Tuesday, August 31, 2010

S'mores Bark

Mmmmm....here's a very yummy treat for you! I've made this twice already for two different sets of guests that we've had. It doesn't stick around long. It's just so fun to munch on and much less of a mess than real s'mores. This recipe is definitely a keeper and it only calls for 3 ingredients. How simple!!!

S'mores Bark
Source: www.madiganmade.blogspot.com

1/2 bag mini marshmallows
1/2 box (6 oz.) Golden Grahams cereal
1 lb candy melting chocolates

Put chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 second intervals. Stir in between. Stop when chocolate is completely melted.

In a large bowl, mix the melted chocolate with the cereal and marshmallows. Toss to coat well.

Take the mixture and spread it out onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. You may need 2 cookie sheets.

Allow bark to cool completely for an hour or two. (Or you can put it in the refrigerator and it will harden up within minutes.)

Break the bark apart in small chunks and serve in cupcake liners.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cinnamon Burst Sour Cream Zucchini Bread

Ready for another zucchini recipe? I told you my mom gave me a lot of zucchini and there was no way I was going to let it go bad!

Last weekend we went to my sister's lake house in northern Indiana. It rained all day on Saturday so we took a little road trip to an Amish town called Shipshewana. We first went to a store called Rise 'N Roll Amish Bakery where we ended up buying these cinnamon doughnuts that are absolutely amazing. The best ones I've ever had! We also ended up with Pickled Jalapeño Eggs and a jar of garlic pickles. (Weird combination, I know!) The next store we went to was an Amish bulk store called E&S Sales. I LOVED that store! They had every spice you could think of, every sprinkle you could imagine, tons of candy including a bag of Lucky Charm marshmallows (I'm talking about just the marshmallows and not the cereal! These somehow ended up in my cart too!) and tons of other unique stuff all at super low prices. I walked up and down each aisle in admiration of what all they had.

Anyways, one of the (many) things I bought at E&S Sales was a bag of cinnamon chips. They look just like mini chocolate chips but they are cinnamon. I've seen several bread recipes in the past that had called for them but have never been able to find them in our local grocery stores. So I was very excited about this find and when I got home from the lake house, I Googled "zucchini" and "cinnamon chips" and found this yummy recipe.

It turned out really well and has been our breakfast for the last couple of mornings.

Cinnamon Burst Sour Cream Zucchini Bread
Source: www.preparedpantry.com

3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt

3 large eggs
2 c. granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. grated zucchini squash

1 1/2 c. cinnamon chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together. Fold in the sour cream, oil and zucchini.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the cinnamon chips. Do not continue stirring.

Pour the batter into two well-greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until done. Cool for ten minutes on a rack before removing the loaves from the pan.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

I just love zucchini in the summertime and luckily I have a mom that has a ton of it in her garden this year!

This is a recipe I ate a lot as a kid. It was my grandma's recipe. I tweaked it just a bit by adding in some fresh tomatoes from the garden. They turned out great and are even healthy for you. (I can't say that about many of my recipes that I post on here! :)

Please note that these are nice size zucchinis, not the little things you find in the grocery store. Those would probably be too small to stuff.

Stuffed Zucchini
Source: Grandma H.

2 medium zucchinis
1 c. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 c. grated Cheddar cheese
3 slices wheat bread, torn into pieces
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/4 t. chicken bouillon granules (I would probably use a 1/2 t. next time)
1/3 c. chicken broth
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 lb. ground turkey, browned and drained
2 tomatoes, diced (optional)

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp, leaving 1/4 inch shell. Discard seeds. Chop pulp in medium bowl and combine remaining ingredients. Fill each zucchini shell with 1/4 of the mixture. Wrap stuffed zucchini in 2 layers of foil. Place on grill over hot coals and cook for 15 minutes. Or you can bake (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, depending on how big your zucchinis are.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zucchini Bread in Crock Pot

My Mom made a loaf of this bread for us and it was delicious! It's another one of our family favorites and we make it several times each summer when Mom has an abundance of zucchini growing in her garden. It's easy to whip together, the only catch is you need a special bread pan made for your crock pot.

Here's a picture of a Rival Crock Pot bread pan.

Zucchini Bread in Crock Pot
Source: Mom

2 eggs
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. peeled zucchini, grated
2 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/2 to 1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Beat eggs until light and foamy. Add oil, sugar, grated zucchini, and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into greased and floured crock pot pan. Bake on High for 2 to 3 hours.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rhubarb Cake

I took this dessert to the lake house this weekend to share with family. It's a rhubarb cake recipe that I got a couple years ago from a friend in the Fishers MOMS Club. There are two things I absolutely love about this cake...1) it is so moist and 2) the sugary top layer! MMmmmmm!!!!

Rhubarb Cake
Source: Dawn R.

1 & 1/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c. sour milk (I just add a little vinegar)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
2 c. finely sliced rhubarb
Mixture - 3/4 c. sugar, 1 t. cinnamon

Cream sugar, eggs, milk, salt & butter (butter will still be kind of clumpy). Fold in remaining ingredients. Place in 9x13 greased pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake 350 degrees for 50 minutes (toothpick should come out clean).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Churrasco Cubano Cuban Skirt Steak

Wow! Tonight's dinner was off the charts! I would definitely give it 11 out of 10 stars!

In New Jersey, our favorite restaurant was Cuban Pete's and we almost always ordered their Churrasco. Now that we live in Michigan, I decided to Google "churrasco" and see what kind of recipes were out there. It didn't look that hard so I tried it and my hubby threw it on the grill when he got home from work. We LOVED it!!! Who needs a Cuban restaurant when you can do it yourself? I even served it with beans and rice so the only thing missing were plantains. Maybe I'll try frying up some plantains next time...

A couple things you'll need to know for this recipe:
1) To make sour orange juice, use 2 parts orange juice and 1 part lemon juice.

2) I looked in 3 different grocery stores and none of them had skirt steak. The butcher told me that the next closest thing to that cut of meat was flank steak, so that's what I used.

Churrasco Cubano Cuban Skirt Steak
Source: www.grouprecipes.com

3 lbs skirt steak
1 c. olive oil
30 garlic cloves (minced)
1 c. large onion (minced)
2 t. oregano
1 c. sour orange juice
2 t. salt and black pepper

Ingredients for chimichurri sauce:
3/4 c. cilantro (chopped)
6 garlic cloves (minced)
1 T. salt
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. oregano (chopped)
1/3 c. olive oil

Lime Wedges

To make marinade for the steaks: Add the sour orange juice, garlic, salt, onion and oregano into a bowl and stir well. Pepper is optional. Heat the olive oil in a pan for 3 minutes over medium-high heat, then pour oil into bowl and stir. Let cool for half an hour.

Add the steaks into the bowl, covering the steaks with the marinade. Cover and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

In the meantime, prepare the chimichurri sauce. In a blender, place the vinegar, cilantro, salt, oregano and garlic and pulse until the ingredients are well blended. Pour the sauce into a medium bowl, and add the olive oil, whisking it as you add it. You may also add lime juice to taste.

Grill on barbecue - cook until medium rare to medium. Serve with chimichurri sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cookie Cups

These were fun to make....and fun to eat! What a great idea from the Family Fun magazine. I've been all about edible ice cream bowls lately and when I saw these were made out of chocolate chip cookies I just had to give them a try!

Cookie Cups
Source: Family Fun Magazine

1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips

To make the cookie cups, beat together the shortening, butter, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, baking powder, and flour, then gradually stir them into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flat disk, and wrap it in plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 375º. Turn two 12-cup muffin tins bottom side up and cover 10 of the cup bottoms with squares of aluminum foil (use every other cup so there's some space between them). Grease the foil with shortening and set it aside. Unwrap 1 disk of dough, place it between 2 sheets of waxed paper, and roll it out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 4-inch circles of dough and place each one over a cup bottom, smoothing out any cracks. Repeat with the other disk, rerolling and reusing any scraps.

Bake the cookie cups for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Let them cool for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and cookies together from the muffin pan. Peel off the foil and let the cups cool completely on a rack. Just before serving, fill each cookie cup with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 10.

Additional Notes:
Using a spoon is completely optional!

And they are good to the last lick!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spiced Beer Fondue

I told my hubby we were going to have Melting Pot today for lunch. Have you ever eaten there before? It's one of my favorite restaurants. I mainly like to go for their cheese and chocolate fondues. I could make a whole meal out of just those two menu items!

Well today, we had Kathie's Melting Pot....a cheese fondue made with a beer base, just like the Melting Pot. It was absolutely wonderful!!! I served it with bread cubes, green and red apples, tortilla chips, celery, red peppers, and cauliflower. It was Oh So Good!!!

Spiced Beer Fondue
Source: Cooking With Beer cookbook

1 bottle (12 oz.) light-colored beer (I used Bud Select)
2 c. (8oz.) shredded Gruyere cheese
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. flour
1 t. coarse grain mustard
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. ground red pepper
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
Apple slices, bread cubes, tortilla chips, and chopped vegetables

Bring beer to a boil in medium saucepan; simmer over medium heat until it stops foaming, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Toss cheeses with flour in medium bowl. Gradually add cheese mixture to beer, stirring constantly. Add mustard, salt, and red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until cheeses are melted. Transfer to fondue pot over low heat and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve with apple slices, bread cubes, and vegetables.

Makes 4 servings

Friday, August 13, 2010

Frozen Banana Pops

Sorry for the long break in between postings lately. We've been busy getting settled into our new house and all the time-consuming things that go along with it. I was also delaying this next post until my hubby got his new camera because I knew it would make them look even cuter!

Seriously, how cute are these? It has been so darn hot here lately that I thought these would make a wonderful afternoon treat. You can use really any toppings you would like. I used a variety of sprinkles but some other ideas could be nuts, crumbled cookie crumbs, and coconut.

Leave a comment for me if you make these and let me know what kind of toppings you used!

Frozen Banana Pops
Source: Craftzine.com

3 bananas not overly ripe
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate
5 oz white chocolate
3 t. shortening
Rainbow sprinkles
Chocolate sprinkles
6 popsicle or lollipop sticks

Peel the bananas and cut each in half. Push a popsicle stick part way through the cut end of the banana so it looks like a popsicle. Set the popsicles on a cutting board or plastic plate, and place them in the freezer while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Having the bananas cold will help the chocolate harden faster.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Set out sprinkles. Put semi-sweet chocolate and 1½tsp of shortening in a bowl. Microwave the chocolate at 100% power for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat. Repeat a third time, if necessary, until the chocolate is completely melted. Repeat the process with the white chocolate.

Take 1 banana out of the freezer at a time. Place it on the parchment paper and pour your chocolate of choice over the top. Turn the banana to coat all sides.

Decorate the banana with the desired sprinkles. Hold it for about a minute so the chocolate can set, then replace it in the freezer. Repeat the coating and decorating process with the remaining bananas.

After all the bananas have been covered in chocolate and decorated, keep them in the freezer for 45–60 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe makes 6 chocolate banana pops.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tomato Pie

The other day when we went camping, my uncle not only sent me home with blueberries but also a bag of tomatoes fresh out of his garden! Tomatoes are one of my favorite veggies which is kind of funny considering I used to hate them when I was a kid.

This tomato pie recipe is a favorite of mine! It's the first time I've made it this year. There's just something about using tomatoes out of the garden versus from a grocery store that makes it taste so much better!

My picture doesn't do it justice but my photographer (husband) was still at work when it came out of the oven so I had to manage without him. :)

Tomato Pie
Source: Paula Deen

4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 c. chopped green onion
1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
1 c. grated mozzarella
1 c. grated cheddar
1 c. mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Meatball Bubble Biscuits

Pasta, Pasta!

That's what we had for dinner tonight! Along with these adorable little meatball bubble biscuits. I just love these. If you didn't know any better, you'd think you were just biting into some cute little rolls, but then surprise....there are meatballs and cheese inside! They are the perfect little dippers for marinara sauce and go great with a side of spaghetti.

Meatball Bubble Biscuits
Source: Barbie F.

1 can Pillsbury golden layers biscuits - each pulled into 2 layers
10 frozen fully cooked italian style meatballs - thawed and cut in half
2 sticks string cheese - cut each into 10 pieces
1 T. parm cheese
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 c. marinara sauce

Heat oven to 375. Separate biscuits into 2 layers. Place 1 meatball half and one piece of cheese into each biscuit, wrap dough around it and seal edges. Place seam side down into 9 inch round cake pan. Sprinkle with parm cheese, garlic pwd. and italian seasoning. Bake 18-20 min or until golden brown. Serve warm with warm sauce.