Friday, July 31, 2009

Zucchini Casserole with Parmesan

I saw this recipe just after a friend brought over some home-grown zucchini! It was easy and yummy.

4-6 medium zucchini, grated
4 eggs
1/3 cup light cream (15%) (I used whole milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2-3 Tbsp parmesan

Spread the zucchini in a large baking dish. In a bowl, beat the eggs then add cream, salt and Italian seasoning. Mix well and pour over zucchini. Stir gently to coat.

Bake in preheated oven at 350° for about 25-30 or until the egg mixture sets. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake another 5 minutes.

Serve warm. (Reheats well.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Carrot Cake

I made this for Ryan to take to his office "dessert pot luck". The picture reflects what was left of the pan. I usually make a two-layer circle cake with this recipe. Either way, it's good!

1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 pound raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.

Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3-4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5-10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting. Cream cheese frosting is a must on this one.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Singapore Noodles

Ryan and I made this together for an in-house date night. It was fun to prepare and we both loved the combination of flavors. The description from the cookbook says: Dried mushrooms add an intense flavor to this lightly curried dish!

1/4 ounce dried Chinese mushrooms
8 ounces fine egg noodles
2 teaspoons sesame oil (I used olive oil for both oils)
3 Tablespoons peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
1 fresh green chili, seeded and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
4 ounces green beans, halved
4 ounces Chinese cabbage, thinly shredded (we didn't use cabbage, but threw in some snow peas, zucchini, and broccoli)
4 green onions, sliced
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 ounces cooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (you could also substitute tofu for this to make it a vegetarian dish or chicken would be good as well)

Place the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with warm water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 Tablespoons of the soaking water, then slice.

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain, transfer to a bowl, and toss with the sesame oil. I also cut the noodles with my kitchen scissors so they are easier to manage in tossing and eating.

Heat the peanut oil in a preheated wok. When it is hot, stir-fry the garlic, onion and chili for 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetables. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but still crisp.

Add the noddles, soy sauce, reserved mushroom soaking water and shrimp. Toss over the heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles and shrimp are heated through. Season with salt to taste.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Italian Cous Cous

I've made so many changes to this original recipe (which I found in a doctor's office magazine many years ago), that I claim it as my own now. This is my "go-to" recipe - one that I know by memory. And chances are, if I bring you a meal after you have a baby, this is what you'll get. Enjoy!

1 box cous cous, prepared as directed (I like to use either the Parmesan flavor, or the original flavor and cook it in chicken broth)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2-1 cup onion, sliced thin and quartered
1-2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped or shredded (this is optional, it makes a good side dish or vegetarian dish)
1 can tomatoes, Italian style or add Italian seasonings yourself
10 ounces fresh spinach
Monteray Jack or Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Prepare cous cous as directed. Set aside.

Heat tomatoes in a pot. Set aside.

Heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil. Saute in garlic and onion for a few minutes. Add chicken. After a few more minutes, add spinach with 2-3 Tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring, until spinach is lightly wilted - only a few minutes. Remove from heat.

Layer in a round or square baking dish: cous cous, sprinkles of Parm. cheese, tomatoes, chicken and spinach mix, top with Monteray Jack cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (everything is already fully cooked, but baking it blends the flavors and lets the cheese get a little crusty!).

If I make this for someone else, I grate the cheese and deliver it seperately with the baking instructions. It's good hot or cold and goes great with a baguette and fruit salad.
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