Tis the season for my two favorite things about summer: fresh produce and entertaining. There’s truly nothing better than gathering together family and friends to share a fresh meal composed of local summer bounty. Today, I am roping my other love – Goodwill shopping – into summertime entertaining.

It seems like cook outs become a weekly thing once May hits. With that, I constantly find myself wanting to bring something for my host. Sometimes that’s a fresh recipe or a funky dish or platter and sometimes – it is both!

A perfect way to give your host a unique gift is to snag a dish from Goodwill and fill it with something you’ve created. The housewares departments at our Goodwill Stores are filled to the brim with perfect vehicles for your favorite cook out recipes! When you incorporate a Goodwill dish or platter into your bring-a-dish, you will leave your host with a unique gift that won’t leave your pockets empty. Most plates and platters run under $7.00 at Goodwill.

As I’ve aged and parted ways with the Kids Table, I realized it was time to start bringing things to the parties I attended. Oh, Adulthood! Most often, I found myself wandering the aisles of the liquor store trying to pick a cheap wine that didn’t look cheap. Then I would wonder, does the host even like wine? Is this a blatantly cheap brand? Will I look like a total cheap ass? This problem resolved itself the first time I swung around the housewares of the Columbia Pike Goodwill (ya’ll know that is my favorite store!) and I spotted aisle after aisle of incredible, pristine looking dishes and platters all for just a few bucks. I started buying dishes here and there when they struck my fancy. Each time I head to a cook out, I throw something together and put it one. I let my host know that it’s theirs to keep after the party. Its functional, it’s fun and sometimes, people even make something in it and give it back! I call that a win-win, fashionistas.

Check out my recipe for Baked Parmesan Zucchini served on one of my favorite $2.00 platters from Goodwill. This was a brand-less piece that has a mid-century feel to it. There is a perfect divot in for one of my favorite $0.99 sauce cups to sit, too.



1- 2 Medium Zucchini

1 Egg Beaten

1/3 Cup Bread Crumbs

1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

½ TSP Garlic Powder

½ TSP Dried Basil

½ TSP Dried Oregano

¼ TSP Smoked Paprika

¼ TSP Cayenne Pepper

Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Cooking Spray

Baking Sheet Lined with Aluminum Foil



1.) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray well with cooking spray. This makes for super easy cleanup because these can get a little messy with the melted parm!

2.) Rinse Zucchini well under cold water. Trim off ends. Cut Zucchini length-wise in half. Cut each half into 2-4 strips depending on the size. Try and ensure each piece is cut equal in size (that will be critical during the baking process!).  Set cut strips aside.

3.) Mix breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, pepper and basil together in a shallow plate or dish.

4.) Beat 1 egg in a small shallow dish.

5.) Dredge each strip of zucchini in egg and then gently press through bread crumb, spice and cheese mixture. Line up the strips on the baking sheet with a bit of space between each – the melting cheese can spread!

6.) Once all zucchini are dredged and placed on the sheet, lightly spray the tops with cooking spray. This will ensure they develop a perfect crust!

7.) Bake at 450 for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the crust develops the perfect golden brown color.

8.) Transfer to your Goodwill serving dish and arrange with style! Serve immediately with your favorite marinara or spicy ranch dressing.


Stay tuned for more recipes served with Goodwill this summer! I’ve got some great crowd pleasers up my sleeve.