Thursday, August 13, 2020

Nutty Zucchini Bread

 Hey ya'll!!!!  Everyone doing ok in the midst of our world crisis?  You are all constantly in my prayers for your health and safety.  Speaking of health.....

Someone gave me zucchini.  It is a fear of mine EVERY. SINGLE. SUMMER.  It is 3rd on my list of "omgosh what if they share" only to squash and eggplant.  I have tried, I HAD to as a kid, as an adult,my answer is "just say no".  Don't try to hide it, puree it (looking for the puking emoji) or attempt to pass it off in any other creative fashion.  So my husband comes home with said zucchini and if you know how much I refuse to waste food, I pondered.  I pondered and I thought.  I pondered and I thought and I puked in my mouth.  I pondered, I thought, I puked in my mouth and I got myself together.  There has to be a way to use this. I left it on the counter for DAYS.  Now I do have a slight fair for the dramatic.  I got that from my husband and mom.  2 days ago my husband asked me if I had decided what to do with it and I said I had not, but whatever I DID make, he was eating it too!

We decided on bread.  We decided on bread that I had gotten a recipe for from my sister who I swear can make anything into a "bread".  We tried it.  It wasn't horrible but I needed more, I wanted to really not notice the zucchini.  I made it again....we like it, we ate it, we even put one in the freezer for later because we wanted to SAVE IT!  Whaaaaaaaat?  I KNOW!

I also filmed a video which will be linked somewhere here!  If you have not subscribed to my channel on YouTube, please do!  I don't just cook there, I do a little of this, a little of that, etc.  Let's get to baking!

You Will Need:

2.5 cups grated zucchini

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup walnut pieces or any other nut of your choice (lol)

Preheat your oven to 325 F,  This will make 2 loaves of bread.  Spray both loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.  Set them aside.

Mix all ingredients except nuts and flour.  When it is mixed completely add in the flour and nuts.  Mix until just combined!

Divide into 2 loaes and bake for 60-75 minutes!  Let cool completely, and enjoy!  Zucchini bread that doesn't taste like zucchini!




Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Sonic CopyCat Recipe for Ocean Water!

Hello, Hello!

It has been awhile guys!  The world is such a strange place right now isn't it? Even a little scary at time.  My household has been a little strange as well.  Lots of random things happening and going on, but what doesn't kill us makes us STRONGER right??

I will tell you one thing that hasn't changed, and that is my favorite refreshing summer drink or treat.  Ocean Water from Sonic Drive In.  My husband got one a few years back and kept trying to get me to try it, but as a creature of habit, "No Thanks Honey" I will stick to my cherry limeade.  

I have to be completely honest here.  I finally tried ti, just to shut him up.  I am not a huge coconut fan, and honestly, I just wasn't in the mood to change my favorite, just in case.  I tried it and I haven't had a cherry limeade in years!  I don't understand it, but who cares, I can have it anytime I want now.  If you groove on diet soda, go for it.  I think even flavored sparkling water may work for this!

You Will Need:
12 oz of Lemon Lime Soda
1.5-2 tsp coconut extract
Blue Liquid Food Coloring

First things first, which I think are very important.  Make sure your soda is ICE COLD.  Make sure your glass is FILLED with ice.  The rest is all dump and stir!  Start with less coconut extract and add more according to your taste.  When I say this is refreshing, I am serious!  It is  CRAZY! Seriously.....

I hope you give this a try, and I hope I can stop drinking them.  Pray for me.

Sending my love and gratitude....

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cheesy Chicken Rice Pressure Cooking!

Evening friends!  I hope this finds everyone well, sane, and keeping up the health precautions recommended.  I pray nothing but the best for you all!

As you may or may not know from my last post, I got a Crock Pot, Multi-Cooker for Mother's Day!  YASSSSS!  Seriously!!  I was never going to jump on this pressure cooking bandwagon and I did good for 3 or 4 years, but....I WAAAAAAANTED one!

I wanted to create a recipe that was quarantine friendly.  Pantry and freezer staples that I thought you might already have on hand.  I tried a recipe from a blog I will not name and was a mess.  A MESS.  I did some tweaking, changed ingredients and measurements and it was delish..  I made it again, for this video and post and it was AMAZING!  My grand-babies went nuts for it, my husband AND myself.  That being said, with 5 people eating we still had half left.  It makes a good size batch but leftovers are da bomb!

Let's make this one short and sweet so I can get this out to you and figure out the next pressure cooker experiment!  Sorry I am late to the Instapot/Multi-cooker/Pressure Cooking life, but I am officially here for it now!

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1T butter
1T oil (veg or olive)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups long grain rice (NOT instant)
1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup

Set your pot on saute.  Melt butter and oil.  Add in chicken and stir while it gets some color.  Add in salt and pepper.  There is no need to cook chicken all the way through.  Just get it browned up a bit and then add chicken broth, and rice.  Stir.  Place lid on pressure cooker, lock, and make sure your steam valve is CLOSED.   Using your MANUAL button or the button assigned to that function, adjust time to 6 minutes.  Now we wait!

When it is done and has come down from pressure, remove lid away from you and add in soup and cheese.  Stir completely and eat dinner!  We ate this with a big huge salad and it was perfect!
Remember leftovers rock and so do second day leftovers!

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Oh and YES  you can use boneless skinless thighs!


Friday, May 15, 2020

The Best Pot Roast!

Hey friends!  Been awhile, I know.  It kind of feels like I start everything out that way these days.  I am so ashamed.

HOWEVER, something major has happened.  I finally gave in to the "pressure cooker", multicooker, contraption you all have been loving for years now.  I wasn't going to give in, I just didn't see the point.  My husband got me an Instapot for Christmas and I exchanged it for an air-fryer (2 years ago).  Well for Mother's Day he got me the Crock Pot Multicooker, and I melted.   I was so excited.  I just finally wanted one.

Now if you are older like myself, you remember your mom canning in a huge, heavy, terrifying looking pressure cooker.  You thought it would explode and take out an entire neighborhood.  I can remember her watching the little do-dad and making sure it manually came to the correct temp and having to regulate it by burner temp and ack, it was way to intimidating to ever make me want to can anything or use one in any capacity!

Well, now, I am a new woman and t is a new day.  I made my pot roast with the pressure cooking setting and holy smokes my friends.  I mean I know it is almost summer and most aren't making pot roast but to me there is no season for whatever you are hungry for.  It could be 180 degrees and I could have a pot of soup on the stove.  I have been so hungry for pot roast, I couldn't stand it, and what better first meal to make with my new multi-cooker?!

Without further delay, let's get into this.  NOW, if you want to use a regular crockpot, wait for 150 hours for it to be done, etc.....go for it.  7-8 hours if you want it falling apart.  We prefer to be able to slice the beef and not have it be mushy like baby food meat.  Just sayin....
So if you want a plate that looks like this.....follow me kids....follow me.

You will need:
2.5 (ish) lb roast  (Use whatever cut you want, I use bottom round roast because I like how it keep me able to slice it)
2 T butter
Potatoes, carrots, celery, onions.
   I used potatoes I had that needed used, probably 6 baby golds, and I cut up 2 russets.  I used about 5 carrots that were small and I keep whole.  4 stalks of celery and cut up an onion if you so desire.  My husband hates onions so I rarely have them on hand.

1 lg, or 2 small brown gravy mixes.  You want it to yield 2 cups of brown gravy
2 cups beef stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning


Ok, prep your veggies.  I thawed my roast out as well.  Set your pressure cooker to saute and add butter. Place your roast into the pot and let it brown on both sides.  Get some good color on that baby!  Color means flavor.  Also, salt and pepper each side of the meat!

Now, in a container combine, beef stock, gravy packet(s), onion powder, poultry seasoning, Worchestershire, and pepper to taste.  Whisk it together and pour over roast.  Add veggies to the top and sprinkle a little bit of salt, your potatoes NEED salt!

Place your lid on, lock it as per your pots directions, close the vent and for mine, I hit the meat button.  I do natural release as well.  If you have a larger roast you may want to manually set it for 45-55 minutes.

When the pressure has released remove meat and veggies, Turn pot back to saute. Make a cornstarch slurry, 2 tbsp water and 2 heaping tbsp cornstarch, mix until smooth and add to pot to thicken your gravy.  Oh you guys, this kind of perfection can't be explained.  This is how I have made my pot roast for years, but in the pressure cooking world, it is about 2 levels better than amazing.  You can slice your meat and add it back to the gravy or just let everyone add their own.

Here is a video from my YouTube channel!  Make sure to subscribe while you are there!

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you give it a try, regardless of in a crockpot or your Instapot or Multi-cooker!


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Georgia Cracker Bars

Good afternoon and happy Friday!  In a perfect world Friday would be the end of everyone's work week right?  Some of us have to wait until Sunday and Monday to celebrate weekend time!  The good news is, I have a recipe to share from a friend, that is going to be easy and quick enough to make ANYTIME, weekend or not!

These Georgia Cracker Bars are a recipe I got from a friend.  We collaborated on our YouTube channels, picked a recipe from each others cooking playlist and made it to see what we thought!  I picked this one, and OH am I glad I did.  This will become a an absolute go to for family dinners, parties, potlucks, or anytime I need or want a quick dessert that will send my guests over the moon!  These bars definitely put GEORGIA on my mind!

Thank you Stacie for this awesome recipe. Click this link to get to her channel! I am so glad your momma made it for you!  I love family recipes, and to be honest, my family may adopt it now!

Here is what you will need:

1 box (3 packs) graham crackers  2 left whole and 1 crushed up)
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened coconut, flakes or shredded
1 pack of crushed graham crackers
1 T vanilla extract

Line a 9x13 cake pan with one layer of graham crackers.  Leave them whole, it will take the entire package, or almost.  Now in a saucepan add, butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk with the egg beaten in it, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  STIR CONSTANTLY!  After it begins to boil let it boil for 2 minutes, while continuing to stir.  Bring it off the heat and add in pecans, coconut, crushed graham crackers and vanilla.  Combine thoroughly.  Pour over graham crackers and spread out evenly.  Now use the last package of graham crackers to top the filling.  (see video)

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 T evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Whisk to combine all ingredients into a smooth icing.  Spread over the last layer of graham crackers.
I refrigerated mine for 1 hour.  Perfectly slices into bars and WOW are they good!


Friday, March 6, 2020

Chicken Crust Pizza

Good Morning!  

It feels so much like Spring!  It is so uplifting!  I hope this finds you all well, happy and healthy!  Speaking of healthy, I know lots of you are on the Keto way of life.  My good friend Nacine is as well and this recipe is a knock off of something she made.  This is incredible and if you DO eat carbs, maybe add it to a toasted roll and eat it as a sandwich or eat leftovers on a sandwich!  Way to turn THAT train around eh Chris?!

Here is the thing about this recipe.  It is so subjective.  You use what you like.  In the video which is linked below, you can see what I used.  Pepperoni, meatballs, mushrooms, pizza sauce, 2 cheeses.  If my husband wasn't eating I would have added bell pepper as well!  Whatever pizza toppings you enjoy is what you should use.  The amount you will need completely depends on how many people you are feeding.  Either split your chicken breasts in half thickness and you can pound them out a little thinner, or cut them in half thickness wise and leave them.  You can also purchase thin sliced chicken breasts.  I mean, the world is your sandwich, just do what you like!

  Here are the ingredients you definitely need, I will add options last and I made 6!

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thin (resulted in 6 pizzas)
3/4 cup Pizza Sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice

I also used:

Other options:
Browned Italian sausage, ham, ground beef, etc.
Onions, olives bell peppers, spinach, fresh sliced tomatoes, etc.

Brown your chicken breasts in olive oil after seasoning them with salt, pepper and pizza seasoning.  Here is the recipe for my homemade pizza seasoning which is what I used.  Pizza Seasoning  They do not HAVE to be done all the way through as you will be putting the in the oven for about 20 minutes.  When they are browned, place them on a baking sheet.  Proceed to add toppings to each one just as you would a pizza.  Place in a 375 oven for 15-20 minutes until melty and a little browned, bubbly and SCRUMPTIOUS!  Serve with a big green salad and OOF!  Yum!

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  If you make them, make sure to tag me on Instagram @ftchefwannabe!  I would love to see them!

As always.......


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Best Waffle Mix!

That's right!  It is!  I had some requests for this one night when I was making waffles for dinner before a live stream on YouTube.   I am just posting them now because I got my first waffle maker last year for my birthday whic is in 2 days!  If you are wondering, YES, I asked for one!  A nice one!  I am that woman that loves getting household things.  I bought a new carpet cleaner yesterday and told my husband it could just be my birthday gift.  He was like....."Um, NO".  "WHY?", I asked.  He informed me that when I get mad at him I will completely turn it around to sound something like this, "SERIOUSLY GEORGE?  IS THIS THE SAME MAN WHO BELIEVED ME WHEN i SAID THE CARPET CLEANER COULD BE MY BIRTHDAY GIFT"?!

Hehehe......I would NEVER!  It is like he doesn't even KNOW me anymore.
I need to grab I bottle of water, I am feeling unable to stomach my own truth.  Brb

Ok, so seriously, I do like getting nice things for my house, my kitchen....I am grateful for it all!

Here is this super easy recipe.  I make a super mega batch because one batch makes 3 waffles if you are lucky.  Full disclosure, I took this recipe from the recipe book that came with the waffle maker.  I made it once, and just changed a few things for the kind of waffle consistency and lightness I wanted.  This includes the additions to the dry mix and the wet part of the mix when making the batter.  Always remember to store in an AIR TIGHT container.  Add chocolate chips, nutella, berries, whatever you and your loved ones enjoy!  The fun part is everyone can have something different with basically no added effort and your kids, grandchildren, etc....will think you are a rock star for it!

Here we go!

Dry Waffle Mix:
6 cups all purpose flour
4 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar

Mix to combine and store in air tight container!

Here is the full batter recipe.

3 cups dry waffle mix
8 T melted butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Mix thoroughly until combined.  Follow the manufacturers directions on your waffle maker!

The possibilites are endless!