The Kitchen Window

The Kitchen Window
Antique Milk Bottles with Herbs and Flowers


Welcome to the Frog Hollow Farm blog! I've been blogging since January 2010 and have switched from Blogger to Word Press, but I'm back to Blogger because, for me, it's easier to use. My husband and I live on a little farm in Northwest New Jersey. We have some chickens and a very large vegetable garden with asparagus and raspberries, and rows and rows of sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias. Traveling, entertaining, gardening, spending time with family, studying Italian, blogging and reading keep us busy and happy. With all of this going on, moving towards a simpler life seems almost impossible but it's definitely a daily goal.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Butterflies, a Monstrous Zucchini and a Delicious Pasta Recipe and Summer Sunday #8

We have been seeing so many beautiful yellow butterflies the last few weeks at Frog Hollow Farm.  Once the butterfly bush and phlox were in bloom there seemed to be an abundance of butterflies all over the gardens.  FHFB took these photos for me - take a look at the butterflies in the front garden at Frog Hollow Farm.

Here's a picture of the phlox and black-eyed susans in bloom, with a couple of butterflies resting on the phlox on the left side of the photo.

A close up of two beautiful golden butterflies - just look at those bright blue markings.  According to my research on Google and Wikipedia, these are Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies. The blue tail markings indicate that this is a female butterfly.

I love this photo because of the blurry movement of her top wings!

I couldn't post without including one of the monstrous zucchini coming out of FHFB's vegetable garden.  We don't like the zucchini to get this big, but I swear they grow into these monstrosities overnight.  

Last night I used about half of another large zucchini in a recipe from Viana LaPlace and Evan Kleinman's Pasta Fresco cookbook.  Let's face it, with zucchini this size I need lots of zucchini recipes!  This particular dish was easy to prepare and tasted absolutely delicious.  A change for me was the recipe for the accompanying sauce, a sweet tomato sauce made with onions, carrots and celery.  I'm not an onion person - the taste is just too strong for me - so I used organic leeks and the sauce turned out great.  It's a nice change from the marinara that I usually make which is chock full of herbs and garlic - another recipe for the cookbook that my friend Liz and I always talk about writing!  You also need to know that I cheated a bit and used the fresh flat lasagna noodles that are found next to the fresh pasta in your grocery store. These are easy to work with and are very light tasting - I only use these when making lasagna or cannelloni these days.  I don't have the time to boil the standard dry lasagna noodles - and to me, they are much heavier than the fresh pasta sheets. 

Cannelloni agli Zucchini

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 small, firm zucchini, ends removed, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeling and minced
large handfull of chopped Italian parsley
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound of ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 pound mozzarella packed in water, diced fine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese - divided
1 package of fresh lasagna noodles from the dairy case
1 recipe Sweet Tomato Sauce (see below)

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan.  Add the zucchini and garlic, and fry lightly over moderate heat until the zucchini is golden brown.  Add the herbs, salt, and pepper at the end of the cooking time.  Remove from the heat and cool.  In a bowl beat together the ricotta, egg, mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese with a wooden spoon.  Add the zucchini mix to the cheese mix and stir.

Place one of the fresh lasagna noodles with the long side facing you.  Fill with 3 T. of the zucchini mix along the bottom edge of the pasta, and roll up into a tight tube. As you finish each roll, place it seam down in a lightly oiled baking dish in which you have put a thin layer of Sweet Tomato Sauce (see below).  Top the finished cannelloni with the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes - until the sauce is bubbling and the cannelloni are heated all the way through. 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 small onion or leek
1 small celery stalk, minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
6 large red ripe tomatoes, or 12 Roma tomatoes or 1  28-ounce can of imported Italian tomatoes
(I used the 28 ounce can)
2-3 fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the garlic, onion or leek, celery and carrot. Cook over medium heat until the onion (or leek) are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and continue to cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes give up their juice and begin to thicken.  Add the basil, salt and pepper. 

When the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, remove it from the heat and pass it through the coarse blade of a food mill.  I don't have a food mill so I used my hand-held little blender wand and pureed it right in the skillet. 

I'm linked in to The Tablescaper's Summer Sundays.  Take a look at all of this week's summer postings.

Ciao, bella!


  1. oh my friend..those butterflys with the blue on the wings are so beautiful..and your flowers are too

    i always love visiting you...makes me happy

    i am making manicotti today...we love our italian cooking... us girls :-)

    i have been married to john for 29 years..that tells how old i really am...54 :-[

    but my mom and family are all from Genoa...pesto heaven...must be why i love it so my blood...well, every sunday night for 29 years is always italian night around here...

    i see your italian cookbooks on your sidebar...we like the same things...

    what are some of your favorite italian cookbooks?

    i do love mario, biba caggiano, lidia and my Rao's cookbook too....

    i'll check back later

    happy cozy sunday

  2. p.s. i just saw your recipe for the pasta...looks so wonderful...

    and i love the writing a cookbook part

    my friend julie from julie whitmore pottery...check her out for The Happy...she is such a talented artist...and she did some water colors for me for a cookbook...i put it under the bed about 4 years mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away august 2006...and i got depressed and we moved back to san luis obipos to be near FINALLY we are remodled in our house and things are settling i have been thinking about getting the book out again..maybe i'll post some of it for feedback from everybody......

  3. Beautiful photos by FB! Your garden is so pretty, I can see the two of you sitting out there having a glass of wine:)


  5. Those zukes sure can be sneaky, and I agree, they do seem to get huge overnight-enjoy!

  6. You have a wonderful Blog and Frank is pretty handy with a camera. We could use his talents to provide pictures for our website "", but he would have to bring it to Colorado because we only post photos from our prescribed area. Hope all is well. Uncle Joe

  7. I love visiting my favorite farm girl. You photos are divine......and as usual Frog Hollow is lookin' mighty good.

    Right now we are traveling and it is a little hard to make a complicated recipe on the coach....but when I get home.....who knows.



  8. Your butterfuly pictures are amazing! Isn't he (or she) just the most beautiful work of God's art?
    I'm sorry I didn't get back to you and tell you how delicious the shrimp were. We ended up having impromptu company and everyone raved! Thank goodness I was serving something so special!
    This will be a StoneGable favorite!
    xo Yvonne

  9. happy to see you today...and yep..we are about the same age...and i KNEW you would be a Rao's lover too...that lemon chicken is a winner...we bbq it...i guess we bbq everything :-)

    look forward to visitng with you again soon

    kary and teddy

  10. The pictures of your butterfly and your gardens are great! Joni

  11. I love the butterfly pretty! And I want to plant some Phlox next year, I love how it attracts the butterflies!

    Kat :)

  12. Hi! I just found your blog and so glad I did! I love flowers and butterflies and these pictures are amazing! The recipes on your sidebars look so yummy! Thanks for sharing! My girls and I plant different butterfly bushes and wildflowers also to attract as many as we can. I like watching their faces light up when they see them. Have a great week!
    Blessings, Jill

  13. Those butterflies are amazing. I love the blue on her wings. The color contrast is beautiful.

    I'm off to dig through your blog for the shrimp recipe Yvonne was referring to.

    Thanks so much for being a part of Summer Sundays! Looking forward to having you with us next Sunday too!

    - The Tablescaper

  14. I love flowers and butterflies and these photos are wonderful!

    The recipe sounds divine...I try not to cook any more than I have to, but I may make an exception for this recipe! I have zucchini in my garden and need a new recipe for it. oh I do cook just enough to keep hubby fed, but after nearly 40 yrs of cooking, everything I fix any more is quick and easy!


  15. Hi Ann Marie,
    The flowers and butterfly are just gorgeous. The pictures are amazing. We have been capturing some in our butterfly bushes. The zucchini is incredible!! I just love your gardens. I can't wait to read/see your pictures from Cape May.
    Have a wonderful day.

  16. Hi FHFG!
    Loved your post and the photos were great. We have lots of butterfly bushes in our backyard and the other day they were more yellow than purple because of all the swallowtails. I have counted seven different butterflies on one bush all at the same time. I think I'll try your wonderfully simple recipe - tonight however, I am making ratatouille.

    PS Are you growing baseball bats?

  17. Oh my gosh! The recipe is making my mouth water. This is a must before summer is over.

    Love your butterflies.

  18. What fantastic pictures! I love both the one in motion and the still ones. I am your newest follower!!! How funny that sounds because I have been following you all along, but I had never officially signed up. That was such a hard thing to do at first - it would just kick me out over and over, but now it likes me!


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