Apr 23, 2012

From the Earth (I Heart Cooking Clubs)

Do you know I'm a bit of a tree hugger?
I try to keep it contained.  A closet tree hugger.  Not one to advertise those types of agendas, I like to love up on the Earth subtly.  A sly little pat under the table.  You know.  Personal.  Intimate.

Civics class.  Senior year.  Community service hours required.
At the time, a hot city council race was taking place.  My teacher suggested we volunteer at some of the campaign headquarters, eager for us to get a taste of politics.

Stuffing envelopes.
Working phone lines.
I didn't hang around long.  Worried about completing those service hours, but bored out of my mind...I had to get gone.  Besides, how was I learning anything monotonously cramming a smiling face wearing politics hair into envelopes?  Big fat lame.

The details are fuzzy, but I had an epiphany.  Audubon Zoo Earth Fest.

Earth Fest.  That was more my style.  And at this point my style was long hippie skirts, peace-sign earrings, and weird, dirty braids.

But (please, for the love of God) let's not go there again.

Come Saturday, I'd be wearing an Earth Fest t-shirt, baby.  Ahem...staff t-shirt.

I was happily greeted at the employee entrance early that Saturday morning.  Thank you for coming out.  So much to do.  Glad you could help out.  Here's your (staff!) shirt.  Please go change and we'll get you set up.

I was led to an office.  Where I spied phones.  And brochures.

For the next two hours, I fielded phone calls.  When did Earth Fest start?  When did it end?  What's the price of admission?

And I handed out brochures.  Probably NOT printed on recycled paper.

Way past my limit of BS, I asked to be assigned elsewhere.  Outside perhaps?  After all, I had slathered on sunblock in preparation for the day.

My dad always says the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
My squawking got my a position outdoors.  Among the festival goers, composting, and recycling booths.  Walking the festival grounds.

Leading a dude in a foam Captain Planet costume from his hidey-hole to his meet-and-greet the public spot.  Back and forth.  The rest of the day.

And listening to Captain Planet pitch a fit while scrubbing sin-red lipstick out of his foam mask.  Because some bright-lipped woman really loved the Planet.

So, yeah, no more public displays of Earth Day affection for me.
Closets all the way.

Quick Fried Zucchini
Toasted Garlic and Lime

My favorite way to cook zucchini is to saute in olive oil or butter, (or both) until browned on the outside.  Toss in some garlic and lemon juice and I could have a meal right there.  Rick Bayless' recipe is very similar to what I normally do, but with salting and draining the zucchini.  And lime.  Since I'm used to this "frying" method, I can say that sweating the zucchini beforehand didn't seem to make much of a difference except more time and dirty dishes.  My opinion--skip it.  Just trying to move things along, ya know?

This is not to say that I wouldn't make the recipe again.  Nope.  As suspected going in, this was good and garlicky.  I do prefer lemon, but the lime juice was a new, jolt-me-outta-my-rut twist.  Know how sides for Mexican night tend to be rice and beans (not that there's anything wrong with that)?  And maybe you're a little bored?  Might be time to try this instead.

This week's See Ya In the Gumbo Potluck can be found here

I Heart Cooking Clubs is celebrating Earth Day this week by cooking "From the Earth" Rick Bayless recipes.
Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

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Quick Fried Zucchini w/ Toasted Garlic and Lime
from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless

about 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 scant tsp salt
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP olive oil
5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 TBSP lime juice
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 TBSP chopped parsley

In a colander, toss the cut zucchini with the salt and let stand over a plate or in the sink for half an hour. Rinse and dry the zucchini.  *This step can be done ahead of time*

About 15 min. before serving, heat the butter and oil over low heat in a skillet large enough to hold the zucchini in a single layer. Add the garlic and stir often until light brown.  Do not burn. Scoop the garlic into a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl.  Add the strained butter mixture back into the pan.  Raise the heat to medium-high.

Add the zucchini to the pan and fry, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 min. until browned and tender but still a little crunchy. Remove from the heat.

Add the lime and toasted garlic to the zucchini.  Toss thoroughly. Sprinkle with pepper, oregano, and parsley, then mix. Taste for salt and serve.

Also linking with:

Food on Friday: Zucchini @ Carole's Chatter

Nap-Time Creations
Things that make you say:
Gallery of Favorites
BWS tips button slice of southern button
 Hearth and Soul blog hop at Premeditated Leftovers

Cookbook Sundays @ Couscous and Consciousness


  1. I love your Earth Day story! Awesome! And that recipe sounds delicious!

  2. This sounds really delicious!! I'm always looking for new ways of cooking up zucchini.

  3. I am always looking for different Mexican sides. I keep my earth day events low key too.

  4. Great story, glad you spoke up!!

  5. I agree with Gerry. Also, the family in the house prefer eating zucchini cooked with plenty of butter. For health purposes, I prefer olive oil - and love it equally:)

    Your old follower hopping by.

    My recent posts:
    Crafting >> http://olahmomma.com/blog/game-called-math-improvised-math-flash-cards
    Cooking >> http://olahmomma.com/blog/sesame-garlic-spinach-stir-fry

  6. Looks like a great dish! Mix it with some quinoa and you have a fabulous salad. :)

  7. I am all for simplifying too, and generally cut out unnecessary steps.
    Looks like a great side, I am digging the new place lime has in my daily life, thanks to Bayless. ☺

  8. This looks delicious! Zucchinis is one veggie which I do not cook very often, would love to try this version!

  9. I'm not-so-secretly a tree hugger! Had to laugh at your earth day fest story :P I love how bayless can take something as simple as zucchini with garlic and olive oil and still turn it into a masterpiece. yum!

  10. OK, I would never have thought to put lime on zucchini... really interesting. Please share this on my foodie friday linky today.

  11. Enjoyed your story. Thanks for linking to Simply Delish. I'll be back for Gumbo linky.

  12. I've never salted zucchini before...only eggplant. Huh. Well, either way, it definitely sounds like something I'd like...and the hubs (huge zucc fan). And I'm a totally out-of-the-closet tree hugger! ;P

  13. We eat a lot of zucchini and I'll be trying this recipe for sure. Love your earth day story :)

  14. I love the way you not only share the recipe but also teach and share tips. Still loving following you and that is one of the reasons I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!! Please check out my post at
    http://myturn-evelyn.blogspot.com/ for all the details.

  15. Oh yum! I love zucchini any which you serve it. Zucchini was the theme this week, wasn't it? ;-) Thanks for linking up and playing along for Friday Food Fight.

  16. Thanks for joining Southern Sundays with this wonderful recipe! I'll be announcing the featured recipes next week. Hope to see you at the next party with another great item!

  17. HI! Just wanted to let you know I'll be featuring you at this weeks tasty tuesday post! Stop by and grab a featured button.

  18. Great Earth Day story - especially the bit about the red lipstick :-) The zucchini sounds lovely. I've cooked it with garlic before, but never added lemon or lime. I'm going to try both, but I think I'm going to like the lemon best too. And I agree about salting and draining the zucchini - life is too short!

  19. Great story. Like zucchini and i'm groing my own at the moment. Bookmarking this recipe so i will try it this summer as i will have plenty of zucchini.

  20. Yeah, I am not sure of the point of salting the zucchini either--especially for a dish like this. I am definitely tagging this to make. It looks delicious--I love a lot of garlic and lime juice. ;-)

  21. What a delicious way to prepare zucchini! I am saving this recipe for my zucchini harvest.


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