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Parmesan Buttered Zoodles

August 29, 2016

As I scroll through my Facebook feed I am amazed at the bounty of vegetables growing in everybody’s gardens. It is clearly harvest time. Per usual, the biggest crops seem to be tomatoes and zucchini.





Last week I shared a fresh way to use up some of your baby tomatoes, and today I want to show you a very simple zucchini side, which is – you guessed it – made of zoodles!

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I was inspired to make this the other night when I had grilled chicken on the menu. I need a quick side dish, so I turned to my trusty spiralizer. Light and buttery with a bite from the Parmesan cheese, this dish is the perfect side to any meal.

What is your favorite side dish for grilled chicken? Let me know below!

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Parmesan Buttered Zoodles

Yield: 1-2 (Can easily double, triple, etc.)

Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbls. butter
  • 2 tbls. parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used 1/4 tsp. salt)

Directions:

  1. Spiralize your zucchini. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to cut thin strips
  2. Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Coat with cooking spray (I use my Misto)
  4. Add garlic, saute about 30 seconds or until fragrant
  5. Add zoodles. Stir. Cook about 3-5 minutes, depending on desired texture. Do not overcook, or zoodles get mushy.
  6. Drain any excess liquid.
  7. Return zoodles to pan. Add butter, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Stir until evenly coated.
  8. Enjoy!

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Garlic Basil Shrimp

August 26, 2016

I was never much of a seafood person when I was younger. There are a few different reasons for this general avoidance, but probably the biggest was unfamiliarity. Growing up in the Midwest, I simply didn’t come across seafood very often. Fish? Yes. Seafood? No.

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Because of this, I’ve always been rather intimidated by preparing the stuff. There is no saving over-cooked seafood. On the other hand, I’m totally freaked out by raw fish as well. This obviously makes preparing seafood a particular challenge  for me.

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I decided the other day that I need to get over this, however, and I decided to start with shrimp. So to help ease myself into the world of cooking seafood I totally cheated and started with pre-cooked shrimp. I know, all you seafood aficionados are shaking your heads right now. Don’t hate, I’ll get to the raw stuff eventually. For this recipe, however, I started with frozen pre-cooked shrimp. Ten minutes later I had an impressive, elegant and – most importantly – delicious entree that’s beautiful enough for entertaining but simple enough for a busy weeknight.

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Do you eat a lot of seafood? What’s your favorite way to prepare it? (I need all the tips I can get!) Let me know or link up below!

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Garlic Basil Shrimp

Serves: 3-4

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs frozen pre-cooked shrimp, thawed according to package directions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (can use chicken broth if you don’t like to cook with wine)
  • 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and redpepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Ad wine and cook over over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Return shrimp to pan and toss. Cook until just heated through.
  6. Enjoy with your favorite side.

Recipe slightly adapted from Ellie Kreiger’s So Easy cookbook.

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Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

August 23, 2016

My husband just started a new job this week, and I decided to celebrate with this over-the-top-delicious ice cream cake. Congratulations, Ry!





I don’t know about you, but where I grew up Dairy Queen ice cream cake was the cake to have at every celebration. In fact, it seems that each birthday party I attended from kindergarten through middle school was accompanied by the classic “cool treat.” (Except for me; I was the odd ball who loved Angel food cake, which my mom would make special for me each year – thanks mom <3)

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I can certainly understand the appeal; the cake consists of a crunchy, fudge-y cookie center, which is sandwiched by rich chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and then topped with a sweet whipped icing. In sum, it’s an ice cream lover’s dream. (See video above)

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With food allergies on the rise, however (myself included), fewer and fewer people can indulge in a slice of this dairy heaven…until now, that is. Combine gluten free cookies and lactose free ice cream, and you’re on your way to ice cream cake bliss for everyone. In fact, if you swap the ice cream for a soy alternative, dairy-free and vegans can indulge, too. Ice cream cake for all!

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Was ice cream cake popular where you grew up? What’s your favorite celebration dessert? Let me know or link up below!

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Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

Serves: 8-10

Time: 20 minutes + 3-4 hours chill time

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt. chocolate ice cream, softened (I use Breyers Lactose Free)
  • 1.5 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened (I use Breyers Lactose Free)
  • 18 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (I use Glutino gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup hot fudge (here is a delicious dairy free alternative)
  • 3 cups whipped topping (I use light cool whip, which is dairy free. Homemade whipped cream recipe below)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line a 10-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place chocolate ice cream into pan. Smooth and even out.
  3. Crumble sandwich cookies. (See video above)
  4. Evenly sprinkle cookie crumbles over chocolate ice cream.
  5. Smooth hot fudge over the cookies. Freeze one hour.
  6. Add softened vanilla ice cream over the top of the hot fudge. Smooth and even out.
  7. Freeze an additional two-three hours or until ice cream is firm.
  8. Remove cake from spring form pan.
  9. Frost cake with whipped cream (cool whip or real whipped cream – recipe follows)
  10. Decorate as desired with sprinkles.
  11. Return to freezer until whipped cream hardens and you’re ready to serve.
  12. Remove from freezer for a few minutes before serving. Use a hot knife for the cleanest cut. Enjoy!

Whipped Cream:

Yield: Frosting for one cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint heavy cream, well chilled
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Chill both bowl and beater.
  2. Add cream and beat until frothy.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla gradually while beating.
  4. Whip until you reach a light frosting-like texture.
  5. Use immediately.

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Gluten Free Banana Muffins

August 19, 2016

You know it has been hot when the weatherman claims “a touch of fall is in the air” when discussing a forecast in the low 80s.

 

While the 80 degree temperatures may not have me convinced about the onset of fall, however, the promise of school starting in less than a week makes it a bit more real.  Daily routines fall back into place, and the morning rush out the door begins once again.



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To help ease this early scramble each morning, I often rely upon such simple grab-and-go breakfasts as overnight oats, smoothies, and these tasty banana muffins.

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Made from simple pantry ingredients, these gluten free banana muffins are perfectly sweet and full of banana flavor.  They are filled with fiber and protein from the oats and yogurt and make an easy grab-and-go breakfast as you head out the door. Pair them with a hard boiled egg for some added protein and you have a delicious breakfast to keep you going strong throughout the morning. (They’re great for an afternoon snack, too!)



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Paula’s Notes: The riper the bananas the better. Ripe = sweet.
These muffins freeze wonderfully. Just take a few out of the freezer the night before and you’re ready to go in the morning.

What’s your favorite grab-and-go breakfast? Let me know below!

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Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbls. butter, room temperature
  • 1/3-1/2 cup packed brown sugar (this will vary depending on how sweet you like your muffins and how ripe your bananas are. If your bananas don’t have a lot of brown spots, you will want to increase to 1/2 cup.)
  • 2 1/4 cup oats (gluten free, if necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender. (I use my ninja.)
  3. Blend ingredients until completely smooth (see video above).
  4. Line a muffin tin with liners or coat well with cooking spray. (I like these liners, which don’t stick to the muffins.)
  5. Distribute batter evenly amongst the 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken and Grape Skewers

August 17, 2016

Grapes were on sale the other day and – naturally- I went overboard and bought entirely too many. I couldn’t help it, they’re so sweet and refreshing. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts to use up the bounty, it seemed I was fighting a losing battle.

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To solve this “problem,” (I use the word “problem” lightly here…) I turned to some of my favorite food sites for recipe inspiration. You know what? There aren’t that many grape recipes — especially not for a main entrée. You search for strawberry recipes and the list goes on for hundreds of pages. Grapes? Not so much.




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Luckily, Ellie Krieger came through with some great ideas, which resulted in this recipe: grilled grape and chicken skewers. The grill creates a delicious caramelization of the grapes and provides the perfect balance of sweet and savory when paired with the chicken. Yum! Serve the skewers alongside this garden rice pilaf, and you’ve got a simple, healthy, yet flavor packed meal. Enjoy!




Do you have any favorite grape recipes? I’d love to know them! Let me know or link up below.

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Chicken and Grape Skewers

Yield: 4 servings

Time: Prep and cook time: 20 minutes; Marinade time: 20 minutes-6 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • 1 tbls. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 cloves miced garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 8 (10-inch) skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 20 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups grapes
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. In a large ziplock bag, mix together oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt.
  2. Add the chicken to bag, squeeze out excess air, and seal the top. Mix the marinade around the chicken.
  3. Marinade chicken in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or up to 6 hours.
  4. When ready to begin cooking, preheat grill to medium high heat.
  5. Thread chicken cubes onto the skewers, alternating with grapes.
  6. Prepare grill with cooking spray, and grill chicken until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  7. Enjoy with your favorite side.

Recipe from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy Cookbook.

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