Sunday, July 31, 2011

Recipe using yellow squash & zucchini

 I am sharing this just as I got it from a blog I subscribe to (links to it are "recipe" and Kayln) and it was such a hit that I have made four dishes of it so far! My husband and teenage daughter loved it and so did my D-I-Love. WONDERFUL recipe.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe adapted from a recipe by Karen Niessing in Penzeys Back to School 2011 Catalog, with suggestions from my sister Pam.)

2 medium-sized zucchin, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2-4 T chopped fresh basil (or even less, depending on how much you like the flavor of basil)
2 T thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup low-fat white cheese (I used Pizza Cheese, which is a low-fat blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, and Parmesan)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (I would use a little less if you only have the very finely grated Parmesan from a can)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop. Slice green onions.

Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and both kinds of cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.

When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked. Serve hot.

This kept well in the fridge overnight, but mine was gone the next day so I don't know if it would last longer than that!

This printable recipe from

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My favorite, new, THIN pizza crust

I have honestly made this so many times now that I cannot begin to guess a number. I will tell you this: when I am baking ANYthing now that resembles dough ... my kids will say: "You aren't making pizza AGAIN, are you?!"
They loved it but after a few weeks... they started tiring. I did not. I have made these with thinly sliced yellow squash and zucchini straight from the garden, with portabello mushrooms, with sun dried tomatoes, broccoli, chicken, baby spinach leaves, red onion, Vidalia onion, and the list keeps going on and on and on and on.
I shared the link at the bottom of the site I got it from. No surprise ... another one from The Kitchn!

1-Ingredient Ice Cream ... Made it!

I tried this one ingredient ice cream recipe and wowed everyone in the room! At first, the kids, teens and adults looking on had skeptical glances at the food processer and joked about it possibly not working so well. Within minutes... it all changed to incredulous stares and the tapping of metal spoons flying out of the drawer and into the bowls. This cold treat has a beautiful texture and I drizzled a tiny bit of honey on mine and made a second batch with peanut butter. Very good!

Classic Southern Pralines

One of my FAVORITE blogs is:

 ... and I've developed quite an addiction to it. When the following recipe was shared there for praline pecans posted... I couldn't wait to try these. I've made them two times and they were devoured all too quickly. A lady at church tried some and asked to buy some from me! I followed the directions to the letter. 

Sweet No-Bake Recipe: Classic Southern Pralines

2011-06-23-Pralines1.jpgIt was 95° in my apartment and not a day to be anywhere near the kitchen. But my sweet tooth, well, it had other plans. Luckily, our Southern neighbors are used to facing such demands in the hottest and stickiest of weathers, which is why they had the good sense to invent the praline.
2011-06-23-Pralines2.jpgYou can call the praline a cookie, because it's shaped like one, but it's rightfully a type of candy. You make them entirely on the stove top by boiling a mixture of chopped pecans, sugars (two kinds!), butter, milk, and vanilla until it becomes creamy and caramelized. But if the sight of a candy thermometer makes your head hurt, don't worry. These cookies (er...candies) are different.
Counter-intuitively for those of us who do much candy-making, the key to a good batch of pralines is stirring the pot constantly. This is the one time when that annoying habit sugar has of crystallizing at the least provocation is actually something that you want. You stir as the sugar syrup comes up to a boil, stir while it's boiling, and keep stirring as it cools down into something manageable.
The moment when you feel the syrup turn grainy with sugar crystals, that's when you start dropping them onto your parchment paper like it's going out of style. Don't worry about being neat or forming perfectly uniform candies; just scoop, drop, and let them form whatever shape they may. (Incidentally the praline pros down in Louisiana call the accidental drippings between scoops "praline turds." Poetic, right?!)
I took a class in making pralines at The New Orleans School of Cooking during my trip to New Orleans. They're the perfect warm-weather treat because they require minimal effort, minimal time in front of a hot stove, and no baking. Plus they're ready in about fifteen minutes. And trust me, you want to try them while they're still warm. They practically dissolve on your tongue and that, right there, is heaven.
2011-06-23-Pralines3.jpgClassic Southern Pralines
Adapted from The New Orleans School of Cooking
Makes 20-50 pralines, depending on how large or small you drop them
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) granulated white sugar
3/4 cup (6 oz) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk - whole is preferred but 2% is fine
6 tablespoons (3 oz) salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup (12 oz) pecans - I like them roughly chopped, but you can leave them whole or chop them more finely. You can also toast the pecans, if desired.
Before starting to cook, lay out a piece of parchment, aluminum foil, or a silpat for the pralines. Set a second spoon nearby in case you need to scrape the candy off the first spoon.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, at least 4 quarts. Do not use a smaller pan as the syrup will bubble up during cooking. It's also harder to stir in a smaller pan.
Cook the syrup over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil, start stirring constantly. Let it boil for about 3 minutes, until the syrup registers 238°f - 240°F on a candy thermometer.
Remove the pan from heat immediately and keep stirring. Stir, stir, stir! It will become creamy, cloudy, and start to thicken. When you feel it starting to get grainy, the pralines are ready. You can also hear it if you listen closely; the crystals will make a scraping noise against the side of the pan.
Drop spoonfuls of the praline syrup onto your waiting parchment. Work quickly, as the syrup starts to set as it gets cool. Let the pralines cool and harden for at least ten minutes before eating. They will keep in an airtight container for several days, but they're at their very best within the first 24 hours of making them!
One last thing: don't forget the pan scrapings! Whatever is left in the pan is the cook's treat. Scrape those up and eat them with a spoon.
Praline Variations:
Chocolate Pralines - Add 1/2 cup of chocolate with all the ingredients
Peanut Butter Pralines - Add 1/3 cup of peanut butter in the last 30 seconds of boiling the syrup
Nut-Free Pralines - Add 1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal right before you start dropping the candies
2011-06-23-Pralines4.jpgRelated: Sweet Desserts Without Heat: 25 No-Bake Summer Desserts
(Information for this post was gathered during a press trip to New Orleans sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Board. All views and opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author.)
(Images: Emma Christensen)

Honey Baked Chicken

Honey Baked Chicken II

By: Gretchen Ramey 
"Baked chicken with a sweet and spicy glaze."
Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
1 Hr 15 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 30 Min

Servings  (Help)

Original Recipe Yield 6 servings


  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place chicken pieces in a shallow baking pan, skin side up. Combine the melted butter or margarine, honey, mustard, salt and curry powder and pour the mixture over the chicken. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours (75 minutes), basting every 15 minutes with pan drippings, until the chicken is nicely browned and tender and the juices run clear.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Food Processer Recipes

If this is a repeat, please forgive me. I don't know if I ever finished and sent it or not and found it while clearing my drafts folder just now.

I love my kitchen appliances and gadgetsl
I used my food processor for two great recipes recently. I got these from a cookbook my mom gave me a long time ago called: Food Processor Techniques by the Editors of Consumer Guide. ©1982
I think I might have already shared this recipe from our lunch here with Nana, Papa, & The Twins but I’m not sure.  Papa and Summer could not get enough of these and we all loved them! The adults ate them along with steaming cups of coffee.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
1 cup (250 mL) uncooked quick oats
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 mL) packed light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons (7 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2 mL) baking soda
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) butter or margarine, melted and cooled to room temperature, or vegetable oil
1 egg

1. Combine oats and buttermilk in large mixing bowl; let stand 30 minutes.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
3. Insert steel blade. Measure flour, brown sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into work bowl; process, using on/off technique, until mixed.
4. Combine butter, egg, reserved oats and buttermilk; add to flour mixture in work bowl. Process, using on/off technique 5 or 6 times, just until flour is moistened; do not overprocess (batter should be lumpy).
5. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups (cups should have 1/3 cup or 80 mL capacity), filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake until golden and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Marbled Brownies
Makes 18 large brownies
1 package (8 ounces or 225g) cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into 4 pieces.
2 1/3 cups (580 mL) sugar
5 eggs
½ teaspoon (2 mL) vanilla
1 cup (250 mL) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ cups (375 mL) shelled walnuts (I used pecans)
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2. Using steel blade, process cheese, 1/3 cup (80 mL) of the sugar, 1 of the eggs and the vanilla until smooth; remove from work bowl and reserve.
3. Using steel blade, process butter and remaining 2 cups (500 mL) sugar until light and fluffy. Add remaining 4 eggs to butter mixture; process until smooth. Add cocoa and nuts to butter mixture; process until nuts are coarsely chopped. Add flour to chocolate mixture ; process, using on/off technique, just until flour is moistened.
4. Spread half of the chocolate batter evenly in greased 13 X 9 X 2-inch (33 X 23 X 5 cm) baking pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture over chocolate layer; top with remaining chocolate batter. Swirl slightly with spoon or spatula. Bake until center is fork to the touch, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool brownies in pain on wire rack; cut into bars.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pecan Lace Cookies

It was an emotional night for our teenage daughter and one of her friends came over. I wanted to make something just for a sweet comfort (I know what all the diet things say about using food for comfort but sometimes, I just have to show my care with something baked!) and thought of cookies or a snack cake but had no eggs. 
I have been hovering over a bag of pecans because I've wanted some for months but couldn't justify the raised prices for them. Found a decent size bag for a good price at Sam's and have been trying to make the most of every single one! 
These did turn out just as described ... lacy and crunchy. I thought they were okay but they are picky --- if cooked a minute too long, they tend to start burning. If they aren't cooked well enough, they stick to the aluminum foil. 

I made two separate batches in two days (last weekend) of praline pecans and they keep getting eaten up before I can photograph them! I have a request from a lady at church to make more and every place we went... people loved them. So, I will try to post that recipe next or soon. 

Pecan Lace Cookies I

30 Servings, Prep Time: , Cook Time:
These cookies should be very brittle. Test one or two to get the correct baking time before baking the entire batch.
           1 cup whole wheat flour
           1/2 cup chopped pecans
           1/2 cup quick cooking oats
           1/2 cup light corn syrup
           1/2 cup packed brown sugar
           1/2 cup unsalted butter
           1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.         Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil. In small mixing bowl, sift the flour. Add the pecans and oats. Mix well.
2.         In saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and flour mixture. Stir until well blended. Mixture will turn opaque. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
3.         Bake for 9 minutes or until set and golden. When done, slide foil onto wire racks and allow cookies to cool. Re-line cookie sheets with new foil for next batch. Peel cookies off of foil when cool.