Zucchini Fritters

I found this recipe in the July/August 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine.  I wasn't sure about them but they were SO good!  I could have eaten all of them I think, but I saved a couple for lunch tomorrow.

Zucchini Fritters

Grate 2 small zucchini into a colander in the sink; toss with 2 tsp salt and let sit 10 minutes.  Squeeze out the liquid.  Mix with 4 minced scallions, 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and dill, 1 beaten egg, 3/4 cup grated parmesan, and 1/4 cup flour.  Pan-fry spoonfuls of mixture in olive oil, flattening with a spatula, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Meatball Subs

I had some meatballs in the freezer so I baked them in the oven, then threw them in a pot with some spaghetti sauce.  We served them with slices mozzarella cheese (because I was out of parmesan).

I usually just throw some different seasonings in my meatballs but when I use them for spaghetti, or something Italian, I usually use garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.  If it's a little soft I may add a little bit of bread crumbs, or an egg if it's too dry.

Tortellini Soup

The best soup ever!!  Unfortunately I'm the only one in my family who really loves this recipe.  My husband eats it because that's what's for dinner but he doesn't love it.  And my kids will eat a couple bites of a tortellini but that's it.  Good think I like it enough to eat all the leftovers!

Tortellini Soup

Brown 1 lb. of Italian sausage with the casings removed.  Saute 1 chopped onion and 2 large garlic cloves.  Combine above.

Add 2 cans of chicken or beef broth
1 oz can of tomato soup
1 diced green pepper
1 sliced carrot
3/4 lb can chopped tomatoes
2 Tb basil
1 tsp oregano

Simmer 40 minutes.  Add 8 oz cheese tortellini 5 minutes before serving.  Best when soup is made ahead.  Add tortellini last.

**We aren't big fans of chunks of tomatoes so here's what I use in mine:

Jimmy Dean Italian sausage
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
beef broth
green pepper, red pepper, carrot
onion, garlic
basil, oregano
I probably doubled the amount of tortellini

***I also make a double batch of this.  It freezes well if you make it to the point of adding the tortellini.  Then all you have to do is thaw is, get it simmering, and add the tortellini.

This post also linked to:
Mouth Watering Monday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Butternut Squash Bread

I've made butternut squash rolls before that we ate but weren't terribly excited about.  This was really good though.  My husband ate almost the entire loaf by himself!

Butternut Squash Bread

1 (.25 oz) pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup and 2 Tb mashed, cooked butternut squash
1/2 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tb plus 2 tsp butter or margarine, melted
2 Tb and 2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I did half white, half wheat)

In bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes.  Add squash, milk, eggs, butter, sugar, and salt; mix well.  Gradually add 3 1/2 cup flour; beat until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form soft dough.  Turn onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Shape into three loaves; place in greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees fr 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden.  Remove from pans and cool on rack.

**I only got two loaves out of this but I had one larger pan.  I also froze one of them for later.

This post is linked to:
Meatless Mondays


Menu Monday

Here's our plan for the week, subject to change of course!:

Monday: Meatball Subs, zucchini fritters, fruit
Tuesday: Red Beans and Rice, fruit
Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie, fruit
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday:  I'm gone so probably pizza for the hubby and kids
Saturday: Spaghetti, green beans, cheese stuffed breadsticks
Sunday: Leftovers or BLTs with Cheesy Potato Bites

Recipes to Watch For:  zucchini fritters, cheesy potato bites, four layer dessert, butternut squash bread, tortellini soup


Almond Rice Pilaf

This is my new favorite side dish.  In fact, I would eat this alone as a meal, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I will say, however, you need to like onions because it does have a fairly strong onion taste to it.

Brown 3/4 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup slivered almonds in 1 Tb butter.  Add 2 cups chicken broth; bring to a boil.  Stir in 2 cups uncooked instant rice (I use brown rice).  Cover; remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.  Serves 6.

Roasted Garlic and Nut Crusted Fish

1/2 cup Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
4 tilapia filets (1 lb)
1/4 cup finely chopped plantars mixed nuts
2 Tb finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp peanut oil

Pour dressing over fish in shallow dish; turn fillets over to coat both sides with dressing.  Refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate.  Meanwhile, combine nuts, cilantro, garlic and oil.

Heat over to 375 degrees.  Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade.  Place fish on lightly greased baking sheet.  Top with nut mixture; press lightly into fish to secure.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

**Changes I Made with What I Had on Hand:
--I just used olive oil and balsamic vinegar for my marinade.
--Didn't have cilantro so I just used some garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
--I used a mixture of pecans, almonds, and walnuts.


Ghetto Margaritas

Pardon the name but that's what it was called when I was taught how to make it and I'm not sure what else to call it.  They're so very yummy and easy.  Be careful though, it's more potent than you think!

1 bottle Corona ( I used lite)
1 can frozen pink lemonade or raspberry lemonade
12 oz sprite (or some kind of lemon lime soda)
12 oz silver tequila (or I've used vodka and it's been just as good.)

Pumpkin Muffins

I posted a Lemon Muffin recipe like this not too long ago, explaining that I could never find canned pumpkin around here to make the pumpkin ones that I liked.  Well, I finally found some and bought 5 large cans so I made some muffins with one of them.  This is the most simple recipe and freezable as well.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 can pumpkin pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

Mix pie filling and cake mix until thoroughly mixed.  I don't like many seasonings so I only add two or three shakes of cinnamon and one or two shakes of nutmeg and ginger.  Mix until combined then bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Butter Herb Fish

This was a very simple fish dish that had lots of flavor.  All I did was take some white fish, in this case I had red snapper.  Place in a baking dish.  Mix butter with any herbs, I used garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Smear over fish and bake until done.

Criss Cross Apple Buns

Okay, so pardon the picture!  Next time I realize I need to make the "Xs" smaller so they aren't gapping wholes on top.  I also need to add more filling next time.  They were really good on top but the bottoms were just all biscuit.  The picture in the magazine looked really good and I think a tiny "x" on top would work.  I will definitely make these again though.  They were tasty and very easy to make.  I froze them before baking and have another batch in the freezer, ready to try the adjusted way.

Criss Cross Apple Buns

1 1/3 cup chopped peeled tart apples
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 Tb all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
dash salt
1 pkg large refrigerated flaky biscuits
2 tsp butter, melted

In large microwavable-safe bowl, combine apples, walnuts, raisins, 3 Tb sugar, flour, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, and salt.  Microwave 2-3 minutes or until almost tender.

Flatten each biscuit into a 5-inch circle.  Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle a rounded teaspoonful of sugar mixture over each biscuit.  Top with 1/4 cup apple mixture.  Bring up edges to enclose mixture; pinch edges to seal.  Make like a little ball.

Place seam side down in ungreased muffin tin.  Brush tops with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  With a sharp knife, cut an "X" int the top of each.

Bake at 350 degrees fr 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Apple Turnovers

I only baked one of these to try it and stuck the rest in the freezer.  Next time I think I'll make them smaller and cut the extra dough off the edges.  I sprinkled mine with powdered sugar but I think they'd be good with an icing, which I'm not good at making but I might try the next time I bake these.  I'll say this wasn't the best of recipes.  The taste isn't bad but I think the dough could be more flaky or something.  Might try a different recipe next time.

Also, I doubled this and got 7 turnovers.  But if you made them smaller you could get more I guess.  Just didn't seem to make much dough.

Apple Turnovers

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter or Crisco
1 pkg (3 oz.) cream cheese

Combine.  Make into 4-6 little balls.  Chill.

1 1/2 cup chopped apples (fine)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg

Mix together.  Spoon into rolled dough to make individual turnovers.  Seal edges with a fork.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Apple Bread

I haven't tried this yet but it sure smelled yummy!  I double this recipe and got three regular sized loaves out of it.  They're all in the freezer at the moment but I'm looking forward to trying this.

Apple Bread

2 cups flour (I used half white and half whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups peeled, finely chopped apples
1/2 cup pecans, optional

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in dry ingredients and apples and pecans a half at a time.

Pour into well greased, well floured, 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans.  (Or small loaf pans, or muffins)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove to cool.

Apple Pie Muffins

I tasted one of these before I stuck them all in the freezer and they weren't bad.  I would suggest just leaving the topping off though. It didn't do anything for the muffins and didn't really add any flavor or anything.

Apple Pie Muffins

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed and a little heaping
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 medium apples, finely chopped

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Then, mix together brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.  Add diced apples to flour mixture and pour the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients.  Stir to moisten the dough.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 way full.  Mix together topping of oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl, and spoon onto tops of muffins.  Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown.  Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.

Apples, Apples, Apples!

We went apple picking this weekend so bare with me while I post all these apple recipes.  I was baking all weekend and didn't even make a dent in these.  Not sure what else I'll come up with.  My mom says you can can apple pie filling so I may try that because I could use that for all sorts of things.

Homemade Applesauce

My kids love applesauce but most things I make homemade they don't like.  So I wasn't surprised that my husband and I both liked this better than the store bought but neither of my kids liked it.  My daughter took one bite and wouldn't eat it and my son wanted to know why it wasn't white.  So next time I'll be using white sugar and less cinnamon to see if he'll eat it.

Cut up 2 or 3 apples.  Put in a pan on medium heat with 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon.  Cook until apples are very soft.  Cool.  Mix in blender until consistency of applesauce.

Brown Rice Black Bean Casserole

Not a very original name but that's what it was called.  This one works great as a main dish or a side dish.  We enjoy it with fish and I usually double it and freeze a batch for later.  The picture doesn't make it look very appetizing but trust me, it is!  Look at all that cheesy goodness and all those yummy veggies.

Brown Rice Black Bean Casserole

1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup diced onion
1 medium zucchini, thinkly sliced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1/3 cup shredded carrots
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
1 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste

Mix the rice and vegetable broth in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a large casserole dish.  Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, and cook onion.  Mix in other veggies.  Season with cumin, salt, and pepper.  Cook and stir until zucchini is lighly brown and heated through.

In large bowl, mix the cooked rice, onion, zucchini, beans, chiles, carrots, and 1/2 the cheese.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover loosely and bake 30 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking 10 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Change I make:
--I used about 2 cups of beef broth and 1 1/2 cups rice for a single batch and I use instant rice.
--I used zucchini, onion, carrots, and green pepper and diced them all.  I've also added yellow squash and eggplant before.
--The original recipe called for chicken in this but I leave it out.
--I also omitted the green chilies
--I used garlic powder, salt, and pepper as my seasonings.


Chickpea Salad

I know this isn't really a recipe but I never think to try simple things so I thought I'd post this.  This is my newest addiction.  I think I could eat this salad every day!  Even my 2 year old daughter loves it.

Make a bowl of whatever lettuce you want to use.  Top with chickpeas, scallions, green pepper, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds, and ranch. (Or whatever dressing you choose!)  It's so yummy!  The combination of chickpeas and sunflowers seeds get me every time. YUM!

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

This is an easy, yummy meal that isn't too bad for you.  We make this quite often and even the kids enjoy it.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb paprika
                                                       1 Tb garlic powder
1 Tb poultry seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
4 thick cut boneless pork chops
salt and pepper to taste

In large bowl whisk together olive oil, broth, and seasonings.  Pour into slow cooker.  Cut small slits in each pork chop with tip of knife, and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Place pork chops in slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours.  Baste periodically with sauce.

***To make a more healthy version, I used only a couple tablespoons of oil and more broth for my sauce.

Homemade Granola

I've been trying to eat yogurt with granola and thought it would be more healthy, and cheaper, to make my own.  Found this recipe in the Food Network magazine but I must say I don't like how it turned out at all.  It got a little burnt and wasn't as sweet as I like it.  So I'll be trying a different recipe soon.

Mix 3 cups rolled oats, 1 cup mixed seeds, 1 cup chopped mixed nuts, 1/4 cup shredded coconut and a pinch each of salt and cinnamon.  Toss with 1 Tb vegetable oil and 3 Tb honey.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees, tossing.  Cool; stir in 2 cups mixed dried fruit.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

I'm not sure about this recipe.  They turned out really good, however it would take me a long time to make enough to last a little while.  Not sure it's worth making homemade just because of the time, although I did like the taste and texture better than store bought.

Preheat broiler to high.  All you do is cut corn tortillas into triangles.  Place in a single layer on a pan.  Spray both sides with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. (or other seasonings)  Bake for 5 minutes, turn over, and bake another 5 minutes.

NOTE: I baked for five minutes on the first side and some of them were already done and starting to get a little too dark.  I think you could do 6 ot 7 minutes without flipping them and they would still turn out just fine.

Fish Sticks

Homemade Fish Sticks

4 filets of white fish (I used tilapia)
panko and/or bread crumbs

Put a couple tablespoons of flour in a bowl, crack one or two eggs into another bowl and beat, place bread crumbs and/or panko in another bowl and add seasonings as desired. (I used garlic powder, salt, and pepper.)  We like panko because it gets a little crispier but I didn't have quite enough so I used a mixture of bread crumbs and panko.  Normally I only use plain panko and season it up myself.

Cut fish into "sticks". Heat oil in skillet. Roll fish in egg, then flour, then egg again, then bread/panko crumbs.  Cook in oil for a few minutes on each side until browned and cooked through.


Taco Pasta Shells

Another great freezable meal.

Taco Pasta Shells

2 lb ground beef
2 envelopes taco seasoning
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1/4 cup butter/margarine, melted

1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Montery Jack
1 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 cup sour cream
3 green onions, chopped

Cook beef; drain.  Add taco seasoning and cream cheese; cover and simmer 5-10 minutes until melted.  Transfer to a bowl, chill 1 hour.  Cook pasta; drain.  Gently toss with butter.

Fill each shell with about 3 Tb meat mixture.  Place 12 shells in a greased 9 inch square dish.  Cover and freeze up to 3 months.

To prepare, spoon salsa into greased 9 inch dish.  Top with stuffed shells and taco sauce.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and chips.  Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through.  Serve with sour cream and onions.

To Use Frozen:

Thaw in fridge for 24 hours.  Remove from dish.  Add salsa to dish, top with shells and taco sauce.  Cover and bake as directed above, except for 40 minutes. 

2 shells per serving

Chicken Pot Pie

This is an easy one that works well to double and freeze.  We don't really like the frozen veggies in casseroles because they're crunchy so I doubled this recipe and instead used one can each of green beans, corn, carrots, and peas.  I also don't roll out the biscuit topping.  I just mix it up and drop by spoonfuls on top.

Chicken Pot Pie

6 Tb butter/margarine, divided
3 Tb flour
2 cup chicken broth
1 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, divided
1/4 tsp tabasco sauce
1/2 lb cubed cooked chicken
2 medium carrots, sliced and cooked
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cup dry biscuit mix
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In large pan, melt 3 Tb butter.  Stir in flour, cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Gradually add broth.  Stir constantly; bring to a boil for 1 minute.  Stir in 1/2 tsp rosemary, tobasco, chicken, and vegetables.  Spoon mixture into greased 2 quart baking dish.

In medium bowl combine biscuit mix and remaining rosemary.  Cut in remaining butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in milk.  On heavily floured surface pat out dough 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 10 triangles.  Arrange on chicken mixture.  Bake for 25 minutes.


Blackberry Cobbler

This isn't the best thing for you to eat but my husband asked for it so I made it.  I'm currently on a diet so I didn't even get to taste it but it sure looked, and smelled, good!

Blackberry Cobbler

3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tb cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 Tb butter

Biscuit Topping:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tb sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup milk
In large saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, and cinnamon.  Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into fruit mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour into greased 8 inch square baking dish.  Dot with butter.

For topping, in a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in milk just until moistened.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto hot berry mixture. 

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees, for 30-35 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown.  Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream.