FamTime Face Food - Bastardized Zucchini

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My girlfriend Michelle, whom I speak of often, and who also happens to be the author of Dust and Wanderlust,  recently visited from Pennsylvania. I think she may just be one of the sweetest people on the face of this planet. I say this because not only did she buy me 3 of the most perfect cookbooks, but she hauled them half way across the country in a camper that was already packed to the brim with a young boy, 2 teenagers, and a couple of frazzled adults (at least I'm sure they were by the time they got here).... not to mention all of the stuff required for all of these people on a month long trip across the country. My heart has been won.

This is first one of the books I have decided to cook out of. Those of you who know how much I've been working lately, realize that me cooking something is a complete miracle in and of itself.

Mediterranean cooking is my fave. I love, love, love, LOVE seafood, fruits and veggies, whole grains breads and pastas, red wine, and olive oil. It still sometimes blows my mind that all of these things that taste so good and are so satisfying can be so ridiculously good for me.

That being said... the recipe I picked out from this book to make a family gathering is definitely not an everyday food (AKA FamTime Face Food) I completely bastardized these poor little zucchini's. Taking something that is normally so healthy and unhealthied it right up!

But, it was SO good, and you could easily make some substitutions to make it a little more figure friendly. At this point in my life I have adopted the attitude of "all things in moderation" And hey, even my 25 year old brother Cole, who up until yesterday was previously frightened by zucchini, went back for a second helping of this.

So, here it is....Zucchini & Cheese Gratin 

These are the instructions on properly bastardizing a zucchini.
(Don't be surprised, after serving this to your family and friends, if you get requests to bastardize all veggies from that point forward.)

Melt 2oz of unsalted REAL butter in a large saute' pan. Add 6 sliced zucchinis and cook for 4-6 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels, then Salt and Pepper (i felt much more comfortable with the amount of butter used after this step. you could always use olive oil for a more heart healthy version)

Spread half cooked zucchini in greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1 T fresh Tarragon (or if you're me... a completely unmeasured amount of dried tarragon.) and about 3oz of freshly grated Gruyere cheese (you could also use Parmesan) Repeat layers. 

In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 Cup heavy cream, 1/2 Cup milk, and 2 eggs. Season with a dash of nutmeg and salt and pepper. (I'm thinking you could probably use all milk or maybe 1/3 greek yogurt and 2/3 milk for a lighter version of this) Pour this mixture over zucchini and bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

And remember, you only live once, so just eat the damn corrupted zucchinis. 

Peace & Love, 
Chandra Nicole

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