Monthly Archives: July 2013

Zucchini Mini Muffins

With zucchini being in abundance this summer and almost always on sale, why not pick up an extra squash the next time you are at the store and consider putting it in some bread?  Never had zucchini in bread?  You don’t know what you’re missing.  Zucchini bread was just as common in my house growing up as banana bread and it shocks be when people have never tried it before.  I once had a friend cringe at the thought of zucchini bread that you would have thought I was suggesting liver in bread.  But honestly, if you at all like banana bread, or even carrot cake, you must give zucchini bread a try.  When I had an extra zucchini in my fridge, I remembered I had this recipe for Zucchini Mini Muffins which makes for a quick bite for breakfast in the morning.

Shredded zucchini is added to a light quick bread batter accent by the flavor of allspice.  The result is fluffy bite-sized muffins which could easily be enjoyed as a quick breakfast or even as an after dinner snack.  And if you are able to eat just one, there is zero guilt involved.  Never considered zucchini bread, let alone zucchini muffins, before?  Definitely try this.  And since muffins freeze well, make a batch of these and throw them in the freezer.  Pop a few in your bag before you run out the door and microwave for a few seconds and your breakfast is ready.  Who would have thought that adding vegetable to a muffin could be so good?

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 400°F.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and allspice in a large bowl.

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Combine zucchini, oil, butter, vanilla, milk and egg in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

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Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring batter just until combined.

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Divide batter evenly among 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

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Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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Garlic-Lime Grilled Corn

Have you had corn-on-the-cob yet this summer?  What is it about gripping a cob and biting down into the crunchy sweet corn while melted butter dribbles down your face, seeps through your fingers and drips down your arms that just screams summer?  Oh, it’s just so good.  I can’t have a real grill where I live so I have to settle with an indoor grill but it doesn’t matter: grilled corn is just so perfect on a warm day no matter which way it’s grilled.  This Garlic-Lime Grilled Corn is simple and tasty with only a few ingredients.

Fresh sweet corn is grilled until brown and tender before being brushed with a mixture of olive oil, butter and garlic.  A light dusting of lime zest adds yet another fresh twist to these cobs.  There are tons of ways to make your corn-on-the-cob but if you want something that isn’t too out of the ordinary and still celebrates corn’s summery sweetness, you’ll like this.  The lime doesn’t overpower the corn but enhances it.  A sprinkle of salt on top is just icing on the cob.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Place oil, butter, and garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds or until butter melts; set aside.

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Coat corn with cooking spray. Arrange corn on grill; grill 10 minutes or until done and lightly browned, turning occasionally.

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Remove from grill; brush with butter mixture.

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Sprinkle with rind and salt.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Pico de Gallo Bruschetta

July has been one hot month for us in the Northeast and now that the humidity has broken (at least temporarily), maybe I’ll actually start using my stove or oven again.  On really hot days, when you can’t get your thermostat to get any cooler than 80 degrees, sometimes you want to do as little moving around as possible.  On days like that, I have to find something light to eat and this Pico de Gallo Bruschetta seemed like a good bet.

Crusty baguette slices are toasted and lightly covered with cheese before being topped with fresh tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, basil and lime juice.  The result is a light and summery bite that seems perfect for a warm night.  Although you have to turn the oven on briefly to toast the bread, it’ll be worth it in the end but honestly, you could just scoop this cool tomato mixture right on untoasted bread.  Do whatever you feel like, just stay cool doing it!

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush baguette slices with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Bake 7 minutes or until light golden brown.

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Remove from oven; sprinkle evenly with cheese, and bake 1 minute or until cheese is melted.

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Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients in a bowl; spoon mixture onto bread slices.

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Serve immediately.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions: 

  • Basil instead of cilantro

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source: Coastal Living Magazine

Buffalo Popcorn

Sometimes you are just sitting there watching tv and you realize you just want something.  Not that you are hungry but you are also not content.  You just want a snack.  It’s so easy to grab a bag of popcorn and throw it in the microwave for a few minutes which is a great healthy snack.  But why not jazz it up a little bit like this Buffalo Popcorn?  (I mean, don’t we seem to be adding buffalo sauce to just about everything these days?)

Butter, hot sauce and honey are melted together and poured slowly over warm, fresh popped popcorn (either bagged microwave popcorn or corn kernels will work) before being tossed slightly until slightly sticky, slighty sweet and slightly spicy.  I used Frank’s Buffalo Sauce in place of regular hot sauce just because I had it on hand so use whatever your favorite hot sauce is that you have around.  The buffalo-butter sauce softens up this popcorn a bit, making it gooey and the honey gives it that sweetness you get from kettle corn.  Once you get this sauce on your fingers, there’s no point in licking it off; just dig right in for another handful.  This popcorn won’t make it through a whole movie so you might want to make a couple batches.

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The ingredients:

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In small pan, melt butter; whisk in hot sauce, honey and 12 tsp. salt.Place popcorn in large bowl.  Drizzle with butter mixture; toss and season.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Frank’s Buffalo Sauce

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine

Tropical White Sangria

If I could look up sweltering summer day in the dictionary, it might have shown a picture of this past weekend.  I think my air conditioner ran non-stop for three days because it just couldn’t hit a cool temperature.  Anyway, when faced with a sweltering summer day, why not have a fruity sangria to cool off, right?  I love a good sangria and I also love how they can be adapted to whatever season you are in.  With so many bright and fresh fruit in abundance right now, what a great way to get your fruit intake while also taking the edge off.  Personally, I prefer a good white sangria over a red sangria but maybe I only say that because white sangria is just so perfect on a bright sunny day in July.  (I may change my mind come next January.)  This Tropical White Sangria lived up to every expectation I had and was perfect over the past few ridiculously hot days.

A crisp Sauvignon Blanc is mixed with a little bit of orange liqueur and tons of fresh summer fruit like oranges, kiwis, grapes, mango and strawberries.  I substituted nectarines for the oranges just because the nectarines looked so good when I was buying my fruit (and after all, it’s the same color family so why not, right?).  In my opinion, use any fresh fruit that appeals to you because really, you can’t go wrong.  The orange liqueur slightly mellows out this sangria which is even better on the second day making this so easy to go down.

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 The ingredients:

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 In a 1/2-gal. pitcher, combine all fruit except the strawberries.

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 Stir in the wine and liqueur. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours.

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 Just before serving, stir in the strawberries.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Nectarines

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source: EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine

SoCal Guacamole Burger

Happy 4th! I hope everyone is relaxing and enjoying the day today whether you are somewhere near water, at a barbecue, or just hanging out at home. It seems only fitting to me that we all have burgers and dogs so I decided to make these SoCal Guacamole Burgers.

Basic burgers (which I made with 93% lean ground turkey) are topped with a creamy guacamole made with avocado, sour cream, mayonaisse, tomato, and jalapeño. Alfalfa sprouts add a fresh flavor and crunch and bring a healthy twist. Served with whole wheat buns, these burgers might be a little different than what you are used to but if you like guacamole, these should be right up your alley. No matter what kind of burger you are having today, enjoy the day and have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

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 The ingredients:

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  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Place half of avocado in a bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth. Add sour cream, mayonaisse, lime juice and cumin to bowl; stir to combine. Dice remaining half of avocado.

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 Add diced avocado, tomato, jalapeño, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to bowl; stir gently to combine.

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 Divide meat into 4 equal portions. Gently shape each portion into a (1/2-inch-thick) patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place burgers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Lightly coat cut sides of buns with cooking spray. Place buns, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 1 minute or until toasted.

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 Place 1/4 cup sprouts on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 patty, about 3 tablespoons guacamole, and top half of bun.

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 Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Ground turkey
  • Broccoli sprouts

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Creamy Potato Salad

Well it’s 4th of July week and that means lots of barbecues, cookouts, parties, events, and summertime food!  The fact that the 4th is on Thursday this week kind of stinks unless you are one of those lucky folks who gets/takes Friday off (which I’m sad to say isn’t me). So this week I’ll be bringing you some great July 4th-friendly recipes, like this Creamy Potato Salad to get you in the mood for our delicious day off in celebration of our country’s independence.

Fingerling potatoes are boiled until nice and tender along with one egg which becomes perfectly hard-boiled.  A creamy mixture of sour cream (I used Greek yogurt instead), yellow mustard and light mayonaisse gives this salad a light consistency.  Fresh celery and red onion add bits of crunch and flavor to this salad which makes a great complement to your holiday burgers or dogs. If you’re looking for a simple, basic yet lighter potato salad without all the calories, give this a try. It’s even better the next day.

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The ingredients:

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Place a saucepan filled two-thirds with water over high heat; add egg, and cover. Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Add potatoes to pan; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Drain.

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Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; add potatoes.

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Peel and coarsely chop egg; add to potatoes.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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