Zucchini muffins

I have a child who wants a piece of homemade "cake bread" for snack recess everyday at school. I was making a big batch and freezing the extra loaves, which worked great. But, then I started making them in the little muffin tins and it was so much easier! Now I make a batch of mini muffins, freeze them & then pull out a couple each day. They are thawed out by snack recess (I eat them frozen, still taste great) and you get good portion control.

I love zucchini recipes because it seems like every summer you end up with some that look like this...
That zucchini is longer than her arms! I shred the zucchini and separate it into ziplock bags with 2 cups in each. Then I freeze it and pull it out all through the year to make more bread. Can you tell how much I love my freezer?

This recipe is one of my favorites. I have pulled together and combined all the best from different zucchini breads I have tried. This one has a little taste of fall also - with cinnamon and nutmeg. You will love it!

Zucchini bread/muffins
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups zucchini, shredded with the peel on
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, oil eggs and sour cream. Beat in the dry ingredients and then the zucchini. Add the vanilla and nuts last and mix. Bake at 350 degrees - for the mini muffins about 10 minutes, for a bread loaf about 60 minutes or until the center is cooked through.


Applesauce Pork Chops

Looking for another easy & delicious crock pot recipe? Here you go. This meal is so good & tastes like it took a long time to make. The good news is that it only takes about 5 minutes!
When you are done the pork chops are so tender they fall apart with a touch of your fork. The sauce is a great mix between sweet and sour - my kids loved it!

Applesauce Pork Chops

6-8 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
16 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vinegar

Salt and pepper the pork chops and put in the bottom of the crock pot. I took mine out of the freezer and let sit on the counter for about a half an hour and then threw them in, don't worry about them being frozen! Then pour the applesauce on top of the chops followed by the rest of these ingredients...
When you are done it will look like this. It already looks good. Let it cook on high for 6-8 hours.
You and your family will love them! And your busy fall schedule will love it also!


Strawberry Freezer Jam

If you hurry you might be able to get one of the last flats at the strawberry stand and make some really yummy jam! I usually try and get mine made in the summer, but this summer went too fast. So, I got some last week and got it done. Thank goodness! My kids won't eat any other kind of jam - seriously, won't touch anything else. I can't blame them. I grew up with this jam too, my mom has been making it for as long as I can remember. She used to give it to friends every year for Christmas and they would wait for it. One of them wouldn't let her kids have any and would eat it alone with a spoon! It is that good. It tastes like dessert.

When you go to the road-side stand, ask them if they have any "jam ready" berries. They all know what that means. I got a whole flat of smashed and watery berries for $3!! Perfect, because I go home and mash them up like this... Actually, my husband washed all the strawberries and mashed them the night before I made the jam. Yes, he is awesome.Follow the directions for the "Quick and easy" freezer jam inside this box. I haven't ever tried the pink, lighter sugar box. Don't want to mess with perfection.

If you want to stock up for the whole year like I do, you will need to buy a big bag of sugar like this at Costco. Every batch calls for 2 cups of mashed strawberries and 4 cups of sugar. That's it! Only 3 ingredients (plus a little water.)
Yes, those are old peanut butter jars. They are perfect for little hands grabbing the jam multiple times a day. I make some in cute jars to share, but most are for us. I made about 24 jars, hopefully that will get us to next summer!


Crock pot salsa chicken

When school starts, so does all of the craziness around here! I want my kids to be able to have the opportunity to develop new talents and keep themselves active. So, when school starts so does soccer, piano, dance... which doesn't leave much time for dinner. I LOVE crock pot recipes. Love. When 3:00 rolls around I don't have the time to think about whats for dinner. Especially when I have 30 minutes to get out the door and won't be home all afternoon!

This dinner is so easy and tastes GREAT! This is all you need to make it. It should take you about 2 minutes!

1 jar Medium salsa
frozen corn
1 can of black beans

Put the frozen chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Don't worry about it being frozen.
Pour the salsa on top of it. Make sure you use Medium salsa or else it may be a little bland. Cover the chicken with the corn (as much as you like) and the beans. Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Chop up some good toppings...
and then put them on top of your chicken. I shredded the chicken real quick with a fork before putting in the bowl. And I always put the chips on top so they aren't soggy. One more good meal for the busy, crazy days! Enjoy!


Dinner Rolls

I love rolls. No really, love them. I could (and do) eat them all day and night. My kids too. They start eating them right off the cooking trays! I used to make them with a great recipe my mom gave me, but it called for cake yeast and had to be made the night before. I am usually going day-to-day and can only think about today! So, when I found this recipe and it tasted exactly like the other recipe, I was soooo happy!

Dinner Rolls
3 cups lukewarm water
2 packages (2 Tbsp.) dry yeast
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
8 cups flour, plus a little more
Butter to spread

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a bowl and set aside. In a different bowl mix sugar, oil, salt and eggs. Add the yeast and mix slowly. Add the flour a little at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn over and let rise until about double.

Place the dough onto a cutting board and divide into 4 equal parts.
Roll dough out into a large square or circle. I made mine a square because that is the size of my cutting board. A square shape will give you different shape rolls, which I think is fun. If you want your rolls to be uniform in shape, go for a circle.

Soften a cube of butter and spread it out on top of the dough. You don't have to use a lot. I use approximately 1 cube for all four of my batches. But, it is a step you don't want to miss! And don't use anything but real butter! Cut the dough with a butter knife into equal amounts. I did 12 in this picture - but did 16 on the next batch. It doesn't matter!
Starting at the widest part, roll down until you have a crescent shaped roll!
Stagger them on a greased cookie sheet - they need room, they are going to raise a little bit more.
Having a helper is always good!
Aren't they pretty! They wont last long.
Let them raise for another 2-3 hours, until they are fluffy. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Then devour them like we do!


Chocolate Crackle Cookies

My husband brings home really yummy cookies from work sometimes. They are made at a very good cookie store, and we love them. My kids always argue over who gets to eat the Chocolate crackle cookie in the pack - no problem for me, my favorite is the oatmeal raisin! Well, one day my husband came home with more than a box of cookies. This time he brought me the recipe for the Crackles...their recipe! You are not going to believe how easy it is! This is all you need.

1 package brownie mix
1 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
powdered sugar to sprinkle

In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, eggs and oil. Mix with a spoon and stir in the chocolate chips. The mix will be very thick! Refrigerate dough for one hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. After an hour, spoon dough by rounded teaspoons into a ball. Dredge cookie in powdered sugar to coat. Place the balls of dough on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes.

The cookies will be soft and chocolately (is that a word?) delicious!