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.