Bad title is bad.  Yeah, I know, I suck.  😛

I’ve had plenty of time to write this week and all I did was sit and stare at the computer screen filling out more applications and sending in my resume to every job opening I thought I could qualify for.  So, when it came to the evening, I’m too tired from staring at the screen to want to think about writing anything, not even the prompts which came up in the #writemotivation G+ group.

A few questions that were posted I gave an answer to.  Others, I read and got a good giggle out of them.

The best news of the week came yesterday when the second round of first page/query critiques came out.  Naturally, I sent in the first page of Society of Night and Lies.  What I got back was better than anticipated.  I was expecting it to be ripped apart with questions asking why a cat was talking and drinking in a bar.

Sure, there were questions but more of when the hook was coming not about anthromorphs.  The one who critiqued mine did make a suggestion, which a beta had also mentioned, was to trim off the first sentences.  Which, yes, I do agree with.  Those first few are fluff and not really needed.  Something else also stood out clear as crystal to me, if Sabrina is trying to keep from being pulled back into a seedy underground society she used to be an assassin for, shouldn’t there be more mystery, especially surrounding her?  More suspense as she tries to figure out how her old ‘boss’ found her and managed to locate her only living relative?

Yeah, I thought the same thing.

More trimming and spacing out information and more with the keeping things to herself so she can follow her own agenda, which is stay free of the Claw and Fang.

Didn’t I mention writing prompts?

May 28th:  “What’s that smell?”

“What’s that smell?”  Mom shouted when she entered the room.  Her hand waved in front of her face with she used the other to pull her over-sized t-shirt up over her nose to help block the noxious fumes.  “Did someone die in here? ”  Her hacking and gagging was only partially faked.  She was really sickened by the stench that filled the room.

In the chair just in front of where mom stood, her son, a rambunctious eight-year-old boy was trying to hide from the smell behind his spindly legs and his tablet on which he was playing a game.  “Pee-ew!  That’s really, really bad.  Dad’s tryin‘ ta kill us, mommy!”  He was laughing while pretending to be grossed out by the death-like aroma.

The scent was fading.  Apparently not fast enough because mom grabbed the bottle of air and fabric refresher and sprayed it around the room; making sure every inch of the floor was touched by the mist as well as the cats’ tree and the furniture.  Even then, that fetid scent lingered behind the floral and cinnamon of the spray.

“Colin,” mom said sharply as she gave the boy an equally stern look.  “What have I told you about constantly joking about bodily functions?”

Colin quickly stopped, but he didn’t stop waving his hands to keep the fine mist from making it to his tablet or his nose.  He was too young to realize that such an attempt was futile.

While the cats were miffed at having their precious tree with the four tiers of cups and curved platforms for them to sprawl in was lacking their special scents, they were more than happy to receive the petting and chin tickles from the man of the house.  He had just ambled in from the bathroom; laughing at his son’s ruckus and the defensive stance that his spouse had taken.

“It wasn’t me, this time.”  He looked as innocent as Satan on a rampage.  “I was in the bathroom the whole time.”

“It wasn’t me, either, mommy.”  Colin piped in with a big mischievous smile on his face.  “I wouldn’t put it past either of you, boys.”  Then look from one to another as if she were a detective out of an old movie, she asked, “If you two didn’t do it, who did?”

Just then, another whiff of fetid wretchedness drifted toward them.  They looked at each other.  Neither of them had done it that time.   Then they watched as the tom cat leaped off the cat tree and ran from the room. Only one left was the half-grown female and she was grooming her hind leg.  Somehow, that little innocent cat had made a stench worthy of a full grown man after eating all day at a bean festival.

May 29th:  “It’s not that the women are stupid…” (corrected for the grammar)

“It’s not that the women are stupid…” stated the old trapper, “but most of ‘em ain’t got the sense to tell th‘ difference b’tween a worm and a piece o’ rope.  Ya cain’t teach ‘em nuthin‘ without havin‘ ta ‘splain it ’bout thirty fo’ty times a’for they catch on.”

The other men sitting near by nodded and sipped at their tankards; keeping their voices low while the drunken badger talked loudly so everyone in the tavern could hear him.  They had their own opinions about women but none of them dared speak them aloud.  They learned their lessons long ago.

One of the many patrons of the Jade Moon could have tried to quiet the badger down, or done something to keep him quiet.  But, no, they kept drinking.  Perhaps they were taking some perverse pleasure in knowing that sooner or later, the badger would be shown why you don’t speak against women in that particular tavern.

As if to ruin their fun, one of the bartender came over to their group.  As big as what the gray wolf looked, he moved quickly and quietly.  “Sir, you’re being too loud.  Would you please talk quieter, you’re disturbing the other patrons.”  He was polite and looked professional in his tunic and apron, but he sounded like he really did not want the badger to be quiet.

Bleary-eyed from the mead he had drunk, the badger waved his hand as if he trying to push him away.  “I ain’t being loud, sir.”  Strangely, he didn’t slur his words, but he definitely was not sober.  “I am being perfectly quiet.  Ain’t that right boys.”  He eyed his companions and gave them a gap-toothed grin as he raised his mug up in the air.  “More mead, sir.  Me’n the boys here are thirsty.”

The wolf looked over the group as the more sober, and wiser, shook their heads.  Some muttering and others keeping their voices down as they sipped from their own cups.  He shrugged and left the group alone.  He had a feeling they were waiting for the badger to say too much at just the right moment.  For just in case, he took his time preparing the new tankard for the soon-to-be victim.

They didn’t have long to wait.  The only female bartender in the tavern came down the stairs, dressed in her leathers and sturdy boots for her shift.  The dark colors were in contrast to her pale gray fur and long blonde hair.  She had no idea that trouble would be thrust her way.

Standing to see where the bartender was, the badger spied the wolf femme as she sauntered over to the bar then lean on it while speaking to a brown furred wolf standing guard by the till while serving drinks to the other patrons.  “See boys!”  He shouted almost gleefully as he pointed with his empty tankard at the wolf femme.  “That’s what I mean.  Women ain’t got no sense.  She ain’t s’posed ta be dressin‘ like a man.  She should be wearin‘ dresses and keepin‘ in th‘ home ta mind the kids.”

In that moment, the tavern went silent.  Only a few soft coughs were heard and quickly hushed.  Outside, the wind could be heard blowing through the eaves and branches tapping on the walls.  It was quiet enough that the mice peeked out of their holes to see if it was safe to venture out to find food.  It felt as though everyone was holding their breath.

Sharp ears swiveled toward the badger and his companions then, slowly, the she-wolf turned to face them.  Her eyes were dark and her jaw set tight.  Each step seemed filled with purpose as she strode over to the badger’s table.

Quickly, the group surrounding the badger scattered, leaving a wide path for her to approach.  As soon as she arrived at his table, she slapped her hands down on the surface then leaned in to get nose to nose with the trapper.  Her blue eyes were like eyes, showing nothing of the anger that filled her gut from the insult he had made.  “What did you say?”  Her growl was low and her jaw barely moved, but her lips curled back to reveal rows of sharp teeth.  “Did you imply that I am to be nothing more than a maid and brood mare?”

The pride the old badger felt melted away as survival instincts cleared away the alcohol from his system.  He leaned back when she moved closer and his knees suddenly felt like jelly.  “Um… yesma’am…?”  Immediately, he knew that was a bad answer.

Before anyone could react, he badger was in the air, being slung about while punch after punch landed on his face.  He struggled to get away only to be held captive until the beating ended. He couldn’t tell up from down or where to block to stop the pounding he was taking from a woman; a woman who was smaller than he was.

Somehow, amid all the furious hitting and struggling, they ended up near the door.  One of the patrons opened it to allow her to toss the trapper out.  Before giving him the boot, she whispered into the badger’s ear, “No one says Frea is a brood mare.  Ever.  Learn to respect the ladies, old man.”  In her voice a threat could be felt.  A threat that would ensure he’d never insult her or another woman again.

Out into the windy night the badger flew, his rump well above his head as he soared face first into the cobblestone road.  He laid there in the street, groaning from the beating he just took.  All that noticed him were the city guards and they shook their heads and tisksed softly.  They needed no explanation.

May 30th:  “Hush, little one, it’s going to be fine…”

“Hush, little one, it’s going to be fine…”  The words echoed softly through Ashlin’s mind while she held the single flower in her hands and held it to her nose.  Her sniffles couldn’t be masked by the only token she had to lay upon the grave of her deceased mother.

She had been gone for only a year, and it seemed like yesterday that her mother spoke those words to her and brushed away the tears that crept down her cheeks.  She didn’t look ill, and yet, she was so frail and weak.  The last few days of her life were spent in bed while her body deteriorated from the fever and coughing.

Ashlin never left her mother’s side during her illness.  She helped feed her and clean up the messes the coughing made.  She kept her company when she should have been outside playing with the other children in their village.  In her heart she hoped her mother would get better if someone stayed with her and took care of her every need.

As much as she tried, she could not help her mother get well.  None of the medicines worked and the closest healer was too far away to get them in time even though they tried their hardest.  All the healer could do was help ease her mother into death so she didn’t have any pain to fight with or coughing to disturb her path into oblivion.

Father was there in those last moments, grasping his wife’s hand while Ashlin held the other; both grieving for the one person who made them a family as she passed away.  That couldn’t have been more perfect with sunshine and warm spring breezes to chase butterflies and wisps through the dandelion fluff.  It was a perfect day, just as it was now on the anniversary of her mother’s death.

Only a year older, she couldn’t grasp death fully, but she knew it made her heart break into a million tiny pieces that she had struggled to put together since.  Even her father felt the same way and decided the only way to move on in their lives was to move away and make a fresh start.    It wasn’t an easy one to make and it felt like they were losing her again because of it.

“Come, Ashlin.”  Her father called to her from the wagon.  He had already returned to the seat and was waiting for her.  Everything they owned was packed in the back beneath a heavy tarp.  “It’s time to go.”

She spared him only a quick glance before resting the flower beside the simple tombstone.  “Good-bye, mommy.  I miss you,” she whispered then ran to the wagon, crying because she could not take the grief any longer.

As the horses started their slow plod down the worn path, a soft voice whispered on the wind as it blew past Ashlin’s ears, “Hush, little one, it’s going to be fine…”


I think I may post these here as well as on my Google+ account.  It’s amazing what comes to mind when you have something random placed in front of you that has nothing at all to do with the current works on your plate.

May 25 Daily Writing Prompt: “With bleary eyes she approached the machine”

With bleary eyes, she approached the machine.  While she did have her glasses on, the items still appeared to be one huge blur with distinct points making themselves visible the closer she got.  Deep in the back of her sleep riddled mind, she cursed the machine for the very things it held within its grasp.  She hated anything coming out the old vending machines.

To make things worse, it was a vending machine in the ‘breakfast room’ of the motel, if it could even be called that, she took refuge from the storm in the night before.  The place looked like it had seen better years before a war against time took chips out of the pain and chunks out of the brick and mortar.  It wasn’t someplace she willingly wanted to stay in.  The roaches could keep it for all she cared, as long as they left her alone and didn’t try to hitch a ride in the trailer she was pulling.

Now, it was barely sunrise and she needed to get back on the road before traffic got too thick to manage with her rig.  All she needed was something to eat.  Stale chips, half melted candy bars, pretzels that no one wanted to touch let alone eat.  A few packs of gum, but that wouldn’t be able to do much about her hunger.

How she dreamed to have an omelette willed with ham, mushrooms, and peppers, a cup of coffee that smelled like it was ground that morning and a pile of hash browns that would make any trucker die from the grease lingering about the plate beneath it all.  Drooling, she smacked her lips then saw, with fresh eyes, the poor excuse for a meal in front of her hiding behind the plexiglass shield of the machine.

She sighed then pushed herself away from the machine.  “Maybe there’s something better down the road,” she said to herself as she headed back to her room and prepare to leave the nightmarish domain of the roadside motel.

It has been a while since I did a midweek post.  All sorts of things, including my mental well-being, got in the way of making my appointed posts.  Facebook is one of those things which got in the way with its shiny time consuming games.  I really should trim those back again.  A few more appeared out of the aether again to tempt me into spending more time away from writing and studying again.

You heard correctly, I said studying.  The studying I was supposed to do to earn my insurance license.  That exam was for today.  No, I did not pass.  I failed miserably, but they did do a break down so I know where to focus my studying for the next exam.  Underwriting got me the most and the rest was how they worded the questions and the lists answers.  I know the material, but sadly, my normal study habits were lacking a couple of things which help a lot.  The good news is I can keep trying until I pass and I WILL pass.  Eventually.

Once I pass the exam, I’ll have a job.  So, tomorrow is a brain break to get myself back into the groove for the exam again.  Also, tomorrow is therapy day for my son so there’s not a lot of time to give the attention to the eight chapters on Underwriting, life insurance, medical insurance, and the state regulations and such.  I will be bringing one of the chapters with me to read just to help pass the time instead of playing games on my smart phone.

I don’t know if anyone else has seen the news release that Amazon is setting up a fanfic section of their Kindle release books.  When I first heard it, I thought… Why?  Why would someone want to make it possible for an unknown who loves to write fanfic (there are precious few who can actually write well enough to be worth publishing.  One of the girls in my NanO group is proof of that).  Then, I got a peek at the rules Amazon wants the would-be authors to follow. 

Now, anyone with a lick of sense will know that this is a bad idea if a big corporation is involved.  Amazon wants people to write in the worlds they have licenced.  To make matters worse, in the terms of use, they will screw over the person who has written the fanfic by taking ownership of the copyright, whether the characters are their own within that world or not.  Now, the would-be author would get royalties, but the original author gets a tidy percentage of that.

My thoughts on that?  A big resounding NO!  Capitol N Capitol O.  NO.  If that isn’t screwing someone over just to get more stuff written in a particular world, I don’t know what is.  The co-ml for my city’s Nano group put it best in her post The Future of Fanfiction.  Rebekah couldn’t have put it better.  Me?  I sound like I’m on a rant.

It’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing.  Either way, I am taking no part of it.  What fanfiction I write will either remain on my hard drive or published with proper credit on my forums, OR, if I am lucky enough to get permission to use their world and characters, I’ll publish it on SmashWords or someplace similar.  I will not go for shady shenanigans like Amazon is trying to pull.

Enough of the semi-rant, on to the goals!

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


1) Get a job or at the very least attend five interviews for a job.

Only three interviews this month, but, there’s still a week to get the other two in.  But, I do have a job, sort of.  I say sort of because I need to pass the state exam for Life and Health insurance.  I’ll keep retaking until I pass.

2) Edit/revise five chapters of Society of Night and Lies.

There weren’t quite five chapters left before I sent the fir 11 chapters out to the beta readers.  I’m still kind of toying with chapter 11 now because a great idea has popped into my brain on how to put more tension into the plot.

3) Write two chapters of Black Friday 2.

I haven’t touched this one, yet.  Too many other things took precedence.  I’ll be working on this one shortly.  Might get one chapter done before the 31st.

4) Exercise twice a week.

Ummmmnot quite there, but I am working on it.  Got one day down for this week.  The rest will come soon enough.

How has your week been?

Don’t forget to donate to your favorite disaster relief fund!  People in Moore, OK, and elsewhere need your help.

I forget if this is week two or week three for the #writemotivation checks.  Which ever it may be, I am finally making.  Better late than never.  Right?

This has been one of those weeks that seemed busier than what it really was.  I had an interview Monday and got this moving to start selling insurance.  I don’t plan on sticking with insurance sales.  It’s something to bring money in while I look for something more stable and less stressful on my car.  There will be a lot of driving with this company.  No sitting behind a desk and making phone calls.  At least this company, American Income and Life, is legit and no pyramid scheme from what I can tell.  It also isn’t like trying sell a Hyla (a vacuum system thingy) either which is a life saver.

Most I’ll have to do is get a new laptop because the one I have now is getting old and I don’t think anyone was to run my power cord to an outlet.  Not to mention, I’ll have to clean it up and get rid of my pretty stickers and shinies on the lid.  Also, there are a few keys missing thanks to my tom cat.  Silly thing that he is.

Well, on to the checks:

1) Get a job or at the very least attend five interviews for a job.

Well, this one is coming along.  Two interviews down.  Technically, I have a job now, I’m studying for my health and life insurance license.  Not very fun.  😛

2) Edit/revise five chapters of Society of Night and Lies.

I’ve paused at chapter 11 to send out the willing vic... err beta readers.  Their input will help continue on with the rest and, of course, I those first pages need to be good enough to start querying.  I have done two chapters before sending out this part, so three more to go.

3) Write two chapters of Black Friday 2.

Haven’t touched this one, yet.  Don’t worry, I will.

4) Exercise twice a week.

Um… I have exercised once this week.  In all honesty, it was walking around three different grocery stores in one day.  It was something!

survivor_[2013]April turned out to be an interesting month as far as the challenge went.  Thanks to the nifty pre-scheduling tool in WordPress, I was better able to keep up with the posts while job searching and taking care of my family with our different appointments.  Finding time to visit blogs wasn’t an easy task to do, but I managed to see a few.grilled-zucchini

What ever possessed me to write about food and cooking must have been crazy to begin with.  Researching the different things to cook with was difficult.  Breaking them down into layman’s terms was more difficult than anticipated.  But, the fact that I learned a lot and found so many wonderful recipes to go with each post made it all worth the time I put into it.

The most difficult posts were V, U, and X because there were no mainstream dishes I had heard of to fit these two letters.  I sifted through,,, and even a few diabetic sites to find something and each came up with diddly, jack, and squat.  Finally, I decided to do a search on Google to find recipes that began with the those letters and found Ugba Soup, Xacuti,  and Vinthaleaux.  Strange food with hard to find ingredients, but they sounded good and the pictures looked appetizing.  That’s what mattered most, how good they looked.  As they say, we eat with our eyes before we taste them.

The best posts came early in the challenge when my inbox was flooded with people liking the posts about Bechamel, Aioli, and Cannoli.  What can I say?  I loved those posts, too.  Not because they were easy, but because they were things I had seen made on various cooking shows on Foodnetwork.  There are so many different ways to do those recipes that I was drooling during each show.  Since I had written those posts, I have tried many of them.  A few I had already made and that was why I chose them for the post.

Mmmm... looks good to me!
Mmmm… looks good to me!

Now, asking me to name the blogs I liked the most during the month of April is not easy.  I barely remember what I had written then.  (Thank all that is holy for the archives)  But, I did enjoy all of them equally.  The one I kept going back to the most belonged to one of the co-hosts of the challenge.  I loved how random his posts were even though they did meet a certain pattern.

There is one thing I will say about the whole challenge.  It is the best advise anyone can give to anyone on the net or for life in general.

Google and Wikipedia are your friends.  Use them wisely and you will be able to research anything.

See all of you at next year’s challenge!


Among the people in my Nano group, there were several of us who had plans for this weekend.  Some went to OWFI and came back with accolades worthy of a party.  Others had things to do; such as writing or doing things around the house.  Then, there are those like me who were going to take a little trip out of state for reasons in the realm of visiting with friends, family, and/or relaxation.

Most, I am sure, enjoyed their weekend no matter what they did or what happened.  I know mine was great and I have the pictures posted on Facebook as proof.  Both of my boys together, meeting for the first time, and getting along as well as a teenager and little kid can.  Amazingly, no grudges or shouting matches were heard.  But, then again, we were there only for the weekend.

But, that great weekend came with a price.  Before the worry warts jump up and go crazy or the sadists start to smile, let me say this: No one was hurt and my mom and I are glad that God gave us mud.

Don’t laugh!  If it weren’t for mud, this blog would either be done from a hospital or a Memorium post written by my boyfriend before passing it all into the archives.  Honestly, I should have written this Friday night after we arrived at the hotel and unpacked.  I should have, but I somehow forgot to bring the power supply for my laptop and the battery just doesn’t hold a charge for very long.

To start things off, neither mom or I had a lot of sleep.  She only had two hours after getting all her stuff washed and together.  Me?  I had only four hours or so thanks to Caffeine, my neutered tom cat, wanting to get frisky with Hylie while I was sleeping.  His meowing woke me up and he, naturally, got punted onto the floor with a sleep aimed kick in the tail and a few swipes from Hylie.  Not a good start to any long drive.

The first hour or so of the trip was fine, but, when we were coming up on Fort Smith near Van Buren, things went scary.  I was dozing since I didn’t need to count the change for the toll booths again until our return trip.  Mom, bless her soul, was driving and didn’t want to wake me up because I was snoring.  Colin was secure in the back seat playing his Nabi (kid’s tablet).  She fell asleep as we were coming to a curve in the interstate.

angelWe safely crossed over then went into the median.  The rumble strips woke the both of us up very quickly.  While she fought to control the car, I was clamping down tightly and envisioning the car (a HHR for the curious) rolling over as we went down the steeper part of the ground through mud.  The mud slowed us down safely and brought us to a complete stop some six to eight feet before the ground level took a serious dip into a stand of trees that could have done serious harm to us and the car.fire2

Pardon the language, but it scared the crap back into me.  I could not go until we were in the hotel later that night.  Both mom and I were about to have a coronary.  Because she was in shock, I took control and assessed the situation by making sure she was okay then checking on Colin.  The poor little guy literally had the pee scared out of him and he was upset we were going to be mad at him for it.

While I was trying to calm him down, a car that was behind us stopped to make sure we were okay.  The woman even stayed until we knew, for sure, there was help on the way and that none of us were seriously hurt.  She did give us her cell number and the number to the Highway Patrol station she worked at for in case we needed her for insurance purposes.  As of this post, I have no idea where that piece of paper went.  *flails*

Thank all that is holy that mom has AAA.  We had to wait about 30 to 45 minutes for the tow truck to get to us.  We really didn’t need it according to the driver, but we did need his help getting the car out of the mud.  The only real damage the car got was a chunk of sidewall taken out of the front driver’s tire, and the (already) worn shocks and struts leaking to go along with a couple of scratches in the paint.

We got off lucky.  God was definitely watching over us that day.

After getting those few things taken care of (a two and a half hour wait mind you) we took off for Searcy, AR.  After another hour, mom passed the keys to me and I took us in to see my eldest son before we settled in for the night at the hotel.  He got big over the years and quite handsome.

The rest of the weekend went by nice and slow with me finding a lot of familiar faces at the first Wal-Mart I worked in, and got the low down on what all had changed since I moved six years ago.  Other than my son, the one person I wanted to connect with the most had to work so we couldn’t get together for a few laughs.  Still, it was fun.

Adam W. Cooper Class of 2013
Adam W. Cooper Class of 2013

The big event, Adam’s Graduation, was the highlight, of course.  He studied his tail off so he wouldn’t have to take the final exams.  Considering he took college preparatory classes, he did very well, carrying an A average.  He may not have made top honors, but he did very well in my book.  But, then again, he did inherit my intelligence and artistic ability.

I’m happy that I was able to be there.  That’s one son graduated and one more to go.  Colin might make it if he settles down and controls his impulsiveness.

Right now, I’m happy to be home and back in my own bed.  While I didn’t have a serious injury from the accident, I know I hurt a muscle or two in my back.  Dr. Cole will be able to take care of that when I go in to see him.  I’ll also be taking Colin along, too.  Best to be sure nothing was damaged than to have something crop up later from it.

Now, for those wondering about my #writemotivation…

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

1) Get a job or at the very least attend five interviews for a job.

I had an assessment today with AT&T.  I should know more very soon

2) Edit/revise five chapters of Society of Night and Lies.

I got started, but lack of power cord prevented much from being done.

3) Write two chapters of Black Friday 2.

Need to get started on this one.

4) Exercise twice a week.

Working on this one.  Grocery shopping doesn’t count, but I did do a lot of walking Thursday to start this one.


a-to-z-letters-zAt long last we have reached the end of the alphabet and the month.  I hope your foray into the cooking world was as enjoyable and informative as it was for me.  I know all these recipes are being added to my cookbook and favorites list.  Some of these I have been searching for on and off for a while and others are just as new to me as they are to you.

Of all the foods out there I searched that begin with the letter Z, only zucchini seemed to be a good fit to end this blog hop.  I have looked up zeppelis (google insisted I was meaning zeppelins), zin (still no idea what that is), and zatar, an Armenian spice blend popular around the Middle East.  As you will find out, only this nice summer squash could fit the bill to end your tour.  At least it is a tasty ending when cooked right.

I’ll quote the article on Wikipedia on zucchini since I would muddle it on my own.

The zucchini or courgette is a summer squash which can reach nearly a meter in length, but which is usually harvested at half that size or less. Along withzucchini certain other squashes, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. Zucchini can be dark or light green. A related hybrid, the golden zucchini, is a deep yellow or orange color.

In a culinary context, the zucchini is treated as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, however, the zucchini is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.

If that doesn’t sum up what a zucchini is, nothing will.  Funny how everyone has called this squash a vegetable when it actually a fruit.  I never would have guessed it on my own.  But, as the article says, it’s used in many savory dishes (such as stir fries, sauces, and soups).  In my house, we use it in stir fry and the flavor it adds is wonderful and the fruit itself nice and tender without a bitter taste.

grilled-zucchiniIn the culinary world, zucchini flowers are a delicacy and are difficult to get hold of due to their delicate natures.  They have such a sweet, light, flavor, they take seasonings well and are generally found stuffed and fried, or added to soups or other dishes.  I haven’t tried eating a zucchini flower, but they do look delicious on Chopped and Iron Chef America where I have seen them cooked.  Naturally, those chefs can make anything look good to eat.

On to the recipe!



Stuffed Young Zucchini


4 small zucchini, 5 to 6-inches long, 1 1/2-inches thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 small to medium yellow onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 vine ripe tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 slices white toasting bread
Softened butter
A small handful flat-leaf parsley
A few sprigs fresh tarragon or a small handful basil leaves
3/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 egg, beaten


Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Halve 4 of the small zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and soft center flesh with a spoon to produce a set of shallow shells to hold the stuffing. Reserve the center flesh. Arrange the small hulls in a baking dish. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chop the reserved zucchini flesh and set aside.

Heat the remaining extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the mushrooms, onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add in the reserved zucchini and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, to taste and heat through for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

While the veggies cook, toast the bread in a toaster, then spread liberally with butter and tear into pieces. Add the bread to a food processor along with the parsley and tarragon or basil, and pulse into herb crumbs.

Fold the herb crumbs into the veggies along with 1/2 cup Parmesan and the egg. Mound the zucchini stuffing in to the shells and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the tops with remaining cheese and broil for 2 to 3 minutes to brown.

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