Saturday, September 17, 2011

Buttermilk Belgian Waffles

Because I leave every morning at 6:15 a.m., I promised my six-year old son I would fix him waffles today. I went to grab my waffle iron out and then remembered it had broken!  All I had was my belgian waffle iron that I got as a wedding gift 18 years ago.  I had buttermilk sitting in the fridge that I needed to use up, so I decided...what the heck, I’d make some buttermilk belgian waffles.  They were yum!  I’m not a huge syrup fan, unless it’s the buttermilk caramel syrup, but what I DO absolutely LOVE on my pancakes and waffles is homemade sweetened whipping cream and fresh fruit.  I didn’t have any berries in my fridge this morning, so I improvised with my freezer jam.  I told myself this morning that I was going to have a healthy breakfast to make up for all the “bad” I ate this week, but seriously, let’s get real.  This looked too good to not eat.  So, I did....

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBSP. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
4 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:  Mix the egg yolks, buttermilk and butter in a bowl.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  In a bowl, add all the dry ingredients and then pour in the buttermilk, egg mixture.  Mix it until combined.  Then, gently fold in the egg whites.  Pour onto a greased hot griddle until lightly brown.  Serve immediately.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Black Beans and Rice

Tonight I decided to go with a meatless meal.  I do have to say, my kids looked at it and said “THIS is what we are having for dinner?”  With absolute confidence, I said “Yep!”.  I thought it tasted really good, although I do have to say, I think pork would taste really good mixed in with it too.  Wrapping it up in a corn tortilla would be tasty as well.  However, for a slimmed down, healthy version, this was a great meal.  I also used brown rice.  Just a warning about the brown rice takes an hour to cook and you need extra chicken broth.  I’m writing the recipe for white rice, so adjust your recipe accordingly if you are going to do the brown.  I loved the avocados on top.  A definite must in my opinion.
Olive oil, for browning
1 large onion, diced
1 TBSP. garlic
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans black beans
1 can corn
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 can green chilies (I used fire roasted)
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt, to taste
Fresh cilantro, to taste

In a frying pan, saute the onion and garlic until crisp tender.  Add the rice and saute until lightly browned.  Add the chicken broth and spices and bring to a boil.  Cover and let simmer until tender.  Add beans, tomatoes, green chilies and cilantro.  Toss and serve.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

These were SO yummy slow cooked over charcoal briquettes tonight.  Yum!
2/3 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
4 TBSP. mayo
2 tsp. steak sauce
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinate the chicken in half the sauce and reserve the other half for basting.  Sear, and then cook over indirect heat until done.

Rice Pilaf

A light, mild flavored rice that goes with just about anything!  I love the wild rice or brown rice blend, but you can do it with any kind of rice.  
1 1/4 cups rice
1 cup water
1/4 cup dried onions
1 tsp. salt
1 can (14 oz.) chicken broth
Frozen peas and carrots
Pepper to taste

Brown the rice in a little olive oil until lightly browned.  Add 1 cup water, salt, dried onions and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and cover with a lid.  Then turn down to a simmer and simmer on low until almost done.  Add frozen vegetables.  Serve.

Banana Cream Pie

I love a good Banana Cream Pie.  This one is great because it is super easy, yet more rich and creamy than just using a box of banana pudding!  
Graham Cracker Crust
1 small box, instant banana cream pudding
1 cup milk
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint whipping cream, separated
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4-5 bananas

Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups graham crackers
8 TBSP. melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Whip together the pudding, milk and sweetened condensed milk.  Put in the fridge.  Make your graham cracker crust by melting the butter and mixing it in with the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Press on the bottom of a pie tin.  Next, whip 1 cup of the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold into the pudding mixture.  Slice bananas and stir into the mixture and pour into the crust.  Mix the remaining 1 cup whipping cream with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Garnish the top of the pie with whipping cream and bananas.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Raspberry Curd Filling

I am posting this recipe for my friend, Coral.  We had them over for dinner and I made this cake.  She loved it and said it would be the cake she would request on her birthday.  I thought the frosting was a tad sweet for my tastes.  Next time I would try more of a simple lemon glaze.  I didn’t get a picture taken of it the night I made it, so this isn’t my picture, but it is true to how it looks.  I promised Coral I would post, so I’m borrowing a picture off the web.  Sorry!  Here you go, Coral!
2 1/3 cups cake flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 TBSP. poppy seeds
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 TBSP. finely grated lemon zest
12 TBSP. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk

For the Raspberry Curd:
8 TBSP. unsalted butter
1 pint ripe raspberries or 1 12oz. pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2-3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the lemon buttercream frosting:
16 TBSP. butter, at room temperature
2 TBSP. finely grated lemon zest
3 Cups powdered sugar
3 TBSP. fresh lemon juice

Cake:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds in a bowl.  Set aside.  In your mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to  and beat until stiff peaks form.  Put the egg whites in a separate bowl.  Add the butter to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth.  Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until just blended.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk and beat just until blended.  With a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites, being careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9 inch cake pans.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Cool Completely.

Raspberry Curd:  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries.  Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer set over a bow, pressing hard to extract as much liquid as possible.  Cool to room temperature.  Stir in lemon juice to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Frosting:  Beat the butter and zest until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until sooth.  Add the lemon juice and beat a little longer.

To assemble:  Turn the cakes upside down.  Place the raspberry curd in the middle of the two cakes and frost with the lemon frosting.  Garnish with raspberries.  Keep leftovers in the fridge.

Grilled Zucchini

I LOVE grilled vegetables.  Here is a quick easy way if you are in a hurry and just want something flavorful and easy.
Italian Salad Dressing

Marinate your zucchini in italian salad dressing.  Lay right on the grill grates and grill until tender crisp.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is DEFINITELY a family favorite.

Chicken breasts, pounded flat and cut into chunks
Green bell pepper, cut in chunks
Red bell pepper, cut in chunks
Celery, sliced

dip in flour mixture (equal parts cornstarch and flour), then eggs, then flour mixture.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Fry in hot oil until browned on all sides.

Flour Mixture:
1 cup flour
1 cup corn starch

2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. chicken bouillon
2 1/2 TBSP. soy sauce
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 1/4 cups sugar
16 oz. can pineapple chunks, undrained
1/3 cup cornstarch, mixed with 1/2 cup cold water for thickening

Mix all sauce ingredients in a pan EXCEPT cornstarch and cold water.  Bring to a boil.  Mix together the cornstarch and cold water.  Slowly pour in boiling sauce until thickened.  Pour over hot chicken.  Serve.

Zucchini Cake

I’ve made this recipe twice now.  It’s a great recipe for Zucchini Cake.  No one will ever know it has zucchini in it.  
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups zucchini, blended
3/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, optional

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered supar
milk, to desired consistency
1 tsp. vanilla

Cake:  Cream butter, then add oil and sugar.  Mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 325 for 1 hour.  When cool, melt butter and stir in cocoa for the frosting.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and beat until desired consistency.

Zucchini Brownies

I actually couldn’t decide what to make today with my zucchini, so I tried both the cookies and the brownies.  Mine turned out more of what I would classify as cake-like, than brownie-like, but they were delicious.  If you cut the brownies into 24 pieces, they are 4.5 weight watcher points.  

For the brownies:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white flour

1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini (1 large or 2 small zucchinis)
up to 1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

For the frosting:
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir. Fold in the zucchini. If your mixture is still very powdery, add up to 1/4 cup hot water (start with 1 tablespoon and work up from there, stirring well after each addition). The batter will be crumbly, but shouldn't be powdery. Add walnuts, if desired.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched.
  5. To make the frosting: Melt butter and cocoa together, stir and set aside to cool. Stir together milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies. Cut into squares.

Oatmeal Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s that time of year when Zucchini seems to be in abundance.  I didn’t even get a garden planted this year because of our move, however, I’ve still managed to get a hold of zucchini.  Today I tried these cookies.  I really like them because they are not overly sweet, yet soft and chewy like an oatmeal cookie should be.  My daughter is doing weight watchers right now, so I did figure out the points on these cookies.  I got 45 cookies out of this batch because I use a small cookie scoop.  For each cookie, it is 3 weight watcher points (just in case anyone else is interested).  I like to blend my zucchini, it makes it more moist and less obvious it is in the cookie.  If you decide to grate your zucchini, cut your flour back to one cup.  I used half wheat, half white.

½ cup butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 cups quick oats
1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 small)

1.       Preheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (or spray them with nonstick cooking spray).
2.       In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cocoa. Set aside.
3.       In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, oil, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients.
4.       Add oats and mix on low speed. Continue mixing on low speed and add zucchini. Mix until well combined.
5.       Scoop uniform balls onto cookie sheets. (I used a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop.) Bake 11-14 minutes until center of cookie no longer looks wet. Cool 10 minutes on cookie sheets before removing.