July 31, 2015

Menu Plan Saturday #30





Shortcut Calzones
Use extra ham from My Malibu Chicken and peppers from the Cheesesteaks in these calzones.    

Menu-Plan Day and Take-Out Night


July 29, 2015

Chicken and Zucchini Stir Fry

This dish was so yummy and it was a great way to use up some of those delicious fresh vegetables from my garden.  I used zucchini, bell pepper and tomato all from my garden.   You could always throw in some onion, garlic and corn too.  Even black or pinto beans would be delicious in this. 

It comes together super quick, so it's great for any day of the week. 

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Tyler Florence's Guacamole
Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken 
Zucchini Casserole with Stuffing

Chicken and Zucchini Stir Fry
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

8 chicken tenders
3 Tbl. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 - 1 1/2 c. diced zucchini, unpeeled
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 c. salsa
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro

For Serving: 
cooked rice
sour cream, opt.
guacamole, opt.
Feta cheese, opt.
shredded Cheddar cheese, opt.

Place chicken tenders in a large zip-top bag.  In a small bowl combine lime juice, chili powder and 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil.  Pour mixture over chicken, seal bag, and toss to coat all the chicken in marinade.  Allow to marinate for at least one hour.

Heat the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken tenders and cook until almost cooked through, breaking up into chunks with a wooden spoon as it cooks (or you can remove it from the pan once it's all the way cooked, chop it and add it back to the pan).  Then, add the zucchini and chopped pepper and saute until they are crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, salsa, cumin and cilantro.  Serve over cooked rice and garnish with desired toppings.  Serves 4.  

July 26, 2015

Tiramisu Cake

I have never eaten actual classic Tiramisu, but I have made this Tiramisu Cake a few times and I love it.  I only make this on special occasions.  It's not hard to make, but there are several steps involved.  I think this might even be the longest recipe I have ever typed :)  Don't let that scare you though, because it really is easy and worth all the steps.        

The frosting tastes like coffee ice cream, there is a perfect frosting to cake ratio, it has the perfect amount of sweetness and it has just a slight coffee aftertaste.  The cake is tender and moist and it does not get soggy.  I like it best served a little cold.

I typed the recipe as written, but I noted a few things that I adjusted.  Since I know I will get comments about using instant coffee instead of espresso powder, make sure you use what you prefer. I don't mind the flavor of instant coffee and since I usually have that on hand, that is what I used.

This recipe does work if you cut it in half and bake in smaller pans.  
Tiramisu Cake
adapted from: Dori Greenspan
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

For the Cake:
2 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbl.) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. buttermilk

For the Espresso Extract:
2 Tbl. instant espresso powder (I used instant coffee)
2 Tbl. boiling water

For the Espresso Syrup:
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbl. amaretto, Kahlua or brandy (I didn't add)

For the Filling and Frosting:
1 (8 oz.) container marscarpone (I used cream cheese)
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbl. amaretto, Kahlua or brandy (I used strong coffee)
1 c. cold heavy cream
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

For Garnish (opt):
large milk chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
chocolate covered espresso beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease, flour and line with parchment paper two 9x2-inch round cake pans.  For the Cake:  Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the egg yolk and beat for one minute.  Beat in the vanilla.  Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until just combined.  Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans at the halfway point.  Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and invert them to a wire rack and cool completely.   

To Make the Extract: Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended; set aside.

To Make the Syrup:  Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil.  Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 Tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.  

To Make the Filling and Frosting:  Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.  In a separate large bowl, using a stand mixer or hand mixer,  whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks.  Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.  Carefully fold in the rest of the whipped cream.

To Assemble the Cake:  If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them.  Place one layer right side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate.  Using a pastry brush or small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup.  Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer (about 1 1/4 cups) and gently press the mini chocolate chips into the filling.  Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half of the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling.  Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.  Whisk 1 - 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling (this will now be the frosting).  Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add.  If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so.  Refrigerate the cake too.  

With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top.  If you want to decorate the cake with the chocolate chips or espresso beans, press them into the frosting.  Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours before serving.  The elements need time to meld.    

Jenn's Notes:  This recipe does work when cut in half.  I use two small glass dishes and reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees.  I bake my cakes for 28  minutes.  

July 22, 2015

Easy Weeknight Bowtie Pasta

 Happy Wednesday!  The week is almost over.  We can make it :)  Friday is a holiday here in Utah and I have the day off work!!!  I soooooo need a day off. 

For now, lets just make it through the next few days.  This bowtie pasta is one of my go-to dinners for busy weeknights and it tastes just as good leftover.  Have you ever added cottage cheese to spaghetti sauce?  Try it.  Seriously.  It's SO GOOD - it makes the sauce extra creamy and adds protein.    

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Easy Weeknight Bowtie Pasta
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)
1/2 Lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
2 c. chopped fresh spinach
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 jar spaghetti sauce (approx. 24 oz.) 
1 c. cottage cheese
8-12 oz. of pasta (depending on how saucy you want it), cooked according to package directions

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat; season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Add the spinach and onion and cook until spinach is wilted and onion is tender, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 more seconds.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce and cottage cheese and heat through.  Last, add the cooked and drained pasta.  Serves 4-6.

Linked up to Weekend Potluck!

July 19, 2015

Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze

What a delicious twist to a family favorite recipe.  We make this Lemon Zucchini Bread many many times each year.  This time I added some fresh raspberries I picked up at the corn stand.  Lemon and Raspberries . . . such a great combo.  The sweet bread paired with the slightly tart raspberries made this bread loved by all.
The house smelled sooooooo good while it baked.  Homemade bread smells amazing any time it's baking, but with fresh raspberries, it added an amazing fruity aroma.  So irresistible that it was hard to wait for it to cool before slicing it and digging in :)

The zucchini dissolves during baking and if you peel it, you can't even tell it's in there.  This bread is so soft and moist and don't forget about the sweet lemony glaze on top.  Oh my goodness.   

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Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Bread
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil
1/2 c. buttermilk
grated zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon (about 2 Tbl.)
1 c. grated zucchini (peeled or unpeeled)
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c. fresh raspberries

Lemon Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. meringue powder, opt. (this helps the icing harden)
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. lemon extract, opt.
1/2 - 1 Tbl. milk, as needed (or lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan (I like to line mine with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, so I can easily remove the bread from the pan); set aside.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.  In a separate large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and oil together.  Add the buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir until combined.  Stir in the zucchini.  

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until almost combined, then add the raspberries and carefully fold together until just combined and evenly distributed.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.  Top with Glaze and allow to harden.  Slice and serve. 

For the Lemon Glaze:  Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder in a small bowl.  Add the lemon zest, lemon extract and 1/2 Tablespoon milk or lemon juice.  Stir together until smooth and creamy.  If glaze is too thick, add a little more milk or lemon juice.  Pour over cooled bread.    

Jenn's Notes: I usually peel half of my zucchini.   

Base Recipe adapted from: Nancy Creative 

Linked up to Weekend Potluck!