Thursday, April 28, 2011

Raisin Zucchini Muffins

Last week while glancing through my local grocery store's (Big Y) sales flyer it did not take me long to notice that the price was right on Zucchini!  I'm definitely a consumer who enjoys a good sale on food, on clothing and on household goods.  Always have and always will be! 

Zucchini is not "in season" here in MA, so chunks sauteed in Olive Oil was a wonderful veggie at dinner.  Yum!  It's also been MANY months since I 've baked Raisin Zucchini Muffins!  So ... 2 extra Zucchini were purchased to bake a dozen of these raisin filled treats.  I knew better than dream that I'd bake a double batch while also preparing for Easter. 12 moisty raisin filled muffins would fit the bill.  My longtime readers know that I do not always remember to take a photo of food.  However, yesterday there was 1 remaining muffin, so I quickly snapped a photo - before my hubby walked into our kitchen and it would be gone.  :)

This recipe is inspired by Janet Pierce's Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins on  In my family it's always "all about the Raisins", so I used 3/4 cup.  After enjoying eating Hard Boiled Eggs this past weekend I'm back to using Egg Whites + Olive Oil when baking.    

Raisin Zucchini Muffins  inspired by Janet Pierce

Oven :  350°F  
Baking time:  28 Minutes
Yield:  12 Muffins

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Egg Whites, slightly beaten
1/2 Cup Olive Oil, for baking & sauteing
1/4 Cup Milk - I use Soy Milk.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup shredded Zucchini
3/4 Cup Raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place muffin liners in muffin pan.
  3. Wash 2 Zucchini in cold water and dry.
  4. Shred Zucchini to measure 1 Cup.
  5. In a large bowl stir together Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Salt.
  6. In a medium blow combine Egg Whites, Olive Oil, Milk, Lemon Juice and Vanilla.
  7. Add shredded Zucchini to liquid ingredients.
  8. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.  Add 3/4 Cup Raisins.  
  9. Stir until moistened.
  10. Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
  11. Bake 28 Minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
These muffins are very moisty.  They also freeze very well.  If you have extra Zucchini, bake these Cinnamon + Nutmeg flavored muffins.  They are so good!  After the photo was taken ... my hubby did walk away with it.  Luckily, I had placed 4 muffins in a Ziploc Freezer Bag and they are waiting in our freezer.  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lemony Simply Delicious

Looking out my kitchen window I kept admiring these bright yellow flowers that suddenly sprung upward and blossomed.  The mere fact that they were yellow prompted me to quickly locate the Lemon flavored package of Jello Gelatin that I had purchased two days earlier.  This has to be my fave "quick make" dessert!  Simply Delicious!  It really is simple to make and is delicious.  Two servings of this tasty light creamy dessert does not need a lot of preparation.  And ... it's very easy to double the recipe, even triple if needed.  :) 

The men in my fam have always enjoyed Jello, so I've made this treat for years, doubling the recipe.  There are only 3 ingredients!  Sweet!

Lemony Simply Delicious - 2 servings 

(1) pkg. small box Lemon flavored Jello Gelatin 
(1) Cup Vanilla Ice Cream
(1) Cup boiling water

  1. Boil 1 Cup cold water.
  2. Place contents of 1 small pkg. Lemon flavored Jello Gelatin in medium sized bowl.
  3. Pour in hot water and stir well to dissolve gelatin.
  4. Add 1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream to bowl. 
  5. Whisk or stir well until ice cream melts.
  6. Pour into 2 dessert dishes or mugs.
  7. Refrigerate several hours.
  8. Serve with whipped Cream.
Quite often if I have Strawberry ice cream, I pair it with Strawberry gelatin.  Also so light, creamy and delicious! 

Looking out my window today the purple Hyacinths are beginning to blossom. Ohhh, I'll be looking for the Black Raspberry ice cream in my freezer and Raspberry gelatin in my pantry. :)
Happy Easter!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grilling the Haddock

Yes, our outdoor thermometer did read 68°F and the sun shined brightly today!  WooHoo!  Our outdoor grill did its thing with my hubby's guidance and Grilled Haddock tasted so good tonight!  In the spring this particular dinner is always anticipated.  Our local grocery store, Big Y, has a good fish department stocking the fresh "wild caught" Haddock.  We are very fortunate here in Western MA, because fresh fish is available to us. Today was meatless Thursday!

Grilled Haddock is easy to prep.  I have posted about this fave dinner before - the first time in July of 2008.  My family has always enjoyed eating many types of seafood and we all like the flavor of each variety.  I do not serve sauces over servings of fish, because they are not necessary.  Quite often they are loaded with calories.  We save the extra calories for dessert!  :)         

*A grilling basket or container (sprayed with PAM) is needed, because the fish can break apart while grilling. :) The steps are easy and quick.

Grilled Haddock

Haddock Fillets
Olive Oil
Thyme (optional - I use.)

  1. On a large dish pour about 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil.
  2. Sprinkle a little Paprika (& Thyme, optional) on top.
  3. Rinse Haddock Fillets in cold running water and place on top of Olive Oil & Spices.
  4. Turn Fillets over to coat other side.
  5. Place Haddock Fillets in grilling container/basket that has been sprayed with PAM.
  6. Grill Fillets on preheated grill.
  7. A 1 lb. piece requires 5 - 7 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of Fillet.
  8. Turn Fillets over one time during grilling process.
  9. Enjoy! 
Tonight the 1 lb. of Haddock contained 2 Fillets.  

A Ziploc Freezer bag of Butternut Squash was located in our freezer then heated in the microwave. Corn was served along with the squash, so there was much color in our tasty meal. :)

Do you grill fish?

We enjoyed!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmigiana is so good!  Sometimes I order it when dining out, but the eggplant slices are usually prepared with an egg coating and then fried.  So ...only occasionally do I enjoy this entree.  It is that cholesterol thing with me.  Much like that sugar thing prevents me from making desserts that contain a ratio of more or almost equal sugar to flour in a tempting treat.     

It has been a busy three weeks reviewing Art, Chinese History & Japanese History notes for the school group tours I am/will be giving at the Springfield Museums.  Now that some warmer weather has arrived, students on field trips visit our wonderful five museum complex.  It is a jewel in the Pioneer Valley and a great resource for all residents in my area and in southern New England.         

Last week while shopping in my local grocery store, the Big Y, I spied two Eggplants in the produce section.  Very quickly meatless Fridays came to mind in addition to a recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana that was located in the Big Y's February 2011 Life in Balance booklet.  No Eggs involved! 

I had prepared this recipe as printed two months ago and we really liked it.  This dish is made in two baking steps and so worth it.  The two Eggplants remained on the bottom shelf of my fridge as I reviewed more history notes.  Two nights ago was the perfect opportunity to use them and bake this dish again, but with a couple of changes.  It's a very tasty meatless meal!

Eggplant Parmigiana -adapted from Big Y Life in Balance booklet, February 2011

Olive Oil
(2) small Eggplants
Ground Pepper & Basil - McCormick's
(1) jar Spaghetti Sauce (about 16 oz. - 20 oz.)
(1) can 6 oz. Tomato Paste
8 oz. shredded Mozzarella

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a large cookie pan with foil and spray with PAM.
  3. Wash & dry Eggplants. 
  4. Cut each Eggplant into 1" slices.
  5. Place each slice on cookie sheet and drizzle a small amount of Olive Oil on top of each slice.
  6. Then, lightly sprinkle with Ground Pepper & Basil.
  7. Bake Eggplant slices for 12 - 15 minutes in 450°F oven.
After slices are baked, remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 350°F.

*While Eggplant is baking continue prepping:
  1. Spray a large baking dish with PAM.
  2. Mix Spaghetti Sauce with Tomato Paste in a small bowl.
  3. Place a small amount of sauce mixture on bottom of baking dish.
  4. Place baked Eggplant slices on bottom of baking dish.  Top each slice with shredded Mozzarella Cheese.  Then, top with another slice of Eggplant.  Place sauce mixture on top and then top with more Mozzarella Cheese.   
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until Eggplant is soft.  
Fresh Basil can be used, but my Spice Rack is always within my reach, so I use McCormick's Basil.  :)  I stacked the Eggplant slices in the baking dish, but they are not stacked in the original recipe.  

No longer will I dream of eating Eggplant Parmigiana, but it will be on our dinner table served with Barilla PLUS Farfalle Pasta and Green Beans.  In the photo above my smaller Rose Colored Pyrex contains the Eggplant Parmigiana remaining after Wednesday's dinner.  Tonight is meatless Friday, so our dinner is in the fridge waiting to be reheated.  I'll add a little more tomato sauce and dinner will be...