Monday, August 30, 2010

Zucchini Bread

This was my first attempt at Zucchini Bread and it was delicious! I also LOVE the 4 Loaf Tray that I baked it in...wonderful!!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (I used ½ cup oil + ½ cup applesauce)
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325; place 4 Loaf Tray on perforated baking sheet.
2. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.
3. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts or chocolate chips until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10-20 minutes at least. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

One of the reasons I love this tray is that you can make all 4 different. So, I made the basic recipe with no chocolate chips or nuts, poured about 1 1/4 cups into two of the loaves, then I added chocolate chips and poured the rest in the other 2 loaves. You could also do that with nuts as well. This turned out really well! I used 1/2 applesauce and you couldn't tell, so next time I may try all applesauce. It is super moist and yummy, and my girls loved it!!

Side note - I will say you can definitely taste the cinnamon, which I kind of liked, but if you're not a huge cinnamon fan, you may want to use less of it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mac and Cheese

First I have to acknowledge Joe because he made this one, not me :) And, adding bacon was his idea, plus, the girls absolutely LOVED it!!

1 8oz package of elbow macaroni (Joe used shells but he said macaroni would've been better)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low fat milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cheese (your favorite blend is fine; Joe used cheddar)
1 egg, beaten
A few pieces of cooked, center cut, bacon (finely chopped)

Cook macaroni according to directions, omitting salt. Drain well and set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Place flexipan mold of choice on perforated baking sheet (he used Sunflower Mold) and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add flour and mix constantly with a whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Slowly whisk in salt and cheese. Gradually stir about 1/4 of hot mixture into beaten egg. Add egg mixture to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Stir cheese sauce and bacon into macaroni. Pour into mold and bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. If desired, let stand 10 minutes and unmold.

From Demarle's "Cooking Light every Night" cookbook

Cheesy Rice Bake

Served in this picture with the Bruschetta Chicken, posted below.

1 1/2 cups quick cooking brown rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups non-fat, low sodium chicken broth
2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped into very small pieces
1 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup low fat ranch
4 egg whites, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350. Place Flexipan Muffin tray on perforated baking sheet and set aside. In a sauce pan, prepare brown rice per package directions, using chicken broth instead of water. Place cooked rice in a mixing bowl and let cool slightly. Chop broccoli into small pieces (very small pieces). Add broccoli and remaining ingredients to rice and blend well with spatula. Spoon into individual muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly and unmold. Serve immediately.

My kids LOVED this one too! They like broccoli, but even if they didn't, they still would've loved this. You can eat with your hands, like a muffin, which is so fun!
I serve with the bruschetta chicken. So to cook at the same time, use the Large Perforated Baking sheet, place muffin on side and the silpat (Or flexipat) on the other side. Cook it all at 350, seems to take the same amount of time.

From Demarle's "Cooking Light every Night" cookbook

Bruschetta Chicken

My kids even loved this recipe, so I'm picturing their plate here :)

1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 chicken breast halves, or 8 tenders
1/4 Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp melted butter
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes w/ garlic, drained
3 tbsp fresh basil leaves, minced (I like using the freeze dried kind, tastes just as good and you use the same amount as fresh)
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Place silpat on peforated baking sheet and set aside. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour then in eggs. Place on silpat. In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over chicken. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in the mixing bowl. Spoon over cooked chicken. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so until heated through. I served with Cheesy Rice Bake.
From Demarle's "Cooking Light every Night" cookbook

What I would change: I made exactly how posted above. However, if I were to make it again, I would use only egg whites, and then dip it in bread crumb mixture (more like how I make chicken parmesan). The flour didn't seem necessary to this recipe. This way listed was good but seemed a bit off to me. The tomatoes on top though was sooo good!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (cheater version)

Yes, you read that correctly. This is a cheater version of pineapple upside down cake.

1 box yellow cake mix
10-15 maraschino cherries
1 - 15 oz can of crushed pineapple
3 eggs (or however many the box calls for)

Take the Bundt Mold and place on perforated baking sheet. Place drained maraschino cherries in the bottom of it and set aside. In mixing bowl, mix yellow cake mix, pineapple w/ juices & eggs. Fill the mold with mixture and bake for about 40 minutes at 350. Let cool about 10-15 minutes, unmold and enjoy! Yes, it is that simple...and good!

TIP: You can replace the oil & eggs w/ almost any 15oz can of fruit and juice, or even pie filling. I've done spice cake w/ apple pie filling; vanilla cake w/ mandarin oranges, pears and can get creative and try different versions. It's a healthier alternative and a new taste :)

Peanut Butter Cups

Who wouldn't want peanut buttter cups, HOMEMADE peanut butter cups especially? These are super easy to make and so yummy!!

You will need:
Medium Tartlet Tray
8 oz. peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick margarine at room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
2 lbs of chocolate (I used the Wiltons from Michaels, but Merckel is recommended; I couldn't find it in a store though. And I think the milk chocolate tasted best)

Mix all ingredients together in bowl, except the chocolate, until smooth. Mixture should be a little sticky. If it is too sticky to roll in balls, add a little more powerdered sugar. Place Roul'Pat on the counter and experiment with spoonfuls. I found it easier to make tbsp balls and flatten out a little so it's not rounded on top. Make enough shapes to fill tray (20+ depending on how many trays you'll do). Place Tartlet Tray on Perforated Baking Sheet and set aside. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler on stove, or in microwave at 50% power. Stir frequently. Pour a spoonful in bottom of tray, just enough to cover, about 1/4-1/3 full. Gently place peanut butter shapes in chocolate. Top with melted chocolate just enough to completely cover peanut butter and fill shape. Place tray in freezer about 5-10 minutes. Remove from freezer and unmold. You can decorate as well with melted chocolate (a different colored one). Can wrap and give as gifts, or gobble them up...enjoy :) We have...quite a few times.

From Demarle's Dessert Cookbook

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Banana Bread

This is some of the moistest (if that's even a word) banana breads ever!!

Heat oven to 350. Place your favorite mold or tray on your baking sheet. The picture shown is my Charlotte Tray, but I also love to use my Medium Tartlet Tray and pour the rest of the batter into a smaller mold (like small round or Christmas Tree).

In large bowl cream together:
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
Then add
2 eggs and mix well
Then add
3-4 large ripened bananas**
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk

Add flour mixture:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp salt

Additional Add-ins:
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Bake medium tartlet tray/mini muffins for about 12 minutes, then cook the small mold an additional 5-8 minutes (about 20 total), til middle is cooked through.

This is a great basic recipe - amazing by itself or with the add-ins. You can even substitute brown sugar if you prefer.
**Trick to moist banana bread is to zap the bananas in the microwave. This also helps if your bananas are not so ripe. I like the brown ones best for breads. I break 3 large bananas in half and microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes (stirring half way through), then mash them before adding to mixture. This releases more banana flavor and makes your muffins/bread less chunky. ENJOY!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Whatever you have Pasta

My friend gave me some fresh, home grown zucchini and tomatoes. I couldn't wait to use them!! This is one of my favorite go to lunches...mainly b/c I love it, it's healthy and easy to make for one, or many :) This recipe is what I used in this photo but you could use whatever veggies and pasta you have lying around. I am also not using measurements b/c you just add however much you want; I think the more veggies, the better. And the balsamic glaze would be enough for 2-3 servings.

Tri colored rotini pasta
olive oil
garlic powder
basil (I like to use the freeze dried if not fresh)
parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Demarle at Home Spiced Apple Pear Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 heaping tbsp brown sugar

Dice the veggies to bite size pieces, sprinkle w/ salt, pepper, garlic powder & basil. Then cook the pasta to al dente, the minimum time listed on box. While pasta is boiling, start the glaze. Put vinegar, water and sugar into a small saucepan. I would bring to a boil and boil, while stirring frequently, for about 3-5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and keep cooking/stirring until sauce thickens and reduces to about 1/3. While that is cooking, put veggies in frying pan heated w/ olive oil (1-2 tsp + Pam is what I use). Cook veggies for about 5 minutes til slightly crisp tender. Add more olive oil and spices if needed. Then add in cooked pasta, about 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese (any kind is fine). Mix well and pour into bowl. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over top and enjoy!!

Zucchini Parmesan Bites

These are so yummy and easy to make!! They also go very fast, so it's wise to make extra so you can keep them coming when you have company!

1 cup zucchini, grated and packed
1 egg white
2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup grated low fat mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp basil
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup low fat sour cream (optional but I did not use)

Preheat oven to 400. Place mini tartlet tray on perforated baking sheet and set aside. Combine all ingredients (except sour cream) into mixing bowl. Place about 1 tsp of mixture into each hole on the tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until browned on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place sour cream into pastry bag and pipe on top. Can also top w/ chopped chives if you want. I don't think these need anything on top though, they're great as is!! Enjoy!
-from Demarle's "Cooking Light Every Night" cookbook

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Amazing Bread (technically it's called "Crusty Fat-Free Bread")

So for those who do not know, Demarle at Home is the maker of the "Silform", which is what Subway uses to make their bread. When I started selling it, Joe wanted to buy a silform...I put it off for a while thinking realistically we would never make our own bread. However, I bought one recently and Joe promised he'd make bread...and he did...:)And it is delicious...well, the one recipe he's made (a couple times already). It is so easy to make and truly is really good. He uses the different herbs & seasonings that Demarle offers with it, which really showcases those herbs. So, here is the recipe. It is out of the Demarle "Beginnings & Endings" cookbook. I think I'll make hime make the bread now every time I do a show ;)It's good by itself or served with a dish, like stew.

1 envelope rapid-rise dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
4 1/2 - 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Seasonings of choice (personally I like it w/ Herbs de Provence best)
2 cups water

In the mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add salt and sugar and mix well. Beat in flour, one cup at a time, with a wooden spoon to form a smooth ball that clears sides of bowl. (Joe used the green Demarle spatula) Cover and set in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. (We just preheat the oven and let it sit on the stove while the oven is on). Stir down dough just a few times with wooden spoon. Flour your hands and put a very light dusting of flour on the Roul'Pat. Turn out dough onto the Roul'Pat. This dough is sticky and requires a little flour to keep from sticking. Knead a few times, cut in half, and then cut each half again so you have four balls of dough. Place oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 400. Place the Bread Tray on the Perforated Baking Sheet. While oven is heating, shape each ball of dough into a long baguette. Place baguette's into bread tray and let sit until oven is ready, about 5 minutes. Slash tops of bread dough in five places using the Bread Knife. Brush tops of loaves lightly with water. Sprinkle on seasonings and pat down. Or, you could add seasonings while you're rolling the dough and shaping it so it is mixed in. Both ways are good! Bring two cups of water to a boil using the Omelette Pan (or any oven safe pan). Place on bottom rack of oven. Place bread on center rack of oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crusty and brown. Serve warm!! Great with Demarle's Balsamic Vingegar too.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chocolate Kahlua Cake

Yummy!! I found this recipe in the new Demarle Dessert cookbook and it is so good!

Any 18-22 oz package Chocolate Cake mix. I used a Duncan Hines Devil's Food mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 340. In the mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, Kahlua and oil. Beat with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until blended. Do not over mix. Stir in chocolate chips with spatula. Place Fluted Bundt Mold on perforated baking sheet. Pour batter into mold. Bake for 45 minutes. Check to see if cake is done with toothpick. Do not over bake! Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes in pan before unmolding. You can spinkle powdered sugar on top, drizzle with melted white chocolate chips or decorate with whipped topping. But I did not do any of those and it was perfect as is, and it is so easy to make!!