What's Cooking Hot Stuff?

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

I laugh every time I hear that phrase, "what's cooking hot stuff?" Being a teen of the 80s (best decade EVER!) one can't help but laugh at remembering all the one liners from teen based movies like Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, etc. Oh, the memories... uh hum, but really! What's Cooking!?! This past weekend and up until this afternoon, Bill and I have had all kinds of fun in the kitchen!

getting ready to slice some cucumbers

Yes, the summer harvest has begun! The garden really shocked us both a little bit. First, our cherry tomatoes have grown to heaven! Our regular tomatoes haven't ripened yet, but they look nice and big :) Sadly, our green beans didn't do as well this year because our wooden climbing contraption broke and ended up falling down snapping a bunch of the green bean stalks/vines. :( Zucchini got it together this year and has produced massive size squash and the cucumbers are now coming in wonderfully with tons of flowers still yet to produce more! So, this weekend we took full advantage of our time and started our preserving! No, we are not hefty preservers, we just like to do what we can. We also like to take advantage of the wonderful farmer's market that we have local to us. When you have your own little garden and put all this work into growing just some simple tomatoes or green beans, going to the farmer's market and seeing the plethora of beautiful, ripe, clean, juicy, aroma filled fruits and vegetables makes you want to cook something wholesome and more importantly, find a way to preserve these farmers' hard work. Bill and I are always in awe of the abundance these farmers bring to their stands and can only imagine the sweat and labor that goes with this industry. Each year, we like to try to grow something new or preserve something new or even just cook something new. Like us, our kids have learned to like (and crave) certain fruits of the season. Our house is big into zucchini bread! So that's a must each year! I even had to send a couple of loaves off to my son when he was stationed in Nebraska and of course my daughter, stationed in Virginia, wants a couple asap! We grew cucumbers last year and we blessed with bushels! So, we decided to try our hand at some sweet pickles and OMG, am I ever so glad we did! Besides preserving all these wonderful foods, just cooking home cooked meals with fresh and crispy vegetables tastes amazing! Tonight I made a zucchini bake with layers of our zucchini, sweet onions, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese covered with strips of bacon...oh my God, that's what's cooking hot stuff!!! But the house...it smells so good. It's telling me that summer will be over soon so start collecting and stock pile while you can.

our garden zucchini

This is Bill (above) coming back from the garden (below) getting ready to start the day!

our little garden

Yes, it's a small little garden, but it provides a lot! Plus, it makes this side of the house look good :)

almost pickles!

finally! Pickles!

I LOVE A MAN IN THE KITCHEN! Yes, the man can cook, too :) I have a feeling we will be pickling for the next two months!

homegrown green beans

green beans ready for the freezer

And these! We love green beans, so we decided, since we won't be having that many this year from our own garden, to take advantage of the farmer's market and get them while we can!

blackberries from the farmer's market

But this...I honestly love blackberries, and sometimes wish we had a blackberry bush in our yard, but for many reasons, we decided against it and will travel to the market to pick up these beauties. They are so juicy! I decided not to make jam with these because there is a lady at the market that makes these wonderful WONDERFUL jams and jellies and Bill and I are very into supporting farmers, bakers, and small businesses so we purchased the jams from her. This year, though, I decided to try something new and make fried pies. Every year since forever, our family travels to Ohio to visit the Ohio Amish community in the fall. It's almost like our family's official start of autumn celebration and we are actually bummed if we don't get the opportunity to go. It is a very peaceful area and a wonderful getaway, but to be honest, we go for the food! We love to visit this little farm the sells "fry pies" as they call it and they sell every flavor known to mankind...my mouth is watering thinking about it. So, I thought, "why not give it a try?" Of course I knew they wouldn't taste as good, but that's okay, if anything, they'll taste like a mushy pie or something. So, being the scholar of Pinterest, off I went in search of a great recipe! And this is what I made!

preparing blackberry fried pies

Be nice! I'm just a beginner at these :)

A little egg wash, then baked them! And now for some homemade glaze!

And time to serve!

fried pies are done!!!

And yes, that's IS what's cooking HOT STUFF. I hope you get inspired to go out and shop your local farmer's market, to try something new or maybe even try your hand at freezing or preserving. Try cooking one week with something fresh from the garden in your menu and see if you can taste the goodness and the difference. I didn't say it has to be sugar free or fat free or free of anything! :) Just get out there and start your "stock pile" because sadly, it won't last but a couple more months! Happy Good Eatin'!

#cucumbers #pickles #homemade #garden #zucchini #blackberries #friedpies #homegrown #baking #farmersmarket

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