Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blueberry Zucchini Cake!

Why?  Because this family LOVES cake!  No other reason needed!  Well, Riley wanted to bake and we thought this looked yummy.  Plus, this has blueberries and zucchini in it - so that's healthy right?  That's my reasoning anyway!

I got the recipe off of pinterest. I'm sure there are several variations floating around but click here to see the recipe I used.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries (you can reserve a few for garnish if so desired)
Lemon Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest of (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans. Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until most of the liquid comes out. You will want to have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini.  Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.   Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Lemon Buttercream - Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined. Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minute or until creamy. Fold in zest.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sweet Summer Corn Chowder!'s hot out.  Like I sweat sitting in a chair, on the front porch, hot.

And I make soup for dinner. Yup, hottest day of summer and we are having soup for dinner.....not just any soup but sweet corn chowder.  Again, this time of year everything is so plentiful and the sweet corn is fantastic.  (Thanks again to Meck's Produce for providing such awesome veggies).

 Sweet Summer Corn Chowder

1 Dozen - Ears of Sweet Corn, husked and kernels removed from cob
3 Tbsp. Butter
4 Slices of Bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 Vidalia Onion, chopped
1/4 C. Flour
1 Clove Garlic, minced
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Cup Water
6 Red Potatoes, cut into small chunks
1 C. Fat Free Half & Half
1 Tbsp. Honey
Salt/Pepper to taste
*Garnish with shredded cheese, bacon bits and chives.
DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat.  Add bacon & onion.  Cook, stirring for 8-10 minutes-until bacon is crisp and onions are tender.  Add flour & garlic clove.  Cook 1 minute.  While whisking, pour in chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Stir in corn and potatoes.  Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until potatoes are tender (20-30 minutes).  Transfer 2 C. of the soup to a blender (I used my hand held immersion blender) and blend until smooth.  Stir back into pot.  Then add half & half and honey. 

Recipe is adapted from here.

We are planning on enjoying this with BLT's.  Fresh tomatoes, lettuce and crisp bacon on toasted bread!

What are you doing with your fresh produce this summer?



Monday, July 27, 2015

Zucchini Rice Bake!

I's been to long!  I have no good excuse as why I haven't blogged - I guess it is just kids and schedules that have prevented me from being regular. 

I'm getting ready to start my 3rd year working at one of our local elementary schools.  I can't believe summer is drawing to a close.  This is definitely my favorite time of year - the warm sun, roadside stands filled with fresh produce and long, lazy days.

Tonight for supper we had shrimp and sausage kabobs (recipe can be found here) - they were yummy, even the kids ate the mushrooms....well, they were wrapped in bacon and basted with BBQ sauce but hey, whatever it takes.  Along with the kabobs I made this zucchini rice bake - I think it's a new favorite at our house.

Zucchini Rice Bake  (original recipes found here)

3 Eggs
1/3 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/4 C. Cottage Cheese
3/4 C. Gourmet Blend Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Large Zucchini - grated
1/2 C. Instant White or Brown Rice
4 Slices Bacon, cooked crisp and coarsely chopped
1 Garlic Clove
Salt/Pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 2 Qt. casserole dish.  Combine eggs and olive oil in mixing bowl.  Stir in cottage cheese, cheddar cheese blend and zucchini.  Add rice (uncooked), bacon and garlic.  Stir to combine ingredients.  Pour into casserole dish and bake for 50 minutes.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Smoked Turkey Lettuce Wraps!

I love having all of the local farm stands open for business!  This is the best time of year around here because of all the fresh produce you can purchase!
When I stopped to get corn the other day at my favorite farm stand, I noticed something new this year.  Living lettuce - well, of course I had to try it!

Today for lunch I made smoked turkey lettuce wraps!  They were so good!  The  living lettuce is the perfect lettuce for making "sandwiches".  I believe that this will be my new way of eating sandwiches for the rest of summer - so light and refreshing!
Here is how I made my lettuce wrap - you can custom make the wrap to suit your own taste.
Smoke Turkey Lettuce Wrap
1 slice Domestic Swiss Cheese
1 slice John Martin Smoked Turkey Breast
1/2 Slice Tomato
1/2 Thinly Sliced Red Onion
1 Slice Dill Pickle (I use Mt. Olive Brand)
1 Leaf of Lettuce
DIRECTIONS:  Layer all ingredients on lettuce, wrap up - enjoy!
Happy Eating!
*Meck's Produce is located along 222 South - just outside of Quarryville or visit their stand at Lancaster Central Market.

~Cooler Corn~

Happy summer everyone!  Hope you are all getting a chance to enjoy the long days!
Around here it is sweet corn season and while I love sweet corn, I do not like shucking the corn.  So any corn cooking technique that does not involve shucking the ears is a winner with me!  I was intrigued by cooking corn in a cooler and wondered if it would even work.....let me tell you, the cooler did a fabulous job!  I highly recommend this method, especially if you are having a picnic and will be cooking a large amount of corn.
All I did was cut off the top (tassel) part of the corn, place in a cooler and then we boiled enough water to cover the corn and poured it over the top of the corn.  Shut the cooler lid and walk away for about 35-45 minutes.  Pull the plug on the side of your cooler, drain the water.  Corn will remain hot for hours.
Easy peasy! 
*Note:  We used our turkey fryer pot to boil the water.
Happy Eating!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Crockpot Skinny Chicken Cheesesteaks!

I came across this recipe yesterday as I was perusing the internet for dinner ideas!  It was a hit with the family and the plus side of this dinner is that it's a weight watcher recipes from this site:

There are lots of tasty little weight watcher recipes on there!
You can serve this open-faced (as shown above) or with the whole roll!  Here is how I made them:

Skinny Philly Chicken Cheesesteaks
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 C. Vidalia Onion, sliced
1 C. Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1 C. Yellow, Red, Orange Peppers, sliced
1 pkt, Dry Italian Seasoning (Good Seasons)
1/2 C. BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays, Hickory Brown Sugar)
14 1/2 oz. Can, Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
Hot Dog Buns
1 C. Reduced Fat Mozzarella
DIRECTIONS:  Place chicken in bottom of crockpot.  Top with peppers and onions.  Add BBQ sauce and sprinkle with Italian season packet.  Pour broth over chicken mixture and cover.  Cook on low 6-7 hours.  Remover chicken from broth and slice.  Place back in with broth and peppers, onions - gently mix together.  To assemble sandwich:  On a baking sheet place bun and add 1 C. of the chicken mixture.  Top with 2 Tbsp. of cheese.  Broil for a few minutes until cheese has melted. 

The original recipe states that he WW points are 6.  (WW Points Plus=7).

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake Dessert!

 This dessert is AWESOME!  That is all I have to say about it!  Make will love it!  Of course I found the original recipe on Pinterest and it was pinned from

Strawberry Shortcake Dessert
1 Box White Cake Mix (+ingredients to make the cake)
1 (4.75 oz) Package Danish Dessert
1 (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) package Cool Whip
3-4 cups fresh berries
DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake cake according to package instructions. Use a large 13×18 lightly greased cookie sheet to bake it in. Mine only took 12 minutes to cook. It should take 12-15 min. When toothpick placed in center comes out clean you know it is done.  Let cake cool completely. 
In a sauce pan, combine contents of the Danish Dessert with 1¾ cup cold water. Put on medium high heat and stir continuously until mixture comes to a boil, Boil for 1 minute or until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  You can place in fridge (place on a hot pad). 
While the berry topping is cooling combine softened cream cheese and powdered sugar with a hand mixer.  Mix in Cool Whip and carefully spread onto cake. 
Next, place fresh cut berries on top of cheesecake layer.  Check to see if the Danish Dessert mixture has cooled off. Don’t leave it in the fridge too long or it will set up. It doesn’t have to be completely cool to add to the cake, you just don’t want it to be hot or it will melt the cheesecake layer.
Spread the glaze topping evenly over the cheesecake layer and put entire dessert in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight. Keep Refrigerated.