Monday, September 21, 2015

Chicken and Zucchini Pasta

The zucchini has just been growing and growing in our garden. It doesn't seem to want to stop so I am continuing to make zucchini dishes quite often here. 

I wasn't specifically looking for a zucchini recipe this month for the Secret Recipe Club but I was thrilled to find one.  Sara from Cook with Sara has an awesome blog with a huge recipe index. I was able to find many recipes to try and I'm so glad I got the chance to look at her blog!

This meal was so good!  The only thing I changed was I left the mushrooms out and put in peas.  It is very versatile so you can change it up depending on your tastes.  Thank you Sara for a wonderful inspiration to use up my ever growing zucchini!  :-)

Chicken and Zucchini Pasta
Recipe adapted from Cook with Sara

8 oz. uncooked medium pasta shells 
1 Tbsp. olive oil 
1/2 onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, chopped 
1/2 tsp. dried oregano 
salt and black pepper to taste 
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup chopped cooked chicken 
3/4 cup chicken broth 
2 oz. light cream cheese 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta shells in the pot, cook until done.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, and cook the onion and garlic until tender. Mix in the zucchini, and season with oregano, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes and red pepper. Cook 10 minutes, until tender.  Add the peas and chicken and cook until heated. 

Stir the chicken broth into the skillet, and cook and stir until heated through. Mix in the cream cheese and stir well to combine. Add the parmesan cheese and stir well. Add the pasta and mix together. Makes 4-6 servings.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Zucchini Bites

I knew I'd be making something with zucchini this month for The Secret Recipe Club. Actually I've been cooking a LOT with zucchini this whole month. I haven't posted too much lately but I've been using zucchini in almost everything.  

This is our first  year growing a garden and everything is turning out wonderful. We have cucumbers, tomatoes and a mystery plant that we don't know what is growing.  Plus a watermelon that the kids are having fun watching grow. It's a funny shape but still fun to watch get bigger.  And then there are the zucchini.  These are mutant, huge, ginormous zucchini growing in such masses that when my daughter brought 3 more mammoths into the house the other day, I literally jump backed and screamed a little.  We've been invaded by zucchini. 

So when I found these Zucchini Tots on Julies blog A Little Bit of Everything, I jumped right on it.  In fact, I've made them several times this month and they are awesome.  I admit, while the first time I made them, I was exact with the measurements. Yet as I continued to make them, I just eyeballed the ingredients and threw it all in a bowl. It's a quick and easy recipe that is hard to mess up.  I love the onion so I tend to go heavy on the onion.  You can use different cheeses as well. I pretty much stuck with Colby jack and Parmesan as that's what we usually have on hand. These little guys are cute and delicious. I only wish I had another mini muffin pan!

I'm heading back to Julies blog when I need a dessert next.  She has a whole section of nummy desserts that look amazing! 

Zucchini Bites
Recipe from A Little Bit of Everything

1 cup zucchini, grated
1 egg
3 tbsp. onion, minced
1/4 cup cheese, I used Colby Jack and Parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. 

Grate the zucchini and place in a metal colander to drain.  Press with paper towels to get some of the moisture out. 

In a bowl, combine the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini and salt and pepper. 

Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top and press them in a bit.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the top is browned and set. 


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Monday, July 20, 2015

Morning Popovers

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was able to find some amazing recipes over at Living The Gourmet. I wanted to make her Yellow Squash with Sausage and Pasta.  It looks like something my family would love. However, I'm was just about to go on a vacation and was planning to empty the refrigerator all week and wasn't about to make something new. So the pasta will wait until after vacation.  

One thing that looked deliciously simple was her popovers. Now, I've blogged about popovers before.  These are just a bit different and the method is different.  I've made my other recipe several times and while they are good, they do turn out differently each time it seems. And, they deflate and don't look as pretty after cooled. I was thrilled that this recipe was better and the popovers turned out even better. 

These came out of the oven light and airy and they kept their shape.  Now, I don't have a popover pan so I just used a muffin pan.  It worked out just find and they were beautiful.  This recipe made 10 popovers which was perfect for us.  

Now they are called Morning Popovers but of course they can be made anytime of the day. I DID however make them in the morning. They made for an excellent breakfast.  Tammy is just one of the recipe developers over on The Living Gourmet and I am so glad I was able to be introduced to her blog.  

Morning Popovers
Recipe from The Living Gourmet

2 eggs
7/8 cup milk
1 cup sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. melted butter

Sift the salt and flour together.  Mix milk, butter and flour together until smooth. Pour into a greased popover pan or a muffin pan about 1/2 full. Let rest for about 10 minutes or until your ready to put them into the oven. Place in a cold oven and set oven temperature for 350 and bake for 45 minutes.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is one of my favorites. I've eaten it at potlucks, summer picnics and all kinds of get togethers. I've never made it though.  Until now of course. 

It all just came together quickly. I actually had all the ingredients. By accident. I accidentally bought pineapple rings instead of chunks. We just happened to have half a jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge. With everything else on hand, we made it in a snap. 

The part I was afraid of was the flip. I've had to flip things out of a pan before with disastrous results. I was so hoping that this would work. It came out beautifully and it was so pretty!  It was delicious and super duper moist. Maybe next time I'll be the one bringing this to parties this summer!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

3 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
9 slices canned pineapple in juice, drained
Maraschino cherries
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Put the butter in an 8 x 8 in square pan and set it over low heat to melt.  When melted, sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter.  Arrange the pineapple rings in a single layer on top of the sugar, making 3 rows. Place the maraschino cherries in the center of each of the pineapple rings.  Set aside. 

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside. 

Mix together the shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Blend the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Stir until just combined. 

Pour the batter carefully into the pineapple baking pan and bake for 40 minutes.  Test for if it's done with a toothpick or see if it springs back when you press gently on it.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan and put a serving dish on top.  Flip the cake onto the serving dish.  Leave the pan inverted over the cake a several moments to allow the syrup to soak into the cake. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tomato Focaccia

You want to make your whole house smell like an Italian bakery?  Well, this bread ought to do the trick. The house smelled amazing while this was cooking.  Every time someone walked in, they were raving how wonderful it smelled.  I wish my house smelled like this every day. 

Stephanie's blog Dessert Before Dinner was where I found this recipe.  I've been meaning to make focaccia bread for a while now.  I'm so glad that because of the Secret Recipe Club, I was able to do it.  Stephanie's bread actually looks better than mine but ours tasted superb.  The kids dipped theirs into marinara sauce, my brother dipped his in some balsamic and oil and I ate mine just as it was. Super nummy.

Check out Stephanie's awesome blog.  Her Watermelon Jello Shots sound really interesting. So does her Spinach Ravioli with Butternut Squash Filling. I just LOVE the color of these and totally am going to make them.  

Tomato Focaccia
Adapted from Dessert Before Dinner

  • 1 oz or 1 1/2 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 2/3 oz or 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp.salt
  • 2 lb or 8 cups bread flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tbsp. dried
  • water (about 2 - 3 cups)
  • tomatoes, basil, olives, Parmesan or feta cheese for garnish

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix yeast, sugar, salt, flour, eggs, tomato paste and rosemary. Begin mixing and slowly add water as needed until a soft dough forms. It should still be heavy, but uniform and not wet. Knead until dough comes together. If you don't have a stand mixer (like me) just mix and knead in a bowl until it comes together. 
  2. Let dough rise in an oiled bowl for 1 hour or until doubled in size
  3. Remove dough and roll out to the size of a half sheet pan. Line large pan with parchment paper or silpat liner. The dough should be about half an inch thick when rolled out. I found the bread to be huge so next time I will break it into two loaves.  The one big loaf was fine though. 
  4. Oil the top of the dough and top it with thinly sliced tomatoes, Parmesan, basil, olives and feta cheese as desired. Let rise another hour. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until everything on the top is golden. My one large loaf took about 25 minutes. 
  6. Cool completely before serving, if you can resist the awesome smell!