Look at me with a Mishmash Friday like Shelley and Fran! While I have been writing about my Spartan Race life has been going on behind the scenes. I did want to show a few pics I took while in Milwaukee. I had every intention Sunday morning to walk around the lake front, but the weather was iffy – it was lightly sprinkling the whole time I was walking in the morning which wasn’t bad, but then it started getting worse so I decided to cut my losses and head back to the hotel. Much like bigger cities have pigs, or cows decorated all over their downtown areas, I love that Milwaukee has decorated bicycles with flowers! The architecture downtown is amazing too – the Federal building as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum.
While it was a great weekend, it’s always nice to come home, isn’t it? Word on the street is that Hannah’s dog Rummy missed me – so cute.
Astute readers will know that my deep fryer died last week. She’s been with us for about five years, and I washed it so many times that I scrubbed off the number so I was never really sure these past couple years where exactly 350 was on the dial control. No worries! I had a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card and with the 20% off discount coupon, I got a new one. This one is digital, which I love, has three baskets if you are making separate things, and was only $30 out of pocket for me.
I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately. Is this a mid-life crisis? I find myself suddenly cooking with onions! First with my 30 minute beef bolognese and then earlier this week I made onion rings to top our burgers. Now, I do have to say, that I am picky about what type of onion I use for onion rings – I only use vadalia onions, because they are sweet. I sliced an onion, added it to a ziptop bag with 1 cup of Silk unsweetened almond milk that was seasoned with one tablespoon of Frank’s hot sauce overnight. When I got home, I made my flour mixture – 1 cup flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper. Dredge the soaked onions into the flour mixture and fry for about 1-2 minutes at 350. I made myself a burger salad topped with a few onion rings. Not gonna lie, this was an amazeball dinner!
Our weather has been all over the map lately – cool mornings, rain, then humid. I ended up making a batch of Michael Symon’s Cincinnati chili on Tuesday night to have for lunches. I always add Bush’s Beans to my chili – Tony used to love just meat only chili, which is why he gravitated toward Cincinnati chili. I mentioned in my Instagram post that I used Bush’s beans, and of course, they thanked me – ya, know, just helping out National brand to get the word out about their product out – ha!
So while my friends Alison and Cameron came to my rescue to get my mower working, and did I great job I might add, we tried several times to get it going and well. . . no luck. Battery is dead again – I already replaced it with a new one and well, while our yard is a decent size, there really isn’t a good reason why a push mower wouldn’t work, and with three adults living in the house, pretty sure we could do just that. So I came home Wednesday night, tried to start the riding mower – nothing. So Hannah was talking a nap because she worked a 10 hour shift, and I told Jacob “hey, going to get a push mower – there is chili in the downstairs fridge if you guys get hungry.”
See, that’s one thing about me. I can be COMPLETELY compulsive about something and Wednesday night – that was buying something so that my lawn didn’t look like I lived in an abandoned house. I went to Menard’s, and I am not going to lie, it’s the first time that I used the “widow” card. I stood in front of the mowers, and an employee walked by and said “can I help you?” and without even batting an eye I said “my husband died and I don’t know how to work our riding mower so I need something simple.” He could not have been nicer. Even pulled down the mower showed me how to put it together when I got it home, where to put the oil and the gas. All I knew was that I wanted big wheels and a self-propelled mower. I actually don’t even know the brand I bought, other than it has a Briggs & Stratton mower and I was fine with it. I am sure Tony would have been on consumer reports for weeks before making a decision. Me? I spent 20 minutes at Menard’s.
While I was gone Hannah woke up and said “my Mom went where? was she not hungry? what about dinner?” I was on a mission! I was literally gone all of 40 minutes before I got it going. I just wanted to do the front of the house and Jacob ended up finishing the back yesterday – along with RAKING the whole yard – he was probably working on the lawn for several hours yesterday since he was off of work. I so appreciated it and it looks fantastic.
So guys. I have got THE summer recipe for you, especially those of you who have gardens and wonder “what the fuck am I going to do with all these zucchinis?!” I’ve got your answer – ZUCCHINI TOTS!
Now, I did not come up with this idea, but when I searched for recipes all the pictures looked like this – (no offense Gina – I am sure these are amazeballs too!)
Those don’t look like tots to me. So I came up with this recipe:
- 1 large zucchini, shredded and squeezed almost dry
- 1 tablespoon egg white
- 1/4 cup white corn meal
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded Cabot cheese (I used the Vermont cheddar)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix everything in a bowl and shape into the size of a tater tot. I ended up getting 12 tots with the recipe above. Now here is the key thing. Put them on a plate and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This helps hold their shape when it goes in the fryer. Heat oil in pan to 350 or your deep fryer and cook for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown.
That’s not salt, but the white corn meal that shines through that actually gives the tots a nice crunch. THESE ARE SO GOOD! You can thank me later. The only thing I was bummed about was that Hannah was home – she was closing last night. I texted her just a picture of the tots and she said “OMG, what???!!!” I’ll definitely be getting more zucchini this weekend.
Traffic was a bitch yesterday. It took me nearly an hour to get home – there must have been an accident or something, so it forced me to take the back roads home. There is a road that I go down near the horse farms – you can’t drive more than 25 miles per hour and no one was behind me and instead of getting pissed that it was taking so long to get home, I turned on my favorite Sirius station (Coffee House – Channel 31) and stopped and took a picture.
And I didn’t see it until I got home, but there is Tony’s orb, or what I like to think of as him. In the millions of pictures I’ve taken for this blog over the nearly 7 years, I’ve only had that green orb show up in pictures after Tony passed away. I know he’s still with me. I just wish I could see his face again.
Have an amazing weekend – wish every week could be a short work week! Come back on Monday – I am bringing back my 101 Days of Summer Challenge! The first one was in 2010 – can’t believe five years ago already! Check it out – curious to see who was part of that challenge that still follows me!
Make it a great day!