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Potato and Zucchini Gratin

2 Aug

I don’t know about you, but I seem to have zucchini growing out my ears right about now!  It seems that I’m always trying to find new ways to cook this up.  I found this awesome recipe on the food network site and decided to try it.  I added sliced red potato to the mixture and I think mushrooms would be fabulous in it too.


6 T unsalted butter

1 pound yellow onions, sliced

2 pounds zucchini, sliced

1 pound red potatoes, sliced

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 T all purpose flour

1 cup hot milk

3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

3/4 cup grated Gruyere


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt the butter and saute the vegetables in a large saucepan.  I started with the onions and potatoes and added the zucchini about 10 minutes later.  Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the flour and then add the hot milk until it makes a sauce.  Add a little bit of the gruyere.  Pour the mixture into a large baking dish.  Combine the gruyere and bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of the vegetables.  Dot with 1 T butter cut into small bits.  Bake for about 20 minutes until bubbly.  Try not to eat the whole dish in one sitting (it’s that good!).


Veggie and Noodle Stir Fry

26 May

I love clipping the recipes out of “Parents” magazine.  Most of them have been really good!  This one is no exception.  I really loved this yummy way to “beef” up the veggies in our dinner!


2 Zucchini

4 tsp sesame oil

1 onion

1 tsp grated ginger

1 clove garlic

1 cup green beans

1 T soy sauce (or Yoshidas–yum)

3 cups cooked Chinese eegg noodles or linguini


Saute onion in sesame oil.  Chop zucchini into long, think sticks.  Add ginger, garlic, zucchini and green beans to sauteed onion.  Cook 3-4 minutes.  Mix in 1 T soy sauce (or Yoshidas–which is my favorite and I usually put a bit more than a T) and toss in the linguini.  This is such a simple meal, but it is so yummy and it made me realize that I actually like zucchini!

Pesto, Tomato and Rice Soup

26 May

I made this in my crock pot and it turned out great.  I also used my immersion blender and fell in love with it all over again 🙂  Enjoy!


1 cup chopped onions (2 medium)

1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)

3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped ( 1 1/2 cups)

1 14 1/2 ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 cups water

1 14 ounce can chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups cooked rice or quinoa

1/2 cup pesto

parmesan cheese (for top)


In your crockpot combine all the ingredients except for rice, pesto and cheese.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or high for 4-5).  Turn off cooker and use your immersion blender to blend it all together (if you want this creamier, you could add some milk or cream after it’s blended). Stir in the rice/quinoa and pesto and ladel into soup bowls.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.  This is really yummy and a pretty healthy dinner for you too.  I’ll be making it again come fall/winter!

Cheesy Broccoli & Potato Soup

26 May

My immersion blender is one of my best friends…along with my food processor (LOVE IT), Kitchen Aid, etc…  I love the immersion blender, especially for making soups.  You can make some really creamy soups without even adding cream!  It’s fabulous.  This is one of those soups.  It’s really just veggies and a bit of cheese.  I’m sure that kids would eat this up and I will definitely be making it again!


2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 onion chopped

1 medium potato, peeled and diced into pieces

3 cups broccoli, chopped

3 cups low-salt vegetable or chicken stock (I used chicken bouilon cubes with water)

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


Heat oil and saute the onion for 5 to 7 minutes in a large stockpot.  Add the potatoes, broccoli and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for 12-15 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes are tender.  Remove from the stove and use your immersion blender (or pour into a blender) to puree the soup.  Add the cheese during this process reserving a little for the top.  Ladle into bowls, add a little cheese on top and enjoy!

Serves about 4.

Broccoli Soup

13 Oct

This is a really yummy soup that I like to make every so often during the winter. It’s one of the ways that I can get my hubby to eat broccoli and like it! I love this creamy soup too!

Fresh or frozen broccoli (I fill up my big cooking pot a little over halfway)
1 or 2 packagse golden onion soup mix (depends on your taste)
White sauce (butter, flour, milk)

Cook the broccoli in your big soup pot with water. Drain the water and mash the broccoli down. Add the golden onion soup mix and 2 cups of water. While you’re doing this, make the white sauce. Use about 6 T butter and 1/3-1/2 cup flour. It should make a roux. Then add your milk to the sauce (about 4 cups). Stir the mixture over medium heat until it thickens up and then add it to the soup. Sometimes I use a bit of half and half instead of just milk to make it a bit creamier. Combine all the ingredients in your soup pot and serve. Yum, yum!

When I just recently made this, I also added potato to the soup and I really liked it. It made it a bit heartier and had good flavor. I just cut up the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, boiled them and then added them to the soup when they were soft enough. Yummy!

Carrot Casserole

12 Oct

This recipe has been in my family ever since I can remember. We ALWAYS have it for Thanksgiving dinner (and sometimes Christmas) and it is one of my favorites 🙂 I like the sauce better with my mashed potatoes than I do gravy–it’s that good! It’s also not a “traditional” casserole, but boy is it yummy!

6 cups carrots (baby or cut up)
1 finely chopped green pepper
1 medium onion
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T mustard
1 can tomato soup

Cook the carrots in salted water, drain and set aside. Combine all the other ingredients in a saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the cooked carrots and heat!

It is really a simple recipe and OH SO GOOD! I love these carrots and can’t wait to have them at Thanksgiving next mont

Lasagna Rolls

7 Oct

This is really a fabulously yummy recipe. Mmm…if you like creamy, yummy pasta, this is one from you. I got it off Food Network from Giada De Laurentiis.

Bechamel Sauce
2 T butter
4 tsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk (I used half whipped cream, half skim milk–which was what I had on hand).
pinch of nutmeg

1 container ricotta cheese (15-ounce)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups pasta sauce (red sauce)
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Make the bechamel sauce in a saucepan by melting the butter and whisking the flour in. Then whisk in the milk, a bit of salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg (yum)!!! Whisk on medium-high until thick and smooth and then pour on the bottom of your lasagna pan to cover the whole pan.

Next cook the lasagna noodles. While they are cooking mix together the ricotta, parmesan and an egg. Once the pasta is finished cooking pull them out and spread about 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture along one of the noodles. Then roll up the noodle like a jelly roll and set it on top of the bechamel sauce. Continue this with all of the noodles. Pour the red sauce over the noodle rolls and top with mozzarella and a little bit of parmesan.

Bake at 450 degrees, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 15 more minutes until bubbly. Serve with some extra pasta sauce on the side.

This was very yummy. I didn’t have spinach or prosciutto as the original recipe called for, so I used a ground turkey meat red sauce. I would have loved to put the spinach in with the ricotta mixture, but I didn’t have any when I was making it. I also liked adding shredded vegetables to the ricota mixture too.  Regardless, this was a fabulous dish and I would definitely make it again! Yum, yum!