Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Ok, no flame involved in this one.  I tried one of those readily available recipes for chocolate pudding made from avocados.  Oh.My.Word.  I couldn’t believe it.  My recipe called for 2 avocados, 3 Tbls. honey, 4 Tbls. cocoa powder, a splash of vanilla and a little milk to thin it.  I tried making it in the blender and my blender must be old because it didn’t want to puree very well.  Next time I’ll just whip it together by hand.  I’m also going to use another Tbls. of honey and one less of the cocoa.  I guess my stevia trained tongue just likes things sweet.  I couldn’t believe how good and believable the chocolate pudding was.  I’d never have known that it started with two soft avocados!  Go figure.

That’s What’s Cooking over the Electric Flame.

Spaghetti Dinner

I like to fix spaghetti for dinner when we need a really quick something – or my brain is dead when it comes to food options (happens WAY more often than I’d like it to).  We love to have Texas Toast to go with our spaghetti, but it gets pricey to buy.  So, I thought we’d just try to make our own bread sticks.  I had a recipe from the Hillbilly Housewife that we tried a few times, but it used a whole stick of butter, wasn’t very garlicky & always tasted a little floury.  So, I had some extra time on Friday & thought that I’d try another recipe in my box that used yeast and could be made in my bread machine.  Oh, my, my, my, my!!  I don’t know the person’s name, but I got the recipe from Homesteading Today back in 2008.  It is fantastic!  I had two pieces of dough that didn’t fit on my cookie sheet, so I rounded them out & made hamburger buns.  Kurt declared them awesome hamburger buns – you could taste the ham & the bread.  (Apparently that is a very good thing to my little guy).  So, I shall share the recipe without further chit chat.

Soft & Fast Breadsticks

1 cu warm water

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup oil

2 1/2 cups bread flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (can use all bread flour if you prefer)

2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Put everything in order in the bread machine.  Set to dough cycle.  Let rise in the machine.  Take out and pat into a semi-long rectangle (about 9×11).  Take a pizza cutter and slice lengthwise into 7 or 8 strips (or, you can cut in half and double the amount – this is what I did).  Take one strip at a time and twist a bit before laying on a greased cookie sheet.  Repeat process with the rest of the strips placing them an inch away from each other on the cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise.  At this point, I brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt ( I also did a light sprinkle of garlic powder & when they were done, I sprinkled with parmesan cheese).  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

*Can also add basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic powder to the bread machine.

**I have also used the dough recipe to make hamburger buns.  When you take the dough out of the machine, roll it out to about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.  Cut with a biscuit cutter or a large glass.  Place on greased cookie sheets.  Cover and let rise.  After they have risen, brush with egg wash (one egg beaten with 1 Tbls. water).  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

This recipe is so easy & gave the most awesome results.  I can’t wait to make my own hamburger buns to go with all of that Molly burger in my freezer!

That’s what’s cooking Over the Electic Flame!

Layered Taco Salad

I made this taco salad last night for Life Group.  It was sooo soooo good!  I used venison instead of beef because I already had the taco meat made up.  I left the hot sauce out because my taco seasoning is pretty hot already.  I found it at Cooks.com

 Read more about it at  http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1843,147167-226205,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com – All rights reserved.  

1 lb. ground beef
3/4 c. water
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 1/2 qt. bite-size salad greens
1 (12 oz.) can drained, whole kernel corn
1 (16 oz.) can drained, kidney beans
1 c. taco or picante sauce
3 sliced green onions
3/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper sauce
3/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 med. tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and sliced (optional)
Tortilla chips
Prepare meat and taco seasoning according to package instructions. Chill. In a large salad bowl, layer salad greens, corn, kidney beans, taco sauce, green onions, Monterey Jack cheese and cooled taco meat mixture.Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, chili powder and hot sauce. Pour over salad. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Garnish with tomatoes and avocado. Arrange tortilla chips around edge of salad and serve. Yield 4 to 6 servings.


Enjoy.  I have a lentil loaf in the oven right now. 

And that’s what cookin’ Over the Electric Flame!

Fudgy Brownies

I promised my Mom I would share this recipe.  I was seriously craving chocolate and didn’t have any in the house (until Joel bought a bunch of on sale after Valentines candy.  I think he’d like me to gain another 10 lbs.  I wish I didn’t enjoy recreational eating so much!

Fudgy Brownies

(from Denise Baumert, field editor from Dalhart, TX – this probably came from a Country Woman or Taste of Home Magazine)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup baking cocoa

6 Tblsp. nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt

2 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I used hickory nuts from our trees)

In a bowl, combine sugar, cocoa and yogurt.  Add egg whites and vanilla; mix well.  Stir in flour and nuts.  Pour into an 8-in. square baking pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.  Yield: 16 servings.  Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals 87 calories (yes, 87!!), 12 mg sodium, trace cholesterol, 18 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm protein, 2 gm fat.  Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

After combining the sugar, cocoa & yogurt I was in chocolate heaven.  I could have quit right there and devoured the gooey mess all by myself!  The brownies were very most & chewy & yummy!!  Joel did manage to find the two pieces of hickory nut shell that slipped into the batter – hey, the kids were helping to shell & they’re not as perfection oriented.  Enjoy!!!

Just Had to Share These Recipes – Fish Soup & Dinner Rolls

No, I haven’t started cooking through my recipe box YET.  But I do keep visiting Recipezaar!  I wanted something to do with lake fish besides fry or coat & bake.  Getting very boring!!!  We tried this soup recipe & it’s really good.  It was quite similar to my gumbo (that isn’t really gumbo, it just has the name).  You could add rice or a small pasta like orzo.  One of my goals for the year is to learn to make biscuits and dinner rolls from scratch.  The entire family called these dinner rolls a success & we even messed them up!  Sounds like a perfect recipe to me.

Fish Soup/Stew with Vegetables (Recipezaar.com  recipe #200734)

1 1/2 lbs. fish, firm, white and diced (I used lake fish fillets & diced them)

1 Tbls. oil (optional if bacon has enough fat)

1 cup bacon, diced (or more)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped (optional)

3 cups boiling water

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

3-4 dashes Tabasco sauce (I didn’t have any so I used a dash of cayenne pepper)

3 cups tomato juice

1. If necessary, thaw and/or skin fish.  Then dice into 1/2-1 inch pieces.  Set aside.

2. In a dutch oven or very large skillet, fry bacon in heated oil until lightly browned.

3. Add onion, bell peppers and celery, and fry until softened.

4. Add water, potatoes, seasonings and fish.

5. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

6. If your fish will cook very quickly, you can wait to add it with the tomato juice.

7. Add tomato juice and heat through.

I served this with cornbread.

Speedy Dinner Rolls (one of those collect a card recipe boxes "Healthy Meals in Minutes")

Makes 16 rolls

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 Tbls. granulated sugar

1 envelope rapid rise yeast

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup warm water (105-115F)

2 Tbls. light olive oil

1 large egg

1. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in water, oil, and egg until blended.  Stir in enough of the remaining flour (about 1 cup) to form a soft dough.

2. On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding more flour to prevent sticking.  Shape into a ball.  Place in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover loosely with a damp cloth; let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

3. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.  Punch down dough; place in prepared pan, patting to an even thickness.  Cut into 16 squares.

4. Fill a large shallow pan with 1 inch of boiling water.  Place a wire rack on top.  Place the pan of rolls on rack, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 20 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400F.  Sprinkle tops of rolls lightly with flour.  Bake until rolls sound hollow when tapped, about 10 minutes.  Place pan on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

And that’s what’s been cooking over the electric flame around here!  Bon appetite!

Chocolate-Zucchini Bread

Yes, you read that right – CHOCOLATE-Zucchini Bread.  I got this recipe from one of those send-you-a-new-packet-of-recipes-every-month clubs that cost a fortune by the time the book/box is full.  This one was Healthy Meals in Minutes.  I ended up keeping about a dozen of the recipes & getting rid of the rest (of course).  Anyway, 224 calories per slice & oh, so yummy.

Chocolate-Zucchini Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspon baking soda

1 cup nonfat buttermilk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup margarine, melted

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 small zucchini, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For crumb topping

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons chilled margarine

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray.  Prepare crumb mixture in a small bowl, mixing sugar and cocoa.  Cut in margarine until coarse crumbs form.  Reserve 2 tablespoons.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Mix well.  In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, sugar, applesauce, margarine, egg, and egg white.  Mix well.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.  Stir in zucchini and walnuts.

3. Pour half of batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle crumb mixture over batter.  Pour remaining batter on top.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  Turn bread out onto rack and cool.

2-for-1 Pasta Primavera

Let’s try this AGAIN!  I made this recipe on Monday and it is scrumptious!  It’s from the August 4, 2009 issue of Woman’s Day magazine.  And it uses zucchini & summer squash which I currently have in abundance!

2-for-1 Pasta Primavera

1 box (14 oz.) whole-wheat penne pasta

2 Tbsp. olive oil

11/2 lb. zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced crosswise

1/2 lb. yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise, sliced crosswise

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 box (9 oz.) frozen peas

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth

12 oz. plum tomatoes, copped

Serve with:  grated Parmesan and crushed black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook as package directs; drain pasta and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Add zucchini and yellow squash; cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat 5 minuts or until crisp-tender.

Add garlic and peas; cook 1 minute or until fragrant.  Stir in broth and bring to a simmer.

Pour vegetable mixture over pasta.  Add tomatoes; toss to mix and coat.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and pepper.

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days and serve cold with Italian dressing.

This recipe makes a TON.  I will definitely cut it in half the next time I make it, but if you are serving a crowd, this is a good recipe.  I didn’t have any penne, so I used a mix of rotini & medium shells and substituted grape tomatoes for the plum tomatoes.  My only regret is how much I have left over that will probably be fed to the chickens, although, they love tomatoes and peas and seem to think that pasta is a good treat.