Strawberry Angel Food Cake Kebabs


Strawberries and angel food cake are two of my favorite things. The second that strawberries appear on the shelves in the grocery store, I'm buying them weekly right up until they disappear from the shelves with the disappointing reminder that spring and summer have passed and we're on our way into fall.

I've never been a huge fan of cake preferring the ice cream variety for birthdays because I find the traditional stuff to be too dense. Which explains why I really enjoy the light airiness of angel food cake. It's more like a sponge than a cake, bouncing back instantly if you were to poke it with your finger. It's slightly sticky and a hint sweet and if I ever make myself cake, it is always my first choice.

I saw an image on pinterest, cubes of angel food cake on skewers between strawberries and drizzled with white chocolate. "Those would be perfect to take to my mom's one weekend" I thought and picked up the ingredients the next time I went to the store.

In hindsight, this is would probably would better with a loaf of pound cake because it's denser and can easily stay on the skewers. The angel food cake cubes broke easily and slid around a little too much, but it still worked out.

Strawberry Angel Food Cake Kebabs
Inspired by: pinterest image
Servings: 12-16 skewers
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    • 1 angel food cake
    • 1 pint strawberries
    • 4 blocks vanilla almond bark or 1 package white chocolate melts
    • short skewers

1. Cut the angel food cake into cubes.
2. Cut off the tops of the strawberries and then slice into 1” thick rounds, leaving pointed bottom pieces as toppers for the skewers.
3. Alternate between angel food cake cubes and strawberry rounds on the skewer, topping with the bottom of a strawberry.
4. Repeat until all skewers are full.
5. Add vanilla almond bark or white chocolate melts to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth.
6. Transfer the melted chocolate to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip or place into a plastic ziptop bag. Snip off the end of the bag and drizzle the white chocolate onto the skewers in a zigzag fashion.
7. Refrigerate the skewers for 20 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Flip over and drizzle the white chocolate on the other side. Refrigerate 20 minutes more, then serve. 

This is a super simple and easy recipe to make. They were devoured at my moms and when I made them a second time to take into work, the same thing happened. You simply can't go wrong with fresh fruit, white chocolate and angel food cake!

SRC - Back to School: Lawnmower Tacos


With five Monday's in the month of August, it's time for another themed reveal of the Secret Recipe Club! The theme for this month is back to school, which comes just in time because the nearly all the grades of the schools in my county went back last Thursday.

(I'll never understand going back to school on a Thursday. Or the last week in August for that matter. They're going back to school for two days, then have a full week, then a four day week because of Labor day. Ugh.)

I debated not participating in this themed reveal because I don't have kids in school and I'm not in college, so the "back to school" theme doesn't really apply to me, but I figured I have a pretty decent select of quick recipes that I should still participate. And of course, I was insanely curious to see what everyone else would make. I pack my lunch for work every week so finding some alternatives is always welcome!

I was assigned to I'm Hungry, Words of Growing Boys which is written by Traci. She has two sons referred to as The Wee One and The Imaginative One (how cute is that?) and an incredible collection of recipes, including multiple flavors of homemade coffee creamer.

I went through over two years of recipes before I finally made a decision. At first I really, really wanted to make either the Snickerdoodle Oatmeal or Snickerdoodle waffles because I love the flavor, but then I found a recipe that my husband would absolutely love and I knew it was the winner:

Lawnmower Tacos!

Tom could eat tacos multiple days in a row and any time that I need a quick meal, tacos are my first choice. Brown up some ground beef, add in some flavor and pile on your desired toppings, which for Tom includes cheese, taco sauce and sometimes sour cream, it doesn't get much easier than that. 

Lawnmower Tacos
Source: I’m Hungry
Servings: 4
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    • 1 lb. lean ground beef
    • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
    • ¼ cup flour
    • 1 ½ cups beef broth
    • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
    • 2 cups taco or cheddar cheese, shredded
    • toppings: lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, avocado, etc.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. (Or to make individual portions, spray 4-6 oz. ramekins and place on a baking sheet.)
2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the ground beef. Cook until browned, breaking into pieces. Drain the grease and return the skillet to the stovetop.
3. Sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of the ground beef and stir until combined.
4. Sprinkle the flour over the ground beef, stirring until coated, then pour in the beef stock and increase the heat to medium-high.
5. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer until the mixture has thickened.
6. Add ⅓ of the crushed tortilla chips onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish (or ramekins). Top with ⅓ of the ground beef mixture, followed by ⅓ of the cheese. Repeat until the chips, meat and cheese have been used.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
8. Garnish with your desired taco toppings and enjoy!

Lawnmower tacos are referred to as such because it looks like the trimmings that shoot out of the side of the lawnmower. I did my best to make these pretty and opted to make them in individual ramekins so I could pile mine up with veggies and Tom could have his plain.

This is actually pretty close to how Tom usually eats tacos. I eat them on soft shells and he crunches up hard shells and mixes everything together in a bowl. I frequently forget to buy the soft tortillas for myself so I love that I've found a new way to enjoy tacos! 

Weekly Menu August 28 - September 1


I did it! I made it through all five weeks of August by only making dinners with the food we had in the pantry, fridge and freezer. This week was the hardest because there is basically nothing left. By this Friday my deep freezer will contain popsicles, five sub rolls, a package of mini sliders, a bag of ice and a pork tenderloin.

I'm not at all looking forward to the grocery bill to restock the freezer, but I'm really glad we were able to go through and get rid of all of the ingredients that had been lying around for far too long.

Sunday: brown sugar and vanilla bourbon ham, mashed potatoes and corn 

Monday: Indiana pork tenderloin sandwiches, fries, salad 

Tuesday: mini pizza meatloaf, salad  

Wednesday: crab soup 

Thursday: churro pancakes, bacon, fruit  

Breakfast for this week will be sausage and hatch chile casserole and lunch is going to use up the leftover ham in  fried rice with pineapple and veggies.

Weekly Menu August 21 - 25


Operation eat from the freezer and pantry is still going strong. Well, I'll be honest. The week of the 7th was not a good cooking week for me. I was going on vacation Thursday and Friday and had things to do after work Tuesday and Wednesday. The majority of the recipes planned for that week got bumped further down into the month.

So we did end up eating more random dinners (ex. sandwiches or ordering pizza) than we should have, but luckily the challenge I gave myself was not to buy meats, not to eat only from the fridge-freezer-pantry.

In case you've missed the previous weeks and have no idea what I'm talking about, my pantry, fridge and freezer were in desperate need of a clean out. (And reorganization, but that will happen after this challenge ends and they are as bare as possible.) So I challenged myself to make dinners for this month using the ingredients we had on hand. Obviously because produce and dairy are perishable, those didn't count. Here are the rules I gave myself;

1. Any recipe not making on a specified week will be carried over to the next week.
2. Any ingredient with a near expiration date will get preference over other ingredients.
3. Two cheat items are allowed per week.
4. Ingredients needed for blogging events/challenges/etc. do not count against the rules
5. Produce and dairy will be the main categories purchased weekly.

So because of that fail of a week, I can definitely stretch this out until the end of the month, which is awesome. However, my grocery bill following it where I need to buy beef, chicken, turkey and pork is not going to look so pretty. Apologies in advance to my bank account. 

Sunday: going out to a pizza place Tom found 

Monday: stuffed turkey breast with mashed potatoes and green beans 

Tuesday: pimiento burgers, fries, salad

Wednesday: crispy chicken over linguine with cherry tomatoes

Thursday: honey, lime, chipotle pork with corn on the cob and roasted zucchini 

For breakfast this week I'm making peach raspberry granola with Greek yogurt and lunch will be pina colada pork with a corn, avocado and tomato salad. 

My coworkers will get to enjoy honey whiskey cupcakes and strawberry shortcake kebabs. I have some frozen watermelon in the freezer and I think I've decided to make popsicles with it! 

#BundtBakers: Jewish Apple Bundt Cake


August's theme for #BundtBakers is apples! Apples are one of my favorite fruits. I eat them throughout the fall, winter and spring and sometimes right on into summer. My favorite apple is the honeycrisp apple which unfortunately has a pretty short season, but there are tons of other apple varieties out there that I enjoy.

Wendy, of A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting this month. If you recognize her blog, it's because we participate in a ton of the same blogging events together. Thanks for hosting this month!


When I found out that the theme for August was apples, I immediately knew what recipe I wanted to make - Jewish Apple Cake. I've heard of the recipe probably a dozen times but I've never made one.

I started looking up recipes and at first, thought I was seeing things. Every recipe I found called for 1 cup of oil and between 2 1/2 and 3 1/4 cups of sugar. Now, I like sweets as much as the next person, but that seemed incredibly excessive to me. But over and over again, I clicked on recipes to find similar ingredients. Eventually I decided I just needed to create my own version of this recipe and lighten it up.

Lighter Jewish Apple Cake
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings:16 slices
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    • 6 large tart or semi-tart apples
    • ⅛ cup sugar
    • 2 tbsp cinnamon
    • ½ tsp nutmeg
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ¼ cup sugar
    • 3 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp cornstarch
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
    • ½ cup orange juice
    • ⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1. Peel and thinly slice the apples. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then transfer to a colander to remove excess liquid.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
4. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, orange juice, unsweetened applesauce and vanilla bean paste until combined.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until no lumps of flour remain.
6. Add ⅓ of the batter to the bundt pan, then top with ⅓ of the apples. Repeat until you’ve used all of each, ending with the batter on top.
7. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 90 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges and then inverting the bundt pan over a plate.
8. Slice and serve. 

I was a bit worried that replacing the oil with a combination of mashed bananas and applesauce would leave the cake too dense, but no one was able to tell I made substitutions, myself included. This tasted just like any full-fat cake made with oil and tons of sugar. I did opt to use a semi-sweet apple which I know helped me reduce the sugar content.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

See what everyone else made!

Improv Cooking Challenge: Garlic Rosemary Pretzel Bombs


It's Improv Challenge time again! The two ingredients for August are garlic and rosemary.

Since 2011, the Improv Cooking Challenge has challenged the participants to improvise a recipe using the two chosen ingredients. If you would like to join us, check out the rules here and then request to join our Facebook group.

We recently just started a group Pinterest board. Check out what we've made!

Garlic and rosemary are such common ingredients for me. I always have garlic on hand in the fridge and I grow rosemary in my little indoor herb garden. I'm constantly including both of the ingredients in recipes, mainly over roasted potatoes, so I knew it would be easy to use them, but I wanted to make them the star of the recipe.

I haven't done any baking with yeast in quite some time but when I found a soft pretzel recipe using the ingredients, I knew it was perfect.

You simply can't go wrong with the combination of garlic, rosemary, soft pretzels and cheese.

Garlic Rosemary Pretzel Bombs
Inspired by: Baker by Nature
Servings: 40+ pretzel bombs
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    • 1 ½ cups rapid rise yeast
    • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 ½ cups warm water (110 degrees F)
    • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft
    • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 10 cups water
    • ¾ cup baking soda
    • 5-6 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
    • 4-6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 2 tbsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp garlic powder

1. Start the dough by combining the yeast, sugar, salt and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. Add the rosemary and butter and the flour ½ cup at a time, mixing on low speed. Once all of the flour is combined, increase the speed to medium and allow the mixer to knead the dough for 12 minutes.
3. If the dough is still sticky, add additional flour ¼ cup at a time until it is tacky and has pulled away from the side of the bowl.
4. Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside, flipping the dough over once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
5. While the dough is rising, dice the mozzarella into cubes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer until ready to use.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a large pot with the water and bring to a boil.
7. Meanwhile, divide the dough into ¼ cup sized balls. Use your thumb to make an indent in the dough and place a cube of mozzarella cheese inside. Fold the dough over the cheese and pinch the seams until they’re closed. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until each ball of dough is filled with cheese.
7. Once the water is boiling, add the baking soda carefully. It will foam up. Working in batches of six dough balls or less, use a slotted spoon to drop the dough into the boiling water.
8. Cook for 30 seconds then remove from the water, draining the excess water before placing the dough back onto the prepared baking sheets. Repeat until all pretzel bombs have been cooked in the water for 30 seconds.
9. Combine the melted butter, fresh rosemary and garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush over the tops of the pretzel bombs and dust with the kosher salt.
10. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Serve immediately.

As you can see from the pictures I had some issues with keeping the cheese inside of the pretzel bombs, which is likely because I didn't have my cheese frozen nearly as long as I could have. I didn't make the decision to stuff the pretzels until more than halfway through the rising process and by the time I got all of the mozzarella diced, it was in the freezer for maybe 15 minutes before I started putting it in the pretzels.

But cheese oozing from pretzels is never a bad thing, at least in my world. These little bombs of cheesy, garlic-y, rosemary goodness are too easy to gobble up by the handful. I found that they're even delicious when microwaved for 10 seconds the next day. It melts the cheese again and brings back the soft doughy texture of the pretzel that can turn chewier the longer it sits.

Coconut Mojito


When Tom and I went to Florida in February of last year, one of the restaurants we went to had coconut mojitos. Being a lover of mojitos I had to order one.

It was amazing. 

To this day I can still remember the coconut flavor in the mojito while I sat at a waterfront restaurant with my toes in the sand. Everyone back home was dealing with near freezing temperatures and significant snowfalls and I was sipping a coconut mojito. It was delightful.

And since then I've looked on menus trying to find another one. Apparently they just aren't a thing in Maryland so I finally set out to make one myself. 

Side note, do you have the Ibotta app? At first I thought it was a complete waste of time, scanning in bar codes and receipts to get money back, but I signed up earlier this year and I've amassed more than $50 in money that I can get either deposited into my paypal account or put onto a gift card. The reason I mention this is because, if you have a liquor store that prints itemized receipts, you can get money for buying alcohol.

Saving money while buying groceries and toiletries is one thing, but money for alcohol? That's too easy. Recently they had a deal to get $3 back for buying a 750 ml bottle of Cruzan rum. So you know I hightailed it over to the liquor store and snagged a bottle of the coconut variety so I could finally, finally make this drink that has been on my mind for over a year now. 

Coconut Mojito
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 1 mojito
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    • 6 fresh mint leaves
    • pinch of sugar
    • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
    • 3 oz. simple syrup
    • 3 oz. Cruzan coconut rum
    • club soda
    • fresh mint, for a garnish
    • ice

1. Twist the fresh mint leaves and place in a small bowl. Add a pinch of sugar on top and  the lime juice. Use the back of a spoon to grind the sugar granules into the mint.
2. Transfer the mint to the bottom of a glass and top with ice.
3. In a shaker glass, combine the coconut rum and simple syrup then pour over into the glass.
4. Pour club soda on top until the glass is full.
5. Garnish with mint sprigs and a stir with a straw.
6. Try to drink just one!

I searched for a while to find a recipe but nearly every one I found used cream of coconut instead of coconut rum so I decided to just make my own version. It wasn't exact to what I remember from that Florida restaurant but it was pretty close. I foresee this bottle of coconut rum not lasting long at all!

If you'd like to join Ibotta, here is my invite link: with a referral code of qbjeixe.

(Disclaimer: If you sign up and make a purchase within two weeks, I get $5 and you get $10, however it is not an affiliate link and I do not earn anything for you clicking the link. It's also on my blog as a no-follow link.)

Weekly Menu August 14 - 18


It's my third week of trying to eat mainly from the freezer, fridge and pantry and only purchase produce and dairy. My rules are simple:

1. Any recipe not making on a specified week will be carried over to the next week.
2. Any ingredient with a near expiration date will get preference over other ingredients.
3. Two cheat items are allowed per week.
4. Ingredients needed for blogging events/challenges/etc. do not count against the rules
5. Produce and dairy will be the main categories purchased weekly.

I had plans to share the menu with you on Sunday, as usual, but my trip home from the beach took significantly longer than anticipated. The beach vacation was pretty good, my cousin and I took our time getting down there on Thursday and did some outlet shopping before going to my aunts house. It was mid-afternoon by the time we got settled in and we decided to hang around there until going out for dinner at The Blue Crab in Bethany. Friday we braved the heat and humidity and went to the beach. We made it from ten to barely noon before we called it quits. The sun ended up giving my cousin a migraine so we stayed in that night.

Saturday we got smart and went to the pool at the golf course where my uncle is a member. It was glorious to float around in the salt water pool for nearly an hour before all the families and kids started to show up. We've decided, the beach is fun for sunrises and sunsets, but we'd rather hang out at the pool, especially because it opens at ten am! Saturday night we drove into Ocean City and did some shopping on the boardwalk until I realized I didn't have my license. My cousin didn't have her glasses so instead of taking our chances in the tourist town, we obeyed every single driving law on the way home to get my license. We were supposed to go back out but ended up staying in again, just being tired of stupid people and traffic that we'd endured. (Signs you're getting old.)

Bethany Beach, DE is on average, 2.5 hours from my house. It took five hours to get home on Sunday for absolutely no good reason. Cars would group together with two people pacing each other in the left and right lane below the speed limit over and over again. Or someone would be tailgating then randomly slam on their breaks and create a chain reaction of it for miles. It was a rather aggravating drive.

I forced myself to go grocery shopping and make my breakfast. Luckily I only needed to make hard-boiled eggs for lunch. But my poor coworkers. They aren't going to have any baked goods. (I'm sure they can survive a week.)

Sunday: lawnmower tacos 

Monday: hawaiian chicken tenders, fries, peach and tomato salad

Tuesday: pork tenderloin with chipotle cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans 

Wednesday: flank steak, baked potatoes, grilled vegetables

Thursday: sausage hash brown balls, fruit 

Breakfast for this week will be prosciutto egg cups and my lunch will be a cobb salad.

Most of last week's recipes didn't get made for a lack of planning and pulling things out of the freezer on my part. Also, who feels like cooking before vacation? Not me! So those recipes will get recycled into next week's rotation.

S'mores Breakfast Cookies


Breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

Except more than half of us (I think, don't quote me on that or anything) skip right over that first meal of the day in exchange for a cup of coffee and wait until lunch. For years, mainly as a teenager, I was guilty of this. I used to need 2-3 hours after waking up before my stomach could even consider the idea of adding anything to it. Which would mean that in middle school and high school I would have needed to wake up between 4 and 5 am in order to eat breakfast before classes started.

I don't know about you, but the sunrise on the beach in the summer is the only thing that is going to drag me out of bed that early in the morning.

Now as an adult, I prefer to eat breakfast at my desk before my work day begins. (Which is still realistically 2-3 hours after I wake up, so some things never change.)

Breakfast is one of those great meals where you can choose to go savory with ingredients like eggs and bacon or take it on the sweet side with muffins and donuts. A good balance is definitely the best choice, but it seems as though recently there's been an explosion of dessert-like breakfasts, such as Breakfast Popsicles, Strawberry Shortcake Donuts, and Pancake Cupcakes.

The thought to make a dessert-like breakfast was bopping around in the forefront of my mind like a catchy 90's boy-band tune while I was walking through the local farmers market and then I found an ingredient that caused me to have a wonderful, awful idea. (Yes, I just took that line from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.)

What was this wonderful, awful ingredient you ask?

S'mores cream cheese.

It wouldn't be enough to just slather this over a toasted, plain bagel. I needed something more. Something slightly crazy and decadent. Like a breakfast cookie.

Of course, once I went to Pinterest to find inspiration for breakfast cookies I learned that I was not the first to think of a s'mores breakfast cookie (as expected) but it solidified that wonderful, awful idea that these cookies needed to be made and enjoyed for breakfast post haste!

S’mores Breakfast Cookies
Inspired by: Cookies and Cups
Servings: about 15 cookies
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    • 1 tube crescent rolls
    • s’mores cream cheese, or:
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/4 cup mini marshmallows
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • ½ to ⅔ cup mini chocolate chips

1. Roll out the crescent roll dough and pinch the seams together.
2. To make s’mores cream cheese, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and graham cracker crumbs until combined.
3. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crescent dough, leaving ½ inch of a border on all sides.
4. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top of the cream cheese.
5. Start with a long side and carefully roll up the crescent dough into a log. Press to seal the edges to the dough.
6. Wrap firmly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
7. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. Unwrap the crescent log from the plastic wrap and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

I dare you to eat just one! These are absolutely incredible! Soft and chewy and filled with all the things that make s'mores delicious! 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins


The first time I heard about baking with zucchini my nose squished up and I thought it was a terribly and disgusting idea to include a vegetable (or is zucchini a fruit because of the seeds?) into a baked good.

Then eventually I realized that if there were thousands of pins out there including zucchini into baked goods that maybe it wasn't all that bad. And of course, the sneaky part of me wanted to see if I could convince Tom to eat a muffin that had zucchini in it. It worked, and he actually liked it, so if you have a vegetable hating husband or toddler, I'd highly suggest this recipe.

Since I was already sneaking in one ingredient to make these healthy, I decided to go all out substituting applesauce for oil and whole wheat flour for all purpose. Plain Greek yogurt is also included, because why not?

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 14 muffins
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    • 1 cup shredded zucchini
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • ½ cup cocoa powder
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 eggs
    • ⅔ cup plain (or vanilla) Greek yogurt
    • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line muffin pans with 14 paper liners.
2. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander and press down with paper towels, removing the excess water. Flip over and repeat until all water is removed.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, Greek yogurt, applesauce and vanilla until combined.
5. Add the egg mixture and zucchini to the flour mixture and stir gently until no lumps of flour or zucchini remain. Then gently stir in the mini chocolate chips.
6. Fill each muffin ¾ of the way with the batter.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I successfully managed to not only get Tom to eat these but my coworkers who had no idea they were healthy. (I told them after.) The muffins are light and bit chewy but definitely chocolately and you'd have no idea zucchini was even included. 

SRC: Potato Latkes


For August's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Oh! You Cook! which is written by Dena. I love the tagline of her blog which is "Proving that Kosher and Delicious are NOT mutually exclusive".

I know the kitchen and eating basics of keeping kosher; that dairy and meat need their own cooking utensils, they aren't eaten together and that shellfish and pig also aren't allowed. As for the religious reasons behind it, I'll just let you defer to Dena. But back to the tag line. I know of more than a few people out there who think that a life without bacon is no life at all, which is the first thought that popped into my mind after reading the tagline.

While bacon may not be included, Dena has an incredible collection of recipes on her blog and she's even written a cookbook, The Everything Kosher Slow Cooker Cookbook! At first I was really, really taken by her corn and arugula salad. I probably looked at the recipe a good five or six times before mentally shaking my head and saying to myself "really, Nichole? You have a blog here with an entirely different cooking style than you and you want to make a salad?" Albeit, a delicious looking salad, but a salad all the same.

And then that little voice in the back of my head reminded me that potato latkes have been on my to-make recipe list for like ever, but I keep putting it off. Probably because I don't have a food processor with a blade to grate potatoes and squeezing water from anything is like my least favorite chore ever. Serious question, have you ever squeezed water from potatoes, frozen spinach, lettuce or any other item without going through a massive amount of paper towels? I find this to be impossible.

So armed with my hand grater, a brand new role of paper towels I set out to make potato latkes.

Potato Latkes
Source: Oh! You Cook!
Servings: 5-7 latkes
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    • 1 large baking potato
    • 1 egg
    • ⅛ cup all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp onion soup mix
    • ½ tsp salt
    • vegetable oil, for frying
    • optional: applesauce, for serving

1. Peel the potato then use a hand grated or food processor to shred it.
2. Place the potato shreds into a colander and press down with paper towels, squeezing out all of the excess water. Flip over and repeat until potatoes are dry.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk an egg. Add the flour, onion soup mix, salt and shredded potatoes. Mix until combined.
4. Line a plate with paper towels. Add the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.
5. When the oil is hot enough to bubble around the tip of a spatula inserted into it, gently place a two-tablespoon scoop of the potatoes into the skillet and press down with the back of a spoon to flatten.
6. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip carefully and cook for another 3 minutes.
7.Transfer to the paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Repeat with remaining potato batter.
8. Top with applesauce and serve immediately. 

If you aren't a fan of applesauce, I think it still falls within keeping kosher to serve the latkes with sour cream and chives. I tried it both ways and couldn't choose a favorite.

Weekly Menu August 7 - August 10


I'm now starting my second week of planning meals using up ingredients from the freezer, fridge or pantry.  I think the first week went pretty well. I only ended up spending $80 on groceries and the bill is usually around $150. (However, the bill always includes paper products, cat litter and wet food and some toiletry/personal items)

As I said last week, I have five rules for this challenge:

1. Any recipe not making on a specified week will be carried over to the next week.
2. Any ingredient with a near expiration date will get preference over other ingredients.
3. Two cheat items are allowed per week.
4. Ingredients needed for blogging events/challenges/etc. do not count against the rules
5. Produce and dairy will be the main categories purchased weekly.

The top ingredients I chose to get rid of this week are as follows:
Fridge - eggs, cheese
Freezer - turkey breast, sirloin steak, Texas toast, meatballs
Pantry - canned beans, coconut milk, cashews
Counter - celery

Sunday: stuffed turkey breast, mashed potatoes, green beans 

Monday: Thai cashew beef

Tuesday:  smoky pork tenderloin, baked beans, everything green beans 

Wednesday: Texas toast meatball sandwiches 

It's a short menu this week because on Thursday morning my cousin and I are driving down to the beach to spend Thursday through Sunday with my aunt and uncle. I can't wait! I know I was just on vacation the last week in June, but I miss the beach. I really need a job where I have off the whole summer so every weekend can be a weekend at the beach.

Breakfast: ham/egg/cheese breakfast sandwiches

Lunch: pork banh mi rice bowls 

Even though we're coming home on Sunday and that is my usual day to prep food, my fingers are crossed that I can plan the majority of the menu based around what I pick up at a farmers market on the way home and we can still eat from the freezer and pantry for the third week in August! 

#FoodieExtravaganza: Dairy Free Frosted Lemonade


As a child, I loved Country Time lemonade. I used to go to the grocery store with my mom and cross my fingers the whole way down the aisle that it would be on sale. Classic yellow lemonade or the pink lemonade variety, I didn't care.

I can still hear the sound of the granules crunching against the spoon as I would stir in the water, waiting for them to dissolve, taking amusement in the swirl of water it would create. And then came the hard part, waiting for it to get cold enough to drink.

For some reason, adding ice cubes wasn't an option for me. I'd rather make the lemonade with warm water to ensure it dissolved and then test my patience as I waited for it to cool down to drinking temperature.

My love for lemonade continued into my teenager years where I found that the baseball stadium served the world's best frozen lemonade and I just so happened to have a boyfriend with a mom that got free tickets weekly.

In an attempt to meet new bloggers and branch out my blog, I've been joining different blogging events. When I found #FoodieExtravaganza and saw that their themes for the month are based on National Food Holidays, my fingers stumbled over themselves to my email to quickly ask if I could join.

The host for this month is Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook and if you hadn't guessed by now, the theme is Lemonade.

August 20th is Lemonade Day and I chose to celebrate the holiday by making Frosted Lemonade. Perhaps you've had one of these milkshakes from Chick-Fil-A before. Unfortunately, for my 30th birthday, the universe gave me the gift of lactose intolerance, so I made this a dairy free version, using vanilla cashew milk ice cream.

Dairy-Free Frosted Lemonade
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 2 ¼ cups
Printer Friendly

    • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
    • ½ - ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1 ¼ cups water
    • 1 pint dairy-free vanilla ice cream


1. Combine the fresh lemon juice and water with ½ cup of the sugar.
2. Stir until the sugar dissolves and taste. If it is still bitter add the remaining sugar.
3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill.
4. Allow ice cream to thaw for 10 minutes.
5. Add the lemon juice and the ice cream to a blender and blend until smooth.
6. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Most of the recipes I've found for copycat versions say to use Starkist lemon juice. I'm guessing this is something you can find along with the orange juice, but neither of the stores I went to carried it, so I opted to use fresh lemons and increase the amount of sugar slightly.

I usually pick up vanilla almond milk ice cream but I couldn't find that either and thought I could try out the cashew milk version. It's why the frosted lemonade isn't white in color and it was slightly sweeter than I expected it to be, but it really counteracted nicely against the still tart lemonade. 

I also made one of these for Tom using regular vanilla ice cream and he said it tasted just like what they serve at Chick-Fil-A. 

Foodie Extravaganza
Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

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