Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This cake is SO good. Make it if you are having people over or just want to splurge. It's SO good. I'm not a huge chocolate person, but this is tasty.

Cream Together
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs

2 Cups Zucchini, finely grated
1/2 Cup buttermilk
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix and Add
2 1/2 Cup Flour
3 TB Cocoa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix together well and pour into greased 9 x13 pan

Topping (sprinkle on top before you bake)
1 Cup chocolate chips
2/4 Cup walnuts (or whatever nut or no nuts at all)
2/3 Cup brown sugar

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Meatloaf Muffins

This is one of my staples. The kids like the little muffins and it cooks in only 20 minutes versus almost an hour with a regular meatloaf. The bbq sauce instead of ketcup is tasty, and it's loaded with veggies that are easy enough to sneak in (from my husband, not the kids!).

1 2/3 to 1 3/4 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper
1 large egg plus a splash of milk, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
1 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Put ground beef into a big bowl. Put onion and celery into a food processor. Cut the bell pepper in half, rip out the seeds and throw them into your garbage bowl. Cut the pepper into a few pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse the processor blades to finely chop the vegetables into very small pieces then add them to the meat bowl. Add egg, beaten with milk, bread crumbs and grill seasoning to the bowl. Next, mix together the smoky barbecue sauce and the Worcestershire sauce. Pour half the sauce mixture into the bowl with the meatloaf mix. Mix the meatloaf together with your hands. Spray the muffin tin with nonstick spray. Use an ice cream scoop to help you fill meat into a each tin. Top each meat loaf with a spoonful of extra sauce. Bake about 20 minutes. Cut open 1 muffin to test that the middle is cooked through.

Warm Brie with Fugi Apple, Pear and Melba Toasts

I LOVE Brie cheese. I swear I could eat an entire wheel myself. This is the easiest way to prepare it.

1 large Fugi apple
1 large red or brown skinned pear, slightly underripe
A wedge of lemon
1 pound individual wheel brie cheese
24 sesame Melba toast rounds

Quarter apple and pear lengthwise and cut into each quarter on an angle to remove the core. Slice apple and pear into 1/4-inch thick slices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fruit to slow browning.

Cut the top rind off the brie and place in the microwave on high for 60 seconds. Depending on the ripeness of the cheese, it will take 60 to 90 seconds on high to heat and melt. If brie is not yet soft and hot after 1 minute, place it back in microwave for another 30 seconds on high.
Serve the softened, warm brie with a platter of fruit and Melba toasts for dipping and spreading. Reheat brie if it tightens up for 20 to 30 seconds at a time on high.

Friday, August 25, 2006


1lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Salt/pepper to taste
1c. grated carrots
1c. sliced mushrooms (fresh)
1 Tbs. olive oil
28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
25 oz. pkg. frozen cheese ravioli
(cooked and drained)
3 c. (12 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
minced parsley

1) cook meat, sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside...
2) in a saucepan, cook carrots and mushrooms in olive oil until tender.
Stir in spaghetti sauce. Add cooked meat.
3) Spread 1/2 c. of the sauce in a greased (I used Pam) 9x13 pan. Layer with 1/2 the ravioli, spaghetti sauce mixture and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.
4) Top with parmesan cheese and parsley....Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover, bake 10 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Friday Pizza

We eat homemade pizza practically every Friday (probably why I though to make a recipe blog...need new recipes) - dough from the breadmaker, Trader Joe's pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. Simple. Easy. Fast.

Swiss Chicken

5-6 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup (do not dilute)
5-6 slices of swiss cheese
1 package Stove Top stuffing mix
butter, melted

Place chicken breasts in baking pan. Salt & pepper to taste. Top each breast with one slice of cheese. Spread soup on each cheese slice. Mix bread crumbs from stuffing mix with seasoning packet from stuffing mix (dry). Sprinkle dry stuffing mix over all. Drizzle melted butter over top.

Bake at 300 degrees about 45 minutes

Classico Tomato + Basil Lasagna Roll-ups

Recipe calls for:
15 oz. Container Ricotta Cheese
1 C (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
10 oz. Package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (chopped)
1 egg lightly beaten
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
26 oz jar Classico di Napoli Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce (or any kind you have)

I also add:
cooked sausage, chopped bell peppers and red onions (sauteed in olive oil if I have the time), sliced black olives

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine Ricotta, spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, and egg (along with any other ingredients you may add). Spread about 1/3 C of the mixture on each lasagna noodle and roll it up.

2. Pour 1/3 C pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Arrange lasagna rolls seam side down in dish. Top with remaining sauce.

3. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 min, or until hot.

This recipe is from the Costco Cook book and is one of our favorites! Lately I have made it a few times without the spinach, or with just a little bit of chopped fresh spinach, and I think that I like it more that way. And you can add anything, I usually just check to see what it in my fridge and go from there.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Au Jus Sandwiches

3-4 lbs of London Broil
2 cups of beef broth
2 cups of water
1 packet Au Jus seasoning
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing mix

Put everything in the crockpot and cook for at least 8 hours. Serve on toasted French rolls with melted provolone cheese. Even better if you use the "au jus" and dip your sandwich in!

Summer Spinach Salad

This is a great salad to take to a shower or BBQ because it's very pretty.

1 bag of fresh spinach leaves
1 container of strawberries, sliced
1 container of blackberries
1-2 avocados, sliced
2/3 cup of silvered almonds
Raspberry vinaigrette from Trader Joes

Toss everything together.

Gourmet Foil Dinners

Both of these are fabulous for a quick, easy dinner with no dishwashing. Or you can prepare them beforehand for a bonfire or camping trip. You can add and subtract items as you wish! My cousin and I lived off these in college.

Tamale Chicken Packets

Green Bean Chicken Casserole Packets

4 (18 x 12-inch) sheets heavy duty aluminum foil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 lb.)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups frozen cut green beans (I think I used canned)
1 1/3 pounds (4 medium) potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 sheets heavy duty aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F or set grill to medium-high. Center one chicken breast half on each sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Combine soup, salt and pepper. Spoon soup mixture over chicken; sprinkle with paprika. Top with vegetables; dot with margarine. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make four packets. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes on a cookie sheet in oven or grill for 22 to 24 minutes in covered grill. Makes 4 servings.


Easy pancake recipe to make from scratch and healthier than the mixes. Devin made them this morning...

1 Egg
1 1/2 Cup Milk (buttermilk is good too)
1 heaping tsp. baking powder (I've used baking soda when I'm out of powder and they still turn out)
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract (vanilla is better, I think)
1 Cup flour (or more to desire consistency)

Beat all ingredients well. Bake on hot griddle or frying pan on stove. May be served with butter and syrup or fresh fruit. No sugar in recipe and incredibly tasty.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Kalua Pork

2 lbs pork (I use a tenderloin)
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt (you could just use kosher salt)
2 cups of water

Combine everything in a crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours. Shred pork.

I serve this with sticky rice (made in the rice cooker with extra water), a green salad and fresh pineapple. Super easy, super good and takes you to the Islands!

red meat

there's a name for this recipe, but i don't know what it is.
go get some steak, massage it with coarse pepper and kosher salt, then soak it in worcestshire sauce for a few hours.
grill it up.
it's awesome.
we ate it last week.

Ryan and Jen

Baked Chicken Bites (Chicken Fingers)

This is a great recipe. It's quick and so good. I usually serve it with a salad and applesauce. It could be an appetizer if you were to throw a dinner party, but we always eat them for dinner. IF you double it, they make great leftover lunches. Have bbq sauce, ketchup and ranch as dips.

2-3 Skinless, Boneless organic chicken breasts
1 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TB olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 TB mustard
1 Cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375. Cut chicken breasts into desired size strips. In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic and mustard. Add cut chicken strips to lemon mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer. Spread breadcrumbs on a plate or wax paper. Remove chicken pieces and roll in bread crumbs to coat. Place chicken pieces on lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Be sure sides are golden and chicken is cooked through.