Thursday, August 31, 2017

Paula Deen's Moist Zucchini Bread {New Recipe}


Can we even believe summer is coming to an end already????

Having a farmer's market baked goods stand in the summertime, I try a lot of quick bread recipes.  I have an awesome Zippy Zucchini Pineapple Bread recipe that I love...the pineapple adds moisture, you don't really taste it. 

I also make a Chocolate Zucchini Bread using my 'regular' zucchini bread recipe and substituting 1/2 c. baking cocoa to replace all purpose flour. It's really good too.  

Other times I use the 'regular' bread recipe and toss in a few chocolate chips.
It's all good!

It seems I've gotten more requests than usual for zucchini bread this summer, so when I tasted this fabulous bread at my S-I-Love's (Thanks Vicki!) I HAD to have the recipe.  It's moist straight from the oven! And I mean moist...

ALL THE WAY THROUGH! Without being frozen.  I do think quick breads gain moisture when frozen, but this one is moist from the start! 

SO here you go....hope you'll enjoy using up the abundance of fresh zucchini this summer to make this irresistible bread. 

It does freeze well, so if you know you have company coming in a few weeks, go ahead and make it now. They will sing your praises either way!


3-1/4 c. all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
2 tsp. baking soda
2-1/2 c. sugar (may use half brown sugar)
(original recipe calls for 3 c.)
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. water
2 c. grated zucchini
1 tsp. lemon (or orange) juice
1 c. chopped nuts, optional 

Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 2 standard loaf pans with non stick cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice; add to flour mixture and beat until blended.  Fold in nuts. Bake about 45 - 50 minutes or until tester comes out (mostly) clean. 

You can also bake in 5 smaller (mini) loaf pans for about 33 - 36 minutes. 

Cool about 10 minutes; remove from pan. Allow to cool on rack. 

Wrap in saran wrap and place in a ziploc freezer bag to keep in freezer. 

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Flashback Friday - Fabulous Fruity Salads

So glad you're here...hope you will try these simple, fruity dishes soon!

This dish is mixed up in minutes, using canned fruit and instant pudding.
SOOO good! 

Easy Fruit Salad (Sugar Free Option)

This lovely and crunchy salad has such a flavor blast with craisins, celery, apple chunks and nuts! 

Ready in minutes, this tasty fruity dip is wonderful served with fruit, vanilla wafers or angel food cake cubes. Sugar free option! (You'll be the only one who knows it's not full of sugar!) 

Enjoy these 'dressed up' grapes as a salad or dessert...oh so creamy and delicious. Keeps well in the fridge too, so can be made ahead. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Leader Enterprise - August 16, 2017 - Tips for Easy Meals

As you all know by now - I love simple and easy recipes.  I've been thinking about my third cookbook, FORK FAVORITES, that's recently been delivered to my door, and decided I should share some suggestions for making quick, easy meals. Even if you are just learning to cook, these ideas can help save you some time when you want to get a meal on the table quickly. 

1. Always read through a new recipe before starting. It's too tough to adjust mid-way through it. Check the size baking dish needed and the oven temperature. 

2. I like to get all my ingredients out on the counter, then place them in a different spot as I use them.  That way, if the phone rings and I forget what I was doing, I know where to begin again. In order to avoid confusion, I think it's easiest to add ingredients as listed in the recipe. 

3. We keep cleaned and cut up veggies on hand in the fridge. They're great for snacking. If your recipe calls for chopped onions, celery and/or carrots, chop them ahead of time. You can even freeze this combo. That's one less step you have to do when throwing your meal together. You don't have to do a week's worth of prep at once. Anything you can do ahead will help when mealtime rolls around. 

4. Keep cooked chicken and beef on hand in the freezer. Feel free to season your meat with taco seasoning, ranch dressing or whatever your family prefers. 

Here's a great recipe for preparing cooked chicken for the freezer, along with ideas how to use it.  


5 frozen chicken breasts
1 (16 ozs) jar salsa or picante sauce (your favorite) 
1 (1 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix (= to 3 Tb.)
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. cilantro
1/2# (more or less) Velveeta cheese, chunked
(cheddar or pepper jack would be great too) 
taco shells or tortilla chips
GARNISHES: chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, chopped green onion, sour cream and/or guacamole 

Spray 4-qt. crockpot with nonstick cooking spray.  Lay chicken breasts (still frozen!) in the bottom; cover with salsa or picante, then sprinkle taco seasoning over top.  Cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or low for 5 - 6. When cooked, remove breasts and shred with 2 forks.  Return to crockpot and stir in milk and cilantro.  Place Velveeta over top and heat (on low) until melted. Stir before serving in taco shells, warm tortillas or on tortilla chips with garnishes of choice. Cool before freezing. Yield: 6 - 7 servings 


1 lb. beef stew meat
3 cups (24 ozs) V8 juice
1 cup (8 ozs) beef broth
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 cup (8 ozs) frozen green beans
1 cup (8 ozs) frozen whole kernel corn
1 cup chopped carrots
(To save time and effort, I opted to use a bag of frozen stew vegetables instead=)

Pour all the ingredients, with vegetables still frozen, but broken apart as much as possible, into a 10-cup freezer container (gallon ziploc freezer bag works fine).

To serve, thaw.  Pour into a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6 - 7 hours. Serves 8

(I suggest you always use fresh meat before freezing...refreezing meat that has once been frozen, is not a good idea) If you want to thicken sauce, mix some cornstarch with water then stir into stew before serving. Serve with biscuits for a filling meal. 

Instead of a sharing a quote, I thought I'd add a couple of jokes for the kids.

Q: How do you get a tissue to dance?
A: You put a little boogie in it

Q: How does the ocean say hello?
A: It waves

Friday, August 18, 2017

Flashback Friday - Zippy Zucchini Recipes


You'll get OOOHHH's and AAAAAHH's when you serve this to anyone.

Even folks who are sure they don't like zucchini...have loved this!
You can't even tell it's there.  A box of bread dressing and sour cream make
this soooo tasty....cornflake topping is always a hit too.  

Mom's Zucchini Casserole

Not only are these waffles tasty, they freeze well too.
What a terrific way to 'sneak' veggies into your family's breakfast! 
Or serve them for dessert topped with whipped cream & berries!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Waffles

Mouth-watering goodness!  So worth the effort to make. 

Baked Zucchini Stix with Sweet Onion Dip

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cake Mix (Rolo) Brownies {New Recipe}

I have been missing my time with you all.

Life keeps me busy going in other directions.  My hubby's dialysis...3 times a going fairly well.

He's had a problem stopping bleeding...they have cut back on his coumadin, so hopefully things will be smoother in the days ahead.  He's having surgery this Friday to raise the fistula vein in his bicep so it can be accessed.  Sure appreciate your prayers! I spend a lot more time with him, and he has a lot of dr. appts. so I am still on the go go go a lot. 

I also have my farmer's market baked goods stand every other week during the summer and I really enjoy that.  I'm so blessed with faithful customers and usually sell out.  That's always awesome!  They really do brighten up my life. 

I made this yummy dessert for a Baker siblings gathering a while back and just recently saw my photo of it, so wanted to share. 

I love using a cake mix for ease and am always happy when I can find a 
simple, and winning!, recipe to use.  It's so nice not having to measure the
flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. separately, isn't it??? 

This tasty recipe is in my new cookbook too...FORK FAVORITES
Another 200 simple family-friendly recipes. I have 6 book signings lined up 
over the next several weeks, so that's a fun part.  I always love visiting
with the people! 

If you're interested in checking out more details about my book,
click here which will take you to the "Cookbooks" tab under my blog header.
You can order through Paypal or mail a check to me.  

Anyway, this recipe is great, especially when you need something last minute.
You can dress it up by adding candy to the middle, or drizzling caramel over the top,  pre-baking, topping off with toffee bits.  Add coffee extract to the batter...let your creative mind go wild. 

I just got a bottle of raspberry extract from Watkins...that will be going in the next time I make these. 



1 box (18 ozs.) chocolate cake mix 
(strawberry or lemon are great too) 
1 egg
1/4 c. oil
1/3  . milk
1 c. chocolate, white or peanut butter chips, optional 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8" x 8" baking dish; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, egg, oil and milk, stirring until smooth. (I mix by hand - batter is thick). Stir in chocolate chips (save a few to sprinkle over the top). Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Yield: 9 - 12 servings 

(Or don't add chocolate chips, pour half the batter into prepared a candy layer, then add remaining batter and bake). 

Linked to Full Plate Thursday

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Flashback Friday - Delish Desserts made with Instant Pudding

Hope you enjoy these simple dishes great for summertime....

One of the most popular posts on my blog - 
Only 4 simple ingredients too...and you're ready to Par-tay! 

Dreamsicle Salad (Sugar free Option)

AAAHHH - the perfect 'marriage'  - PB and Chocolate!
Crunchy crust....cream cheese/peanut butter layer....chocolate pudding...whipped topping.

Peanut Butter Delight

Only 3 simple ingredients...ready in minutes. 
Gone quickly too - so so good! 

Add pudding mix to a cake mix...topped with a fluffy cream cheese topping. 
Doncha just love dreamsicles???

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Leader Enterprise - August 2, 2017 - Summertime Fun for Kids

Summer is nearly half over for school kids.  Have you already heard "I'm bored" more times than you care to count? Here's a list of some simple, fun activities to help woo them away from their electronics and enjoy the season. Encourage them to see how many things they can check off this list before school starts. 

-have a picnic
-watch a sunset 
-play tag with friends
-stargaze: see if you can find the Big and Little Dippers 
-run through the sprinklers 
-make popsicles 
-have a lemonade stand
-go for a bike ride
-visit the library
-bake something yummy
-fly a kite
-camp in the back yard 
-play in the rain
-catch fireflies
-do cartwheels
-blow bubbles
-draw a picture 
-bake cookies for a neighbor
-learn to juggle
-make a fruit smoothie
-play a game
-read a book 
-make shadow puppets with your hands
-send a letter in the mail to a friend (bet they'll be surprised!)
-do a random act of kindness
-visit relatives
-offer to help a neighbor with a chore
-call your grandparents to ask how they're doing
-have a water balloon fight
-write a story
-have a family game night
-learn a magic trick 
-write a thank you note to someone in your family 
-play at the park 
-lay in the grass and find shapes in the clouds 

Here are some simple ideas for kids to have fun in the kitchen and maybe even help cool them down. 


1 - 20 ozs. bag of frozen mixed fruit (peaches, mango, pineapple, strawberries, or your favorite mix)
2 - 3 cups 100% juice fruit punch 

Place frozen fruit in blender.  Pour 2 c. fruit punch over fruit and begin to blend. Add up to another cup of juice to get the texture you want. Blend until no large pieces remain. Serve and sip!  Yield: about 4 servings 
Fill each glass about 2/3 full of bright blue drink for water in each float. (Blue Hawaiian punch or blue sports drink). Add some lemon-lime soda, but save room for some ice cream. Add 2 scoops vanilla ice cream to each glass and let it begin to melt. Add 2 gummy fish or sharks to float in the top - add a straw and enjoy. 
You could try orange soda instead of root beer for a creamsicle blast!
Root Beer
Vanilla ice cream
Popsicle Mold or disposable paper cups
Popsicle sticks (if not included with mold) 
Make sure root beer is cold. You're going to alternate layers of ice cream and root beer in the mold, allowing the foam to die back before pouring more to fill molds to the top. Be careful because it will foam up, so pour slowly. (Be sure to clean up the overflow). Insert sticks and freeze overnight. (If using cups, cover with foil, then poke stick into popsicle to hold them still. Run hot water over mold quickly to release popsicles.  Enjoy! 
I look forward to seeing you at Bean Days.  Please stop by the Leader office for a taste of my beans

"I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanky.”― Kellie Elmore

Friday, August 4, 2017

Flashback Friday - Ice Cream Desserts to help you stay cool

Hope these easy desserts help keep you cool...

I've been making this dessert for kids still request it. 
Cake mix base mixed with canned frosting...simple and
simply delicious! 

Vanilla ice cream, crunchy peanut butter crust with hot fudge swirled through...MMMM! 

This is teamwork fun for kids and adults alike.
A few simple ingredients in a ziploc bag - toss it back and forth until 
ice cream freezes.  It's great cooling fun! 

Tasty make-ahead dessert with crunchy brown sugar cereal...
Try it, you're sure to love it!