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The Veggetti – “As seen on TV!”

If you looked in my kitchen drawers and cabinets you would not think that I would be lacking in any kind of device to shred, stir, zest, mix, whip, core, peel, whisk, or chop food. I own more cutting boards, knives, pans, rolling pins, sheet pans, cake, bread, pie and tart pans than the average cook needs. Everything is perfectly organized, compartmentalized and neat. I can lay my hands on whatever I want in a flash.

Even though I didn’t think there was one more thing I needed, I stumbled across the “Veggetti”, a gadget that we’ve used almost every night for the past month – or at least ever since we started harvesting this season’s zucchini.

Imagine the zucchini or carrot is a pencil, and the Veggetti is a manual, hand-held plastic pencil sharpener. You twist the vegetable into one end of this nifty tool, and out come long, wavy strands of veggie on the side, like the pencil shavings. I would almost go so far as to say vegetables even taste better this way, but I know there is no merit to this notion.

Usually I sauté the strands in a little olive oil and add a light handful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a sprinkling of salt. The other day I actually cooked some linguini and combined it with the zucchini strands and it was delicous. (Bottom picture)

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, which will show one of my all time favorite recipes, modified to include these long, wavy ribbons of fresh zucchini.

"The safest grater in the world" still works like a champ. My vintage Mouli grater is well constructed and doesn’t twist and bend the way the plastic ones behave. It’s also still nice and sharp!

Side note — my husband was grating cheese as I was taking pictures. I kept telling him to continue grating and I was snapping away. Before we knew it, we had more cheese on that tostada than Napoleon Dynamite had on his plate of nachos.

Yesterday I baked chocolate cake. Lots of chocolate cake. There was the two layer chocolate cake and then a multitude of cupcakes – all received with rave reviews!

The cake is super moist, but dense and chocolaty. The frosting is rich and smooth.

Truly guys, if you’re looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe with the perfect chocolate frosting, it’s right here on this blog. If you didn’t see the posts a couple of years ago when they first appeared, I encourage you go there now and visit them.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, not only do we have lavender and tulip farms, some of the best wine country in the world, the Cascade Mountains, pristine ocean beaches, perfect summers (but admittedly, dreary winters), and so forth and so on, we also have access to wild, fresh salmon. In this case, it was Copper River salmon – one of our favorites.

The recipe and cedar grilling planks came from a delightful Oregon company called, A Kitchen Box. One of our daughters gave me a subscription to receive a box every month for three months. (They offer a variety of options regarding duration of membership.) Each themed box contains an artfully printed recipe, a postcard, downloadable music, at least one kitchen tool, and some sort of food. The boxes come exquisitely packed like a precious gift, in colorful tissue paper and string. Some of the things I’ve received include hand towels and exotic salts, a wooden spoon made in France, egg cups, pink peppercorns, and dried, exotic mushrooms. I will be sad to see this subscription end!

Check out the delicious recipe for Cedar plank salmon with mustard caper sauce, on their website — akitchenbox.comWe ate it with some sautéed zucchini from the garden, and seriously, you couldn’t have found a better meal anywhere.

By the way, I’m not paid to plug anything here, and in fact, they don’t even know I’m writing about them.