Zucchini Bake

I know we JUST had a zucchini bake posted here but, sometimes options are good, no?  I tried this recipe for the first time today and thought it was delicious and comforting.  Hope you enjoy!

4-5 small zucchinis (up to 15 oz) unpeeled and coarsely grated*
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 packet Canadian bacon (6 oz or to taste) finely chopped**
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, packed
1 heaping cup self rising flour***
1/3-1/2 cup oil
5 eggs lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a small or medium size baking dish (size will determine baking time).
2.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour into greased baking dish.
3.  Bake 30-40 minutes for a medium or shallow dish.  Today we used a small deep dish and it took 1 hour.  Zucchini bake is done when brown on top and skewer inserted comes out clean.  Can be served hot or cold.

Entertaining?  Garnish with tomato slices or fresh chopped parsley!

*The smaller zucchinis will make the dish greener due to more skin.
**You can use ham or bacon as well.  If you use bacon you may need to adjust the oil.
*** If you don’t have self rising flour use 1 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt

Source:  My Australian friend

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches


1 3 pound pork roast (if frozen, thaw before prepping)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Montreal Steak Seasoning (or your favorite steak seasoning)
3-4 cups Root Beer, Dr. Pepper or Coke
1 1/2-2 cups Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce
6-8 rolls for serving

1.  Season your pork roast generously with the steak seasoning.  Be sure to massage the spices into your roast really well!
2.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and sear all sides of the roast.
3.  Pierce roast a couple of times with a fork and place in a large crock pot.
4.  Pour soda over your meat, cover and cook on low for about 7 hours; or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
5.  Remove roast from crock pot and shred with two forks.  Put shredded meat back into the soda juices, cover and cook for 1 more hour.
6.  Drain juices from crock pot and pour in BBQ sauce.  Mix well, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until BBQ sauce is heated through.
7.  Serve pulled pork on yummy rolls and enjoy!  You could also add a handful of cole slaw to each sandwich for texture!

Source:  Jamie Cooks It Up!

Succulent Steak Marinade

This is a mild, yet sweet and tangy marinade!  Yum!

1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 gloves garlic, crushed/pressed

Wisk all ingredients together in a bowl and use as a marinade.  For types of steak and their marinating time, check out THIS page.

We used only half of the marinade for one HUGE steak.  We’re going to try marinating a few chicken breasts in the leftovers.

Source:  Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Banana Date Muffins

I’m always looking for good recipes to use dates in because I ALWAYS have dates on hand for these.  I guess it’s not a bad thing to only eat dates paired with bacon.  However, I’m trying to branch out.  These were easy to make and tasted yummy!

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil (next time I’ll try replacing the oil with applesauce)
2 eggs
3/4 -1 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Lightly grease a muffin pan and set aside; you could also use baking cups if you like. 
2.  Mash bananas with a fork and mix well with remaining wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients until just combined.
3.  Fill muffin cups 1/2-2/3 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.
4.  Serve muffins with butter/jam or dress them up with some cream cheese frosting!

*While I thought these were moist and delicious, they tasted pretty close to regular banana muffins.  The date flavor was very mild.  Next time I make them I’m going to add at least 1 1/4 cups of chopped dates.

Source: Nigella.com

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4  tsp. onion powder
1/4  tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4  tsp. dried oregano
1/2  tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp.ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper (optional)

Mix all spices together and use for 1lb of meat.  Add pepper if you like more heat.

*The measurements listed above make around 2 tablespoons worth of seasoning.  You can quadruple this recipe (like I did) and store the leftovers in an airtight container.

*For taco meat, add seasoning to cooked beef with about 1/4-2/4 cups of water.

Source: Food Renegade

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Alfalfa Sprouts

Lately my husband and I have been adding sprouts to our diet because of their health benefits.  We love them on our salads and sandwiches.  I’m not sure where the idea for this particular sandwich came from.  I know I’ve had something similar to this in a restaurant.  It may not look pretty but it sure is delicious!

Ingredients (for 2 sandwiches):
2 grilled chicken breasts (I marinated mine in olive oil, fresh garlic, lemon, parsley, salt, and pepper)
4 slices or bread (we used ciabatta)
1 medium tomato
1 ripe avocado
a lemon or bottled lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
mayonnaise (optional)
alfalfa sprouts

1.  Lightly toast your bread.  
2.  While bread is toasting cut 4 slices of tomato.  Scoop out flesh of avocado and put into a bowl.  Mash with back of a fork until desired consistency.  Give it a splash of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Take slices of bread and spread a thin layer of mayo on them followed by the avocado spread.
4.  Build your sandwich starting with the chicken breast, tomato slices, then finished with a layer of alfalfa sprouts. 

*This sandwich would taste great with a few bacon slices!

One Bowl Brownies

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
chocolate chips (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Microwave chocolate squares and butter in a large bowl on HIGH for about 1 minute (or until butter is melted).  Stir until chocolate is melted.
3.  Add sugar and mix.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Mix in the flour and nuts.  At this point I tossed in a few handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
4.  Spread batter into a greased 9×13″ pan.  Bake for 33-35 minutes.  Do not over bake.

Source:  Sweet Designs: A Blog By Amy Atlas 

Mud Hen Bars

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated (1 whole egg plus 2 yokes, 2 egg whites)
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I mixed pecans and walnuts)
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1 cup brown sugar (make sure it’s soft and clump free!)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a medium bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar.  Beat in 1 whole egg and 2 egg yokes (saving the 2 whites for later).
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to butter mixture and combine.  Spread into greased 9×13 pan.
4.  Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips, nuts, and marshmallows.
5.  In a medium bowl (wipe clean your flour mixture bowl and reuse that!) beat remaining 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in brown sugar.  Spread over mixture in pan.
6.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until bars are a deep golden brown and the crust is cooked through.  Cool on wire rack before cutting.

Source:  Sunday Baker

Cookies and Cream Oreo Bark

This may be one of the easiest treats I’ve ever made!  Two ingredients = Perfect, stress-free Christmas treat!

10 oz Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
15 regular size Oreos, chopped
3 regular size Oreos for topping, finely chopped

1.  Place chocolate in a double boiler and melt, stirring continuously, over low heat.  If you don’t have a double boiler (like me) you can melt the chocolate in a small saucepan.  Just be very, VERY careful!  Once chocolate has melted completely, transfer to a heat proof bowl.  Cool for 5 minutes.

2.  While chocolate cools, line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.  Leave at least a 1″ overhang on each side.

3.  Add chopped Oreos to cooled chocolate and mix.  Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth out the top using a spatula.  Sprinkle the finely chopped Oreos on top.

4.  Chill the bark in the fridge until chocolate becomes solid.  When ready, hold the overhang pieces of parchment paper and carefully lift the bark out.  Split bark into pieces with a fork.  Enjoy!

Source: Bakers Royal

* To save on time you could easily melt the chocolate in the microwave!
* Next time I make these I won’t chop up my Oreos so much…my bark looks a little too gray.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

This is for all you pumpkin lovers!  
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cup old fashioned oats 
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat an 8×8 dish with Pam (or other non-stick spray).  I used a 9×13 dish.
2.  Pour pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Using a whisk or hand blender, mix ingredients  until smooth.  Add milk.
3.  Combine oats with pumpkin mixture.  Pour into prepared baking dish.
4.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  When 15 minutes are left, remove foil.
*Top with additional sugar, syrup, whipped cream or nuts!