Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

Labor Day weekend?  Already?  I know, right, can hardly believe it.

Luckily, just because the proverbial summer months are nearly behind us, doesn't mean grilling season is!

And, there hasn't been a zucchini recipe lately, so I didn't want to leave you hanging any longer.

These Grilled Stuffed Zucchini were at least as good as leftovers, so don't be afraid to make extra!

Started by browning a family pack of 2.25 # of ground beef...

Is it just me or has ground beef gotten a bit pricely lately? 
I always remind myself that you often get what you pay I ante up!

Upon draining, where I often use a paper towel to help soak up some of the extra grease, 
season with 1-2 tsp of Italian seasoning

Back in the pan, add a 24 oz jar of pasta sauce.

As always, don't be afraid to use up any extras in the fridge.
They can go right in too!

While the filling is simmering a bit, the zucchini can be prepared by slicing in half
and coring out the seeds with a spoon, making room for the filling.

Three zucchini were required to use up all of the filling.  

Stuff those zucchini and throw them on the grill. 

Since these were made, I have read that the zucchini could be pre-grilled 
to eliminate some of the abundant moisture in these squash.  
Next time, I might just do that.

After about 20 minutes for these large zucchini, (less for smaller zucchini)
they were sprinkled with shredded mozzarella as the finishing touch. 

Now, don't delay, make these today! 


2.25 # of ground beef
1-2 tsp of Italian seasoning
24 oz jar of pasta sauce
3 zucchini 
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Parmesan - optional

Brown meat, drain and sprinkle with seasoning. 
Add sauce and simmer while coring out the zucchini. 
Fill zucchini and grill over medium high heat for 20 minutes or until zucchini get soft. 
Top with shredded mozzarella, grill until melted. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Harvest Shrimp Stir Fry

"One day at a time"

That is my mantra these days as I attempt to savor the last days of the best summer of my life, home with my kids, making a lifelong dream come true.

One day at a time, I remind myself, when I get caught up in everything that needs to be done for back to school.

One day at a time, when I look at my Summer 2014 list and see unchecked items.

Just trying to savor the fleeting moments with the kids, playing games, cleaning rooms and enjoying each others company.

While I'm so busy cherishing each moment, I also failed to plan a meal or grocery list.

Jerry asked me what was for dinner last night and I said that I had nothing planned.  He may have a bit surprised by that…I've always got a plan!

I simply stated that there was some shrimp in the freezer that could be thawed.

After the shrimp, I contemplated what else I had to go with it and the obvious zucchini and tomatoes came to mind.

And, that is how last night's Summer Harvest Shrimp Stir Fry dinner came about.

Stir fries are fast, fresh and easy…we should all make them more.  

As I was pulling this meal together, these are the ingredients I brought to the table.  

By all means, if this is too complicated, 
there are plenty of good sauces that take care of many of the details for you.  

Start with the fixing of any good meal…1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tbsp minced garlic.

Sautee over medium heat. 

Add 1# of shrimp

I always buy uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp so that they are ready to go, once thawed.

While the shrimp were cooking, 
my youngest helper was chopping up the zucchini and cherry tomatoes. 

I can't say enough about having the kids help me in the kitchen! 
Warms my heart to share my love of cooking and that they actually want to help. 

As the shrimp turn pink and opaque, they are approaching done status.  

Then, they were then set aside to give the veggies their turn!

About 2 zucchini were sliced up 
and added to the pan, with enough butter, garlic and olive oil left for cooking. 

Maybe next time I'd do chunks, or at least cut this big slices in half. 

One cup of halved cherry tomatoes and one cup of sweet corn were added.  

We are still waiting on our sweet corn from the garden, so this had to come from the freezer…

Toss it all together, season with some fresh ground black pepper and salt.

Add back the shrimp. 

Finished touches were the juice from half of a lemon, 3 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp honey
for a heavenly flavor combination. 

All of this fresh, healthy deliciousness was cooked up in less than 30 minutes
and fed to my kids before heading out to practice.  


1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1# of shrimp
2 zucchini - sliced
1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup of sweet corn
Fresh ground black pepper and salt - to taste
Juice from half of a lemon
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
Crushed Red Pepper - optional

Sautee minced garlic in butter and olive oil over medium heat. 
Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque. Then, set aside. 
Add zucchini, tomatoes and sweet corn to pan for quick cooking. 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper according to your taste. 
Return shrimp to pan, add lemon juice, soy sauce and honey. 
Stir it all up to combine flavors. 
Serve and top with crushed red pepper for additional heat.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grilled Buffalo Wings - gluten free

Not even sure where to start with these wings.  They were so good, so easy and so delicious!

Just the gluten-free wing recipe I have been waiting for!

This might be the first time I've made wings, avoiding them out fear of complexity but these are so easy and guy-approved that I anticipate them being requested frequently in my house, except they will be asking for more!

And, here are the few, simple ingredients that it took to make these fabulous, gluten free
Grilled Buffalo Wings!

To start nearly 2.5# of wings, lay them out on a well-sprayed sheet of foil on a pre-heated grill.
400 F is the ideal temp, but these turned out just fine a little lower than that.

Grill for about 20 minutes, turning once. 

While the wings were getting started, 
1/4 of Franks Red Hot Sauce and 1 tsp garlic powder were added to 1 cup of mayonnaise 
to make the perfect grilling sauce. 

Reserving about a cup of the Buffalo Sauce,
 the rest of it was brushed on the wings that were grilling away. 

See how lovely that sauce cooks down!  
I was quite pleased

After 5 minutes or so, the wings were flipped 
and the other side was sauced for the last 5 minutes. 

The great thing about these wings, sauced and on foil, was that they weren't likely to dry out
in the event that they were overcooked. 

The skin, the sauce, the foil all were protecting the moisture of the wings! 

While the wings were finishing up, 
about 1/2 cup of ranch dressing was added to the reserved buffalo sauce to serve with the wings.  

These wings were stacked on a plate and devoured in no time!

I know next time I'll be making a double batch. 

2.5# of chicken wings
1/4 of Franks Red Hot Sauce
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 cup of mayonnaise 
1/2 cup of ranch dressing

Preheat grill to 400F. 
Line grill with aluminum foil and spray generously. 
Lay out wings, cook for 20 minutes, turning once. 
  • Make sauce by combining mayo, hot sauce and garlic powder. Reserve half for serving.

After 20 minutes, brush with buffalo sauce and grill for another 5 minutes. 
Flip and slather the buffalo sauce to the other side. 
Grill for 5 more minutes, until fully cooked.
  • Add ranch dressing to the reserved buffalo sauce for dipping.

Serve 'em up and assure your wing-lovers that you'll be making more!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Almond Joy Caramel Bars

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you because it is a rare one where through the process, it evolved from something already very good to utterly amazing!

While baking last week, early one more whilst the kids were still asleep, I found myself short on butter.

Yep, you can see in the picture below there is hardly enough there to make anything tasty.

So, after all of the hullabaloo about coconut oil, I decided that I would try using that in the recipe in place of the butter I was short.

Not only is it good for you, it has similar properties to butter, as it is solidifies when chilled, as opposed to so many other oils which may get cloudy, but won't solidify.  So, I thought, what the heck!?!

Little did I know, these caramel bars would take on a whole new dimension with this awesome hint of coconut.

Let me present to you Almond Joy Caramel Bars.

These are the ingredients that I gathered from my pantry before starting the bars.  One last minute addition was some cocoa powder.  

Into a mixing bowl the following ingredients were measured and combined…1 cup flour, 1 cup oatmeal, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt

Approximately 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup coconut oil were measured. 

Since there are not quite as many solids in coconut oil as butter, I did cut back on the total amount or the baked goods would not have the right texture. 

Mix the butter/coconut oil blend with the dry ingredients until the fats are fully dispersed 
and the mix is crumbly. 

Scoop 2 cups of the mixture into a sprayed 9x13 pan.

Pat the mixture to form a crust.
Then, pop it into a 350F oven for 8 minutes. 

While the first layer of bars are baking, 
melt the 1 1/2 cups (11 oz bag) of caramels along with 
1/3 cup whole milk over medium low to low heat.  

Stir the caramels often and be patient as scorched caramel will be brittle when cooled

This is by far the most tedious part.  

When completely melted, pour the caramel over the baked bottom portion
and sprinkle with 1 cup chocolate chips

Sprinkle the remaining dry mix over the caramel and gently pat down. 
Return to the oven to bake for 12 minutes. 

Cut the bars while they are still warm. 

Now, hide them unless you want them devoured immediately!


1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups (11 oz bag) of caramels
1/3 cup whole milk 
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. 
Measure first 6 ingredients into mixing bowl. 
Mix in the butter and coconut oil. 
Once will combined, add 2 cups of mix to sprayed 9x13 pan. 
Press down and bake for 8 minutes.
Melt caramels and whole milk over low heat. 
Pour over baked bars and sprinkle with chocolate chips before topping with remaining mix.
Pat down the topping and bake for additional 12 minutes. 
Cut while warm. 

**See how long you can make them last.**

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Potsticker Burger and Asian Slaw

Being the huge fans of potstickers that my family is, I wanted to try to come up with a recipe so that we could enjoy all, well, at least most, of the flavors and textures of these Chinese delights, without the gluten...

After a little brainstorming and research, came up with all of the ingredients to put together a burger reminiscent of the delicious filling of a potsticker, which turned out to be a nice little Asian meal.

I'm thankful for the way that kitchen staples can be assembled with different combinations to come up with so many varieties of flavor profiles. 

The possibilities are endless!

The burger started with 1# of ground pork, added to it was 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1/2 inch of fresh grated ginger, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1 sliced green onion, which was about 3 tbsp, 1 egg, 1 cup of shredded cabbage and topped with salt, to taste. 

All those goodies were combined by hand and roughly quartered for the patty-making process. 

Four burgers of approximately the same size were placed in a pre-heated grill pan 
for cooking over medium heat. 

When grilling or cooking most meats, 
I always error on the side of turning less often rather than more often. 

That helps to get those nice, caramelized, grill marks which are great texture.
And, helps trap the juices inside!

These were grilled for at least 5 minutes on each side before flipping.
Flip as often as necessary to cook fully, just not too soon.  

While the burgers were cooking, a nice little Asian slaw was whipped up. 

This started with 3 cup of shredded cabbage, 2 tsp of minced garlic were added as well as another 1/2 in of freshly grated ginger, another green onion and seasoned with salt to taste.

The dressing consisted of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 tbsp sesame oil finished with 1/4 cup sliced almonds for added texture.

**Just can't get enough texture!**

Top these potsticker burgers with some of this Asian slaw, serve with your favorite potsticker sauce
and you won't even miss the wontons!



1# of ground pork
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 inch of fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 sliced green onion (which was about 3 tbsp)
1 egg
1 cup of shredded cabbage 
Salt, to taste

Asian Slaw:
3 cup of shredded cabbage
2 tsp of minced garlic
1/2 in of freshly grated ginger
Green Onion - sliced
Salt -  to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp on sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Combine burger ingredients well and divide into 4 even patties. 
Grill over medium heat for at least 5 minutes/side before flipping. 

While burgers are cooking, combine the slaw ingredients. 

Serve burgers with slaw and your favorite potsticker sauce.