Zucchini Pizza


For a super easy and healthy pizza alternative...

use zucchini (or yellow squash) 
as your pizza base instead of bread.  

This is a common dish when our zucchini plants are in full garden swing!  
Top zucchini with sauce, cheese, and then desired toppings.  
Bake at 475 for 12-15 minutes.  
Don't overcook.  
You want the zucchini to be crunchy-not water and soggy!


Valentine Dinner

Super Simple table setting for an Italian Valentine Dinner
Centerpiece:  Clear candle votives (purchased at Walmart)
Favor: Lindt Chocolate Candy Bar Sticks
Appetizer:  Bruschetta with balsamic glaze
Lights:  used Christmas icicle lights to add extra ambiance

Sesame Thai Noodles with Vegetables

  • This is a great quick vegetarian dinner ready to go from start to finish in 20 minutes.  Pre-cut all your vegetables, then while you cook the pasta mix sauce.  My family loved this.  For those that like extra heat, you can garnish with red pepper.

  • Cook pasta according to directions:
  • 12-14 ounces spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair pasta

  • Sauce (Make while pasta is cooking)
  • 2 TBS  sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 1 TBS minced fresh ginger (don't settle for dried!  This is a critical ingredient!)
  • 5 TBS soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or Tabasco)
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 TBS toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt

While pasta drains, toss the following into pasta pan and stir fry for 3 minutes on high:
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin on diagonal
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper sliced into strips
  • 1 c. pea pods (whole or cut in half)

  • Add cooked pasta to pan.  Stir in Sauce and add:
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • chopped peanuts for garnish (optional)

Edamame

This is an easy, filling, and versatile snack.


In non-stick pan cook on medium-high:
1 bag 12 oz. Trader Joes shelled edamame (defrosted)
1 TBS olive oil
2 tsp lemon pepper
-stir frequently for about 5-10 minutes (depending on how blackened you want it to get).  Enjoy immediately, at room temperature, cold, or in a salad.  Sometimes I just use salt/pepper for spices, use indian spices, fajita seasoning, garlic, etc.  Get creative!

Curry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap

This is a light delicious lunch (picture from onelovelylife.com)

Combine in a large bowl:
1/2 c. mayonaise
1 TBS fresh lime juice
2 TBS fresh cilantro
2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 c. diced cooked chicken
1/2 apple, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 c. shredded carrots
3 TBS red onion, diced
1/4 c. cashews
salt/pepper to taste
-Spoon mixture into romaine or butter leaf lettuce.

Peppermint Andes Chocolate Cookies

These are a spin-off the Andes ChocolaMint Cookies. At Christmas Andes puts out a Peppermint Andes chocolates---SO STOCK UP!!! These leave your breathe deliciously minty fresh for hours! I think these are best eaten the day of baking.


Cream
3/4 cup butter
1 ½ cup brown sugar
2 TB water
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted and cooled for 10 minutes
2 eggs
Add:2 ½ cups flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
-Chill dough for 1 hour. Roll dough in balls and place on cookie sheet
-Bake at 350 F for 12-13 minutes· Place Peppermint Andes mint on top, spread when mint melts

Chunky Chocolate Gob Cookies



Take these to your next COOKIE HOLIDAY SWAP!!!
These are yummy-chunky-gobblicious!!! 
The recipe is from Southern Living (slightly altered).

Cream:1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. white sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
Add:2 c. flour
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Stir In:2 c. oreo cookies(approx. 16 cookies)coarsely chopped
3 (1.75oz) Mounds bars, chilled and chopped
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
-Chill dough 30 minutes. Drop dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets
-Bake 350 10-12 miutes until barely set. Cook on baking sheets 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely 

Granola Party Favors

It's all about the presentation!  These are cute little granola party favors or gifts.  I have many granola recipes such as the one HERE.  I also have a dedicated "granola" label since I have so many recipes and ways I use granola!  I used clear card sticker seal envelopes and then made a paper tag (think name card) to staple alone the top with a printed label.

Fall 2017 Cooking Class Recipes

We had another fun cooking class. This one was focused on appetizers and homemade fudge. Below are the recipes (some of them have links to the already existing recipe on this blog) we covered including Tammy's fudge goodness (everyone had a different favorite...but mine is definitely the peppermint variation)

Tammy's Nestle Toll-house Fudge

2 T butter                                                                     1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup evaporated milk                                              2 cups miniature marshmallows
¼ tsp salt                                                                     1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar                                        1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine butter, salt, sugar, and milk in small, heavy saucepan. Cook on medium heat until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Time for 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips. Add marshmallows. Add vanilla and nuts, if desired. Stir well. Pour into greased/foil covered dish or plastic ware. Cool before cutting.

Variations:
S'more Fudge: add ½-1 cup additional marshmallows after vanilla and nuts. Do not stir in completely.

Maple Nut: use 2 cups white chocolate chips in place of semi-sweet chips, and 1 tsp mapleine extract instead of vanilla.

Cookies and Cream: use 2 cups of white chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chips and add 1 cup of crushed oreo cookies (about 12). Omit walnuts!

Peppermint: use white chocolate chips. Add ½ tsp peppermint extract instead of vanilla. Stir in 1 cup crushed candy canes.

Grasshopper: make as directed, adding 1 cup crushed Grasshopper cookies.


APPETIZER Fall 2017 Cooking Class

Crudite Asparagus
1/2 c. Mayo
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbs regular French's mustard
Salt/pepper
1-2 tsp dill
1tbs fresh lime or lemon juice
-Pick THIN fresh asparagus.  Trim off woody ends (should snap off easily).  Submerge in simmering pan of water for 2-3 minutes.  Remove hot water immediately and replace it with cold water and a bunch of ice so asparagus cools in mixture. Soak in cold water at least 10 minutes.

Puff Pastry Pinwheels
-Makes 24 pinwheels
1 egg
1 TBS water
1 Sheet frozen puff pastry, THAWED
¼ c. parmesan Cheese
¼ tsp ground cayenne
8-10 slices ham deli meat

·       --Heat oven to 400°F.
·       --Beat egg and water until blended. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14x10-inch rectangle; cut lengthwise in half. Brush both pastry halves lightly with egg. Sprinkle 1 pastry piece with 3 Tbsp. cheese and pepper; cover with ham and remaining pastry piece, egg side down. Roll gently with rolling pin to seal. Brush lightly with some of the remaining egg.
·       --Roll up tightly into 14-inch log, starting at 1 long side; cut crosswise into 24 slices. Place, cut sides down, on parchment-covered baking sheet. Brush with remaining egg; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
·       --Bake 12 to 14 min. or until golden brown.

Serves 6
Warm In large Soup Pot:
1/2 gallon apple juice (minus 2 cups)
2 cups apple juice (Simmer 2 TBS mulling spices with juice for about 15-20 minutes, strain out the spices, and add to apple juice)
2-3 fresh oranges, freshly squeezed
-Heat, serve in your favorite mug and enjoy! Note: You can reuse the milling spices for another batch :-)

Dubliner Cheese w/ Crackers and Craisins/Pears/Grapes
This is my FAVORITE snacking cheese.  Costco sells BIG blocks of it, but you can also buy it at most grocery stores.



1, 8 oz package cream cheese (room temperature)
1 large green pepper, chopped fine (or red, or red AND green)
2 green onions, chopped very fine
¾ tsp Lawry’s Season Salt
-Mix all of the above in a mixer. Shape into ball and cover with chopped pecans. Chill and serve with Crackers.
-For Christmas time you can also do ½ green pepper and ½ red pepper.

Festive Cheese Spread
1 c. shredded pepper Jack Cheese
1 c. shredded cheddar Cheese
1 8z. cream cheese, softened
½ c. finely chopped red sweet (or Anaheim) pepper
3 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 green onion diced
Pepper to taste
-Combine all ingredients into desired shape.  Cover with pecans or almonds.  Chill.  Serve with Crackers.



For the Dip:
Hummus (plain, mediteranean, pine nut, or lime & cilantro)
Cilantro Pesto (recipe below)
diced cucumber
diced red peppers (or tomatoes--or both)
diced red onion
diced banana peppers
diced olives (black or kalamata)
feta cheese

For the cilantro pesto blend the following:
1½ cups fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. pecans
2 tbsp. pine nuts
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-Serve dip with pita chips, corn chips, or bread.

Family Ranch Salad

Romaine
Spinach
**Roasted Corn (Trader Joes frozen section)
Fresh Chives or green onions
Red bell peppers
Tomatoes
Celery
Shredded cheddar cheese
cucumber
Carrots
Ranch
**Cilantro
For Crunch: crushed tortilla chips (Nacho Doritos and option too)
BYU Ranch Dressing