Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken Zucchini Boats:

Our garden did not do well this year for some reason, so we're kind of missing our usual over-abundance of zucchini! However, someone very generously shared some of their over-abundance with us, so now we're making all things zucchini!
I was rather skeptical of this recipe when I first saw it. It was just pretty unusual, and I wasn't really sure. But I went ahead and gave it a shot, and I'm SO glad I did!!
All the flavors blended together really well, and it turned out to be a rather simple, yummy dish!!
I hope you try it out!

2 large zucchini 
4 medium chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch bites
salt and pepper
1 medium yellow or red onion, diced
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, but not canned)
1 tblsp. minced garlic
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Place chicken pieces in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute over high heat, until chicken is done and liquid is mostly evaporated. Add onion; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add corn and garlic. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Dice the scooped out zucchini and add to the chicken mixture, if desired. Place zucchini shells on a cookie sheet. Fill with chicken mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with desired amount of cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
Slice and serve!

-You can add in the extra, chopped zucchini or you don't have to. I think it was very good added it, but it's completely up to you.
-I think this would be great with any kind of leftover, cooked chicken you might have - marinated, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, etc.
-As you can see from the picture, the zucchini I used were very large! I'm talking over a foot long, bigger around than a softball. If you are using smaller zucchini, you will want to adjust the recipe, and also the cooking time. You want a fork to be able to just barely poke down through the flesh of the zucchini.
-This is not a dish that would work well to prepare ahead of time. Zucchini has a very high water content, so once cut, the longer it sits, it will produce more and more liquid.
-Click HERE to view MyRecipe Magic, where you can find the nutritional info for this recipe.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Italian Veggie Dip:

I love sweet snacks and a good dessert, but I also LOVE fresh veggies and dip!!!!! Especially a homemade dip. We had a bunch of fresh veggies recently, and my sister and I were so excited to make a big batch of homemade ranch dip to go with all the veggies we were planning on devouring! Unfortunately, we found out we were out of Ranch Dressing Mix. We grabbed the next best thing, and just hoped it would work!
And it did! Really well, actually! The Italian Seasoning was not overpower at all, but went so well with the vegetables! Just talking about it, makes me want a big bowl of veggies and dip right now!!
This is also perfect if you have lots of produce coming from your garden!
I hope you'll try it out!

1 (16 oz.) container Sour Cream
2 packets Zesty Italian dressing mix
Raw vegetables of your choice

Place sour cream in medium size bowl. Add dressing mix and mix until thoroughly combined.
Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve!

-This was also very good as a chip dip!
-Click HERE to view on MyRecipe Magic, where you can find the nutritional information for this recipe!

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Slow-Cooker Philly Cheese-steak Sandwich:

We tried out these sandwiches for the 4th of July this year. We had never made anything like it before, so I was a tad nervous about how they might turn out! But it worked great and everybody loved it!
You can customize it to your taste by choosing whatever toppings you like!
I hope you give them a try!
(please don't mind the really tasted good!)

1 & 1/2  - 2 pounds beef round steak (see note)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups beef broth
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
Hoagie or Sandwich buns
-Onion slices
-Provolone cheese slices
-Swiss cheese slices
-Steak Sauce

Slice meat into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in meat, peppers and onions in a crock-pot. Pour beef broth over all, and sprinkle with dressing mix. Cover and cook on Low for 5-6 hours or High for 2-3 hours.
Serve on toasted buns with desired toppings!

-When we made this, we used "Hoagie Meat" from our butcher. It was sliced just right for this dish.
-I don't really care for peppers that have been cooked to death, so I didn't put any in the crock-pot. I just sauteed the slices in butter, and then put them on my sandwich.
-The above picture is not the best picture ever, but it was the only one I got! It was my dad's sandwich, so that is not a gluten-free bun, but click HERE to find the awesome, gluten-free buns that we used!
-Click HERE to view on MyRecipe Magic, where you can find the nutritional information for this recipe!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Calico Beans:

I wouldn't really consider our family big "tradition" people when it comes to holidays, special occasions, etc.
I guess because we don't have any "big" traditions. They are mostly just small, seemingly insignificant things, but somehow they make a difference to us!
This recipe is like that. When they were living, I always lived very close to both sets of my grandparents, so we were always at one of the grandparent's houses for any given holiday.
We usually went to my dad's parents for the 4th of July.
My grandma always made BBQ, grilled chicken legs, and Calico beans (to name only a few things!).
I don't know how on earth they got the name and they definitely aren't much to look at, but they're really good and they will forever scream "4th of July food" to me!!!
If you like ordinary baked beans at all, you will love these!
I hope you give them a try!!

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tblsp. mustard
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 (28 oz.) can Baked Beans
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen baby Lima beans

In a large skillet, brown beef and bacon until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a large bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar; mix well. Add meat and beans. Stir until well combined. Pour into a greased casserole dish.
Oven Method:
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until hot, bubbly and lightly browned.
Slow-Cooker Method:
Pour into your crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or low for 4 hours.

-I often mix this up the day before I need it and I keep it in the fridge until I'm ready to bake it.
-Stay tuned for the "Philly Cheese-steaks" sandwich recipe (also pictured above) coming next week!