Friday, March 27, 2009


Fun, Crafts and Recipes
Happy Friday! Here's this week's FFOF meme questions and answers!

#1. What’s your favorite cereal?

Good question. It used to be Frosted Mini Wheats, and probably still is, but in general, I just like cereal, period. Even things like 100% Bran work for me. For my husband, though, it's Life and only Life. Not cinnamon, not with raisins, maybe with some bananas, but just Life. Period.

#2. What do you use to flip food on the stove?

My silicone spatula. Love it. It's an OXO Good Grips one, like this one in blue.

#3. What’s your favorite type of donut?

Dunkin' Donuts jelly with sugar, though sour cream or original dunkin' or plain old glazed or chocolate glazed are all good too. And we do miss Krispy Kremes, but I have to be honest: I have a little personal thing with them. On 9/11/01, I was on a business trip in southern VA, winding our way to Tennessee. The trip was not cancelled despite the attacks. The only saving grace was that I was with three colleagues and we kept each other close. The trip ended that Friday, and we had to drive back to our homes (mostly) in the northeast since planes were still not flying. We made a pact to stop as little as possible as we were all desperate to go home to our families. And all we had in the car for almost 14 hours was a big old box of Krispy Kremes. And alas, I have never felt the same about them since that scary, surreal drive, with American flags on all the overpasses and all the other strangeness that comes from that many miles of driving on secondary highways. (We thought getting stuck next to the pig truck was bad, with all those little snouts sticking out of those teeny spaces. Then we got stuck behind a chicken truck, with sticky feathers flying. We really expected the locusts to descend at any moment.)

I'm sorry, were we talking about donuts? Really, almost any donut is a good donut.

#4. Share a rice recipe.

Oh, this is one of my favorites, and one that again we thank Kelly for every time we make it! Even with the leftover rice, it takes a while with the double roasting and all, so prepare mentally for that, but oh, yum, is it worth it.

From the indispensable Epicurious.

Zucchini Rice Gratin
Gourmet magazine, March 2008, Andrea Albin.

yield: Makes 4 to 6 (side dish) servings
active time: 25 min
total time: 1 1/4 hr
With golden cheese that yields to an abundance of roasted vegetables, this gratin is an ideal side dish, but it really doesn't need anything more than a green salad to make it a satisfying dinner.

1/3 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided

Preheat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Cook rice according to package instructions.

While rice cooks, toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow baking pan. Toss tomatoes with 1/2 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another baking pan.

Roast zucchini in upper third of oven and tomatoes in lower third, turning vegetables once halfway through roasting, until tender and light golden, about 10 minutes for tomatoes; 20 minutes for zucchini. Leave oven on.

Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir together onion mixture, cooked rice, eggs, thyme, 1/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread half of rice mixture in a shallow 2-quart baking dish, then top with half of zucchini. Spread remaining rice mixture over zucchini, then top with remaining zucchini. Top with tomatoes and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake in upper third of oven until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

(And I'll add, try not to hide from family and eat all by yourself. And another great way to use the CSA veggies in late summer. This recipe, like the shepherd's pie, gets better with more veggies rather than fewer.)

Have a good week--and if you want to play--or read people's donuts without a heapin' helping of PTSD, click on the button above!


Anonymous said...

Ooooh yes, shepherd's pie...and home-made pot pie...both excellent for using up an abundance of veggies.

JMom said...

Wow, what an experience that must have been, driving on 9/11/01! The zucchin gratin recipe sounds delicious. I'll have to remember that when our zucchini starts coming in this summer.

tipsybaker said...

French crullers. I want a donut now, even with the bad associations!

corrin said...

I've never had Life cereal. I need a little sugar to get me going in the mornings. :-P

Karen said...

What a trip on 9/11. Good to hear that you and your friends held onto each other and that the donuts helped. Isn't it funny the things that some events remind us of. Like when the space shuttle exploded. I think of my daughter being in kindergarten and how innocent she was.