Hasselback Zucchini

If you are in the pinterest-phere you have seen this new trend of hasselback potatoes.  They are the new dinner go to.  This takes that and upgrades it to a healthier option and I think increases the flavor 10 fold.  Try this for dinner and shake up your nightly routine!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini (a half per person)
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 sliced onion
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • Spices; dill, salt, pepper, paprika, chive, garlic powder
  • sesame oil (optional but really adds a nutty aroma)

How to:

  1. Begin by slicing the ends off of the zucchini.  Then make slices in the zucchini every 1/2 a centimeter.  You want the slices to almost go through but stop just short.
  2. In between each slice stuff a piece of onion.
  3. Then a little piece of bacon.
  4. Then add all the spices all over.  *I am leaving the judgement of how much spices to use up to you! If you don’t like dill, don’t use a lot! Or just keep it to salt and pepper!*
  5. Smooth cream cheese over the top of the zucchini and then lay the cheese over that.
  6. Place in a piece of tin foil, and fold the tin foil over to make a little tent pocket for the zucchini.
  7. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes until tender.
  8. Enjoy!!

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Sorry for the not awesome picture, it smelled so good, I couldn’t wait and take pictures

The Golden Dessert

If you know me well you know my favorite show is The Golden Girls.  Filmed in the 80’s this show is just classically funny.  It is my go to show and transcends time.  Although their outfits are a little outdated one thing they did that I wish to continue is that during every trial, problem, or happy moment they always had a cheesecake on hand.  At first I thought “how can four women eat so much cheesecake” and then I thought, why am I not doing this?? This paired with the fact that I had leftover cream cheese that was going bad led to me waking up at 7:30 am on a mission: to make a cheesecake.  I used to think that cheesecake was a hard endeavor, but after this recipe I realized there is nothing to it! It is not difficult to make a beautiful delicious cheesecake with few ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz of cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package graham crackers (9 count)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut
  • 1/2 a stick of butter

How to:

  1. Begin by grinding up the graham crackers in a food processor or whatever unconventional means you want.
  2. Mix in the coconut, cinnamon, and pecans in.  Then pour in the melted butter.
  3. Lightly spray a 9×9 in glass pan (or use a cheesecake pan if you have one).  Press the crust into the pan.  Making sure it is really packed in there.
  4. Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes until golden.  Let cool
  5. In a large bowl whip the softened cream cheese with the sugar.  Do this until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  7. Add in the vanilla.  The batter will be loose, pour over the cooled crust.
  8. Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes until stiff but slightly bouncy and just getting a little more golden.
  9. I made a quick blood orange glaze to go over it but it certainly doesn’t need it.
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Take-a-Longs

With a new job comes a new routine.  My new routine involves an early morning and a long commute.  The problem is, I am not always hungry right when I wake up but if I wait until work I will be starving.  This then prompted a test kitchen session of something portable for breakfast.  Although I have made breakfast bars in the past, these are a new level.  They are bigger and better than ever.  They will be the perfect start to your morning and they are perfect to take it along with you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • splash vanilla
  • 1 apple
  • 5 dates

How to:

  1. Mash up the bananas and add the oats, pecans, the vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  2. Mix thoroughly and then pour into a greased pan, spread out evenly, and bake at 350 for 15 minute or until golden and slightly stiff.
  3. In a sauce pan, simmer on low the dates with 1/2 a cup of water.  Adding another 1/2 a cup at least 1 more time until the dates are soft.
  4. Peel the apple and dice into bite sized pieces.  Add this to the softened dates and add more water and the cinnamon.  Continue to cook until softened and then transfer to a food processor and blend into a smooth paste.
  5. Layer this on top of the already cooked bars, and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Let cook, slice, and enjoy!! I freeze until I am ready to eat it!

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A Recommendation

Summer I think is here, its hard to tell between the freezing temperatures and cloudy days, but I do believe it is actually summer.  What comes along with summer is lots of different drinks.  Lemonade, margaritas, iced coffee.  All good things, but one thing that is above the others is a good iced tea.  And if you are looking for a refreshing iced tea, I have found the tea for you.  It is called cucumber white by tazo tea.  It is a white tea infused with lime and cucumber and it is the most perfectly refreshing drink, especially iced.  Add in just a bit of honey, and it is elevated to a new level of perfect.  This will beat any powdered ice tea mix and is sure to be refreshing.

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Sweet Potato and Bacon Soup

Can you believe this cold weather? Me either, as a matter of fact I hate it.  So in an effort to beat the cold weather, last night I made soup.  A real stick to your ribs and fill you up bisque kind of soup. It was really easy and especially filling.  If you want a quick soup thats perfect to warm you up on a cold night, give this a go.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 a large onion
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or dried)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups water (potentially more)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (or veggie)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

How to:

  1. Peel the potatoes and dice into 1/2 inch pieces.  Slice the onions the same.
  2. Coat lightly in oil, salt, and pepper.  Then roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees until tender.
  3. In a sauce pan, sauté the chopped garlic and bacon.  When fragrant and the garlic is golden, add the other vegetables, the water, and the bouillon cube.
  4. Bring to a boil and let the vegetables break down, adding more water if necessary. Blend the mixture.
  5. Then add in the milk and whisk it into the puree.  Adding more water and milk as necessary to get the consistency you desire.  Add the thyme, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  And let this simmer for 20 minutes until fragrant.
  6. Then eat and enjoy!!

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