September 29, 2017

Lemon Zucchini Sweet Bread

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you guys! One more way to use up some of your last zucchini and I think I've saved the best for last. This bread is incredible! The lemon flavor is out of this world and it's so dang moist thanks to the zucchini.
I debated adding the lemon glaze, which would have been a mistake because it really makes all the difference. This bread is basically cake, but we can pretend it's not and eat it all day long. I also love that it calls for olive oil, which honestly gives it such a unique flavor.
Do your family a favor and make this bread right away! And if you only have one loaf pan, the recipe is so easy to half. You're welcome! ;)

Lemon Zucchini Sweet Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups granulated sugar
Zest of 2 large lemons
3 large eggs
1 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Lemon Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8x4-inch loaf pans. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon sugar mixture, eggs, olive oil, lemon juice, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients until combined, the batter will be thick. Stir in the zucchini and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans.
5. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Place the loaves on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully remove the loaves from the pans. Let cool completely on rack.
7. While the bread is cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the loaves. Slice and serve.

September 28, 2017

Cleo Madison

Hey I get to post something a little different today that I'm excited to share with you! I've partnered with a company called Cleo Madison that sells modest and stylish clothing at affordable prices. Cleo Madison's clothing is not only cute, but it won't break the bank either! They always have free shipping on domestic orders, too, which is awesome.
As a busy mom of three, I need clothes that will cover me up since I'm constantly bending over and being tugged at. This Iceland Striped Dress does a perfect job of doing just that while still keeping me stylish. And did I mention it has pockets?? Win-win.
I love that it has a high neckline and built in sleeves, too so I don't have to worry about layering. And the best part is, when it does gets cold, it looks perfect with a cardigan.

If you're looking for some cute, new modest clothes be sure to check them out!

*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

September 23, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan: Week Five

Here's another great week's worth of meal plans to help save you time, money and stress over dinner!

Sunday: Easy Homemade Chicken Burrito Bowls

Monday: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Wednesday: Classic Margherita Pizza and salad

Thursday: Cheesy Baked Rigatoni and Oven-Roasted Broccoli

Friday: Breakfast Sausage Avocado Burritos

Saturday: Sheet Pan Lime Chicken Nachos

September 21, 2017

Thai Red Curry Chicken with Vegetables

I don't know why it's taken me so long to post this recipe, but the flavor is UNREAL. I'm all about easy chicken, rice and veggie dishes and this one does not disappoint. If you want something that comes together in 30 minutes and will become your ultimate comfort food, this is it.
The red curry paste in this dish is such a welcomed twist and I absolutely love the addition of the zucchini and red peppers. Oh man my mouth is watering just looking at these pics! Do yourself and those you love a favor and make this right away!

Thai Red Curry Chicken with Vegetables
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. chicken breasts sliced into 1/4-inch slices then 2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. red curry paste
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced then chopped into 2” pieces
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 tsp. garlic, minced
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 sweet chili sauce
4 Tbsp. less sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

cilantro and lime juice for garnish
2 cups cooked white rice, for serving

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in large nonstick pan. Add chicken and red curry paste and cook just until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
2. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, ginger and garlic to pan and sauté 5 minutes.
3. Add half of the coconut milk. Mix remaining coconut milk with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and add to skillet along with all remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the vegetables reach desired tenderness.
5. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice and serve over rice.

September 19, 2017

Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

This recipe is thanks to those pounds and pounds of tomatoes my mom dropped off last week that I couldn't let go to waste. Not only did I make this amazing salsa, but I was able to make 2 batches of this INCREDIBLE tomato sauce.
The recipe starts off by chopping and roasting all of these glorious vegetables for a couple of hours, which basically turns them into candy. Just look at them! ^^
Then you blend it all in the food processor to make this thick and flavorful tomato sauce. Don't worry that it's thicker than what you're used to, it's normal and it will taste nothing like what you've had before, which is a good thing.
This sauce is great on pasta and would be incredible as a dip for breadsticks. YUM. Also I recommend making a couple of batches because you'll want to save some for later. It's that good!

Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Makes 2 1/2 cups sauce (small one sheet pan batch)
(If you have lots of tomatoes, make multiple pans and rotate them halfway through cooking.)
2 lbs. fresh tomatoes
2 large carrots
1/2 medium onion
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6-8 Tbsp. beef broth
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried oregano
additional salt and pepper, if needed

For Roasted Garlic
1 head garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
2. Slice tomatoes in half or quarters, making them all roughly the same size. Chop carrots in half lengthwise and then into 1-2 inch pieces. Chop onion into 1-2 inch large pieces.
3. Place everything on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Arrange everything in a single layer, with tomatoes sitting skin-side down.
4. Cut top 1/3 of whole garlic head off and discard. Place garlic on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pull sides of foil up and secure. Place foil pack on baking sheet with tomatoes.
5. Roast in the oven for 2-3 hours, checking every hour, until everything is tender and tomatoes appear slightly shriveled. 
6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Place roasted vegetables in a food processor with broth. Open garlic packet and squeeze all cloves into the food processor. Pulse several times and then add herbs. Pulse again until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper, add additional broth for consistency. If desired, add a little sugar or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
7. Let cool completely and then store in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for several months.   

September 14, 2017

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Another awesome but overwhelming vegetable that grows like a weed is zucchini and I'm sure some of you have some at your house that you're needing to use.
These Double Chocolate Zucchini muffins are so soft and fluffy and have the BEST flavor. They aren't super heavy and don't taste as sweet as you'd expect, but that's what makes them so good!
The best part is my boys devoured them and they even overlooked the green specs. They were totally oblivious to the fact that they were eating a vegetable.
Make sure to make your family a batch before your zucchini is gone or goes bad sitting on your counter! You won't be disappointed.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Slightly Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Makes 24 muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners then lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. Beat butter, applesauce and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and mix to combine. Add vanilla and buttermilk then mix to combine.
3. In a separate bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips until just combined.
4. Scoop batter into liners filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tin for 3 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.

*These can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

September 13, 2017

Fresh Peach and Tomato Salsa

My mom dropped off bowls and bowls of ripened tomatoes from my parent's garden yesterday and I had to find some quick ways to use them up. I happened to have some ripe peaches sitting on my counter and some cilantro in the fridge so I decided to try this salsa out. Let's just say it was a hit!
There is so much flavor in this salsa and it's all thanks to freshly ripened ingredients. No cutting corners when it comes to fresh salsa. You have to use quality ingredients for the best taste.
If you're looking for a way to use up some tomatoes or even peaches for that matter, this salsa is for you!

Fresh Peach and Tomato Salsa
Adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen
1 lb. tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 lb. peaches, peeled and diced
1-2 small jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Transfer tomatoes, peaches, jalapeños and onion to a large bowl. Stir until mixed.
2. Add cilantro and lime juice along with salt and pepper to taste. 
3. Gently fold everything together until well mixed and enjoy with tortilla chips or on top of chicken or fish.

September 1, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies treats always reminds me of being a kid because my brother made them ALL the time. I never complained even though they were usually gone in 2 minutes. They are one treat I cannot stop eating so I rarely make them anymore.
And while I absolutely love the original recipe, I wanted to switch it up a bit and add some cinnamon to the batch. I searched for a cinnamon roll type Rice Krispies treat recipe and mostly came up short so I adapted one that I found.
These Cinnamon Roll Rice Krispies treats have all of the goodness of cinnamon rolls with half the calories and effort it takes to make them. I really don't know how you can go wrong with adding cinnamon to anything, especially dessert.

Cinnamon Roll Rice Krispie Treats
Adapted from Boys Ahoy
1 (10 oz.) bag marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows, brown sugar and cinnamon and stir continuously. Once completely melted, remove from heat and gently fold in Rice Krispies cereal.
2. Pour into a lightly-greased 9x13-inch pan and press down. Cut into squares and serve.