Monday, August 25, 2014

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

My grandchildren love this banana pudding recipe.  They just gobble it up!  The Chessman cookies add a special touch.  You can also use the mini Nilla Wafers if you wish, but everyone likes the pretty look and buttery taste of the Chessman cookies.  It's "plate-lickin" good!

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 7 bananas, sliced
1 3/4 cups cold milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French Vanilla pudding (sugar-free pudding is not recommended)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container Cool Whip
Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish with 1 bag of cookies.  Layer the bananas on top.  In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well with a mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

You may make this the day before so the cookies get a little soft. You also can make it about an hour before you are going to eat it, however,  the cookies will be a little difficult to cut through.
Source:  Paula Deen


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cookie Dough Dip

I brought this wonderful, creamy dip to a picnic and it was a hit.  This is good served with fruit, Nilla Wafer cookies, graham crackers or pretzels.


1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
shaved chocolate, optional for garnish
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool, and whisk in vanilla extract.

Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar for 1 minute, or until well combined and smooth. Add a pinch of salt. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in brown sugar and butter mixture and mix until combined.

Fold in mini chocolate chips with a spatula.

Transfer dip to a bowl or ramekin.  Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips or shaved chocolate.

Source: Temptations - Tara McConnell


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blueberry Chicken Salad

A refreshing and light summer salad.  Serve with Kim's Cheese and Chive Gougères (posted under appetizers)....a great combination.   

2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups cubed (or shredded) cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lemon yogurt
3 TBS mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
Bibb lettuce leaves, optional
chives, chopped, optional

Set aside a few blueberries for garnish.  In a large bowl, gently combine the chicken, celery, red pepper, onions and remaining blueberries.  Combine the  yogurt, mayonnaise and salt; drizzle over chicken mixture and gently toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Serve on lettuce-lined plates if desired.  Top with reserved blueberries.  May sprinkle with chopped chives, if desired.

Tip:  You can get about 4 1/2 to 5 cups of chicken from a grocery store rotisserie chicken.

Makes 4 servings

Source:  Taste of Home, August/September 2005


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rhubarb Nut Bread

I look forward to Spring when the rhubarb is in season.   One of my favorite ways to use rhubarb is in rhubarb bread.  This recipe is one of my favorites.  The rhubarb and pecan pieces sprinkled on top of the bread adds a nice tasty treat. 

2 cups (about 3 stalks) rhubarb, coarsely diced (pick the thinner stalks as they are more tender and less fibrous than thicker stalks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
A little flour for dusting (a tablespoon, or so...enough to lightly dust the rhubarb)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature ** (see note below)
3/4 cup chopped pecans, reserving some to sprinkle over the top of the bread before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to middle position.  Grease or spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (or you may use 2 smaller loaf pans)

In a bowl combine the diced rhubarb, sugar, a tablespoon or so of flour, cinnamon and lemon zest; set aside.  Set aside 1/4 cup of the rhubarb mixture and some of the chopped pecans.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, add the egg and lightly beat.  Add the brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.  Mix until well combined.

Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat until smooth.  Add the remaining flour and buttermilk and continue beating until smooth.

Stir in the rhubarb mixture and the chopped pecans.

Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and then sprinkle remaining reserved rhubarb mixture and some chopped pecans over the top.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When done, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan.  Cool completely before slicing.

This bread freezes well.

**To make buttermilk, add 1/2 TBS of lemon juice to the 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir and let sit for few minutes.

Makes one large 9x5 loaf or 2 small loaves



Zucchini Walnut and Feta Cakes with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

These healthy zucchini cakes were exactly what I was looking for when trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight.  I cooked up a double batch and froze them for a night when I'm too busy to cook.

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped walnuts - (I did not use quinoa or walnuts, I used 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs instead)
4 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
1/4 cup green onion - (I used 1/3 cup grated yellow onion)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
3 TBS chopped fresh dill or 1 TBS dried dill weed                           
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper                            
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup) 
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (my addition)                              
2 large eggs, lightly beaten                               
2 TBS olive oil, divided

1 (6-ounce) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt 
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups mixed salad greens (about 2 ounces)
Place quinoa in a mini food processor; process 1 minute or until finely ground. Add chopped walnuts to processor; process until smooth.  As stated above, I used Italian Bread Crumbs instead of the quinoa and walnuts.
Place zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss well. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasion­ally. Press zucchini between paper towels until barely moist. 
Combine zucchini, green onions, dill, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cayenne and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cheeses, and eggs in a large bowl; stir to combine. Sprinkle quinoa mixture over zucchini mixture; stir well to combine. 
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 4 (1/3-cup) zucchini batter mounds to pan; flatten into 3-inch cakes. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and batter to yield 8 cakes total. 
Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, yogurt, cucumber, and garlic in a small bowl. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 cakes and about 1/4 cup cucumber mixture. Serve immediately.

Source:  Cooking Light, May 2014


Monday, August 4, 2014

Jicama & Carrot Slaw with Honey-Lime Dressing

This is a fresh and easy salad that went really well with Kim's Salsa Turkey Burgers.  Jicama (or Mexican Turnip, pronounced: HIK-ka-ma) is a round starchy vegetable that, served by itself, does not have much flavor.  Jicama somewhat looks like a softball.  Fresh pineapple pieces, radish slices or apple pieces would be a wonderful addition to this salad as well.  This salad only has 54 calories per 1/2 cup serving and only 2.9 g of fat. 


1 TBS and 2 tsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp honey
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp salt
1 TBS and 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil


1 lb. jicama, peeled and thinly sliced (match-stick size)
2 - 3 large carrots, shredded
3 TBS minced cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, cumin and salt.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Set aside.

For the salad, in a large bowl, toss together the jicama, carrot, cilantro and jalapeno pepper.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Chill until ready to serve.

Serves 6



Zucchini Casserole

With an abundance of zucchini in my garden, I am on the search for some new recipes.  I found this in one of my cookbooks and thought it sounded delicious.  We all enjoyed it and I will definitely make this again.

6 cups thinly sliced zucchini (cut into 1/2 moon slices)
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 - 6 oz package Herb Stove Top Stuffing Mix
1/2 cup melted butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook for two to three minutes until transparent.  Make sure garlic does not burn.  Add zucchini, cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  When done, stir in salt and pepper.

Mix together the Herb Stove Top Stuffing Mix and the melted butter.  Place half of this mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish or a 11 x 7 dish.  Top with half of the zucchini mixture.  Set aside.

Combine mushroom soup, sour cream and mozzarella. Place half of this mixture on top of the zucchini layer.  Spread to cover.

Repeat with the rest of the zucchini mix and the soup mix.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Top with the remaining stuffing mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from the oven and top with 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes longer until brown. 

Let stand at least five minutes before serving.

Source:  More Family Favorites - Mary Beth Roe


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

This lemon zucchini bread is very moist and delicious.  Since I had some fresh blueberries on hand, I added them to this recipe.  The recipe calls this a lemon zucchini bread, but you could certainly consider this a cake and serve it for dessert.

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup fresh blueberries, dusted with flour (my addition)

Glaze ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS milk
zest of 1 lemon (my addition)

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then add oil and sugar until well blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well. Gently stir in blueberries, if using. 

Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend all together until well combined.  Pour batter into greased 9x5 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

While still warm, make the glaze and spoon over the bread. Let the glaze set up before cutting and serving.  Enjoy!

**I doubled the recipe and made this in a bundt cake pan. I baked the cake for about 55-60 minutes.**



Salsa Turkey Burgers

Tired of eating beef burgers all the time?  Mix it up with this recipe.  Since lean ground turkey tends to get a little dry when cooked, the mushrooms in this recipe will add moisture to the burger.  I served these burgers with the jalapeño popper stuffed zucchini boats.

20 oz lean ground turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 egg
3-4 TBS salsa (I used hot salsa)
1 TBS chopped canned jalapeños
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Mix gently until just combined.  Form mixture into 6 patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.  (To save yourself some time, these burgers can be made and formed into patties one day ahead.  Just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to grill.)

Preheat grill to high. Brush grill rack lightly with oil. Grill burgers for about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center. 

Serve burgers on lightly toasted buns with sliced tomatoes and lettuce or any of your favorite burger toppings.  I topped mine with salsa. Sliced avocado would be good too!

Makes 6 servings


Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats

If you like jalapeño poppers, you will love this recipe.  All of the flavor of a jalapeño popper, but much better for you!  Since I like spicy food, I modified this recipe slightly to include fresh jalapenos and pepper jack cheese.  However, if you prefer yours more mild, I'm sure they will be just as delicious.

2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
6 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese  (I used pepper jack cheese)
2 tablespoons light tub-style cream cheese
2 tablespoons light sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped jarred jalapeño peppers

1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (my addition)
4 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds to form zucchini boats. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 1 minute. Blot any moisture from the zucchini with a paper towel, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, place Cheddar cheese (or pepper jack cheese), cream cheese, sour cream, and jalapeños, and stir well with a fork until smooth. Spread about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture in each of the zucchini boats.

Place the stuffed zucchini on a baking sheet, sprinkle each boat evenly with 1 tablespoon of the breadcrumbs, spray well with cooking spray, and bake for 25 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown.

Makes 4 servings

Source:  Eat What You Love - Marlene Koch