Friday, July 31, 2009

Zucchini Bread

Have I mentioned our garden? We planted spontaneously on Memorial Day with a hope and a prayer that we'd get anything. It was kind of late to plant, even here in West Texas, and we didn't know what our soil was like.

Results? Tomato plants that are healthy but won't produce fruit until the fall when it cools down a bit. Pepper plants that are healthy but won't produce fruit. Carrots that didn't come up at all. Corn that is midget and still trying to produce corn cobs that will probably be midget too. However, the cantaloupes, watermelons, pumpkin, eggplants, yellow crookneck squash and zucchini are doing great!

Now that we're finally getting some zucchini I decided to get a handle on it early. I made a double batch of Great Zucchini Bread. I gave some away, froze some and kept a couple of loaves out for the family to snack on!

The recipe was so easy I can't wait to get more baked soon!


4 cup shredded zucchini
3 cup white flour
2 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup olive oil (I used 1/2 veg. oil and 1/2 olive oil)
4 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, and sadly, I didn't use them)

Mix all ingredients together and bake in greased loaf pans at 325° for 50 - 60 minutes on until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Header, New Look, New Recipe!

I am back from my vacation to the land of good friends, cheap groceries, good food and fun. Back to real-life. Good news is I came back with 6 new cookbooks to my name! Yay! My son, who will one day be as proficient in the kitchen as I am, found me a recipe I couldn't wait to try...Lemonade Pie! It was on the menu for last night.

Creamy, lemony, and cool - perfect for a Summer evening!

Lemonade Pie

1/3 cup Country Time Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared graham cracker crust (6 oz)

Place drink mix in large bowl, add water and stir until mix is dissolved. Add ice cream and beat with mixer until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze at least 4 hours until firm. Let stand at room temperature until pie can easily be cut.

***I doubled the recipe so I could make it in a 9x13 in. pan since we were having a larger group. Instead of a graham cracker crust I used cinnamon teddy graham crackers ground up. It was delicious! This was one that was so super easy and so refreshing on a hot Summer evening!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grill Time

I love cooking out in the summer and I love burgers. This is my recipe I always use for my basic burger.
Basic Juicy Burgers

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 Tbs. milk
1 Tbs. dehydrated milk powder
2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
Seasoning salt or Cajun all-purpose spice (to taste, I do about 1 Tbs)
Italian bread crumbs (premade from package, use until desired consistency)
1 egg

Put meat in large bowl and make a well in center. Add all other ingredients except for breadcrumbs into the well. Beat with fork. Mix together with hands gradually adding breadcrumbs until it will hold up well. Grill!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cleaning Recipes

I tried to make Brooke some of my Laundry Soap Recipe but somehow screwed up. (sorry Brooke, hope you got it figured out).
I thought I would post some of my favorite other cleaning recipes that I like. Brooke has posted some on here previously, I just thought I would add to it. I see recipes online a lot and have tried several. These are my favorite of the ones I've tried.

The first one is not really a recipe. Instead of Rinse Aid I just put vinegar in my rinse aid compartmant in my dishwasher. It really works, I promise you'll never go back. Jet Dry is $3.30 for small bottle. Vinegar $1.42 for one gallon. I've tried two different kinds of Homemade Dishwashing Powder and niether of them worked very well. If you know a good one let me know!

My favorite All-Purpose Cleaner is:

All Purpose Cleaner
1/8 cup Mild Dishwashing soap (Ivory or Palmolive)
2 Tbs. White Vinegar
1 tsp. of Borax
Distilled Water

Mix vinegar and borax. Add 1 cup hot water and stir until disolved. Let cool before pouring into 16 oz. spray bottle. Fill with water, leaving just enough room for the soap. Add soap. You can add 15-20 drops of any essential oil if you like. You can get one that smells good, like lavender. If I add any though I use Tea Tree or Melaluca Oil because it has great cleaning properties.

To clean my microwave I make a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. I place in a microwave safe bowl with 1 tsp. lemon juice. Place in microwave until it boils for about two or three minutes. You want the steam to go everywhere but don't let your bowl dry out. Turn it off and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then you can just wipe it clean.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summertime Treats

Yogurt Popsicles
1 package (4-serving size) fruit flavored gelatin
1 cup tap water
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
3 cups plain yogurt (homemade is fine)
Molds, Sticks, Freezer
Heat the water until it is boiling. You can do this on the stove or in the microwave. Stir it the flavored gelatin. Stir and Stir and Stir. Add the sugar. Keep stirring until the fluid is clear and everything is dissolved. This may take a full 5 minutes of stirring. Add the yogurt and beat until the mixture is smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.

3 eggs
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cocoa
2 c. water
4 1/2 c. milk, heated
1 tbsp. vanilla

Beat eggs, add rest of ingredients. Mix well. Pour into plastic popsicle cups and freeze.

Here's my tip: If you do not have molds you can pour into an ice cube tray. Cover with aluminum foil and poke toothpicks down each center. The foil will help hold the toothpick straight in the center.

Birthday Cake

For my sons birthday this year we did a cowboy theme. I got the pattern to cut out the boot from Parents Magazine. I just used my sons boot as inspiration for decoration because I didn't like how theirs was decorated. If I can do this anybody can!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Crispy Green Beans with Horseradish-Wasabi Dip

Have you ever been to TGI Friday's and ordered their crispy green bean fries? Yum. Add their incredible cucumber-wasabi ranch DIE for! Seriously. Amazing. This is about as close to the real thing as I can find, so now I just need to try it and make sure it's as good as I remember. Trust me, if you're in the mood for a great appetizer and you want to make yourself think you're eating healthy, try this. It's green bad could it be?


1/2 cup buttermilk ranch dressing
1/4 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper

4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
3/4 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
vegetable oil for frying

Make the dip by combining the buttermilk ranch dressing, cucumber, milk, horseradish, wasabi, salt, and cayenne pepper into a blender. Blend on low until well mixed. Pour into a small bowl and refrigerate. The dip will thicken as it chills.
Place the broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the beans, cover, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until beans are bright green and tender, about 8 minutes. Immediately drain beans into a colander and rinse under cold water. Set aside to cool.
Combine the beaten egg with milk in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in another shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Working with a handful of beans at a time, dip each bean first into flour, then into the egg mixture, and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place beans on a plate until all are coated.
Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep skillet (or use a deep fat fryer) over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry the beans several at a time, without crowding, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and cool. Serve with horseradish-wasabi dip.