Friday, August 30, 2013

Butterscotch Apple Cake & Weekend Potluck #82

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!


AND....

When I share something worth sharing...again...

This is such an awesome cake that screams FALL! Even delicious for those who don't think they like butterscotch. 

Butterscotch Apple Cake


Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Lemon Dream Yogurt Cake with Lemon Marshmallow Buttercream by Eat Cake For Dinner

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Chicken with Buffalo Fettucine Alfredo
Fiesta Corn Saute
Fiesta Corn Saute by Lisa’s Dinner Time Dish

And, a personal favorite ~


Raspberry Crumble Bars by Practical Stewardship 

Your hostesses ~


Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video Please use a direct link within your post.)
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!





Thursday, August 29, 2013

Strawberry Peach Smoothie (Healthy Choice)

Wanted to share this while fresh fruit is still available these summer months. 

Since we are smoothie lovers in this house, I love trying a new combo of fruit flavors.
This one from Love Bakes Good Cakes sounded so yummy...I went right to the kitchen to make it.

I had fresh peaches on the counter and  frozen berries on hand.  I love not having to add ice to my smoothies. 

Use flavored or plain Greek yogurt for an added protein boost!
You could also add flax seed meal or oatmeal.  They both get ground up and you don't even know they're there. 

It will not disappoint!  


STRAWBERRY PEACH SMOOTHIE


1 c. strawberries, cleaned (fresh or frozen)
1 large peach, cut in to wedges (fresh or frozen)
1 c. orange juice or (1%) milk(more or less, depending on the consistency you like)
1/2 c. favorite (Greek) yogurt (I used peach)
1 TB. honey or 1 sm. packet sugar or sweetener
1 Tb. flax or chia seeds
(If using fresh fruit, add 4 - 6 ice cubes)
Strawberries or peaches for garnish, optional


Place all of the ingredients in a blender; 'whir' on high until smooth. Garnish with additional strawberries or peaches if desired. SIP SIP HORRAH!....or AWAY! =)

Yield: 2 servings


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 Quick-to-Fix Chicken Dishes (Blast from the Past)

Easy...BBQ...Bacon...Cheese....YUUUMMMM!

Monterey Chicken


This is a delicious and quick meal...and it has cream cheese!
Along with salsa...that's it!

Chicken Quesadillas



A simple, creamy, make-ahead dish...I love the crunchy topping too.






Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wendy's Copycat Berry Almond Chicken Salad

This salad is sooo awesome!!!!!!

(And I am NOT usually a lover of lettuce type salads)....

But the first time I tasted this, I told my husband 'I could eat this every day for a week'...and then, had a great giggle when I told my daughter, who told me she told HER husband the same thing when she tried it too!

I was elated to see this recipe from Margo at  Joyful Homemaking 
after she shared this at a recent Weekend Potluck party.  I was already thinking I needed to come up with my own version.  I just wasn't sure what kind of cheese was in it as I've never purchased Asiago cheese before. 

I even grated it in little 'sheets' instead of long pieces like what usually comes out when I use my grater.  This made it more like 'the real deal'.

In fact, the first time I made this at home, was the same day I ate it 'out' for lunch at Wendy's, then went grocery shopping and bought everything I needed to make it...then enjoyed a second salad for dinner that evening! 

But alas...that time I used a bowl, and you really couldn't see all the yummy ingredients, so what to do...but to make it AGAIN! =) 

I can testify it was just as enjoyable again the next day. *-*

I love the crunch of the roasted almonds, and have always loved fruit in a salad. The asiago cheese is perfect here and the raspberry vinaigrette is too. 

I know this is only a seasonal salad at Wendy's, so you might want to add these ingredients to your shopping list as it probably won't be available for purchasing for long...but what the hey...
NOW YOU CAN MAKE IT YOURSELF!!!




WENDY'S COPYCAT BERRY ALMOND CHICKEN SALAD

This is what you need:



Mixed greens

(I wanted spring mix, but there was none, so I used a bag of romaine and it was great...use your favorite) 

Strawberries, washed and chopped
Blueberries, washed 
Asiago cheese, grated
Sliced Almonds, roasted 


(I had slivered on hand so that's what I used)

Grilled chicken breast
Raspberry vinaigrette


Add greens to your bowl, then add desired toppings.  Pour on some raspberry vinaigrette to enjoy a fabulous salad. 


Linked to Weekend Potluck
         Meal Plan Monday

Monday, August 26, 2013

Iced Vanilla Coffee

Oopsie - I just found this one in my drafts.  I should have shared it while the weather was very hot.  It's a great thirst quencher and I will continue to drink it even when the temps are dropping. 

I am always wild about Nancy's recipes at Skinny Kitchen.
She says this is a 'remake' of Coffee Beans Vanilla Ice Blended Drink.
(I'm not familiar with that brand, but know they must be an awesome company).

Please visit Nancy's site (at link above) if you'd like WW Points.  I tweaked this recipe a tad. 
I'm SUCH a fan of coffee drinks - hot or cold, but have been enjoying plenty of iced coffee this summer.  Have to confess I'm getting addicted to this one too!


ICED VANILLA COFFEE

1/3 c. double strength regular or decaf coffee, chilled
1/2 c. nonfat (or 1%) milk
1 Tb. instant (sugar free) vanilla pudding, dry
(or 2 - 3 Tb. simple vanilla creamer)
1 pkt. Truvia or liquid stevia to taste
(if using the creamer, it will already be sweet) 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. crushed ice 

Combine all ingredients in blender, blending on high until drink is smooth. 
Pour into a glass - top with light whipped cream if desired.
Yield: 1 large drink

Enjoy every awesome cooling sip! 

Linked to Weekend Potluck
       Full Plate Thursday


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Zucchini Brownies (Lighter Choice)

We've had plenty of zucchini given to use this summer.  Our son, Dave, enjoys growing a garden and we have friends who offered us a few lovely zucchini from their garden also.

When we want to splurge, we fry it crisp.  Otherwise, I use it in soups or stir frys. 


I combined ideas from 3 different recipes to come up with this recipe, so I guess you can say this is 'my own'. 

I used less sugar, replaced half the oil with applesauce, exchanged 1/2 white whole wheat flour for all purpose flour, added cinnamon, and made a glaze instead of frosting. I also sprinkled the top with nuts instead of adding them to the batter.

It's moist and delicious.  You can always toss in a few chocolate chips also if you'd like to jazz it up. 


ZUCCHINI BROWNIES 

1 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon, optional 
1-1/4 c. sugar
(I used 3/4 c. xylitol, 1/2 c. sugar)
2 eggs 
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. applesauce
2 c. grated zucchini  
1/2 c. chopped nuts 

Glaze:
3 Tb. baking cocoa
2 Tb. butter, melted
1 c. powdered sugar
2 Tb. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
(If you prefer having frosting, just double these ingredients)

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour 9" X 13" baking dish. 

In medium bowl, combine flours, cocoa, salt, baking soda and cinnamon; set aside. 

In large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and applesauce until well blended. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in zucchini and nuts. Spread evenly into prepared pan. 

Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched with finger. 

To make the glaze, add cocoa to melted butter; set aside to cool. 

In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread evenly over warm brownies. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Leader Enterprise - August 21, 2013 - Back to school breakfasts and snacks



'Labor and Delivery' are over - my 'BABY' has arrived! All 500+ copies of "LOVE AT FIRST BITE" were delivered last Wednesday and I have been one busy bee ever since. If you purchase one before any of my signings, please feel free to bring it to me so I can autograph it for you! Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement in this special season of my life.

(And if you have an interest to read more about the book, including ordering details, click  here)

Since school begins soon, I wanted to share these simple ideas for helping everyone have a smooth transition going into the new year. Research shows that kids who eat breakfast fare much better in school than those who don't.   It helps maximize school performance and helps them grow properly also. Consider these simple routine changes so your kids can begin the day out right by having time for breakfast.

Make sure homework is finished and the bags packed ready for school by bedtime. 

Get up 15 minutes earlier if need be. 

Give up TV and computer games before school. 

Children should decide what they're going to wear to school before going to bed. 

Know where shoes are to save time. Relieve morning stress by planning ahead.

Here's some easy ways to get nutrition in your kids in the morning.

Breakfast doesn't have to be a victim of the early AM rush. Some of these things can be eaten on the go. Be sure to stock healthy foods; allow children to choose favorite yogurt or cereal when shopping. 

Breakfast Split-place vanilla yogurt in a bowl,
top with fresh banana slices, strawberries, raspberries or favorite fruit and top with granola. Place in a disposable cup or bowl and let children eat breakfast on the way to school if need be. 

Banana Pancakes - Mix 1/2 banana with 3/4 cup milk in blender. To 1-1/4 c. pancake mix, add 1 lg. egg, 2 TB.peanut butter, 1 TB. oil,and banana milk. Cook until bubbly; turn. Top with peanut butter. Many breakfast foods like this one can be made ahead, frozen, and reheated for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. 

Fruity Milkshake - In blender place 3/4 c. milk, 1/2 c. frozen whole strawberries and 1/2 cup (frozen) vanilla yogurt. Cover with lid; process until smooth. Pour into glass. Yield: 1 serving. 

INVISIBLE BANANA FRENCH TOAST
2 eggs
1 banana, sliced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 slices white bread
1 TB. margarine or oil
Place eggs, banana slices and cinnamon in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into bowl - heat margarine. Dip bread into batter and fry. Serve with warm maple syrup or even peanut butter. For a quicker breakfast, roll up and eat on the go.

These omelette 'muffins' are great for making on the weekend and reheating for a protein packed breakfast during the week. Add your family's favorite veggies and cheese and your kids will be begging for more.




MINI MUFFIN OMELETS

12 eggs (I used 11 so my pans weren't so full)
2 Tb. milk
1 c. chopped deli ham or cooked bacon or sausage
2 ozs. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
blanched veggies of choice
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 12 muffin tins generously with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix eggs and milk - pour evenly into pans. Sprinkle with add-ins, then salt & pepper. Bake 20 minutes. They come out of the pans a lot easier than I expected them to. 

How about making your own pop-tarts? They're easy enough for the kids to help with, and you'll know what's in them. They're frugal too! Great for breakfast or after school snacking.

HOMEMADE POP TARTS 

1 pkg. refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
Strawberry Jam

1 can strawberry or vanilla frosting
sprinkles

Preheat oven to 400. Cut dough into 3-inch rectangles. On one side, spread jam leaving about 1/2-inch on all sides. Top with another rectangle. Using a fork, crimp the edges to close. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (or spray with cooking oil) and bake for 9 - 12 minutes until slightly browned. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack and place in fridge for about 5-7 minutes. (This will make frosting much easier...and we don't want those precious babes burning their mouths!).  Spread frosting on; top with sprinkles.
Here's a couple of ideas for healthy and fun after-school snacks. My Long-Time Favorite: Apple Smiles: Cut a red apple in half;  core; then cut each half into 4-5 slices. On one side of each apple slice spread peanut butter, add 4-5 mini marshmallows (to represent teeth), then top with another slice, peanut butter side down. You'll have 2 'lips' and 'teeth'.

BANANA MONKEY CRUNCH

1-14 oz. can crushed pineapple,drained
3 cups vanilla(Greek)yogurt
1 (4-serv.size)  instant vanilla pudding mix
1 c.granola cereal
2 bananas, sliced
Drain pineapple juice into large bowl. Add yogurt and pudding mix to juice and whisk until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Add crushed pineapple; stir well. Let stand a few minutes or refrigerate. Spoon into dessert bowls. Top with granola and banana slices.

Here's a list of seasonal foods (in NW Ohio) that will be cheaper to purchase the last part of August: apples, pears, grapes, broccoli, okra, nectarines, cabbage, summer squash, peppers, corn and tomatoes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ice Cream Dessert with Peanut Butter Crust

 I already had this scheduled to be published, so I wanted to add a note to extend my sympathy to my dear friend, Kitty, as her husband, Rich,  lost his battle to cancer this past week.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you Kitty.

 With summer winding down, I decided I'd better get this yummy dish posted

What a wonderful and refreshing dessert idea I found over at my dear friend Kitty's blog...Kitty's Kozy Kitchen.
This has been a family favorite of theirs for many years and I know mine will enjoy it again too.  YUM! 
Vanilla ice cream, crunchy peanut butter crust with hot fudge mixed in.
GOTTA LOVE IT!!! 
ICE CREAM DESSERT WITH PEANUT BUTTER CRUST
1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream, softened in the fridge for 30 minutes
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. light corn syrup
2 1/4 c. oven-toasted rice cereal

In medium bowl, combine peanut butter and the corn syrup.  Add rice cereal and mix well. Pat into the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan.  Add 1/2 of the ice cream & smooth out on top of the crust.  Freeze for 1 hour.  Place the rest of the ice cream in the fridge to use later.

In the meantime, make the hot fudge sauce: 

3/4 c. sugar
(I used 1/2 xylitol + 1/2 sugar...just to reduce the sugar amount)
 1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. butter
1 t. vanilla

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook sugar, cocoa, whipping cream & butter until mixture is smooth & begins to boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Cool fudge sauce slightly.

Pour about 1-1/4 cups fudge sauce over the ice cream.  Return to freezer for about 20 minutes. 

Remove from freezer; spread remainder of the ice cream on top.  Drizzle remainder of fudge sauce over the top.  (You may need to re-heat the sauce a little in order to drizzle it.

Cover dessert & return to freezer.  Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. 

  Before serving, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Yield: 12-15 servings


Linked to Weekend Potluck
GBP Roundup - Peanut Butter
Meal Plan Monday


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3 Better Baker Breakfast Favs {Blast from the Past}


These magnificent 'muffins' are soo delicious - good for you - and versatile.
Add what your family loves best to the beaten eggs....veggies, cheese, meat....great to have on hand for a protein boost any time of day.





My oh my! With layers of scrambled eggs & sausage gravy, topped with biscuits, this dish is sure to please any hungry man (or woman) you need to feed!

Best Breakfast Casserole Ever


You just can't beat this awesome and tasty fruity dish!!
Made ahead...refrigerated overnight...what's not to LOVE????  
It makes me swooooonnn!  



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Lightened" Fresh Zucchini & Lemon Bars

We have friends who are blessed with an abundance of zucchini in their garden...and we are blessed that they chose to share it with us.

Along with this yummy recipe.  Rosa said it's a favorite in her family so I had to try it.

Very delicious...I think using fresh produce makes for the best of everything, so the fact this not only has fresh grated zucchini, but I used fresh lemon juice also...makes it VERY tasty. 

Of course, you could thaw the zucchini in your freezer and use bottled lemon juice and it would still be delicious, so don't make excuses....

Make this soon! It's SUCH a great way to 'hide' veggies and get your family to eat more of them. (It's your secret and mine, and I won't tell!=) 


LIGHTENED FRESH ZUCCHINI & LEMON BARS 

3 eggs 
(I used 2 eggs + 2 egg whites)
1-1/4 c. sugar
(I used 3/4 c. xylitol, 1/2 c. sugar) 
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. (fresh) lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon rind, optional
1-3/4 c. fresh grated zucchini
2 c. flour
(I used 1 c. all purpose, 1 c. white whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 c. coarsely chopped nuts (toasted is best)
(we prefer pecans) 

Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly grease 9" X 13" baking pan. 

In large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, lemon juice and rind.  Add zucchini; stir until blended.  In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Combine with zucchini mixture.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40 - 50 minutes.  Begin checking early so you don't overbake. 

Add lemon juice/powdered sugar glaze if desired.  







Sunday, August 18, 2013

Zapple Crisp

I am SO excited to share this recipe with you!

I've been making it for many years...since my children were young.  I think the recipe might have been given to me by my sis-in-love, Judy. 
(All those BAKER girls are great cooks!)

I think you are going to be amazed!

If you've never tried this dessert...using ZUCCHINI! instead of apples, no one is going to believe it's really zucchini because it tastes just like APPLES!!

NO.JOKE!!

I've had SO MUCH FUN over the years bluffing folks who were SURE they HAD to be eating apples...NOT Zucchini! 

Doncha love how zucchini takes on the flavor of other things?
When I was a kid, my mom canned zucchini and made it taste like pineapple!

I love this so much and it's such an awesome way to use up the abundance of zucchini. 

I LOVE eating it warm. The top and bottom crust is nice and crispy. And I think it tastes best when eaten the same day it's made...atleast it's crispiest the same day.  The deliciousness lasts as long as the dessert does.

Start slicing that pile of 'zukes'....and enjoy every tasty bite! 

You can use fresh or frozen zucchini...thawed, of course. 

(This is a recipe from my first cookbook...if you are interested in any details about my recently published second one...LOVE AT FIRST BITE...click here)

I made this to take some to someone in need...it's good enough to share! 
 Yes, and serve with ice cream too...they'll never know! Add caramel topping too!



ZAPPLE CRISP

8 cups peeled, sliced zucchini
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Crust:
3-3/4 c. flour
1-1/4 c. sugar
1 cup margarine, plus 4 Tb.
(I've already cut that back from 3 sticks!)
dash salt
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Cook zucchini in lemon juice & water until tender.  Add sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg.  Mix crust ingredients until crumbly.  Use 1 cup crust mix to thicken filling.  Pat 1/2 of remaining crust into 9" X 13" baking pan.  Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon filling over crust and spread evenly.  Top with the rest of the crumb mixture, patting down.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake 30 minutes more.   

ENJOY!

Linked to Thursday's Treasures
          Weekend Potluck 
Melt in your Mouth Monday  
Lou Lou Girls

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits & Weekend Potluck #80

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!


AND...


When I share something worth sharing...again

My family LOVES these awesome biscuits.  Using refrigerated biscuit
dough, they're simple to put together and fantastic to enjoy. 



Whewie...can I just say it's been a royal whirlwind week???
My second cookbook...LOVE AT FIRST BITE...arrived this week and I'm having
a great time.


Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

 Trim Healthy Tuesday – Cracker Salad (S)
Cracker Salad by Stacy Makes Cents

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches 
Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches by Goodeness Gracious
Carrot Cake With Caramel Filling 
Carrot Cake With Caramel Filling by That Skinny Chick Can Bake


Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional videoPlease use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!






Thursday, August 15, 2013

Good-for-You Peach Vanilla Milkshake/Smoothie

Oh how we love chillin' with a smoothie or milkshake.
This is a delicious and healthy drink to cool you down. 

This original recipe from Brenda at Sugar Free Mom  used
mango instead of peach.  I'm a mango-lovin' Mama, but had frozen peaches so that's what I used.  

I keep frozen fruit on hand to add to my blender drinks.  Cuts back on ice cubes. 

This also has Greek yogurt and flaxseed meal also.
(Don't fuss - it gets ground up and you'll never know it's there)

Hope you'll try it for breakfast or snacktime soon.  

PEACH VANILLA MILKSHAKE  

1/2 c. peaches, frozen or fresh
1 heaping tsp. flaxseed meal
1/2 c. (1%) milk (almond would be great)
1/4 c. plain or vanilla (Greek) yogurt  
1 tsp. vanilla (or almond) extract
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. crushed ice
1/4 tsp. liquid (vanilla) Stevia

Place all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth and frothy. 

This makes 2 servings.  

Linked to Weekend Potluck  


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My "Baby" has arrived!


WHAT A KICK!!!

LABOR & DELIVERY ARE OVER AND THE BABY IS HERE...TIMES 500! 

My second cookbook...LOVE AT FIRST BITE....arrived today
and I am ready to take orders for those interested.


There are 202 Family-Friendly recipes...
Over 100 have "6 Ingredients or Fewer"
and over 50 are "Lighter Choices"..
There are some with Weight Watchers Points also.  
All Delicious!


Price is $15 + $4 Shipping for each. 
(OH folks have to pay tax too)

For more details about the book, and about ordering, click here

3 Super Sandwiches {Blast from the Past}


Just a few simple ingredients and you can be enjoying some filling sandwiches. Makes for a quick meal any time. 


Three ingredients and you are ready to rock 'n' roll with this
yummy sammy....these sandwiches are popular at open
houses and celebrations in this part of the country.





A very popular and simple sandwich...simmered in the slow cooker!
Couldn't be more delicious or simpler! 

Slow-Cooker Cheesesteak Sandwiches


Oh how I love the crunch of a grilled cheese...I'm simply in love
with this flavor combo!