Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

     I saw this recipe on a different blog and I thought to myself, "I can make that better." And so I did.

     If you're wondering what Cheesy Zucchini Rice is, you might not be that quick on the uptake. It's exactly what it sounds like and best of all you can customize this dish to your preference! Originally, this recipe had "shredded zucchini in it, but I prefer a crunch to my vegetables. So this time, we're going to get out the peeler and do our very best to peel a zucchini or two. And it just so happens that I GREW a HUGE zucchini in my very own garden this Summer, BAM!


You will need:
  • 1 medium OR 2 small zucchini(s), peeled approximately 2 cups
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth OR 2 cups water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, OR go FANCY and use 1/3 cup Mozzarella, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and 1/3 cup Gruyere
  • 1/2 TSP garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to your liking
  • 1-2 TBSP milk (optional if it comes out too thick)
 




     Start with the rice first. This whole process should take under 25 minutes. Boil the chicken broth in a small sauce pot and then add the rice. While the rice is cooking, we're going to prep everything else.







 
     Peel your zucchini, and then chop them up into bite-size pieces. Grate the cheese or cheeses of you choosing. This is where you can really customize this dish. It can be totally kid friendly or parent-pleasing. Either way, you will receive rounds of applause for this little jewel!

    
     When the rice is done after about 20 minutes, remove it from heat and quickly add all of the ingredients. All that remains is to stir it up until all of the cheese is melted.

     The heat from the rice actually cooks the zucchini just enough so that it's not raw but still crunchy! This is also an excellent way to sneak some vegetables into your diet without being overwhelmed by all that green. Don't judge me!


     Ok, well - I hope you like Cheesy Zucchini Rice as much as my people and I do. I've had to make it twice this week.

Love,

Liz

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Candied Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Y'all!


I missed my stepfather's birthday this year. Yeah, I know - I'm the worst. But trust me, I have an excellent excuse. I had his birthday saved in my old phone on the calendar, but it got lost when my stepfather gave me a new phone for Christmas. So, if you think about it . . . it's really all his fault. To make up for it, I decided to make him a treat because he's almost sixty and can pretty much buy anything he actually wants.


You will need:
Cookie Dough:
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 2 sticks of soft butter
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
 Candied Pecans:
  • 1 cup pecans, whole or chopped
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP butter
Preheat your oven to 375.

Get a large bowl and mix up the white sugar, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until it's creamy. Add the eggs in one at a time and make sure you mix them in all the way. Otherwise, you could get scrumptious chunks of cooked egg in your cookies.

In a small bowl, combine salt, flour, and baking soda. Spill some of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and mix it real well. Continue adding the flour mixture a little bit at a time making sure it's incorporated completely it has become some tasty-delicious cookie dough.







Next add the chocolate chips and we can move on to the star of this cookie show!


THE CANDIED PECANS.

This is so serious y'all. Pecans are a big deal in the South, but they're just as tasty up here in the slowly-thawing North.




Get a small frying pan, preferably, set it on medium and start melting that butter. Drop in one pecan at a time until the butter starts sizzling, then dump in the rest of the nuts and brown sugar. Use a spatula to mix it all around in the pan and really get those pecans coated in the butter and sugar.


Let them simmer for 5-8 minutes on medium and then remove it from heat completely. I left mine on the stove and the sugar caramelized onto the bottom of the pan, womp, womp.

Stir the candied pecans into the cookie dough. Roll the cookie dough into about the size of a golf ball and set up nine on a cookie sheet. Make sure they're spread evenly apart, unless you like twin cookies. Bake them for 9-12 minutes. I made three pans worth of cookies, nine each which makes twenty-seven cookies all together.


I don't know if my stepfather likes them. I haven't heard from him since I gave him the cookies so I assume his mouth is too jammed full to speak.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Slow Cooker Pot Roast a la Liz





     One of the keys to a great relationship is keeping both tummy happy and full. At least this is the case in MY relationships. If I'm hungry, I'm not happy and so is the case with my boo!
     It may be an old adage, but meat and potatoes are the best thing in the world, end of discussion. You've heard it a million times, I know. That's why you can never go wrong with pot roast! Celery, onions, potatoes, carrots and meat all cooking in meat juice? UH, yes, please.




You will need:
  • 1 onion, peeled and quarted
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut into 2-inch segments
  • 2 cups beef broth, or 2 beef bouillon cubes diluted in 2 cups of water
  • 1-2 lb. beef pot roast
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt & pepper
 
     Heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Meanwhile, salt and pepper both sides of the roast. When the oil gets hot, CAREFULLY place the roast in on a flat side. I say carefully because you WILL get hurt if you slam that piece of meat down and a spritz of hot oil gets on your arms. Take it from me, oil burn scars are not cute. Brown each side of the roast for 5-8 minutes each. Try to brown it.


     Layer the vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. I like to put some of them on top of the roast for firmer vegetables. Pour the beef broth in the slow cooker and then top it off with roast. Place the cover, set the heat on low, and leave it alone for 6-8 hours. The longer the better, guys.







     All that's left is too make a big batch of mashed potatoes to soak up all the beef juice! Enjoy,
folks!

Love,

Liz