Happy 2016!! How about some Soup!!

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Yes I am still Alive!!! 😛

I know, I know I have not blogged in forever, but I have been very busy with work and other things.

Plus I don’t cook up a ton of things for me on a daily basis, and when I do cook for my family I am so busy doing multiple things that I forget to take pictures, and if I do I don’t often have a lot of time to blog it all out.  So I am sorry for those who care, and I will try harder this upcoming year!!

So this would be something I would not blog about since its just something plan I would come up with, but I thought I just better share this to let everyone know I am still kickin 🙂 LOL

So yesterday on my day off I thought okay you have stuff in the fridge you need to use, so I made Soup.

I call it “Winter Soup” or “What else can I put in this” Soup 🙂 LOL

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I also had gotten a four pack of bone-in chicken breast out of the freezer to make some room 😛

Okay so I don’t have a recipe here because really it was a what can I throw into this pot kind of soup.

And I think that is what we all need to think more of when we have things in our fridges that need to be used. Or your pantry, heck if you have can veggies do it, or cans of tomatoes or sauce, what about pasta or rice, your options are endless!!!

So this is what I started with, cabbage, zucchini, carrots and beans.

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Chopped it all up and I added about 2 cups of chicken broth(had some left in the fridge), I cooked it in the oven on 325 degrees for 2 hours

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then I added about 4 more cups of broth, I love using “better than bullion” soup base, so I had a little beef flavor left scraped that in there and then some Turkey.  Just mix that up with 4 cups of hot water added a onion power and dill.  I love dill in soup, and I love using the tube herbs, I just don’t use fresh herbs quick enough so I do buy some of those tube herbs you can find in your produce dept.  So whisked all that up and poured it right on in.

Cooked at 350 degrees now for about 1 hour, then I added the beans about 4 cups, not that whole jar, mixed, then check for seasonings, I add some crushed celery seed, more tube dill, kosher salt and white pepper.  Back in the oven for 30 minutes.

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adding the celery seed and my tube dill 🙂

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Like I said I had chicken breast, so I just bought a new kitchen gadget, it was my Christmas present to myself…

Table Top Halogen Oven

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Now I love it, the first thing I cooked in it was a Steak, a Frozen Steak!!!   Steak (bone-in rib eye) was about 1 inch thick, I took it out of the freezer, salted and peppered each side, and in 25 minutes I had the most perfect medium rare steak…It was delish!!!

Now I know the haters are going to hate, I NOT telling you buy it, this just works for me and I like it 🙂

So I put two of the chicken breast in it and let it go, yes can I use the oven, of course, but I like this and wanted to use it, I can see it cooking and like the easiness 🙂

So here’s my chicken cooking, of course once it was done again I forgot to take pictures…sorry, but it they looked great.

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So I shredded some of the chicken

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and added it to the soup, and it was done and ready to eat.

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I have soup for the next week and I frozen half of it too, I like doing this so its easy to bring out and heat out when you need something quick.

So what do you have in your fridge right now that you can throw into a pot and make your own

“Winter Soup”

Enjoy everyone!!

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Summer Cooking Class Series!!

16 Comments

Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!! 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog.  Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores 🙂

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

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Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

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Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

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Crowd pic

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Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

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Grilled pound cake and pineapple

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Grilled German Potato Salad

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Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

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crowd pics

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Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

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Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

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Mango & pineapple salsa

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Crowd Pics

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Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

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Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone 😛 

Chef Amy

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Comments

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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Zucchini and Nectarine Crisp

8 Comments

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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