International Can-It-Forward Day Giveaway

Is your counter overflowing with summer fruits and berries yet? I always have big plans of preserving them but the foodie tots tend to devour them before I have a chance, so I usually wind up making a tiny batch of syrup or jam. But today 8/1 is International Can-It-Forward Day with Jarden Home Brands, and I’m looking forward to picking up some tips for putting up a few bigger batches before the end of the season.

Jarden Home Brands is the licensed marketer of Ball brand canning jars, and they sent us some of their newest products to try out. My daughter was especially excited to see that this year’s featured color is — purple! I was happy to try out the sip/straw lids, which are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. I had made a small batch of apricot gooseberry syrup, which we mixed with seltzer to make all-natural homemade sodas one afternoon. I think the purple jars are quickly going to replace our regular glasses, but hopefully I can hold onto a few for preserving my favorite summer peaches!

International Can-It-Forward Day will be broadcast live online at from 11AM – 4PM EST from the new state-of-the-art Jarden Home Brands headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. The webcast will have an integrated chat function where viewers can submit their home canning questions to be answered in real time.

Catch the live stream here at 11am Eastern:

The brand new 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is a go-to resource for home canning as well, and I look forward to digging into it soon for more inspiration.

GIVEAWAY! Thanks to Jarden Home Brands, one lucky reader will win one case of Ball brand canning jars. Entries will be accepted until 11:59pm Eastern on Saturday, July 8, 2015. To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing what you plan to preserve this summer. (US residents only.)

Happy Canning!

Squash Blossom, Zucchini and Gouda Frittata #SundaySupper

We’re dishing about Farmstand Food this week for Sunday Supper. To me, the beauty of eating farm fresh food is that it tastes amazing with minimal effort. Take this frittata, filled with summer zucchini and their blossoms, cheese and fresh herbs — quickly prepared and on the table in under 30 minutes.

squash blossom zucchini gouda frittata |

The word farmstand conjures up memories from my childhood of a place we used to frequent on Oregon’s Sauvie Island. I grew up just across the highway from this 32-square-mile mecca of farmland. The island itself is just 10 miles from downtown Portland, and we would often make a quick drive over the bridge to pick up fresh fruits and veggies during the summer months. Even now, I can’t resist stopping when I see a road-side sign proclaiming “sweet corn” or “fresh peaches.” Of course, we do more of our shopping at the farmers markets, but I think that counts just as well. The point is to savor fresh food grown with care and support the local farmers who provide these beautiful foods for our family table.

summer squash and blossoms |

As I browsed our neighborhood farmers market last weekend, I spotted these squash blossoms, a favorite summer treat. I love to prepare these stuffed with cheese and fried, but they also lend a delicious flavor to egg dishes. Sometime you can get lucky and find baby squash with the blossoms still attached, but it works just as well to buy them separately. (I always think I’ll get around to planting some summer squash, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet.) The foodie tots tend to prefer the bright yellow golden zucchini, so I was happy to find them included with the baby green zucchini and regular yellow squash. The boy used to chow down on the golden ones raw right in the middle of the market, though he might deny that now.

golden zucchini and summer squash |

All the ingredients for this supper came from local farms — the baby zucchini and squash blossoms from Spring Valley Orchard (WV), eggs from Smith Family Farm (VA), raw milk Jersey Gold gouda from Spring Gap Mountain Creamery (WV) and milk from our South Mountain Creamery (MD). Oh, and the sage from my deck! I like the earthiness that complements the heady flavor of the squash blossoms, but you could use basil or oregano instead.

squash blossom frittata ingredients |

To keep the frittata light and fluffy, be sure to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. I finally pulled out the mandoline slicer I’d gotten for Christmas and it worked perfectly. You want a good melting cheese like Gouda, or swap something creamy like fresh ricotta or creme fraiche if you prefer. Go easy on the sage to let the squash blossoms shine, and a little salt and pepper is all the additional seasoning it needs. I like to serve it with a light side salad and some bread — like the ciabatta from local Atwater’s Bakery. And of course this frittata makes an ideal brunch dish, too!

slicing zucchini |

Squash Blossom, Zucchini and Gouda Frittata

Serves 4


  • 2 small zucchini
  • 6 squash blossoms
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil skillet and set aside.
  2. Thinly slice zucchini, using a mandoline if you have one, into rounds. Gently cut squash blossoms in half length-wise and remove stamen. Cut sage leaves into thin slices. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese, zucchini and sage. Pour mixture into skillet, making sure zucchini is evenly distributed around the pan. Gently press squash blossom halves into the egg mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until just barely set in the middle. Switch to broiler for about 2 additional minutes till top is golden. Remove and serve warm.

zucchini squash blossom cheese frittata |


I’m co-hosting this week’s Sunday Supper with DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts — thanks to the bloggers below for joining us in this celebration of summer farmstand foods. Please hop around and check out what they’re bringing to dinner, and join us tonight at 7pm Eastern over on Twitter to share your favorite farmstand food recipes and inspiration!

Appetizers, Sides and Salads



Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Farmstand #SundaySupper Preview

The first local sweet corn hits the farmers markets here in the DC area right around the 4th of July, and it quickly becomes peak season for all of our summer favorites — berries, peaches, corn, peppers, tomatoes, melon, squash and so much more. The inspiration is boundless, and while I was quick to sign up to co-host this week’s Farmstand Food Sunday Supper, it took me a while to decide what to make. But it was the beautiful bounty of baby zucchini — and their blossoms — that won my heart this week. Check back on Sunday to see what they became.

Farmstand #SundaySupper Preview |

And, here’s a sneak peek at the recipes my fellow Sunday Supper bloggers will be sharing. Thanks to DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts for co-hosting with me this week, and please do come back Sunday to check them all out! Join us on Twitter too to share what you’ve been cooking from your local farmstands and farmers markets.

Appetizers, Sides and Salads



Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Hermione Voyage: Celebrating France in Alexandria

The Hermione, a replica of the tall ship that carried the Marquis de Lafayette and aid from France to assist General Washington in the waning days of the American Revolution, docked in Alexandria last night at midnight. If the boy wasn’t still in school, I’d have taken the kids down to watch its arrival; but alas, we had to settle for heading to the waterfront this afternoon. We didn’t have tickets to board (very limited tickets are available each day at 8:30am), but there were activities and re-enacters on the dock and you can walk right up to the ship for a close-up view.

Hermione Voyage in Alexandria VA |

The Hermione sailed from Rochefort, France in April and arrived at Yorktown on June 5. Washingtonians can visit her in Alexandria tomorrow and Friday before she continues on to Annapolis (June 16-17), Baltimore (June 19-21) and on up the Eastern seaboard to spend July 4 in New York (and beyond). Find full voyage details at

maritime education on the docks |

Dockside entertainment includes live music performances and a very informative tent on marine navigation that captured the foodie tots’ interest for quite a lengthy chat. There are also boat-building demos and an interpretive tent to quickly brush up on Lafayette’s significance to the American Revolution.

period entertainers on the dock |

Tip: Get a birds-eye view of the ship from the third floor of the Torpedo Factory — and stop by the Alexandria Archeology Museum for some more hands-on education.

Hermione as seen from the Torpedo Factory |

Hungry? 3 French-Inspired Eateries in Alexandria

After visiting the ship, you may be in the mood for some French cuisine. One of our long-time Old Town favorites is Fontaine Caffe & Creperie, which serves authentic sweet and savory crepes and cidres in its cozy Royal Street location. It’s also where the foodie tot ate her first anchovy, on one of our ladies’ lunches.

Further up King Street is the French-inspired La Fromagerie, an artisan cheese and wine bistro, and for something a little fancier, Bastille has recently reopened in its new Fayette Street location.

Hermione reflection in Old Town |

Of course, you could also pack a picnic and eat in view of the ship down at Founders Park. Just hurry, Hermione sets sail again on the 12th!

Cheesy Crab Stuffed Peppers #SundaySupper

This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

cheesy crab stuffed peppers |

It’s no secret that cheese is a favorite ingredient in the foodie tots kitchen. Whether we’re enjoying a comfort food mac-and-cheese night or a nutritious after school snack of apples and cheddar, you can bet that our cheese drawer is rarely found empty. And here’s a little secret: cheese is often an easy way I can encourage the kids to try a new or previously unpopular vegetable. The boy was first turned on to salad by the introduction of Caesar salad. It’s hard to turn down lettuce topped with parmesan, croutons and a creamy dressing, right? A grating of parmesan also improves the taste of asparagus, and we’ve been known to dip broccoli and cauliflower into hot cheese fondue.

corn, crab and peppers |

As the temperature is heating up and our farmers markets are kicking into high gear for the summer, I wanted to come up with something new for our family dinner table that incorporated fresh seasonal produce. The tot has recently discovered that she loves red peppers, as long as we call them “sweet peppers” and not “bell peppers.” (It’s all about the marketing, sometimes!) One of our favorite vendors will soon have sweet peppers in nearly every color in the rainbow; the mild yellow and purple ones are particular favorites. Until we can get those, we’re making do with these sweet mini peppers at the supermarket. Stuffed peppers -– especially these kid-sized ones — make for a fun and kid-friendly dinner entrée or an appetizer for a summer dinner party. The filling for these cheesy stuffed peppers was inspired by another favorite summer treat at market, crab-and-corn dip. We’re not far from the Chesapeake Bay and its famed blue crabs, and the region is also known for summer sweet corn. The two make a lovely pairing even before you add cheese into the mix. Or three cheeses, to be precise — the crab mixture starts with a creamy mascarpone base, then I added equal parts of Asiago and Colby cheeses to compliment the sweet corn and crab.

wisconsin cheese recipe |

There are several steps the kids can help with — scraping seeds out of the halved peppers, grating cheese, and scooping and pressing the filling into each pepper half (as long as you’re prepared for things to get a little messy.) After stuffing the pepper halves with a generous scoop of the cheesy corn and crab mixture, I topped each with parsley and breadcrumbs and then another sprinkle of Asiago cheese. The peppers go into the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. I like to serve them with rice and a big side salad to round out our dinner.

asiago cheese topped stuffed peppers |

When it comes to cheese, we do choose Wisconsin Cheese often. I had the chance to visit Wisconsin cheesemakers two years ago, and the kids often ask, “Is that Wisconsin cheese?” when I’m pulling a wedge out of the fridge for snack time. The state has a long and storied history of cheesemaking, and today makes over 600 varieties of American, international-style and original cheeses. What’s your favorite?

cheesy crab stuffed peppers #sundaysupper |

Cheesy Crab Stuffed Peppers

Makes 4 servings


  • 8 smaller peppers (2 to 3-inches tall) or 4 regular sized (4-inches)
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Colby cheese, shredded
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare peppers by cutting in half lengthwise (stem to bottom) and scraping out seeds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parsley. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together garlic and mascarpone. Gently fold in Colby cheese,1/4 cup Asiago cheese, crab meat and corn. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide crab mixture evenly among the peppers. Cover filling with a spoonful of breadcrumbs and sprinkle the remaining Asiago cheese over top. Drizzle peppers with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Hungry for more? Find Wisconsin Cheese inspiration on Pinterest, and check out the below recipes from fellow Sunday Supper bloggers!

Cheese Appetizers:

Cheese Bread:

Main Dishes with Cheese:

Cheese Side Dishes:


10 Ideas for Cheese Dip Dippers by Sunday Supper Movement

Love to cook with cheese? Wisconsin Cheese is also sponsoring a recipe contest to send one lucky winner to the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida, this summer. Check out the details.

Connect with Wisconsin Cheese on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.