Monday, August 29, 2016

#SRC Bonus: Lunch Lady Brownies

Today is my first day back at work after being off for the summer.
I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this, seeing as it's my 7th school in the past 10 years.  While there are no students until next week after Labour Day, I need to finish unpacking and get my head around what is to come.  For me, this is not a great thing.
What is good, however, is that there are 5 Mondays in August, and we're celebrating with a special edition of The Secret Recipe Club that's all about back to school.  What's even more fun about this reveal day is that it's cross-group, so I'm not paired with someone in my regular group A for this week.  Next week, I'll be back with my Group A on Monday's reveal.
There are so many options when you consider back to school.  Around here, it means soups that I can take for lunch, or something I can pull out of my freezer for a quick meal, or something that I can make for a hearty breakfast.  I had so much fun looking through Ashley's blog, Cheese Curd in Paradise for something that might fit one of these catagories, and I wasn't disappointed.
Ashley had a ton of things that I pinned while browsing, including these Strawberry Cream Muffins to use up the strawberries that came in my produce box this week; I also thought about this Chicken Bacon Ranch Tot Casserole because come on...all in one dish?  Sign me up!
I finally opted for a dessert that can easily be frozen, and is even nut free, so totally work-takeable (as opposed to my regular SRC choice for next week).  The name even screams school - even though I work in an elementary school and there's no cafeteria.
I present to you now a Cheese Curd in Paradise's Lunch Lady Brownies:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Breakfast: Chocolate Zucchini Chocolate Chip Waffles

After last summer's fun with my friend's waffle iron, I kept thinking I should buy one of my own.  I thought about it for a whole year (which I am wont to do), and finally picked one up on the cheap at Kohl's when J and I went to celebrate a friend's 50th birthday in Toledo.
But what to make first?  I have an absolute pile of waffle recipes pinned to my Breakfast board on Pinterest.  There's pumpkin, and snickerdoodle, and gingerbread...but I was looking for wow factor for the first waffles from the new toy.
I started searching again for something with wow factor, that would use things in my fridge.  I'm pretty sure I picked it with this recipe. Seeing as I had buttermilk leftover and a couple of zucchini from our Good Food Boxes, this was a no brainer.  Seeing as there was cocoa and chocolate chips involved, I'd found my wow factor.
Even better?  This made enough for 2 brunches the day of and more for the freezer for later.  You know, when I want a bit of a day brightener.  That can always be achieved through chocolate chips for breakfast.
I present to you now The Candid Appetite's Chocolate Zucchini Chocolate Chip Waffles:

Monday, August 8, 2016

Freezer Friendly: Walnut Zucchini Muffins

Despite the fact that as I write this we haven't been on vacation yet (Friday's coming!), I've started planning for my Back to School cooking extravaganza.
Three years ago, I discovered the genius of freezer meals.  After buying a Taste of Home freezer magazine, I tried cooking and freezing meals that would make my life easier upon my return to work.  It totally does make my life easier.  We eat at home during a stressful time with the startup of school and being away weekends for football.  I've started my lists and my inventory of the deep freeze so that we have some more healthy choices than the nearest restaurant.
To that end, I'm stocking not only dinners but breakfasts as well.  I need something that can be quick, or on the go; but not just peanut butter toast when I can't think of anything else.  My Christmas present from last year has been a help:  a Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker that we pull out maybe once a week.  I also try and stock bagels, and often have cooked breakfast sausage links so I can make quick scrambled egg wraps.  I also enjoy muffins from time to time.
My mother makes lots of different muffins that are delicious, and if you look at my index I make lots of different flavours too,  Muffins freeze well, are portable, and can use up things that are lurking in your produce drawer.
Speaking of produce, if you and I are friends on Facebook, I've been posting pictures of my Good Food Boxes this summer from The Stand in Burford.  J and I have eaten more fresh fruits and vegetables for an incredible price because of these boxes!  We've had things like this:

 Every week, there is a head of romaine lettuce, and a field tomato.  The rest is seasonal, so we've had carrots, new dug potatoes, garlic, corn, green onions, peppers of all colours, field and hot house cucumbers, green and yellow beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic scapes, red onions, and zucchini.  We've been picking up the box and then meal planning to use as much as possible from the box.
 Fruit-wise, we've had tons of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, and yellow plums.  J eats the blueberries.  The rest are left up to me.
I've been freezing what we can't eat (mainly strawberries and beans), and knowing that in winter we will have lots of things to choose from out of the excess of our bounty from the summer.

But there are many things that we get that can't be frozen.  And vegetables like zucchini need to be made into another form to be frozen.
When I saw this recipe in my Taste of Home freezer magazine, it was like it was meant to be.
I present to you now Harriet Stichter from Milford, Illinois' Walnut Zucchini Muffins:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Revenge of the Magazine Challenge: Grilled Pizza with Asparagus and Sundried Tomatoes

When we moved, one of the things we talked about was the fact that we might grill more, because the deck is off the open concept kitchen/dining room.  As opposed to our last house, where I had to walk around through the family room to the far end of the house to retrace my steps outside to get to the grill, this is just open the door and step out.
We've taken to grilling a lot.
Despite the fact that we don't often sit outside to eat because of the trains (We have 2 backyards between our deck and the tracks), we carry in things from the grill to eat at the dining room table.  And seeing as there's more to life than burgers, I'm always on the lookout for fun new things to try cooking over propane.
When we renovated the last kitchen, we discovered that you could make pizza directly on the grill.  When I saw this recipe in the June 2008 issue of Everyday Food, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  I was right.  It was worth it.  The was a fantastic change of pace on a Saturday night with a glass of cold white wine.
I present to you now from the June 2008 issue of Everyday Food, Grilled Pizza with Asparagus and Sundried Tomatoes:

Monday, August 1, 2016

SRC: Lemongrass Ginger Pancakes

It's time again for the Secret Recipe Club!  What's that, you ask?  Well, it's a group of food bloggers who are all assigned another blog from the group (in secret, hence the name) and then we all reveal on the same day at the same time.  Fun, right?  I enjoy getting my assignment every month and finding something to make from a blog that I don't know a whole lot about.
This month is no exception.  I was assigned the blog Crazed Mom, written by Nicole.  Nicole is a mom of 5 teenagers, and I am exhausted just thinking about that.  She's a writer, and she makes some delicious looking and sounding food.
I have to admit, when I started looking at her blog, I didn't get past her Breakfast offerings.  As the owner of a new waffle iron, I'm all about waffle recipes right now.  I eyed these Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, because I have ricotta needing to be used in my fridge and blueberries right now; but Nicole made these for an SRC reveal.  I also really want to make these Pumpkin Spice Latte Doughnuts, but I would need a doughnut baking pan...and I'm still playing with my waffle iron.  Then I found something that totally caught my attention.
As some of my friends on Facebook know, I was literally giving away some of my Gourmet Garden stir in paste herb tubes from past blogging events.  I love their products (just ask, and I'll tell you!), but there are some that I've never known what to do Lemongrass.  It's intimidating looking at the store, and I've never used it.  But I have 3 tubes of it in my freezer.  I saw the picture in the index with the Gourmet Garden tubes, and saw that this would use up (albeit a small amount) of my Lemongrass stash, and I was in!  Plus, the leftovers are freezable, as we start the grind towards school.  I'm starting my freezer cooking to make the fall easier.  J and I both enjoyed these for breakfast, and they'll be great out of the toaster with maple syrup this fall too,
I present to you now Crazed Mom's Lemongrass Ginger Pancakes: