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So Long Summer!

It's finally FALL!

Well, in calendar days at least. It is still "Famously" Hot in Columbia. So to wish Summer farewell, I decided to eat up some summer vegetables, which are still plentiful.

My family has a family dinner once a month. When I say family, I mean my mother and her children. Goodness it would be pure insanity to try and huddle our entire family together once a month! It's a lot of us!

So, every 4th Sunday, we get together and have dinner. It gives us quality time together and that is something that is hard to come by with everyone living their own lives. It usually begins with me fussing about everyone being late when the dinner starts the same time every time OR someone not showing up with their required side dish. I think my fussing has come to be normal!

Whomever is the host is responsible for the meat, drinks, and plates and cutlery. Everyone else is required to bring a side dish. So far, it hasn't always gone according to plan, but we really do enjoy just hanging out with one another. More often than not it ends up at my mom's house, but I think she kind of enjoys it that way. One of my sisters is back on the east coast and got to join us for the first time since we started doing this and that makes it even more special. We really missed her and her husband! Next time, we have to remember to snap some pictures!

One of my nephews' (I hope that is punctuated correctly) girlfriend is vegetarian. I always try to make something that she can eat because usually it's not much for her. My family's idea of vegetarian is using the grease off bacon or using some sort of meat broth. Regardless of how many times I tell them that using the broth/grease is just the same as putting the meat in it! And they didn't even show up this time!

So this past Sunday I decided to step outside the box and make something I've never made before. Vegetable Tian. I used the recipe found on Budget Bytes, but I modified it slightly.

I followed the directions except for the seasonings. I added garlic powder and onion powder in addition to what was listed in the recipe. I also baked mine about 3 times what the recipe called for because the potatoes just were not cooking. I used a greater quantity of vegetables though, since I was making this for a crowd.

I used my mandolin slicer for the first time and I must say I have fallen in love! It makes slicing so much easier! I used it for everything except the tomatoes because they gave me a hard time. If you use one, be sure to use the guard and protect your fingers!

Overall the dish was good! I would probably mix it up or lay it flat and layer the onions and garlic the next time I make it. And maybe cook the potatoes a little bit. They took forever and I still felt like they could have cooked some more. I used 2 yellow squash, 2 zucchini, 2 tomatoes and 3 smaller sized potatoes. It is a very pretty dish and I think I will make it for Thanksgiving. I'm sure we will still have some summer lingering around!

And speaking of Fall, I'd like to elect APPLE to be the new flavor of the season! I know you guys love your pumpkin, but sheesh! I already feel overloaded with pumpkin flavor everything!


Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Fresh summer vegetables and savory herbs are layered together then topped with cheese before baking to perfection in this summer vegetable tian.
Total Cost: $5.11 recipe / $0.85 serving
  • 1 medium yellow onion $0.42
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.11
  • 1 medium zucchini $0.75
  • 1 medium yellow squash $0.56
  • 1 medium potato $0.77
  • 1 medium tomato $0.71
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.10
  • Salt & pepper $0.05
  • 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese $1.40
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, optional garnish $0.08

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  2. While the onion and garlic are sautéing, slice the zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, and potato thinly (1/4-inch slices). Make sure the potatoes are very thin so that they soften quickly while in the oven.
  3. Coat the inside of an 8x8" casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread the sautéed onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Arrange the other sliced vegetables, stacked vertically like dominos, in an alternating pattern. Season the top of the vegetables generously with salt, pepper, and dried thyme.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with the shredded cheese, and bake without the foil for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Top with chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired.


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