Nuts + Bolts

Nuts + Bolts: the party snack of holiday gatherings near and far.

As a child both my mother and my grandma made ice cream pails and Tupperware containers full of the stuff! You couldn’t walk past the counter without grabbing a taste.

We snacked on bowls in the weeks leading up to Christmas break, while we decorated the tree and it became the snack of choice while watching CBC Christmas family night movies.

Every family seems to have a slight spin on what dry cereals to include or which combo of seasonings make the cut. I’m open to seasoning switch ups but you better not mess with the Shreddies, Bugles, Cheese Crackers or Chex!

Nuts + Bolts

Nuts + Bolts | www.jenniferdyck.com

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Cheerios
  • 6 cups Chex or Crispex cereal (or a mixture of both)
  • 6 cups Shreddies
  • 300 g unsalted peanuts or mixed nuts (1 small can)
  • 213 g Bugles (1 bag)
  • 200 g cheese crackers, square, fish or stick shaped (one box)
  • 200 g pretzel sticks (1 small bag)
  • 1 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F.
  2. In an extra large roasting pan with a lid; combine cereals, nuts, Bugles, cheese crackers and pretzels.
  3. In a 2 cup glass measure; whisk together the canola oil, Worcestershire and seasonings.
  4. Keep whisking the liquid mixture while slowing pouring half of the mixture evenly over the dry mixture that is in the roasting pan. Stir gently with large spoon being careful not to break or crush your dry ingredients.
  5. Whisk back together the remaining canola oil mixture and evenly pour over the dry mixture. Stir gently to fully combine.
  6. Put the lid on the roaster and bake for 1 hour, stir gently every 20 minutes. After 1 hour, remove the lid and continue to bake for an additional 1 hour and stir every 20 minutes. Your mixture will bake for a total of 2 hours.
  7. Remove from oven and allow mixture to completely cool before storing in airtight containers for up to 4 weeks.

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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake with Cinnamon Oat Crumble

Every season brings a plentiful produce item that I find myself creatively including in many meals and snacks. Right now that item is zucchini.

From muffins to cakes to cookies, from grilled, to spiralized and diced, my family has been eating it in all sorts of ways this season.

After combing the internet for the perfect zucchini cake recipe that used ingredients that I had available, I came up empty handed and decided to merge a few to create my very own cake.

My family hopes you’ll enjoy this as much as we do!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake with Cinnamon Oat Crumble

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake with Cinnamon Oat Crumble | www.jenniferdyck.com

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups packed shredded zucchini (peel on)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cinnamon Oat Crumble:

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Prepare a 9 x 11 pan with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. In a second large bowl, beat together eggs, yogurt, canola oil and vanilla until well combined. Add the sugars and continue beating. Stir in the zucchini until well combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir just to combine ingredients.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using) and stir just to combine ingredients.
  6. Add batter to prepared cake pan and leveled into the corners as needed.
  7. To prepare the crumble: combine oats, sugar, flour, canola oil and cinnamon until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Mixture will appear like damp sand. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the entire cake.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm with ice cream for a decadent treat or slice and serve at room temperature for a coffee time snack.

Patty Pan Squash Soup

What do you do with a giant patty pan? Make soup of course!

Giant Patty Pan Squash | www.jenniferdyck.com

This growing season we have been introduced to the patty pan.  The start of the season brought bite size morsels to our table that we grilled, sauteed and ate raw.

Baby Patty Pan | www.jenniferdyck.com

Now that the season is well under way, these summer squash have turned into the monsters of our CSA garden bin and it’s time to switch up how we are going to eat them.

Our farmer, Will Bergmann, suggested that you can make soup.  We are a soup loving family so this quickly became our next meal.

Patty Pan Squash Soup | www.jenniferdyck.com

I hunted online for a recipe but I could not find one that suited what we had on hand for ingredients and one that maximized the produce that had arrived from the farm.

As with any soup, please add extras and change up the flavours to suit your family. Potatoes would add some heartiness, or a handful of cooked noodles.  The basil and parsley could easily become a combination that includes; dill, tarragon, thyme or oregano.

Patty Pan Squash Soup

Patty Pan Squash Soup | www.jenniferdyck.com

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups unpeeled patty pan, cubed
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese OR sour cream

Directions:

  1. Dice the squash and set aside.
  2. Chop the garlic and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan or small stock pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  4. Add the flour, stir to combine and continue cooking for 1 minute.  Stir for the entire minute.
  5. Slowly whisk in the broth and continue to whisk until well blended.
  6. Add the squash, carrot, 1 tsp pepper and turmeric.  Stir to combine.  Your broth will not cover all of the squash and this is fine.  The squash will release moisture.
  7. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are tender.
  8. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Alternately you can puree in a food processor or blender but you may want to allow the soup to cool slightly.
  9. Return to heat, stir in basil and parsley.
  10. Serve garnished with Feta cheese or sour cream and the additional pepper.  The cheese is important as it gives the soup a bit of salt.

Storage:

Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes:

If you are going to freeze the soup, for best flavour, I suggest adding the fresh herbs after you’ve thawed and reheated.

Do you have extra zucchini?  I have successfully made this soup with 4 cups of cubed patty pan and 4 cups of cubed zucchini.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | www.jenniferdyck.comIt’s zucchini time!  On the Prairies from late July until the end of August it’s zucchini season.

Did you know these summer squash can grow up to 1 meter long!?

Stop in at any farm yard or visit an urban garden enthusiast at this time of year and I’m sure you’ll leave toting a zucchini too large to fit in your fridge.

I like to make them into delicious cakes, loafs, muffins and other baked treats.  Save the small tender ones for grilling and eating raw.  You can also grate and freeze extra zucchini for winter baking or for adding into sauces and soups.

Here is our family favourite recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins | www.jenniferdyck.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare pan with parchment muffin liners.
  2. In medium size bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. In a second bowl, beat together sugar, canola oil, milk, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir just to combine ingredients.
  5. Add zucchini and chocolate chips and stir just to combine ingredients.
  6. Add batter to prepared muffin pans using leveled 2 Tbsp (30 mL) measure.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack.

Notes:

Mini-muffins – makes 24.  Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes.

Storage:

Keep in a resealable container on the counter for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to a month.