Archive for August, 2011

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Fall is sure in the air around here. In the mornings I wake up to that crisp air that reminds me of walking out to the school bus with leaves covering the ground. The leaves aren’t covering the ground yet but by the feel in the air it might not be long. Then I went and looked at the forecast and it looks like it’s going to be close to 90 degrees on Thursday. There went that theory out the door!

I’m excited for fall. It’s one of my favorite seasons. I’m dreaming of all kinds of pumpkin and apple desserts and we will throw in a few Halloween themed dishes too! There’s nothing better than coming home at night and throwing on my sweats and hoodie and hunkering down for the night. Ahhhh this makes me excited! Throw in some football games with yummy appetizers and what’s a girl not to love? Plus I love my Scentsy and I’m so excited for all the fall scents. In fact I broke down and tried out the new Pumpkin Marshmallow scent tonight and it’s simply amazing!

It was a rainy and dreary day today and if the hubby was home I think I might have made this recipe again for supper because in my opinion breakfast for supper on days like this is a marvelous invention. Either that or something in the crock pot or soup. Wait. Soup in the crock pot. Now we are talking! Sweet. Another thing I’m excited to make this fall.

Ok where were we? Back to this recipe. My wonderful coworker brought a bag of zucchini to share and I snatched up a few. I’ve been dieing to try out this recipe I’ve had “pinned” on Pinterest. Addicting website I tell you. I’ve got a gazillion recipes and add about 20 more a day. I could cook 12 hours a day for a year and I wouldn’t be able to make them all. Wow I’m having a hard time focusing tonight! The recipe….I like to try out new things with zucchini and this sounded wonderful. It’s like a pancake and zucchini bread mixed into one yummy creation. It’s a bit sweet but just a bit so it’s still great like a pancake. If you are trying to use up all that zucchini before you start tackling those yummy fall recipes I would definitely try this one out. I’ll give you fair warning that it makes a ton of pancakes so if it’s just two of you I would cut it in half or freeze the extras. Enjoy!

Zucchini Bread Pancakes
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1. c all purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 c. zucchini, shredded
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp butter, melted

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, zucchini, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.
2. Coat a griddle with butter or spray with cooking spray and set to medium-high heat. Drop 1/4 c. of batter onto the griddle; cook 1-2 minutes on each side, until brown and cooked through.

Freezing Directions:

Flash freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When frozen, transfer to gallon freezer bag. To defrost, place three pancakes on a plate and microwave for 30-60 seconds, until warm throughout.

Adapted from: Once a Month Mom

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This last month I joined the “Secret Recipe Club“. It’s a group of us bloggers that have established a fun little thing and each month you are assigned someones blog and then you get to pick a recipe from that blog to try out and post about on a given day. Neat-o huh? None of us know who has your blog until the “reveal date”. I love trying recipes and am always looking for a new one on someones blog so this was right up my ally.

This month I was assigned Mele Cotte’s blog. It’s got tons of recipes to look at and try. Now I’m going to tell you she’s a bit more “daring” with her recipes than I am. Mine tend to reflect my Midwestern heritage and use the simple ingredients but her recipes definitely have a bit more flare involved so if you are looking for some flare definitely go to her blog and check it out after all who can’t use flare in their lives?!

I picked out the Strawberry Bread to try out for my post because the hubby loves love loves strawberries. The bread was moist and wonderful. The only thing I would change next time is to leave out the cardamom spice and try cinnamon and/or nutmeg. I’m not a big fan of cardamom and was a little hesitant on it when I saw it but figured I would try it exactly as the recipe calls for it. I think it leaves a weird aftertaste but that’s just my opinion! Enjoy!

Strawberry Bread
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1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cup sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup sour cream
3 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup sliced almonds (I omitted these for the hubby BUT I would love them in the bread)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line two 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper hanging over the long sides for easy removal.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cardamom; set aside. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and half the almonds.

3. Divide the batter between the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining almonds. Bake about hour, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen. Yields two 9 x 5 inch loaf.

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Cake Batter Ice Cream

I grew up in a household that only made homemade ice cream on very special occasions. Maybe once a year. I always remember that when it was made there was excitement in the air. My parents always made it sound like a huge ordeal to make ice cream, but the reward was well worth it. The ice cream was always vanilla and way better than any store bought ice cream. Someday I might share this recipe with you but it will have to be a very special occasion as it is my Grandpa Boots’s recipe. Yup his nickname was Boots. How awesome is that? I have no idea how he got this or why but that’s what everyone called him!

Remembering how special it was making homemade ice cream when I was growing up I made sure to register for an ice cream maker for my wedding. My mom bought it for me because she knew the memory that went along with it. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on this one. It took my just shy of my first anniversary to whip the ice cream maker out of it’s box. Looking back I should have gotten a smaller more easily useable one but nope I went with the big old fashioned one. Let this be your warning if you need to get one You even have to soak the wood barrel of it or it leaks the melting ice! Good thing this recipe made it worth it.

The recipe I tried out was Cake Batter because I LOVE Cold Stone Creamery’s cake batter. The ice cream was smooth and rich. The hubby looked and me and said I don’t think I’ve ever had home made ice cream this smooth. He usually thinks it has ice crystals. My Grandpa’s recipe doesn’t have ice crystals but maybe the ice cream he’s used to does! You won’t be disappointed with this recipe plus it’s not as hard as my parents make it out to be but it’s a bit time consuming! Enjoy!

Cake Batter Ice Cream
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2 c. heavy cream
1 c. half and half
1/2 – 3/4 c. white granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 c. dry yellow cake mix, unprepared

1. Stir together the half & half, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. This does not take long just stir with a spoon. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.

2. Measure out the dry cake mix. If you have a sifter use it as the cake mix gets lumpy and you don’t want lumps in your ice cream. I actually don’t have a sifter (I know what a hoar!) so I just used a whisk and whisked the lumps out. Stir in the cake mix into the cream mixture until it’s completely mixed and the mixture is smooth.

3. Make sure the ice cream base is cool before putting it in the ice cream freezer for processing. If you used cold half & half and cream then the base should be ready to process. If the base is room temperature put it in the refrigerator and cool. Once the base is cool pour it into the bucket of your ice cream maker and process according to manufactuer’s instructions.

4. After processing, put the ice cream into a bowl or other container, seal, and place in the freezer for several hours to allow the ice cream to get firmer.

Recipe From: That’s Some Good Cookin’

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As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program I was selected to try out the new Birds Eye Chef’s Favorites. It’s a line up of steam fresh and ready to serve veggies in minutes. I’m a big fan of steam fresh veggies and have frequently tried them before. My hubby isn’t a big veggie fan so if I can have a bag that I can steam and save the leftovers for the next night I’m all for it.

I tried the Creamy Primavera Risotto. I’ve actually never had Risotto so I tried half of it as is – out of the bag after I had steamed it. It was good but nothing that knocked my socks off. The second half I made into a cake after it had cooled. I put a little olive oil in a frying pan and fried the cake over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, flipping it half way through. I definetely liked his option better as it added a little crunch to it. If you are looking for a healthy option this might not be for you. Make sure you read the labels on the back of these bags!

Look for this product in your grocery freezer in September!

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I had some zucchini that definitely needed to be used up. Like yesterday. I did the typical Zucchini Bread and I still had some left so I was determined to find something different that I could use it up in. I told my mom I wanted to make pancakes and she didn’t think that sounded good. I still think it sounds good but I didn’t go with the pancakes because the hubby was gone for work and I knew I’d have to much on hand. I decided to try out these cookies. Wow. I’m sure glad I did. They were wonderful! These cookies are soft even after a few days which is a must in my book plus you top them with a cream cheese frosting that hardens just enough to be perfection. They even turned my mom into a believer that you can actually do something with zucchini other then make it into bread.

I’m not going to say that this whole cookie making process didn’t go without a little mishap. Back in college my professor always told us to make sure that we read our recipes through and double checked them. I remember one time none of us did this in class and we were making marshmallows. Lets just say it didn’t end pretty and there were grown students getting reprimanded for not following directions and it ended with us having to clean up and not make marshmallows. Not a pretty scene. You would think that after that incident I’d learn to read my recipes, but nope it didn’t happen. I got to the “add flour” step in the recipe and there was no flour listed. I might have panicked. Without much of a choice I just started adding flour until I thought it formed a cookie dough. I did a test cookie. Nope to runny. Added some more flour. Tested another cookie. Just perfect. Success! I’ll try and make sure all the ingredients are listed on this recipe for you!

This recipe does make a lot. I mean a ton of cookies so if you don’t have an army to feed or a lot of friend and family to share with you might want to cut it in half. I shared my cookies with my sister-in-law and her family (who just had the most adorable baby boy ever!), my brother-in-law, my co-workers, my parents, my hubby ate a ton…so you get the idea. I think you could easily freeze these for later also. I added raisins to my cookies but feel free to throw in some chocolate chips instead if you aren’t a raisin fan. Enjoy!

Zucchini Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
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3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. grated zucchini
3 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 c. flour
1 c. raisins

4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add oil, sugars, zucchini and vanilla. Mix well.

2. In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to egg mixture and mix well. Add raisins.

3. Drop onto greased baking sheet. Baked 10-12 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Cool completely and the frost.

4. For the frosting cream butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar until the right consistency. Add more if needed. Frost cookies.

Shared on the following sites – Please give them a visit!

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Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls

These were sure a hit! I made them on Saturday for lunch. Oh wow what a perfect Saturday. It was seriously one of those days you just don’t ever want to end. For once we had nothing going on at all. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. Amazing I tell ya! The hubby was peacefully outside working on the garage while I was inside doing laundry, cleaning. The usual Saturday chores, but it was nice to be able to take my time because I knew I didn’t have to be anywhere. The windows were open. A breeze was flowing through the house. It was just so peaceful. I kinda want to go back to that day.

This recipes comes from the blog Life by Jill Marie. This is kinda funny and I just have to share this with you if you don’t know me very well. Jill is actually my high school classmate’s mom. I grew up having Jill as one of my “basketball moms”. We were like a family. Our traveling team was on the road for basketball about 2-3 months in the late winter early spring every weekend. I think there was around 12 of us girls and I have to admit the parents were kinda like surrogate parents to me. Ah the memories. I never ever thought I’d be blogging and sharing recipes along with Jill and exchanging tips and tidbits with her. If you haven’t checked out her blog I highly recommend it. She’s an amazing lady and an even better cook/baker!

The recipe I’m sharing with you is super easy to throw together and the ingredients are ones you might even have on hand. It’s perfect for a quick lunch. Like I said earlier it was a big hit with the hubby. In fact you will notice that it makes 8 servings. Ummm we had none left. Yup that’s right none. I had 1 1/2 rolls. Now you do the math and figure out how many the hubby ate. After he ate one and was oohing and ahhing over it. I said I’ll send the leftovers with you this week for lunch. He looked at me and said ummm I don’t know if there will be any leftovers. We had two left and then he looks at them and says well that’s not enough for a meal and gobbled them down too. Enjoy!

Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls
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1 can crescent rolls
8 thin slices ham
4 slices cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Separate crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Cut each slice of cheese in half. Place a slice of ham on each triangle. Place a strip of cheese down the center of the ham. Fold edges of ham in to match the shape of the crescent roll. Roll each crescent roll up ending at the tip of the triangle. Place tip down on a greased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 15-19 minutes or until gold brown.

Adapted from: Life by Jill Marie

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Do you have Zucchini coming out of your ears? This is the perfect recipe for you then! It “hides” zucchini in a wonderful dessert so you can forget your even eating it. I actually don’t have zucchini coming out of my ears or anywhere else for that mater. I can only dream of having a garden. Next year I’m hoping I get one. Currently our yard is a bit under construction with building a garage and all. Maybe next year I can have zucchini coming out of my ears like the rest of you!

This wonderful recipe actually comes from my mom and it originated from my awesome sister-in-law. Yup that’s right I called an in-law awesome. She’s married to my older brother and she pretty much rocks. I can only hope and pray that the little brother marries someone half as amazing as this woman. We usually make it in two 8 x 8 inch pans and then freeze one so you can enjoy it later.

As you all have heard my hubby is working out of town during the week a lot of time, so mom decided that she better make him a treat and send it with him so he didn’t starve to death. Now, mother do you really think your daughter is going to let her hubby starve? I would hope you raised me better than that and trust me there is never a shortage of food around our house. I’m sure you all figured this out with all these recipes. I really think she just likes to spoil him and she doesn’t want to admit it! Another thing that mysteriously arrives at our house is chocolate chip cookies. I’ll come home from work and there will be a plate of cookies on our counter. I wonder who the cookie fairy is?? Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
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1 stick butter
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 c. grated zucchini
Chocolate Chips & Nuts

1. Cream butter, oil & sugar. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add. Mix in zucchini. Put in greased 9 x 13 or 2 – 8 x 8x in pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on top.

2. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes or 35 minutes for 8 x 8 pans.

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