Zucchini Stars in Tasty Lasagna
Everyone loves eating their veggies when this cook dishes up her summertime meal! A bounty of zucchini stars in her tasty lasagna.
By Catherine Dawe, Kent, Ohio
As a new bride living in Reno, Nevada 20-some years ago, I started collecting recipes for zucchini because our huge garden produced giant zucchini every summer.
Zucchini Sausage Lasagna—the main course for my favorite meal—is handwritten in the little notebook I started back then. And we still enjoy it! I like to serve it with Dilly Romaine Salad, Cheddar Olive Loaf and Best-Ever Chocolate Cake.
Most people think they won’t like lasagna made with zucchini until they try it. These same people often ask for the recipe after they taste how good it is.
Our family eats a lot of salads, and I try to vary them so we don’t get bored with the same old thing. My husband, Tom, and I have two sons—James and Richard—and a daughter, Holly.
Dill Perks Up Dressing
I’ve found that homemade dressings, like the creamy dill blend for Dilly Romaine Salad, are really easy to concoct. Dill says summer to me. Often, I’ll chop up dill pickles and add them to any salad for extra crunch and flavor.
Cheddar Olive Loaf adds a special touch to a meal. This delicious, moist bread smells wonderful while it’s baking…and it’s convenient, too, since you make it in a bread machine.
I love playing around with my bread machine. I’ve found that most of the time you can add extra ingredients to a basic bread recipe with good results. The most important thing to watch for is the dough consistency. It shouldn’t be too stiff or too soft.
The recipe for old-fashioned, delectable Best-Ever Chocolate Cake was given to one of my friends by her grandmother. I was thrilled when she shared it with me.
The cake is rich and chocolaty without being too sweet. It’s good all by itself, but I think the fluffy chocolate frosting (a family recipe from another friend) makes it even better. Like the cake, it’s not overly sweet.
Originally from Georgia, I’ve been cooking since I was a kid. My dad was a cotton farmer turned Merchant Marine, and he met my mom while on shore leave in Boston.
Dad taught me to bake. He baked a pie, or something else, almost every day. I could make a pie from scratch by the time I was 12.
Mom was a great cook but didn’t use many recipes. Before she passed away a few years ago, I asked her to write down some of her recipes for me. That notebook is one of my most cherished possessions, even though some of her measurements call for a “golf ball-size” amount of whatever ingredient. We never used prepackaged mixes.
Nowadays, I do use some convenience products and am the queen of speedy weeknight dinners. But I like to cook from scratch when I have the time.
Most of my youth was spent in Massachusetts, where I met Tom while we were in college. He’s a print manager for a plastics company, and our oldest son works for the same firm.
I’ve been an in-home child-care provider for the past 23 years. I love working with babies and toddlers! I started watching children when James was a baby, thinking it would be a temporary thing. But I’ve pretty much made a career out of it.
Richard’s in college, and Holly is a sixth grader. You’ll often find me at the skating rink watching Holly practice for figure skating competitions. She works with a coach 3 or 4 days a week.
Richard, who is a very good cook, often helps me out in the kitchen and occasionally makes a gourmet meal for the whole family. While in high school, he got a job as a dishwasher at a local country club and worked his way up to being a cook. He’s thinking about going out to Colorado this summer to cook at a guest ranch.
One of my community activities is the Kent Junior Mothers organization. We run a summer Safety School program for about 100 children who will be entering kindergarten…and sponsor a children’s play area at Kent’s Heritage Festival in July.
Our whole family also gets involved in Tom’s stained glass side business. He makes gorgeous freestanding pieces, lamps, picture frames, panels, sun catchers, windows and cabinet doors.
We help him out with craft shows and around the holidays, when he is swamped with orders for Christmas gifts. In addition, he restores antique lamps for several area dealers.
I love to entertain. In fact, we’re having a small dinner party soon, and I’m planning to serve the meal I’ve shared with you here.
Hopefully, the menu will be a hit with our guests—and with you, too, if you decide to try my recipes.
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