So You Grew a Garden… Now What? 8

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

So maybe you were thinking that I was giving up on my garden and stopping the series since it’s been so long since I posted a recipe. But don’t worry, I am not. The sad news is that the deer have pretty much spoiled our entire “crop” of tomatoes. They ate most of the 15(!!) plants down to sticks. There are only 3 plants that are producing tomatoes and I’m not sure if they are strong enough to actually make red tomatoes but we’ll see. One of the plants is a yellow pear tomato plant and it seems to be doing the best so you can expect a recipe later this week. Next year we plan to put up a fence but for this year I guess we will just have to make do and dream of more tomatoes next year. And I guess I’ll have to buy tomatoes for the recipes I had planned for this series. The good news is that our zucchini plant is THRIVING! We came home from vacation to 4 zucchinis the size of my arm, 3 normal sized ones and a few more that will be ready to pick today or tomorrow.

With that being said, today’s recipe is for zucchini bread. And guess what. I like zucchini bread. No one is more shocked than me. I’ve been saying for 25 (almost 26) years that I do not like it but I admit that I had never tried it. This year my great friend Michelle finally forced me at gunpoint (OK the gun is an exaggeration) to try some and to my surprise I loved it. Since I was planning on posting about zucchini bread anyway it worked out pretty well. This recipe is wonderfully moist and spicy and I definitely ate half a loaf within a few hours of taking it out of the oven. So please, if you have been resisting zucchini bread your entire life, please, give this a try. You just might love it.


Zucchini Bread
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Directions

Grease and flour four mini-loaf pans or two 8X4 inch bread pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.


Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, 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.


Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took about 55 minutes but things usually take a little longer in stoneware. I don’t think that 40 minutes would be enough in a regular pan but I would start checking just to be sure it doesn’t burn. Especially if your oven runs hot. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

You may have noticed that I had no updates last week and that was because I was on vacation. I had 2 posts ready to go and expected to be able to post them while I was gone but unfortunately we didn’t have internet access because the house we were staying at had a broken router. This is one of those 2 recipes. I made it for our lunch the day before we left and it was so good.

There is a local coffee shop near my grocery store and it serves a few different types of really tasty sandwiches. My favorite has always been the buffalo chicken salad and I have been wanting to recreate it for a while now. I started by throwing some things together until I was happy with the flavor and the texture. I had to find the right balance of spicy kick and smooth, cool, creaminess. I think what I came up with is just as good if not better than the coffee shop version. It came together pretty quickly and would be great on a tortilla wrap, sandwich bread, a croissant or even just right out of the bowl. I can’t wait to make this again!

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup Light Miracle Whip (I intended to use mayonnaise but I grabbed the wrong jar and I think it was the a good mistake :))
1/4-1/3 cup Franks Red Hot
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
1/4 tsp paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of black pepper
1 celery stalk, cut into very small pieces
1-2 pickle spears cut into very small pieces
2-3 chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite size pieces

Ingredients

In a medium mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients through black pepper. Taste test along the way and add more hot sauce if you want it spicier and more blue cheese dressing if you want it creamier. When you have the right flavor add the chicken pieces, celery and pickle.

Mahi Mahi

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

I really love fish. I never thought that I would, but anymore I find myself going straight to the seafood section of the menu when I go out to eat and I am always checking the fish counter for good deals or something interesting. I typically end up buying Tilapia because it is on sale fairly often (and is always tasty!) but every once in a while something else will catch my eye. This past weekend Kroger had Mahi Mahi on sale for 4.99 a pound, usually 6.99 a pound, so I of course had to buy it. Since it was so gorgeous outside I knew that I wanted to grill it but I wasn’t sure how I was going to prepare it. I finally settled on a soy sauce marinade and it turned out absolutely delicious. I served the Mahi Mahi with summer squash and rice pilaf. Jesse’s comment was “This is a fish I could eat every night”. I took that as meaning he liked it. 🙂

Grilled Mahi Mahi
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.

After marinating for 20 minutes pour the marinade into a skillet and bring to a boil. Then turn down to a simmer and let it thicken while you grill the fish.

Grill the Mahi Mahi for 4 minutes on each side. Check for doneness.

When plating spoon the glaze over the fish and serve.

 

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Reese Whoppers

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

This past Saturday I was in the grocery store check out lane when I saw something that peeked my interest. A cute little box of Reese whoppers. I’m not usually a whopper girl but I have a hard time saying no to new twists on Reese’s. I was a pretty big fan of the inside Reese cups, the newer whipped Reese candy bar, and I’ve always loved Nutrageous bars, so I grabbed a box. I tried one and I actually really liked the combination of peanut butter and crunchy malt. But I have to admit, I was really missing the chocolate component. Then it hit me, these would be an awesome addition to ice cream. I’ve made the Chocolate Ice Cream from the Perfect Scoop before and while I really enjoyed the rich flavor, Jesse prefers a more milk chocolate ice cream so for this idea I used the milk chocolate recipe.

This ice cream recipe really is awesome. The chocolate was smooth and creamy and I absolutely loved the added crunch from the whoppers. The Reese flavor is pretty subdued so if you’re looking for a strong peanut butter punch I would add a peanut butter swirl, but if you just want a small hint then this is perfect. Basically, this was fun to make, I liked using an “unusual ingredient” and the ice cream base is AWESOME.

I also want to add that I often substitute half and half for heavy cream and 2% milk for whole milk when making ice cream. It doesn’t save a ton of calories but it does help me sleep better at night and I don’t think it’s a huge sacrifice in texture or flavor. For example, I made those substitutions in this recipe and I thought the ice creams texture was among the best I’ve ever had/made. So really, if you’re feeling frisky use heavy cream and whole milk but for less guilt go with 1/2 and 1/2 and 2% milk. Below I’m listing the recipe using my substitutions.

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Reese Whoppers
(Adapted Ice Cream Recipe from The Perfect Scoop but it was my idea to add the Reese Whoppers ;))

Ingredients

3/4 cup milk chocolate and 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped – the original recipe called for 8 ounces of milk chocolate
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup sugar
Big pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla – the original recipe called for Cognac, but we don’t have fancy things like that at my house 😉
1/2 cup Reese Whoppers, roughly chopped

Directions

Combine the chocolate and cream in a large, heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water (I can’t lie I just put it right in a saucepan over medium heat and skipped the simmering water). Stir until the chocolate is melted, then remove the bowl from the saucepan (or saucepan from heat). Set it aside with a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk chocolate mixture, add the vanilla and mix together. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the Whoppers.