Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Thanks to an awesome tip from another food blogger, I found this recipe from I was nervous at first about the combination of blueberries and zucchini, but oh my goodness-this bread is amazing! So if you have an abundance of zucchini this year-MAKE THIS BREAD! It is so good!!
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly grease 6 mini loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. Fold in zucchini. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda and cinnamon. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Gently fold in blueberries. Transfer to prepared pans. LIGHTLY sprinkle tops with granulated sugar. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan, then cool completely on racks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Pizza

I LOVE anything with a spinach and artichoke combo! I have been finding recipes lately with a variety of ways to use the combination besides in a dip form. I have a Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese that is too die for. I will have to post that one soon. Tonight I turned the combo into pizza. My little guy thought having a green pizza was "cool". It was delicious and we didn't have much left over.
Spinach-Artichoke Pizza
adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
*pizza dough
2 TBSP butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
3 TBSP flour
1 1/2 cups milk
dash of nutmeg
2 (10 oz) boxes frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (16 oz) can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
sprinkle of thyme
Prepare pizza dough according to directions. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and season with nutmeg. Cook until thickened-about 5 minutes.
Pull the spinach apart, then add to the sauce. Stir in the artichokes and heat through. Stir in the parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
Spread mixture over prepared pizza dough and top with mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with thyme. Bake until cheese is melted and crust is golden.
* for my pizza dough I use the same recipe as my homemade bread-visit to learn more about that recipe. A pizza stone is ideal (sprinkled with some cornmeal to prevent sticking) but not necessary.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cafe Rio Pork and Refried Pinto Beans

So I had a bunch of people over for dinner this weekend and I wanted to try something new. These recipes sounded too good to pass up. They were crowd pleasers and I will most definitely be making them again!Cafe Rio Pork
4-5 lbs pork roast (boneless is best)
12 oz bottle of La Victoria Taco Sauce (red and mild)
20 oz bottle of regular Coca Cola
1 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP taco seasoning
Place pork in crock pot and fill half way with water. Cool on low for 10 hours. Drain water. Premix ingredients for the sauce and pour over roast. Cook on low for 4 hours. Shred pork and cook on low for another 2 hours. So yummy!!
Refried Pinto Beans
adapted from Rachael Ray
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
dash of ground cumin and coriander
salt and pepper
In a skillet or saucepan, add 1 can of the beans and chilies and cook, mashing them up with the back of a spoon or with a potato masher. When one can has been smashed up, add the remaining can of beans and continue to cook until heated through. Season to taste. Serves 4

For dessert we enjoyed a nice summer treat-strawberries! I would recommend putting bananas in this recipe-but that is just me. My son LOVES this dessert! He ate most of it!
Vanilla Pudding Dessert
Taste of Home
2 3/4 cups cold milk
1 package (5.1 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 cups crushed vanilla wafers
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2-3 cups sliced bananas
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes; fold in condensed milk. Set aside 1 TBSP whipped topping and 2 TBSP wafer crumbs. Also set aside 2-3 strawberries and bananas (slices). Fold remaining whipped topping into pudding mixture.
In a 3 qt serving bowl or trifle bowl, layer a third of the strawberries and bananas, wafer crumbs and pudding mixture. Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with reserved wafer crumbs, whipped topping and fruit. Refrigerate until serving. Serves 12-14

Friday, July 24, 2009


I have been wanting to try these brownies for a while. I wasn't very happy about how my batch turned out. The recipe says to bake them for 30 minutes, but that was far too long for my batch-they didn't come out very gooey. I would suggest only cooking them 20 minutes or so.
Ooey-Gooey Peanut Chocolate Brownies
3/4 fat-free sweetened condensed milk, divided
1/4 cup butter melted and cooled
1/4 cup milk
1 pkg devils food cake mix
1 lg egg
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 350*. Combine 1/4 cup condensed milk, butter, milk, cake mix and egg white. Mixture will be stiff. Grease bottom of 9x13 baking pan. Press 2/3 of batter into bottom of pan using floured hands;pat evenly. (Layer will be thin). Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup condensed milk and marshmallow cream in a bowl; stir in chips. Spread marshmallow mixture evenly over brownie layer. Carefully drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture. Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

This cake was so refreshing and yummy! A great summertime treat!
Pineapple Orange Cake
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, undrained
4 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 pkg (1 oz) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
1 carton (8 oz) reduced fat whipped topping, thawed
In a large bowl, beat cake mix, oranges, egg whites and applesauce for 2 minutes on low. Pour into a 9x13 greased baking pan. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. In a bowl, combine pineapple and pudding mix. Fold in whipped topping just until well blended. Spread over cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot Pockets

Last year my Mom introduced me to this amazing bread recipe! With this one recipe you can make bread, rolls, buns, cinnamon rolls, pizza, calzones, braids, etc. You name it, you can make it with this recipe! I love it!! Visit the website to learn more about the recipe. Today I made 16 breakfast "hot pockets" for my husband who leaves before 6am for work. He loves these because he can grab them out of the freezer on his way out the door and pop it in the microwave for breakfast. I just put some scrabbled egg, cooked sausage and shredded cheese in each one, bake them and pop them in the freezer. It couldn't be easier! I also made a few pizza pockets for fast lunches. I love making these rather than buying the frozen ones at the store. These are healthier and you control what goes in them-not to mention cheaper.

Taco Casserole

I have been finding amazing recipes on food blogs the last week and here is one that looked fast and easy-I am usually not all about fast and easy, but with summertime being so busy, that is what is working for us! I got this one off of a blog I am enjoying tasteandtell.
Taco Casserole
16 oz bottle taco sauce
12 oz can buttermilk biscuits
4-6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can sliced olives
1 lb ground beef (I use ground turkey)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
Preheat oven to 400*. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish. Spread taco sauce evenly over bottom of pan. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuits into 4 pieces. Place pieces in sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle biscuits with half of cheeses and olives. Bake 15-18 minutes.
In a large skillet, combine meat, peppers, mushrooms and spices. Cook until cooked through. Sprinkle meat mixture over biscuits. Top with remaining cheese. Bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until cheese melts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Recipes

I worked all weekend so I wasn't around to take pictures before it was eaten. I love these recipes though! They are easy and fast! Perfect for a busy afternoon or evening!

Barbecue Beef Cups
Rachael Ray

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 (16.3 oz) can refrigerated biscuits
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400*. In a skillet, brown the meat. Remove from heat and stir in bbq sauce and brown sugar. Grease a 6 cup jumbo muffin pan (i used a regular size) and place biscuit dough in each cup, stretching dough up the sides. Divide beef mixture among biscuit cups, sprinkle each with cheese and bake until golden-about 10-12 minutes.

Hawaiian Chicken
101 things to do with crock pot

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
1 bottle (16 oz) barbecue sauce
4-6 cups rice, cooked

Place meat in greased 5 quart slow cooker. Combine pineapple and barbecue sauce and pour over meat. Cover and cook on high heat for 4-6 hours or on low heat 6-8 hours. Serve over rice. Serves 4-6


Sorry this isn't a great picture- I was in a hurry. I tried a new Manicotti recipe tonight. I wasn't crazy about it, but my husband liked it and my kids gobbled it up! It is fast and easy if nothing else. Easy Baked Manicotti
source unknown
2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided (store bought or homemade)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pesto (store bought or homemade)
12 manicotti shells, cooked, rinsed in cold water
Preheat oven to 350*. Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Mix egg, cheeses and pesto until well blended. Spoon mixture into plastic bag-cut a small hole from one of the corners. fill shells by squeezing mixture into both ends. Place manicotti over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until heated through. Serves 6

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fajita Salad

During the summer I don't want to turn the oven on if I don't have to, so I am always looking for easy, cool dinners. Last night I made a fajita salad that was so good and so filling-and surprisingly healthy. I was surprised how filling it was! My husband and I decided that it didn't need dressing-lime juice was all it needed! You will be amazed at how easy and yummy this is!
*Chicken Fajita Salad*
adapted from 101 things to do with a salad
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 envelope fajita seasoning
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2-1 red onion thinly sliced
1-2 limes, halved
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
tortilla chips
ranch dressing
Marinate chicken in fajita seasoning according to package directions. Saute chicken until cooked through. In a serving bowl, combing lettuce, beans, peppers and onion. Add cooked chicken and toss. Serve with lime juice, chips, avocados, cheese and dressing or salsa if desired. Serves 4-6

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

For a couple of years I was on a quest for a great chocolate chip cookie. Most were good, but not memorable. Then I found this recipe and I fell in love! I have been using this recipe for about 5 years and it is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I will ever use! The cookies are always moist and a bit gooey-the way a true chocolate chip cookie should be!
*Chocolate Chip Cookies*
1 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1 tsp almond extract (optional)
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 (12oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla and extract. In separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Add to cream mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350* for about 8 minutes or until very lightly browned. Move to racks to cool. Makes 4-5 dozen

A New Adventure

I love to cook and could spend hours looking through cookbooks and recipes! I have put off looking at food blogs for months even though I have always thought it would be fun to have one myself. I knew if I started following food blogs I would get addicted. After accidentally stumbling across one last week, I am officially hooked and decided after months of putting it off, I would join the club and start one of my own. I don't expect anyone to get a whole lot from my food blog-I am not a great cook compared to others out there, but it will be a fun way for me to document one of my favorite things to do. Bon Appetit!