These zucchini roll-ups caught my eye a while ago. I can always count on Shutterbean.com to give me inspiration for appetizers and party dishes. I love the fresh flavor profiles Tracy creates, and the ingredients she uses are easily accessible to me, even in Belgium.

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We attended a potluck, “Mad Men- theme” surprise party last night. I have secretly been dying to go to one of these. Yes, it’s a total thing! I remember seeing this on the Web last year for the show’s season premier. I thought to myself, man I could totally partake in something like that! It’s amazing how many dresses I have in my closet that could pass for the 1950s or 60s. And for someone who usually can’t get away with red lipstick and a full head of curls, this was a great excuse to do it. Not to mention the dress and heels… it’s been a while since that too.

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Check out my overly eager expression! And the hands on the hips, popped knee pose. What a dream! This is right after I came out of the bathroom, where I spent entirely too much time trying to recreate a youtube tutorial hair style. Garrett caught me doing my best 1950′s house wife interpretation (are we so different, after all?). I swear a few people at the party didn’t even recognize me like this.

On a side note – I was so pumped that I actually remembered to take my camera to the party. There were some amazing vintage looks going on! And hair!! Of course, as soon as I went to snap my first shot of the night, I found my battery dead. Womp womp. Hopefully I can snag a few pics from a friend so you can see the incredible effort that went into this shin dig. And the birthday girl being surprised!

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Back to these babies. This is a perfect appetizer or potluck item to bring to a party. It’s  healthy and green so it balances out a plate full of honey baked ham, baked beans with pancetta, deviled eggs, etc. (hello last night). Remember, we need to save room for dessert too!

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We bought a cast iron grill pan last year and it’s been one of the most used items in our kitchen. Maybe because we barely see the sun long enough to use our outdoor grill? Anyway. I love the grill marks on the zucchini, they scream “effort!” And anything stuffed with herby goat cheese is excellent. These little guys are perfectly portioned and easy to serve. OH! And everyone loved them. So there you go.

Point in case – the last three left over from the party.

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Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups

recipe from Shutterbean.com

makes about 30 roll-ups

6 zucchini – sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices

100 grams goat cheese

2 Tbs minced fresh parsley

2 cups (estimated) baby spinach

2/3 cup (estimated) fresh basil leaves

2 TB olive oil

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

Discard the outermost slices of zucchini. Brush the remaining slices with olive oil on both  sides. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place zucchini slices on a preheated grill pan on medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until tender. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a small bowl mix goat cheese, parsley and lemon juice. Mash and combine with a fork.

Place 1/2 tsp of goat cheese mixture about a 1/2 inch from the end of the zucchini slice. Top with a few spinach leaves and a basil leaf (or half of a large basil leaf). Starting from the goat cheese end, roll the zucchini and place it on a dish seam side down. Store in the fridge before serving. * You can make them the day before, store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.