Rock The Boat

It took becoming a stay at home for me to become a somewhat decent cook.   I never really liked doing it and truthfully, my husband is way better at it than I am.   Because he works and supports us financially, allowing me the opportunity to be home with the boys, I have taken on domestic roles that I once thumbed my nose at.

These days; however, it’s become a lot more enjoyable to cook since I have the world’s cutest sous chef.   He’s eager to help, he learns measurements, and he even cleans up after himself.   How wonderful I have it.

Sous Chef Davey ready for his time in front of the camera.
Sous Chef Davey ready for his time in front of the camera.

Yesterday I posted a few pictures on my Facebook page showing Sous Chef Davey and I preparing dinner.  I promised a blog post later, but with everything else in life these days, my children called and I completely forgot that I didn’t post this.  So, here you go!

I had decided to plan ahead since my initial intent was to spend the afternoon at the pool.  I didn’t think I would have time to cook dinner and I knew I would also be tired.  Something about chasing around an almost 20 month old in the hot sun is quite tiring.  Once I put Henry down for his nap, Davey and I got underway prepping our zucchini boats.

I originally saw a recipe for this on the Today Show last week.  I think it was for zucchini pizza boats.  Since I didn’t have any pepperoni, I decided to just make a stuffed zucchini boat instead.   It was pretty simple actually.  I used three medium sized zucchinis, cleaned them, cut off the stem, and sliced them in half long ways.  I made sure to slice them in a way that would allow for them to sit flat (or as flat as possible).   After that, I cleaned out the zucchini of their “innards”, as Davey calls them.  Not sure where he’s heard that.  Davey was a most excellent helper as he dumped the “innards” into a bowl, to save for use in the stuffing.  Waste not, want not!

Once they were thoroughly hulled, I gave Davey the responsibility of oiling the boats.  He brushed extra virgin olive oil on the insides of all the zucchini and then placed them inside the baking dish.

Oiling the boats
Oiling the boats

Next we went to make the stuffing which included half of an onion, chopped, fresh roma tomatoes from our garden, mushrooms, and the pureed zucchini left overs.  I sautéed the onions and mushrooms first, then added in the tomatoes and zucchini.   Davey helped season the veggies with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, and basil.  Oregano and basil were fresh from our garden as well.

Cooking and seasoning the veggies.
Cooking and seasoning the veggies.

When we had those good and cooking, I lowered the temperature and then covered the pan.   We went to another pan, where we decided to brown some ground turkey.   I’m sure some of you worry about me letting my almost four year old near the stove, but we’ve taught him what’s hot and what he shouldn’t touch.  He’s extremely cognizant of his surroundings and what’s going on.

Cooking the meat.
Cooking the meat.

After the meat was cooked, we let it cool for a few minutes before Davey scooped meat into all of the boats, then covered them with the veggies.   I put a piece of aluminum foil onto the baking dish and slid it into the fridge.

Spooning in the stuffing.
Spooning in the stuffing.

As I explained to Davey, every great sous chef understands the importance of a clean and organized kitchen.  So with his apron still on, he set about to clean up our mess and put everything back in their places.

Cleaning up.
Cleaning up.

When it was time to start preparing dinner, I preheated the oven to 350, covered the tops of the boats with shredded mozzarella cheese, and cooked them for 30 minutes.  I followed that with a brief 5 minutes under the broiler, to brown and crisp up the cheese and dinner was served.

The finished product.
The finished product.

The only downside to this was that Davey would help make the dinner, but he refused to eat any part of it, as did Henry.   So I used the leftover sauce and meat to put on top of a plate of penne pasta for the boys.  Sigh.  I suppose you don’t have to enjoy the food to cook it?   I told Davey if he keeps this up, he may become our next Food Network star, a dream that was once his daddy’s.

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