Savory Zucchini Pie

Savory Zucchini Pie

Savory Zucchini Pie is great for a light lunch or dinner. Since it is very quiche-like, it is also perfect for breakfast. No matter what meal you eat it for, it is sure to become a favorite. Jazz it up with the addition of herbs. Basil, cilantro, or oregano are all delicious additions to this pie.

Slice of Savory Zucchini Pie

Savory Zucchini Pie

1 prepared pie crust (I just use store-bought)
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium-sized zucchini, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheese (I like a combo of cheddar and mozzarella, but feel free to use your favorite cheese)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, stirring often. Add the sliced zucchini and continue to sauté until tender. Add the shredded carrot and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Combine the beaten eggs, cheese, and a little more salt and pepper together. Add the egg and cheese mixture to the zucchini mixture. Pour into the pie shell. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pie comes out clean.

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Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is a great recipe when you are looking for something easy. It is comfort food.

I typically make enchilada sauce from scratch, but will grab a can of enchilada sauce from Aldi to make this recipe even easier. I was pleasantly surprised with the Pueblo Lindo Red Enchilada Sauce from Aldi. It’s pretty good for canned sauce. No shame.

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce (or about 3 1/2 cups of homemade enchilada sauce)
1 teaspoon each:  garlic powder, ground cumin, and chili powder
1 tablespoon corn starch and enough water to make a slurry
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterrey jack, or a Mexican cheese blend are great)
10 corn tortillas

Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot. Add the spices to the canned enchilada sauce and then pour over the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the sauce and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with two forks.

Stack the 10 corn tortillas. Cut into 4 strips and then turn a quarter turn and cut the strips into fourths to make bite-size pieces.

Stir the cornstarch slurry into the enchilada sauce. Add the cheese, shredded chicken, and corn tortilla pieces to the sauce. Mix well to combine and cook 30 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.


Raspberry Muffins

Raspberry Muffins

These are easy enough to whip up for a weekend morning breakfast or brunch. Feel free to substitute blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or a combination of berries for the raspberries in this recipe.

Raspberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (you do not have to defrost the frozen berries)
extra sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins

Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray muffin pans lightly with cooking spray (or use paper baking cups) and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.  Combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg together and then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened, but do not over mix. Gently mix in the raspberries.  Fill muffin pans about half full with batter. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a little bit of sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes approximately 12 large muffins or 24 mini muffins.


Drop Biscuits

Drop Biscuits are super-easy and quick to make. Plus, because they don’t require buttermilk, I always have the ingredients on hand.

Drop Biscuits make a great side to a meal, but they really shine at breakfast. Smeared with butter and drizzled with honey (or eaten with cherry preserves), Drop Biscuits are a treat. They are also amazing covered in white gravy. They can also serve as the bread component of a breakfast sandwich (think ham or bacon, fried egg, and cheese).

Drop Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and milk. Stir until just combined. Drop 12 equal portions on to a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.


Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies

Move over Chocolate Gobs and make room for these Whoopie Pies.  They are much easier to make and taste better (which is saying something….I love the Chocolate Gobs).  The filling for these treats contain marshmallow cream.  Marshmallows are not vegetarian, but marshmallow cream does not contain gelatin, so it is fine for vegetarians.  Marshmallow cream is also great for making vegetarian s’mores.

Whoopie Pies

Batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
2 cups flour

Filling
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup marshmallow cream (Fluff)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat baking sheet(s) with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

Batter:  Beat butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla, then cocoa powder until blended.  With mixer on low speed, slowly beat in milk until blended.  By hand, stir in flour. Drop level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet(s).

Bake 8 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed.  Cool on baking sheet 1 minute befoe removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Filling:  With a wooden spoon, vigorously mix all ingredients untl blended and smooth.

Spread 2 teaspoons onto flat side of half the cookies; top each with another cookie, pressing to adhere.

Storage:  Refrigerate in an airtight container with wax paper between layers up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.


Lentil Soup with Ham

Lentil Soup with Ham2

I cooked a ham for Christmas dinner this year. When I cook ham, I usually buy a very small boneless ham because only two of us will eat it. This year I bought a bigger, semi-boneless ham. It was actually less expensive than a smaller ham, but now I have tons of leftover ham. I’ll freeze some and then get creative with the rest. This should be interesting. : )

Lentil Soup with Ham

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
8 cups chicken(or vegetable) broth
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup of ham, diced
salt and pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the dried lentils and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the diced ham and zucchini and cook until the lentils have reached the desired level of  tenderness, 10 to 20 minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.


Southern-Style Green Beans

I’m 45 years old and until recently have never really cooked green beans with bacon. I don’t generally think vegetables need meat (or extra fat) added to them, but maybe the years of living in the South have rubbed off on me because here I am adding bacon to my green beans and cooking them until they are super tender. They taste great this way and are a nice variation to the way I usually prepare green beans (toss them into some salted boiling water and cook about 10 minutes until they are crisp-tender).

Southern-Style Green Beans

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 pound fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
2 cups water
1 bouillon cube (vegetable or chicken)

Cooked the chopped bacon in a pot until crisp. Remove the bacon, leaving the bacon fat in the pot. Set the bacon aside. Add the green beans, water, and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and then cook for about 1 hour or until the green beans are very tender. Stir in the reserved bacon and serve.

Shown here:  Southern-Style Green Beans alongside baked chicken and hashbrown casserole.