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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yummy Stir-Fried Zucchini

In an effort to eat healthy-fresh more often and because zucchini is so prolific right now, I have concocted this little number.  The Mediterranean Seasoning is from the 21-day Fix Eating Plan.  Yes, she is trying yet another weight-loss plan--it's a journey.

Fresh zucchini, cut into bite-size cubes (about 3 or 4 medium to large)
Mediterranean Seasoning, to taste (about a teaspoon or so)
Olive oil, about a tablespoon

4 T. dried parsley, crushed
4 t. dried onion flakes
2 t. dried basil, crushed
1 t. ground oregano
1 t. ground thyme
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper

1.  In a medium or large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

2.  Add zucchini and stir to coat with oil.  Add desired amount of seasoning.  Stir-fry for about 3 or 4 minutes.

3.  That's it!  Enjoy!  Goes well with many things.  I have had it with grilled chicken breast, a veggie burger, or just as part of a veggie plate.  Last night we had it with sliced garden tomatoes, boiled potatoes, and I just had to have some fried green tomatoes.  I know--fried.  It's a Southern thing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

You gotta know that roasting veggies (and nuts) makes your recipes taste SO much better!


  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 T. oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 T. oil 
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 t. thyme, chopped
  • 3 cups veggie or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 c. aged cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. grainy mustard (optional)


  1. Toss the broccoli florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  2. Roast the broccoli in a preheated 400 degree oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  6. Add the broth and broccoli, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  7. Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender.
  8. Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Mix in the milk and remove from heat.
Source:  Closet Cooking

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chicken Piccata

I love this dish.  It's delicious, very easy to make, and healthy!  I usually add a side of vegetables and either rice or mashed potatoes to make it a meal.

Ingredients List:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I buy 2 chicken breasts, and cut them in half lengthwise, to make 4 halves total)
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram leaves
2 T. lemon juice (I usually just add the juice of a whole lemon)
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 heaping T. dried parsley)


1. Place 1 chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Gently pound chicken with meat mallet until about 1/4 inch thick; remove wrap.  Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves.

2. In bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper.  Coat chicken breast halves with mixture.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add chicken; cook 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

4. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, and marjoram to skillet; cook and stir 1-2 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and parsley.  Serve sauce over chicken.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Pillsbury Complete Cookbook

Nutrition Information, per serving: 230 Calories, 10 g. Fat, 0 g. Fiber, and 28 g. Protein

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Eggs in Avocado

Although I love oatmeal and have it most mornings, sometimes I grow tired of the same-old, same-old.  I thought I'd break out of my routine a bit and give this a shot.  Glad I did!

1 ripe avocados
2 eggs
salt, pepper, chopped chives

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Slice avocado in half and remove the pit.  Scoop out about 2 Tbsp. worth of avocado from pit area of each avocado half.  This allows for more room for the egg.
3.  In a loaf baking pan, arrange a large sheet of foil so that you can kind of scrunch it to make an area for the avocados to rest without moving.  Place avocado halves in pan.

4.  Sprinkle each avocado half with salt and pepper  (The pic doesn't show it, but I'm suggesting it after the fact!).  Crack an egg into each half, slowly.
5.  Bake until egg whites are set.  (Original recipe said 15-20 minutes but it took my oven 25-30 minutes.)
6.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with more salt and pepper, if desired, and garnish with the chopped chives.


Friday, August 15, 2014

1/2 and 1/2 Bread

My family loves this bread!!!

6 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
6 Cups Luke Warm Water
2 Tbls. Yeast
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

Mix together and let rise until doubled and bubbly then add:

2 Tbls. Salt
8-10 Cups White Flour (dough should be pulling away from the side of the mixing bowl and be a bit sticky)

Mix on medium speed for 10 min (the only mixers I know of that can handle this is a Bosch or a Kitchen Aide, but if you use a Kitchen Aide you need to cut the recipe in half).

When done mixing remove dough from mixing bowl and form it into 4 large loves on a floured surface. Place in greased bread pans.  Let rise until slightly above the lip of the pans.  Bake at 350 for 30 Min.  Remove from pans and place on cooling racks then spread butter on the tops of them to soften the crust.  Let cool before placing them in bread bags.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fresh Peach Preserves

I don't can often, but when I do.......I love to make these Fresh Peach Preserves.  So good.  And really easy.  I got this recipe back in maybe 1994 from a good friend who shared it with me when I had a 1/2 bushel box of peaches and needed to do something with them--like right then.  Since then, if I ever have the good fortune to have some totally sweet awesome peaches in bulk, this is my go-to recipe. I don't even bother freezing any.

5 cups well mashed peaches
1 cup crushed pineapple (with juice)
10-15 chopped Maraschino cherries
1 tsp. Fruit Fresh
2 pkgs. Sure-Gel
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 t. butter
5 cups sugar

1.  Combine first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan.  Add the butter and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.

2.  Add sugar quickly.  Return to full boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3.  Immediately fill CLEAN jars and put lids and rings on.  Hand-tighten rings.*

4.  Invert jars for 5 minutes, then return to normal position.

5.  Have fun hearing the lids POP as they seal at random moments.

6.  Give out to your "framily". Keep some for yourself.

YIELD--about 10 1/2-pint jars. 

Source:  Pat Sorenson via Tonya Shepherd Sorenson.

*  If you have never canned  before, be sure to check out instructions on Google or go to the Ball Canning website for tutorials.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Oreo Pie

I love this recipe because it is very easy, and the product is pretty!

If you want your pie white (like Oreo filling), I would recommend using the white chocolate Jell-O.  Otherwise, the vanilla pudding works just as good, but puts a slight yellow hue on the pie.  Despite the color of the final product, this pie is tasty and easy!  For even easier assembly, you can buy a premade Oreo crust, and omit the first two ingredients in the list.

Ingredients List:

2 c. finely blended Oreo crumbs
1/4 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. cold milk
2 pkg. Jell-O vanilla (or white chocolate) flavor instant pudding and pie filling
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping, thawed
1 1/2 c. chopped Oreos
4 halved Oreos


1. Mix blended Oreo crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and up sides of 9 inch pie plate.

2. Beat milk and pudding mixes in large bowl with wire whisk 1 minute.  Gently stir in whipped topping until smooth.  Stir in chopped Oreos.  Spoon into crust.

3. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Garnish with Oreo halves.

Yield: 8 servings

Source: Oreo