucumbers, and white zucchini. (It's a "gourmet" selection box.) Part of the problem is that while I like to cook, I'm not too fond of vegetables, so any recipes that incorporate them into larger dishes would be awesome. We also have received an abundance of fresh tea leaves in the last four boxes we've gotten, and while the boyfriend likes tea, he doesn't drink it nearly enough to use it all up. Does anyone know how to dry and properly store them for future use?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

Zucchini and Mushroom Bake

Yes, this dish was made entirely of leftover bits I had in my kitchen. More details under the cut, or on my blog

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Quick Mod Note

Greeting fellow food lovers!

Per the request of one of our members, I've added a "vegetable: zucchini" tag to our tag list, to assist in future searches and postings, since we are in the middle of zucchini season.

A helpful link:

(I did not know that they could grow to up to 5 feet long. That's a lot of zucchini bread right there, my friends.)

I'll try to go and add it to the posts we already have, but feel free to add where you deem necessary.

Carry on!


My friend's garden has grown FREAKISHLY large zucchini and yellow squash, which she has now shared with us. What can I do with them? I have never cooked either before so any and all recipes are appreciated!

Zuke of Earl...

The bounty that came to us from blindgeoff. Roma, cherry and beefsteak tomatoes.

And the Zuke of Earl.

SRSLY, what do we DO with a zuke of such epic proportions, given that neither Himself nor I are particularly fond of that veggie? Grill it? Make zucchini bread? Keep it next to the nightstand to club a burglar with?


Ad-hoc zucchini soup recipe

We were gifted with several large, beautiful squash this weekend for a gathering of volunteers preparing for a big event in a few weeks. I was in charge of lunch for the day and planned to use some in a curry (which turned out excellent, BTW) but boggled over what to do with the rest. Was too darned hot to even think about zucchini bread. Someone mentioned cucumber soup and I was off.

Gathering supplies at the store, there was no dill to be had (other than that scary stuff in a tube that has all kinds of other non-dill ingredients). So I looked through the fresh herbs and, knowing that someone else was bringing fresh parsley and leeks from her garden, I decided upon tarragon. I completely forgot about the leeks whilst making the soup (don't despair, I used them in a cucumber salad - more garden bounty) but the soup did not need it at all. Here's what I did:

(I always eyeball so amounts are very rough guesses)

1/2 quart real buttermilk
1/2 - 3/4 cup Greek style yogurt
3 cups coarsely cubed zucchini
2 TBS fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
sea salt to taste

Toss all in a heavy duty blender (or halve and use a regular blender) and blend until smooth but there's still visible green bits. Mine was a beautiful light, brilliant green. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. Chill for an hour or two before serving. Garnish with some chopped fresh tarragon. Serve with some extra Greek yogurt on the side for those that want it extra rich.

It was so good I danced a little with the first taste.

10 Ways With Courgettes (Zuchinni)

There have been a few posts about courgettes this week so I thought I would post this selection of things to do with courgettes. This was published in the august edition of the Waitrose (supermarket) magazine. I have not tried any of them yet but I intend to.

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Aug. 4th, 2009

I have this:

(I tried to take a pic of me holding it, but there was no way it wouldn't end up looking just filthy.)

Sharpie for idea of scale, of course.

I am thinking stuffed zucchini. However, I have never done this before! Any recommendations? I'm thinking a mix of rice, some sort of meat (not sausage, since the roomie doesn't like sausage), cheese of course...


Zucchini of WOWZA.

My mom's friend has a garden and gave us this zucchini. Yes, it's a ZUCCHINI. (I left it around all those other items for this photo so you can see just how huge it really is.) It's MASSIVE! I loove zucchini and while I know you can easily find recipes anywhere, I want to make something REALLY special with this zucchini and really want to make it the star of the show. (plus I want to make something with it before my mom decides to chop it up and give some of it to my aunt. No!! It's ours! I'm greedy!) What would you recommend making with this Zucchini of Awesome and Might? Should I make the biggest stuffed zucchini ever? Anyone have any zucchini recipes worthy of this monster? Thanks! :)

What to do with courgettes?

I have four or five HUGE courgettes in the fridge and I'm about to leave for a week away, and I'd like to save them for use in something, it'd be such a waste if they just sat there because they'll be off by the time I come back. :(

Any ideas on what I could do with them?

Jul. 27th, 2009

So I have zucchini coming out of my ears. I'm going to make zucchini bread, but I have a ton more than there someway I can freeze it to save for later use? Shred it and freeze it for future bread? What can I do to save it?

Zucchini blossoms

On an absolute whim, I bought some zucchini blossoms at the farmer's market today. I'm having some friends over to dinner tonight. I've never made stuffed or fried blossoms so I need your recipes STAT!!! :)


suggestions for zucchini pancake topping?

I'm dealing with a glut of zucchini from our garden. Here's what I'm doing with one batch of same. (See below). It's not rendered as proper recipe because I'm improvising on this one. I expect to end up with a pancake that is mostly vegetables bound with sufficient batter to give them a pancake-like shape (maybe 4-5" across). 

My question: this just calls out for a topping of some sort. I'd try a fruit salsa, however, all I have are canned pears and peaches to work with (I'm on a farm with no car, so no quick trips to the store for me.)   I'd like to have some toppings that are sweet, some savory.  A red pepper/garlic (basically aioli) mayonnaise side comes to mind, but a little of that can go a long way. I'd prefer something one can drop in large dollops right on the pancakes themselves, with less of a fatgram burden than a mostly mayo topping.  Alternatively, I'm going to experiment with a thinner batter as well, see if I can make something nearly crepe-thin that allows for becoming a roll-up.  Those I'd like to dip in something like satay (which I can and probably will whip up - but what else might suit for dipping this particular flavor combo?

Ideas and suggestions about what to top these with (or dip rollups in) are very welcome. Am working on this in the kitchen right now. 

By the way, if you happen to try this recipe and refine it, I'd appreciate hearing about your final results and what recipe you wound up with. thanks!

proto-recipe, zucchini cakes:

1 c flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt - mix dry ingreds
+ 1/4 c oil (maybe olive oil; the flavor might complement this if savory toppings are used) + 1 egg
milk or water to make batter
stir in 1 to 2 c shredded zucchini for a sweet batch. For savory, add 1/2 c chopped green onions
Balance vegies & liquid so a thin pourable batter results
Cook in pan in light oil


final proportions: 1 c zucchini, 1/4 c onion to 1 of flour/dry ingred base, mix with water for thinner rather than thicker batter. Fry til on the slightly darker side of golden brown.

The batch with the green onions in it is most flavorful - they add a wonderful complement to the zucchini taste.  Flavor comes through best in the pancakes made with thinner batter. They also have the better texture - a little more crisp, offsetting the big moisture burden all that shredded zucchini has. They taste *great* with just a sprinkling of salt on top, but something like the yogurt/tzatziki sauce suggested in this thread would also work really well with these flavors and texture, I think. I have a batch of cucumbers staring at me as well. Maybe I'll give that a try on my next round through the kitchen.

May. 22nd, 2003

I made this last night for a potluck, and it was incredibly easy and tasty. It's an original recipe by me. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetables and Couscous

1 small aubergine (eggplant)
1 large courgette (zucchini)
1 tin chickpeas, drained
2 large red onions
4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Ras al-hanout (Moroccan spice blend consisting of cardamom, nigella, galangal, cassia and many other spices, as well as lavender flowers and dried rosebuds) (If you can’t find this, substitute a blend of cumin, cardamom, and allspice.)
Freshly ground pepper

400 g couscous
Vegetable stock

1 tablespoon lemon juice
Fresh mint
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (optional)

Cut the vegetables into a large dice (about 2 cm), and quarter the onions. Lay all the vegetables in large baking dish. Sprinkle with seasonings, add garlic, and drizzle everything with olive oil. Toss the vegetables to coat with oil. Bake on the highest shelf in a 220˚ oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges of the vegetables start to brown.

Prepare couscous according to packet directions, replacing water with vegetable stock.

Combine the couscous, chickpeas, and roasted vegetables together in a serving bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over all, and garnish with fresh mint and pine nuts, if desired. Can be served hot or cold.

Raw Summer Soup

Lastnight I got the courage to try some of the raw recipes. The following is the one I tried and I was pleasanly suprised. It was simple to make and had more flavor than I expected!Give it a shot and give me your comments!
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Grilled Vegetable Dagwood Sandwich

This is Fancy lil sandwich but its fun to make and tasy! I hope you like it!
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