Blueberry Zucchini Bread

So we now look at the calendar and realize that the past two months have been filled with a non-stop eating fest and our pants are a little on the tight side. It isn’t your fault poor-little-under-appreciated January, but for some reason a crazy person came up with this strange idea of “New Years Resolutions”. Most people set that crazy goal to lose that holiday weight, well I’m here to tell you that I am not that kind of person! So on that note, this recipe is super “healthy”. It involves this special ingredient called zucchini and can be considered a diet food;)

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups sugar

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 pint fresh blueberries (or 2 pints, if you prefer super blueberry-ish)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Fold in zucchini and blueberries. Pour into prepared pans.

Note: if you peel your zucchini before shredding, there will be no “green” and no one will be the wiser, good way to trick the kiddos!

Crumb Topping

Mix together:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Crumble this on top of your bread batter and bake for 45-50 minutes. Test it with a knife in the center, if it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

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Creamed Spinach

If you’re looking for something new to serve on the side for Thanksgiving, try this one on! It’s uber creamy and yummy!!

Creamed Spinach

2 pkgs frozen spinach, thawed
3 TBSP butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheese (Gruyere is best)

Melt the butter in medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until the liquid is released. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook until the cream is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Place entire mixture in a baking dish and cover with shredded Gruyere cheese. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve immediately. (it’s even awesome on a toasted baguette slice as an appetizer!)

Balsamic Glazed Broccoli

2 bunches broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup butter (salted of course)
2 TBSP firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Steam broccoli until crisp tender. (now if your’re in a time crunch…most grocery markets sell steamer bags of fresh broccoli for the microwave, you’ll want two bags for this recipe….or half the sauce recipe)  Place broccoli in a serving bowl; keep warm.
In a small saucepan, cook balsamic vinegar over medium heat until reduced by half. Stir in butter, brown sugar, salt, pepper. Pour over broccoli, tossing gently to coat. (If it’s easier…time wise..make the sauce first, then steam the broccoli) 

How else so we get our kiddos to eat their vegetables??? …..Ummmm…..let me think…. butter and brown sugar of course!!

Creamed Spinach

2 10-oz pkgs frozen spinach
2 TBSP salted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup shredded cheese  (Gruyere I feel is the best for this dish, but Gouda adds a smoky yumminess too!)

Melt the butter in medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until the liquid is released. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook until the cream is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Place entire mixture in a baking dish and cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Great Potatoes

My dear friend Ann introduced me to these…..and thank the heavens she did!!! They should be called….”food you should eat with stretchy pants on”….maybe I should add a new category?……hmmmm……my tummy and kids are huge fans of these….they are creamy, buttery and oh so yummy!

7 med Yukon gold potatoes, boiled with skins on, until done-aka-knife comes out easy

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 16 oz container of sour cream (2 cups)
2 TBSP dried  minced onions
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)    (some people only use 1/2 of a stick……such tragedy should not happen)

1/2 lb cheddar and monterey jack cheeses
panko bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes….some people are particular as to their crunchy topping!

Peel and slice potatoes (3/8″slices)
Heat sour cream, soup, onions and butter into sauce.
Layer in 9×13 pan: potatoes, sauce, cheese …. you should have enough to do 3 layers. If not….no stress….do 2 layers:)  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Last 10 minutes sprinkle bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes on top.

FYI: I am not a photographer…at all…but here ya go:

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