Zucchini Soup

Our summer days are hot and the nights are a bit cooler. I love this zucchini soup recipe because it uses up my abundant zucchini crop. This soup is a light and scrumptious meal to serve on a summer night with a piece of crunchy sourdough bread or on a cooler fall evening with a grilled panini or quesadilla. You can actually serve this soup hot or cold. You can easily double the batch for a crowd. One summer when I was young, I was left in chafe of our family garden while my mom was traveling in Europe. I made at least 10 batches of this soup. We served it for company, gave it to friends, and froze a few batches so we could enjoy it all fall. When you freeze the leftover soup and defrost it for later use it tastes just a delicious as the day you made it.FullSizeRender

Ingredients
1 medium yellow onion chopped fine
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 zucchini cut into cubes
6 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon vinegar
4 Tablespoon arrowroot
1-2 teaspoon dill weed (fresh is best)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup plain yogurt

Saute onion in oil in a large soup pot. Add zucchini and broth. Bring to a boil and turn to medium and cook until zucchini is soft. Take a bit of the broth out of the pot and pour into a 1 cup measure. Add the vinegar and arrowroot and stir until dissolved. Add the vinegar, arrowroot, broth mixture to the soup pot and stir until blended and the soup starts to thicken. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend in food processor or Vitamix adding yogurt and seasonings. You can serve this soup cold or hot.FullSizeRender-1

Zucchini Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious vegetarian soup that can be served hot or cold. A great way to use up a big crop of home grown zucchini.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped fine
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 zucchini cut into cubes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1-2 teaspoon dill weed (fresh is best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
Instructions
  1. Saute onion in oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Add zucchini and broth. Bring to a boil and turn to medium and cook until zucchini is soft.
  3. Take a bit of the broth out of the pot and pour into a 1 cup measure.
  4. Add the vinegar and arrowroot and stir until dissolved. Add the vinegar, arrowroot, broth mixture to the soup pot and stir until blended and the soup starts to thicken.
  5. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Blend in food processor or Vitamix adding yogurt and seasonings.
  7. You can serve this soup cold or hot.

Kerry Signature48

Zucchini Bread-Healthy Style

 Healthy Zucchini Bread 

IMG_5527

This summer, I planted a large garden filled with all of our favorite vegetables. The zucchini plants have gone crazy and are producing daily a crop of delicious and nutritious zucchini. I have baked, stir-fried, barbequed and added them into omelets, pizza and frittatas. The following is a conventional recipe for zucchini bread with healthy adaptations.
ENJOY!!!
Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
3 eggs
3 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup mini chocolate chips and/or 1 cup chopped raisins
IMG_5524

IMG_5525Grate the zucchini (one large one from the garden or three medium) into a colander and sprinkle salt on it and let it sit for a few minutes and then squeeze out excess moisture. In a medium bowl combine sugar and applesauce and oil and stir. Add the eggs and stir until mixed well. In a small bowl measure out the flour (you can use a combination of white and whole wheat or experiment with different varieties of gluten free, oat flour, rice flour and feel free to add wheat germ or flax seed as long as it measures a total of 3 cups). Next, add other dry ingredients and stir. Add wet and dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Add the vanilla, the zucchini and the nuts and stir lightly until combined. For a fun little treat try adding ½-1 cup of mini chocolate chips or 1 cup raisins. Pour into a well greased bread loaf pan and bake at 350˚ for 60-70 minutes.
If you want to make smaller loaves or muffins adjust time for baking accordingly-40 minutes for small loaves and 20-25 minutes for muffins.

What is your favorite healthy breakfast muffin or snack item that you like to bake and would you like help adapting the recipe to make it healthier but keep the same deliciousness?

Zucchini Bread-Healthy Style
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A great way to use your summer zucchini supply if you have a garden or just a fun treat to share with friends.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast or snack
Cuisine: Healthy and Nutritious
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips and/or 1 cup chopped raisins
Instructions
  1. Grate the zucchini (one large one from the garden or three medium) into a colander and sprinkle salt on it and let it sit for a few minutes and then squeeze out excess moisture.
  2. In a medium bowl combine sugar and applesauce and oil and stir.
  3. Add the eggs and stir until mixed well.
  4. In a small bowl measure out the flour (you can use a combination of white and whole wheat or experiment with different varieties of gluten free, oat flour, rice flour and feel free to add wheat germ or flax seed as long as it measures a total of 3 cups).
  5. Next, add other dry ingredients and stir.
  6. Add wet and dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
  7. Add the vanilla, the zucchini and the nuts and stir lightly until combined.
  8. For a fun little treat try adding ½-1 cup of mini chocolate chips or 1 cup raisins.
  9. Pour into a well greased bread loaf pan and bake at 350˚ for 60-70 minutes.
  10. If you want to make smaller loaves or muffins adjust time for baking accordingly-40 minutes for small loaves and 20-25 minutes for muffins.

Kerry Signature48

Sponge Puppets

Here is a great art project for a hot summer day when you want to have fun indoors or outside in the shade.

My daughter, Ellie, found the idea in her Highlights magazine. I bought sponges at the store and used other craft supplies from the house.

Supplies

Sponges

Craft Glue or hot glue gun

pom poms

googly eyes

foam shapes

confettie

IMG_6429

Instructions

Heat the hot glue. If you are using hot glue have the kids plan out their puppet by drawing a picture or placing the craft pieces on their sponge. Then allow the adult to hot glue the items on. Let dry for at least 1 minute. That’s it. Now you have a fun character for puppet shows or to display in your house!

IMG_6432

This was a really great activity to practice patience as the girls waited their turn for the hot glue gun. We practiced body parts like eyes, hair, mouth, nose, cheeks, and more. We also talked about shapes when choosing how to decorate our puppet.FullSizeRender 13 FullSizeRender 12 FullSizeRender 11If you try out this sponge puppet craft be sure to tag us on social media!

Rach Signature48

Oatmeal Lactation Bars

Researching how to improve a mommy’s milk supply has been interesting. There are many great websites out there that have done extensive research and I found so much good information. I liked the blog called Very Well,  with articles written by Donna Murray, RN, BSN and reviewed by a board certified physician. Remember to always consult your doctor and/or lactation consultant before taking any herbal supplements.

Here is another recipe that Bekah and I tried. (We adapted the recipe from a blog called Mary Makes Good.) It tastes a bit like a yummy oatmeal muffin in a bar form. Although the recipe calls for chocolate chips, we both decided it would be extra tasty if you added a cup of raisins. Check out yesterday’s post for great information on Brewer’s Yeast and other herbs that can stimulate milk production for nursing moms.

Oatmeal Lactation Bars

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts (hulled)
  • 4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the flax seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars together. Beat until fluffy.
  4. Add the soaked flax seeds, eggs, molasses, and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  5. Whisk together the whole wheat flour, almond flour, hemp hearts, brewer’s yeast, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in two parts while mixing continuously on a slow speed. Mix until just combined.
  7. Add the oats, chocolate chips and raisins in on a slow speed. Mix until just combined.
  8. Line a 10″ x 15″ inch (4 quart) or a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with parchment paper. Drop the cookie dough into the dish and do your best to spread it evenly across the dish – touch each side and corner. It doesn’t have to be completely even. It’s OK if it is a bit lumpy.
  9. Bake the bars for about 30 minutes (the 9″ x 13″ pan may take about 10 minutes more to bake) or until the bottom of the bars are a deep golden brown and the middle of the pan appears to be thoroughly baked. Rotate the pan about halfway through cooking.
  10. Remove the dish from the oven and allow the bars to cool for one hour before slicing them into bars. Fully cooled bars can be frozen for up to three months in airtight packaging. Check out yesterday’s post for another fantastic recipe for Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies.
Oatmeal Lactation Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Another GREAT option for incorporating Brewer's Yeast into your diet if you are a nursing mama. These bars are packed full of incredible nutrition and they are delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Lactation Bars
Cuisine: American
Serves: 36 bars
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour/meal
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts (hulled)
  • 4 tablespoons brewer's yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the flax seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars together. Beat until fluffy.
  4. Add the soaked flax seeds, eggs, molasses, and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  5. Whisk together the whole wheat flour, almond flour, hemp hearts, brewer's yeast, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in two parts while mixing continuously on a slow speed. Mix until just combined.
  7. Add the oats, chocolate chips and raisins in on a slow speed. Mix until just combined.
  8. Line a 10" x 15" inch (4 quart) or a 9" x 13" baking dish with parchment paper. Drop the cookie dough into the dish and do your best to spread it evenly across the dish - touch each side and corner. It doesn't have to be completely even. It's OK if it is a bit lumpy.
  9. Bake the bars for about 30 minutes (the 9" x 13" pan may take about 10 minutes more to bake) or until the bottom of the bars are a deep golden brown and the middle of the pan appears to be thoroughly baked. Rotate the pan about halfway through cooking.
  10. Remove the dish from the oven and allow the bars to cool for one hour before slicing them into bars. Fully cooled bars can be frozen for up to three months in airtight packaging.
Bekah Signature48

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

Bekah was doing some research for improving breast milk supply and found some awesome recipes for Lactation Cookies. We decided to try a few and wanted to share two of our favorite ones with you. This first recipe has been adapted from one we found on a blog called Simplistically Living.  There are many recipes out there and the common ingredient in the cookie recipes we looked at  was brewer’s yeast. You cannot substitute the brewer’s yeast for anything else. (We bought ours at Sprouts. This is a prime ingredient for this recipe and is one of the recommended ingredients that increases your milk supply so make sure to include it.

image

Brewer’s yeast is used to make beer, and people have taken it as a dietary supplement for many years. Brewer’s yeast is made from a fungus, and it is highly nutritious. It contains iron, protein, and B vitamins, as well as chromium, selenium and other trace minerals. Brewer’s yeast is also believed to be a galactogogue, used by nursing mothers to help make more breast milk. A galactagogue (pronounced gah-lak´tah-gog) is an action, herb, food, or medication that can jump start your production of breast milk or increase the amount of breast milk that you make. The word itself is a combination of the Greek terms “galact-” meaning milk, and “-ogogue” meaning leading to or promoting.  (A galactagogue is also called a galactogogue, lactagogue or a lactogenic.) Some of the foods used as galactagogues include oatmeal, barley, green leafy vegetables, garlic, brewer’s yeast, and brown rice. When added to a healthy well-balance diet, these milk making foods are believed to promote a healthy amount of breast milk.

If you are interested in reading about other herbs that have been researched and shown to help increase your milk supply check out this article from a blog called Very Well and learn about Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Fennel, Stinging Nettle, Alfalfa, Goat’s Rue, Milk Thistle, Garlic and more information about Brewer’s Yeast. Always check with your doctor and/or lactation consultant before you take any of these herbs.

INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP LACTATION COOKIES:

  • 3 Tablespoons Brewer’s Yeast (do not substitute)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flaxseed Meal
  • 3 Cups Slow Rolled Oats 
  • 2 Cups of Organic Dark Chocolate Chips 
  • 4 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup of Butter
  • 1 Cup of White Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the water with the Flaxseed Meal in a small bowl and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and the eggs in a bowl and beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes until all ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Add the flaxseed to the mixture until well blended and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and brewer’s yeast. You can use a spatula to mix the ingredients together. Combine this mixture to the butter mixture which takes another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Stir the oats, chocolate chips, and the peanut butter into the mixture until well blended.
  7. Using a tablespoon scoop out mixture and place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Make sure to space them about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes depending on your oven. Mine were baked for exactly 13 minutes then I allowed them to cool on the pan for another 3-4 minutes and they were baked perfectly.FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender-2

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Lactation Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
To increase your breast milk supply you might want to try this recipe. Fun to make and delicious! The Brewer's Yeast is the prime ingredient that will help increase your supply so do NOT leave it out!
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Lactation Cookies
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons Brewer's Yeast (do not substitute)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flaxseed Meal
  • 3 Cups Slow Rolled Oats
  • 2 Cups of Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 4 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup of Butter
  • 1 Cup of White Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the water with the Flaxseed Meal in a small bowl and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and the eggs in a bowl and beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes until all ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Add the flaxseed to the mixture until well blended and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and brewer’s yeast. You can use a spatula to mix the ingredients together.
  6. Combine this mixture to the butter mixture which takes another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Stir the oats, chocolate chips, and the peanut butter into the mixture until well blended.
  8. Using a tablespoon scoop out mixture and place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  9. Make sure to space them about 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 10-13 minutes depending on your oven. Ours took 15 minutes because they were large.
  11. Allow to cool 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack

This recipe makes about 40 lactation cookies so put some in the freezer. These are good enough to share with your family.

Check back tomorrow for another delicious recipe-Oatmeal Lactation Cookie Bars!

Share a lactation cookie recipe you have tried!!

Kerry Signature48Bekah Signature48

Sweet & Savory “Surfer” Chili

My mom and I adapted the BEST recipe for dinner tonight from my favorite app: Mealime. YOU GUYS, put this on your meal plan IMMEDIATELY. It’s THAT good.

The idea started when I wanted to make twice baked sweet potatoes, then quickly realized there was NO WAY I was going to bake something in the oven in this heat. So I looked through the ingredients I already had and picked a recipe that we could work with and use the sweet potatoes. And so became our Sweet & Savory Surfer Chili. “Surfer,” because it will make your taste buds say “ALOHA!”

IMG_6293

Sweet & Savory Surfer Chili 

(Adapted from Mealime)

Ingredients

2 avocados

5 oz baby spinach

1 zucchini

4 cloves garlic

1 red onion

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

1 large can diced pineapple

1lb ground beef or turkey

1/2TBS paprika

1/2TBS turmeric

1 tsp black pepper

1 TBSP chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

optional sides and toppings: rice, greek yogurt, chips, cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry produce. Cook the rice if using for a side dish.
  2. Peel and dice onion. Add to a small bowl.
  3. Mince garlic. Add to the onion bowl.
  4. Heat saucepan to medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onion, garlic, and ground beef to the sauce pan. Cook until meat is browned and the onion is tender, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the spices, stir to mix.
  7. Drain and add pineapple.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes and stir to combine.
  9. Increase the heat to bring the chili to a bowl. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Prepare avocado.
  11. Stir in the spinach into the chili until it wilts.
  12. Serve chili in bowls plain or over the rice and garnish with toppings. YUM!

IMG_6291

Sweet & Savory "Surfer" Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious Sweet and Savory Surfer Chili will make your taste buds say, "Aloha." Adapted from Mealime.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 large can diced pineapple
  • 1lb ground beef or turkey
  • ½TBS paprika
  • ½TBS turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry produce. Cook the rice if using for a side dish.
  2. Peel and dice onion. Add to a small bowl.
  3. Mince garlic. Add to the onion bowl.
  4. Heat saucepan to medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onion, garlic, and ground beef to the sauce pan. Cook until meat is browned and the onion is tender, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the spices, stir to mix.
  7. Drain and add pineapple.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes and stir to combine.
  9. Increase the heat to bring the chili to a bowl. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Prepare avocado.
  11. Stir in the spinach into the chili until it wilts.
  12. Serve chili in bowls plain or over the rice and garnish with toppings. YUM!

 

Rach Signature48

Best Homemade Homegrown Marinara Sauce and Easy Chicken Parmigiana (Parmesan)

Tomatoes, Tomatoes….what a blessing to have so many tomatoes. I planted a variety of heirloom seeds and I have the BEST crop of tomatoes I have every experienced. Yesterday I tried making a batch of Marinara sauce with my Italian style Marinara heirloom tomatoes. The result was the BEST tasting sauce ever! Thanks to my Italian cooking classes in Florence during my college years…I think I was able to recreate a sauce like the one I learned to make in the kitchen of the Villa Salviatino.FullSizeRender-5FullSizeRender-6

Marinara Sauce Ingredients
4 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves of garlic mashed
1 medium bunch basil
1-2 sprigs thyme
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1-2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Cut up all the tomatoes into small pieces. Set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy pot that has a well insulated bottom so as to prevent the sauce from sticking and burning as it simmers and thickens. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté on medium low until cooked, stirring constantly so it does not brown. FullSizeRender-4Add the tomatoes and all the juice to the pot. Place the bunches of herbs into the pot. Do not worry about the stems. You can pull the stems out after the sauce has simmered and thickened. I pulled half of the basil leaves off the stems because I like blending them into the sauce. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Turn to low and cover for 30 minutes. Uncover and add the salt, pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar. Stir and return to a low simmer and cook for another 30-60 minutes, stirring often. FullSizeRender-3Remove herb stems from sauce. Let sauce cool for an hour or so. Blend in a Vitamix or use an emersion blender. I only blended half of the chunks because I like chunky Marinara sauce. How much of the sauce you blend is up to you. FullSizeRenderServe over pasta or try this Chicken Parmigiana recipe….

Chicken Parmigiana Recipe Ingredients
3-4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
1-2 teaspoons Baron’s chicken seasoning (a mix of salt and pepper and spices for baked chicken)
½ cup grated mozzarella
½ cup grated parmesan
2 cups marinara sauce
basil

Season your chicken breasts and place on a piece of foil in a glass 9×13 pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, until baked through but not dry. Remove from oven and drain off the liquid.
Pour 2 cups of sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake another 10 minutes. Turn on oven broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes watching carefully until cheese begins to brown. Sprinkle chopped fresh basil on top and serve with steamed broccolini and mixed squash. This recipe was FANTASTIC!!! Enjoy!!!FullSizeRender-1

Best Homemade Homegrown Marinara Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
BEST homemade Marinara sauce EVER!!! You must try it to believe!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • Marinara Sauce Ingredients
  • 4 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic mashed
  • 1 medium bunch basil
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Cut up all the tomatoes into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pot that has a well insulated bottom so as to prevent the sauce from sticking and burning as it simmers and thickens.
  3. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté on medium low until cooked, stirring constantly so it does not brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes and all the juice to the pot.
  5. Place the bunches of herbs into the pot. Do not worry about the stems. You can pull the stems out after the sauce has simmered and thickened. I pulled half of the basil leaves off the stems because I like blending them into the sauce.
  6. Raise heat and bring to a simmer.
  7. Turn to low and cover for 30 minutes.
  8. Uncover and add the salt, pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar.
  9. Stir and return to a low simmer and cook for another 30-60 minutes, stirring often. Remove herb stems from sauce.
  10. Let sauce cool for an hour or so. Blend in a Vitamix or use an emersion blender. I only blended half of the chunks because I like chunky Marinara sauce. How much of the sauce you blend is up to you.

 
Easy Chicken Parmigiana
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A show stopper! Easy and delicious. Using homemade sauce makes all the difference!
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • Chicken Parmigiana Recipe Ingredients
  • 3-4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
  • 1-2 teaspoons Baron's chicken seasoning (a mix of salt and pepper and spices for baked chicken)
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • basil
Instructions
  1. Season your chicken breasts and place on a piece of foil in a glass 9x13 pan.
  2. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, until baked through but not dry.
  3. Remove from oven and drain off the liquid.
  4. Pour 2 cups of sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
  5. Bake another 10 minutes.
  6. Turn on oven broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes watching carefully until cheese begins to brown. Sprinkle chopped fresh basil on top and serve with steamed broccolini and mixed squash.
  7. This recipe was FANTASTIC!!! Enjoy!!!

What international style cooking have you experimented with and have you liked the results.

Shredded Barbecue Chicken in a Crockpot

Ever had one of those busy weeks….a busy month…..tons of fun things planned and a big gang of family and friends coming for dinner during a “hot spell”? This BBQ shredded chicken recipe is made in the crockpot…so no hot kitchen, no messing with the BBQ outside (although I absolutely love bbq chicken-this is a close second). You can serve it up on toasted ciabatta rolls with melted cheese, a side of succotash and a side salad or mound a big pile of this delicious shredded chicken on top of a bed of lettuce, add some chopped cucumbers, fresh tomatoes and a spoonful of succotash for a delicious summer salad.

Ingredients
8 large chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
2 cups catsup (check labels so you have a no high fructose corn syrup brand)
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup light soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos)
4 large garlic cloves crushed
2 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
2-3 Tablespoons fresh ginger root grated
3 Tablespoons brown sugar

8 ciabatta rolls
sliced cheese
lettuce
cucumbers
tomatoes
Succotash

Place the chicken breasts in a 5 or 6 quart Crockpot. Mix all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover crockpot and turn onto LOW for 8 hours. At hour 6 or 7 when the chicken is thoroughly cooked take chicken breasts out of crockpot and place in a large bowl and shred with two forks until meat is in small bite sized shreds. Place chicken back into crockpot so it absorbs more sauce and let it cook for the remaining few hours. Cook up a batch of succotash or make a big bowl of coleslaw. When ready for dinner slice open your ciabatta rolls and toast with cheese on one or both sides. Place a big pile of shredded chicken on each bun and serve with coleslaw, succotash or a big green salad.If you are having as a salad, place a pile of your favorite greens, chopped cucumbers and chopped tomatoes on your plate and top with the BBQ shredded chicken, add a big spoonful of succotash (you can use canned corn, black beans or any other extras if you do not have time to make the succotash). This sauce recipe was my favorite uncle’s famous Sparerib marinade and can be found on page 136 in our Family Heritage Cookbook call Baby Bear Stew.
FullSizeRender-2

Shredded Barbecue Chicken in a Crockpot
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Great easy dinner that keeps you out of the hot kitchen. Yummy summer sandwiches or salads in a snap.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: All American BBQ
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 8 large chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
  • 2 cups catsup (check labels so you have a no high fructose corn syrup brand)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup light soy sauce (I used Bragg's liquid aminos)
  • 4 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh ginger root grated
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 ciabatta rolls
  • sliced cheese
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • Succotash
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts in a 5 or 6 quart Crockpot.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well blended.
  3. Pour sauce over chicken.
  4. Cover crockpot and turn onto LOW for 8 hours.
  5. At hour 6 or 7 when the chicken is thoroughly cooked take chicken breasts out of crockpot and place in a large bowl and shred with two forks until meat is in small bite sized shreds.
  6. Place chicken back into crockpot so it absorbs more sauce and let it cook for the remaining few hours.
  7. Cook up a batch of succotash or make a big bowl of coleslaw.
  8. When ready for dinner slice open your ciabatta rolls and toast with cheese on one or both sides. Place a big pile of shredded chicken on each bun and serve with coleslaw, succotash or a big green salad.If you are having as a salad, place a pile of your favorite greens, chopped cucumbers and chopped tomatoes on your plate and top with the BBQ shredded chicken, add a big spoonful of succotash (you can use canned corn, black beans or any other extras if you do not have time to make the succotash).

Do you have a favorite easy recipe for a fun summer dinner?

Kerry Signature48

Get More ZZZ’s

It is Summer Sizzle Week 5, and this is a good one! We are focusing on GETTING MORE SLEEP!

images

Chances are, you don’t get enough sleep. In fact, most Americans don’t!

Lack of sleep can lead to many health risks including adding pounds to your waistline and taking years off your life!

TiredMeme

So what can we do about it?

Get more sleep of course! And not just more sleep, BETTER SLEEP!

  1. Stick to a routine – plan to get in bed or start relaxing around the same time each night. This is a great time to read a book or put on a podcast. I recommend this “Science of Sleep” podcast!
  2. Turn off the lights! – If you are like me, you likely watch TV or read books on your phone or kindle device before bed. The light from these devices actually can interfere with melatonin production, which helps control sleep and wake cycles. Use the dimmer function or night shift on your phone!
  3. Consider what you eat! – are you choosing foods to nourish and fuel your body? Healthy eating and water consumption plays an important role in your sleep!
  4. Exercise – Consistent exercise is important, but try not to exercise too close to bedtime. If that isn’t possible, cool down after your workout with a relaxing yoga routine!
  5. Wake up early – This seems counterproductive to getting more sleep, but actually, a better morning routine sets the stage for a better day. And a better day will help you feel less stressed, more relaxed, and better prepared to stick to your bedtime routine to get more zzz’s!

Try tracking your sleep for the next week. If you need any help getting better sleep, staying asleep, or fueling your body right be sure to comment or contact us. We would love to help you!

Happy sleeping!

Rach Signature48