Zucchini Day!

Yesterday I went a little crazy with zucchini… but it’s so good! I made Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Noodles (for dinner). Here are the recipes I used and some tips!

Zucchini Bread:

Martha Stewart will forever be the Queen of cooking and lifestyle ideas. I used her Zucchini Spice Bread Recipe and it turned out great! The only things I would say for this recipe is that the bake time was definitely on the longer side – I would keep it going for 55 minutes in a 9x5x3in pan. Otherwise, it tasted perfect!

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Zucchini Noodles:

The recipe I used for the Zucchini Noodles were on Pinterest, from a blog called ifoodreal. The zucchini noodles were very easy to make; all you do is slice them using a grater or slicer, sauté the chicken with cumin, salt, and pepper, add the noodles, throw in some lime juice and cilantro, (add spiciness with chiles or jalapeños to taste) and it’s ready in less than two minutes!

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It was a light and fresh dinner, and made plenty of leftovers (cut the ingredients in half to serve 2 people). I will definitely make this again when I need that healthy kick in my diet!

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Recipe Sources:

http://www.marthastewart.com/318960/zucchini-spice-bread
http://ifoodreal.com/zucchini-noodles-with-cilantro-lime-chicken/

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Rosemary Sea Salt Pretzels

Rosemary Sea Salt Pretzels

I just made these today from a recipe I found on Pinterest and they were AMAZING. This was my first time experimenting with yeast, but it turned out to be a huge success!

Here is the recipe I used:
http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/rosemary-sea-salt-pretzels-with-rosemary-cheddar-cheese-sauce/#_a5y_p=1142276

Only thing I would suggest is to eat the pretzels with cream cheese instead of the cheddar cheese sauce. The rosemary with the cream cheese is phenomenal.

Popeye Muffins

Popeye Muffins

A healthy twist to a classic blueberry muffin, we’ve added spinach for some key vitamins. Why not add a little something extra which makes your snack better for you? They look funny but don’t taste strange or bad at all – if the spinach is mixed in properly, it’ll still taste exactly like a blueberry muffin!

So the recipe I used can be found on the foodnetwork for a classic blueberry muffin. The key to mixing in the spinach thoroughly is by taking the 1/2 cup of milk and pureeing it with some spinach (to taste) and you mix it in by following the rest of the recipe!

Just like Popeye, you can now have spinach at any time of the day!

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

The week before Thanksgiving, my friends and I had a small “Friends-giving” at our house. Each person brought food for the table, potluck style. We had the bird (chicken this time), stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and the best part – a pumpkin cheesecake! My contribution was a pumpkin soup, made from scratch with a sugar pie pumpkin, chicken stock, and heavy cream. It was easy and fun to make since we cut up the pumpkin and baked it to make the puree – something I had never done before. The extra pumpkin we kept for decorative purposes, and we even got to bake the pumpkin seeds (which were gone within minutes!). Definitely a good recipe for a delicious and cute fall soup!

Recipe can be found here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/11/pumpkin-soup/

Gluten Free Pizza

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In an effort to be healthy and whatnot, my friend Becca and I have decided to start going gluten-free! Today for dinner we made a pizza with gluten free dough bought from New Leaf (healthy grocery store chain) and we cut up some peppers, onions, tomatoes, and broccoli as toppings. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese, bake for 10 minutes, and it’s all ready! It actually tasted good too – being gluten free, of course it wasn’t as fluffy and decadent as normal pizza, but for being a healthy alternative, we were pleasantly surprised by it’s similarity in taste. I would definitely recommend it and we will definitely be making it again!

cake pops

cake pops

these became a huge fad last year – and of course i picked it up, making them obsessively every week.
they are fun and taste great but do require a lot of work, especially if you make it from scratch.

the ones pictured here are made from a standard betty crocker cake mix (chocolate), and the cake pop sticks were purchased from michaels craft store.

ingredients:
cake mix (betty crocker chocolate)
meltable chocolate/baking chocolate
sprinkles
cake pop sticks

instructions:

1. bake the cake following the directions on the box (or if you’re really gutsy, bake a cake from scratch!) can be any flavor of your choice.
2. let the cake cool, then dig your hands in and start crumbling the cake.
3. mush the cake together into small balls for the cake pops.
4. stick the cake pop sticks into the balls.
5. melt the chocolate, then carefully dip the cake ball into the chocolate (you might have to use your fingers or a spoon to help spread the cake around). make sure you are careful so the cake doesn’t fall off the cake.
6. this part is tricky because the chocolate can sometimes drip or the cake ball can fall off – but you need to place the sticks right side up (so the cake is up) to let the chocolate cool and harden. i like to use a rack that holds the sticks upright, i have also used cups which worked well.
7. at this point, you sprinkle the cake pops to your heart’s desire!
8. once all of the cake balls are covered in chocolate and sprinkles, place the cake pops into the fridge.

once they are completely hard and cooled, they are ready to enjoy!

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apple tart

apple tart

this apple tart we also made from scratch using the apples from becca’s grandparents garden.
we took the recipe for the apple pie below (see post apple pie) and tweaked it a bit to make it into a tart!
it was very simple, the only thing different from making it into a pie was creating the flat dough and lining the apples. the recipe and ingredients were all the same.

the ideas we come up with when we are procrastinating!

personal pumpkin pies

personal pumpkin pies

made these mini/personal pumpkin pies the other day! they are very simple, just a standard pumpkin pie recipe and dough recipe made into muffin tins. here are the recipes i used:

pumpkin pie filling:
1 can pumpkin pureephoto 2 2 eggs1 12oz can evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar1/2 tsp salt1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

(spices – besides the cinnamon! – are optional! spice up to your own liking)

dough:
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp white vinegar

(mash up butter and mix with flour, then add liquidy ingredients)

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– place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow it to harden

– grease the muffin tin- roll out the dough and place into the muffin tins in a pie-crust like manner

bake at 425° for 20 minutes

can use leftover dough to make leaves and other shapes for a more decorative touch! (might need to make extra dough for that)

yields about 24 servings

perfect for parties and a big family thanksgiving meal!