Baked Zucchini Fries (Vegan)

Baked Zucchini Fries - Laugh, Cry, Cook

These Baked Zucchini Fries have started making a regular appearance on our family’s menu . When they cook, the zucchini gets soft and almost buttery, but the outside creates a crunchy shell. It’s a little like biting into a nutty chocolate truffle. You have to bite down with a little force to get through the crunchy exterior and then your mouth gets a surprise as your teeth quickly sink into the pillowy soft middle.

Sorry if I just took you from craving zucchini to craving chocolate in one paragraph. Come back! You won’t be disappointed. In fact, I’d pick a box of zucchini fries over a box of chocolate truffles any day. Unlike a box of chocolates, I know exactly what I’ll get in each bite…and it’s delicious.

I like serving them instead of garlic bread on pasta night. The bread coating gives you a little carb crunch, but unlike garlic bread, it also sneaks in a serving of veggies. I also paired them with The Gluten-Free Vegan’s Falafel recipe. I don’t recommend making both on one night, as that would be a labor intensive evening, but the falafel freeze wonderfully and can re-heat right in the oven with the zucchini fries.

Zucchini Fries Vegan - Laugh, Cry, Cook

Baked Zucchini Fries

I didn’t do exact measurements here. You can do as few as one zucchini or as many as you want. I usually do three to four for our family of three. Simply refill your dredging station as you run out. If you can’t fit them all on one pan, add another pan and bake at the same time.

Zucchini Squash (cut like steak fries) (Yellow squash works too)
Olive Oil Baking Spray
Flour
Unsweetened Almond Milk (or your choice of milk)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt
Pepper
Smoked Paprika (or regular paprika)
Italian Seasoning (you could also use a steak seasoning or any other favorite spice blend)

1.Preheat oven to 400.

2. Line cut squash on a bed of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 20 minutes.

Zucchini Fries - Salting

3. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

4. Make dredging station: Put flour in a bowl, milk in a bowl, and bread crumbs in a bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and Italian seasoning into the bread crumbs (about 1/2 teaspoon each seasoning to 1 cup of bread crumbs).

Zucchini Fries - Dredging Station

5. Pat the zucchini dry.

6. Dredge: Dip them one or two at a time into the flour. Tap off excess flour. Dip into milk. Dip into bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini are dredged.

7. Spray zucchini generously with olive oil baking spray.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until coating is crispy and brown and the inside is soft and buttery.

Kids Activity - Blowing FlourIf you end up with extra flour, your child or grandchild will get a big kick out of blowing it across the counter. Embrace it. You’ll have to sweep after this dish anyway. 🙂

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Baked Zucchini Fries
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-16G

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Miss Vickie’s Sugar Cookies (Egg-free and optionally dairy-free)

Keeping family traditions alive, with these egg-free and optionally dairy-free sugar cookies.

Jackson and his Mimi starting a tradition with these egg-free and optionally dairy-free sugar cookies.

Have you ever met a woman who was beautiful, had an equally beautiful family with grown children who are best friends with each other, whose home is fit for the cover of Southern Living magazine, who loves Jesus, who crafts and entertains and cooks, and well, who you just might hate for being so together if it weren’t for how kind and caring and generous she was; and instead of envying her, you kind of just hope she’ll adopt you? I have. Her name is Miss Vickie.

Miss Vickie is Jared’s best friend Nick’s mom. Vickie and her husband Roger own three Chick-fil-A’s in our area and have raised entrepreneur-minded, self-motivated, creative kids. I wrote most of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, at Nick’s co-working space in Dallas, Common Desk, the first of its kind in the metroplex. Natalie, Miss Vickie’s daughter, is one of the most creative people I know. Her blog is so inspiring for crafty (or wannabe crafty) mamas!

Apparently, the creative genes run deep. Miss Vickie is kind of famous in these parts for her sugar cookies. If you’ve been to her house, you’ve probably seen a jar full of these soft, buttery cookies in an array of pastel colors and cute shapes, and may have even been sent home with a mason jar full of them. The recipe was created and passed down by her Italian family, the Spinelli’s, years ago.

How much do you love this handwritten recipe?

Miss_Vickies_Sugar_Cookie_Recipe

Surprisingly, it doesn’t call for any eggs and since it calls for margarine, swapping Earth Balance is a no-brainer to make them dairy-free too.  She says she’s never come across a recipe quite like it and neither have I. They are so light and almost melt in your mouth.

My mother-in-law Rhonda and Vickie have been friends for as long as Jared and Nick have been buds. Through vacations and ball games and girlfriend getaways, they’ve shared a few of these cookies over the years. And now they are sharing them, as Nonna and Mimi, with their grandkids. Nostalgia.

We went to one of our favorite getaways out in East Texas over Easter weekend with Jared’s parents. Early Saturday, it was rainy and cold, so Mimi and Jackson baked the morning away, while I snapped photos. We declared it an official Easter tradition.

Mix the ingredients.

A perfect recipe for kids to help with. Simple ingredients. Simple steps. Edible dough.

This is a perfect recipe for kids to help with. Simple ingredients. Simple steps. Edible dough.

Taste for quality control.

Quality control.

Yep, it’s yummy.

“Flour” your board with powdered sugar.

Making Cookies with Mimi

I could just eat him up. 😉

Press or roll the dough.

Mimi and Jackson making sweet memories.

Mimi and Jackson making sweet memories.

Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters.

Cooking with kids is neither neat or orderly. Luckily this dough is soft, pliable, and forgiving. Just roll it back up and press it down again to start over.

Cooking with kids is neither neat or orderly. Luckily this dough is soft, pliable, and forgiving. Just roll it back up and press it down again to start over.

Bake, cool, and ice.

Pick your color, any color.

Pick your color, any color.

Decorate.

Decorated with love (not skill).

Eat.

And enjoy.

Debating on whether or not he should eat his sugar cookie masterpiece.

Clean Up.

Clean Up!

This boy loves a vacuum like nobody’s business.

Thank you Miss Vickie, for sharing this family recipe with us and allowing me to share it with our readers!

Miss Vickie’s Sugar Cookies

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup margarine (or Earth Balance)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus some to powder table)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
food coloring

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix margarine, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a mixer. Stir in flour, a little at a time, and salt. Powder the table with powdered sugar. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. (The dough is very soft, so we just used our hands for this step.) Use cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Lay them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 minutes. Allow to cool. Decorate with icing.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Miss Vickie’s Sugar Cookies
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-WH

For Pinterest:

Miss_Vickies_Sugar_Cookies_Collage


Five-Ingredient, 10-minute Sugar Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free)

IMG_4569

Dangerously quick and easy “sugar” cookies. The sugar is really maple syrup or agave and the recipe is designed for small batches so you don’t have to be tempted by a whole dozen cookies when you really just want one or two.

(Rachel, the daughter)

To offset recipe testing for the book, holiday parties, and of course Christmas baking, I’ve been exercising outdoors for 30 minutes a day. A couple of nights ago Jared and I took Jackson for an early evening walk and stopped to look at the neighborhood Christmas lights along the way. One particular house is lit up like the Griswald’s and has a constant stream of onlookers. We stopped and took Jackson out of the stroller to take pictures and show him the dancing and singing Santa Clause. As I turned to cross the street back to the stroller, I stepped into a pothole and fell hard all the way to the ground. The other onlookers hollered out their car windows a concerned, “Are you okay?” Thankfully, Jared had Jackson and my ego stung more than my hands and scratched up hip did. With a can-do attitude, and a “Let’s get the St. Nick out of here” plea, I held my head high and jogged the whole way home.

In the spirit of stumbling, I also stumbled across something amazing this week, a delicious easy sugar cookie using just five basic ingredients: butter or margarine, maple syrup or agave, flour, vanilla extract, and sea salt. On a whim, I just threw these ingredients in a bowl and into the oven, thinking surely an egg-replacer or at least some baking soda or powder would be needed. But they turned out so delicious!

Because I can’t be trusted with more than a few cookies at one time (seriously, it’s a problem), I made a recipe that could easily be modified to make as few as two cookies at a time. Instead of actual sugar, I used maple syrup in one batch and agave in another. The agave’s flavor is more subtle, but the maple syrup gives a nice depth of flavor. Both are winners.

I have three holiday parties and a MOPS meeting to bring food for this week. It’s that time of year! These are so easy that I’m sure I’ll bring them to at least one of the events.

*****Congratulations to Lori McClellan, the winner of the $25 Wayfair.com gift certificate. We emailed your gift certificate to you. Thank you for all who stopped by and are still here from the WeAreTeachers Blog Hop. What a fun day!******

Everyone needs a good go-to sugar cookie recipe for Christmas right?

Everyone needs a good go-to sugar cookie recipe for the holidays right?

Five-Ingredient, 10-minute Sugar Cookies

Makes 2 cookies (easily doubled or quadrupled for bigger batches)

Ingredients

1 T. butter or Earth Balance
1 T. maple syrup or Agave Syrup
1/8 t. vanilla
2 T. all-purpose flour
Sprinkle of sea salt (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

With a whisk or spoon, mix the butter and maple syrup or agave. Stir in the vanilla.

Mix the wet ingredients.

Mix the wet ingredients.

Stir in the flour one tablespoon at a time.

Mix the flour into the wet ingredients.

Mix the flour into the wet ingredients.

Line a pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat and scoop out tablespoon size drops two inches apart.

Parchment paper

If you don’t have parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, an ungreased cookie sheet works fine. The cookies will be a little darker on the bottom and may spread a little more. But they are just as tasty. In fact, if you like your cookies with a little crunch, you may like them better straight on a pan.

Sprinkle with just a touch of sea salt and bake for eight minutes or until slightly brown around the edges.

Modifications

*Add a pinch of cinnamon and dust the tops with cinnamon sugar before baking for snickerdoodles.

*Sub almond extract (just a touch goes a long way and sprinkle the top with slivered almonds.

*Make a powdered sugar icing and add sprinkles on top.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Five-Ingredient, 10-minute Sugar Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, sugar-free)
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-PQ
This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook