Pudding Graham Cracker Pie

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I was going to make pudding one day and couldn’t decide if we wanted vanilla or chocolate.  So I thought why not layer both?  Then I thought why not add a graham cracker crust!  And this yummy and simple dessert was born.  It’s eggless to boot!  It’s more than the sum of its ingredients, it really tastes like an easy version of Boston Cream Pie! 
INGREDIENTS:

  • JELL-O Cook and Serve chocolate pudding box, 5 oz. 
  • JELL-O Cook and Serve vanilla pudding box, 5 oz. 
  • 1 Graham cracker crust (homemade or store-bought 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook each pudding in separate saucepans until thickened, per directions.  Let cool slightly. 
  2. Pour one of the puddings into the graham cracker crust and let cook 5 minutes, or until it starts to form that slightly hardened pudding skin on top.
  3. Slowly pour the other pudding on top of the first pudding. 
  4. Let cool 20 minutes at room temperature and then put into fridge to finalize cooling.  Do not cover in fridge.  
  5. Once pudding pie is completely cool, after a few hours, cover with plastic wrap until serving.  

 

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

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I saw this recipe and knowing most of the quesadillas we make are just cheese and cilantro, I wanted to try something new.  It was very good.  I suggest adding cilantro.  Next time I’ll add more salsa, that was my only tip!  Enjoy!  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 T. finely chopped onion
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained (or frozen corn, thawed)
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2  T. butter
  • 8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
  • Cilantro optional

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 mins. 
  2. Stir in beans, corn, sugar, salsa, and pepper; mix well.  Cook until heated through, about 3 mins. 
  3. Melt 2 tsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Put a tortilla in skillet, sprinkle evenly with some cheese (about 1/3 cup), then top with some bean mixture (about 1/2 cup). 
  4. Put another tortilla on top, pressing down gently with your palm to seal it, cook until golden, about 1 min.
  5. Flip and cook other side. 
  6. Melt more butter as needed, and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.  Cut into wedges and serve. 

Zucchini Pancakes

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I wanted to try something different and opted for this zucchini pancake recipe.  It’s very flavorful and browned very nicely.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini (you’ll need about 1/2 lb. of zucchini.  Use the large holes of a box grater to grate it).
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 T. chopped green onion 
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or as needed 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blot grated zucchini with paper towels to remove moisture.
  2. Stir together zucchini, eggs, and onion in a large bowl.
  3. Mix flour, cheese, baking powder, salt, and oregano in a separate bowl; stir mixture into zucchini until batter is just moistened.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, drop scant 1/4 cup portions of batter into hot oil, fry until golden, 2-3 mins. per side.
  5. Drain pancakes on a paper towel-lined plate.  

Creamy Banana Shake – Healthy Version

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If you want a tasty and healthy shake you can make at home, look no further.  This one can be expanded to make it more dessert-like with the addition of chocolate syrup, or you can add more protein with peanut butter, or more fruity with the addition of strawberries – Strawberry milkshake, anyone?  I found this recipe in a very new cookbook by Katie Sullivan Morford, entitled, “Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love”.  I am not sure this one is so portable, but it’s a good recipe nonetheless!  I put it all in my Ninja blender and my son loved it, so did I!

 

Makes 2 servings.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 1/2 medium frozen ripe bananas, cut into 6 chunks 
  • 2 tsp. honey 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour the milk into a blender, followed by the banana, honey, vanilla, and ice. 
  2. Blend until creamy and smooth with no banana chunks or ice chips remaining, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour into two cups. 

Lemon Blueberry Sweet Quick Bread

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This is a very nice sweet “quick” bread.  I like calling them sweet breads because they are dessert and far from a yeast bread!  It was easy to make and the only change I made was omitting the walnuts, as I have a problem with walnuts and pecans.  It was just fine without it!  I used freshly rinsed and dried blueberries – Look at that gorgeous photo of the bottom of the bread!  I omitted the glaze because, honestly, it was sweet enough as is.  Next time I may reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup.  It took my convection oven 65 minutes and was perfectly browned.  Definitely use PAM with flour spray on your metal pans for the best result.  It popped right out!  My entire family loved it!  🙂  

 

BREAD: 

  • 1/3 cup melted butter

GLAZE (optional): 

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.  (I used PAM with flour spray).  
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk.
  4. Fold in lemon zest, nuts, and blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes.
  7. (OPTIONAL GLAZE):  Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.

Homemade Burritos That Save a Lot of Money!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I took a standard burrito recipe that was a little too plain for us and made it my own.  This will be a simple recipe with no ingredient amounts; experiment with that yourself and to your own tasting.  

First, I heated up some red salsa (I chose mild for our taste), and mixed it with some cooked brown rice I had just made.  You can, of course, use white rice too.  I heated the salsa and rice on the stovetop and added garlic powder.  Then, I added some rinsed and dried fresh cilantro with my can of rinsed and drained black beans.  (Please rinse your cilantro as it can be quite gritty and dirty – I used my salad spinner).  I sprinkled on some taco seasoning and added cumin and heated thoroughly.  I grilled my thin steak, chopped it, and added it to my pot.  (On our second try of making this recipe, we added cooked chorizo to the burrito and it really added so much flavor in addition to the steak!)  I turned off the burner and let the mixture cool about five minutes.  

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I put my meat/rice/bean mixture onto the bottom 1/3rd of my large burrito shell.  (Later I found out that shell is 310 calories, so next time I will use a slightly smaller size).  I added some shredded Mexican cheese along with some Queso Fresco on top of the mixture.  I topped that off with some of the freshly cleaned and dried cilantro.  Wrap tightly in burrito shell and wrap in foil.  I put some in the fridge for lunch that day and some in the freezer – first wrapped in the foil and then placed in a freezer bag.    

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It should look like this.  If you’re frugal like me, you’ll notice the foil doesn’t get very messy once you unwrap your burrito.  So I am saving my foil in the freezer and reusing it for the next burrito batch. 🙂  

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The final product – delicious and very filling!  Expect many compliments!!

 

 

 

Saganaki: Pan-Seared Greek Cheese

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I only make this recipe every few years because a) I have to go to a special store for the Greek cheese and b) It’s not that great for you to fry cheese in oil.  Haha.  But when I do channel my Greek heritage, I make the following recipe.  I enjoy my new kitchen too much to try to light the dish afire so I stick to a simple method.  You can scale this recipe, because a lb. of this cheese is often $9.99-11.99!  Yikes!  We used a cast-iron pan! Enjoy….

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. Kefalotyri or Kasseri cheese 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 2/3 cup flour for dredging 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 lemons, quartered 
  • (Beaten egg, optional).  

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the cheese into slices that are 1/2″ thick by 2.5-3″ wide.  
  2. Combine flour with a few grinds of freshly ground pepper.  
  3. Moisten each slice with cold water and dredge in the flour.  
  4. If desired, after dredging in flour, you can dip the cheese into the beaten egg at this point.  
  5. In a sagani (Greek pan used for this dish) or a small heavy-bottomed frying pan (like cast-iron), heat the oil over medium-high heat, and sear each slice in 1 T. of oil until golden-brown on both sides.
  6. Serve hot with a last-minute squeeze of fresh lemon juice.