Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Peach Pie Smoothies

Yes, these smoothies really taste like peach pie, so full of flavor and freshness!  They did become our family's favorite peach smoothie, for sure!  Enjoy!
-3 cups (about 1 1/2 lbs) fresh peaches, cored and cut into big chunks
-1 1/2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or just plain yogurt)
-1 1/2 cups milk
-1/4 cup honey
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/8 tsp ground ginger
Place everything in your blender and process until smooth.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Paula Deen's Italian Pasta Salad

This is by far THE BEST pasta salad ever!  The dressing is to die for!  Seriously you should try this.  I made a few changes here and there, such as replacing the mushrooms with salami and cheese in order to make it more dinner friendly.:)  Still, you can have this salad as an appetizer, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It is so good that any time of day is perfect to have it.  Enjoy!
-1 lb garden rotini pasta (or any kind you like)
-1 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (store bought)
-1/4 cup mayonnaise
-1 Tbs sugar
-1 large tomato, diced in bite sized chunks
-4 oz dry salami, cut into chunks
-4 oz mozzarella or pepper jack cheese, cut into chunks
-2/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and drained
-1/2 green bell pepper, diced
-ground pepper, to taste
-grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt and pasta.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, place in large salad bowl and let it cool.
Meanwhile, pour dressing, mayonnaise and sugar into blender.  Mix until smooth. 
To the cooled pasta, add tomatoes, salami, cheese, olives and bell pepper.  Mix well.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Add the dressing and mix well.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, toss lightly and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Paula Deen recipe.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Chocolate Chip-Pecan-Zucchini Bread

Need I say more?  This bread is AMAZING!!!  Super extra tasty, moist with the perfect little crunch! Amazingly delicious!  Enjoy!
*this recipe yields 2 loaves
-3 large eggs
-2 cups sugar
-1 cup vegetable oil
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 large or 2 medium zucchini, grated
-1 cup chopped pecans
-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-orange zest from 1 orange
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat 2 9x5 loaf pans with the baking cooking spray (the one with butter and flour).  Set aside.
Beat the eggs until nice and fluffy.  Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended.  Add the oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips and orange zest.  Mix very well.  Add remaining ingredients, with the flour 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix very well.
Pour evenly into the 2 prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let it sit in the pan for about 10 minutes.  Remove from pans onto wire racks and let cool completely.  Slice and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Paula Deen recipe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Zucchini-Beef Casserole

It's zucchini season, for sure!  I absolutely love this wonderful vegetable.  It's super easy to cook with and quite versatile.  I wanted to make something different for my family and I started looking for recipes.  I found this one on the Taste of Home website and knew that I had to make it.  I made a few changes here and there and LOVED the result!  This has quickly become a family favorite!  The flavors are simply amazing.  I served ours with some cheesy garlic bread and they paired up beautifully.  Enjoy!
-2 large zucchinis, shredded
-1 tsp salt
-2 large eggs
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-15 oz pasta sauce
-1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 F.  Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Sprinkle shredded zucchinis with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes.  After that, squeeze all the liquid our of the zucchinis and place them in a large bowl. **this step is very important; the salt will bring out all the liquid in the zucchini and if it's not squeezed out, you'll end up with a mushy mess**
Combined squeezed zucchinis with the eggs, Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the cheddar and 1 cup of the mozzarella.  Mix very well.  Press on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown the beef with the onion.  Drain.  Add the pasta sauce, mix well and set aside.
Once the zucchini crust is done baking, remove from the oven and top with the beef mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.  Top with the chopped bell pepper.
Return to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes.
Remove from oven and let it sit for 10 minutes to set.
Slice and enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2015

No Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This is quick, easy and super extra delicious!  The ice cream is very creamy and oh, so tasty!  I can't wait to make this one again and again!  Enjoy!
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
-1 tsp peppermint extract
-1 cup Andes mints chips (found in the baking isle)
-2 drops green food coloring
Beat heavy cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Fold in the chilled milk.  Add the extract, chips and coloring.  Mix with a spatula until well incorporated.
Pour mixture into 9x5 loaf pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 6-8 hours or until set.  Enjoy!


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