Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone! I make zucchini bread and yellow squash bread all throughout the summer months, and happened to have a few ( actually 4!) pints of fresh, plump blueberries to use up before they went bad. So blueberry zucchini bread it was. Sweet, with a hint of cinnamon ! I make it in a bundt pan, but one large loaf pan, or 6 mini loaf pans would be perfect! Plan to double the recipe and share with friends. They will thank you!

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 T ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 c sugar
2 c shredded zucchini
1 pint fresh blueberries

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan ( or loaf pan) and set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs, oil, applesauce,vanilla and sugar until creamed.
4. Stir in the flour mixture a cup at a time, until the flour is incorporated into the batter.Fold in the zucchini . Then gently fold in the blueberries.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake 1 hr 10 minutes for a bundt pan, and @ 50 minutes for a loaf pan, or until the center of the loaf is cooked through.
7. Cool 20 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Shirley Temple Popsicles

Saturday, May 21, 2016

When I was a little girl, there was a seafood restaurant in the town we lived in called Neptune's Galley. I have no idea if that restaurant is still in business or not, but I remember it vividly. There was a huge statue of Neptune on the roof of the building and it was dark and nautical on the inside. I have to admit, I do not remember the food that was served there. I remember first being introduced to Shirley Temple's! At the time , my favorite movie just happened to be Shirley Temple in The Little Princess. And my daddy knew that and ordered me a Shirley Temple to drink...and the rest is history. I think I requested that drink at every restaurant  we ate in for the next five years after that! Cold , bubbly sprite, grenandine and a cherry on top. Oh , how I loved getting that pink-tinted drink brought to me. I felt so grown up! Flash forward 20 years. My boys and I were at Red Robin and I introduced them to Shirley Temple's. Ummm, they were not impressed. I guess it is a  girl thing. They ended up with root beer floats. But I was determined to get them to like them! So last week I set out to make Shirley Temple Popsicles. At first I tried with just Sprite and maraschino juice. Eh. Then I added cherries  to the mix. Still not right. So  after a few trial and errors, I added   fresh orange juice , sprite, cherries and cherry juice. Perfect. And the boys ate them all. So here is to nostalgia. And Shirley Temple!

Shirley Temple Popsicles

2 cups Sprite or 7-Up soda
scant 1/2 cup fresh orange juice ( it took about 3 medium oranges to get the juice I needed)
grenadine ( I find this in the aisle with the margarita mix, etc)
maraschino cherries

In a large mixing cup,combine the soda and the orange juice .Set aside.
Fill popsicle molds with marachino cherries . (Mine were smaller molds, so I used 3 cherries in each mold)
Add about a teaspoon of grenadine to each mold.( you could use the cherry juice in the bottle of cherries, if there is enough, in place of the grenadine)
Add the soda/oj mixture to each mold, about 2/3 full. Don't fill to the to the top of the molds. It will expand after freezing .
Place tops on popsicle molds and freeze.

{ Rustic Balsamic Strawberry Galette }

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

This is one of my favorite desserts to make with fresh strawberries. I bought a flat of strawberries at one of our local farms and I canned strawberry jam and strawberry coulis, and we ate strawberry spinach salad , strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcakes  And last but not least I made a galette. I love , love love these! I use blackberries, peaches and cinnamon apples to make these all year round. These are so easy to put together and you can't mess up the presentation. Just flip over the dough onto the fruit and brush with egg wash and dust with sugar. Enjoy!
*If you do not care for balsamic vinegar, just omit it from the recipe. It is sill super yummy without it.

*you can use heavy cream to brush the crust instead of egg wash.

Rustic Balsamic Strawberry Galette

1 pie crust ( homemade or store bought)
2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced in half
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 35 degrees.
Place the piecrust  on a  lightly greased cookie sheet (or you can use parchment paper)
In a medium bowl, stir together the berries , balsamic vinegar, cornstarch and sugar.
Place the berries in the center of the pie dough.
Pull up the corners of the dough around the berries and pinch to hold together.
Using a pastry brush, brush egg was over the dough and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
Let the galette sit for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Honey Ham & Swiss Cheese Sliders

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

These little sandwiches are one of my husband's favorite meals ever. I make them on lazy weekends at home and he raves each and every time I serve them. He loves the butter-mustard sauce that is poured over the sandwiches. I have to admit they are very tasty. They are so easy to put together and I love that I can use good quality honey ham and swiss cheese from our local deli. The flavor combo seems weird, but I promise you it works. So go ahead and add them to your menu. You will love them!

Honey Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders

12 King's Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
12 pieces good honey ham
3  slices Swiss cheese, each cut into quarters
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 T yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Spread mayonnaise onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet, placing  very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. (You will not have to use all of the sauce)  Use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

Homemade Guacamole

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Can you believe that I tried my first avocado just a few  short years ago? We never ate them growing up, and neither did my husband. A friend showed up for  a potluck with homemade guacamole  and we were hooked. We eat avocados almost every day now. this guacamole has become a staple for snacking and as a topping for tacos and enchiladas. It doubles easily, if you need a big batch.

Homemade Guacamole

2 medium avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 c chopped onion, diced small
1/4 c cilantro, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
juice of 1/2 lime

In a large bowl, scoop the avocados and add garlic, onion, jalapeno and cilantro.
Mash all together until smooth.
Add salt, pepper,paprika and lime juice.
Serve with chips or with tacos.