Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

My 9 year old loves Cheesy Ham and Scalloped Potatoes so I thought I would try to make a soup that would be similar to that.

1/4 cup butter
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery,  chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion,  chopped
2 TB cornstarch
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 cups chicken broth
12 oz beer*, (IPA's work well, but you can experiment with your beer flavor preference)
4 medium russet potatoes, (peel and chop 2, set the other 2 aside)
12 oz ham, cubed
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small head broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces**
salt and pepper to taste
*If you are gluten free you can use a gluten free beer, or sub with more chicken broth
**I added the broccoli because I felt it needed some more color. My kids LOVE broccoli so it wasn't an issue but it can be an overpowering flavor. The soup is fantastic without it too. Peas would be a great milder alternative if you like.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the carrot, celery, garlic and onion. Cook 4-5 minutes until the onion is tender and translucent.

Whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk and add it to the pot along with the broth and beer. Stir well.
Bring to a boil, add the first 2 peeled and chopped potatoes.

Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Run an immersion blender through the mixture or you can work in batches in a regular blender(careful its HOT!!!) until it is smooth. (You can hand mash if you like, it just may not be as smooth)

Peel and chop the remaining potatoes into bite sized pieces
Add cheese to the pot and stir until fully melted, then add ham, potatoes and broccoli.

Add salt and pepper as desired. Simmer 15-20 minutes more until the potatoes and broccoli is tender. You can adjust the thickness with more chicken broth if you like.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Zucchini and Sausage Casserole with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

Who needs another Zucchini recipe???  I sure do!

The GIANT was picked today, weighed in at 105oz!!!

Anyway....on to the recipe!!! This recipe started kind of as a spaghetti type dish, then I saw what kind of sausage I had on hand and that sparked my imagination!

12 oz  Chicken Sausage (I used Open Nature Sun Dried Tomato and Provolone)
12 oz pasta of your choice
4 cups chopped zucchini

1/2 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained but not rinsed and chopped roughly
1 1/2 cups milk
2 TB cornstarch
6 oz provolone cheese
1 tsp EACH basil and oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup fresh grated  Parmesan cheese

Slice your sausage as you prefer(some like larger slices, we prefer quarters) and place in a pan over medium heat. Brown for 5-7 minutes and remove, set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse.

Mix cornstarch into cold milk. In a pan over medium high heat place the tomatoes and the milk. Heat and stir until it begins to thicken.

 Add the cheese and seasonings. Stir and cook until cheese is fully melted and it is rather thick.

Toss the pasta, sausage, zucchini and sausage together and place in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Remove foil cover and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese.  Bake 5-10 minutes more until cheese is fully melted and starting to brown.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

24 hour Mock Apple Butter (Zucchini-Butter!)

Yep Yep, more zucchini, today its Zucchini Butter!!!
So yummy on a peanut butter sandwich, with cream cheese on a bagel, an ice cream topping or alone on some toast!

5 lbs zucchini, peeled , seeds removed and chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
generous pinch of nutmeg

Place a liner in a slow cooker (liner isnt necessary but it makes for MUCH easier clean up)

Combine zucchini, vinegar and lemon juice and toss well.
Turn on to high and cook for 8 hours.

After 8 hours, add remaining ingredients and toss well.
Reduce temp to low and cook another 10 hours

Stir and mash all ingredients into a puree(leave chunks as desired) adjust sugars and seasonings as desired and cook on high another 6 hours

This made me 4  jars. I stick them in the freezer but you can process them  any way you prefer

zucchinibutter zukebutter zuke butter applebutter

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pizza Chicken

Super delicious with a pizza flair. The kids gobbled it up! This was SUPPOSED to be Pork Chops, but I accidentally pulled out chicken breast instead...Chicken works just as well though. I am leaving this marked as pork in my labels just because I think it would be fantastic with pork as well.... LOL..... Edit, tired it and it was FANTASTIC with pork as well
A variation on this recipe from Allrecipes.

4 good sized chicken breasts (I sliced them each in half for 8 pieces)

3-4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
3 TB fresh chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
2 cloves garlic

1 egg
1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup flour(GF variations work well)

1 cup bread crumbs(GF are yummy!)
2 TB fresh grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

2 TB olive oil

1 cup shredded mozzarella

Combine tomatoes, basil, oregano, onion and garlic.

Toss together well and allow to mingle for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400.

Beat egg with milk.

In a shallow dish combine bread crumbs, parmesan salt and pepper.

Dip chicken into egg mixture, then flour, back in the egg  then dredge through the bread crumb mixture.

Place the chicken  in a lightly oiled baking dish.

 Bake 20 minutes.

Top with the tomato mixture and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake another 15-20 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165(145 for pork).  (actual time will depend on thickness)

Top with mozzarella and place under the broiler until melted and bubbly!

(If you used pork, cover them with foil and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving)

Strawberry Zucchini Bars

More Zucchini....it just keeps coming. I picked one that was nearly 5lbs today! And that is not even my BIG one!!!


2 1/4 cups flour *
1/2 cup cold butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup old fashioned oats
2 eggs
2 TB water

2 cups mashed strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 TB cornstarch
8 oz thinly sliced zucchini

* You can use a GF mix if you like just add in 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and make sure your oats are certified GF!

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 pan.

In a food processor combine flour, butter, sugar , baking powder and salt.  Process until it is crumbly.

Add oats and eggs, process again

 add water SLOWLY until your mixture resembles coarse gravel. You dont want it TOO sticky so only add enough water as needed. (Mine was a little on the sticky side, oops)

Reserve about 1 1/4 cup of this mixture for the topping.

Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the greased pan.

Combine the strawberries, cornstarch and sugar. Mix well.

Layer the zucchini slices over the crust.

Pour the strawberry mixture over the zucchini.

Top with the reserved crust mixture.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Serve with some ice cream or whipped cream......YUMMY!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Creamy Hot Zucchini Dip

This is just delicious!! I found this recipe and modified it.  Omit the ham and it is still a fantastic dip....or try bacon...mmmmm

3 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp salt

1 cup ham, chopped into small cubes
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayo*
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/3 cup fresh grated Asiago
1/3 cup fresh grated Romano
1/2 cup bell pepper chopped fine(any color, I used Lilac)
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks green onions, chopped fine
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper to taste

* if you dont like mayo you could omit it and increase greek yogurt to 2/3 cup

Shred your zucchini and toss well with salt. Place in a strainer and allow to drain for an hour. It should lose quite a bit of liquid.

Squeeze out excess liquid and place zucchini in a bowl with remaining ingredients

Mix well

I baked mine directly in a sourdough bread bowl,  but it is just as easily baked in a greased 8 inch dish

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, raw veggies, or on bread/toast

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Slow Cooker Citrus Pork

A nice citrus flavor for a summer afternoon. I got this from Taste of Home and modified it slightly.

2 lb pork roast
1 large grapefruit
1 medium orange
1 large lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley (cilantro would also be a fantastic flavor!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium sweet onion

Juice the citrus fruits then slice the peels into strips and reserve for later.
Combine fruit juices, oil , garlic, parsley. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
Cut several slits in the pork roast about 3/4 to 1 inch deep.
In a large re-sealable bag place the roast and cover
with marinade.

Allow to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours minimum, or overnight if possible.

In the bottom of the slow cooker, place slices of the reserved peels and the onions.

Pour the entire contents of the bag over the peels and onions, adjust salt and pepper as desired, cook on low 6-8 hours until the roast reaches 145

Remove from cooker, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.