Mmm… Monday: Zucchini Brownies and Zucchini Bread

This past summer, I harvested a super large zucchini from my garden (pretty much the only good thing from it this year).  What do you make with zucchini? Well, in this house I make my grandma’s Zucchini Brownie and Zucchini Bread recipe.  There was enough to make both, plus I threw some frozen zucchini in my freezer so I could enjoy it later (like now!). I love this recipe because with one recipe, you can make two different things. I absolutely love the brownies and the only thing really “bad” about them health-wise is the cream cheese frosting on the brownies. Or the butter I put on the bread. LOL.

 

Zucchini Brownies & Zucchini Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

(Note:  If zucchini is a little more than 2 cups I just add a little more sugar and vanilla–if I am using imitation vanilla–I am a little generous with it anyway, but these days I only use real Mexican vanilla in my baking)

Then add:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon (I make rounded teaspoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

For BREAD: Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours or until done.

For BROWNIES: Pour into a jelly roll pan. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes or until done. When cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.

***Loaves and brownies both freeze well, so don’t be afraid to make a lot and freeze it!

 

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Mmm… Monday #17: Jam Oatmeal Bars

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
~Author Unknown

I have no idea why I generally only make these cookies around Christmas time. I think I’m going to have to make these more often. Every year, I forget how incredibly awesome they are. Until I bite into one. Mmm.

I just want to gobble this up.

Now, I make these with my homemade raspberry jam, but any type of jam will work. However, I will have to admit that the homemade raspberry is the best jam in the world! Yeah, I’m a bit biased.

These are quite easy to make.

Jam Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cups butter/margarine
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 cup thick jam

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  4. Press 2/3 of mixture into 11″x7″ glass baking dish.
  5. Spread jam and top with remaining crumbs.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Cool and cut into bars.

I hope you enjoy them!

Mmm… Monday #9: Fruit Dip

This special feeling towards fruit, its glory and abundance, is I would say universal…. We respond to strawberry fields or cherry orchards with a delight that a cabbage patch or even an elegant vegetable garden cannot provoke.
~Jane Grigson

So I was begged to provide the recipe for this fruit dip. This amazing ambrosia of a dip that my Grandma makes. I’m giving you fair warning: this stuff is addictive. And is not pleasant to a woman’s hips or a man’s gut. But it is so delectable that you really couldn’t care less. And you will give yourself permission because you are eating it with fruit, which is, after all, very healthy. Don’t worry, I’ll let you keep your fantasy… just don’t ruin it for me, either!

Grandma’s Fruit Dip (Ambrosia)

Ingredients

Are you ready for this? Because it’s a long list. Better get a piece of paper and a pen.

  • One 8oz package of cream cheese
  • One 15 or so oz tub of marshmallow cream (fluff)
  • Fruit of your choice (strawberries are best in my opinion, but apples, bananas, etc are all amazing)

Seriously, that’s it. You just blend them together with a hand mixer or on a very low setting with a stand mixer. And no, I don’t have photos because my hips can’t take it so I haven’t made it lately.

I’m ducking and running before you try it. Because you are going to curse the day you read this… and love every minute of it.

Mmm… Monday #7: Crockpot Root Beer BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Dory: Okay, he either said, “move to the back of the throat,” or he “wants a root beer float.”
~Finding Nemo

It’s another slow cooker recipe that I totally wanted to try, and it was yummy! This one (from Betty Crocker) caught my eye because it involves root beer as an ingredient! The cafe at the museum where I work uses Sprite for cooking its chicken breasts and Coke for cooking its hamburgers… and it actually is fantastically tasty!

Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Beef Sandwiches

From BettyCrocker.com

Ingredients
1 boneless beef rump roast (4lbs)
2 cups barbecue sauce
1 cup root beer
Dash of salt and pepper, if desired
16 sandwich buns

  1. In 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, place beef. In 4-cup measuring cup or bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of the barbecue sauce and the root beer; pour over beef.
  2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 10 to 12 hours.
  3. About 20 minutes before serving, remove beef from slow cooker; place on large plate. Pour juices from slow cooker into 12-inch skillet. Cook over medium-high heat about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices are thickened and reduced to about 3 cups. Meanwhile, shred beef with 2 forks; return to slow cooker.
  4. Stir remaining 1/2 cup barbecue sauce into reduced juices in skillet; pour over shredded beef in slow cooker. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about 1/2 cup beef mixture into each bun.

Makes: 16 sandwiches
Serving Size: 1 sandwich
Calories:
310 (50 from fat)
Total Fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 60mg
Sodium: 570mg
Total Carbs: 34g

Mmm… Monday #4: Pumpkin Bread

Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.
~Jim Davis

My mom made the most amazing pumpkin bread over the holidays. So I thought I’d share the recipe with you. It’s pretty easy. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos, so you’ll have to trust me on how awesome it looks/tastes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 1/3 cups flour

Combine the ingredients in the order listed. Pour into a greased bread pan(s). Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.  Makes 8 small loaves or 1-2 large loaves.