Grilled Corn On The Cob With Fresh Herbs!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 corn cobs, with husks still attached
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper (if desired)
  • fresh parley
  • fresh chives (or substitute your favorite herb)
  • and any other seasonings you can tolerate/desire.

TIP: The peeled back corn husks become a convenient “handle” when you are eating it! 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Peel back the husk without removing it.  Pull it down in layers until you have lowered all the parts of the husk (without tearing them off!)  If you accidentally remove a piece of the husk, don’t worry, move on.
  2. Remove the corn silk fibers and discard.
  3. Use kitchen twine to tie the husk down, and knot. (See photo)
  4. Prepare your butter herb mixture by softening butter. (Either leave the butter at room temp. for 30 minutes prior to assembly or microwave for about 10 seconds).
  5. Mix butter with your desired amount of seasonings.  I chopped fresh chives and parsley from my garden, added a little freshly ground black pepper, and coarse salt.  Use whatever other seasonings you can tolerate.
  6. Use a culinary brush to smear the butter herb mixture onto all exposed parts of your corn cob, (not the husks).
  7. Heat grill to medium heat.  Place corn on grill, with tied-backed husks hanging over the edge of the grill. (You do not want the husks or twine exposed to direct heat, it will burn).
  8. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes a side until heated.

Easier Garlic Cheesy Flatbread

I have posted another garlic cheese flatbread before, which involved making your own dough.  While it’s tasty, that recipe does have a bit of waiting and work involved.  Tonight I tried the same theory but with refrigerated pizza crust.  It tasted just as good, if not better!  Hooray.  So here is the recipe that saves a lot of time!

OLD RECIPE:  If you want to see my previous recipe, with the homemade dough, click here.  It takes longer, but if you don’t have refrigerated pizza dough on hand, it’s a great recipe!

You will find the refrigerated pizza crust near where your grocer keeps refrigerated biscuits and crescent rolls.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 13.8 oz. refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted/softened
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup+ shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese (add as much as you want!)
  • OPTIONAL but great:  Any Italian spices you prefer: basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Prepare your 17″ x 11″ baking sheet pan by putting aluminum foil on the bottom of it.  Lightly spray with any cooking spray like PAM so your dough doesn’t stick.
  3. Remove refrigerated pizza dough from packaging.  Use a rolling pin to roll to a suitable size to fit into the  17″ x 11″ baking sheet pan, previously mentioned.
  4. Spread melted or softened butter on the top of the raw dough.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella/Italian blend cheese.  Add spices if desired.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown and cheesy looks bubbly (and happy).
  7. Cut into slices and serve! 🙂

 

Cheesy Artichoke French Bread Pizza

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This is a stellar recipe for a simple snack that I like to call “Cheesy artichoke bread”, also known as artichoke French bread pizza.  It tastes just wonderful and it’s full of flavor.  I omitted the red pepper.  My son, who is very picky with foods, ate it without noticing the artichoke and just thought it was cheesy bread.  He was thrilled.  Next time I’ll lightly food process the artichoke so it’s not so obvious.

I doubled the ingredients and used a larger loaf – actually, a ciabatta loaf.  I am glad I did, it was all gone in about two days.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • small baguette —(I used a dense ciabatta loaf)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh parsley, for topping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/2 tsp. each red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and kosher salt; brush on a split small baguette.
  2. Top with 1/2 cup each ricotta, chopped marinated artichoke hearts, and shredded mozzarella.
  3. Broil (on low) until the cheese is browned and bubbling.  (Set the time 5 minutes so you don’t come back to a burnt, smoking mess).
  4. Top with chopped fresh parsley.

 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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P1090787(I should not have peeled the zucchini beforehand — it was a mistake as that’s where the nutrients are.) Don’t make my mistake!  I won’t goof up again.

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You will love this zucchini ‘double chocolate’ bread – that’s all I have to say!  It’s perfect.  

Obviously, it’s not a true bread – it doesn’t have yeast; it’s more of a dessert!  But it gets zucchini into your children, so you can’t complain too much.  

Make sure it’s fully cooked before removing from oven.  It shouldn’t look gooey at all on top.  I had to bake the two loaves for 1 hour 25 minutes.  

This recipe really is easier with the right tools: the food processor, the stand or hand mixer, and the right pans (See link below for the best pan).  The link goes to an Amazon pan that is very similar to the Williams-Sonoma pan but less than half the price.   

Warning #1: I consider this a weekend recipe because it does dirty up your food processor, mixer, and more.  It’s very worth it, but I wouldn’t tackle this on a weekday. 

Warning #2: Be glad this makes 2 loaves.  Don’t halve the recipe.  Once you taste it, you’ll  be glad you listened to me!

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour two 4″x8″ loaf pans.  (I used PAM for baking spray).  For best results use commercial, heavy weight aluminum pans (click link here to see which one I have).
  3. Wash zucchini, with green skin on, with warm water and dish soap.  Rinse thoroughly.  Dry.
  4. Grate zucchini preferably with a food processor.
  5. Put grated zucchini in a clean cloth and squeeze out almost all the moisture.  Set aside.
  6. Beat eggs in a large bowl (or Kitchenaid stand mixer, like mine) until light and foamy.
  7. Mix in vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and grated zucchini until thoroughly combined.
  8. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in separate bowl.
  9. Stir the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture.
  10. Mix in chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.  (Or do what I did, because I can’t have walnuts.  I added 1 cup chocolate chips in total).
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean, about 1 hour.  (Mine took 1 hour and 25 minutes).
  13. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing, to finish cooling on wire racks.

Tzatziki Sauce

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A perfect sauce to accent your gyros, chicken in a pita, and more.  Or you can use it as a dip for veggies.  Just make sure you use whole fat yogurt.  Next time I’ll be sure to use Greek – or it gets a little watery as time goes on.  But it was excellent!  I frozen the remainder.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded, finely grated and very drained 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. (Hand mixing is preferred as a blender can lead to too wet of a concoction).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and dill.  Season with salt and pepper.  Chill.

Tip: For extra flavor, add some olive oil and some coarsely chopped fresh mint.

 

Cheesy Garlic Bread, Cooked in Foil

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This cheesy garlic bread is very flavorful and yummy.  It’s a different taste because it has olive oil versus butter.  Some day, I may remake it trying just butter and no olive oil just to see the difference.  We will see!  Follow the directions and you’ll get an awesome cheesy bread!

(I reduced the garlic to one clove because I’m sensitive to allium.  It was fine!  Also, if using 6 cloves, be careful, sizes of cloves vary wildly).

 

Serves approximately 6 people.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread or any kind of Italian bread
  • 6 cloves garlic (or less)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. of fresh parsley
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  3. In a small food processor or in a blender, add the garlic oil, and parsley.  Puree until smooth.
  4. Smear this mixture on both sides of the bread.  Place the top of the bread on top of the bottom and wrap it in aluminum foil, bake for 10 minutes.
  5. *Carefully* unwrap the bread, being aware of steam, and place it cut side up.
  6. Sprinkle over the mozzarella and grate about 1 cup of Parmiggiano all over both sides of the bread.
  7. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  8. Slice and serve right away.

Recipe from Laura Vitale.

Decadent-Tasting, Light Fettuccine Alfredo

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This is a killer recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo!  I found it via a Cooking Light recipe.  It’s on the lighter side.  As we all know, Fettuccine Alfredo is really mouth-watering but can be a full day’s worth of calories if you’re not concerned about portion control or ingredients.  This was a wonderful balance of creaminess and fat content versus calories.  We will make this regularly!
Don’t substitute the official Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese!  It’s expensive but makes the dish!

Note: Best eaten that day as the pasta sucks up the sauce within hours.  

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon butter (next time I will use 1.5-2 T.; it needed a little more butter).
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons 1/3-less-fat Neufchatel cream cheese – (I used 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (8 oz. uncooked pasta)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in flour.
  4. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk.
  5. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
  6. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt.
  7. Toss sauce with hot pasta.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley.
  9. Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Black Bean Burgers via Food.com — (They actually taste good, I swear).

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After the blended mixture came out of the food processor, it’s mixed with bread crumbs, and the other can of drained and rinsed black beans.  Then salt and pepper is added.

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Grilled on grill pan or grilled outside.  The left two burgers were overdone, but fine, since I had to run to get the door.

 

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The burgers do well on bread or on just lettuce too.  Either way is delicious.

These black bean burgers from Food.com, courtesy of Sandra Lee, are really good!  I’m not just saying that to healthify my cooking blog; they really are good.  I also love that when you go to clean your grill pan, there isn’t globs of beef fat that you have to scoop up.  Just a soapy sponge takes care of it all.  We had to omit the egg because of an egg allergy, but I added 1 tsp. of vegetable oil to help it all stick together.  I used fresh garlic but replaced the onion with onion powder and it turned out fine.

The picture shows the burger on bread but the next day I had another black bean burger plain, without bread, and enjoyed it more!  Bread can get too ‘bready’ and ruin a burger for me.

Makes 5-6 burgers.  Prep time 15 mins, cook time 12 mins, total time 27 mins.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (or onion powder)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided —(I only use low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger rolls

 

  • Optional Toppings:
    1 tomato, sliced
    4 small Romaine lettuce leaves, or any other type you have on hand
    1/4 cup ketchup

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat.
  2. In a food processor, pulse onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add 1 can black beans, cilantro, parsley, egg, and red pepper flakes and pulse to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, add the remaining can of black beans and the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix until well combined.
  4. Divide remaining mixture into 5-6 portions and form into patties. Place on hot oiled grill over medium-low heat and cook about 6 minutes a side or until heated through. Toast hamburger buns on a grill. Place a burger on the bottom of each bun. Top with lettuce, tomato and ketchup, if desired. Cover the burgers with the top of the bun and serve.

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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This is an ultra easy recipe that comes together in minutes in the food processor.  Try it soon and you’ll be amazed.  I like that it doesn’t use tahini paste (sesame seed paste) as I bought a big jar of that one time, used it once, and the rest went bad.  It replaces that tahini with sesame oil and the latter is something I always have on hand.  I had to omit the lemon juice but it turned out very well without it.  The jarred roasted bell pepper, which is often sold in vinegar, turns the hummus a beautiful orange/reddish color.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserve
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 drops seasame oil, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 length of roasted red pepper from a jar – allow the vinegar to drip off, cut into 1-2″ chunks. (I used Krinos brand)
  • Serve with baby carrots, celery sticks, pita chips, or toasted bread to dunk into the hummus.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in the food processor.
  2. Stream reserved bean liquid from can into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved. (I only had to add about half the bean liquid to get the desired thickness).
  3. Serve with dippable veggies and starches mentioned above.

America’s Test Kitchen’s Roasted Carrots

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This is a beautiful recipe – three ingredients and perfection, thanks to America’s Test Kitchen.  The world is of the day is caramelization.  The perfection is in the preparation and precise directions, which are simple to follow.  Don’t judge, this beautiful dish is next to pizza rolls, and I don’t care what you think. 😉  This blog is for entertainment and sharing the love of cooking/baking, not to impress at every turn.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. carrots, peeled, halved crosswise, and cut lengthwise if necessary to create even pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Table salt and ground black pepper (freshly ground is always best)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl, combine carrots with butter, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper; toss to coat.
  3. Transfer carrots to foil or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in single layer.  (Use the largest baking sheet that you have.)
  4. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and continue to cook, stirring twice, until carrots are well browned and tender, 30-35 minutes.
  6. Transfer to serving platter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.