Friday, July 31, 2009

More From Your Buttermilk!

Do you want to use up your buttermilk that you bought? Here are some more tasty and quick ideas to add to your list.
Make a smoothie!!
Peel and cut up 1 ripe mango. Put into a blender. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, 4 ice cubes, 1 Tbsp honey and a pinch of ground cardamom. Blend until smooth. This is a nice afternoon "pick-me-up" and full of vitamins and calcium.
Make tomato soup!! In a blender, combine 1 15.5 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce and 1/4 tsp. ground cumin. Blend all until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in 3 cup buttermilk and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro. You can serve cold like gazpacho or heat in the microwave. This makes a quick and tasty lunch.
Make salad dressing!! Dress your greens with a smooth and creamy herb dressing. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup light mayo, and 1 Tbsp each of cider vinegar, chopped parsley and snipped chives. (Make use of that herb garden!) Very tasty poured over ice cold and crispy hearty greens such as romaine, with a few tomatoes and red onion tossed in together.
Easy and breezy summer recipes...that get you out of the kitchen fast!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"EAT YOUR OATMEAL!"

Remember being little and your mom saying "Eat your oatmeal"?
Now we hear how good oatmeal is for us and as we age, fighting the cholesterol battle is made easier by including oatmeal into our diets.

Being the purist that I am, I love the Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats. I have a container of quick cooking oats that I use for baking and I have the little Quaker Oats packets for the grandkids who love all the sugary flavors, but give me the real cooked stuff any day. The husband and I both like oatmeal…him with Tupelo honey and me with a little brown sugar. We both add cinnam
on and sometimes fruit or nuts. OK…now once in awhile it is nice to change it up a little, so here’s a recipe to keep your breakfast interesting and still get your oats! Pancakes made with oats. Yes that’s right…pancakes! I made these this morning and they are awesome. The hubs even liked them! A winner!! I will make these over and over as they are a pretty healthy alternative to a bowl of oatmeal. They are also versatile because you can add a little cinnamon to the batter if you like, or toss in some blueberries, or how about some pecans. I diced up a nectarine and mixed in some raspberries and a Tbsp. of sugar. (You could use Splenda). That is how I topped my pancakes…no syrup. What a good way to start the day! You might also want to try these with kids who don't like the texture of oatmeal but who love pancakes. Pour a little sugar free syrup over them or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar! The batter is a nice consistency so you can use it to make shapes for the kids. Also, if you have extra batter and you know you won't have the opportunity to use it up, freeze it! Or make up a batch of pancakes, freeze and pop into the toaster oven when ready to use. Voila...an easy and hearty breakfast when you are in a hurry or the kids have to get to school. If you want a breakfast sandwich, I can see rolling a pancake around a link of turkey sausage. Still pretty healthy! Once again, this is a nice easy recipe that you can toss together in the morning, or mix the dry ingredients the night before and just mix up with the rest in the morning. It is versatile as to what you can add to the mix. And it is good for you!


Whole-Grain Pancakes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats (uncooked)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir just until combined. Batter will not be smooth. Spray non-stick pan with PAM and pour batter by 1/4 cups into the pan. Cook until tops are bubbly and edges look dry. Turn and cook other side. Repeat with remaining batter. Use topping of your choice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Uses for Buttermilk

I have become a fan of using buttermilk in certain recipes. It adds a fluffiness to certain baked goods like biscuits, and is versatile as a marinade, for creamy homemade tomato soup and in smoothies. Now here is the good news! Low-fat Buttermilk is only 1% milkfat. It has natural bacteria which can aid in digestion and if you buy only a quart, you can use that in no time. This milk will keep about 2 weeks in the fridge. Here are a couple ideas for you to try.

Blueberry Muffins
(These gems have only 5 grams of fat each and are delicious. For a change, add some fresh raspberries. Also, they use cholesterol fighting oats!)

1 cup Old Fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (try whole wheat flour for extra goodness and flavor)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. low-fat buttermilk
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with PAM. Place oats in blender and blend until finely ground. In large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. In small bowl, with a whisk, blend egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; stir into the flour mixture until flour is moistened. Fold in berries. Spoon batter into muffin-pan cups; sprinkle with sugar. (For some extra flair and sparkle, use coarse sanding sugar.) Bake 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Invert onto wire rack; serve warm or cool to serve later.
Grilled Chicken

(This chicken is so succulent and delicious! I think it would be great to use smaller pieces of marinated boneless breast and use this for a buffet dinner.)

Place 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves in a self-sealing plastic bag; add 3/4 cup buttermilk, 2 garlic cloves, crushed with a press, 1/4 cup fresh dill, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend. Preheat grill to medium. Place chicken on hot grill grate, cover and cook 10-12 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife, turning only once. Discard marinade.
Serve this with some sugar snap peas and creamy risotto. There you are...something for breakfast and something for dinner...both making use of some healthy buttermilk!

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Greek To Me!


Once in awhile we love to do a Greek theme with our food. It is so tasty and healthy...kebobs with red peppers and onions, a big Greek salad, or maybe some (not so healthy!) spanikopita. I LOVE that but it can be pretty rich. Anyway, here is a nice starter for a Greek dinner. Definitely consider this recipe as more of a guideline. It works as is but is infinitely flexible should you want to use different herbs or skip something or other. Also, if your store has more than one type of feta, try it out in this. Frankly, I could stuff a pita with this stuff and be happy with it as a sandwich!!

Feta Salsa
1/2 lb. feta (cow’s milk)
2/3 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons fresh dill
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
Crumble the feta into a bowl. Chop the tomatoes and olives, dill and parsley and thinly slice the scallions. Gently mix the ingredients together and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil, or to taste. Delicious served with triangles of fresh pita bread.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Summer...how about a Frozen Fruit Tart?




Fresh raspberries are in abundance and I couldn't help but notice the beautiful nectarine and raspberry tart on the cover of the August issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. And when I read how easy it was, I decided I am going to try it this weekend. You use mango or passion fruit sorbet in this. Have you ever tried the Haagen-Dazs Mango Sorbet? It is like biting into fresh fruit....so delicious. I have served it with some fresh raspberries or even some frozen raspberries (Thawed of course). I am a big fan! So now I have a super recipe to use it in. I can't wait to try this with all of the fresh fruit now in season.
Frozen Fruit Tart
8 graham crackers
2 Tbsp whole natural almonds
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp water
1 1/2 cups light vanilla ice cream (such as slow or double churned...my fave here is Edy's Vanilla) 1 1/2 cup mango or passion fruit sorbet
3 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into 8 wedges
2 ripe plums, pitted and cut into 8 wedges
1 cup raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare crust: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form. Add whole almonds and sugar; pulse until almonds are finely chopped. In cup, mix canola oil, honey, and water; drizzle over crumb mixture.
Pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up side of a 9" round tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust 8 to 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned at edges. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Remove ice cream and sorbet from freezer; let stand at room temperature 10 minutes or until slightly softened. Spoon ice cream and sorbet alternately into tart shell, pressing with back of spoon to smooth; cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. Carefully remove side of pan and place tart on round platter. Arrange circle of nectarine wedges 1 inch from edge of tart, then circle of plum wedges inside of nectarines. Mound raspberries in center of tart. Serve immediately.
This serves 8 and is only 8 g of fat per serving, so you don't break the calorie bank with this little indulgence! It is also a good way to get the kids to try new fruits! Let them help you put the ice cream and sorbet in the shell and when it is frozen they can pile on the fruits themselves. It may not look perfect, but it will taste great and once they try the juicy goodness, you may have helped them try something new!
And for a neat giveaway, visit http://shelbymaelawstories.blogspot.com/ The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Relaxing Evening

Last evening, my friend and and along with several other women interested in cooking and art, attended an Art Talk and Tapas workshop at our local museum. What a great evening it was!
The talk was about the artist Liliana Porter who is Argentinian. She is an interesting sort who uses toys and dolls in her art and has a very wry sense of humor. She also interjects some political bias through her use of images of the Argentine flag and images of Che Guevera. Very different, but I learned something new!
Now on to the Tapas workshop. We were fortunate to have a wonderful caterer and former restaurant owner as our chef, along with her equally talented husband. They created a fabulous evening of not only great food, but healthy food. We had little fresh breads made on the grill and topped with roasted veggies. This is a photo off her website of that. There was sweet and juicy apricot chicken kebobs and shrimp kebobs. We had tabouli with the freshest of herbs picked from her garden that morning. There was wine and great conversation...seeing some old friends there and enjoying the lovely summer weather on the flowered terrace at the museum. At right is the historic mansion where we mingled on the terrace and porch. http://newyorktraveler.net/fountain-elms-historic-site-utica/

It was such a fun and relaxing evening.

If you would like to check out our chef for the evening, you can find her at http://susanscookingschool.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ice Cream...Cupcakes!


Oh gosh, how cute are these? Here is another summer dessert idea that is fun for the kids. We love cupcakes because they are "just enough" and so easy to serve at the kids' parties. But for the summer, this is a "cool" idea and gives you your cake and ice cream in a cupcake liner. And, you can experiment with ice cream flavors and toppings. Some of the things that came to mind were:


Coffee ice cream and Heath Bar toffee bits
Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and mini chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Ice Cream and chopped peanuts
Maple Walnut Ice Cream and chopped toasted walnuts
Raspberry Swirl ice cream or Sorbet with chopped bittersweet chocolate
Strawberry ice cream with chopped milk chocolate
Vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut
Vanilla ice cream with chopped chocolate covered almonds
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream with chopped Milky Way bars

OK, had enough? I told you that all you need is your imagination and a favorite flavor! And ask the kids! They can always come up with some great combinations.

Ice Cream Cupcakes

1 Sara Lee frozen pound cake

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

2 pints ice cream, flavor of your choice, slightly softened

1 cup toppings that you want to use for mixing in

Arrange 12 paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Cut pound cake unto 1/2-inch thick slices. Use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut 12 circles from slices, reserving scraps for another use (like trifle, perhaps!) Place circles in bottoms of cupcake liners.

Combine heavy cream and confectioners' sugar in a bowl and whip with an electric mixer until cream holds stiff peaks. Scoop ice cream into a large bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup toppings; add remaining toppings to bowl with ice cream. Combine by mashing ice cream and toppings with back of a large spoon. (If ice cream gets too soft, place bowl in freezer for 10 minutes before continuing.)


Top each pound cake circle with a scoop of ice cream and cover with whipped cream. Sprinkle with remaining toppings. Lightly drape cupcakes with plastic wrap and place in freezer until form, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ooey, Gooey Pecan Bars


We were visiting my daughter and her family yesterday. They are trying to sell their house, and wanted to do a little landscaping work around the pool area. Mostly just to spruce it up. So her dad and I made the 2 hour trip to give them a hand. My job...keep an eye on our 2 little grandsons and make dinner. One of Rhonda's favorite recipes of mine, is a pasta and tuna dish that I make and is a former post on this blog. That is what she wanted. She had made a salad earlier that all we had to do was dress. But that left dessert to come up with. Leafing through some of the recipes in Rhonda's collection, I came across one for Pecan Squares. I ran to the store for the sweetened condensed milk and toffee chips and whipped up a batch. Awesome! First, they are easy to make. Second, they are very decadent!! I think these will also be a nice recipe at Christmas time to cut into small squares (like 1 bite squares) and put on a cookie tray or place in small decorative boxes for guests at place settings. They would be nice in a decorative cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon to give as gifts to teachers or friends and neighbors. My favorite idea, though, would be to cut these into rounds with a biscuit cutter after they have set in the fridge. Place them on a small plate and top with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, drizzle with a little hot fudge and sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans. Now THAT would be decadence!!

Pecan Squares
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup cold butter
1 14 oz. can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 8 oz. pkg Heath Bar chocolate toffee bits
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In medium bowl, combine flour and sugar, cut in butter until crumbly. Press firmly into bottom of a 13 x 9-in. baking pan.
Bake 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, egg, and vanilla.
Stir in the toffee chips and pecans. Spread evenly over hot crust.
Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool and cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tropical Thoughts.....
















The weather here has been so dreary. Central NY is not having a very nice summer...rain, cool temperatures. A lot of the blahs going around. So we have to make the best of it by making happy food!! How about a tropical sundae? I found a version of this in ALL YOU magazine and changed it up a bit. Result? Delicious and like a pina colada for kids! For an adult version of this dessert, add a little white rum to the caramel sauce. Or you can try using a different flavor of ice cream...I used Dulce de Leche. You can always add a sliced banana to the pineapple and caramel sauce while you are caramelizing. This would be like a warm banana split with some fresh whipped cream and toasted peanuts on top. Use your imagination. This is a cool and decadent way to end your summer supper!

Pina Colada Sundae
1 cored fresh pineapple
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 cups vanilla ice cream
Toasted coconut


1. Slice pineapple into eight rings and cut each into 6 pieces.
2. Warm butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When butter begins to foam, add pineapple and brown sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until pineapple begins to brown and sugar is dissolved, 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat, scrape into a shallow bowl and let stand until just warm to the touch, 2-3 minutes. (If you wish to add rum, add when you remove from the heat and stir well. Then let rest.)
3. Divide ice cream among 6 dessert dishes or layer into parfait glasses. Top each dish with pineapple and sauce. Sprinkle with toasted coconut

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Create-A-Chip...creativity in demand!!


I found this post on Cooking Club of America...thought it would be of interest!
Be a Flavor Artist
Walking through the chip aisle at your local store, you stop and sigh. Sour cream and onion? Been there, done that. Smokin' jalapeƱo? All bark, no bite. Mesquite BBQ? The thrill of the grill is gone for you. If only you could find a snack with some personality. Stop searching and start shaking. With the Create-A-Chip Kit from Kettle Brand Potato Chips, you're free to come up with your own fab flavors. The kit gives you a blank slate (four bags of unseasoned chips) and seven all-natural seasoning blends to kick-start your thinking. It's up to your imagination—and the contents of your pantry—to provide the rest. Think you've come up with a killer recipe? Share it online. You could win a year's supply of Kettle Brand chips. You've finally bagged the prefect snack. Look for the Create-A-Chip Kit in grocery stores or purchase online at http://links.namgclubs.net/ctt?kn=24&m=4171671&r=MzY0NTU5NDIyMQS2&b=0&j=MTI2NTE5Njc3S0&mt=1&rt=0.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Corn and Bean Salsa...and check out a giveaway!

Are you looking for something different to serve your guests? This is a super easy and good salsa. My friend brought this to a party last Sunday and we were chowing down on it like it was our job! I got to thinking what else I could do with this and I came up with making it into a veggie burrito or loading a baked potato and fat free sour cream for a healthy meatless meal. However you choose, this is inexpensive and delicious. It is packed with fiber and good for you nutrients like potassium. Before adding your canned items, make sure you rinse them under cold water to get rid of some of the additional salt that is used in the canning process.

Corn and Bean Salsa
1 can shoepeg corn, rinsed
1 can black eyed peas, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can Old El Paso chopped green chiles
1 stalk celery, diced
1small jar chopped pimentos
1 red onion, diced


3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar


Mix the first set of ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl. Heat the sugar, oil and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the bean mixture. Put covered in refrigerator overnight to marinate. The next day, drain the salsa and put into a bowl for serving. Frito-Lay Scoops are great for this as they help pick up all the great goodness! Ole'!!

Click here Harried Mom of Four for a really cool giveaway!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blueberries pack a punch...or a popsicle!

Having my grandsons around for the week means that they are always looking for something sweet to eat. Let's face it, no matter how hard you try, they are going to sneak in some unhealthy snacks. Aidan is "addicted" to chocolate. He's 2 and he pronounces every syllable as Cho-co-lat...who knew he was practicing French!! But he is a good eater and likes everything. Carter, the 6 year old, on the other hand thinks Italian toast with butter is a food group. His protein to date has consisted of eggs, cheese and peanut butter...and protein shakes. We finally got him to try hot dogs over the weekend and he now likes those. Better than nothing. What they both agree on is berries and popsicles. Ellie Krieger has a recipe for a blueberry punch so I thought I would make it and freeze some as pops for the boys. What a hit! These are so much better than the sugar and water pop ice that they want. And these are fun because they helped me make them. Here is Ellie's recipe for the punch. It is refreshing just as it is or do what I did..... pour into a popsicle maker and dole out the fun a few hours later.
Blueberry Punch
Dissolve 2 Tbsp of honey in 1/4 cup boiling water.
Puree 1 cup thawed frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup cold water in a blender.
Pour the blueberry puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher.
Add up to 3-1/2 cups cold water and the dissolved honey to the pitcher and serve.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Refreshing Watermelon Salad


In the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, there are some wonderful salad recipes. I tried the one in this post and it has a lot of flavors going on in your mouth! I already had the watermelon, red onion and olives and my oregano is growing nicely in the herb garden. So I picked up some arugula and feta on the way home to give this a whirl. Being a lover of fruit and greens together, I was interested in how all of these favors were going to fit together....sweet, juicy watermelon, pungent and sweet red onion, salty feta and olives and peppery arugula. All I can say is that this is an explosion for your taste buds! These all paired up and complimented each other so well. It is also colorful and happy looking. There are 50 salad ideas in this issue so I have several more that I would like to try. I will keep you all posted!

Watermelon-Feta Salad

Whisk 1 part white wine vinegar with 3 parts olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Toss with baby arugula, red onion slices, watermelon cubes, crumbled feta, nicoise olives and fresh oregano.

That's it! How easy and healthy and gets you done in a flash!! Pair this with a nice semolina bread, glass of crisp Sauvignon Rose wine and you have a light summer supper!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Everybody walk the Dinosaur...Beans

We have had a busy several days with our grandsons in the house. It is hard to get to the computer for recreation and during the day I am working my full time job! Our daughter has been a big help though getting some things done in the house for me, but she really has her hands full taking care of those little guys. They are just so fun! Anyway, here is the bean recipe that I talked about in the post a couple of days ago. These are awesome. The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is a restaurant in Syracuse, NY (with a sister restaurant in Rochester, NY) was started in 1983 by a few Harley bikers, with the intention of feeding their hungry friends. They traveled around to rallies feeding their friends and having fun. In 1987, they set up shop in downtown Syracuse in a former tavern and the rest is history. This place is really eclectic. You will see lawyers and bikers at tables next to one another. Their pulled pork sandwiches are the best!! They have a great story and it is a fun and interesting restaurant. You can find their cookbooks on line and even order their sauce on line if they aren't in your market. Their recipe for Drunken Spicy Shameless Shrimp is a favorite of our kids, and is also in the book.

For the following recipe, I mixed everything together and put it into a baking dish. About an hour before dinner I put the dish, covered, in a 400 degree oven and got them bubbling hot. Oh YUM!!

Dinosaur-Style Bar-B-Que Beans
(Dinosaur Bar-B-Que An American Roadhouse Cookbook)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
Pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
2 cans (28 oz. each) Bush's baked beans
3/4 cup Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce
1 Tbsp Zatarain's Creole mustard (or spicy brown mustard)
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp Creole seasoning (recipe follows)
1 Tbsp molasses

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook til soft, adding a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Crumble the sausage into the veggies and cook, chopping to break the meat into small pieces. Cook til the pink disappears. Drain off some of the bean liquid in each can so that it's at the same height of the beans; then mix the contents of both cans into the cooked veggies and sausage. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add all the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately, or cool and reheat before serving.
(Letting the flavors blend awhile never hurts.) Feeds 10-12.

CREOLE SEASONING
This makes a great rub for meat, a sprinkle for your veggies or added as seasoning to casseroles or coatings.
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup granulated onion
3 Tbsp black pepper
2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup dried thyme
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp sugar
Combine everything in a bowl and mix it up real well. Store in a plastic or glass container with a lid. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finger Lickin' Good Bar-B-Que

We had our family cook-out on Sunday for the holiday. We had family and some friends and it was a fabulous food fest. Our son (super cook in his own right) was in charge of the meat and the barbecue grill. His worthy contribution was ribs and chicken. Wow...............

He rubbed the ribs with McCormick Pork Dry Rub and poured about 1/2 can of beer in each pan. He wrapped them tightly and put them into a 250 degree oven for 4 hours. They cooled for awhile and then he put them in the fridge over night. When he put them on the grill, they were smothered with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sauce.

For the chicken, he used half chickens. In the bottom of a broiler pan, he poured a can of beer, squeezed a lemon, cut it into wedges and tossed in the pan, sprinkled in some peppercorns and some of that dry rub. He then rubbed down the chickens and placed them on the rack. He covered the whole thing tightly and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours. This steamed the chicken and worked somewhat like the beer can idea for a whole chicken. He then tossed it on the grill with more Bar-B-Que Sauce.


All I can say was that our dinner was finger lickin' good. And to watch our 2-year old grandson eat a rib was priceless! All of the meat was tender, juicy and succulent. So what did the rest of us do? I made Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Beans. These are awesome. I am going to post the recipe tomorrow, along with a little background on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que! I also made a chick pea salad and my daughter made cauliflower salad. My mom brought strawberry rhubarb pies. It was a great way to celebrate the holiday!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mini Banana Zucchini Muffins

My daughter has used this recipe for a few years now to get her sons to get their "sweet" tooth satisfied, without giving in to requests for the really bad stuff! These have gone to day care, parties, etc. and they get to think they are getting something good. Now that Carter is 6, he has caught on! LOL But Aidan still considers them big time "cupcakes" and loves them right out of the freezer! Go figure! I made these for our granddaughter in Atlanta and she loved them too. The amazing thing about these is that they use no eggs! If you are looking for a great treat for a kid's party or afternoon snacks, these are great! It is also one more recipe to use when you have a bumper crop of zucchini!
Have a Happy 4th of July everyone!

Mini Banana Zucchini Muffins
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups mashed banana
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk with a splash of vinegar
1/2 small zucchini, grated (I used a microplane grater for this step)

Mix all ingredients together and bake in mini muffin tins sprayed with PAM at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Cool a couple minutes and turn out from pan. These freeze well.
This will make about 48 mini muffins.