Last week I finally managed to make a food donation to the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter.  It is something I have meant to do since I managed to purchase several 4-packs of the wrong flavor of canned cat food.  I also took the towels I used to dry my dog, as he is no longer with me.

My cat Zander is extremely picky about what moist dinner he will eat.  It has to be morsels, not paté.  He does not care for fish, and won’t usually consume chicken and/or turkey by themselves.  That is why I buy the beef with chicken variety.  Sebastian, my other feline, has no problem with the other flavors; however, he is content to stick with what Zander will eat.  They each get one-fourth can in the morning and another fourth in the evening. 

Some friends I had over for dinner a few evenings ago were good-heartedly teasing me because I warm my cats’ food.  This procedure has to do with Zander as well since he doesn’t like it chilled.  Sebastian doesn’t mind eating it cold.  After I almost lost Zander last fall, I find myself willing to take that extra step to keep him happy.  They have dry food available, too, but the veterinarian told me a long time ago that it is best to incorporate moist food into their diet.

During my visit to the shelter, I was able to meet Max Dyar in person (or should I say in “cattitude”).  For those not in the know, Max is the fifteen-year-old feline that serves as Assistant Department Head.  He has been a great blessing to his place of residence, as many people love seeing posts about his “cattitude” on Facebook, and he has attracted quite a following.  Max was as grumpy in real life as he appears to be in his Facebook presence.

I have to admit that I also checked out the kittens and cats in residence at our local facility.  I was afraid I would fall in love with a kitten and feel the need to bring it home; however, that didn’t happen.  Then I went into the adult cat room.  All I can say is, “Oh, my.”  There were three cats that drew my attention, and I wanted to adopt each one of them.  I had to leave the shelter before my heart got the better of me.  Knowing that Zander developed a lot of anxiety issues when I adopted Sebastian, and remembering the vet visits that ensued, kept me from arriving home with a new feline friend.  I am still battling the urge to go back and get at least one of them. 

The SSCAS has an abundance of cats and dogs that are looking for a forever home; if you are looking for a pet, I would suggest checking out their selection!

This is the time of year something else can be found in abundance in many gardens: yellow summer squash and zucchini.  Mine have just started to mature in the last week.   Need recipe ideas for these prolific producers?  I have some good ones!

Zucchini Meatballs

1 pound ground beef (or use ground turkey)
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini

Form meat mixture into 24 meatballs, about 1-1/2 inches in size.

Place on greased baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 20 -30 minutes.

To serve, coat meatballs with your favorite sauce – barbecue, spaghetti, sweet and sour, etc.

Spinach Stuffed Squash

3 medium-sized yellow squash

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed * (see note)

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese

Fine dry bread crumbs

*Note:  May use 3 ounces of pasteurized processed cheese, such as Velveeta

Cook squash in boiling water to cover 10 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and cool.

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds.  Place shells in a lightly greased 13- by- 9-inch pan. 

Cook spinach according to package directions; drain well, pressing between layers of paper towels. 

Melt butter in a large skillet; add onion.  Sauté until tender.  Add spinach, cream cheese, and next 3 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts; spoon evenly into shells.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: 6 servings

Oven-Fried Zucchini

2 medium zucchini

3/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup commercial Italian salad dressing

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut each half into 8 long strips.

Combine breadcrumbs and cheese.  Dip zucchini in salad dressing; roll in breadcrumb mixture.  Place in single layer on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 475 degrees for 6 minutes.  Turn zucchini; bake 3-4 more minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Summer Squash Salad

2 cups julienned zucchini

2 cups julienned yellow squash

1 cup sliced carrot rounds

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or brown mustard

1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1-1/2 tablespoons sugar

In a bowl, toss the zucchini, squash and carrots.  In a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all remaining ingredients; shake or mix well.  Pour over vegetables.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Before serving, gently toss vegetables.

Squash Cake

3 medium-size yellow squash, sliced

1-3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze (recipe follows)

Cook squash (covered) in a small amount of boiling water until tender; drain.  Mash; drain again.  Set aside 1 cup squash.

Combine sugar and oil in mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.  Add eggs; beat until well blended.

Sift together flour and next 5 ingredients.  Add to egg mixture.  Stir in squash and next 4 ingredients; blend well.

Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan; let cool completely on wire rack.  Place on serving plate; spoon glaze over top of cake.


1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 to 2 tablespoons hot water

Combine sugar and cinnamon.  Stir in enough hot water to make mixture drizzling consistency.