Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is one of my favorite zucchini bread recipes. I think the chocolate part may have something to do with that. It is really pretty easy to make and it makes 2 loaves-one for now and freeze one for later. It's so good!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread From Sparks from the Kitchen cookbook

3 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder and baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
3 c sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil (I substituted 1 c applesauce and 1/2 c oil)
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (I omitted since I did not have.)
3 c grated zucchini
1 c chopped nuts (I omitted since I did not have any.)
1/2 c chopped dates (optional-also omitted)
*I did add about 3/4 c chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Beat eggs in large bowl until frothy; gradually beat in sugar and oil. Add vanilla, chocolate and almond extract. Fold in dry ingredients. Fold in zucchini and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 10" tube pan (Bundt pan) or 2 loaf pans. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Cucumber Salad

This is a really quick and easy recipe. It's a nice way to use up some cucumbers and it tastes great.

Cucumber Salad From Sparks from the Kitchen

2-3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced to desired thickness
1/4 c Miracle Whip
2 T sugar
1 T vinegar
1 T cream (Half and half or milk)
onion to taste
pepper to taste

Blend Miracle Whip, sugar, vinegar, cream and onion and pepper. Fold into cucumbers. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

I made this for dinner tonight since I needed something quick and easy. It was pretty easy to put together and yummy too. I just put all the ingredients in a oval casserole dish instead of wrapping in tin foil and it worked just fine.

Chicken Parmesan From Easy Home Cooking Country Italian Recipes

2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 sheets heavy duty foil sprayed with cooking spray
salt and pepper
1 c pasta sauce
1/2 c chopped onion
8 slices zucchini quartered
1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese (I used a little more)
2 T Parmesan cheese
Hot cooked spaghetti

Preheat oven to 450. Place 1 chicken breast in center of each sheet of foil. Season with salt and pepper. Combine pasta sauce, onion and zucchini. Pour half of sauce mixture over each chicken breast. Sprinkle with cheeses. Double foil sides and ends of foil to seal packets, leaving head space for heat circulation. Place packets on baking sheet. Bake 16-18 minutes until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from oven. Carefully open 1 end of each foil packet to allow steam to escape. Open packets and transfer to serving plates. Serve with spaghetti.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Homemade Pizza

Ryan and I love homemade pizza. I made the dough usually and the crust and it goes pretty quickly since I have a bread maker. It is nice to be able to put whatever toppings on that you like and it is an easy way to use up some leftover fresh veggies such as green peppers and onions. I love to add olives too--yum!

Pizza Hut Style Pizza Dough from

1 1/3 c water
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
2 T cornmeal
3 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine, according to manufacturer's settings, and run dough setting. After the machine beeps, roll out the dough. You can roll the dough into 2 9x13" pizzas or into 2 medium pizzas or a large pizza and an order of breadsticks or cheesesticks. Parbake the crust with a drizzle of olive oil on it at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the crust and add sauce and toppings. If making breadsticks, add your breadsticks at this time. Place into the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Exquisite Pizza Sauce from

1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
6 oz warm water
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T minced garlic
2 T honey
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried majoram
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients in order listed above making sure to break up any clumps of cheese. Cover the sauce and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Spread sauce over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desired.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tasty Tuna Casserole

This is a really quick dish to put together and something a little different from the usual meals I make. It is simple and tasty.

Tasty Tuna Casserole From Healthy Cooking

2 c uncooked elbow macaroni
1 can (12 oz) solid white tuna, drained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, cubed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drain macaroni; stir into tuna mixture. Transfer to a 2 qt baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Grandma's Potato Salad

Summer is the time for barbecues and potato salads. I found this recipe in Taste of Home and it was really good. It was easy to make, having most of the ingredients on hand anyway. It is really creamy and delicious!

Grandma's Potato Salad from Taste of Home

8 medium red potatoes, cubed
4 to 5 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and cool. Place in a bowl; add eggs. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over potato mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rice Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

This was another dish I made on the 4th. It was simple to make and very good. I nice change from the pasta and potato salads I usually make.

Rice Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette from Taste of Home

2 c cooked long grain rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c diced sweet red pepper
1/2 c diced sweet yellow pepper (I omitted both of these peppers and added a green pepper)
4 1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
3 T olive or vegetable oil
2 T cider or white wine vinegar
2 T water
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a bowl, combine the rice, beans, peppers and cilantro. Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid; shake well (I whisked the ingredients in a bowl). Pour over rice mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zucchini, Zucchini Everywhere!!

I planted 4 zucchini plants and I have gotten about 18 zucchini already this year. I love it! I really enjoy baking with zucchini and it's got to be good for you since its a vegetable. I am already working on freezing some so I can make zucchini muffins and bread all year long. I found this recipe in Grandma's cookbook for some zucchini bread. It is delicious!

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

2 c flour
1 c quick oats
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c salad oil (I substituted 1/2 c applesauce and 1/4 c oil)
3 c shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped walnuts (omitted since I didn't have any on hand)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x5" loaf pan. In large bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In medium bowl, with fork, beat eggs slightly, stir in salad oil, shredded zucchini, vanilla and walnuts; stir into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Spoon batter evenly into pan. Bake bread 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Raspberry Cream Muffins

Here is another great muffin recipe. I bought some frozen raspberries on sale and had some leftover half and half left. This recipe worked great to use it up.

Raspberry Cream Muffins from Taste of Home

1 c fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 c plus 2 T sugar, divided
1/4 c butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract (omitted since I did not have any)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c half and half cream
1 c finely chopped vanilla or white chips (omitted since I did not have any)
2 T brown sugar

In a small bowl, toss raspberries with 1/4 c sugar; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and 1/2 c sugar. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with cream. Stir in chopped vanilla chips and reserved raspberries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4th full. Combine brown sugar and remaining sugar; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

These were really good even without the vanilla chips. I'm sure they would be great with the chips though too. Try them both ways!

Cheesy Cream Dip

I can't believe it's July already! We had a great 4th of July and enjoyed this dip during our little get together. I have been so busy with my flowers and garden that I haven't had time to add more recipes, but I will be working hard the next few days to try and catch up. We've been enjoying lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, primarily from the store, but I have already picked about 15 zucchini from my garden and a couple of cucumbers. I have peas that are working on getting bigger too! I love summer!

Cheesy Cream Dip from Our Dairy Specialists Cookbook

1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c sour cream
3 T pimento, chopped (omitted since I did not have any)
3 T stuffed green olives, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp pepper
raw vegetables for dippers

Beat cheese and sour cream in small mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in olives and seasonings. Cover and chill 2-3 hours to allow flavors to blend well. Serve with assorted fresh raw vegetables as dippers.