Monday, August 29, 2011

baked zucchini fries

made these last night and they were good!

Baked Zucchini Fries
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from Aggie’s Kitchen

About 1 lb. zucchini
1/2 c. Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (the crumbly stuff, not shreds)
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Whisk 2 eggs together in a shallow pie plate and set aside.

Cut the ends off the zucchini and then cut the zucchini in half so you have two short, stubby pieces. Set one piece on its end and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut that half in half, making 2 planks. Repeat with the remaining halves (so you’ll get 16 planks per zucchini).

Stack 2 planks on top of each other and cut into strips. Thicker strips will yield “meatier” fries with more zucchini flavor while thin strips will be crispy and taste virtually nothing like zucchini. When all the fries are cut, blot the pieces with a paper towel.

Working with a small handful at a time, dip the zucchini sticks in the egg, shake them to remove any excess, and then roll them in about 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs at a time, adding more as needed; you just don’t want to work with all the bread crumbs at once because they’ll soak up moisture from the egg and won’t stick to the zucchini. Place the coated strips on the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all the zucchini strips have been coated.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the prepared oven then remove from oven, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is not soggy and the coating is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately with Pizza Sauce or Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.
Weight Watchers Points:
2 (for 8 servings) or 3 (for 6 servings)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cheesecake Stuffed Peaches

These are soo good, and easy to make. I found it in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. We prefer them cold or chilled rather than warm, but you can eat them however you like.

A few notes:

I also use a mellon baller to take the pit area out of the peaches because I like to pile the cheesecake in. If you really like tons of cheesecake, only use 4 or 5 peaches rather than 6. I made them twice, and I also tried putting them in a muffin tin instead of on a sheet pan, and it worked much better. You could peel them first too if you don't love the skin. 

Recipe also here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan

Love love this recipe. We ate at an indian restaurant recently, and we're hooked. And as always, I got the recipe here from Mels KC (PS, I think my picture looks much more appetizing than hers).

I also whipped up some Naan. It's soo good. The addition of the yogurt makes it moist and delish. Rob loves it.

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (could sub. paprika if you don't like the heat)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips or chunks
Combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for one hour or up to 8 hours. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup cream (I would use half and half next time. a bit rich for me)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over hot rice.

Naan – Indian Flatbread

*Note: as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. Thistutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.
*Makes about 12 pieces of naan
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon sugar
3-4 tablespoons, melted butter
Pour the milk into a liquid measure and heat in the microwave until warm to the touch (about 110 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). If using active dry yeast, mix the sugar and yeast into the milk and let it sit for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and the yeast has activated. Once the yeast/milk mixture is foamy, pour the mixture into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour (proceed with the second paragraph of the recipe). If using instant yeast, pour the warm milk into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Proceed as directed below.
Mix well to combine. Continue adding flour gradually in small amounts, until a soft dough is formed that cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough by mixer or hand until it is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest at room temperature, covered lightly with greased plastic wrap, for about 2 hours.
After the dough has rested, turn it onto a lightly floured surface (I like to use my roul’pat for this) and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, rounding each into a ball shape. Cover the pieces with a towel and let them rest for 30 minutes. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, try grilling the dough on a lightly oiled outdoor grill or use a hot griddle to bake the naan – you’ll have to experiment with cooking times but I’ve seen either of those methods used with cooking naan also.)
Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, one by one, roll each piece into a circle about 6-8 inches wide, depending on how thin or thick you want your naan. Lay the circle of dough on the hot pizza stone and spritz lightly with water. Close the oven and bake the naan for 2-4 minutes, until it is lightly puffed (some pieces will puff more than others) and brown spots begin to appear on the top. Remove the naan from the baking stone and place on a cooling rack. Brush lightly with melted butter. Stack the hot naan on top of each other as it comes out of the oven. Cover with a towel and let the naan cool completely or serve warm.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Evil Shenanigans

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tortellini Soup

This recipe for Tortellini Soup is on the menu this week.

I don't shred the zucchini like it calls for. I cut it the same size as the carrots so that little fingers can easily pick it up and throw it eat it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

 Recipe from Our Best Bites
Italian Meatballs:
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. dehydrated onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt*
*If you want, you could substitute all the Italicized ingredients with 3 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning found here.

Gently combine meatball ingredients in a medium bowl. Shape into balls, whatever size you like, but I prefer using my standard cookie scoop (about 1 Tbsp.) to shape meat into balls and then rolling it between my hands to make them even more round. Place on a broiler pan and broil until the meatballs start to brown--I actually use my toaster oven. Just because I can. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use (or freeze for later use).

1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Olive oil
2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
16 oz. tomato sauce
1-2 Tbsp. sugar (to taste)
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of baking soda (to help neutralize the acid)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add remaining sauce ingredients and combine well. Bring to a simmer and add meatballs. Simmer on low, uncovered, until desired consistency is reached--about 25-30 minutes for a sauce that's of medium consistency (my husband, bless him, likes it very thick while I like it a little on the thin side. Whatever will we do??)
Serve over hot spaghetti, maybe with some breadsticks and some freshly grated Parmesan on top. Serves a lot--like probably 12 regular people or 2 teenage boys.
Prepare meatballs as directed, but divide the meatballs among two freezer-safe containers. Prepare sauce through adding all ingredients to the pan, but don't simmer; rather, divide the sauce among the two containers. Freeze until ready to use. When ready to use, place in slow cooker and cook on low for about 5-6 hours, although you'll want to keep an eye on the sauce and make sure it's not burning if you go for the whole 6 hours.

This was dinner tonight. I'm not totally sold on meatballs. I just end up cutting them up into little bits anyway, and my kids aren't that enchanted by them. Maybe too much work for little reward. But it's a delicious recipe. I think I will just mix it all together as normal instead of making balls next time.

That paragraph won't "unbold", so just imagine I'm yelling at you.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Calorie Counter

Here is a cool website I found today. It keeps track of your calorie intake, and also calculates your calorie output (exercise). It's really user friendly and stuff too.

Start by entering your information, and then click the "start your journal now" button.
Then you register so that you can sign in to your journal every time.
From there it's self explanatory and fun!

(does this sound preachy? i don't really care if you keep track of your calories or not, so i won't be checking in on you to see how it's going. you don't have to do it.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


this meatloaf is soooo good.

had it for lunch today with squash from mom's garden. yum! sammy even ate some squash (she doesn't love veggies).

anybody else ever going to post some meal ideas??? jk.

now i need to go fold my laundry from our trip ... unpacking/post-trip-laundry is one of my top 5 least favorite things to do.