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Archive for June, 2010

Cucumber cream cheese sandwich spread

My adapted spread + seasoned cucumber slices + mesquite turkey + soft bread = great sandwich. I used the following two recipes as a guide, but made some adaptations. I used ranch dressing mix, but I would love to try Italian seasoning and dill next time. I really liked the ranch though, and the green onions. Most recipes don’t have green onions, but I’m glad I choose to add them.

There are a million different variations on this spread concept, all over the internet.

Ingredients

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, grated, and drained of moisture
1 bunch scallions, white parts plus two inches of green parts, finely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat cream cheese)
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1-2 drops green food coloring
8 slices white bread, crusts removed
3 red leaf lettuce leaves

AND…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled
  • 2 ounces whipped cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 5 slices white bread, cut very thin (slice regular pieces in half if you have to)
  • 5 slices whole wheat bread, cut very thin (slice regular pieces in half if you have to)
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Zucchini pie

I really liked the idea and the flavors, but unfortunately it was a little too mushy and gummy. I should have cooked it longer, at least 40 minutes. I wanted a fluffier texture, but my impatience forced me to turn up the oven to brown it faster. Lesson learned!

I added more parmesan and a big handful shredded mozzarella. That could have contributed to the wetness also. Next time I’ll limit the cheese inside and sprinkle some on top. Kittencal has a version that I’ll look at next time.

Zucchini Brunch Bake (All Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup biscuit baking mix
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I used minced garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I used Italian seasoning so I wouldn’t)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine baking mix, cheese, garlic powder, seasoning salt, oregano, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir in onion, eggs and oil; stir well. Stir in zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

Sprite soy chicken

Jacob and I really liked this marinade, and with a little experimenting, I figured out the perfect way to cook it. When making the marinade, make a little extra and keep it separate for a sauce. After marinating for 24 ish hours, let the chicken come to room temp. Sear in hot pan, then turn heat down, spray in some to steam, and cover until cooked. It won’t even take 10 minutes.  While the chicken is cooking, boil the reserved marinade and lower the heat to let it thicken. Spoon over browned, cooked chicken. This was good!

7 Up Chicken Marinade (The Sisters Cafe)

Ingredients

  • 1 can 7 up (or sprite)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I didn’t use a full 1/2 cup, it felt like a waste)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce (add more maybe?)
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs (2 per person)

Thin mint crackers

Not bad! I could have used a little more peppermint extract. The texture of ritz crackers is pretty close, but I’d like to experiment with other crackers or cookies. I’ll try reading more of the reviews. Melting andes mints might be a good idea too. I used the microwave and a small white bowl. I would use parchment paper on a cold baking sheet next time. Some of the cookies stuck to the pan and broke when I tried to eat them.

At least these were better than my attempt at homemade thin mints!

Thin Mint Crackers (All Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (I added a drop of canola oil)
  • 80 buttery round crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions

  1. Using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate coatings over hot tap water for 15 – 20 minutes. Stir . Do not cook or get water into the chocolate.
  2. After it is melted, stir in a couple drops of peppermint flavor into the chocolate.
  3. Dip crackers into the melted chocolate and then place onto a cold cookie sheet and put into the refrigerator to set. (A freezing tray to rest the dipped cookies will keep the bottoms neat looking.)
  4. In a few minutes take them out and package in candy cups. The cookies are best kept at room temperature or a cool dry place away from any odors.

Cocktail meatballs

These are a fun way to use up some ground beef. I’ve never tried the standard grape jelly/chili sauce glaze, but from what I’ve read this recipe is a step above it. I used lipton onion soup mix, which was better than just regular diced onions. I baked the meatballs at 400 for about 10 minutes, but I’d try them simmering them in the sauce or using the crock-pot next. I just didn’t want to wait that long. 😛

There is a recipe on All Recipes for homemade chili sauce, which I would like to try some time. It has tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and allspice.

Cocktail Meatballs (All Recipes)

Original Recipe Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce (I used more)
  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion. Roll into small meatballs.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once.
  4. In a slow cooker or large saucepan over low heat, blend the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Add meatballs, and simmer for 1 hour before serving.

Zucchini bread

I had saved several recipes for zucchini bread, without realizing how similar they all were. I went with The Sister’s Cafe version, which used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar, as opposed to all white sugar. Everything else was pretty much the same as other popular recipes. One called for several spices, but I kept it simple with just cinnamon. I baked for 57 minutes at 310. This was so simple, smelled awesome, and was nice and moist. It tasted great too! I almost added chocolate chips, but I figured I’d keep it as plain as possible. I left out the walnuts, only because I’m poor and Jacob isn’t a huge fan.

Fabulous Zucchini Bread (The Sisters Cafe)
Mix:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup canola oil
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups zucchini, shredded
Stir and add:
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pour into two bread pans sprayed with pam. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.

Pepperoni pizza dip

I don’t think I’ll be trying to make pizza at home anytime soon. Why bother, when there are so many amazing pizza places that have the advantage of a wood oven and all I have is an oven and a cheap-o metal pizza pan.

So this dip was a great way to get pizza flavor without going to the pizza place. I used Italian seasoning instead of just oregano. I threw a little mozzarella into the creamy layer also. I didn’t bother to mix the creamy layer with the sauce and I just spread it on top. I broiled after 15 minutes of baking to brown the top some.

To dip, I served homemade ciabatta slices toasted with garlic butter from All Recipes.

Baked Pepperoni Pizza Dip (Kittencal)

SERVES 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (low fat please!)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (some recipes don’t bother with sour cream. I had it, so I used it)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2-3 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1/3-1/2 cup pizza sauce (Kittencal’s homemade)
  • Chopped pepperoni (as much as you want)
  • 2-3 finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (can use more)
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan

Directions

  1. Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, oregano and garlic and pizza sauce in a small bowl until blended and smooth.
  2. Spread the mixture into a large pie plate.
  3. Top with pepperoni and green onions.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle mozzeralla cheese over the dip in the pan.
  6. Top with parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 5-7 minutes or more or until the cheese has melted and dip is heated through.
  8. Serve warm.