Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Zucchini Muffins

Baking has been on the back burner for me lately, so I was excited to have the time to try a new recipe today. Muffins are easier to make during a hectic day since they can all go in the oven in one batch instead of spending an afternoon taking trays of cookies in and out of the oven. I was inspired by the abundance of zucchini during the summer and always love to use ingredients that are in season. It also helped that we are hosting a play date and can try out this new recipe for snack since it is a sneaky way to get toddlers or picky eaters to eat their vegetables ;) Since I made these for toddlers I did not add walnuts or raisins, but feel free to add whatever you enjoy in yours. The result was a moist muffin with cinnamon, nutmeg and zucchini flavors perfect for the whole family to enjoy!
Zucchini Muffins
Source: Simply Recipes
Yields: 12-14 muffins

3 cups grated fresh zucchini
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts, crushed (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

* Grate the zucchini and then put in a strainer over a bowl to drain some of the water out so you don't have soggy muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. If using, stir in walnuts and raisins.

4. Either coat each muffin cup with spray or muffin liners. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the dough among the cups, filling the cups up completely.

5. Bake on the middle rack about 25-30 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and the tops bounce back when you press on them. Test with a toothpick to make sure the center or the muffin is done. Set on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin and let cool another 20 minutes.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sizzling Spicy Shrimp with Garlic

Shrimp is one of those items that we usually have on hand and is an easy go to healthy meal. This dish has a few ingredients that most people have in the house already and cooks up quickly for an easy weeknight meal that feels like you made something special. The shrimp have a bit of a kick with the crushed red pepper flakes and paprika. To mellow out the heat I served it over quick grits like they do in the south
Sizzling Spicy Shrimp with Garlic
Adapted from: Williams-Sonoma
Serves: 2-4

4 Tbs. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. paprika
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 Tbs. dry white wine or chicken broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley


In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, add the shrimp, lemon juice and dry white wine, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms

For the past few years my friends and I have had a holiday cookie swap. It is so much fun to think of which cookie recipe you want to make. The best part is tasting everything and being able to take home a tin full of cookies that your friends baked. Each year it has evolved to include costume themes and has grown competitive for who will win the most votes for the best cookie. This year it was a holiday pj party, it's always nice to indulge while in comfy clothes. I decided to go with a traditional cookie since they always taste good, but I also didn't have time to try out a new recipe in case it was a bust. While these didn't win, I still enjoy peanut butter with chocolate any day!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields: 48 cookies
Source: Hershey's Kitchen

48 Hershey's kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
additional granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 375F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spinach Turkey Meatballs

Life with a toddler can be tricky at times, especially getting a balanced meal in when they are finding their voice and opinions. A great way to do this is by mixing vegetables into dishes they already love, and it doesn't hurt when we add more veggies for ourselves either. We tend to add leftover steamed broccoli to our scrambled eggs to get veggies into every meal. These meatballs are high in iron from the spinach and mix oatmeal in to substitute for breadcrumbs. And they have enough seasoning to provide flavor for adults to enjoy as well. You can either eat them plain or in your favorite sauce over pasta.
Spinach Turkey Meatballs
Yields ~24 meatballs

1lb ground turkey
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 Tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 egg
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 355 degrees.

Heat a Tablespoons or 2 of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Add spinach, reduce heat to medium and cook until thawed and most liquid has evaporated. Place the onion-spinach mixture in a colander and press with a spatula to remove remaining liquid.

In a large bowl, combine the spices, ground turkey, spinach mixture, oats, bread crumbs and egg. Mix well to combine. Using moistened hands, roll 2 Tablespoons into ball and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I used a small cookie scoop to make it easier and keep them uniform.

Bake at 355F for 20 minutes or so depending on how big the meatballs are. If you want to store them, let them cool and freeze in ziploc bags. At mealtime, grab a couple out of the freezer, and microwave to defrost. 

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Crock Pot Bolognese

It is hard to find time to try new recipes these days. I finally tried out a new crockpot recipe that made enough to stock the freezer. While this goes against my usual crockpot recipes that just have you turn it on, dump everything in and come back to a finished dinner. I was able to save a few steps and buy pre chopped onions, but can also find pre chopped celery and carrots. You can adjust the flavor based on your preference but this is a great go to sauce that doesn't require you to stand over the stove all day to get flavor.

Crock Pot Bolognese
Adapted from: Skinnytaste

1 large white onion
2 celery stalks, minced
2 carrots, minced
2lbs ground turkey or meat of choice
(2) 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

In a large deep sauté pan, add onions, celery, carrots and cook on medium low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Increase to medium-high; add meat, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Saute until meat is browned. Drain the fat.

Add meat mixture to crockpot, then add tomatoes and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over pasta and can freeze leftover sauce.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Cilantro Lime Baked Shrimp

Life with an infant is definitely busy, especially around dinner time. Any recipe that is quick, easy and can be thrown in the oven or doesn't require much hands on time is great. This is a play on the garlicky baked shrimp dish that we loved. It's also a nice go to since we tend to have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer and doesn't require a trip to the store. Serve over rice with your favorite vegetable and enjoy!
Cilantro Lime Baked Shrimp
Yield: About 4 servings
Source: Gimme Some Oven

2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
(optional garnishes: additional lime slices and fresh cilantro)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

In a medium bowl, add shrimp, garlic, lime zest and juice, cumin, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to a greased 11x7-inch or 9x13-inch baking dish.
In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter, Panko, and fresh cilantro until combined. Sprinkle the Panko mixture evenly on top of the shrimp. 

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and no longer opaque. Remove and garnish with extra lime wedges or cilantro if desired.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Super Soft Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

These days cooking seems to be a thing of the past or at least not trying any new recipes. This past weekend I was able to take a few minutes to whip up these whole wheat muffins for breakfast/snacks for the week. I added a Tablespoon of chia seeds for extra protein, fiber and omega 3s. They are very moist and not a strong pumpkin flavor so are perfect all year round.

Super Soft Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. allspice)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (two 4-oz. cups)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add eggs, pumpkin, applesauce and oil. Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Fill muffin cups to the top with batter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts.*
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan before removing from cups.
You can also add the chopped nuts into the batter after mixing all other ingredients, instead of sprinkling on top.
Calories: 184 | Fat: 10g | Carbs: 20g | Protein: 3g | Sugar: 7g

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