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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fresh Veggie Dinner

No new recipes for you tonight.  We had garden fresh vegetables tonight.  I do have a couple of pictures to share with you though.
About noon today I put on a pot of fresh green beans.  My husband likes then really cooked well, where as I like them just steamed every now and then.  All you have to do to have fresh home cooked green beans is put your beans in a pot with enough water that they won't burn after a long period of cooking.  You add salt and pepper and if you have it a piece of bacon.  That is all you need to have some really good cooked beans.  Same thing with field peas except I don't put a piece of bacon in them.
I boiled my ears of corn tonight instead of putting them on the grill.  Just get a big pot that the ears will fit in cover them with water, add some salt and pepper and maybe a little butter.  Very simple way to have fresh veggies.
To round out our meal I pan fried some  pork loin with just salt and pepper in a non-stick skillet.  Added to that was the zucchini crisp that I shared with you last week.  Even though it did heat up the kitchen cooking all these things it was a fairly easy meal to put together and well worth it.  Take advantage of the fresh veggies while they last.  If we don't get rain soon this could be the end of the fresh vegetables.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cranberry Pecan Zucchini Bread

With the explosion of fresh zucchini this year, the search is on for new recipes to use it all.  I found this new bread recipe last night and could not wait to try it.  So this morning I got the ole grater out and set out to try it.  I was not disappointed and don't think you will be either.  I want to try it again but use dry cherries and walnuts.  This is the lightest bread recipe that I have tried.
I was glad that Publix had their cranberries on sale the other week and I had some in the pantry.
Grate your zucchini first so you can drain the liquid off of them before you add it to the mix.
To two eggs add 1 1/3 c sugar.
Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla to that then mix.  My vanilla is clear so it is hard to see in the picture.
Blend those together really well.
Drain the liquid off the zucchini. Love my handy dandy small strainer.
Dump that into the egg mixture.
Add to that 2/3 c melted butter.  If you melt in the microwave wait a few minutes so it is still not hot.  Don't want to cook the eggs before their time.

Give that a few beats with the mixer.
Then add the cooled melted butter.
Add 2 teaspoons of baking SODA. I have had some kitchen disasters before when I was in a hurry and added powder instead of soda.
A pinch of salt.
Add one cup of all purpose flour at a time until you have 3 well mixed.
After the flour add 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.
And 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
Then add 1 c of cranberries.  One of the Craisin bags is right at or maybe a little over 1 cup.
Rough chop 1 cup of pecans to add to the mix.  You could also use walnuts.
Give the batter one more mix.
Then you will want to grease and flour two loaf pans.  After the pound cake stuck on me last week I decided I would go back to greasing and flouring the pans.  I have a stick of shortening that I use just for this.  I scoop some out on a paper towel and then run it around the pan.
Dump a little flour in the bottom of the pan and move it around until it is all covered.
Two pans greased and floured.
You could also make this in small loaf pans if you wanted to give some away.  Not sure but probably 4 or 5 small loaf pans would be needed.  I would grease and flour 4 and go from there.  You can also make some up and freeze them.
Batter is in the pans. Insert into a 350 degree preheated oven.
I checked it after 50 minutes to make sure that it was done.  I inserted a toothpick in to see if it comes out clean.  That is for those of you that are new to cooking.
My two golden loaves.  After they cool completely I will wrap then in press and seal or foil.
I couldn't wait to try it so I had to cut a piece while it was still warm.  I was not disappointed.  This recipe is a keeper.

Cranberry Pecan Zucchini Bread Recipe

2 eggs
1 1/3 c sugar
2 t vanilla
3 c grated and drained zucchini
2/3 c melted butter
2 t baking soda
pinch of salt
3 c all purpose flour
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t cinnamon
1 c pecans chopped
1 c cranberries
Grease and flour two loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 350.  Bake for about 50 minutes.

****  This recipe can have pecans or walnuts and raisins or cranberries.  You can choose whichever is your favorite.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zesty Hamburger Mayo

I found this in a summer magazine and couldn't wait to grill some hamburgers to try it out.
All it takes is some mayo, spicy or dijon mustard, and steak sauce.  Here's my Archie's again.
3/4 c of mayo added to a small bowl that you can cover and keep in the fridge.
To that add 1 tablespoon of steak sauce.
Also add 1 tablespoon of mustard.
Mix it well so that it is well blended.
Cover and put back in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I plan on keeping some made up and in the fridge all summer.  I also want to try it on some other sandwiches as well.
It was really good on our hamburgers tonight.
We had a great summer meal tonight and the zesty mayo was a nice addition to our hamburgers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Toast

I cleaned out my pantry yesterday and ran across some jars of applesauce that my mother had canned.  This brought back memories of apple toast that she use to make me for breakfast when I was younger. So this morning I decided that I would relive those childhood memories by making me a piece for breakfast.  That is the wonderful thing about food it reminds us of childhood memories or even of special people or events from our past.  So today let's be kids again and enjoy some apple toast.
All it takes to make this toast is some applesauce, butter, cinnamon and sugar and bread.  You can use store bought applesauce and it will still be the same I just happen to have some home made.
I spread a layer or applesauce on my bread.
Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top.  This is a jar of premixed but you can add your own.
I chose to use spray butter on top of mine but you can put a pat of butter on top as well.

The finished product.  Just as I remembered.  Hope you and your family will enjoy some soon as well.
I thought I would share with you some pictures of what I get to watch outside my kitchen window while I am cooking.  This is my little friend and my husband's mortal enemy. I call him Chip.  Dale is somewhere around.
Here are a few of my birds.  They were really flying around this morning while I was in the kitchen.  I enjoy all my birds at the feeders.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sour Cream and Bacon Crockpot Chicken

It's Crockpot Monday!  I decided last week that I would try and do a crockpot meal on Mondays and post it.  There is nothing better than walking through the door from a long day at work and smelling dinner cooking. So here is the second installment of Crockpot Monday.
This one can be made with things you probably have on hand.  Boneless, skinless chicken breast, bacon, mushroom soup, sour cream and a little flour.
I have one can of roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 c of sour cream.  I have also made this with regular cream of mushroom soup and it was fine.  In fact I think I like the regular mushroom soup better.  As always I use healthy request soup.  This is also lite sour cream.
Add 1/4 c four to the mix.  I just eye balled this measurement.
It was a little bit too thick to continue with the whisk so I switched over to the spoon.  Just make sure there are no lumps of flour.  Big mouthful of flour not good.
It is easier and less time consuming if you use the chicken tenders that have already been cut.  I had whole chicken breast and had to split them.
Wrap each piece of chicken with a piece of bacon.  No need to put a toothpick in it, the bacon will stay.
When you have all the chicken wrapped and put in the bottom of the crockpot, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  I had three chicken breast so I had 6 pieces of chicken.
Pour/spread the soup mixture on top of the chicken.  This mixture is thick so it is more of a spread on top.  Make sure to cover all the pieces of chicken. If I had thought about it first I would have put a little bit on the bottom of the pan.  Cover and set in the fridge until the next morning.  I always fix the crockpot the night before and put the center part in the fridge.  Then the next morning all you have to do it take it out of the fridge and turn it on.
 This is after a day of cooking.
I served the chicken with some wild rice and fresh peas and corn from the garden.

Sour Cream and Bacon Crockpot Chicken Recipe
8 bacon slices
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 10 oz cans roasted  garlic cream of mushroom soup ( can use regular cream of mushroom soup)
1 c sour cream
1/2 c flour
salt and pepper to taste

Wrap one slice of bacon around each boneless chicken breast and place in the bottom of a crockpot.
In a medium bowl, combine the soups, sour cream and flour and mix to blend.  Pour over chicken.
Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken and bacon are thoroughly cooked.  You can remove the chicken and beat the sauce with a whisk so that it is well blended.
Pour sauce over chicken. Serve over rice or wide egg noodles.

I used half the recipe when I made it and there was enough sauce to cover the chicken.

What will we have next week for Crockpot Mondays?  Tune in and find out.