Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Zucchini Bread

Just in case you were wondering... this is the best zucchini bread recipe.
My favorite part?  No oil!  That's right... its even healthier than most!
Zucchini Bread
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 c. applesauce
2 - 2 1/2 c. grated zucchini
3 tsp. vinegar
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 sp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon

Add sugars, eggs and applesauce, and beat well.
Add zucchini and vinegar, stirring to combine.
Add dry ingredients and blend well.
Grease and flour bread pans or muffin tins.

Cooking times vary for the size of pan.
This recipe makes:
2 medium bread pans (350 for 40 minutes)
1 large bread pan (350 for 60 minutes)
24 muffins (375 for 18 minutes).

**This bread also freezes very well.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Carmel Toffee Apple Dip

I am not much for fruit dips.
Usually I find fruit to be best all by its lonesome...
However, I got some tart granny smith apples in my co-op food basket  (I NEVER buy that kind of apple).
So... I gave in and made this delicious dip for them.
Carmel Toffee Apple Dip
Recipe from Our Best Bites

8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 bag Toffee Bits

Allow cream cheese to reach room temperature.
Combine cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla.
When ready to serve, stir in toffee bits (reserve some to sprinkle on top).
Serve with tart apples.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ham and Cheddar Loaf

I usually never make anything for lunch.
It mostly consists of leftovers.
Every once and a while however,
I will make my favorite lunch item:
The Ham and Cheddar Loaf
Ham and Cheddar Loaf
1 pre-made pizza crust or bread dough (I always make my own)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
9oz. ham (or turkey, or whatever you have)
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Roll dough into a 12x8" rectangle.
Top dough evenly with ham, overlapping slices slightly and leaving a 1/2" border around all sides.
Spread cheddar cheese evenly over ham.

Starting at one of the long sides of dough, fold one third of the dough over filling, then repeat with other long side of dough.
Firmly pinch ends of dough together to seal.
Place, sen-side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Cut diagonal slits on the top of dough. 
Spray dough with Pam or brush with a beaten egg.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes (for pizza dough), or
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (for bread dough).
Cool 10 minutes and cut.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cracked Wheat Chicken Fajitas

This is a great way to eat healthy, without sacrificing any flavor!
These are completely delicious and satisfying.
Cracked Wheat Chicken Fajitas
Recipe from Lyn Denna

Simmer for 20 minutes (just like rice):
1/2 c. cracked wheat
1 1/2 c. water
2 tsp. chicken bouillon

While wheat is cooking, saute:
1 Tbsp. oil
1 green pepper
1-2 stalks celery
1/2 chopped onion

Add and simmer for 3-4 minutes:
1 c. cooked chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 chopped, peeled tomato
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
4oz. can green chilies
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 c. chopped olives (I leave these out)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Add the cooked wheat mixture and stir to combine.
Spoon mixture onto 6-8 flour tortillas.
Sprinkle  each with cheese, roll up and place in a baking dish.

Sprinkle on top:
1 green onion, diced
1 c. grated cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

Cover and bake at 300 for 15 minutes.
Serve with salsa, sour cream, etc.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes (and) Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Some foods are love at first sight for me.
I don't even have to make it - I already know I'm going to love every bite.
This recipe was one of those...
Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Recipe from Mindika Moments

8 ounces cream cheese (about 1 cup), softened
2 egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
1 cup water
36 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cups

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two 12 count muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, egg whites and vegetable oil.
Using a mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and creamy.
Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full.
Place 1 mini Reese Peanut Butter Cup on top of the batter.
Do not put the cup down into the batter, just set it on top.

Bake about 18 to 20 minutes
The Reese’s will settle down into the cupcake as they bake.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly in the tin, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack.
When cool, frost with Chocolate Peanut Butter frosting. Then top each cupcake with a mini peanut butter cup sliced in half.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

1 c. smooth peanut butter
½ c. butter
3 Tbsp. coco powder
3-4 c. powdered sugar
1-3 Tbsp. milk

Beat the peanut butter and butter with a mixer until smooth.
Add the coco powder and mix well.
Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until desired thickness of frosting.
If you need to thin it out a little, add a couple tablespoons of milk.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chicken Taco Pizza

This is a great twist on pizza,
very different from your average flavors
but very delicious as well!
(Also Tate's favorite and most requested home-made pizza).
Chicken Taco Pizza
Menu Managed Original
1 pizza dough (recipes found here and here)
1 can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (1 packet)
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1 c. cheddar cheese
1/2 - 1 can black beans, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
1 c. cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1/2 bell pepper (I used red), diced

Optional toppings:
Green Onions
Sour cream

Roll out pizza dough.
Stir taco seasoning into tomato sauce and spread over pizza.
Combine cheeses, and put half on top of sauce.
Layer black beans, chicken, pepper, and remaining cheese.
Bake at 475 for 12 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

Top with optional toppings (I like cilantro and sour cream)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cottage Cheese Jello Salad

This is so yummy!
My sister-in-law always serves this for family functions and everyone loves it!
Cottage Cheese Jello Salad
Recipe from Meghan Bishop

16oz. carton cottage cheese
8oz. carton cool whip
3oz. pkg. orange jello
2 11oz. cans mandarin oranges

Mix jello powder in with cottage cheese until dissolved.
Fold in whip cream and fruit.
Chill and serve.

**Try it with different fruit; ie: strawberry jello with strawberries, etc.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chaz Wraps

In High School I would always go to Gandolpho's and get the Chaz Bagel.
Turkey, avocado and Swiss cheese... amazing.
This is my reinvention...
Chaz Wraps
2 tortillas or wraps of choice
1 avocado
10 thin slices turkey
4 slices Swiss (or provolone) cheese
salt and pepper to taste
honey mustard sauce

Warm turkey slices in skillet until lightly browned on both sides.
Layer turkey on each wrap and top with cheese.
Thinly slice the avocado and layer on top of cheese.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Serve with honey mustard sauce for dipping.
Makes 2 Wraps.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ham and Egg English Muffins

This is probably Tate's favorite breakfast:
Ham and Egg English Muffins
4 English muffins
4 eggs
4 slices of ham (cut into circles)
4 slices Cheddar cheese

Cut muffins in half and place on a cookie sheet.
Broil until toasted, and top with cheese until melted.

Meanwhile, cook ham in skillet until crispy on both sides.
Fry eggs however you like them.

Put it all together and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beef and Spinach Penne

 was given a boat load of spinach recently, so I needed to use it up.
I found a recipe for beef and spinach penne a while back.
This is my version of it.
Beef and Spinach Penne
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. uncooked penne pasta
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 can beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. packed fresh spinach, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1 can fine diced tomatoes (I used olive-oil and garlic seasoned)
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt and pepper
1-2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, broth, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Add spinach; cook for 1-2 minutes or until wilted.
Drain pasta; stir into beef mixture.
Pour into 9x13" casserole dish.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Place under broiler for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serves 8.
If freezing:
Under cook noodles by 2-3 minutes.
Cook all ingredients to room temperature before combining pasta with beef sauce.
Stir together and pour into prepared dish, then sprinkle with cheese.
Reheat in 350 degree oven tightly covered with foil until center is warm (around 1 hour).
Remove foil and place under broiler until cheese turns golden.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spiced Honey Chicken

I found this recipe from Our Best Bites, but I swapped out a few of the spices for ones that I use regularly, and I cut the honey mixture in half (Tate is not a lover of 'sweet meats'), along with a few other things.
We all loved it, including  my 4 year old (who doesn't like meat).
So... I wrote the recipe my way.

The other awesome thing: This is a rub.  Not a marinade.  No need to worry about what's for dinner 4 hours before hand.  This comes together really quick!
Spiced Honey Chicken
2 lbs. chicken (they used thighs, I used breasts)
2 tsp. oil

2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 c. Honey
1/2 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar

Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.
Heat honey in the microwave so it isn't so thick.
Add the cider vinegar, mix, and set aside.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
Use your hands to rub oil all over chicken.
Dump chicken in spice mix and coat outsides evenly.

Place chicken on grill - cook for 2 minutes and flip.
Brush honey mixture on cooked side of chicken.
Cook for 2 minutes and flip again, brushing more honey mixture on.
Continue cooking, flipping and brushing honey mixture on until chicken is cooked through and glaze is gone.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hot Corn Dip

Its not very often that I find appetizer recipes that are worth making.
This was one that I knew I would love before I even made it.
Cheese, red peppers and fresh corn.   What's not to love?
Hot Corn Dip
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse

2 Tbsp. butter

3 1/2 c. corn kernels (from 4 ears fresh white or yellow corn, or frozen fresh corn)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 c. finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 c. finely chopped red bell peppers - I used roasted red bell peppers from a jar.
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
4 ounces monterey jack or cheddar, shredded- I used pepperjack
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Tortilla chips, for dipping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the corn, salt, and black pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels turn deep golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet.
Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until the onions are wilted, about 2 minutes.
Add the beans (if using them) green onions, jalapeno, and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.
Transfer to the bowl with the corn.

Add the mayo, cayenne pepper, half of the monterey jack and half of the cheddar and mix well.
Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish (or something equivilant) and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Serve hot with tortilla chips.

**Just a side note about the black beans:  I had some extra beans in my fridge, so the next day while I was devouring this dip I decided to add them (that's why the picture doesn't show any).  Anyway, it was delicious!  I might make them a permanent addition... but it is good both ways.**

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

7-Up Soy Sauce Marinade

This is one of my favorite poultry marinades!
It is most commonly used with turkey breast, but tastes equally delicious with chicken!
Always moist and so, so good!
7-UP Soy Sauce Marinade
Recipe from Mary Denna

8 chicken breasts
1/2 c. 7-Up
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. hourseradish
pinch garlic salt

Combine all ingredients and add chicken.
Marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Grill and enjoy!