Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jalapeno Popper Quesadilla

Felt like treating myself a little bit today.  I'm all alone for lunch and usually I'll just grab some leftovers or a quick sandwich.   I had some nice jalapenos from the farm, and this recipe seemed like the perfect way to use them.  

Just small changes to this one- I used Mexican blend shredded cheese and real bacon bits.  I scaled it down to just one serving.  Next time,  I'll make them on my Cuisinart Griddler for more even browning and crispiness.   Thank you so much to Rebecca N for sharing her recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Jalapeno Popper Quesadillas

2                    flour tortillas- burrito size
2oz cream cheese -- room temperature
  1T        Real bacon bits
1 jalapeno pepper -- seeded and finely chopped (used a mix of green and red)
 1/2               cup  shredded mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.  Place tortilla on greased baking sheet. . Spread with cream cheese; sprinkle with bacon, jalapeno and cheese. Top with remaining tortilla.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Source  "http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/jalapeno-popper-quesadillas"

Linked to The Weekend Potluck #190
and Taste of Home's Cook's Corner Ingredient Challenge- Pantry Clean Out

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apple Zucchini Bread- yay for Fall!

I've been waiting patiently for fall, it's my favorite season.   Apples, hoodies, the beautiful New England foliage, cooler weather for baking.   Finally, it has arrived.   I stopped by the orchard and picked up a gorgeous bag of assorted apples (Gala, Jonamac and Paula Red), and 4 zucchini with the intention of making up some quick bread and tossing a few loaves in the freezer.   I came up with this recipe from Taste of Home.

First off, I had to 86 the nuts.   Both guys are allergic.   A lot of times you can leave them out with no damage, but this was a large amount.  Sometimes I add crushed Rice Krispies to make up the difference.   This time, I decided to add 1 cup of cinnamon chips.  

I always peel my zucchini for baking.   My husband and son used to insist they don't like it.   I've since let Jake in on the secret and he loves watching Dad reach for that 2nd and 3rd piece.   I also let the peeled zucchini sit in a colander for a while to lose any of the excess liquid, then I give it a good press with the back of the spatula before I use it.

This recipe has over 50 reviews, a lot of which said they cut the sugar.  I didn't read the reviews until after I'd put the bread in the oven, which is a rookie mistake.   I don't find the bread to be super overly sweet, but my batter seemed very thin and filled the pans way higher than I usually would.    At 55 minutes, they didn't test done.  or at 65 minutes.  I dropped the temp to 325 for another 5 minutes, and finally, done.

The zucchini disappeared into loaves, which I wanted, but the apple did too.   I'm guessing it was due to variety.    The taste is great, and the guys went through almost a full loaf very quickly.  I'd planned on wrapping and freezing the other two, maybe one will make it.    Thank you so much to Patti D for sharing her recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Apple Zucchini Bread

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4               cups  all-purpose flour
  1         tablespoon  baking soda
  1                tsp  ground cinnamon
     1/2      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
  5                     eggs
  1 1/2           cups  vegetable oil
  2               cups  sugar
  1                cup  packed brown sugar
  1         tablespoon  vanilla extract
  2               cups  shredded peeled zucchini
  1                cup  shredded peeled apples
  1                  c  cinnamon chips
Raw sugar, for sprinkling over the top

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, sugars and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in zucchini, apples and cinnamon chips (batter will be stiff). Spoon into three greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans.  Sprinkle top of loaves with raw sugar.  Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 3 loaves.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Peach blueberry muffins

Peach season is coming to a close here in New Hampshire, but I still managed to score 4 large, sweet, juicy peaches.   I knew I wanted to make muffins, and a search through the Taste of Home database turned up this recipe.    It called for pecans, but I substituted blueberries because both my guys are allergic to tree nuts and I have a ton of blueberries.   I liked the use of the sour cream, though I'm betting they would be great with greek yogurt or peach flavored yogurt.    I sprinkled the tops with raw sugar before baking, I like the crunch and sparkle it gives them.

The recipe makes 12.   5 disappeared very quickly last night.   My son asked me to send one for his school snack today.    I'm enjoying one with coffee this morning.   This is one of those recipes that as soon as I mix the batter, I know I should have doubled it!    Thanks to Mrs. Michelson for sharing her recipe  :)

* Exported from MasterCook *

                              Peach Blueberry Muffins

     1/2           cup  butter -- softened
     3/4           cup  sugar
  1                     egg
     1/2           cup  sour cream
  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
  1 1/2           cups  all-purpose flour
  1 1/2      teaspoons  baking powder
  1  cup  diced peaches- used a large, picked fresh today NH peach  :)
  1 cup  blueberries (I used frozen, tossed with some flour from the above amount)
Turbinado (raw sugar) for sprinkling on top

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour and baking powder; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in peaches and blueberries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.   Bake at 400' for 20-25 mintues or until muffins test done. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.

Adapted from  "http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/peach-muffins"
and Taste Of Home Cook's Corner challenge 

Linked to The Weekend Potluck #188

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rich Mocha Poke Cake

This week's ingredient for the Cook's Corner challenge is coffee.   I am the only person who likes coffee here, so my challenge was to find something that used the ingredient that didn't taste like the ingredient.    I had planned on making a chocolate poke cake before the ingredient was announced, so I went looking on Taste of Home to find a cake I could adapt.  I chose Joylyn T's Rich Mocha Cake

I almost never have buttermilk on hand, so I had to rely on the regular milk/vinegar trick.    I mixed and baked the cake, then let it cool while I made the boxed instant pudding according to the package directions.   I used a wooden spoon handle to poke holes all over the cake, and then poured the pudding over.   I spread it evenly with an offset spatula and put it into the refrigerator.    I did make a rookie mistake with the frosting-  I somehow missed that the chips were to be melted and cooled.   I tossed mine directly into the sugar mixture.   The texture was not spreadable, so I added about 1T of milk and whipped it with my handheld mixer.    I definitely would melt and cool them next time.

The end result was amazing.  I actually had to hide a piece so I could get my photos, the guys have been tearing through it so fast.  You don't taste coffee, just rich, moist chocolate cake.    Thank you Joylyn for sharing your recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                             Rich Mocha Cake

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2               cups  flour
  1 3/4           cups  sugar
     1/2           cup  baking cocoa
  2          teaspoons  baking soda
  1           teaspoon  salt
  1                     egg
     2/3           cup  vegetable oil
  1                cup  buttermilk (used regular milk and 1T vinegar)
  1                cup  strong brewed coffee
1 package Instant Chocolate Fudge pudding
2  cups cold milk
  5        tablespoons  butter
  1                cup  sugar
     1/3           cup  milk
  1 1/2           cups  semisweet chocolate chips -- melted and cooled

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, whisk egg, oil and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well. Slowly add the coffee until combined (batter will be thin).

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Poke holes in the cake using the handle of a wooden spoon.    Combine the pudding mix with cold milk.    Pour over the top of the cake, using an offset spatula to move it into the holes and cover evenly.  

For frosting, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the melted chips and stir until blended. Pour over cake, spreading evenly.   Refrigerate cake. 

Adapted from  "http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/rich-mocha-cake"

Shared on the Weekend Potluck #187

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bacon Topped Grilled Cheese

Everything is better with bacon, so why not grilled cheese?   Bacon is the ingredient for the challenge this week on Taste of Home's Cook's Corner community.   I had thick sliced bacon, tomatoes from my Uncle's garden, and when I was searching for new recipes to try, this one really stood out to me.    I changed very little from the original recipe-  I used shredded part skim mozzarella since I had it on hand. The measurement is estimated- life is too short to measure shredded cheese.   I added some basil along with the oregano, mixing them into the sour cream and then stirring in the diced onion.   It made it very easy to divide between the sandwiches.

So good!   I'm not winning any photography contests with this one.   It looked delicious, smelled amazing, and I wanted to eat.     Thank you so much to Nita C for sharing the recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Bacon Topped Grilled Cheese

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4              slice  wheat bread
     1/2             c  mozzarella cheese -- shredded part skim
  1                 lg  tomato -- thinly sliced
  6                     bacon strips, thick cut -- cooked
  2              tbsps  sour cream
  2              tbsps  finely diced onion
     1/4      teaspoon  dried oregano
     1/4           tsp  dried basil
  4             slices  cheddar cheese -- used Sargento Ultra Thin
  1               tbsp  butter -- softened

Preheat panini press to medium heat (I love my Cuisinart Griddler).   Lay out 2 slices of bread.    Top each with 1/4c mozzarella, half of the tomato, 3 strips of bacon.   Combine sour cream, diced onion, oregano and basil.   Divide between sandwiches.   Place 2 slices of cheddar cheese on each one.    Top with bread.    Butter the bread, and place the sandwich on the press, buttered side down.   Butter the now top slice of bread.     Close press and cook the sandwich until golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Source:  http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/bacon-topped-grilled-cheese

Shared on TOH Cook's Corner Ingredient Challenge
The Weekend Potluck #186