Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Zucchini Apple Bread

Can you see the green flecks of goodness in this bread? That means that I am using up some of the zucchinis that got passed to me after an over abundant harvest from one of my girlfriends! Love that!! I froze a bunch of it for this very reason. Zucchini can be such a sweet addition to breads, I just love it!

Zucchini Apple Bread
(Recipe found at hallnesting.com via Pinterest)

2 cups grated zucchini
2 apples, grated
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Crack 3 eggs in a bowl and whisk. Stir in oil and vanilla. Mix in zucchini and apple. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add zucchini mixture to dry mix. Stir until fully incorporated. Add to loaf pan and bake until toothpick comes out clean, 55 minutes to an hour. Let cool for 20 minutes. Then slice and serve.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

This was my dessert for Bunco night and it was delicious... It was VERY rich and definitely needed something to drink with it. Bet you couldn't have guessed that with four, count 'em FOUR packages of cream cheese in this one recipe! It was super yummy, but make sure you cut your pieces small! :)

Caramel Apple Cheesecake
(Recipe found at kraftrecipes.com)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
4 packages (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
4 eggs
3 apples, chopped (about 4 cups)
15 KRAFT Caramels
1 tablespoon water

Heat oven to 350. Combine graham crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9 pan. Mix 2 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; reserve for later use. Beat cream cheese with remaining sugar and cinnamon with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust. Toss apples with reserved sugar mixture; spoon over cheesecake batter. Bake 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours. Microwave caramels and water in microwaveable bowl on high 45 seconds or until sauce is smooth when stirred. Drizzle over cheesecake.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Loaded Baked Tater Tot Dip

This is a savory dip that I served at Bunco and everyone was raving about it. Without even mentioning the recipe a few ladies even commented that they would eat this as a casserole for supper... Little did they know that the original recipe mentioned this fact as well! Super yummy, but make sure you buy sturdy crackers to dip into it!

Loaded Baked Tater Tot Dip
(Recipe found at averiecooks.com via Pinterest)

3 cups tater tots (about 45 whole tater tots), thawed and roughly chopped
1 cup meatballs, crumbled
16 ounces sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese blend, divided
2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning blend, or to taste (I used Lawrys)
salt and pepper, optional and to taste

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 9-inch pie dish or similar oven-safe baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Transfer tater tots to a large mixing bowl. Add the meatballs, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, seasoning blend, salt, pepper, and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is bubbly and golden browned. Serve immediately with crackers, bread, pita chips, pita bread or tortilla chips. Dip can also be made fresh and served like a casserole, but I prefer it as a dip.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Here is a healthified version of deviled eggs and to me, they were delicious... If you aren't a guac fan, you will not like these and you will probably be put off by the green color as well! :) I made these for Bunco and like I said, they were a hit for those of us that like guacamole and not such a hit for those that don't like guacamole.

Guacamole Deviled Eggs
(Recipe found at http://www.skinnytaste.com via Pinterest)

6 large eggs, hard boiled
1 medium avocado
2-3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon diced tomato
pinch chile powder (for garnish)

Peel the cooled hard boiled eggs. Cut the eggs in half horizontally, and set the yolks aside. In a bowl, mash the avocado and 2 whole egg yolks; discard the rest. Mix in lime juice, red onion, jalapeƱo, cilantro, salt and pepper and adjust to taste. Gently fold in tomato. Scoop heaping spoonfuls of the guacamole into the 12 halved eggs. Sprinkle with a little chile powder for color and arrange on a platter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Candy Corn Popcorn

I love the easiness of a popcorn treat... I have a tendency to look at those more often than anything else when I see them pop up on my computer screen or in my magazines. When it is adaptable for a holiday, I love it even more. This was a great sweet treat that I had for my night of Bunco at my house.

Candy Corn Popcorn
(Recipe found at lilluna.com via Pinterest)

1 bag plain popcorn
3 cubes vanilla coating or white chocolate
1 cup candy corn

Make popcorn in microwave as instructed. Pour out into a bowl trying to make sure no un-popped kernels get in there. Set aside. Put cubes of white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt as directed. I put mine in for 45 seconds and then did 15 second intervals until it was melted. Pour white chocolate over popcorn. Add candy corn. Mix until all well coated. Pour onto wax paper and sprinkle with Halloween sprinkles. Let set.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pizza Stuffed Shells

Did someone say pizza? Magic words in this house! I love stuffed shells and this was a new recipe that I hadn't tried yet. It turned out great and everyone loved this pizza style pasta dish!

Pizza Stuffed Shells
(Recipe found at spendwithpennies.com via Pinterest)

15-18 jumbo pasta shells
1/2 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon oregano
4 ounces pepperoni, chopped into fourths
1 green pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided

Preheat oven to 350. Cook shells al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until no longer pink. Add 3/4 of the pepperoni and cook 3 minutes. Add green pepper, oregano and tomato. Cook 3 minutes or until green pepper is softened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Fill each shell with pepperoni mixture and place in baking dish. Top with pizza sauce. Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil and cover with remaining cheese and pepperoni. Return to oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and melted.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekly Line Up - 6/19-6/25

This weekend is our town celebration and I am pretty excited... We usually have a few things going on, enough to keep us busy, but this year there is a whole lot more! We are going to be running from one event to another and there are a bunch of events that I want to do but overlap what we are already having to do. Shoot - I hate when I can't be in more then one place at once!! That means not a lot of cooking going on for the weekend though and if we eat at home at all it will be throwing something frozen in the microwave! :)

Friday - Loaded Baked Potato (I wait all year for these!!)
Saturday - Burgers from the Cub Scout Booth
Sunday - Brats/Green Beans/Salad (Father's Day request)
Monday - Spaghetti
Tuesday - Subway (Game Night)
Wednesday - Chicken Burrito Bowl
Thursday - Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cheesy Ground Beef Rice Casserole

This was a great hearty supper for our family. They are not too particular on the peas but I love them so every once in a while they just have to suck it up and eat them in a dish that I prepare! :) They actually didn't complain too much so that made it a success in my eyes!

Cheesy Ground Beef Rice Casserole
(Recipe found at hungrylittlegirl.com via Pinterest)

1 pound ground beef
2 onions, diced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
salt, pepper, oregano
1 cup frozen peas

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and turn on the heat to high. Roast the onions for a few minutes. Add ground beef and garlic, brown the ground beef completely, turn heat to medium. Spice with salt, pepper and oregano how you like it. Add rice, peas tomato sauce, 1 cup cheese and broth, let simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer everything into a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine the rest of the cheese with the sour cream. After 15 minutes bring the cheese/sour cream mixture on top of you casserole and bake for another 15 minutes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Honey Cornbread Muffins

I love cornbread, whether it is in bread of muffin form! I find it easier to serve in muffin form, so I usually make it that way no matter what the recipe calls for. These were super yummy warm out of the oven. I made extras and froze them - I wasn't impressed with how they tasted out of the freezer. They were a bit dry. But, definitely moist and sweet tasting right out of the oven! :)

Honey Cornbread Muffins
(Recipe found at foodnetwork.com)

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Smores on a Stick

These are pretty self-explanatory... we had a Cowboy themed night at ECFE and I was in charge of supper that night. So, of course my dessert had to be some kind of treat that you would normally find around a campfire. We went with Hot Dogs, Land Your Man Beans, jell-o and Smores on a Stick. The kids LOVED these and thought that they were so fun. I'm not a big plain marshmallow fan, but I thought that they were fun to have!

graham crackers, crushed

Place marshmallows on skewers. Dip into melted chocolate and quickly roll in graham cracker crumbs.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Root Beer Pancakes

Pop in a recipe? You know my kids are all over that! :) I wanted to see if they would even know that I was using a different recipe for pancakes or not, so I didn't even tell them what these were called. I usually use this recipe for all my pancakes! As soon as they took their first bite they asked why they could taste Root Beer in the pancakes! Good taste buds my kiddos have! :) They were light, fluffy and delicious!

Root Beer Pancakes
(Recipe found at fantasticalsharing.com via Pinterest)

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups root beer
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Add root beer, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Mix until mostly combined. Batter may be lumpy - that's okay! Cook 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter at a time on a preheated griddle. Flip when the top bubbles and cook until golden brown. Serve warm topped with butter and syrup.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekly Line Up - 6/12-6/19

Our first camping weekend is upon us and I couldn't be more excited! We are actually camping on our own this weekend (we usually head out with my brother and his family) so we told the kids that they could each invite a friend to go along... Could get interesting with 2 adults and 7 kids but we roll with it! :) So, you know I had to make some treats to take along! Other than that, baseball has pretty much taken over our lives for the summer, which I am ecstatic about even though it gets a little hectic... Hope you are having a great start to the summer!

Friday - Sub Sandwich
Saturday - *Hearty Western Casserole
Sunday - *Easy Chicken Club Pie
Monday - *LowFat Baked Ziti with Spinach
Tuesday - Eating Out (Boys have baseball on the road)
Wednesday - Fish Sticks/Tater Tots
Thursday - Chicken Caesar Wraps

Extras - Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

* = new recipes

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Potato and Ham Chowder

A warm soup on a cold or rainy day is the way to my heart... I love a good chowder soup, something hearty and usually with potatoes and this one hit the spot. You can add milk to make it as thick or thin as you like!

Potato and Ham Chowder
(Recipe found at recipeknead.com via Pinterest)

4 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk, or more, as needed
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
7 ounces ham, diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in ham, salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, if desired.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lazy Cake Cookies

I am the leader for my oldest son's Webelos group and that means that I have 9 hungry boys that want a snack after a long day at school! :) I was looking for something quick and yummy to make for them (it was a day that I completely forgot about making snacks) and I was scrounging through my cupboards to see what I had the ingredients for... This recipe popped into my head and I had everything on hand - yay!! Mix and spread in a pan - you can't beat that! The boys scarfed them down, I think that there was one left for the hubs when he got home from work. Super easy and with all the same great sweet taste as cookies!

Lazy Cake Cookies
(Recipe found at imalazymom.com via Pinterest)

1 box yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs beaten
5 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups M&M’s or mini chocolate chips

Mix together, put in a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 min.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Buffalo Wing Pretzel Sticks

I also made these for our girls' hunting weekend. They were a little too spicy for some of the girls that went with, but I thought they were a great salty snack to counter all the sweets that we usually have with us. They are also super tasty with an ice cold beer! :)

Buffalo Wing Pretzel Sticks
(Recipe found at momontimeout.com via Pinterest)

1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank's)
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used Lawry's)
16 ounces bag pretzel sticks
blue cheese dressing for dipping

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a jelly roll pan or two baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt wing sauce, butter and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, and seasoned salt and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Empty bag of pretzels into in a large bowl. Drizzle pretzels with wing sauce mixture and toss with tongs until evenly coated. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

No Peek Stew

This is a great "comfort food" meal and fairly easy to throw together. I love meals that I can double and freeze one batch of and this one would be super easy to do just that. Mix it all up and throw it in a freezer bag!

No Peek Stew
(Recipe found at thrivinghomeblog.com via Pinterest)

2 pounds of stew meat
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut up into chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut up into chunks
1 large onion, cut up into chunks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 ounces) can of green beans
1 (15 ounces) can of tomato soup
1 (15 ounces) can of cream of mushroom soup or I use this recipe

Preheat oven to 275. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Add stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions. Season with a little pepper and toss together. Dump can of green beans, liquid and all, over the top of meat and vegetables. Lastly, pour the tomato soup and cream of mushroom soup over the top. Gently combine. Tightly cover with foil. Place casserole dish on a cookie sheet with sides, in case of overflow. Bake at 275 degrees for 5 hours. Don't peek! Freezer meal instructions, if you want to freeze...fully cook and cool stew. Place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. To reheat, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator or in the microwave using the defrost setting. Then, warm over low to medium-low heat on the stove, gently stirring occasionally.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Dragon Cake

This was the cake that I made for my son's 10th birthday. He told me that he wanted a dragon and I immediately hit up Pinterest to find some way to make it happen. I'm not super creative but I can follow directions with the best of them! :) I think it turned out pretty well and he loved it, which is what matters most!

Dragon Cake
(Idea found at http://www.instructables.com/id/Fire-Breathing-Dragon-Cake!! via Pinterest)

This link will give you the best directions on how to cut the pieces. For the cake I used this Peanut Butter Cup Cake recipe. For the frosting I used this chocolate frosting recipe.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Candy Corn Cereal Snack Mix

This stuff is super addicting and you will not want to put it down... It is ultra dangerous to have in your house! :) I made this as a treat for the kiddos teachers at conference time and it was so delish that I had to make another batch the next weekend for hunting weekend! Devoured... AND I made a DOUBLE batch each time! Yummy!

Candy Corn Cereal Snack Mix
(Recipe found at www.yummyhealthyeasy.com via Pinterest)

1/2 box Golden Grahams (about 4 cups)
1/2 box Vanilla Chex (about 4-1/2 cups)
2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups candy corn

Mix cereals, coconut and almonds in a large mixing bowl. In a medium sized saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and butter and boil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. Add candy corn and stir together.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Crowd Pleasing Chicken

I made this one night when my brother in law and his family came over... No one could stop eating it! In fact his wife called me and asked me for the recipe a few days later and made it for their family less then a week later! I would say that is a success. It was easy to throw together and we were able to visit without me spending the majority of my time getting supper ready. Gotta love a recipe like that!

Crowd Pleasing Chicken
(Recipe found at crockadoodledo.blogspot.com via Pinterest)

8 ounces thick noodles
3 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
4 ounces canned mushrooms
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup or I used this recipe

Cook noodles per package instructions until almost done...a little firm. Mix with remaining ingredients. Make sure it is mixed thoroughly so the noodles do not stick together. Spray your crock pot, add mixture and spread around so it is even. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. DO NOT LIFT THE LID. You want it to bake and make a crusty brown outer edge.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Raspberry Glazed Pork Chops

Raspberry Glazed Pork Chops
(Recipe found at onceamonthmeals.com via Pinterest)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
2 tablespoons mustard
1 pound pork chops, boneless

Mix vinegar, jam and mustard. Brown pork chops on both sides in a large skillet. Pour in jam mixture. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pork chops from pan. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce by half, serving with pork chops. To make for freezer, mix vinegar, jam and mustard. Divide pork chops into gallon freezer bags. Pour sauce into pint freezer bags and place in bag with pork chops. Freeze. When ready to serve, thaw and brown pork chops on both sides in a large skillet. Pour in jam mixture. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pork chops from pan. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce by half, serving with pork chops.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites

Oh these were so yummy! While they would make a fantastic appetizer, these were great for supper and seriously you can't go wrong with bacon and cheese. There might have been a common theme with all of the appetizers I made this night... whoops! :) I wasn't super excited about these once they cooled down, so make sure you eat them up the first go round... It won't be hard, believe me!

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites
(Recipe found at inspiredreamer.com via pinterest)

2 pounds potatoes, I used 3 large potatoes
6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
2 cups medium cheddar cheese, shredded
4 green onions, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Wash and slice potatoes, somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Place potato slices in a large pot, cover with water and cook until water boils. Boil for about 5 minutes or less, depending on the thickness of your potatoes. You DON'T want them cooked through, and you definitely still want them firm or they will fall apart. Carefully drain potatoes and arrange on prepared cookie sheet, shingle style, slightly overlapping. Lightly brush potatoes with olive oil.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese, salt and pepper to taste and chopped bacon. Bake for 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. I placed it under the broiler for 2 minutes after baking for a little extra crunch. Top with chopped green onions.