Monday, November 24, 2014

Creamy Taco Unstuffed Shells

This recipe was found on and looked so good I knew I had to try it. Believe it or not, the zucchini was in the recipe already; it’s not something I added on. The only changes I made were using a green bell pepper instead of yellow because I only had green, and I added in the cream cheese. I may or may not have been a little heavy handed with the shredded fiesta blend cheese in this. ;) I liked how it came out, and I think you will too.

So, let’s get cooking!

Start a pot of water boiling for the shell pasta, and when it’s ready, cook the pasta until al dente. When done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

While that’s going on, do up the veggies. Dice the onions, bell pepper, and zucchini.

In a large skillet, brown the meat and vegetables. The original recipe called for hamburg, but I used ground turkey, as it’s so much less expensive. I also notice how much more tender it is in the recipes I make.

Add the can of diced tomatoes and the taco seasoning and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for about ten minutes.

Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the mixture in the skillet. Stir and simmer until the cream cheese is melted.

Turn the heat off and mix in the sour cream and half of the shredded Mexican blend cheese.

Pour into a greased 11 X 15” baking dish.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350°. Pull out and sprinkle on the other half of the shredded Mexican blend cheese. Bake for another ten minutes or so, until the cheese on top is melted. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Creamy Taco Unstuffed Shells

4 c uncooked shell pasta
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 Vidalia onion
1 bell pepper
1 zucchini
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 c sour cream
1 c shredded fiesta (Mexican) blend cheese
   (I used about 1 ½ c at least!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Zucchini Pancakes

This is a recipe I made up years ago, using a basic pancake recipe and adding in what I think would be good. I like to add fruits and/or veggies to spike up the flavor and nutrition, and over the years I’ve come up with some winning combinations that my family loves. For the Zucchini Pancakes, you can add an apple, peeled and cut up into small chinks, and it works really well with the zucchini.

So, enough chitchat; let’s get cooking!

Start the griddle on the stove so it’s ready by the time you are with the batter.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. I don’t add any sugar to pancakes; you’re going to be putting syrup on top and that’s sweet enough. Also, you would normally add the spices to the dry ingredients, but I forgot and had to add them in the next step. Just pretend you see cinnamon and ground cloves in this. ;)

Grate the zucchini. I use the larger grating side. If you’re adding an apple, peel, core, and dice it now, also.

Add the eggs, oil, and milk. Those spices on the left are just a figment of your imagination. Remember you visualized them back in the first step? ;)

                                Mix the batter well with a whisk.

Add in the zucchini and blend well with the whisk.

Spray the griddle with cooking spray. Using a measuring cup or a ladle, scoop out about 1/3 cup for each pancake. I usually do three at a time on my griddle.

When the pancake starts to bubble around the edges and the edges get dry looking, you know they’re ready to be flipped.

So flip them! Don’t you just love how I order you around? ;)

When they are thoroughly cooked, you’ll see that they have puffed up and the middle of the sides of the pancake is totally dry, not still moist.

Serve with butter and syrup. Enjoy! ~TMMF

*Note: These  can be made without the oil and come out just fine. If you take out the cinnamon, ground cloves, and zucchini, you have the basic pancake recipe. This recipe makes about ten 5” pancakes.

Zucchini Pancakes

3 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
3 Tbl oil
2 c milk
1 c grated zucchini
(about 1/2 small zucchini)