Monthly Archives: July 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Are you ready for another zucchini recipe? This is my third one to blog about with a lot more to go. This idea started as brownies and after finding a brownie and a cake recipe, I combined the two because I like cake more than brownies. At first I didnt think this would come together, then the batter got really thick, but once I added the zucchini it became more of a cake batter consistency. There are a few things you should know about this cake….1. You don’t taste the zucchini. 2. You hardly see any zucchini. 3. It’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. With that said, its really simple to make & is super moist. The icing totally makes it and it will be hard to eat just one piece!

What you need;
Cake:
3/4 c vegetable oil
3/4 c white sugar
1/4 c honey
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 c flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c shredded zucchini
Icing:
4 tbls unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c butter
2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

How to make;
Mix oil, sugar, honey, eggs & vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the dry to the wet mixture (it gets really thick). Fold in the zucchini (the moisture from this loosens the batter). My stand mixer made this process a lot easier on me! Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool cake completely before icing. To make the icing mix the butter, milk, vanilla extract & cocoa powder together. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until the icing comes together. Spread icing over the cooled cake. Enjoy with a large glass of milk, vanilla ice cream or whatever your guilty pleasure is….the cake is perfect on it’s own too! Enjoy!

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Summer Squash Casserole

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Fair warning….you might get tired of all the zucchini recipes I will be posting this summer. My hubby & I planted 3 zucchini plants this year so we are bound to have an abundance of zucchini. I’ve grilled it, fried it, roasted it, steamed it, baked with it and now I’ve made a casserole with it. I had half a large yellow squash that was given to us by a friend and our second zucchini from our garden to use tonight. I wanted a new way to cook it so I went to Pinterest and started looking up squash recipes. I didn’t find what I was looking for but many recipes inspired this squash casserole. It was surprisingly good (I always doubt my recipes the first try) even my hubby was impressed. Since I wasn’t sure how it would turn out I wasn’t planning on blogging it so I’m estimating my measurements. I don’t think you can mess this up though, use what you have. It would be great with just squash or just zucchini if you only have one.

What you need;
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini (bite sized)
1 1/2 cups diced yellow squash (bite sized)
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbls minced parsley
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tbls parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

How to make;
Saute onion, garlic, zucchini & squash until just soft (about 10 min). Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Mix the sour cream, mayo, parsley & shredded cheddar in a bowl. Add squash (with the juices) to the sour cream mixture, mix well. Pour the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish. Mix the parm cheese with the bread crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the top of the squash. I sprayed my bread crumb topping with a vegetable oil spray to help it brown. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until the bread crumb topping is evenly browned.

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I have a feeling this will be even better reheated tomorrow…..or maybe later tonight 🙂

Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

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I love zucchini bread, but I like the convenience of a muffin. I found a recipe for a zucchini bread with oats in it and decided to remix it, reduce the sugar and make it into muffins. My idea sounded pretty healthy and they actually turned out to be very good. Slathered with butter and drizzled with honey makes them even more divine. They are a dense but moist muffin and this recipe makes 12 muffins if you fill the cups 3/4 full. They dont rise much.

What you need;
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini

How to make;
Mix all dry ingredients together, set aside. Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, fold in zucchini. Make a well in your dry bowl and pour the wet into the dry. Fold the wet into the dry until incorporated. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

*add two mashed bananas to the batter to make them Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins*

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Recycle Wreath

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With a baby on the way and two kids bedrooms to furnish and decorate, I have been looking for recycle projects around the house. I had recently made a 4th of July wreath with some sale items and a wreath form that I already had, but with the 4th over I needed a new wreath for my front door. After digging through my craft cabinet, I found a torn apart wreath I had made last spring, some burlap and my hot glue gun. All free items! Yay! I glued the flowers back on the wreath and the house numbers. I cut a strip of burlap and tied a bow, attached it with gobs of hot glue and voila!  I have a new/old but most importantly FREE wreath for my front door for the remainder of the summer. I encourage you to recycle items around your house and either make them new again or repurpose them. I will be doing this a lot with the kids bedrooms….more about that soon!

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One Dish Chicken – $10.00 Dinner

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This recipe has been circulating on Pinterest for months. I’ve seen it called a few different names but it’s always the same 5 ingredients. I pinned it with the intention of trying it soon, but weeks went by before I remembered this dish. Friends of ours had a new baby and I thought this would be perfect to take to them for dinner. I made two dishes, one for us and one for them. This recipe is so simple, cheap and delicious! The chicken is so moist and full of flavor. You put everything in the same dish and bake, you can’t mess it up!

What you need;
4 chicken breast
About 1.5 pounds of cubed red potatoes
Fresh or frozen green beans, about 14 oz
1 pkt of Italian dressing seasoning
1 stick of butter, cubed

How to make;
Lay chicken down the middle of a 9×13 baking dish. Lay potatoes and green beans along side of the chicken. Season with salt and pepper (optional). Sprinkle Italian seasoning over everything and top with cubes of butter. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

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This is a full meal in itself or serve with hot rolls. This recipe feeds four for about $10.00! Make a pan for yourself and one for a friend!

If you like this recipe then check out my One Dish Pork Recipe…..https://simple2something.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/one-dish-pork-10-00-dinner/

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

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These cupcakes scream summer! They taste just like a refreshing strawberry lemonade. They are light, fluffy, sweet and tart. Not to mention they are so easy to make! Kid tested and approved too!

What you need;
For the cake:
1 box of strawberry cake mix (follow directions on the box)
1 box of vanilla pudding mix (this is optional but makes the cupcakes super moist)
For the lemon buttercream icing:
1\2 c vegetable shortening
1/2 c butter, softened
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups powdered sugar

How to make;
Line muffin tins with cupcake liners, mix cake mix using the directions on the box. Stir in pudding mix until incorporated. Follow baking temp and time from box. Cool completely. Cream together shortening and butter. Add lemon zest and juice. Slowly add sugar until all combined. Ice cupcakes and enjoy!

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I put my icing in a freezer bag and cut the tip of the bag so I can pipe the icing on the cupcakes. I have fresh mint from my garden so a mint garnish was necessary. These would be great for a summer bbq or birthday party!