Baked Parmesan Zucchini

Okay, so let's chat for one second. When I started this blog, back in the spring of 2012, it was because I was bored and wanted to find something to do with my free time. I liked cooking, eating was a clear favorite, and writing was something that I knew I enjoyed. (Whether or not I believed in my writing abilities is a completely different topic.) Out of this, SMAK was born. Over the past two years I have at times gotten lazy and went weeks without posting a single new entry. Other times I became incredibly motivated and wrote consistently for weeks on end. I've gone through various styles of photography - staged with a photography tent, iPhone pictures turned Polaroid and retro, and natural and organic. But what I've seen throughout these past few years is a consistent love of what I am doing. WordPress allows me to see that stats of my blog - some days I only have 15 views, other days I have 259. Sure, I would love to see a huge boost in viewership. It'd be a dream to gain sponsorship, do food testings and recipe development. But right now? I am okay where I am at, as long as I am putting a smile on one person's face. As long as one person finds a new recipe to try in any given day, I view that as a success. So as long as you will still put up with me, SMAK will still be there for your enjoyment.

With that said, today's recipe...

guestchef

I was lucky enough to have my beautiful niece join me as sous chef!

zucchini

toppings

parmesan

I would suggest adding a little more parmesan to allow for more of the browning atop the zucchini. Plus, you can never have too much cheese.

bakedparmesanzucchini

This recipe is really quite simple and fairly quick to pull together. I can't say that this would replace chips or cookies every day (although maybe it should), but it's a great healthy snack or hors d'oeuvre.

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

Ingredients:

4 zucchini, halves and quartered lengthwise 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon drive oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a cooking rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture.
  4. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. The broil 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and edges being to brown.
  6. Serve immediately.

Are Cupcakes Dead?

In January 2011 I moved to New York City. The cultural, culinary and fashion hub of the United States. Little did I know that I would be walking into the cupcake mecca of the world. Magnolia Bakery. Crumbs. There were even food trucks sitting on Broadway in SoHo that served gourmet miniature cupcakes.

Three years later, I am not so certain that we can say the fad has lived on...

Cupcakes are Dead

 Look back at the last three decades. The 80s had frozen yogurt (although I think this snuck into the 2010s as well). The 90s had donuts (hello Krispe Kreme). And the 2000s gave way to an invasion of fancy gourmet cupcakes. Carrie Bradshaw and her gang of martini-downing women had visited Magnolia Bakery in an episode of Sex and the City in the early 2000s and the rest was history. Bakeries and shops began popping up all over the country.

I have to admit, I did play into the trend. I thought it was good to walk down Bleeker Street with my cousins dog in tow, a cup of coffee in hand, and a fresh Magnolia cupcake in the other. That is what New Yorkers were meant to do, at least the trendy ones.

In December of 2011 I left New York and with it, left behind the absurdity that was the trendy cupcake fad. There were no bakeries in Libertyville, IL that were creating the next big cupcake. It seems like no one really cared about cupcakes like they once used to. And within the last year, interest in this dessert have faded tenfold. Stock prices have plummeted and bakeries have scrambled to explain their loss in business. Crumbs even went so far as to blame Hurricane Sandy for their lack in cupcake sales. In mid-2011, Crumbs stock prices hovered around $13. Two years later, the price fell to only $1.70. This past April, BloombergBusinessweek published what very well may have been the cupcake fad's obituary.

What do you think? Are cupcakes still the trendy dessert? Or is something new going to dethrone these mini delicatessens?