With summer on its way already, your garden is bound to produce more than enough zucchini. What to do, what to do!? One way to put your zucchini to good use is to bake glazed lemon zucchini bread. Don't let the term "bread" fool you, this is a sweet bread, perfect for after dinner or as a sweet breakfast treat with a hot cup of coffee!
2 cups cake flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
½ cup canola oil
1⅓ cups sugar
2 TB lemon juice
½ cup buttermilk
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 inch round baking pans. Line the bottoms of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and espresso powder. Next, add the egg, oil, milk, vanilla, and water to the dry ingredients. Whisk this mixture until it's smooth.Now, divvy up the batter between the 3 pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted and pulled out comes out clean. Now, remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in their pans for 5 minutes. Remove cakes from their pans and let them cool completely before putting on any frosting.
FOR THE FROSTING:
Place the softened butter in a bowl and add to that the the vanilla, cinnamon, and cayenne. Beat this with an mixer until it is all well combined. Beat on low, adding the powdered sugar. Do this a few tablespoons at a time, until all of the sugar has been whipped in. Finally, scrape the bowl, and beat the frosting on medium for another 30 seconds.
2 pounds lean ground beef
One 10 3/4 - ounce can condensed golden mushroom soup
One 10 3/4 - ounce can condensed cheddar cheese soup
One 20 - ounce package frozen French fries: any type you like!
Hamburger toppings such as ketchup, pickles, mustard, chopped tomatoes.
Preheat your oven to 350F. This makes 8-10 servings depending on how big a serving you give!
Cook the ground beef until brown. Drain off the fat. Place the cooked meat in the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Next, take a bowl and combine the two cans of soup. Spread this soup mixture over the meat in the baking dish. Now, sprinkle the fries over the top of this. Put this in the oven for 45-55 minutes. You will want to take it out when the french fries are golden. Last, top this off with the burger toppings (if you want! you don't have to do it!)
Per serving, there are approximately 915 mg of sodium, 394 calories, and 23 grams of fat. The sodium is coming from the soups, so if you can find low-sodium, I highly recommend you use those instead.
Growing up in southern mid-west ensured every January 1, our dinner would consist of black-eyed peas, hog jowl and a side of greens. This was the meal every New Year’s Day without fail. Why? Tradition, of course! And, we obviously wanted the best outcome for ourselves and our loved ones and chowing down on this scrumptious meal was guaranteed to bring the best the coming year had to offer!
Behind the tradition and the good luck, the hog jowl symbolizes health while the black-eyed peas represent good luck and the greens (could be cooked cabbage but more usually was mustard or collard greens) symbolizes money.
This tradition is found mostly in the Southern United States, though it has spread throughout the country. The idea black eyed peas bring luck goes as far back as the Civil War. At that time, Northern troops viewed them as suitable for animals but not human consumption. Thus, after a raid, the black-eyed peas were one of the few foods which remained. Some further traditions suppose if you cook the beans with a new dime or penny, the person who gets the coin in their bowl will receive extra luck in the coming year.
What on earth is hog jowl? The jowls are the cheek of the hog. When they’re cooked, they resemble (and taste) like bacon. They’re usually used to season the black-eyed peas or can be fried and eaten alone, much like bacon. Because it is a cured meat, it was easier for Southerners to store and use all winter. Not only that, but hogs and pigs were the cheapest food for everyone and that is why almost all the hog/pig can be used for consumption.
When it comes to the greens, well, in the United States, that is the color of our money. Eating them on New Year’s Day was to guarantee wealth in the coming months. Any greens will do for this meal, but the most common are collard greens, turnip greens or mustard greens. These are usually cooked with salt pork to flavor them, though it isn’t necessary. Tradition states you will receive $1,000 for every bite of greens you take on New Year’s Day.
Now, black eyed peas recipes vary from state to state, where in the Carolina Lowcountry, black eyed peas are cooked with rice and onion and are called Hoppin’ John. Leftovers are known as Skippin’ jenny and eating them symbolizes frugality and increases your chances of prosperity.
Not only could this delicious meal bring you many blessings for the coming year, but as chilly and nippy as it can be on January 1, this is a marvelous dish to warm your belly, heart and soul.
4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
2 medium celery stalks, sliced (1 cup)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried savory leaves
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers (2 ounces)
These have always been a favorite in our family! Every Christmas we would bake up a batch of these and snack on them for the next few weeks leading up to Christmas!
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups softened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional powdered sugar to roll the cookies in and store them in!
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Take a large bowl and mix 1 cup powdered sugar with the butter and vanilla. Next, stir in the flour, nuts and the salt until dough holds together.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart from one another.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but NOT brown. Roll the cookies in additional powdered sugar while they are still warm. Cool them completely on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
Finally, roll the cookies in powdered sugar again. Store them in an air-tight container.
1 1/2 cups softened butter (unsalted)
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Take your butter and eggs out a few hours prior to making your cookies. Provided your kitchen is warm, the butter will soften enough to cream with the eggs. Allowing the eggs to come to room temperature will make the cookies tastier. Take a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover with Saran wrap and chill the dough for at least one hour or even overnight. When you're ready to roll out your cookies, go ahead and preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out the dough onto a floured surface. You want the dough to be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Keep an eye on them as you don't want them to be brown. Golden is fine. Cool completely and then remove them from the cookie sheet. As the cookies cool down and the next batch bakes, you can prep your icing.
1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups or 450 grams)
4 egg whites (or 1/2 cup liquid egg whites)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Optional: food coloring in desired colors
Beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Then switch to low speed and slowly sift the sugar into the egg whites. Then add the lemon juice and beat on high speed until the icing is very thick and forms stiff peaks, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Separate your icing into individual bowls and just stir in the coloring you want. So, if you want white, red, green, blue icing, then you will need 4 bowls. Remember as well, liquid food coloring will blend to become a lighter version of that color. If you want a deep red, it's best to buy the food coloring paste. Those will make a very striking and truer color. If you have leftover icing to use, put it in an airtight container and put it in the fridge.
If you don't have anything to decorate the cookies with, you can make the frosting thin enough to paint with paintbrushes. Or, you can spoon the frosting into a baggie and snip the tip. This will work only if the frosting is thick. If it's too thin, it will run straight out.
Is it too thick? Thin it out with some water.
No corn syrup? No problem!
Preheat oven to 400 F and whisk eggs in a large bowl, stir in butter. Then, mix in everything else and stir it up really well. Next, pour this mixture into the pie crust and wrap the edges of the crust with tinfoil. The tinfoil will prevent the crust from becoming too brown and allow time for the pie to bake well. Bake first at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 35 minutes. Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting and serving.
Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.
The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
For more information, visit: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.
It’s that time of year once again. Summer is fading away as the days bring cooler weather. We find ourselves turning the heat up a notch at bedtime and embracing a sunny and warm afternoon later in the day. This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of butternut, acorn and other squashes to make scrumptious and delicious meals for your family.
Fall-harvest squashes such as the butternut are packed with plenty of nutrition. They are part of the gourd family (this includes the pumpkins, melons and also cucumbers!), however, they have seeds and therefore can be considered as fruit. The butternut is rich in antioxidants. But what are antioxidants? These are molecules that prevent other molecules from oxidizing. When they oxidize, it leads to chain reactions that can damage cells. Antioxidents help to prevent this from happening.
Not only are they high in antioxidants but butternut squash are also low in fat, high in potassium (this could lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, etc.), lots of vitamin A, have 4 types of carotenoids, and are an excellent source of dietary fiber. They also have plenty of folic acid and other B vitamins, a high level of iron and rich in manganese, magnesium and calcium.
Okay, so you’re ready to cook up some butternut squash, but how do you know which one is the right one? When you go shopping for your squash, what you want to look for is a nice tangerine hue. This indicates your squash is at its best. It should feel heavy for its size and the skin of the squash should not be glossy; you want a dull skin. If it’s shiny, that means the squash was harvested too early and it won’t be so tasty or as sweet as one that was picked at the peak of harvest time. Keep your squash out of the fridge! If you stash your squash in a cool and dry area, it can keep for up to three months. If you wrap your cut squash, you can keep it for nearly a week in the fridge.
How to prep this odd-shaped gourd? You can bake it as is in the oven (it will be done when you can easily pierce it with a knife), or you can remove the skin. I use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin whether I’m going to fry, bake, saute or steam my squash. You can cut it into chunks and steam/saute it. Once it’s cooked you can mash it up, or puree it to make soup. You can also add it into pasta or just eat it on its own with a bit of butter. Don't forget to save the seeds: you can clean them, salt them and roast them to eat, just like you do with your pumpkin seeds!
Some tasty recipes follow for you to use your lovely squash!
Roasted Butternut Squash
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