08 August

Pan-Fried Zucchini Chips

August 8: National Zucchini Day

We usually eat at an Italian restaurant close by our house to catch up with fellow marriage sponsors, Jim and Marie P. While sharing experiences about how we are preparing our engaged couples at church for an important sacrament, we always order pan-fried zucchini chips to tide us over until our entrees arrive at the table. 

Zucchini has been cultivated in Northern Italy for three centuries; Italian immigrants brought the long green veggie to the United States. Fried zucchini originated in Pittsburgh, although the Italians also eat it fried/sauteed, fresh, baked or boiled. Actually, it was Pennsylvanians Jim and Marie who introduced the pan-fried zucchini chips at our first “double date” meeting and the crunchy appetizers have become our tasty tradition.

In pandemic times, our double dates have become rare, special outings. So when we crave those appetizers, we make pan-fried zucchini chips in our home kitchen. We would enjoy eating them with our friends at the restaurant, though. But for now, as we try to be careful from COVID cases, we can cook them on occasion and on National Zucchini Day.    

(Adapted from Eating Well)


  • 2 medium zucchinis, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1/3 cup flour, all purpose
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 – ½ cup olive or avocado oil
  • Salt to taste


Wash and slice zucchini. Pat dry with paper towel. Set aside. Prepare three shallow bowls: one for the flour, another for the beaten eggs and the third for the lemon zest-breadcrumbs/panko-cheese mixture. Zest the lemon. 

Mix zest with the breadcrumbs/panko and Parmesan cheese. Dredge the zucchini slices in flour and shake off any excess. Dip in eggs. 

Press zucchini into the lemon zest-breadcrumbs/panko-cheese mixture. Heat oil in a skillet till hot. Reduce heat to medium high. Fry the zucchini till browned on both sides, around 1-2 minutes each, and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Serve hot.


  • Zucchini is also known as courgette in other countries (Britain, Holland, New Zealand, Malaysia and South Africa).
  • Search our blog for other zucchini recipes.

Banana Peanut Butter Brownies

August 27: National Banana Lovers Day

During quarantine, online searches for “banana bread recipes” have spiked (which is way better than the number of coronavirus cases spiking). It seems that homebound people did not want to be wasteful of their limited groceries, had more time to spend in their kitchens and wanted to eat comfort food during the uncertainties in life. Having “been there, baked that” banana bread several times, we wanted to make something else with our blackening bananas.

Since we had peanut butter and cocoa powder in our pantry already, banana peanut butter brownies recipe was an easy choice to bake up besides banana bread. So if there are overripe bananas, bake banana peanut butter brownies while homebound and on National Banana Lovers Day.


(Adapted from Tasty)


  • 2 overripe bananas
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (we used a little less)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup peanut butter


In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla. Cream everything together.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until the batter is smooth. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil/waxed paper/parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on the sides to be able to pull up the brownies after baking. Mist with cooking spray or grease with butter. Pour batter and spread evenly over the prepared pan.

Scoop out the peanut butter in random places on top. Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and wait about 5-10 minutes before lifting the foil/waxed paper/parchment paper side handles and transferring to a wire rack. Cut into squares when completely cool. Yield: 16 brownies (or 9 large brownies).


  • This is a versatile recipe. Add half a cup of walnuts, chocolate chips or peanut butter chips to the batter before baking.
  • This is an eggless recipe so the brownies bake up more cake-like than packed and dense. Eggs were a precious find at the grocery stores during quarantine—just like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, yeast and flour (in our area).
  • Search our blog for other banana recipes.

Campfire Cupcakes with

Mini Toasted Marshmallows

August 30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Highlander likes camping but Islander prefers “glamping” (or rather just staying home to cook and blog). Although it has been a while since Highander went out with his buddies on a camping trip, Islander recalls that he would return home late at night and smell smoky. He and his friends had enjoyed sitting around a campfire catching up with stories, singing songs and cooking over a campfire, including toasting marshmallows. “Glamper girl” just toasts her mini marshmallows using a culinary torch in the comfort of her own kitchen and does not smell like smoke afterwards! Highlander the “happy camper” says that toasting jumbo marshmallows over a real roaring campfire is a more fun, social and natural experience and that she is missing out!

Whether over a campfire or by butane torch, the toasty taste of melted ‘mallows is still yummy! As summer vacation and camping season start to wind down, one can continue to go “glamping” in the great indoors and toast marshmallows for some cute campfire cupcakes, especially on National Toasted Marshmallow Day.



  • Chocolate cupcakes (any favorite from-scratch recipe or boxed cake mix)
  • Buttercream frosting (yellow, orange and red)
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Mini marshmallows


Bake and cool chocolate cupcakes.

Make frosting. Divide into three bowls. Tint each with yellow, orange and red food coloring/gel color.

In a large piping bag with tip 1M, fill with each of the three frosting colors. Or use three piping bags with a specialty coupler like Wilton Color Swirl 3-Color Coupler. Pipe swirls.

Position four pretzel sticks on top of the frosted cupcakes. Set aside. Put two mini marshmallows on toothpicks. Carefully use a culinary torch to toast the marshmallows. Place on a Styrofoam holder and continue to toast the rest of the marshmallows. Finish topping the cupcakes with the toasted marshmallow sticks.


  • Thanks to Olga W. for gifting us with the culinary torch so we could make crème brulee as well as toasted marshmallows.
  • Thanks to Karen B. for suggesting this campfire cupcake decorating technique for our blog post.

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