Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zucchini Bread

Since we harvested a boatload of zucchini this year, I’ve been making zucchini bread like its going out of style.  This recipe for zucchini bread always turns out perfect and is so delicious!

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups zucchini, shredded
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar, oil, zucchini and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Grease and flour two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Chicken Paprikash

The chef at work made this chicken for lunch one day and it was really good. So the next week, I made it at home for dinner and it turned out just as good, maybe even better.

1 lb chicken breasts or tenderloins
1 whole red pepper, diced
1 whole white onion, diced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
½ cup sour cream

Heat your skillet and give it a swirl of olive oil or coat it with cooking spray. Add the chicken and season it lightly with salt and pepper. When the chicken is cooked about halfway through, add in the red pepper, onion and paprika.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes or just until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the can of diced tomatoes.

Let everything simmer together for another five minutes, making sure the chicken has cooked through. Remove your skillet from the heat and gently stir in the sour cream.

Serve over a bed of egg noodles or rice. For our dinner, we served it with a side of sautéed zucchini, mushrooms and onions.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

This recipe has alot of steps for just a salad but it turned out great and has wonderful flavor.

3 whole eggs
7 slices thick cut peppered bacon
1 whole red onion, small
1 package mushrooms
8 oz baby spinach, washed and dried
3 tablespoons reserved bacon grease
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I substituted balsamic vinegar)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 dash salt

-          Boil the eggs
-          Fry bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel.
-          Remove 3 tablespoons of grease and set aside
-          Add 2 additional tablespoons of grease to a separate skillet over medium heat
-          Slice red onion very thinly, and then add to skillet. Cook slowly until onions are caramelized and reduced. Remove to a plate and set aside.
-          Slice mushrooms and add them to the same skillet. Cook slowly until caramelized and brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
-          Chop bacon
-          Peel and slice eggs
-          Make hot bacon dressing: Add 3 tablespoons bacon grease, vinegar, sugar and Dijon to a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk mixture together and heat thoroughly.
-          Add spinach to a large bowl. Arrange onions, mushrooms and bacon on top. Pour hot dressing over the top; toss to combine. Arrange eggs over the top and serve.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Can 'Em Up!

Since I picked so many green beans on Sunday, we needed to preserve them fast. There is no way that two people can eat that many green beans in one week. 

So the person that picked all the beans also got the joy of snipping the ends off all the green beans. Apparently, picking and snipping green beans is Carl’s least favorite part of gardening so it then becomes my job. Yay me!

After I got the beans snipped, I snapped them all in half so they would easily fit into the canning jars.

Then Carl cooked the beans and filled the jars.

After the jars were filled and sealed up, Carl put them into the pressure cooker. And yes, we are using a pressure cooker on a glass top stove. We special ordered the stove so that it would have a 12 inch burner to handle the pressure cooker and it worked great.

We cooked the jars of green beans in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes and then let the pressure cool off. Then out came the great looking jars of freshly canned green beans.

Since we had more green beans than would fit in the pressure cooker and it was getting late, we just blanched the rest of them and froze them.

Holy Vegetables!

We spent some time picking vegetables on Sunday and there were a lot of things to be picked. 

**Note: Lindsey picked all the green beans.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers

With the abundance of jalapenos from the garden we made jalapeno poppers!

Here is what you'll need:

25 jalapenos
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp finely diced red onion
4 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled
3 cups of finely shredded cheddar cheese
pinch of salt and pepper

- Slice peppers in half and remove seeds
- Boil peppers for 5-10 minutes
- In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, Wocestershire sauce, onion, crumbled bacon, cheese, salt and pepper for the filling
- Remove the peppers from the boiling water and place on a baking pan
- Spoon filling onto peppers
- Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes

More Veggies

Here are all the vegetables we picked today. The tomatoes are finally ready to start picking but this is just the start of them.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garden Gone Wild

Since we last wrote about the garden it has grown expontentially! We have harvested lots of vegetables and now I'm running out of recipe ideas for cabbage, zuchinni and cucumbers. Sit back and get ready for a bunch of garden pictures.

You can see how the garden has really grown in the last month here. No fertilizer either just water and TLC.

We planted cilantro from seed this year. We planted a ten foot row and it was more than enough for the few recipes we use cilantro in.

The pumpkins continue to take over the end of the garden. There are alot of small ones and a few big pumpkins in there too. This just might be favorite thing in the garden and the flowers too.

We put a fence around the whole garden when we planted it to keep the rabbits out but the pumpkins were pushing the fence out and we eventually had to take the fence down. They grew well beyond where the fence was at.

The zuchinni plant has been producing zuchinni like crazy! And if you over look one by the time you get out there the next night it has turned into a small boat sized zuchinni. 

The melons got off to a slower start compared to the other plants but they really picked up the growing pace. Now we have several good sized canteloupes and watermelons.  They also took over the row where the beets were planted but we have pulled all of those now so the melons are on their way towards the green beans.

The jalepeno plant is more like a small bush.

We picked a bunch of green peppers, jalepenos and zuchinni this week.

The green beans could use a little dust...

The onions are looking pretty good too. I want to pull one out to see how big there but Carl vetos me  . In the background of this picture you can see that we got a sprinkler. Carl created the contraption underneath so  it would reach the whole garden. Now he doesn't have to water the whole garden with the little watering can. After Suzanne left a comment about how she couldn't believe he watered the garden with the little watering can we went to Menards to buy a sprinkler.

I planted a some zinnias and sunflowers this year. Gorgeous as always.

And finally, the corn. The corn wasn't very tall so we didn't have to high of hopes for it but it did produce some small ears of corn.