Saturday, August 31, 2013

Coconut Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

These are a good, chewy, cakey cookie and a great way to use up some of that zucchini that seems to grow overnight in my garden! I found this recipe here and followed it pretty close. The only thing I did different was add more chocolate chips and a little coconut extract... after all, you need chocolate chips in every bite of a cookie don't you think? Enjoy....

Coconut Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons room temperature coconut oil, (if you need to you can melt it, then let sit a bit until it's room temperature)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1 cup shredded zucchini (peel if using a large zucchini, not necessary if your zucchini is smaller)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate- chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (these are a gooey cookie.... parchment paper helps) Lightly spray parchment paper with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil and sugars, mix until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and coconut extract, mix to combine. Next, add the shredded zucchini and mix to combine.
Slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges and set. Remove cookies from pan and cool completely on cooling rack....or eat one while still slightly warm.... or two!
Enjoy!

This recipe made about 2 to 2-1/2 dozen cookies. It's easy to double for a large crowd!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My version of Carino's Spicy Sausage Skilletini


One of our favorite places to eat out is Carino's Italian restaurant, when we eat out that is .... I usually don't unless we're out of town since I always think of the groceries we could have bought for the price of the one meal. But anyone, one of the things I like to do is see if I can come up with recipes that taste similar to what we like to get when we do eat out. So here is my version of Carino's Spicy Sausage Skilletini. I know...they don't put zucchini in theirs...at least that I can remember, but I have a bunch in my garden so I had to use it up. I have made this recipe twice already, sorry, time goes really fast (except when I am at work) so it's hard to get everything done that I want to in the evenings, but we loved this recipe. Feel free to put what veggies you have on hand in it, and add more or less crushed red pepper depending on how spicy you want your skilletini to be. Serve with crusty french bread and salad, or steamed green beans like I did. Enjoy!

My version of Carino's Spicy Sausage Skillitini
1 package Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil (optional, I love them so I use them a lot)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (3 or 4 cloves)
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1-4oz. can sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup Marinara sauce
1/2  (14.5 oz) package Spaghetti noodles 
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente pasta. (Cook more or less spaghetti, depending on how many people you are serving, I used half a 14.5 package and had enough for my family of 4 with leftovers). Drain your pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water just in case you need it later to add to the sauce.
Slice sausage links into bite size pieces, heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until sausage is cooked through. 
Remove sausage from skillet into a bowl or plate and set aside. 
Drain most of the grease from the skillet leaving a tablespoon or two to cook your veggies (this is part of what gives it that skilletini flavor I think) Add the onion and peppers to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 or 4 minutes. Then add your sun dried tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning; continue to cook over a medium heat for 3 or 4 more minutes or until your vegetables are a crunchy tender.
Next, add the sausage back to the pan along with the cup of marinara sauce, let this simmer over medium/low heat for about 5 minutes so the flavors can blend.
Now toss in your spaghetti noodles and stir/ toss to heat through and coat with your sauce. Skilletini is a drier pasta dish, not so saucy but if you find yours is a little too dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water, I added maybe about 1/4 cup or so. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. Have Parmesan cheese at the table so your guests can add more if desired. ENJOY!

Monday, August 26, 2013

7-up Biscuits


I know this recipe is all over pinterest.... that's where I found it and I borrowed the picture because I forgot to take a picture of mine until after we had eaten them..... Sorry. LOVE these! I didn't have 7-up but I had a Mountain Dew and it's a citrus soda so I gave it a shot. Still good!! These are sooo fluffy and moist ! I served mine cut in half and then spooned a couple of spoonfuls of beef stew(recipe here) over the top! YUMMMO! Just what I was craving!! It feels like fall with school supplies back in the stores and kids going off to school, and my garden is exploding with fresh veggies.... so I just had to make stew. 
Give these biscuits a try... you'll love 'em.

7-Up Biscuits
4 cups Bisquick + more for sprinkling the counter top.
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 7-UP
1/2 cup butter, melted
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425. Melt your butter and set aside.
In a large bowl mix the Bisquick and Sour cream together until just combined. Then add your 7-Up and stir until the 7-up is incorporated--don't worry, this is supposed to be a very soft-gooey dough.
Pour your melted butter in a 9x13 baking dish.
Sprinkle counter top with about 1/4 cup or so of Bisquick. Pour dough onto county top, and dust your hands with Bisquick. Press dough out on the counter until it's about the size of your baking dish. Cut into squares and place each dough square into the baking dish. (this keeps the dough in separate squares when you go to serve them even though they are touching in the pan.)
Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

**This recipe is easy to half if you don't need  this many biscuits. Just put them in a 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan.
Enjoy!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cherry Crisp

I love fruit crisps....especially warm from the oven with ice cream... YUMMO! I got my new Food Network magazine the other day and this recipe was in there and of course I had to try it out! I wasn't disappointed either... LOVED it. I tweaked it a bit by adding a little almond extract to the fruit... cherry and almond go awesome together don't you think??? Their recipe called for dark rum... it was an optional ingredient which I don't have on hand.. but I had some butter rum extract so I threw some of that in just to see what it would taste like but you don't have to if you don't have it. Plus I think I did the recipe for the topping 1 and 1/2 times.... cuz recipes never have enough topping if you ask me..... after all that 's the best part! I also bought frozen cherries since I don't have a cherry pitter.... I let them thaw slightly and then cut them in half. I used 2 packages. But feel free to use fresh cherries if you have a cherry pitter. I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Heavenly Cherry Crisp
First, preheat the over to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.
Melt 6 Tablespoons of butter in a small dish and set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the following:
6 cups pitted cherries ( thaw if using frozen)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter rum flavoring (optional)
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
Toss to combine, then spread  the cherry mixture into your prepared baking dish.
 Next, in a smaller mixing bowl, combine the following:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Then add the 6 Tablespoons of melted butter and stir with a fork until combined. Sprinkle this mixture over your cherry filling. Bake in the preheated oven for about  45 minutes to an hour until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.
Let cool slightly before serving.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. YUMMO

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

LOVE cheesecake... I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker web site (click here) and had to give it a try. They used Blackberries but I had just bought fresh raspberries so that is what I made mine with. I forgot to take a picture of mine after I topped each bite with the raspberries, only remembered that I hadn't after they were all gone. They do look prettier with a cute little raspberry on the top. These were delicious!

Raspberry Cheesecake Bites
15 Graham cracker squares (not the whole rectangle, just squares)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional) if you don't want to use the almonds add more crackers (I used 20)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
3- 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup seedless Raspberry jam
36 fresh Raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving it overhanging at 2 opposites sides of the pan (you can lift it out of the pan after it's cooled for cutting, it's easier).
In a Food processor, add your crackers, almonds (if using) and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Process until finely ground. Add melted butter and process until mixture looks like wet sand. Press in the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool while you make the filling.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup of sugar, the flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each one until just blended.
Pour filling over crust.
Now spoon small dollops of the jam all over the cheese mixture; swirl with a knife so it's marbled.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on cooling rack for 1 hour. Cover; then refrigerate for 2 hours.
Use the parchment paper to lift out of the pan. Cut 6 rows by 6 rows. Top each bite with 1 fresh raspberry.
Store covered in the refrigerator.
Enjoy!!