Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grandma Twinkle's Zucchini Bread

This bread takes me back to my childhood every time I bite into a piece. My Grandma Twinkle used to make it for us and then my mom, now it is my turn. I love recipes that get passed down from one generation to the next. There is something so fulfilling for me to make something that has been made for years.

Grandma Twinkle's Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 t vanilla
2 cups zucchini, grated
3 cups flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
3 t cinnamon

Beat together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Add zucchini then dry ingredients. Mix well. Divide into 2 greased, loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Broccoli Salad

I love this to go with anything BBQ or just when I need some veggies with dinner. This salad is so fresh and I love the sweetness of the grapes with the crunch of the fresh broccoli.

Broccoli Salad

2 bunches fresh broccoli
red grapes, cut in half
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 oz sunflower seeds

mix together and set aside
then mix...

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 T red wine vinegar

Put the dressing over the broccoli mixture right before serving and toss until coated.
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Magic Cookie Bars

Also known as the death of me! I can literally eat half of the 9x13 pan ALONE, especially when they are right out of the oven. I love that these are so easy to throw together and I always have everything on hand.

Magic Cookie Bars

1 stick of butter, melted
1 package of graham crackers completely crushed (about 2 cups)

mix these together and press into the bottom of 9x13 pan
then top with...

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips or half butterscotch chips
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

layer in the above order and press lightly into graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until edges are brown and the coconut looks a little toasted. Cool until set.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan Bread

We are HUGE Indian food fans. It all started when we lived in Provo and first experienced the Bombay House. It is this amazing little restaurant where even the servers wear turbans and barely speak english, but the food is heaven. Every Indian restaurant we have visited since is compared to this. Nothing ever compares. I have tried and failed many times to find a recipe that is even remotely close to how good their food is. But I think I have finally found the best and I could kiss the person who's recipe it is. Although I really have no idea who they are. I got these recipes off of the Sister's Cafe, who got the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe off of The Pioneer Woman ... blah, blah, blah... What is important here is that these recipes are outstanding. So thank you to whoever came up with these!

Chicken Tikka Masala

3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 c plain yogurt
6 Tb butter (divided)
kosher salt
1 T sugar
1 1/2 c heavy cream
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 in. chunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Garam Masala
2 c Basmati rice

fresh cilantro
chili peppers
frozen peas

Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with Kosher salt. Next sprinkle them on both sides with coriander and cumin. Then coat the chicken with the plain yogurt. Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined cookie sheet and place it about 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes on each side. It should have slightly blackened edges. Remove from oven.

Next dice the onion and saute with 2 Tb butter over med-high heat until slightly browned. As the onions cook, mince your garlic and ginger (1x2 inch peeled chunk). Add to onions with 1 tsp. salt.

At this point add 3 Tb Garam Masala spice (you can look at your grocery store but we had to go to a specialty food store). If you like it hot, add a chili pepper or two. (We did about 1/2 a Serrano pepper and it tasted great. Our 18 month old even loved it!) Add the tomatoes and continue cooking and stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add about 1 Tb sugar and allow this mixture to simmer on medium for 5 minutes.

To a rice cooker add 2 cups Basmati rice, 4 Tb butter, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tb ground turmeric and 4 c water. Cover, turn on your rice cooker and walk away. If you do not have a rice cooker, cook your rice as usual but make sure you use Basmati. (The turmeric adds a very subtle flavor - it's more about the vibrant yellow color it creates.)

After the Tikka Masala sauce has had a chance to simmer for a bit, puree it in a blender or with an immersion blender or just leave it chunky. Next, add in the 1 1/2 c heavy cream. Now chop up your chicken breasts into chunks and add them into the sauce. A handful of chopped cilantro is a nice addition if you like cilantro. You can also throw some frozen peas into the cooked rice, give them a stir and allow the heat of the rice to cook the peas. It tastes great and gives another nice dash of color. Serve the rice with the Chicken Masala over the top. The Naan bread is a must, it just finishes the meal perfectly!

Naan Bread

14 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl by hand), stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and yeast.

In a small bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir for about 1 minute, until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients.Increase machine speed to 2 (or by hand) and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Put a baking stone or heavy baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and form into teardrop shapes with your hands, about 6 to 8 inches across.

Cook two or three pieces at a time. Drop the dough onto the hot stone and shut the oven door, watching until they are just starting to turn brown in places, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the naan and lay on a board. You can lightly brush with melted butter or garlic butter, or just enjoy them plain. We put some garlic powder and chopped fresh parsley in the melted butter.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peach Glace Pie

I don't do pie every often, especially fruit pie, but this one is heaven! It is a fresh fruit pie, which is so light and summery. I love the peach, but have also made it with strawberries and raspberries. They are all so wonderfully delicious. Pair this with some homemade ice cream and nothing screams summer louder. Pure heaven!

Fresh Fruit Glace Pie
(adapted from Betty Crocker's cookbook)

One pie crust, cooked and cooled
5-6 cups fresh fruit
1 cup sugar
3 T corn starch
1/2 cup water
1/2 t vanilla
3 oz. cream cheese, softened

Puree enough fruit to make one cup. Mix sugar and corn starch in a sauce pan and slowly add water and pureed fruit. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for one minute, add vanilla and then cool.
Beat cream cheese until smooth (I add just a spoonful of the warm fruit puree to make the cream cheese more spreadable). Spread on the bottom of the pie crust. This can be tricky, just go slow and don't worry if it breaks a little, no one will see the bottom of your pie. Now fill the pie with the rest of the fresh fruit. Pour the cooked fruit puree over the top. Refrigerate for 3 hour or until set.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Taco Salad

This has been a usual in my house since I was little. Although it is always deemed a summer only dish. It is quick and easy and totally an "I want seconds" kind of meal.

Taco Salad

1/2 pound ground beef or turkey breast
1 can pinto beans, drained
cheddar cheese, shredded
tortilla chips, crushed
Catalina dressing

Brown meat and add beans. Mix in your favorite salsa to taste. Mix up your veggies, the ones I listed are a must have but you can use anything you like. We usually just grab whatever we have in our garden. Put beans and meat mixture in the bottom of individual bowls. Top with salad, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips. Add Catalina dressing to taste. The dressing is the key in this salad, it gives it the right flavor.
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Creamy Dreamy Fudge

We just got back from a little trip to Mackinaw Island and one of the main attractions is their fudge. We spent a small fortune on it while we were there and came home wanting more. They actually call the tourists "fudgies" on the island because so much is consumed. My son could talk about nothing else and even said on one occasion "I am starving of fudge". So when we got home we had to indulge one more time and make our own. We could make about 30 batches for the same amount of money that we spent on about 1 pounds. This is our favorite recipe EVER thanks to my BFF Abby. It stays so smooth and creamy. We added toasted coconut and pecans and it is pure heaven, better, I dare to say, than Mackinaw Island.


1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 sticks butter
4 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
1 package of Ghiradelli's semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts of your choice

Before you start cooking, put a bowl of ice water next to you. Put the first four ingredients into a large pot; cook and stir constantly on medium-high heat until it starts to boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and continue to stir and stir and stir. You want the mixture to reach the "soft ball" stage, which is where you drop a spoonful into that bowl of ice water and if the mixture holds together in a soft ball, then you're ready to move on. However, if it dissolves quickly then you've got to keep stirring. Once it is boiling, I think we continued to stir for about 6-8 minutes. Once it is at the soft ball stage remove from the heat and add chocolate chips and marshmallow cream. Mix until all is melted and combined. Last add vanilla and nuts and mix well. Pour fudge into a buttered 9x13 pan. Let it cool for a few minutes and then cover with plastic wrap until completely cooled. Cut it with a plastic knife, for some reason it works the best.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tropical Salsa

OK, so I used to think there could never be anything better than hot fudge on ice cream until my sister-in-law introduced me to this recipe. It totally doesn't replace hot fudge mind you, but it makes the perfect summer dessert. We LOVE it on good vanilla ice cream, but I am quite certain it would be great on many other things, heck I even eat it by the spoonful. Hey, it's fruit, healthy right?!

Tropical Salsa

1 1/2 cups peeled and diced peaches
1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
2 T sugar
1 T chopped crystallized ginger
1 t grated lime rind

Mix all together and garnish with fresh mint. If your peaches are really ripe, try slicing them and sticking them in the freezer for a while before chopping them, that way you won't end up with peach puree.
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