Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Well summer is here and the gardens are producing some awesome vegetables!!  Every year we always make zucchini bread with the zucchini.  

This time I decided to make a Cake instead….now I’m sure someone out there has made a zucchini cake…but I have have, this really is no different then the bread just in cake form, so this is what I came up with 🙂

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along with the things I would change next time 🙂

Did I say change…yes I did 🙂  No one is perfect!!!!!!!!!!  

Ever watch Top Chef or I like Top Chef Masters myself, (in case you don’t, it is a cooking competition show with mostly well know chefs)  I like this show better since I do admire some of the chefs that have been on the show and am amazed at the talent they have  that have made them famous.

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This new season just started last Wednesday night on Bravo, this season does not have many chefs that are TV known except Chef David Burke he has multiple Awards, Restaurants, and few products.  They have many talented Chefs this season and I am excited to watch.

 It is hosted by Chef Curtis Stone images and recently he posted a picture of dish he was trying make and it just flopped, and he said “see not even Chefs are perfect”  I love him for that 😉

Which brings me back to telling you as I made this cake and it did not turn exactly as I wanted it too, so next time I know the things I’ll change (which I will let you know in the recipe what that is) 🙂

So I’ll tell you a secret, not everything I make turns out just right, including “my new idea for a cookie” that I tried to make this week 🙂
I was trying to make it with no flour, butter, oil…okay health and using things I already had around the house…well I am going to admit, the garbage had its share of treats 🙂  

Oh my goodness I can’t describe the texture…closest word I can think of is “RUBBER”LOL  Hey at least I tried 😛  

UPDATE on this post – I brought this cake into the office today and everyone loved just as I made it, so I’ll leave it up to you on the changes, that are below 🙂

Alright, alright lets move on to the cake 🙂

Ingredients

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add dry indgredients to a bowl

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whisk together to combine

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add eggs, oil and vanilla to large bowl

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whisk to combine

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Grate zucchini over the wet mixture bowl
or just add the grated zucchini to the wet mixture

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fold in to combine

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then add dry to wet

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just mix until everything is moist

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Pour into a 9×13 pan
(this is what I would change, if I use a 9×13 again I will double the recipe or I’d use a 9×9 baking dish)

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Bake and let cool completely

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Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients

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add softened cream cheese and butter to bowl

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with hand mixer or stand mixer, just mix to combine

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then add confectioners sugar a little at a time

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add as much sugar as you like for taste of sweetness and consistency

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I use only 3/4 of a 1 pound bag

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frost your cake

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done, you can dig in right now, but keep in the refrigerator

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Zucchini Cake Recipe

 (exactly as I made, with what I would change)

1 large zucchini, grated (about 3 cups or so)
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. cinnamon (I would have put in a least 1 more tablespoon, I also would have added 1/2 tsp. nutmeg)

Nuts are optional I did not use any

In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk to fully combine.

In a large bowl add oil, eggs and vanilla, whisk to fully combine, add grated zucchini and stir to combine.
Then add dry to zucchini mixture, fold just until everything is moist.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pour mixture into a greased or non-stick sprayed baking dish*** see Note below

(In the pictures I used a 9×13, for this recipe  would change that to a 9×9 baking dish.  I felt that the cake was too thin, I would have liked it to be thicker.  Therefore if using the recipe above and  you want a thicker cake use a 9×9 baking dish, if you like it thin (about 1 1/2 inch) then use a 9×13 baking dish.  Now you can also double this recipe and use a 9×13, resulting in a thicker cake)

Bake time using above recipe in a 9×13 done in 30-35 minutes,  using a 9×9 pan check at 35 to 40, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Cool completely 

Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz. cream cheese, very softened
4 tbsp. butter, very softened
1 box confectioners sugar (1 pound box)

in a medium mixing bowl add cream cheese and butter, beat on med-high speed just until combined, then on low speed add sugar a little at time until you have the sweetness and desired consistency.

Frost cake, slice and serve, or this can kept in the refrigerator until you serve. 

This cake is Super Moist!!

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and Cream Cheese Frosting is so creamy 🙂

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I hope you try it!!! Enjoy!! 

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Christmas In July! Santa Cookie Hats!

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Okay so today is Christmas in July, I use to have a seasonal job that we would work though the summer and be off in the winter and we would play secret Santa…I loved playing Secret Santa 🙂

You would draw names and on the 20th we would give our person little fun gifts secretly each day and then on the 25th we would have a big potluck party and you would give your person a bigger gift,  then you would find out who was your Secret Santa!!! 😛  So much fun and brings back lots of great memories!! 🙂

So here is cute Holiday Cookie, that look like Santa Hats, this is great for kids to help out with and you can bring them to a party

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You need :

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Lay your oreo cookies out

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unwrap the kisses

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put a small dollop of icing on each oreo

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push candy kiss down on top of icing

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put a little ball of icing on top and there you have it 🙂

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Recipe

1 box Oreo White Fudge Cookies
1 tube of Red icing
1 bag of Kisses Peppermint Candy Cane

Lay out the Oreo’s, put some icing in the center of each cookie, then place a kiss on top of that and then eat!!

So simple and cute!!  Enjoy!!!

Merry Christmas In July everyone!!!

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Herb Crusted……Prime Rib

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Do you like Prime Rib?!?!?

My family does, I fixed it for my Mom’s birthday dinner and it was delicious 🙂

I think some people are scared to make one but they really are easy to do, you can ask your butcher to help you out with the right size you need.  Our butchers in the Remke bigg’s stores are outstanding and will give you all the help you need.

They will also cut the bone off if you want and tie it up, I like the bone left on, I feel this will give you more flavor and it really is simple to remove the bone.

With our bone my Mom took it and added it to her stock pot and made vegetable soup, the flavor from the bone and the meat made for some mighty tasty soup 🙂

For this Prime Rib I went to Penzeys Spices to get some enhancements 🙂  We have a store in our area and I pass it every week and just never go in, a co-worker of mine loves going in there and trying all kinds of their spices and seasonings, so I finally made in there 🙂  So check your local area for a store or you can shop them online too at http://www.penzeys.com/

I used the Fox Point Seasoning, this is a combination of salt, shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns , I also used the Horseradish Dip seasonings this had ground horseradish, salt, onion powder, lemon peel, dill weed, black pepper and chive.

Thought these would make a great crust for the prime rib 🙂

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Mix seasoning with black pepper and kosher salt

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add just enough olive oil to make a paste, I just eyeballed it
but start with 1 tablespoon and go from there

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when it looks like this

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I decide to lay the meat on a bed of baby carrots and sliced onions 🙂

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lay with bone side down, and crust the top, and you can rub some on the sides too

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Roast in oven and you have dinner 🙂

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Recipe

2 tbsp. heaping, Penzeys Fox Point seasonings
2 tbsp. heaping, Penzeys Horseradish Dip seasonings
1 tbsp. heaping, Ground Black Pepper
1/2 – 1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil

3.50 – 5 lb. prime rib (if you have a bigger piece just make another batch of seasonings to cover)

Ask your butcher  to tie your prime rib, you can also have them detach the bone for you, but still tie the bone up with the meat.  If you did not, you can tie it yourself with butcher string, this is a good idea, it just holds it all together as it cooks.

In a small bowl add seasoning, salt and pepper, drizzle in oil mixing with your hand as you drizzle, only drizzle enough to make a paste, take the paste and make a crust on top of the beef and rub some onto the sides.

You can put the meat on a roasting rack, or make a bed of veggies to set it on, then you have some nice roasted veggies for your meal.

Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes then reduce oven to 325 degrees, cook until the internal temperature is *125(rare) – 130(med. rare)* degrees with a meat thermometer, this took about 45 mins. to an hour.  Remove from oven and place a tent of foil over top and let rest for at least 10 – 15 minutes.  

Take a pair of kitchen scissors or a sharp knife and cut the string off, if you kept the bone attached, take a very sharp knife and just follow the bone and slice it off, this is much easier with a smaller piece of meat (3-5 lb.), if you get a large piece I would have the butcher remove the bone and just tie up with the meat.

Slice and serve, your center pieces will be more rare to medium rare, as you move towards the outer edge the pieces will be medium, medium well and the outside piece being well done.  

***Note – even if you don’t like your meat rare or medium rare, remove from the oven once meat has reached 135 degrees, trust me!!
Your end pieces will still be tender, as for your center pieces, if you want them cook through a little more, just make an Au jus – take some of the beef juices from the roasting pan, add to a large skillet add a can or two of beef stock/broth, bring to a simmer, then add your slice of meat to the liquid cook 30 seconds to 1 minute each side.  You can serve some of this Au jus over the slices of meat as well.  

Some people like to serve a Horseradish sauce with this as well, just take some fresh prepared horseradish, add to a small bowl, add couple dollops of sour cream, mayo, a little cream or milk, stir and add until you get the flavor that you want.  (Consistency should be like a little looser than mayo)

ENJOY!!!

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Sunshine Award

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Some people that follow me may not know that there are Blogger Awards, well I was nominated for the Sunshine Award

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There are various Awards that you can nominated for, about a year ago I as nominated for the Inspiring Blog Award and I never did anything with it and I feel bad, so this time I am acting on it 🙂

I was nominated for this award by Clarissa from http://dishingitoutwithclarissa.com/

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Clarissa’s blog but I really loved it when I first saw it, I love that she posts great recipes and her wonderful helpful posts on Amazing Food Facts, she has a fantastic blog and I think everyone should click, check her out and Follow her 🙂

So when you are nominated for an Award, there are questions you must answer (see below) and then you too have to nominate other bloggers for the Award as well (see below)

I have a list of questions that were given to me:

1. Favorite fairy tale… Sleeping Beauty

2. Favorite exercise… NONE 🙂

3. Favorite smell… Fresh cut grass/A burning fire on cold winter day

4. Favorite dessert… Crème Brule

5. Favorite vacation spot… New York City

6. Favorite sound… Showtunes

7. Most unexpected visitor… still waiting for Hugh Grant to show up for Dinner 🙂

8. Dream for the world… NO more Fighting

9. Closest dance with death… Knock on wood; don’t think I’ve had one

10. Favorite lake… Lake Tahoe

Now, the Blogs I have found to have the characteristics of the Sunshine Award,

Positive, Inspire Others Creatively or Make You Smile!

http://alotonyourplate.wordpress.com/

http://l2ee2l.wordpress.com/

http://thepeckishkiwi.com/

http://chgojohn.wordpress.com/

http://homemadedelish.com/

http://teawitherika.wordpress.com/

http://davidionelromulus.wordpress.com/

http://highheelgourmet.com/

http://memnerz.wordpress.com/

http://cosybites.wordpress.com/

Please take the time to check each of them out and Follow them 🙂

Zucchini and Nectarine Crisp

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So this weekend was my Mom’s Birthday and I was trying to come up with a dessert that was different. I had a few Nectarines and I thought…cobbler…crisp???? but not enough to a full recipe and I’ve done that before….but not with zucchini 🙂

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So this is what I came up with and I thought it was yummy!!! 😛

Ingredients
a co-worker gave me some nice spices from Penzeys, so I used them, otherwise I would
have used whole nutmeg and grated it myself 

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peel, slice zucchini

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put into large skillet

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add lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar, stir and cook

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meantime, peel and slice nectarines, and set aside

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once zucchini has cooked and softened, remove from heat

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fold in nectarines

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pour into a 9×9 (8×8 will work too)

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make the crisp topping

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add cold butter cubes, mix with fingers, or use pastry cutter

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you want it to be crumbly, about pea size pieces

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sprinkle on top of zucchini mixture

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bake

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Recipe – Zucchini & Nectarine Crisp

Filling 

3 medium zucchini, peeled, halved lengthwise, then sliced
3 good size nectarines, peeled, sliced, set aside
3 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup lemon juice

Add zucchini slices to large skillet, add butter, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, cook over medium high heat, once butter is melted and mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until zucchini is softened.  Remove from heat and fold in nectarines, spray a 9×9 or 8×8 baking dish and pour mixture in baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Topping

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold butter, cut in cubes
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl, then add butter, with your fingers squeeze butter cubes with dry ingredients, to make a crumbly mixture.   Sprinkle mixture all over zucchini mixture and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around the edges.

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Serve with sweet whipped cream or vanilla ice cream….Enjoy!!!

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Grilling Marinade

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Flank-Steak 2

 

It’s summer time and grilling is in full force, well except if you live here in the Ohio valley we need a canoe to get to the grill 🙂   It just will not stop raining…but today

The blue skies are singing  downsized_0711131123

And the Flowers are blooming

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So if you love grilling just as much as I do, then act quick in between the rainy days and make this easy marinade.

This is great on beef, chicken or pork.

All you need is

1/2 cup olive oil
4 green onions, rough chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor for 1 minute, pour over meat and let marinate.

If you are using Flank Steak (as I did) or Flat Iron – marinade over night or at least for 6 hours, Chicken or Pork – 4 to 6 hours, or you can leave them overnight as well.

Okay now start your GRILLS!!!!!! 😛

Enjoy!!!