Birthdays, Thanksgiving & Noodles with Zucchini.

There are certain dates and anniversaries that seem to split the year into different and distinct parts. Everyone has their own. It might be the first day of school, new years eve, a wedding anniversary, a religious holiday or a season. For me, it’s fall. Not only is it the season of my birthday, a (scary) time of reflection, but it is followed shortly after by the Thanksgiving weekend, a time of thanks.

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Cook(those)books. Summer Edition.

Summer is an easy time to entertain. Food is fresh, nights are sultry and most people aren’t craving the heavy rich meals of the colder months. Summer also means more casual and outdoor dining. It couldn’t be simpler than to light up the barbeque, make some salads and serve fruit for dessert. Perfect.

If you’re looking to celebrate this August long weekend here is my cook(those)books roundup of a few of my recent favourite finds from cookbooks and magazines. Packed in a picnic basket, spread on the picnic table or schlepped to the cottage, these three recipes are absolutely easy and delectable.

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The summer I learnt how to cook zucchini.

Zucchini, it is kind of an odd vegetable. Okay, maybe not that odd, but kind of odd.

Think about it. It often looks like a cucumber but is in actual fact a member of the squash family. It can be eaten cooked or raw and while it is most definitely a summer vegetable it is just as comfortable on a winter table.  I don’t quite get it.  I mean seriously? You can even eat the flowers. Now, it’s not as if the zucchini is some sort of “out there” esoteric vegetable. Quite the opposite. It is actually pretty common. It’s just that other than zucchini bread, for years it didn’t figure that high on my radar. And even then only if someone else made it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always eaten it and known it was good for me. It’s high in potassium, vitamin A and antioxidants. I have never disliked it, I have never quite understood how to use it so it’s not just one of those boring, good-for-you kind of vegetables.

Until last summer.

That was when thanks to the magic of a summer holiday, a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks and a friend more well versed in the subtleties of squash than I, it happened. I fell in love with this humble little vegetable.

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Fitness Friday Veggies.

Over in the twittersphere different days of the week have different themes.  Wordless Wednesday.  Fitness Friday.  You get the idea.  So as it is Friday, here is a bit of a repost from my Fitness Newsletter in case you missed it.

Summer is barbeque season.  Too often though the barbeque doesn’t get much vegetable love.  As gardens and markets are starting to explode with fresh produce now is the time to experiment!

Perfect for a party you can prepare the vegetables ahead of time and have them ready to go straight into a specialized grill pan, on a skewer or straight onto the grill. Grilled vegetables are great served on their own or tossed together as a salad with a light vinaigrette served warm or cold. Cook extra. They are great the next day to add to a breakfast burrito or in a quinoa or pasta picnic salad!