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Morning Glory Muffins

I love muffins and quick breads, muffins are even better on the go.  Unfortunately muffins are usually loaded with fat and sugar.  After reading a mix of morning glory muffin recipes I figured my recipe out.  I actually forgot about this recipe from a few years ago.  Until my Grandma gave me a large bag of carrots from the garden, I knew I would use some for baking and this recipe popped into my head.

This recipe uses two fruits and two vegetables and just a bit of sugar. The kids love these muffins and the possibilities are endless.  You could add in raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips for a real treat.  Don’t worry if you don’t have some of the fruit and vegetables substitute out for your favorite or more of another.

Morning Glory Muffins:Morning Glory Muffins

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs flaxseed meal
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 banana, mashed well
  • 1 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup apple, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or apple juice

Whisk or sift together flours, baking powder,baking soda,sugar,salt, cinnamon and flaxseed meal.

In a mixer or large bowl combine eggs, vanilla, all fruits, and juices. Morning Glory Muffins Add in the dry mixture until just combined. Scoop evenly into lightly greased muffin tins, about 18 regular muffins.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

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Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Here is another quick bread recipe.  I found Zucchini Pineapple Bread II Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  It was a different from the normal Grandma’s Zucchini Bread recipe but I am not sure it was better.  I love trying new things and thought the added pineapple sounded interesting.

I substituted out some oil and didn’t not add the pecan’s due to Mr.Picky.  This was a very moist zucchini bread and it was enjoyed.  Next time I will leave out the raisins and add the pecans, I think the flavors would work better.  Also make sure you really drain the pineapple well so there is not to much liquid in the batter.

Zucchini Pineapple BreadZucchini Pineapple Bread:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups zucchini,grated
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained.

Mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla,oil, applesauce, and zucchini.

Sift together the flour,baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add this mixture to the wet ingredients.

Stir in nuts, raisins, and pineapple.

Pour into 2 9x5x3″ pans that have been lightly greased.

Bake in a preheated oven for 325 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

(If doing mini loaves reduce cooking time by about 20 minutes or so)

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Zucchini Fries

I made these zucchini fries multiple times and I love them.  As I kids I often ate fried zucchini.  Fried zucchini was similar but used crackers as breading and the rounds were fried in oil.  This figure friendly version is just as good.  Plus all the zucchini fries are done cooking at once.  Much easier for the cook how never gets to eat because they are cooking the  dinner.

We served the fries with ketchup or homemade healthier ranch dressing to dip.

Zucchini Fries

Zucchini Fries:

  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into fry size pieces
  • 2-3 Tbs flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

First place sliced zucchini in a large colander in the sink and sprinkle with 1-2 Tbs salt.  Allow to sweat out any moisture for at least 30 minutes.  Rinse clean and pat dry.

Zucchini Fries

 

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl (large enough for each piece of zucchini to fit down into) beat eggs with about 1 Tbs water.

In a pie pan combine bread crumbs, cheese, and seasoning mix until combined.

Sprinkle towel dried zucchini sticks with 1-2 Tbs flour, this will help the coating stick to the zucchini.

Zucchini Fries

 

Dip 2-3 sticks at a time into egg and then into bread crumbs.  One hand is wet for the egg dipping and the other hand is dry to dip into the bread crumb mixture.

Continue dipping each stick and place them on the prepared sheet pan until you are finished.

Lightly spray the fries with a bit of grapeseed or olive oil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, flipping the fries halfway through. Enjoy!

Corn and Zucchini Fritters

Corn and Zucchini FrittersSummer time is fritter time as far as I am concerned.  Both corn and zucchini are ripening by the minute.  You have to use them before you lose them to fall.

I had fritters on my dinner menu for the week but paired with BBQ shrimp.  Well that flew out the window the other night when I tried to make gnocchi and the ricotta cheese was spoiled.  Since I already cracked the eggs and grated the zucchini we had fritters instead.  Turns out it is a new favorite of my children, my daughter especially loved them.  Even Mr.Picky is a big fan of corn and zucchini fritters.

As a child I remember getting so excited when I saw my mom making fritter sauce.  Corn was a favorite vegetable growing up and she made plain corn fritters which were eaten with in minutes.  The flavors are a memory and comfort of growing up to me.  I prefer to cook mine in a well seasoned cast iron pan like my mom did.  Don’t worry a non stick skillet will work.  I try to add as little butter as I can to the pan, just enough to help with sticking.

The fritter sauce is similar to thousand island (which I don’t care for) but much better.  Maybe it is because it is homemade.  The sauce completes these guys and they just don’t taste the same without it.  No one would want to eat a dry pancake, although the fritters are moister than pancakes.  Give it a try while you have zucchini out your ears.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup corn (about 2 ears)
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add in milk and egg until smooth.

Fold in corn and zucchini until combined.Corn and Zucchini Fritters

Prepare a skillet over medium temperature, prepare fritters similar to pancakes.  A touch of butter in the pan and a 1/4 cup scoop of batter.  Cook about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

corn and zucchini fritters

Serve with fritter sauce to experience the whole flavor scale.

Fritter Sauce:Fritter Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 3 Tbs ketchup
  • 2 Tbs sweet relish
  • dash of tabasco
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 Tbs onion, grated directly over bowl

Mix all together until combined.  Use to top your fritters!

Carrot and Zucchini Cake

So I kept seeing Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting | Real Mom Kitchen posted all over Pinterest.  Yes, I know I get a lot of ideas off of Pinterest.  I don’t go on there daily just occasionally.  I will just go back to me Eats I want to try board to come up with ideas when I am bored.

So I basically used the recipe but making a slightly healthier and more moist version.  We all loved it and I don’t even think it needs the lemon cream cheese frosting.  Not that I am turning down cream cheese frosting because it is my favorite.  I used my recipe for the frosting and added lemon zest as Real Mom Kitchen did.  The lemon flavor could be left out if you don’t care for the fresh zest of lemon.

My cake turned out super moist and much denser, probably because I added a lot more carrot.  Turns out I love my cake this way so it was fine with me.  I have never used honey as sweetener in a cake and I believe this impacted the moisture as well.  The cake almost was as moist as a bread pudding but not too wet to eat holding it in your hand.  Three cheers to a healthy ish cake!

carrot and zucchini cake bars

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, optional
  • dash of salt

Mix together eggs, sugar, applesauce, honey and vanilla.  Once combined stir in carrots, zucchini, and nuts.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir into wet mixture until just combined.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13″ baking dish.  Pour cake into the pan and spread evenly.  Bake 25-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean of the center.

carrot and zucchini cake

Whip together frosting until smooth and fluffy, adding more milk if needed.  Spread over cool cake or pipe onto slices to make it fancy.

 

World’s Best Lasagna

World's Best LasagnaA few years ago I found World’s Best Lasagna Recipe – Allrecipes.com, I knew it must be good enough to try.  After I made this recipe I knew I would forever make this recipe.  We are not huge fans of red sauce, especially Mr.Picky.  The funny part is that the sauce recipe was almost exactly how I make my spaghetti sauce.

When the special occasion arises to eat lasagna, this is the recipe I make.  I say special occasion for a few reasons lasagna is expensive to make, it makes so much for just our little family, it is incredible rich, and I over eat when I make it so I have to pace myself.

If you want a no fail recipe this is the one.  I have reduced the salt from the original recipe and I will sometimes add a layer of spinach if I have fresh baby spinach on hand.  I have even grated carrots and zucchini up and added it to my sauce with no complaints.  One day I might grate eggplant into it which I think would be wonderful.

I also discovered you cook the sauce in a slow cooker instead and throw together the lasagna a day or two ahead but it is a one dish meal.  I try to serve a good vegetable with it and garlic bread if we have company.  You can also freeze any leftovers and pull it out for a later time.

The recipe calls for a 9 x 13″ baking dish, just be warned it will be full if you are using a 2″ deep pan like most.  I borrow my mother in-laws deep casserole dish usually or I reserve some sauce for a different meal.  Somehow I always end up with way too much sauce, probably because sometimes I use a bigger can of tomato sauce instead of the two small ones.  If you use the exact measurements you should be fine, I know it came out right the first time.  I think I just add this and that and it all adds up to extra.  But two meals for the price of one sounds good to me.  This time I saved aside about 3 cups of extra sauce and threw some frozen meatballs in for meatball subs.

World’s Best lasagna:

  • 1 lb. sweet or spicy Italian sausage
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 oz. can) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz. can) tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 oz. can) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 fennel seed
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 lb. mozzarella, sliced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

 

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Or place it all in a slow cooker and turn to low for about 4 hours.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.   Or use my favorite no boil noodles which to me taste better.  I believe they are 16 noodles to a box and are smaller, so use them all.  You can moisten them by allowing them to sit in water for about 5 minutes before using.  This will insure the noodles will not dry out.

In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  If you are putting the lasagna together ahead of time, skip this step.

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

First Layer of Lasagna

First Layer of Lasagna

 

Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!



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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Have lots of zucchini growing in your garden or someone who does?  Who loves cake? To be honest I don’t, cake would never be my choice of dessert.  If I am going to eat cake this would be the one I would choose.

Chocolate zucchini cake was always a treat my grandmother made during the summer.  Actually zucchini is always of abundance in our home in the summer.  When I have too much I grate it and freeze it in 2 cup containers.  This cake is everything you could hope for.  Not too sweet, moist, and chocolate spice flavor without being overwhelming.

This cake compares more to a brownie flavor but a cake texture.  Plus it has zucchini in it so you can eat more, right?

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake:

Cake batter:

  • 1/2 cup oil or applesauce
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (=1/2 cup milk and 1/2 tsp vinegar, mix and sit for 10 minutes)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbs cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered or confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water

Cream oil, butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk. Beat with mixer.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Add to egg mixture and beat well.

Stir in zucchini and pour into a greased 9×13 pan.Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Sprinkle with chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350° for 30-35 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and top with glaze(mix powdered sugar, cinnamon, and water).

*Sour milk 1 tsp to 1 cup milk, let stand for 10 min.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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