Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Jul 11, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

I use lots of healthy zucchini recipes  (#1 and #2 are what my family craves most!), but sometimes I like to splurge. I'll make zucchini chocolate chip cookies for the kids (they LOVE them; you'll find the recipe in A Vegetable for Every Season) or I'll make chocolate zucchini cake. Oh yes. It's yummy. Here's the recipe. You're welcome.


Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe


1/2 cup milk*
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar*
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or melted extra virgin coconut oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, grated (about 2 medium zucchini)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 9x13 in. baking pan; set aside. Combine the milk and vinegar and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, butter, and oil. One at a time, add the eggs and beat until blended. Beat in the vanilla extract.

4. Pour about a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, beating just until blended. Add about a third of the milk and vinegar mixture (which should now look lumpy) until just blended. Repeat two more times, until all the flour mixture and milk and vinegar mixture is gone.

5. Fold in the zucchini.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 15-20 minutes; serve warm.


* If preferred, replace the milk and vinegar with 1/2 cup of buttermilk.


Jul 9, 2014

No Fail Lemonade Recipe

Lemonade is one of summer's most refreshing drinks. But please don't buy the powdered stuff in a can. (Have you read the ingredient list?! Plus, it doesn't taste like real lemonade!) Making lemonade is way too easy for you to waste money and health on store bought. Just use this no-fail lemonade recipe, which tastes just like Simply Lemonade.
No Fail Lemonade Recipe
3/4 cup to 1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water + 3 - 4 cups cold water
4-5 large lemons

1. Begin by juicing the lemons until you have 1 cup of juice. Set aside.

2. Make a simple syrup: Pour the sugar and 1 cup of water into a saucepan placed over medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
The sugar-water combination before stirring and heating.
The sugar-water combination when the sugar is completely dissolved.
3. Pour the simple syrup into a pitcher. Add the lemon juice. Add 3 - 4 cups of cold water, depending upon how strong you want the lemonade to taste. Stir well.

4. Refrigerate for at least a half hour before serving.

Easy peasy!

Jun 20, 2014

51 Great Garlic Scape Recipes

Garlic scapes are making quite a comeback, so even though I've written about them in previous years, I think they deserve another go round. This time, I've scoured the Internet for the best scape recipes available.
What is a garlic scape? It's the long, loopy flower stem on garlic - a stem you should always cut off, by the way, if you want the largest garlic cloves possible. (If you leave the flowers to bloom, the garlic plant will put most of it's energy into seed making, instead of clove making. On the other hand, garlic flowers are pretty, so if you have giant garlic cloves already, you might want them to go to flower and spread more garlic plants throughout your garden.) Onions can also produce scapes, but they are straight, not loopy, and they taste like, well, onions, instead of garlic.

Garlic scape.

If you don't grow garlic (which you should! They are easy peasy and grow well in containers.), you will probably find scapes at your local farmer's market.

But what do you do with them? I often just chop them up (from the bottom of the stem to the tip of the flower bud), freeze them, and use them in place of fresh garlic. Here are more ideas:

* Grilled scapes.
Scape beef satay, via Food52.

* Grilled ricotta toasts with scapes.

* Garlic scape beef satay. (Which makes me think it would be fun to try scapes in place of skewers for kebobs.)

* White bean and garlic scape dip.

* One pot pasta with garlic scapes, zucchini, and leeks.

* Bacon wrapped scapes.

* Pickled scapes.

* Dilly beans with scapes. 

* Fermented pickles with scapes.

* Garlic scape vinegar.

* Scape pesto. Use your favorite basil pesto recipe, but substitute 1/4 inch pieces of scapes for the basil. (Omit any garlic the recipe may call for.)

* Spinach, pea, and garlic scape soup.

* Scape soup. 

* Chicken, garlic scape, and potato soup.
Tomato salad with scape and kale dressing, via Paleo Spirit.

* Garlic scape ravioli.

* Chicken with garlic scapes and lemon. 

* Squash blossoms stuffed with scapes. 

* Sauteed scapes.  

* Stir fried scapes. 

* Roasted scapes.

* Tomato and scape salsa.

* Potato salad with scapes.  

* Baked cream cheese wantons with scapes.

* Mashed potatoes with scapes.

* Garlic scape hummus. 

* Garlic scape mustard.

* Garlic scape noodle casserole.

* Garlic scape biscuits. 
 
Scape fries, via The Daily Kitchen.

* Garlic scapes and roasted potatoes.

* Twice cooked pork with scapes. 

* Garlic scape and beef stir fry.

* Garlic scape carbonara pasta.

* Garlic scape, butternut squash, and kale frittata.

* Heirloom tomato salad with garlic scape and kale dressing. 

* Garlic scapes and roasted beet salad.

* Garlic scape chutney.

* Zucchini-garlic scape relish.

* Garlic scape taco sauce. 

* Garlic scape pizza.

* Garlic scape fries.

* Garlic scape vinaigrette.  

* Creamy garlic scape salad dressing. 
 
Garlic scape vinegar, via Pitchfork Diaries.

* Garlic scape risotto. 

* Garlic scape pasta primavera.

* Garlic scape marinated roasted red peppers. 

* "Rollerscapes" (a pasta dish). 

* Garlic scape and lemon thyme savory tart. 

* Scape and ricotta savory tart.

* Sriracha sauce with scapes.

* Tumeric sauce with scapes. 

* Garlic scape powder.

* Garlic scape jelly.  

Jun 16, 2014

Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Onion Recipe

Green beans should only be cooked this way. Or, at least that's what my family tells me. In fact, next to my lima beans with bacon recipe, this is my family's favorite veggie recipe. (Are you sensing a bacony trend here?)

These green beans are pretty hard to beat - and they employ my favorite technique for this particular vegetable: Blanching followed by sauteing - a technique that cooks the beans through but still keeps them crisp - not mushy!


Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Onion*

1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
3 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 small yellow onion, sliced into thin rounds
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I use 1/4 and while my kids find it a little spicy, they still like it)
Freshly ground pepper
Salt

1. Place a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the bacon and cook.


Drain on paper towels. Remove the skillet from the stove, but reserve all the pan drippings.

2. Fill a large pot with water and place over medium high heat. When the water comes to a full boil, dump the green beans in it. Blanch for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. (If the water comes to a boil, drain right away.)
Drain the green beans and run cool tap water over them, or dump them into a large bowl of ice.

3. Place the skillet with the bacon drippings over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion slices and saute until the onions are tender and golden.
4. Add the green beans. Break the bacon into pieces in the skillet. Add the red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes, until the green beans are bright green and te desired doneness.



* This recipe is adapted from one found at One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Apr 21, 2014

How to Make Meatloaf that's Not Greasy {Grease-Free Meatloaf Recipe}

Meatloaf is an easy, nutritious meal that even kids enjoy. But I have always disliked how greasy it often is. Recently, however, I found a simple solution to this problem.

Yes, you can buy super lean beef. But this makes for a very dry loaf.

And yes, you can buy special meatloaf pans. But I don't like having kitchen gadgets that are used for only one thing - especially if I can make a multipurpose tool (preferably one I already have!) work just as well. So...I use a wire cooling rack.

I simply place a wire cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet, then place the meatloaf on top of the wire rack. This allows all the fat to drain out of the meat during cooking. The resulting loaf is moist, but not greasy. Perfect!

Just be sure to use a wire rack with a mesh pattern on it. The smaller the mesh, the better. (Large holes in the rack allow meat to drop down onto the baking sheet. If you don't have this sort of cooling rack, they are pretty easy to find - and you will use it for other things, like cooling baked treats and canning jars.

A simple wire rack makes meatloaf grease-free.
I should note that some of the meat will stick to the cooling rack. This is acceptable to me because I can't stand greasy meatloaf. If you want, do as I do and scrape off the bits that stick to the rack - then go ahead and serve them. They don't look tidy, but they taste great.

You can use any meatloaf recipe you like with this method. The recipe below is my family's favorite. It's easy and basic. You can dress it up, if you like, with additional spices or a sauce on top. I usually serve it as is. It's adapted from a recipe I found at Housewife How-Tos.

Easy, Grease-Free Meatloaf Recipe

1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (90% fat or fattier)
1/2 cup regular oatmeal
1 egg
Salt
Pepper
4 tablespoons catsup
2/3 cup milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a wire cooling rack onto a rimmed baking sheet. (For easiest cleanup, you can line the baking sheet with foil first.) Set aside.

2. Place a skillet over medium high heat and melt the butter (or warm the olive oil) in it. Add the onion and saute until translucent.

3. Pour the onion and remaining butter or oil into a large mixing bowl. Add the beef, oatmeal, and egg. Season with salt and pepper. Add the catsup and milk. Mix together with your hands until well blended. If the mixture seems too runny, add more oatmeal, just a tablespoon at a time, until you prefer the texture. If the mixture seems to dry, add just a tablespoon of milk at a time until the texture is right.
4. Shape the mixture into two loaves and place on top of the prepared wire rack. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of a loaf reads 150 degrees F.
Before baking.

After baking.
 

Feb 12, 2014

Dandelion or Spinach Noodle Recipe



One of the most popular recipes in my Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook, having been featured at several blogs (including Backyard Renaissance and Simply Homemaking), is Dandelion Noodles. But even if you've read that book, you may not know you can use the very same recipe for any type of green, from nettles to collards and kale to - yes! - ordinary old spinach.



If you've never made homemade noodles before, you're in for a treat. They are easy to make - and taste so much better than anything you can buy. I consider this a beginner's recipe - that is to say, the taste is very mild. If you already love dandelions or other greens, feel free to increase the amount of greens in the recipe.

 
Spinach Noodle Recipe (Dandelion Noodle Recipe, Nettle Noodle Recipe, or Other Greens Noodle Recipe)

1 1/4 cups greens (dandelion leaves, spinach leaves, etc. If using greens with thick stems running through the leaf, be sure to cut the stems out. Pack down the greens in the measuring cup.)
2 tablespoons water
1 egg
Salt
1 + cups  all purpose flour
Pack down the greens when measuring. By the way, on the left hand side is my fruit and vegetable keeper. I highly recommend it! I find it adds weeks to the life of my veggies.
 
1. Place the greens and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium until the leaves are tender. Watch closely; if the water evaporates, add a tablespoon more. Don't allow the greens to scorch!

2. Add the egg and a pinch or two of salt, stirring to combine.


3. Carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until pureed. (Or, use a blender to puree the greens.)

4. Pour the leaf mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in 1 cup of flour. If the dough is still soft, add a little more flour and mix again, repeating until the dough is stiff. If the mixture is too dry, add water, a tablespoon at a time, until a stiff dough forms.


 5. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 1 minute. 


6. With a rolling pin, roll the dough very thin. Leave the dough untouched for 20 minutes. 


7.  Cut the noodles about 1/4 inch thick. (For the photos, I made the noodles pretty thick; my kids like them that way. But rolling the dough as thin as you can and cutting the noodles no more than 1/4 inch thick makes them more like the type of pasta you buy in the store.) If desired, you can loosely roll the dough into a cigar shape, cut into 1/4 inch strips, then unroll the noodles and cut them to whatever length you desire.

8. You may now cook the noodles, or you may dry or freeze them for storage.  

To dry the noodles, leave them in a single layer on the lightly floured counter, place them in a food dehydrator, or hang them on a pasta drying rack or a clothes drying rack. To avoid spoilage, be sure the noodles are completely dry before storing them. 

I personally never frozen fresh pasta, but you can. Just place the noodles flat on a baking sheet, or form into little "nests" and set them on a baking sheet; place the baking sheet in the freezer until the noodles feel solidly frozen, then transfer to an air tight freezer container for up to three months.

To cook the noodles right away, just toss into boiling water. Fresh pasta doesn't take as long to cook as dried or frozen pasta, so test for doneness frequently. (To test, just remove a strand of pasta with a fork, allow it to cool for a minute, then taste.) If it will be 2 hours or less before you need to cook the noodles, place them in an airtight container, or in a platter covered tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate and cook as soon as possible.

To serve, use whatever pasta sauce you like, or just butter the noodles.


Serves 2.

Jan 20, 2014

Easy Homemade Hash Browns

There are three reasons you might want to make homemade hash browns:

* DIY hash browns are healthier. Sadly, most frozen, store-bought hash browns contain GMO ingredients, soy, extra oils, preservatives, etc. (For example, see the ingredients in these Walmart brand hash browns, or in these Ore-Ida hash browns.)

* From scratch hash browns are more frugal than prepared, frozen hash browns, saving about $2 - 3 per pound.

* It's helpful to know how to make hash browns in case you run out of the frozen kind and don't want to spend the money and time to run to the store.

Besides, making hash browns from scratch is really easy.

What You'll Need:

Scrubbed potatoes
A large pot
A colander or strainer
A cheese grater

And if you want to freeze them for later use, you'll need:
wax paper or parchment paper
rimmed baking sheet
freezer bags

How to Make Homemade Hash Browns:

1. Place scrubbed potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. (How many potatoes you need depends upon the size of the potatoes. To give you an idea, though, four very large, baking style potatoes makes enough hash browns to fill about two full gallon-sized freezer bags)
2. Boil the potatoes until they are "al dante." You should be able to prick them with a fork, but the potatoes should still feel firm.

3. Drain, but DO NOT rinse. Allow the potatoes to cool in the colander. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the peels; they will slide off easily. Let the potatoes cool completely in the refrigerator. (If you try to grate the potatoes when they are still warm, you may end up with something that looks more like mashed potatoes than hash browns.)

For simplicity's sake, I recommend either boiling the potatoes in the morning and finishing them in the afternoon or evening, or boiling the potatoes the day before, placing them in the  frige overnight, and finishing them in the morning.

4. Grate the potatoes using a cheese grater (or food processor).

How to Freeze Homemade Hash Browns:

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Spread the hash browns over the paper in a thin layer.
2. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the potatoes are firm. Transfer to freezer bags, breaking into smaller chunks, as needed. Store in the freezer.


How to Cook Homemade Hash Browns:
1. Place a dab of butter, bacon drippings, or a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Set the skillet over medium to medium high heat.
2. When you can flick a little water in the skillet and it sizzles, add the hash browns. Season with salt, pepper, or other seasonings. Brown on both sides, until the desired crispiness and color is reached. Serve right away.

 

Jan 6, 2014

The BEST Cinnamon Roll Recipe Ever

We don't eat a ton of cinnamon rolls, but we do love them as a special, once-in-a-while treat. For years I've tried to find the perfect cinnamon roll recipe - and last month I finally found it. These are quite simply the best cinnamon rolls we've ever eaten. Period. The recipe comes from my Cuisinart breadmaker manual, but you can very easily make these cinnamon rolls without a bread maker. Here's how.

The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe Ever*

For the dough: **

2/3 cup milk, warmed to 80 - 90 degrees F. (use a meat or candy thermometer to make sure the temperature is just right)
3 eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups bread flour (yes, it must be bread flour!)
2/3 cup cornstarch
2 1/4 teaspoons fresh dry active yeast, at room temperature

For the filling:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Raisins (optional)

For the frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup ulsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

1. Begin by making sure all the ingredients (except the dough's milk) are room temperature. This makes a big difference in the finished cinnamon rolls!

2. Make the dough: Place the warm milk, eggs, butter, granulared sugar, salt, vannilla, flour, cornstartch, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. You may either stir them together by hand, stir them together with the dough hook of an elextric mixer, or pop them into a 2 lb. bread maker (making sure to follow the manufactuerer's directions about which ingredients should go into the pan first; usually all the wet ingredients go on the bottom of the pan and the yeast must not touch the liquid.) If using the breadmaker, turn it to the dough setting, so it will mix and rise the dough by itself, and skip to step 4.

3.If not using a bread maker, cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm location until it doubles in size.

4. Punch down the dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 10-inch round cake pans and set aside.

5. In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients until well blended. (If you like raisins in your cinnamon rolls, I recommend placing the desired amount in a bowl, covering them with water, and allowing them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Then drain and add to the filling.) Set filling aside.

6. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick, or a little less. If desired, you may divide the dough in half and roll each part out separately, for easier handling.

7. Brush the rectangle with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the filling mixture on top. Take one short end of the rectangle and begin rolling the dough into a cigar shape. Pinch along the opposite end to "seal" the roll. Use a serrated knife to cut the roll into equally-sized cinnamon rolls. (You should get about 24 cinnamon rolls total.)

8. Place the cinnamon rolls in the prepared cake pans. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm location to rise for 40 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

10. Once the rolls have risen, bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the rolls sound hallow when you tap them. Allow the rolls to cool for about 20 minutes.

11. In a small bowl, whisk together all the frosting ingredients. Brush the frosting onto the cinnamon rolls. (The frosting recipe makes a generous amount; apply according to your family's tastes and don't worry about using it all up - unless you like a lot of frosting!)

* If desired, you may cut this recipe in half.

** Throughout this recipe, it's fine to use lower-fat dairy products, if desired.

Nov 13, 2013

Easy Homemade Garlic Bread Recipe

Looking for a light-textured, garlicy bread to round off meals? I've got the recipe for you! It's based on a much more naughty cheese bread featured at Lauren's Latest, but with a few important changes. Even if you've never made bread before, you can make this bread. Just allow yourself about an hour and a half before dinner is ready to get started on it.

Easy Homemade Garlic Bread Recipe

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon real honey
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
Olive oil
½ cup butter
3 - 5 garlic cloves, minced
1. In the bowl of am electric mixer with a dough hook attachment (or simply in a large mixing bowl), pour in the water, honey, and yeast. Stir with a fork just a bit, to combine. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the mixture should be foamy. If its not, the yeast is no longer good.


2. Add the salt, then add a little of the flour. Mix, gradually adding in the rest of the flour. (If you're using a mixer, keep the speed on low.)

3. When the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, allow the mixer to keep churning away for 5 minutes. (If not using a mixer, knead the dough by hand until smooth but tacky.)

4. Remove the dough from the bowl. Spray the bowl lightly with oil, return the dough, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Set in a warm location for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.

5. Punch down the dough and cut into two pieces of about equal size.


6. Shape each dough piece into a baguette. If you twist the dough, it won't shrink as badly - plus it looks nice. Place the baguettes onto a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishrag. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F. and place the baking sheet on top of (not in!) the stove. Allow the dough to rise for half an hour.


7. Meanwhile, melt the butter and stir in the minced garlic.

8. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut deep slits into the bread every inch or so. Brush the garlic butter into them and all along the top of the bread.


9. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F. and place the baguettes inside. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until bread is golden.

Best served warm.

Oct 14, 2013

Green Tomato Pie Recipe

Not long ago, I harvested over 28 lbs. of green tomatoes from our garden. (Our weather is no longer warm enough for them to ripen on the vine.) I always keep some to ripen indoors (a great way to have fresh tomatoes through winter!), and some I keep for my favorite green tomato recipes. But this year, I also really wanted to try making - and tasting - our first green tomato pie.

I know, it sounds really weird. Even gross. But this Southern dessert actually tastes similar to apple pie. Even my kids, who were totally turned off by the thought of the pie, became huge fans after tasting it. It's easy, too!

Green Tomato Pie Recipe

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
5 tablespoons all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
A pinch of salt 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups thinly sliced green tomatoes (about 4 or 5 medium tomatoes) 
Pastry for 9 inch double crust pie (I used my Perfect Pie Crust recipe)
1 tablespoon butter
  
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add the vinegar and tomato slices, tossing to coat well. 

3. Line a 9 inch pie plate with one of the crusts. Spoon the filling into it. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the filling.

4. Lay the second crust over the the filling, cutting 3 slits in it. Or cut the crust into strips and lay them, lattice-style, over the filling.

5. Bake for 60 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender and the filling is bubbly. If desired, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.