Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake

This is the best coffee cake. I love it hot out of the oven, just delicious. It was not good timing when I took it out of the oven and my whole family ran off to be where they had to be for the day….wait…. you are leaving me home alone with this cake???? …oh they returned very quickly! This recipe calls for whole milk, but I only had half and half, it turned out perfect, light and buttery. This is a coffee cake, there isn’t coffee in the recipe, coffee cakes were originally eaten with coffee, but you can eat this cake anytime, just ask my daughter and her friends!

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Ingredients

5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk ( I used half and half)
2 cups blueberries (frozen)
Topping
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla and mix. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to the creamed mixture until totally incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stir in blueberries until totally incorporated. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Pour in batter. In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients and cut together using two knives or a pastry cutter. Sprinkle over the top of the cake . Bake for 45 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Living Beyond Measure

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Lemon Zucchini Cake

Lemon Zucchini Cake

Say it isn’t so, I am holding on to these summer days like it is nobody’s business. Friends are telling me it’s 80 degrees, 90 degrees, 100 degrees! But not here, this is Maine, it got down to 40 degrees last night with frost warning in Northern Maine for Pete’s sake, it warmed up to 70 degrees and I am still picking zucchini’s from my flourishing garden. I could make Lemon Zucchini Cake for my whole neighborhood and that wouldn’t put a dent in my zucchini’s, come over , help yourself!

This is a wonderful cake recipe, it tastes lemony and so healthy with wonderful zucchini. Perfect for breakfast too, or a snack, or just whenever. It’s not a fru fru cake, it has body. The lemon glaze is a perfect addition. I baked this cake in a bundt pan, next time I will try it in loaf pans.

Lemon Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

1 + 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
2 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini – 8 ounces each)
3 large eggs
1 + 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest, just the yellow – not the pith
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Glaze:

1 + 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 – 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
lemon zest to garnish the top, optional

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 6-cup bundt pan with butter and dust with flour.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt.
Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater then wring out most but not all of the water by placing it in a clean kitchen towel and twisting it.
Stir together the eggs and sugar, then stir in the melted butter, zucchini, vanilla, lemon zest and juice.
Stir in the flour mixture.
Transfer batter to the pan and bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool 15 minutes.
Run a paring knife around the edges then turn out onto wire rack or cake dish and allow to cool completely.
Once cooled make the glaze by whisking the sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, add more if needed. The glaze should be thick but will run off the spoon when lifted.
Top the cake with spoonfuls of glaze then sprinkle with lemon zest. Refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

I know, I know, I can’t believe fall is here! But I am loving all of the apple and pumpkin recipes that I am seeing. I am crazy about crumb cake! How many crumb cake recipes can you possibly have? Well look no further, this is the best pumpkin crumb cake recipe you will ever taste! Moist and delicious, perfect fall comfort food!

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Ingredients

Crumb Layer:
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Stick unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
Dash of salt

Cake Layer:
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Stick unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 Cup sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup sour cream
1/2 Cup unsweetened pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)

Topping:
1/4 Cup Confectioner’s sugar
1 Teaspoon cinnamon

To make the crumb topping, combine the sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and sour cream and continue mixing until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir into the batter and mix until combined.

To assemble the cake, pour the cake layer batter into a greased 9″ round spring-form pan (you can also bake this in a 9″ square baking dish). Crumble the crumb topping evenly over the batter and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 45 – 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from the spring-form pan. Dust the top with the sugar/cinnamon mixture before serving. Makes approximately 10 servings.

This recipe is adapted from The Hungry Couple

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Burritos

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Burritos

This recipe is very slightly adapted from The Food Pusher’s Chile Colorado Burrito’s. I have had a huge hankering for shredded beef burritos, so I decided to do a little Pinterest shopping. As I was scrolling through Pinterest’s burrito section…… WARNING, do not scroll through the food section when you are hungry, it’s just plain torture, have a snack first. I came across this delicious photo of a Chile Colorado Burrito. I had to go check it out. First of all, the recipe calls for bouillon cubes, I never have these on hand, too salty for my taste and it also calls for enchilada sauce. Since I didn’t have that on hand, I made my own sauce recipe, much better, with so much more flavor.

So, as I am drooling looking at this smothered burrito, I am just imagining all of the possibilities, oh yes, homemade guacamole, homemade salsa, lots of cilantro.

Usually the shredded beef burritos that I have ordered in Mexican restaurants turn out to be overcooked and flavorless. But these beefy babies are so flavorful, they are just melt in your mouth goodness. Use a chuck roast or an inexpensive cut of beef, this is the best bet for your crockpot meal.

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Burritos

Ingredients

2 pounds chuck pot roast
1 large can Italian peeled tomatoes
1-4 ounce can diced green chiles
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 can refried beans

Extras
1 package flour tortillas
guacamole
salsa
cheddar cheese
sour cream
cilantro

Directions:
Put beef ( I cut up the beef into four sections) ,seasonings, chiles and tomatoes into a crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until meat is very tender. (Can also cook on high for maybe 3-4 hours.) I’ve also cooked it in a dutch oven for about 4 hours at 325 degrees. More meat, more time. A third option is to cook it in a large heavy saucepan–bring it to a boil on high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. If you go with a method other than the crock pot, make sure the pot is covered and pretty well sealed to minimize evaporation of the liquid.

When beef is done (very tender and flakes off when stirred), taste and add salt, if desired. Heat up refried beans in the microwave (covered and in a microwave-proof dish, of course) and put your oven on broil. On an oven-proof plate, or cookie sheet even, lay out a tortilla. Place on tortilla about 1/2 cup of the meat, drained by using a slotted spoon, and a spoonful or two of beans. Roll into a burrito (hopefully you know how to roll these). Pour some of the remaining sauce from the crock pot over the burrito to cover it. Sprinkle with some cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly, about 2-4 minutes.

Serve. Add whatever you like on top of your burrito. Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce, go for it!
Makes 5-7 burritos, depending on how full you make them.

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

Having lived 30 years of my life in Los Angeles, I could have the best Mexican food, anytime anywhere, so fresh and delicious. Now that I live in Maine, it just isn’t the same, the flavors that I love just don’t come through. But now I can have tacos, fajitas, burritos anytime! This is the best chicken fajita recipe. The chicken marinates and has amazing flavors as it is grilled~ you know when you are in a Mexican restaurant and they come running out of the kitchen with an iron skillet full of veggies and chicken and everybody says,” OOOHHHHH WOW….” This is what you will say when you bite into this amazing fajita, oh yeah! OLE!!

Chicken Fajitas

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 bell peppers sliced

Marinade

2 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

8-12 flour tortillas ( I used corn tortillas, use whatever you like best)
Salsa

Sliced avocado or guacamole

Directions

Slice chicken breasts, do not pound. In a bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together, add  chicken, mix well, cover and let the chicken marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Take the chicken out of the marinade and wipe off the marinade. Sprinkle Salt over chicken.
Turn your stove up to high, place a  cast iron frying pan on the high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add a tablespoon of canola oil to the pan. When your oil starts to smoke add  the chicken breast  in the pan. My kitchen became extremely SMOKEY!! Next time, I will make these fajitas on my outside grill to avoid a smoke filled house.Open your windows!! Cook chicken for a couple minutes or until brown. When it is seared, turn over your chicken for another couple minutes. Test to see that chicken is no longer pink inside.
Lift chicken and place on a cutting board. Cover with foil. Cook onions and peppers. Slice chicken. Heat corn tortillas. Add chicken, onions and peppers, and salsa and avocado.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

Low Fat Zucchini Brownies

Low Fat Zucchini Brownies

I am constantly reading recipes from Food Blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, cookbooks and magazines.

I am a very visual person, I like to see what the recipe looks like when it is done, I usually can remember what it looks like and the ingredients when I am at the market from just looking at it once.

This recipe caught my attention from Fitabulous on Facebook. The reviews were great and since I have loads of zucchini bursting from my garden, I thought I would give it a try. I have wanted to try a dessert recipe without oil and eggs.

When hubs was biting into a piece, I told him it was Low Fat.
He said, “No KIdding??” I don’t think hubs has ever eaten anything low fat on purpose in his life. He thought these were really great!

These brownies get moister and denser the day after, if they are even around that long, they seemed to have disappeared very quickly in my house! This is what Fitabulous has to say about the Brownies:

“Brownies made with zucchini, bananas and applesauce, yielding a brownie with only 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, and a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals, and egg free. YESSSS!!!!

These are even a very moist low fat chocolate brownie alternative, for weight watchers, only 2 ww points per serving ( 24 servings). Its not going to be the same box brownie, but especially someone that only eats sweets occasionally like me, this healthier option is delish and guilt free!! “

Low Fat Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients
1/2 cup applesauce
2 small or medium bananas mashed
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup walnut pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 9×13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce, mashed bananas and sugar. Add vanilla and cocoa and mix together. Then add baking soda, salt, and zucchini and mix together. Add flour and walnuts and mix together. Spread evenly into a prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes until brownies spring back when gently touched. Recipe adapted from Fitabulous

Skillet Mac and Cheese

Skillet Mac and Cheese

When I feel like a meatless meal, this is my go to mac and cheese recipe. This time I used a cast iron skillet, the skillet stays hot for a while so be careful. I love a mac and cheese recipe with a browned top layer of crust, it adds dimension to the whole flavor of mac and cheese. Warning! This mac and cheese doesn’t last long with lots of kids, so enjoy it!!

Ingredients:

1 package elbow macaroni cooked al dente
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded plus 1/2 cup for topping
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1 1/4 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons minced onion ( I like red onion for taste and color)
1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s salt
1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
fresh ground pepper

Directions

Cook macaroni according to directions on package. Set aside. In a saute pan, melt butter, add flour and stir until golden brown, add milk, stir until it thickens, add cheese. Stir until blended well. Toss in macaroni. Turn into greased two quart cast iron pot (or a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish). Add onions, sprinkle Lawry’s Salt and fresh ground pepper on top, add panko crumbs and cheddar cheese.

Bake mixture in high heat oven [450°] for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 8.

Blueberry Dutch Baby

Blueberry Dutch Baby

If you haven’t had a Dutch Baby, you are missing out! It’s like a combination of a crepe and a popover. Since blueberries are in in full swing now, I had to try it with my favorite berries. Wow, we just loved it. Just a dusting of powder sugar is perfect for me, hubs loves it with his Maine Maple Syrup. You see what you like!

Blueberry Dutch Baby

Ingredients

4 eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup flour
1/2 stick butter melted
3 tbsp sugar
a cap full of vanilla
extra butter for cast iron skillet
1 cup blueberries
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Melt butter in skillet
Blend all ingredients in a blender except for blueberries
Add blueberries to skillet
Add batter
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown
Dust with confectioners sugar
Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

I am so excited to share this wonderful Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken recipe with you! This chicken is melt in your mouth tender, crispy and garlicky! I have made Chicken Parmesan many times, with all of the messy steps: dipping the chicken in milk, then egg, then bread crumbs, but no more! This is so easy with two easy steps! Plus no frying in a skillet. It goes in the oven for just 30 minutes and is golden brown and crisp to perfection, my family was fighting over seconds!

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Panko and 1/2 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
( I cut the chicken breasts in half, placed in a large ziploc bag and pounded them flat with a meat mallet~ get all of your stress out!!)
2 sliced tomatoes~garnish
6 basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade~garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.
Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Add sliced tomatoes and basil chiffonade and serve!

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

This post has been shared with these wonderful blogs! http://www.nibblesbynic.com/2013/10/14/munching-monday-10/

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

It has been a really warm summer, I am not complaining, I love it, but I just don’t want to put my oven on for a couple hours. That’s where my Crock Pot comes in to the story. I think it’s a magical thing indeed, just set it and forget it! Voila your family thinks you are a magician. Chicken Cacciatore is a fabulous meal for a family or a crowd, I love to add lots of veggies and serve it over pasta or egg noodles, it’s even better the day after. All of the flavors have been co-mingling all night, wonderful!

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients
8 Chicken Thighs
28 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 red pepper sliced into strips
1 large onion sliced
1 container Bella Mushrooms sliced
2 stalks celery chopped
3 carrots chopped
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
12 oz pasta cooked al dente
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

In a saute pan over medium high heat, add one tbsp olive oil, when oil is hot add chicken thighs and brown. Set aside. In the same pan saute onion, scrape off brown bits, add pepper, celery, mushrooms and carrots. Place veggies after sauteing for 5 minutes into crockpot, cover with tomatoes, cover with chicken, add Italian Seasoning. Cover Crock Pot, set on High for 4 hours or Low setting for 6 hours. Serve over pasta.

Serves 8