Baking With Buddy: Homemade Black Raspberry Ice Cream

Really this blog post should be titled “The Three-Day Homemade Black Raspberry Ice Cream,” because that is legitmately how long it took to make. Seriously, if you think you’ll make this to satisfy a craving, get in your car and go get some Breyer’s from the grocery store because this is not an immediate gratification thing. However, if you’re ready to muster up every ounce of patience you have and make some amazing ice cream (it really is amazing), then proceed.

I mentioned in my previous post that my husband and I recently went berry picking. In addition to picking blueberries (which I used to make Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins), we also picked black raspberries which I just knew had to be turned into some kind of frosty treat. Enter the homemade ice cream recipe.

I found the recipe via Pinterest and you can view it here. I will say, I found it to be a little light on instructions so I’ll fill in the blanks using what I learned.

To begin, before you even gather ingredients, figure out what ice cream maker you’re going to use. I used the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment which fits on a KitchenAid mixer. I actually received it almost five years ago as a wedding present from my husband, but this was my first time using it since it’s fairly large and I never had enough space for it in our old freezer. Now this is where the first day of the three days comes into play. I didn’t realize it needed to be fully frozen before using, as in sitting in the freezer for a good 18 hours before it can be used to make ice cream. I left mine in the freezer for a good day, day and a half to make sure it would be fully frozen.

Now you can move on to gathering ingredients.

2015-07-30_0001.jpgIngredients:

2 cups whipping cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt
2 cups strained black raspberry puree (This needs to be made ahead of time. See why this thing takes multiple days?)

To make the puree, start off by cleaning and drying your raspberries. I washed mine and then laid them on a paper towel to dry. Then, add them to a food processor (could probably also use a blender). Add 2 tbsp of water to the processor and mix until pureed. Then, using a sieve (I used a mesh strainer), separate the puree from the seeds. I will say I thought I nailed this one, but in eating my ice cream I occasionally find a seed. Go figure.2015-07-30_0002.jpg

Now, set your puree aside and move on to the next steps.
1. Combine milk, cream, 1 cup sugar , vanilla and the salt in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat until almost boiling and then remove from heat.
2. In a separate bowl whisk or use a mixer to beat the eggs and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until it reaches the ribbon stage. (I had no idea what the ribbon stage was, so I googled it. Basically, it’s where the mix starts to thicken and leave that nice, drizzly ribbon off the whisk.)
3. While still whisking/beating pour the warm milk into the eggs and beat until combine. Pour the egg milk mixture back into the clean pot and heat over medium until the mixture thickens while stirring constantly. This takes a little over ten minutes.
4. Take the custard off the heat and stir in the raspberry puree.
2015-07-30_0003.jpg5. Chill custard in fridge with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. (She suggests in the recipe to chill overnight, which I did, but unfortunately I put it in the freezer, not the fridge. No worries. I just had to let it defrost and then warm it back up to a nice, melted consistency before putting it in the ice cream maker.)2015-07-30_0004.jpg6. Then churn in an ice cream maker and either enjoy it as a soft serve ice cream right away or put it in your freezer to firm up and enjoy as scoops of ice cream. (The time you churn it will largely depend on your ice cream maker. I think mine was something like 10 minutes.)
2015-07-30_0005.jpg

Once churned, I put mine in a bowl and placed it in the freezer to firm up a little before eating. Doesn’t it look amazing?
2015-07-30_0006.jpg

I have to say, even though it took three days, it was definitely worth it. The ice cream was amazing, far better than anything I could have went to the store and purchased. Plus, it was neat to take something handpicked from the plant and turn it into a dessert. I’d like to make it again with a different type of handpicked fruit, maybe peaches or strawberries. Let me know if you try it and what fruit you decide to use. I’m open to suggestions.

I do not own this recipe. This post merely represents my experience with it.
Advertisements

Baking With Buddy: Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

I love blueberry muffins. My mom used to make them for me as a child and I think that’s where the love affair, okay maybe slight obsession, started. There’s nothing better than a warm blueberry muffin with melted butter. Having gone gluten free a few years ago due to stomach issues, my obsession got a little harder to satisfy. I can’t just go by a bakery or the grocery store and buy blueberry muffins, at least not most of the time–I have to make my own. I will say, my husband makes some amazing muffins using organic frozen blueberries and gluten free boxed mix, but when we actually picked our own berries last month I knew I had to make muffins from scratch.
To make my muffins, I adapted a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen “How Can it Be Gluten Free Cookbook.” I switched up the ingredients a little so here’s what I used:

2015-07-29_0006.jpg

Ingredients

11 ounces (1 3/4 cups plus 2/3 cup ATK Gluten Free Flour Blend) I didn’t use the blend the recipe recommended. Instead, I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum Again, I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand of this.
5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled I used organic unsalted butter.
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt I substituted milk for this because I forgot to pick up yogurt at the grocery store.
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 cups) blueberries
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar I took this out completely as I couldn’t find it anywhere at the grocery store.

Instructions

  1. Whisk flour blend, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and xanthan gum together in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk granulated sugar, melted butter, MILK, eggs, and vanilla together until well combined. Using rubber spatula, stir egg mixture into flour mixture until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain, about 1 minute. (You’ll notice from the photos that I didn’t do this exactly as the recipe instructs. I actually added the first set of ingredients together in my KitchenAid mixer and then added the other ingredients to it instead of mixing them seperately.) Gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed (batter will be thick and stiff). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Again, I didn’t do this step. Why they suggest letting it sit for 30 minutes is beyond me.)2015-07-29_0007.jpg
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (I used cupcake liners. I think they make much less mess so I prefer them.) Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, portion batter evenly into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. (Skipped this step as well because I didn’t have the sugar.) Bake until muffins are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 16-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. (Keep an eye on your muffins. Depending on your oven, they may not take long to bake.)2015-07-29_0008.jpg
  3. Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
    2015-07-29_0009.jpgI was really pleased with how they turned out, although if I did it again, I would probably chop my blueberries up. Because they were picked right from the bush, they were a little large for the muffins. I think I would have preferred them chopped a little better than whole, which is what I did. Overall, I’ll definitely be making these again as they were very good.
    2015-07-29_0010.jpg

See how that melted butter looks? Doesn’t it just make you want a blueberry muffin?

i do not own this recipe. this post merely represents my experience and take on it.

Baking With Buddy: Richie’s Turkey Meatloaf

You’re likely wondering who is Richie and what’s so fabulous about his meatloaf? Honestly, I have no idea who Richie is, but his meatloaf recipe is amazing. This is absolutely one of my favorite recipes, plus my husband loves it.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-5046-1376373621-7

Here’s the recipe, which I stumbled upon years ago via food.com:

Ingredients

    • 1 lb ground turkey breast
    • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
    • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/3 cup chili sauce
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 small red pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • salt and pepper
    • ketchup

Directions

  1. In small bowl combine oats and milk–let absorb about 10 minutes.
  2. Combine absorbed oats and all ingredients–except for ketchup– in a large bowl.
  3. Mix with large fork.
  4. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  5. Shape meat mixture into loaf.
  6. Brush with ketchup.
  7. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
  8. Enjoy.

20150114_170753It’s fairly easy to make. I use ground turkey breast, which I purchase in a large quantity at Wegman’s and then, using a food sealer, divide into one-pound portions for freezing. I also use Heinz chili sauce because it’s generally the only one I can find at the grocery store. As for oats, I think the canister I have in the cabinet right now is the Walmart brand, which works just fine. Keep in mind that this recipe is gluten free, but the jury is still out on oats. I can eat them with no problem, but that might not be the case for everyone.

20150114_171519Also, worth noting, instead of using a baking pan, I use a Pyrex loaf pan. And, because turkey is fairly moist, I drain the pan once or twice about halfway through cooking so that it won’t be too mushy when finished. After draining, I typically add a little more ketchup to the top, but that’s a personal preference.

Other than that, I really just follow the instructions included in the recipe. I hope you’ll try this one, and be sure to let me know if you love it as much as I do.

20150114_194334

Baking With Buddy: Salsa

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and I have to work so tonight is the night for salsa making. I love the word “salsa” and can’t say it without a thick Latina accent that’s reminiscent of a telanovela actress. Also, there may be some Zumba tossed in there, too.

tumblr_n3lxl37RF01rpppzlo1_500

On to the salsa making! Here’s the recipe, discovered via Pinterest of course:

Restaurant Style Salsa

20150504_183237Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 8-12 servings
Ingredients
  • 20150504_1840531 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Rotelle tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped, with most of the seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend on low to desired consistency. Serve with tortilla chips.
The recipe comes from Let’s Dish which got it from Allrecipes.com. I’m not sure how much it was adapted from the original, but I adapted it some more. Here’s my ingredients list:
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Rotelle mild tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (Who has time to juice a lime? Not I.)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped, with most of the seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash black pepper

20150504_18381920150504_185109I hand chopped the yellow onion, green onion, cilantro and jalapeno. I then added the ingredients to a seven cup food processor according to the order they appear in the ingredients list. I will say I didn’t blend it for very long; it was definitely less than a minute. I like my salsa a little chunky. And it turned out amazing!

Looking back, I would add a bit less cilantro just because I’m not a huge fan of the flavor it brings, but overall I’m pleasantly pleased with the dish. I didn’t measure the cilantro, but it was less than the three tablespoons that it called for. It was likely in the two tablespoon range. I should also note that this recipe is naturally gluten free! Woo-hoo!

I paired the salsa with Snyder’s All Natural Reduced Fat White Corn Tortilla Chips. Perfecto!20150504_190239

For dinner tomorrow, I’m going to crockpot some Cinco de Mayo chicken so be on the lookout for that recipe in the near future. Also, have a salsa you love? Share it in the comments. Maybe I’ll make it and hopefully not dance around the kitchen like this…

Zumba-Gif

I do not own this salsa recipe. This post represents my experience with it.

Baking With Buddy: Crockpot Cheeseburgers

20150107_171558In browsing through Pinterest, I found a new recipe–Crockpot Cheeseburgers. While I was a little turned off at the thought of using Velveeta Cheese (I’m fairly certain there’s nothing even remotely close to actual cheese in there), I figured I could get through it this one time. So I whipped out my crockpot, easily one of my favorite kitchen appliances, and it was on to cheeseburger land.

The recipe I used comes from Recipes That Crock, but it originates from Gooseberry Patch, and like usual, I made some adjustments to suit my tastes. Here’s the basic recipe, along with my substitutions in red:

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs Lean Ground Beef (I used one pound of ground turkey instead to try to offset the less than healthy Velveeta)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic- Pressed and Divided (I used minced garlic instead. I very rarely keep garlic cloves in the house.)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 8 oz Velveeta Cheese- Cubed (or a tad bit more for a cheesier sandwich) (I used 8 oz. of the 2% milk Velveeta)
  • 2 Tbsp Milk (I used organic 2% milk)
  • 1 Onion- Finely Chopped Onion (I used diced yellow onion)
  • 8 Pretzel Rolls-Split (or Hamburger Buns) (I skipped the buns being that I’m gluten free)
  • Garnish- Mustard, Ketchup, Mayo, Pickles, Tomato, Etc.
  • I added a can of organic diced tomatoes

20150107_172306The recipe itself is fairly simple. You brown the beef in a skillet with one clove (or the equivalent to) one clove of garlic along with the salt and pepper. Once brown, you drain the beef and place it in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients, minus the buns (if you opt to use them) and any garnishes you plan to use. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

When finished, either plate it, like I did or use a bun to create a cheeseburger topped with the garnishes of your choosing.

I will say, be careful about the amount of time you cook it. You want the cheese to be melted, but still somewhat thick. If you cook it too long, the cheese will become too thin. I could have probably cooked mine a little less and I went with five hours. I would have liked the cheese to be thicker and thus more like a cheeseburger and less like a soup. That’s really my only complaint. It had a good taste to it, it was just a little runny and maybe some of that would have been helped by using a bun. I may opt for a gluten free bun next time and will cook it a little less. The hamburger is already brown when it goes into the crockpot, so there’s really no harm in shortening up the cooking time.20150107_183044

I do not own this recipe. This post reflects my experience with it.

Baking with Buddy: Slow cooker chicken philly sandwiches

20141119_192242A few months ago when I was in the midst of packing, I got to that point where cooking was tough. The spices were packed up, most of the cookware was packed up and the boxes were quickly taking over every available space in the apartment. Enter the crockpot–the “my apartment is packed up because I’m moving” meal savior. Wanting to keep up with my quest to try new recipes, I stumbled across this gem on Pinterest from Foodfamilyfinds.com:

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning
  • sliced Mozzarella cheese
  • hoagie rolls
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Spray a 3 – 4 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and turn to LOW heat.
  2. Add butter, onions and green peppers.
  3. Toss chicken with steak seasoning, salt and pepper, then add to slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook for 5 hours.
  5. Serve on hoagies with a slice of cheese melted on top.

Okay, so being gluten free I changed this recipe up a bit, so here’s my ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 onion (I usually choose between yellow and white, depending on which is on sale)
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I buy these from Wegmans and they’re fairly large so two were more than enough)
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Steak Seasoning (I checked two stores looking for the Dale’s Steak Seasoning, which I should note is a liquid. I couldn’t find it in either, so I went with a dry steak seasoning which worked just as well. If you can find Dale’s, more power to you, but don’t be afraid to substitute it with a different seasoning.)
  • sliced provolone cheese (I’m a firm believer that cheesesteaks should have provolone, not mozzarella.)

To get this thing rolling along, I first sprayed my slow cooker with Coconut Oil non-stick spray and turned it on low.

20141119_164455I then added my butter to the slow cooker and allowed it to heat while I sliced my onion and green peppers, tossing them in once sliced.

Next it was time for my chicken to go on top of the onion and peppers, followed by the steak seasoning and a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper to add additional flavor.

20141119_164752I let the whole thing cook, covered, on high for five hours and once finished, I shredded the chicken using two forks, spooned out portions and covered each with a slice of provolone. Since the chicken was warm, the cheese easily melted. Now, you could use a hoagie and make more of a sandwich, but being gluten free, I went breadless and it worked just as well.

20141119_201240The chicken had a great flavor and easily shredded, plus the cheese added a nice sweetness to the spice of the seasoning and peppers.

Plus, once all was finished, I had minimal mess which was nice because I needed to pack up that crockpot to be moved a few days later with all of the other stuff.

I do not own this recipe. This post represents my experience and take on a recipe found at FoodFamilyFinds.com.

Crockpot Pineapple Chicken

20141103_185027I’ll start off by saying I’m not a huge fan of pineapple, but this recipe wasn’t bad. It actually didn’t turn out that pineapple-y. My guess is the soy sauce mellows out the fruity flavor of the pineapple.

I found the recipe via Pinterest and it comes from “Moms with Crockpots:”

Crockpot Pineapple Chicken

Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
6 hours
Total time
6 hours 5 mins
 
Author: Amanda@MomsWithCrockpots.com
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 can of pineapple in juice (tidbits, chucks, rings, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Chop onion and place in crock pot.
  2. Place Chicken Breast on top of onion.
  3. Dump the can of pineapple (juice and all) over the chicken.
  4. Dump the soy sauce and the chicken broth on top of everything.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH in the crockpot for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8
  6. hours.
  7. Serve over rice and with a steamed veggie.

20141103_090341For my recipe, I used three chicken breasts from Wegmans. My husband and I buy the big club packs and freeze the breasts individually to cut costs. My pineapple was a can of the Dole Pineapple Tidbits and I used a white onion, plus gluten free soy sauce and Wegmans organic chicken broth.

20141103_090628Following the instructions, I hand chopped my onion and placed it in my crockpot that I had sprayed with Coconut Oil to minimize sticking. I then added my defrosted chicken breasts on top of the onion before adding the can of pineapple, soy sauce and chicken broth. I then set my crockpot on low for 6 hours which ended up being more than enough time. When finished, I served over Market Pantry White Rice. I skipped the vegetable since the chicken was fairy thick and I felt the starchiness of the rice would be too much to then add a vegetable.

The chicken was well-cooked and had a good flavor to it. I will say I’m finding out that I’m not a fan of soy sauce and chicken in the crockpot. It creates a strange flavor that I can’t really put my finger on. It’s a little heavy and with chicken, I would rather it be lighter. It could also be that this dish needs a little more seasoning or something extra. I can’t quite figure it out, but it was missing something. I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks after trying it. In the meantime, enjoy!

I do not own this recipe. This blog represents my own experience with it.

Fajita, fajita…

I’m a huge fan of naturally colorful food. There’s just something about it that screams healthy. Now note I say NATURALLY colored food. No, Cheetos do not count. I’m talking vibrant peppers and scallions, colorful fruit, green vegetables. Those kinds of things. So really, taking that into account, it’s no wonder that I love fajitas!

I usually choose to make steak fajitas with bright peppers and onions. They’re not my husbands favorite, but he loves me so he eats them anyway.

What you need to make Fajitas, Fajitas:

  • Steak
  • A variety of peppers (I usually use some combination of red, orange and yellow, sometimes adding in a green one here or there) 20140901_193611
  • Olive oil
  • An onion (I usually use a white onion, but really I’ll rock whatever’s on sale)
  • Fajita seasoning (I use Ortega)

1. I start off by cutting my steak into thin strips. I try to use organic steak, grass fed beef. I find it has a better quality and plus it doesn’t contain all the crazy things other beef does thanks to what the cows are fed and how the meat is treated.

2. 20140901_193425Once my steak is cut into strips, I put a small amount of Olive Oil in a skillet and add the steak. I cook it until it’s well done, but not burnt. I like it done, but not overdone.

3. Setting my steak aside, I chop my peppers and onions into large pieces and add them to the already hot skillet. Adding a small amount of oil, I sautee the vegetables until finished. I don’t like them too cooked, but I do like them a little soft. Usually, when the onions are being to take on a darker appearance I know my vegetables are done. It’s really up to you how you want them. I don’t think there’s a wrong answer here.20140901_195039

4. When the vegetables are finished, I add the steak back into the skillet and heat everything together adding fajita seasoning.

5. When done, I usually serve them on a corn tortilla with shredded cheese and occasionally lettuce and tomato, depending on the mood I’m in. I will say corn tortillas are an acquired taste, so flour tortillas work just as good.

Okay, now that I’ve made myself super hungry, enjoy your fajitas. Let me know how they come out. And if you wanted to send me some, I wouldn’t hate that either. Keep in mind if you’re in a rush or don’t feel like working with raw meat, you can also pick up preseasoned fajita steak strips that you just have to heat up. It’s an option.

Baking with Buddy: Grilled Chicken Squash and Zucchini Bake

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is visit the local farmer’s market. I take my Thirty-One Market Tote and head out with my husband to find some produce. Recently, we picked up zucchini and squash, two vegetables I absolutely love. I usually saute them, but I wanted to try something a little different. Behold, the grilled chicken squash and zucchini bake!

20140707_202856

I found a recipe on Relish.com for a squash and zucchini bake and then tweaked it. Here’s that recipe:

Ingredients

4 small zucchini, diced (about 3 cups total)
2 cups (about 5 1/2 ounces) club cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 small onion, grated
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or 9-inch-square baking dish.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add zucchini; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
  3. Press cracker crumbs on bottom of prepared pan to form a crust. Dot with butter. Spoon zucchini on top.
  4. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy. Stir in onion, milk, 2/3 cup Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over zucchini and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Cheddar and Parmesan.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes, or until golden on edges.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m gluten free so the first thing out the door were the cracker crumbs. Instead, I substituted in two cups of gluten free bread crumbs. I then used organic eggs and milk and reduced fat cheese. I didn’t buy enough squash and zucchini at the market, so I added in some organic ones purchased at Wegmans. I also added in Bare Naked chicken tenders.

20140707_184607

Here’s my recipe:

1 package of Bare Naked chicken tenders

2 zucchini

2 squash

2 cups (about 5 1/2 ounces) gluten free bread crumbs

2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter

3 organic eggs

1 small onion, grated

1/2 cup 2% organic milk

1 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or 9-inch-square baking dish. I figured the chicken would add some size to the dish and I didn’t want it to be too thick so I used my Pyrex 9 x 13 baking dish. I sprayed it with Pam Organic Olive Oil to keep the casserole from sticking.
  2. Melt one tablespoon of organic butter in a large skillet and add chicken, cook until golden brown.20140707_190613
  3. While the chicken is cooking, slice the zucchini and squash into triangular pieces. I first cut it into slices and then cut those slices into fourths. Why? I don’t know, it just seems to be the best size for a casserole. You don’t want the chunks to be too big.20140707_190817
  4. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add zucchini and squash; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well in a colander. 20140707_193821
  5. With the zucchini and squash ready, the chicken should be finished cooking. Put the grilled tenders into a food processor (I used the 7-cup Cuisinart Food Processor (which I love)) and pulse them until finely chopped.
  6. Press the bread crumbs on the bottom of the prepared Pyrex dish to form a crust and dot it with the remaining butter.  Spoon zucchini and squash on top.20140707_192518
  7. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy. Stir in onion, milk, 2/3 cup Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over zucchini and squash and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Cheddar and Parmesan. 20140707_195024
  8. Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes, or until golden on edges.
  9. Enjoy!

20140707_203207

I absolutely loved this dish and I hope you will too. It offered a new way to cook some old favorites. Let me know if you try it. I want to hear what you think!

Baking with Buddy: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Let’s talk about fish baby, let’s talk about you and me…20140630_200759

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a huge fish fan. Really, I’m a big fan of seafood in general, but I love trying different types of fish, from the more fishy options to the less fishy options, like tuna and even, I know forgive me here, fish sticks.

images

Tilapia is an easy go-to for nights when I want to eat healthy, but also have something that tastes well and isn’t complicated. My favorite tilapia recipe has to be this one from Rachel Ray:


Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

20140630_200421Makes: 4 servings

ingredients

  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • tilapia fillets (about 1 pound total)
  • lemon, cut into wedges
directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . In a shallow dish, combine the cheese with the paprika and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the fish with oliveoil and dredge in the cheese mixture. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the fish is opaque in the thickest part, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the fish with the lemon wedges.20140630_202915

See? So easy! I actually cut the recipe down to make only two fillets and skip the lemon wedges. I use Simply Balanced fish because it’s sustainable and also I can avoid the disaster that is Fukushima seafood. I know there’s conflicting reports on that, but I’d like to err on the side of caution. I want my fish to have two eyeballs, not ten. Plus, this time, I didn’t have grated Parmesan and used shredded Parmesan instead. It worked, but the cheese browned more than the grated usually does. Also, I don’t use a foil-lined baking sheet. Instead, I use a shallow Pyrex baking dish sprayed with non-stick Pam Organic Olive Oil. Comes out perfectly. You know you want fish now…

first-date-dont-order-too-much-gif

 

I do not own this recipe. This post represents my own experience and take on it.