Livin' in the Kitchen

Lunch-Release Zucchini Fries

In bread crumbs, easy, fries, Healthy, lunch, olive oil, Senior year, Zucchini on August 23, 2013 at 2:37 am

SeniorsEvery year the seniors of Libertyville High School have a theme for the first day of school. This year we did a camo theme and packed our cars the first morning of school with hundreds of water balloons to throw at freshman. However, it turns out, if a school official discovers your parking lot plans you’ll be forced into the field. And you’re only allowed to throw the balloons at fellow seniors…uhm…..what? I did not sign up for that, no I did not.

Later that day we had to give presentations in Consumer. When I finished reading our ‘get to know you’ sheets, I walked back to my desk and was greeted with a puddle of sitting water. I sat down next to a girl who’d just come from scrubbing Seniors Eat Freshman off of her car (ordered to do so by an angry dean). Although I’m still not sure if he was more angry about her car, or the glitterbombs she unleashed in the hallways…

Lastly I had gym, and by then my stomach was grumbling. It was a person. And an angry one at that. It was time to eat. But seniors have lunch release which means that I get to go home. But to what? After eating at Grace Restaurant in Chicago two nights ago, I’m going to be living the broke life for the next month. So that meant I wouldn’t be eating out either. When I got home I found six or seven fresh zucchini from our garden on the kitchen island.


Zucchini Fries

Instead of the cheeseburger and fries I’d wanted, I ended up having leftover steak on a piece of garlic toast with a side of zucchini fries. And it turns out, zucchini fries are baked, healthy, fast, and way better than regular fries. Try them out! This is a great use for over-grown zucchini in your garden. Over-grown zucchini tends to be drier and you can get a thicker cut without seeds! My 6 year old brother is so not about the-vegetable-life and he destroyed his plate of veggie fries.

So here’s to a great use for over-grown zucchini, grumpy deans, and the start of our last year of high school!


Zucchini Fries:

1 overgrown zucchini (peeled, cut in half, and then cut lengthwise)

1 cup flour

3 eggs, beaten

4 Tablespoons water

1 box of Italian-Style Bread Crumbs

Olive Oil (for drizzling)

Marinara Saruce or spaghetti Sauce (for dipping)

Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,

Put the flour in a large bow,

Crack 3 eggs into a separate bowl and beat. Add 4T of water, and beat again. Set aside.

Pour Olive oil into a small ramekin, set aside.

Line 2 sheet trays with parchment paper and set aside,

Continue to cut the peeled and cut zucchini lengthwise until you have a bunch of fries,

Toss the fries ( a few at a time ) in the flour, then into the egg mixture, and then into the bread crumbs, transfer to your baking sheet.

Drizzle (small amounts) of olive oil with a spoon over each fry,


When sheet trays are full bake 15-20 minutes, or until your fries are golden brown. Sprinkle salt over the fries to taste. Serve with marinara or spaghetti sauce.


Cover to Cover -“Chocolate and Vanilla”

In Chefs, Cookies, Culinary Experiences, Panna Cotta on February 6, 2013 at 5:06 am


Sometimes I have the attention span of a sugar-buzzed five year old at a birthday party. Things just tend to distract me. Which is why cooking through an entire cookbook has never seemed entirely possible to me.

But it’s on my bucketlist.

And I do love checks on my lists…

Which is why I’m currently baking through Gale Gand’s most recent pastry book, “Chocolate and Vanilla”! I’ve been interning for Gale since I was 15… she’s my pastry mama! Reading through the headnotes and the directions, I can almost hear her explaining the recipes to me.


I bake a couple of recipes out of Chocolate and Vanilla each school week. I tend to photograph the recipes the day after I make them because by the time I’m finished baking all the natural light is gone. Then I upload and post them in a photo album on Gale’s chef page called “Chocolate and Vanilla”!

22 recipes down and I’m still rolling. Come bake with me! Or come watch me bake. Either way, it’s sugar. It’s bound to be fun.


Chocolate Cake and the Start of School

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Here’s to the sweet end of a beautiful summer.

Summer was 5 weeks of beautiful Italia, the pastry kitchen at Spiaggia, loud music, late nights with friends, and no shoes.

The day before school started my friend ordered a cake…. not because it was her birthday. She just wanted a cake.

People should be more like Anna.

With the end of a sweet summer comes the sweet start of Junior year. Not that I’m so sure it will be sweet. But with chocolate cake, how could it not be?

Chocolate Cake

* 2 cups sugar
* 1 3/4 cups flour
* 3/4 cup baking cocoa (dutch process or dark cocoa preferably)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3/4-1 cup boiling water (see note below)

Directions: 1. 1 Heat oven to 350°F. 2. 2 Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans or one 13×9 inch pan. 3. 3 In large mixer bowl, stir together dry ingredients. 4. 4 Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 5. 5 Stir in boiling water by hand (batter will be thin). NOTE: I have tried it with 1/2 cup, 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup boiling water and we prefer it with less than 1 cup water. I usually use between 2/3 & 3/4 cups. The cake is still very moist but it doesn’t seem to “fall” as much as it cools. This might have to do with our high humidity or brand of flour or other factors so I don’t know if it will work for everyone. 6. 6 Pour into prepared pan. 7. 7 Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round 9-inch pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Do not use 8-inch pans or the batter will overflow.). 8. 8 Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks.

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