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Tuesday
Sep042012

Winner of Bon Ami cleaning products announced!

Congrats to commenter #43, Wendy, for winning the Bon Ami cleaning products kit!

Wendy, please send me your mailing address so Bon Ami can get a kit in the mail for you.

Thanks for commenting and reading, friends!

Thursday
Aug302012

Peach jam and a giveaway!

As a "chick who cans," I received a very cool cleaning kit in the mail from the generous folks at Bon Ami. Certainly you have heard of Bon Ami, the cleaning products company that has been around for more than 125 years. Their products are toxin-free and gentle on the environment. They also smell wonderful (Tangerine Thyme, yum!) and they did a fantastic job of cleaning my jars in preparation for holding peach jam! 

Bon Ami has offered to send one of my readers a cleaning kit, as well!

To be entered to win a Bon Ami cleaning kit (pictured below), leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite flavor of jam/jelly is.

For additional giveaway entries, leave separate comments for any or all of the following:

Follow me on Pinterest.

Follow me on Twitter.

Follow me on Facebook.

Follow my RSS Feed.

I will randomly select a winner Tuesday, September 4th at 9:00 a.m.

I would also love to share with you the peach jam I made last week! I am a huge jam fan, and I have something to tell those of you who have never made it and who are perhaps daunted by the task. It is EASY! Way easier than pie. There is nothing better than homemade jam, and it is a perfect and thoughtful gift for those of you thinking ahead to Christmas. 

First, thoroughly clean seven 8-oz. mason jars.

Pit, peel and coarsely chop 8 large peaches.

In batches, place the peaches in a food processor and pulse until the mixture appears chunky (but is not mushy).

Add the peaches to a medium saucepan, along with:

3 cups sugar

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the jam sticks to the back of a spoon.

Pour the jam into the cleaned mason jars and secure with lids. Place the jars in the refrigerator, or freeze.

Good for 4 to 6 weeks in fridge.

Enjoy!

Printable recipe: Peach jam

Saturday
Aug252012

Zucchini fries and seasoned sour cream

Have you guys listened to the song Up With the Birds by Coldplay? I am a bit of a CP fanatic. Dan rolls his eyes at me any time I mention Coldplay. This song, though, it is really great. On my sad days, it uplifts me. On my happy days, it makes my smile a little bit bigger. I am listening to it now as Dan gives Sammy his first-ever shower (fairly certain it isn't going so well) and as I listen to the combine harvest corn a few feet from our dropzone trailer.

Elijah is spending the night with his auntie tonight, so Dan and I have had special time with our sweet Sammy. It has been fun! Elijah's medical needs combined with his flair for the dramatic sometimes causes us to focus on him. This time with our sweet Sammy is special to all of us.

The boys are back from their shower. It didn't go well, as suspected. Once Sammy is in bed Dan and I will prepare tonight's dinner, a frozen pizza. Don't judge! We're in a trailer! I'm wishing I had saved some of these zucchini fries that I made the other night.

First, prepare the zucchini fries. You can make the seasoned sour cream while the fries are baking. Or you can be healthy and use ketchup.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine:

1/2 cup skim milk

1 large egg

Whisk until combined.

In another small bowl, combine:

1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Mix well.

Cut 2 large zucchinis into 3-inch by 1/2-inch strips.

Coat the zucchini strips with the milk-egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.

Place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Serve with...

Seasoned sour cream!

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

Stir until smooth.

Add:

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix well. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

Serve with aforementioned zucchini fries. Or another vegetable. Or crackers. 

..good things are coming our way... Yes, I'm still listening to CP. Enjoy the recipe and have a great day, friends!

Zucchini Fries

A healthy version of the tasty French fry!

Serves: 8-10

Total time: 40 min

Zucchini Fries



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large zucchini, cut into 3-inch x 1/2-inch strips
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the milk and egg. Mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and cheese. Mix well. Coat the zucchini strips with the milk-egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.
  2. Place the coated zucchini strips onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Serve with seasoned sour cream.

 

 

Monday
Aug202012

Chocolate cherry crock pot cake

My boys and I are home from August 2012 Vacation #2. We are settling back into a routine just before school begins. Elijah will start Kindergarten this fall! I cannot think about that without shedding a few tears. The doctors warned us about potential "bad things" before he was born. They said he might not live to see daylight, and if he did that he may not see much of it. Five and a half years later, he is GOING TO KINDERGARTEN! I am a proud mama.

While I was out buying school supplies and shoes and shirts for my oldest boy today, this cake was cooking on my counter top. Two of the Paulas that I know are responsible for this delicious thing. Thank you, Paula, for the inspiration for this recipe, and thank you, Paula, for having a birthday this week! I love you both to pieces! 

Generously spray the inside of a crock pot with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

18.25-oz. package chocolate cake mix

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup water

4 eggs

Using a hand-held mixer, mix until just combined.

Add:

5.9-oz. package instant chocolate pudding mix

11.5-oz. bag milk chocolate chips

Gently combine the ingredients using a spoon.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crock pot.

Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped, pitted Bing cherries over the top.

Cook on high for 4 hours.

Scoop out with a large spoon and serve warm with ice cream and Bing cherries.

Have a delicious, er, great week!

Chocolate Cherry Crockpot Cake

Cake and cherries? In a crockpot?! YES!!

Serves: 12

Total time: 4 hrs, 15 min

Chocolate Cherry Crockpot Cake


Ingredients: 

  • 18.25-oz. package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 5.9-oz. package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 11.5-oz. bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Bing cherries, chopped and pits removed
Instructions:
  1. Generously spray the inside of a crock pot with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix together cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, water and eggs with a hand-held mixer until just combined. Stir in the pudding mix and chocolate chips with a spoon.
  2. Pour mixture into the prepared crock pot. Sprinkle the cherries over top. Cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with ice cream.

 

 

Wednesday
Aug152012

Caramel cookie crunch brownies

Yay for a rainy day! The boys are at daycare playing with their friends until 3:00, so I have seven hours of productivity ahead of me. Ahhhh, that feels good.

We spent six nights in Iowa with family, which was nice. Really really nice. We have two nights at home before heading out for another little trip. I love this summer! I was reminiscing with a few family members over the past week about what a very bad place I was in one year ago. It makes my stomach turn thinking about it. I am grateful for where I am at and how good I feel. Last summer=no bueno.

I cannot speak of our family gathering without mentioning how much all of us love food. My gracious aunt prepares a ton of delicious food for the masses for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. I did my best to help out this year by providing a few edible treats. My pan of brownies didn't last long, which I took as a good sign. I found the recipe over at Jasey's Crazy Daisies, and knew I had to make it and share with my family.

Start by lining a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a food processor, place a 12.8-oz. package of Simply Sandies shortbread cookies.

Pulse until fine crumbs form.

Add 6 tablespoons of melted butter and pulse until crumbs are moist.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared dish.

In a large mixing bowl, prepare a family size (9x13) box of brownie mix according to the package instructions.

Add 1/4 cup of hot fudge ice cream topping.

Stir until combined.

Pour the batter over the crust. 

Bake as directed on brownie package (adjust the oven temp, if needed). Let cool.

In a medium saucepan, add:

14-oz. bag caramals, unwrapped

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the caramel is completely smooth.

Pour it evenly over the cooled brownies.

Place in the refrigerator until the caramel layer is firm, about 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, add:

11.5-oz. bag milk chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until melted and creamy.

Spread evenly over cooled caramel layer. Place back in the refrigerator until the chocolate layer is cooled and firm.

Cut into squares and serve! You will love these! Thanks for the recipe, Jasey!

Caramel Cookie Crunch Brownies

Just like a candy bar that rhymes with Plix! (source: jaseyscrazydaisy.com)

Serves: 12-16

Total time: 1 hr, 20 min

Caramel Cookie Crunch Brownies


Ingredients:

  • 12.8-oz. package Simply Sandies shortbread cookies
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • One family size (9x13) box of brownie mix (plus ingredients listed on back of box)
  • 1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 14-oz. bag caramels
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 11.5-oz. bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions:
  1. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or suggestion on back of brownie mix box.
  2. Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Add the 6 tablespoons of melted butter and pulse until crumbs are moist. Press into bottom of prepared dish.
  3. Prepare brownie batter as directed on back of box. Add the hot fudge and stir to combine. Pour the batter over the cookie crust and bake as directed. Let cool.
  4. Place unwrapped caramels in a saucepan along with the 2 tablespoons whipping cream. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until caramel is completely smooth. Pour evenly over cooled brownies. Place in refrigerator until caramel layer is firm, about 20 minutes.
  5. Place the chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons of butter and ¼ cup whipping cream in a saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until melted and creamy. Spread evenly over cooled caramel layer. Place back in the refrigerator until chocolate layer is cooled and firm. Cut into squares and serve.