Thursday, December 29, 2011

Super Simple Enchilada Sauce

So last time, I gave a quick and easy recipe for enchiladas. But what if you don't have enchilada sauce? Well here you go!

  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 ounces) plain tomato sauce
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa or picante sauce (thinner varieties are better here)
  • 3-5 canned chipotle chilis with adobo sauce (1/3 to 1/2 a can). Warning - these are hot! Go easy if your palette is tender.
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you roasted/stewed any meat for your enchiladas and there is drippings or juices left behind, add them as well!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Quick and Easy Enchiladas

Enchiladas are quick, easy, and tasty. Half of the ingredients are staples that you probably already have: cheese and tortillas. The remaining ingredients are common enough as well: meat, beans, and enchilada sauce. And you only really need the sauce!


  • 1 can (14 ounces) enchilada sauce, divided.
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 oz. cooked beef or pork (ground, chopped, or shredded)
  • 8 oz cooked black or red beans
  • 8 medium (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Nonstick spray
Note: if you don't have meat or beans, you could double up on the ingredient that you do have. The exact content of the filling doesn't really matter, and if you wanted to you could just make cheese enchiladas!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, mix the meat, beans, and 1/4 cup of the sauce over low heat, until just warmed through. Spray a medium-sized baking dish (8 or 9 inches on a side) with nonstick spray. Spread 2 ounces of the filling over 1/3 of a tortilla, near the edge. Cover with 2 tablespoons cheese and roll up tightly. Place in the baking dish and repeat with remaining tortillas, filling the baking dish as tightly as possible. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and evenly spread the remaining sauce over it. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce and cheese start to bubble.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Repost: Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Editor's Note: This is a repost from 2008. Still good!

You know how at most family gatherings, the sweet potatoes end up covered in marshmallows and brown sugar? Well even though sweet potatoes are sweet, they also work equally well in spicy dishes. Here is a recipe I adapted from Good Eats on the Food Network.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika.
  • 1-2 canned chipotle chillies, chopped (there are generally several whole chilies in one can).
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the canned chilies). This stuff is very spicy, so use less (or leave it out) if you like your food mild.
  • 2 tablespoons butter.
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream.
Put the sweet potatoes in a steamer. If you do not have an electric steamer, you can use a metal colander set inside a large pot with a couple of cups of gently boiling water in the bottom (do not let the water come up through the bottom of the colander). Cover and steam for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft (but not mushy). Drain off water and put potatoes back in the pot (or a large mixing bowl if you used an electric steamer). Add remaining ingredients and mash together with a hand masher. Using an electric mixer is not recommended, as sweet potatoes will turn pasty/gluey if over-beaten. Serve with minced chives or green onions (or even onion rings!).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reposts: Chili

In honor of our annual church chili cookoff (congrats Rob!), here are the links to my personal chili recipes on this blog:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

from Pioneer Woman
I love cinnamon rolls! My favorite was from Great Harvest, until they started skimping on the cream cheese frosting. I never make them since most of the recipes call for either milk and butter in the dough, so only half the family can eat them. The other day, after adding too much oil to my bread dough, I realized I had the solution. The extra oil made the bread too soft and fluffy for sandwiches, but was perfect for dinner rolls or even. . .  cinnamon rolls.

"Dinner Roll" Dough (Bread Machine)
3/4 c. warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 tsp. white sugar
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 c. oil
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 pound  flour (I use a scale, I think it's about 3 cups)

Add ingredients into bread pan in order listed above. Set machine to dough cycle.

Cinnamon Rolls
1 batch of "dinner roll" dough or your preferred dinner roll dough
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. Cinnamon
3 Tbs. oil

Grease a cake pan or two pie pans OR line the bottom with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle, then brush with oil.

  • for medium size rolls roll out to about 20" x 10", less than 1/2" thick - 12 rolls, 6 per pan
  • for small rolls roll out to 1/4" thick - 16 rolls, 8 per pan

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the dough to the edges.

Roll the dough from the long end. Slice into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls and arrange in cake or pie pans.

Cover with plastic wrap and store over night in the fridge.
  • This gives the rolls an opportunity to bench proof or rise before baking
  • Freeze the second pie pan for breakfast another day. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25-35 minutes.

I took a roll out for each of the Allergics, then proceeded to the next step.

Cream Cheese Topping
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 c. powdered sugar

Cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add sugar slowly, mix until smooth. Top cinnamon rolls.
  • This is enough topping for both pie pans of rolls. 
  • Fill sandwich bag with remaining topping. Flatten, place in quart bag then freeze. 
Next time, I will not use light cream cheese. (It's what we had in the fridge) The topping was sugary, covering the great tang of cream cheese. Even without the topping, the 3 Allergics loved the rolls.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Soup

In my mind, the Fall is soup time! When I lived in Europe, I found they enjoyed soups made from pureed vegetables far more than we do here, and that is a shame. When you blend a soup, it gets a thick and creamy texture that is very comforting on a rainy autumn day. Since squash is in season, you should take advantage of the awesome flavor profile that comes from adding it to a warm bowl of comfort food. -Jake

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 2 packages mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. curry powder (I like McCormick brand)
  • 1 tsp. paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 1/2 tsp. turmuric
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy stew pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Sweat the cauliflower, onion, and butternut squash with the pepper, curry powder, paprika, and turmeric for 5-8 minutes or until everything is slightly softened. Add salt, red pepper, and enough water to cover - around 4 cups (which will vary based on the size of your vegetables & your vessel). Bits of the veggies may stick up out of the water (it's better to have too little water than too much, because you can always thin it out later if you want). Bring to a boil and simmer until everything is cooked, about 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile (while sweating and boiling the veggies), in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon then saute the mushrooms in the bacon fat over medium high heat until dark brown in color.
Take the veggies off the heat. Use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth. Chop bacon into bits and add with mushrooms. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stuffed Winter Squash

I love squash! It's cheap, easy to grow, easy to cook, and very tasty. The challenge is to figure out ways to prepare it creatively - you don't want to just eat it as a mashed potato substitute. I love to stuff vegetables, and squash is practically asking to be stuffed (it's hollow when you take out the seeds), so this recipe seems like a natural way to innovate.

  • 3 delicata squash, scrubbed clean and split lengthwise with the seed cavity scraped out.
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into thin pats
  • 3/4 pound (12 ounces) pork sausage (traditional sausage, not italian or hot), or plain ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 6 cups kale (one bunch), washed, stemmed and chopped (do not dry off)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the insides of the squash with salt and place 1 tablespoon of butter in each, distributing the pats along the bottom.
Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer brown. Remove the sausage from the pan and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, celery, and carrot until crisp-tender. Add the kale, lemon juice, and vinegar and saute until the kale is tender. Add the cooked sausage, rice, oregano, and salt/pepper to taste. Loosely spoon the filling into each squash half (do not pack it in). Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, or until the squash flesh is tender.
Remove the squash from the oven. Top each squash with a layer of pine nuts and return to the oven for 5 minutes more. Let cool slightly (3-5 minutes) and serve with a tossed salad.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Semi-Homemade Chicken Primavera Risotto

This is one of my favorite dishes from Pampered Chef. It's a creamy and lemony dish of rice and veggies. Using a flavored pre-cooked rice substantially decreases cooking time and adds, well, flavor. ;)

I want to try using some leftover white/brown rice to see how much flavor I actually lose. If the loss is tolerable then I can avoid buying the prepackaged stuff. That's good for two reasons: the prepackaged stuff has soy bean oil & it would decrease the cost.

cooking oil spray
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
olive oil
 1 lemon, cut in half crosswise
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1 large garlic clove, pressed
 2 packages (8.8 ounces each) buttery or roasted chicken flavor pre-cooked rice
 1 medium carrot, peeled & julienned
 1 medium zucchini, sliced
 2 plum tomatoes, seeded & diced
 2 - 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
 2 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (optional)

Flatten chicken to 1/2-inch thickness, then season with salt and black pepper. With cooking oil spray,  lightly coat a large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until hot. Arrange chicken and lemon halves, cut sides down; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until center of chicken is no longer pink (do not turn lemon halves). Remove chicken and lemon. Cool slightly; slice chicken into 1/2-inch pieces.

Lightly spray the skillet again.  Add onion and a pinch of salt, saute for about 5 minutes. And garlic, cook  until fragrant.

Add the rice; juice caramelized lemon halves into the rice. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until juice is completely absorbed into rice. Add vegetables and 2 cups of the broth:bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 4-5 minutes or until broth is slightly thickened. Stir in chicken; cook until heated through.

Remove risotto from heat. * Add Asiago cheese and basil; stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened (adjust sauce consistency with additional broth, if necessary). Stir in mascarpone cheese, if desired.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Herbed Pizza Dough (Bread Maker)

The addition of Italian seasoning boosts the flavor of a simple pizza crust or bread stick. 

2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons water, heated to between 100-110 degrees
    2 teaspoons dried granulated yeast
    2 tablespoons oil
    3 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

    MEASURE all ingredients except cornmeal into bread pan in order listed; Select dough setting.
    When the dough cycle is complete, place the ball in a well greased bowl.
    Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes
    Preheat oven to 400
    Knead the risen dough lightly. Roll the dough into the desired shape
    Place on well greased baking sheet, or pizza pan (12x 15 rectangle) dusted with cornmeal.
    Partially bake the crust for about 8 minutes. remove crust and increase oven setting to 425 F.
    Top crust with your favorite fixings.
    BAKE 20-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and delicious.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Zucchini Sausage Frittata

    A straight edged pan is not the right pan to use when making a frittata, as I learned making this the first time.When I made it again, per the boys request, I used a sloped edge pan. It was so much easier to slide out of the pan and onto a serving platter.

    1/2 cup oil
    2 cups 1/2 inch cubes of potatoes
    kosher salt
    ground pepper
    garlic clove
    1 pound sausage, removed from casing or crumbled*
    1 onion
    2 cups 1/2 inch cubed zucchini
    10-12 eggs, beaten

    Heat oil to medium high heat. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. When the potatoes are almost golden brown and delicious add the garlic. Remove from the pan to drain on a paper towel.

    Next brown your sausage until no longer pink. Remove from the pan to drain on a paper towel.

    Saute the onions with some salt until almost translucent. Add the zucchini and cook until both begin to brown.

    Stir in the sausage, potatoes and beaten eggs. When the edges of the egg mixture is cooked, fold them in to the middle of the pan so that more raw eggs ooze out to the side and cook. Continue until no more raw eggs oozes out. Then leave it alone to firm up.

    • Moving the middle of the egg mixture like scrambled eggs will help to cook the eggs also. But don't over do it or you will be making scrambled eggs. 
    Waiting to be flipped
    Once the bottom part of the frittata (pan side) moves as a whole when the pan is rocked back and forth, it's time to flip. 

    Take a dish or pan larger than your frying pan and place it on top of the frittata then gently flip the pan over. The uncooked top portion will now be the bottom. Slide the frittata back into the pan. Cook until the frittata moves as a whole. cut into slices and serve.

    *Chef's Note: If all you have is breakfast sausage and you want to give this dish more of an Italian flare, add 1/2 tsp each dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme and 1/4 tsp dried rubbed sage to the sausage as it browns.

    Mediterranean Style Veggies & Orzo

    The tomatoes, onion, and zucchini came straight from the garden. It was very flavorful even though I forgot the garlic and we had no feta cheese. Bummer! I think the feta and artichoke hearts really make this dish. We did have Parmesan cheese, a delicious solution. This would be a lovely accompaniment to a Lemon Roasted Chicken. Mmmm. . . We added some shredded rotisserie chicken to make it a main dish rather than a side.

    1 1/2 cups of cooked orzo (3/4 cup dry)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 small onion, diced
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1 small zucchini
    1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained & chopped into eighths
    1 small tomato, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
    1 can sliced black olives

    In a  large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil  shimmers, add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Saute the onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

    Add the zucchini and chicken broth then reduce the heat. Let the zucchini simmer until it is crisp tender (about 5 minutes).

    Add the orzo, artichokes, tomato, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir together and allow the mixture to heat through before serving.

    Serve sprinkled with feta (or Parmesan) and topped with black olives.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Zucchini Brownies

    While perusing Mindika Moments, I found this little gem of a  recipe. My favorite dessert? Brownies!! Another great way to use our zucchini, satisfy my sweet tooth, and it's safe for the 3 Allergics.

    I tried the recipe the night before I was taking it to a post baby blessing luncheon. Really?! New recipes need to have a test run before taken places. Silly me! The batter was really thick and didn't want to move around. Rather than shove it into the corners, I just baked it, thinking it would ooze out to the ends. That's what my usual batters do. I was wrong! I had a brownie blob in the middle of the pan. At least, it was delicious and easy to cut into appealing squares. 

    Since then I've made it a few times: plain (without any nuts) and with pecans in the batter. Both ways are delicious. 

    1 ½ C. sugar
    ½ C. oil
    2 C. grated or puréed zucchini
    2 t. vanilla
    2 C. flour
    1 t. salt
    1 ½ t. baking soda
    ½ C. cocoa
    ½ C. toasted pecans or walnuts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (10 x 15 1/2) with aluminum foil. 
    In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla. Mix well.
    Add salt, baking soda, and coco, then mix. Add nuts here for a nutty brownie. Add flour, mix until moist.
    Pour batter into jelly roll pan then spread it out an oiled spatula. The batter is a sticky beast 
    Bake at  for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. 

    • Baking times may vary due to the water content of the zucchini. If you use a bigger zucchini, which has more liquid in it, the brownie batter will take longer to bake. 
    • You can use a tea towel to squeeze the extra liquid out before adding the shredded zucchini to the batter. 

    Remove and allow to cool.

    Frost with chocolate frosting (recipe below) and top with nuts. We skip this part

    ½ C. butter; softened
    1 lb. powdered sugar
    ½ C. cocoa
    1 t. vanilla
    ¼ + milk
    1. In a mixing bowl combine the butter, sugar and cocoa.
    2. While mixing add the milk until the frosting reaches desired consistency.
    3. If you accidentally add too much milk, add more sugar to compensate.

    I put some coconut pecan frosting on top and it was yummy! Jake has requested that the next batch have more zucchini, and pecans, and that I bake them in a 8 x 11.5 pan. He likes them a little thicker.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Zucchini Lemon Cookies

    I found this Betty Crocker recipe over at Mindika Moments. I made some changes to accommodate the the 3 Allergics. I replaced the butter with applesauce and oil.

    I don't always bake a whole batch of cookie, so I like to take the dough, scoop them into balls then freeze them. The balls always maintain their shape. This dough is soft and sticky, so it didn't want to hold it's shape very well.  I just have to make sure to scoop them after they have sat in the fridge for a bit. 

    The dough does spread, so be sure to leave more space between the cookie as you place them on the cookie sheet. 
    3/4 C. soft butter or 1/2 cup apple sauce & 1/4 cup canola oil
    1 ½ C. sugar 
    2 eggs 
    1 C. grated/pureed Zucchini 
    1 C. chopped toasted pecans 
    2 t. lemon zest 
    1 t. salt 2 t. baking soda 
    2 ½ C. all purpose flour 

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
    Lightly oil a cookie sheet, spray with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. 
    mix until they make a dough. 
    Scoop dough onto the prepared cookie sheet in 1 inch balls. 
    Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand to cool for approximately 15 minutes.

    I really need to improve my photos. This looks like any other cookie. 
    When cool, drizzle with glaze. (see recipe below) 

    2 C. powdered sugar 
    juice of 1 lemon (1/4 C.) 
    1 t. vanilla 

    Mix all together. After cookies have cooled, drizzle the glaze on top of each cookie.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Bugsy Bread

    We've had this bread on several occasions. This time, I decided to swap the carrots for zucchinis. Just as tasty!

    Bugsy Bread
    (adapted from Easy Home Cooking)

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 canola oil
    3 medium eggs, slightly beaten
    1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini or carrots (6 ounces)
    1/2 cups raisins
    1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

    Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease loaf pan.

    In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar and oil for 1 minute. Scrape bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    In a small bowl, mix together whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir into sugar mixture until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in carrots, raisins, and pecans.

    Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean

    Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Orange Zucchini Bread

    1 package cranberry-orange muffin mix
    6 ounces shredded zucchini
    1 cup water
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon grated orange peel

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease bread pan; set aside.

    In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until just moistened. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan; bake 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce

    • 1 can (14 ounce) diced tomatoes
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1-3 garlic cloves
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Since most food processors won't mince garlic very well, you should mince or press the garlic first. Then add everything to a food processor and pulse until everything is incorporated, leaving the tomatoes slightly chunky.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Zucchini Fries

    After posting on Facebook about my obsession with zucchini recipes, a friend suggested Zucchini Fries. On the hunt I went, until I found this one at So Tasty, So Yummy I love panko bread crumbs. It makes things so crispy. For the 3 allergics, I had to leave out the panko and use just regular bread crumbs which I seasoned. Both were so tasty with the Teriyaki Burgers we had for dinner. 

    When I do this again, I'm considering leaving out the flour. It didn't seem to do anything for the dish but make a gloopy mess. I'll follow the dipping method of the Zucchini Parm. 
    With PANKO bread crumbs
    Zucchini Fries

    ¼ cup whole wheat flour
    2 egg
    2 tablespoons water
    1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
    ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    dash cayenne pepper
    2 zucchini, cut into 5” strips

    Preheat oven to 425 and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place flour in a large zipper bag. Whisk eggs with 2 tablespoons water and place in a shallow dish. In a shallow dish, mix Panko, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

     Place zucchini in the bag with the flour and shake until well coated. Dip the zucchini into the egg and then into the Panko, turning to coat well. (pushing the zucchini against the side of the dish  made it flip nicely without adding excess by flipping with a fork). Place breaded zucchini on the greased baking sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown

    With Homemade Bread Crumbs
    For the teriyaki burgers, I brushed teriyaki sauce on top of the hamburger patties, pineapple, and purple onions, as they cooked on the grill. 

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Turkey & Veggie Wrap

    Or call it a burrito like Kai. Whatever you call it, it's delicious! The boys gobbled them up and asked for more. Even Coby, who doesn't like veggies. This seems to be a repeating occurrence in our house since we've started adding zucchini to just about everything.

    2 teaspoons canola oil
    1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
    1 bell pepper (any color), cut into thin strips
    kosher salt
    1 small zucchini, cut into sticks
    3/4 pound turkey breast cutlets or tenderloins, cut into strips
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 cup chunky salsa
    4 (7-8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
    1/2 cup shredded Mexican Cheese
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Over medium high heat heat oil in a large non stick skillet. Add onion, bell pepper and a sprinkle of kosher salt; cook 2 minutes. Add zucchini; cook 1 minute. Add turkey, garlic and chili pepper. Cook for 4 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and veggies are tender.

    Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in salsa. Cook 2 minutes. Spoon mixture onto warmed tortillas, top with cheese and cilantro, if desired. Roll up and enjoy!!

    4 servings

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Zucchini Rolls

    Just like a lasagna roll but with zucchini instead. Yum!! Fresh nutmeg really makes the difference in any ricotta custard filling.

    cooking spray
    kosher salt
    1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices (12 slices)

    10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 egg
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    5 ounces, shredded mozzarella

    use a mandolin to slice the zucchini
    Preheat oven to 425. Spray a nonstick baking sheet and 12 x 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. 

    Arrange zucchini slices on nonstick baking sheets in a single layer, spray zucchini with cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle kosher salt over the zucchini. Bake zucchini 10 minutes; flip and bake for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven & reduce temperature to 350.
    While the zucchini are cooling, combine spinach, ricotta, egg, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Spread spinach mixture evenly on each zucchini slice; roll up slices. Place rolls, seam side down, in baking dish.
    Cover dish with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle rolls with mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve topped with your favorite spaghetti sauce with a side of spaghetti noodles.

    Makes 12 rolls
    That's enough for 3 of us. I feel bad for my kiddos with allergies cuz this was delish.

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Zucchini Potato Cakes

    I didn't have any frozen hash browns, which would have save me some time in preparing this dish. These little cakes are almost half zucchini, so it surprised me that the boys asked for more. Jake was also disappointed that there weren't more. I'll definitely have to double the recipe next time we make this. For there will a next time. I think I'll add some cheese after I've made some for the 3 Allergics. Also, while eating we thought that ham steak would be a great side main dish. Lucky me! I added one to my second servintg, one lone cake topped with corn salsa.

    2 cups shredded potatoes or hash browns, thawed
    1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, salted & drained
    3 medium eggs
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons chopped onion
    2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    nonstick cooking spray

    Microwave shredded potatoes for 5-6 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

    In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, zucchini, flour, onion, bell pepper, salt, black pepper and eggs.

    Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat to medium high heat. With a #20 scoop (or 1/4 measuring cup), drop mixture onto skillet. Cook potato cakes about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

    Serve with corn salsa. Makes 10-12 cakes

    Corn Salsa
    2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
    2 tablespoons finely chopped green bell pepper
    9 ounces frozen corn, thawed
    1 cup chunky salsa
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

    Lightly coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat on medium heat until hot. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Add corn, salsa, and cilantro. reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 5 minutes or until hot.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Grilled Veggies and Couscous

    My favorite part of this dish? The pine nuts! So yummy and it adds wonderful texture to the couscous. We served this on the side of Alton Brown's Ring of Fire Chicken.

    1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth
    1/2 teaspoon sale
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 cup couscous

    1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
    1 medium red bell pepper
    1/2 small red onion, sliced
    some olive oil, for basting

    1 clove garlic, minced
    salt and black pepper
    1/4 cup crumbled feta

    Preheat grill to medium-hot.

    Bring chicken broth, salt and olive oil to a boil in a small saucepan. Sprinkle in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Set aside.

    Brush vegetables with olive oil, then grill until tender.
    3-5 minutes for zucchini and onion
    7-10 minutes for bell pepper

    When bell pepper is blackened, place in a small plastic bag: seal and set aside for 3-5 minutes. Remove from bag: rub or peel off blackened skin. Dice vegetables.

    In a serving bowl, add couscous then fluff with fork. Add diced vegetables, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese; mix well.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    From Our Garden Series

    Last year, we planted a garden. We didn't procrastinate long enough, the frost came and everything died. This year we were determined to not let that happen again. We planted:
    • zucchini
    • watermelon
    • pumpkin
    • cucumbers
    • winter squash
    • onion
    • corn
    • potatoes
    So far everything has flourished, but the watermelon. Nothing, not even a little sprout :( I was really hoping to make more Watermelon Salsa. That's ok though. The pumpkins needed the space.

    Before we knew it we had zucchini, cucumbers, and more zucchini. I had to throw my meal plan out the window to make way for a plethora of recipes using zucchini. Here's my meal plan for the next couple of weeks:
    • Foccaccia Bread topped with Veggies
    • Rustic Vegetable Pizza

    • Veggie Quesadilla
    • Beef Roast with Broiled Zucchini Halves

    • Anitpasto Pizza

    • Kalua Pork with Mac Salad and Bean Stuffed Zucchini
    For fun
    As we harvest other delights, I'll add to the From Our Garden Series.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011

    Cran-Cherry Grunt

    So Ocean Spray Cran-Cherry Juice is my favorite juice drink. I think when you mix cranberries and cherries, you get great sweetness, tang, and depth. I was in the mood for dessert and it struck me: Grunt! It's like cobbler, only easier! If you're not familiar with grunt, it's basically dessert dumplings - yum!


    • 1 cup water
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen cherries (about a half pound)
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 10 ounces by weight)
    • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer
    • 2 tablespoons melted butter
    • 2 cups (9 1/2 ounces by weight) all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup buttermilk

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the water, sugar, ginger, and fruit in a large oven-safe skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has thickened enough to coat a spoon.

    While the fruit cooks, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse 5 times to combine. Add the chilled and cut butter and pulse 5-10 more times, until the butter almost disappears and the mixture appears mealy. Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the buttermilk (do not over mix). Store the dough in the fridge while the fruit finishes cooking (if necessary).

    Using a 1-tablespoon disher or large spoon, gently drop the dough onto the fruit mixture to evenly cover (careful, it's hot). Brush melted butter over the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown (and delicious). Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving (al a mode, if you like).

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Popover w/ Lemon Chicken Sauce

    Popovers are an interesting pastry. They're not leavened by yeast or chemicals, but by water evaporating into steam, so it's important to put them into a very hot oven so they poof up right. That poofiness makes for a large cavity that is great to fill with both sweet and savory sauces. In addition to the way described here, you could also pour the batter into a popover pan to make individual servings.



    • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
    • 1 cup milk
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 cup green beans, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
    • 12 oz chopped cooked chicken breast
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
    • 2 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

    Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put 2 tablespoons butter in a 9x9 glass baking dish and let it melt in the hot oven. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and add to a blender bowl with milk, eggs, and salt. Blend for 30 seconds on high until well combined and frothy. Carefully add flour. Blend on low for 30-60 seconds, just until there are no lumps left (over-mixing the flour will make for bad popovers). Pull the baking dish from the oven and swirl around so the butter coats the bottom. Pour in the batter and return to oven. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until poofy and golden brown.

    Melt the butter in a large skillet on low heat. Sweat the carrots, onion, bell pepper, and green beans with a heavy pinch of salt for 10 minutes, or until the veggies are softened. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 minutes until cheese is melted and the sauce is completely mixed. Pour filling on top of popover, cut into wedges, and serve.