Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zucchini Pancakes

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, I love me some GOOD savory pancakes. These were delicious, and a great way to use up zucchini. (I know it's way past summer, but I am just now getting around to posting this recipe...I am just doing my part to prepare you for next summer!)

Zucchini Pancakes

2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound) (I used a zucchini and a summer squash)
2 tablespoons grated red onion
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Unsalted butter and vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater. Immediately stir in the onion and eggs. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder, salt, and pepper. (If the batter gets too thin from the liquid in the zucchini, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.)

Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the butter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven.  The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

I served the pancakes two ways. One with left over marinara sauce, and one with ricotta and dill. Both were delicious!

Source: Food (Ina Garten)

Monday, November 28, 2011

How to make baby food

This post is dedicated to my sister who will be starting solids with her baby soon.

Did you know you can make your own baby food? Did you know you can do this for at least 1/3 the price as store bought baby food? Did you know that the food tastes, looks, and smells better this way? If your answer was no to any of these questions you need to read this post.

First, start off with the veggies you want to cook. Here I have broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, green beans, and butternut squash.

Next step, prepare and cook the veggies.

Next, blend! Make sure to vent the lid. (You don't want hot vegetables flying in your face if the lid pops off because of the pressure!) You may need to add a little water. I like to add the water the food was cooked in because some of the nutrients boil out when you cook it.

Make a nice smooth puree.
Pour into ice cube trays and freeze!

Now you have single servings of baby food! Put the frozen cubes into a freezer bag. When you need to feed the baby, warm the cube up and mix it with some cereal (if you want). It takes about a minute in our microwave. 

I love making my own baby food. I know exactly what goes into it (no preservatives), and I know I'm saving us some money in the process. Hope this helped!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner

I got this recipe from my sister in law. It is SO delicious. It is quick, easy, and every one likes it. No complaints.

Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner

1 12 oz box small tube or shell pasta
3 T olive oil
3 cups fully cooked ham, diced
1 large sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (I just sprinkled on some dried.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions - only cooking until al dente since pasta will continue to cook and soak up liquid when added to the skillet. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, olive oil over medium heat. Add pepper, onion, and garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-6 minutes. Add ham, basil and oregano and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir drained pasta into ham and vegetable mixture. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and toss. Sprinkle parsley and remaining Parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Apple Dip

We really enjoy this quick, sweet, and oh-so-delicious treat in the fall.
Apple Dip

1 10 oz. tub of soft cream cheese or 1 8 oz. block softened
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 pkg of a 8 oz. bag of SKOR English Toffee Bits
6-9 Granny Smith Apples cut into wedges for dipping

Mix together with a spoon until smooth – cream cheese, sugars and vanilla.  Fold in toffee bits just before serving so they don’t get soggy.  (soggy is yummy too!)  I cut the apples just before serving to prevent them turning brown.