Friday, September 30, 2011

The Best Zucchini Bread

 I know that claim is completely subjective, but this bread is so moist and delicious! I had my regular recipe that I always used until I found this one, SO GOOD! (from except I didn't add the walnuts.  Remember you can always substitute 1/2 cup of oil for 1/2 cup of applesauce.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Healthy Peanut Butter and Chocolate No Bakes

1 Cup of Peanutbutter – use the healthy stuff (I used Adams Natural PB, the kind you have to stir)

1 Cup of honey

1/2 Cup of ground almonds (I just chopped up some almonds really fine)

1/2 Cup of ground flaxseed

3 Cups of oats

Dark chocolate or regular chocolate chips – as many as you like.

Mix it all up and roll them into balls. Then keep them in the refrigerator.

These are really good and will satisfy your peanut butter/chocolate cravings.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bowtie Pasta Salad

Bowtie pasta, cooked
Mandarin Oranges
Pineapple (canned or fresh)
Green onion, chopped
Cubed, cooked chicken breast
Coleslaw dressing 

Mix everything together.  Add mandarin oranges last and fold them in.  Add salt to taste.  Garlic salt is also very good.  As far as the amounts, use your judgment ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

I guess you could say that today was All New Recipes day in the Nielsen house.

I found this recipe here and that's also where the picture came from. I have a house of seafood lovers so this was a giant hit here. I imagine it takes a lot like a shrimp Alfredo would, but I wouldn't exactly know because I'm not a fan of Alfredo. This is so yummy! It's easy to cook but paired with garlic bread and a green salad you could serve it at your fanciest of dinner parties. As I was cooking it I thought it would make a great anniversary or valentine's dinner. (Why was I thinking that? Who knows?!?!?!)

4-8 oz. fettuccine or linguine. (I used fettuccine. The author says she prefers less noodles but I had a family to feed. I used about 12 oz. of fettuccine.)

10 TBS butter (The author says, I know, but I've tried it with less and it's just not the same.)

8 oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 oz. cream cheese, cut into small pieces

2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

1 TBS fresh basil, chopped. (The author says you can use dried herbs if that's all you have, but I(Kristen) know dried and fresh measurements are not the same and I don't think the flavor is as good with dried.

2/3 cup boiling water (from your noodle pot)
1 lb. cooked shrimp (feel free to buy frozen)

1. Boil and salt a large pot of water and cook your pasta.

2. While your pasta is cooking, cook your shrimp if necessary and reserve. If your shrimp are pre-cooked and frozen, quickly thaw them under running water.

3. In a large skillet melt 2 TBS butter over medium heat and saute mushrooms until soft and brown. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Reserve cooked mushrooms and melt remaining butter in the skillet. Add minced garlic, cream cheese and herbs. At this point, I generally fell like something has gone terribly wrong. The cream cheese doesn't really melt and starts to look almost curdled, don't worry about it It will all smooth out and be wonderful when we add the water, I promise.

5. Simmer cream cheese mixture until well blended. Get a scoop of boiling pasta water from your noodle pot and mix it in, stirring quickly to smooth out the sauce.

6. Keep sauce hot and add shrimp and mushrooms. Mix well and simmer (stirring often) until everything is hot and thickened, about 10 minutes. You won't ruin this sauce by accidentally boiling it so don't worry.

7. Toss sauce with cooked noodles and serve.

Caramel Sticky Buns

I've seen a lot of types of these recipes but I've never tried them before. I decided that I liked the idea of making it last night and having a yummy thing ready to go for Sunday morning. These are so good and we devoured it!

I found the recipe here and that's also where the picture came from.

18 frozen dinner rolls (Rhodes work perfectly)

1/2 package (3.5 oz.) butterscotch cook and serve pudding. (NOT INSTANT)

1 stick butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

chopped nuts - optional

Note from Kristen - nuts and optional don't go together for me. I used pecans.

Grease or spray a bundt pan with non-stick oil. Sprinkle with nuts. Place frozen rolls in pan. Now, sprinkle HALF of the package of pudding over rolls. Make sure the pudding is NOT the instant kind! Melt butter and brown sugar together and pour over rolls. Sprinkle with a few more chopped nuts. Cover pan with greased foil and put a dishtowel over the foil. Place in a warm place overnight (the oven works great, as long as it is turned off). In the morning, bake at 325 degrees for 1/2 hour. Invert immediately onto a large plate.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crazy Noodles

I saw this on pinterest and thought I'd have a cooking night with the girls. We all had a blast sticking noodles into the hot dog slices, then we laughed and laughed at what they'd become after they were cooked.

I didn't eat any but my girls put parmesean cheese on them and said, "delicious, yummy and I like them mama."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 C flour (I use whole wheat)
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 C lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ounces baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 t vanilla extract
3 C grated zucchini or summer squash
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a fluted cake pan.

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Beat brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla.

Add flour mixture. Fold in squash.

Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes and then invert. Allow to cool completely and dust with sugar if desired.