Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Zoodles - the other noodle

Zoodle - what the heck is a zoodle.  Well I asked the same question because honestly?  Had no clue.  It's a zucchini noodle.  In our quest to make some lighter dishes we came upon the zoodle.  Those of you who watch late night TV may have caught a glimpse of this little hand crank machine that makes noodles out of so many veggies.  Ok, I'll be honest - I assume it was a late night TV Ad.  Since our TV watching involves streaming PBS Kid shows, old episodes of Dirty Jobs, and a few Downton Abbey's thrown in - we don't see any advertisements.  In fact - I always laugh when people ask if I've seen an ad, I usually have to go to YouTube to watch commercials - we just don't watch that much TV.
Back to Zoodles!  We started our zoodle experience with this Shrimp recipe.  It really was easy to make (and even easier for me since all I did was thaw the shrimp).  Bronwyn even helped in the noodle process.  These noodles - while not like actual pasta, do hold up pretty nice and certainly can play the part of pasta.
We have a few more zoodle dishes lined up to try.  Now our mission is to get Bronwyn to eat more of them.  She's not fooled that they are real noodles, silly parents…

Zucchini Shrimp Scampi

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon (optional if you are allergic)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds (4 medium-sized) zucchini, spiralized
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in chicken stock and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer; stir in zucchini noodles until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Soup it UP: Beans Optional

When you have a recipe that works, you just go with it, right?  Why try something new if the old standby is great?  I felt that way about my Minestrone Soup recipe.  It worked, I liked it, why try a new one?  This new one used a crockpot!  Ok ok, how hard is it to simmer soup on the stove?  About as tough as simmering it in the crock pot.  One thing I have noticed about my recipe is that it needs a day to sit and meld after you cook it, then it tastes even better.  The crockpot's slow cook method, helps greatly with the melding process.
The recipe has two parts, one that cooks in the crock pot all day and one that you add a little while before you serve it.  Sure it's prep, but it makes for a quick dinner.  I'm not sure about you, but when I get home from work, I just want to eat not prep things for dinner.  After dinner I'll do all sorts of prep for the next day, but when I get home?  No thanks.  This is why Crockpot cooking works for me.
Hope you like this one - you can go crazy with beans if you like them or ditch the beans.  I'm not a bean lover but Andy is.  I ate some of the beans, but drew my line in the sand at one point.

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups potatoes, chopped
1.5 cups celery, chopped
1 white onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable stock ( I prefer low sodium broth)
2 cups water
3 cups V8 ( or tomato juice)
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cups zucchini, diced
1  cups tubular (ditalini) pasta
1 can (15 oz) green beans, drained

Place your diced tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, celery, white onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, bay leaves into your crockpot.

Add in vegetable stock, water, and V8. Cover and cook on LOW for  6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on HIGH.

After cooking time is up, add in red kidney beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, green beans and pasta , and cook on high heat for an additional 10-15 minutes until pasta is tender.

Serve with your favorite crackers, salad or warm bread!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner - in one loaf of meat...

By now you know our household is on a baking boycott.  Well... in a manner of speaking.  So while it's true that not as many sweets come in or go out of our house, our oven is still being used quite a bit.  It's called cooking.  Whoa?!  What a concept.
This attempt, a turkey meat loaf.  Sounds weird right?  But what was this turkey mixed with?  A box of stuffing mix.  How bad can that be? Right?   We are going to forgive the photographer on this one.  We'll just say that maybe she got a new camera and maybe the focus was set to a tiny area in the upper left corner... let's say it was set like that for a while and I, I mean she couldn't for the life of her figure out why most everything was blurry.... well... there you go.
This meat loaf took forever in the oven - but tasted great.  I'd make it again - for sure. Just give it lots of time in the oven and be sure to use a meat thermometer to know when it's done - it's poultry after all.  No sense getting sick trying make good food.

Stuffing Mix Meatloaf
1 Pound Ground Meat (Beef or Turkey)
1 Egg
1 Box Stuffing Mix
1 Cup Water

Mix everything together, smoosh it into a loaf pan, and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flying Cupcakes of Love

How embarrassing that it's taken me this long to get pictures of Xander and Anika's birthday cupcakes up.  Just shows you... how behind I am?  Hrm... thought that was going somewhere else...  Anyway....
How on earth are these two 6 and 4?  When did that happen?  A bit before their birthdays' I asked their mom what they might want for a cake/cupcakes.  I try to do something different for them since while their birthdays are a week apart, they are two separate events.  Xander wanted planes - Anika wanted helicopters.  I had a grand ol' plan for Anika and her helicopters... well, after piping Xander's planes, it seemed like a good fit to do hers the same way.
The kids liked them, only one person told me I should have made Anika's pink or purple, it was for a girl after all.  well... she liked them that's all that counts.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher Magazine

Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher Magazine is a new publication for all things punch and primitive.  We were asked to design a piece for the premier issue – this is it.  Heart at Home combines Primitive and Punch together.
Want a copy?  Contact your local needlework store or sign up for a subscription at http://pnpsmagazine.com/
Check out the Christmas issue – we should have another design ready to show off.
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