food:: zucchini bread is divine

zucchini bread

Have you ever had zucchini bread that made you do this face?

Yeah, at 45 years old, I still make that face with ikky zucchini bread.

But not anymore.

This summer I was given a new recipe and I love it enough to share it.

zucchini bread::

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 eggs

1 cup canola oil

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 cups shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350* ~ Grease 2 loaf pans

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients together before adding to the dry mixture. Stir in zucchini last. Pour half into each of the loaf pans, bake for approx 65 minutes. (Do a toothpick test.)

I let it cool, slice it, and wrap it in plastic wrap.

food:: cooking therapy

About this time every year, Frank & I seek therapeutic noodle making activities.

noodles 1

I don’t know why, but it just seems like therapy when we knead and knead, and he rolls, and I slice and arrange.  We spent several hours this weekend doing just that with the stereo on in the background.  noodles 2Quietly, we go to work cracking eggs and whisking.  We both seem to relax by making pasta.  Before we know it, six batches are drying on tea towels. Kind of weird, but hey it works for us.

We also tend to try weird casseroles.

noodles 3

I don’t know what all we threw in there, but tater tots on top seemed to be in order for the day.

Thanks for stopping by!

food:: a big THANK YOU…and how to jazz up canned corn…it’s a 2fer today.

wpid-super-sweet-blogging-award21w6451

THANK YOU to Dani at Teddy and Tottie

And another

THANKS GIRL to Jane

 

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award1

Some very kind people think I’m OK, so that is really cool.  You should go visit some of my friends because they are awesome and I know you need some awesomeness in your life.  Because really, we ALL need as much awesomeness as we can get.  We deserve it.

Psssst…these are waaaay overdue thank yous so help me out here, please?

So you may have noticed I took a little bloggy-break.  I needed a recharge with all that stuffage that goes on in my day-to-day boring life.

 And just what have I been doing in my boring day-to-day life you ask?

Trying to jazz up canned corn for one thing.  Yep, not gonna happen.  Canned corn is merely that, canned corn.

canned corn

So, there’s that.  And more canned corn.  And more canned tomatoes.  And more gardening, and sweating, and dragging of garden hoses, and mundane BS.

canned corn 2

We’ve had a semi-successful gardening season this year.  Meh, ya win some and lose some.  No decent squash or peas, but lots of tomatoes and cucumbers.  And the damn birds ate nearly ALL of my blackberries and raspberries.  I mean geez, I grow enough to share with them but they were just plain greedy this year.  There will be more harvesting and canning and freezing in the coming weeks and I am even revisiting my canned mushrooms recipe from last year.

Oh, and I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that there would be a yarn giveaway soon.  Soon gets here tomorrow.

food:: denver omelet bake

I planned on getting all fancy and making Denver Omelets for the guys.  About omelets…I burn them.  Like every time.  Burned omelets are not a quality way to feed your family in my book.  So rather than another failed attempt to pretend I am a world-renowned chef, or even a Denny’s line cook who can make a perfect omelet on demand, I turned my omelet ingredients into a breakfast casserole.

omelet bake 4

denver omelet bake::
hashbrown patties (or any other frozen hashbrowns you like)

8 eggs

1 small onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1/2 lb cubed cooked ham

1 cup shredded cheddar

salt & pepper

paprika

Preheat oven to 350* and lightly spray casserole pan with vegetable oil

Start with the hashbrowns in the bottom of the pan, and layer the pepper, onion, and ham.  In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs adding a dash of each salt, pepper, and paprika to your liking.  Pour the eggs over and add the cheese.  Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes checking doneness in the center with knife.  If using a shallow baking dish, cooking time may be much shorter.

And here are the prep photos::
omelet bake 1

omelet bake 2

omelet bake 3

Thanks for stopping by!

food:: father’s day was awhile ago, right?

This post has been sitting in my drafts and I figured I might as well share it now.  I’m not really keen on waiting till next year…

father's day 1

I found fun and free printables completely by accident here at the Cottage Market.  Voila ~ instant inspiration.

My Dad is not the gift-wanting type.  For Father’s Day he has no desire to be showered with stuff.  BBQ some steaks and hang out with him for awhile…that’s the stuff he’s looking for.

I didn’t want to show up empty handed so I knew food would be the best gift for his BBQ in the back yard.

father's day 2

I’ve been seeing the fruit~cakes all over lately and had to give it a try.

I used watermelon, pineapple, kiwi and strawberries; lots of toothpicks and some cookie cutters to make it all up in about 20 minutes.  So easy, so healthy, so fun.

I’m repeating it for the 4th of July with a patriotic bunting.

Cake~bunting…who would have thought?

food:: seafood week

scallop & lobster sauce

~scallops with lobster sauce~

shrimp 5

~hot & naked shrimp with fettucini…

the garlic and dash of hot sauce make it hot, the butter makes it naked/no sauce…but I just like to call it that cos it’s silly~

shrimp 6

Next on the menu, lemon & pepper baked talapia…

hopefully I gave you a few ideas to mix up your menu this week.

Have a ridiculously amazing day!

photography & food:: a challenge or two

forsythia

A world-class photog I am not, but I really enjoying capturing my world.

I was visiting Lou’s Labyrinth on this post, and I snapped a screen shot to keep the list handy.  It looks like a fun challenge from the Idea Room, and a way to improve and expand my skills.  It’s also a good way to keep on track with photographing every day.  Sometimes the days get away from me and I realize it’s been way too long since I’ve had a camera in my hand.

I shared the list with a friend that likes photography as well,  and we are trying each day to exchange our snaps in texts.  Double fun, right?

screenshot idearoom

  As you can see, I am using my iPhone camera and at this size they seem pretty grainy, but it’s an enjoyable exercise.

1) colorful

colorful

4) water

water

5) on my desk

on my desk

Another self-imposed challenge is to work harder at changing up the menu at home and trying at least 2 new dishes a week from cookbooks or my pinterest recipe board.

This week we had a delicious chicken salsa dip.

chicken salsa dip

In a crockpot on low for 6 hours or so: 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, 1 can corn, 1 jar salsa, 1 can black beans, and a brick of cream cheese.  Shred the chicken with 2 forks before serving with tortilla chips and a salad.

This one was a keeper :)

food:: apparently one serving of wine does not equal one bottle

While imbibing in a little vino, surfing the web, in the midst of SNOWMAGEDDON; I happened upon a treasure trove of recipes for jumbo pasta shells.  The problem was that none of the stuff I saw SPOKE to me.  Yeah, I love jumbo shells as much as the next girl, and basically I love all Italian food (not a bit of Italian in my ancestry btw), but none of the recipes was JUST RIGHT.  Sorry to shout, but again please refer to the title of this post.  It’s kinda necessary to get my point across after a good bottle of red…Which, if you are interested, is a local wine called Bandana Red made at Sugar Clay Winery.   I’m not paid to promote the winery, I just lurve the owner Amy because she is awesome on many counts.  She introduced me to the fab recipe link on this post, and hosted my amazing boob party.

Anyhoo, where was I?  Oh, none of the recipes was exactly what I was in the mood for.  Nay, none of the recipes included all of the schtuff I currently had on hand and needed to use in my fridge.  Don’t judge.  So what does a food artist do in these situations?  Well, IF in fact I was an actual food artist, I would probably do something way more fancy.  Since I was only asking myself, “What would a food artist do?”, let’s just assume this is what I came up with to clean out my fridge and use the jumbo shell pasta that was getting stale in my pantry.  Cuz that my friends, is the truth.  (Pssst don’t tell the Frankster and the Boy.  They are unwilling guinea pigs and I will never live this down even though they really liked it.  You know…they put me on a pedestal and whatnot.  If it weren’t for me they would be dirty, hungry, and naked.  I try to remind them of it regularly.  Your family would be the same without you too, so make sure they know it. You have my express permission to use that line.)

Once again, back to the recipe.  You can definitely swap healthy substitutes for my version, but why?  Live a little.

chicken broc shells 5

Chicken Broccoli Shells according to LisaV::

1 egg lightly beaten

1c sour cream

1c shredded mozzarella cheese (plus some to sprinkle on top)

1c cooked diced or shredded chicken (leftover rotisserie from the deli works great)

1/2 – 1c chopped fresh broccoli, steamed

chopped fresh parsley

basil

garlic

salt & pepper

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 pkg. jumbo shell pasta, cooked and rinsed in cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the first 7 ingredients using the seasonings to taste.  (I went heavy on the parsley and light on the rest.)  Spoon some spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 pan (because I didn’t and I wish I had), and then start filling those shells.  Once the shells are stuffed and in the pan, spoon over some more sauce, top with more mozzarella, and maybe a dash of parmesan too.  Bake for 30 minutes and serve with a salad and garlic bread.  It’s enough to feed 4 easily with leftovers.  Lunch at work tomorrow?  I think so.

Here are some prep photos::

chicken broc shells 1

chicken broc shells 2

chicken broc shells 3

chicken broc shells 4