So You Grew a Garden… Now What? 10

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

It’s time for another zucchini recipe! This recipe comes courtesy of Pastor Ryan via the Pioneer Woman blog. It is another recipe that I knew I would make the moment I saw it, almost a year ago. At the time our zucchini plant wasn’t producing very much but I kept the recipe in a little file in the back of my brain. When I decided to do this garden series I knew without a doubt that this would be a part of it. I am so happy that I didn’t forget about this little gem because they were SO GOOD. If you have zucchini in your garden right now, you.must.make.these.

Zucchini Cakes
(Slightly adapted from Ryan Dretzel via The Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

1 large zucchini
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 – 3/4 cup of Italian style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
2 eggs (add 1 first then if the mixture is too thick add the 2nd)
1/2 tsp thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
Olive Oil

Directions

Shred a cleaned and dried zucchini with the large holes of the cheese grater. Squeeze the shredded zucchini using a clean kitchen, removing as much liquid as you can. (I was surprised how much liquid came out!)

In a medium bowl, stir together the shredded zucchini, garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, salt, pepper and thyme. Check the texture. It should be batter like and not “crumbly”. Add the second egg if needed.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot enough, carefully drop the batter into skillet (about 2-3 tbsp of batter) and flatten a little with a fork. Cook for two minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with ranch for dipping.

Caramel Popcorn Mix

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Last month while staying with my Aunt in Maryland she made this highly addicting popcorn mix. I immediately thought it would make a great Christmas treat/gift. Today I finally had time to put it all together. I found SUPER cute boxes at Michaels to store the popcorn. Little “Chinese take out” boxes in holiday prints. I can’t wait to give them to my coworkers tomorrow. Jesse also gives this recipe a big thumbs up and is taking some with him to work tomorrow as well.

So if you’re looking for a new holiday treat gift to give, you must try this popcorn! I promise you won’t regret it!

Caramel Corn Snack Mix
Recipe from my Aunt Ari

Ingredients
8 cups popped popcorn
4 cups toasted rice cereal (Chex)
2 cups pretzels
1 cup Pecan halves or pieces
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
Parchment Paper (not an ingredient but a crucial tool)

Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter and light corn syrup and heat over medium heat. While stirring, bring to a light boil then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes (it will still look bubbly and you should stop stirring)

While the caramel is simmering combine the popcorn, rice cereal, pretzels, and pecans in a very large bowl.

When the caramel is finished simmering remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture, stopping occasionally to stir and coat evenly.

Transfer the popcorn to 2 large bar pans that are lined with parchment paper (very important that it is parchment paper and NOT wax paper). Bake for 30 minutes, halfway through switch racks (bottom to top top to bottom)

After 30 minutes, remove from oven and let the mixture start to cool. While it’s cooling start to break the popcorn apart.

When the popcorn is completely cool transfer to a storage container.