Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The office...

Before setting down to watch America's Got Talent, which I have to say I am very happy with the top 4! :) It's going to be tough to get it down to one, everyone is soooo good.... I made a 7 layer taco dip for work tomorrow... We are having a Steelers Tailgate lunch, since football season is here... of course I didn't follow a recipe... I think I combined about 3 different recipes... Anyways, here it is:

Tree's 7 Layer Taco Dip

1 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 - 16 oz. can refried beans
1 - 8 oz container of sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1 jar of chunky salsa
2 cups shredded mexican cheese
1 roma tomato, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 small can of chopped black olives

Mix the chilli powerd and cumin into the refried beans, spread into the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish.
Mix the sour cream and mayo, then layer on top of the beans.
Pour salsa ontop of the sour cream mixture
Next, cover with cheese
Sprinkle, tomato, green onions and black olives on top.
Chill at least 1 hr before serving.

There ya go! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Late Night Baking....

So, as you know last night I was baking. I thought I would use the giantic zucchini that I got at the Pittsburgh Public Market... I wanted to make muffins and 2 loaves of parmesan zucchini bread, but I only had enough parmesan cheese for 1 loaf... I wasn't going to run out to the store at 11:45pm just for cheese.... ok, so I though I'll make a zucchini cake... well they turned into cupcakes, since I had the left overs of my mexican lasagna in my 9 x 13 pan.... So, I'm making the batter for the cupcakes... I do not have any coco powder :( See, I should of went to the store! Thank god I had 2 squares of baking chocolate, which worked out pretty good for a substitute....

Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
Bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes.

Parmesan Zucchini Bread

1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups flour
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded zucchini

In a small bowl, whisk oil, milk, and eggs.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix in zucchini, then egg mixture until just moistened.
Pour batter to prepared loaf pan.
Bake at 375º, 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 15 minutes in pan; turn out loaf onto a rack to cool completely.

Mom's Zucchini Chocolate Cake

½ Cup Margarine
½ Cup Oil
1 ¾ Cup Sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
½ Cup Sour Milk
2 ½ Cups Flour
4 Tbsp. Cocoa
½ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Cloves
2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
¼ Cup Chocolate Chips

Cream Margarine, oil and sugar, add eggs, vanilla and milk.
Add dry ingredients mix well.
Stir in zucchini, blend well.
Pour batter into 9x13 pan or makes 24 cupcakes.
Sprinkle top with chocolate chips.
Bake in 350° oven 25-30 minutes.

Today is my day off from cooking :) Going to my mom's house with Matt for Labor day.... It's so nice to have a 3 day weekend... even better, have a 4 day work week and going on vacation next week! Woo hoo! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Well, while I wait for my zucchini bread to finish baking.... which is item #2 or 3 for tonight's late night baking... I thought I would hop on here...

I made mexican lasagna and a black bean and corn salad, which I subed in some chickpeas, since I didn't have enough black beans, and it turned out pretty good.

Mexican Lasagna

  • 2 cups of corn
  • 1 can of black beans, rined and drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained
  • 4 oz. of chopped green chillies
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 - 6 in. tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Crushed up tortilla chips or tortilla strips

Mix the corn, black beans, tomatoes, chillies, green onions, oregano and cumin together in a large bowl. I like to let this sit for 30 min + to marinate, but you do not have to do that.

Spray a 9in x 13in baking dish with Pan, place two tortillas in he dish, cover with half of the veggie mixture; sprinkle with half of the cheese and repeat the layer.

Bake, uncovered, at 400º for 15-20 minutes. Then let it stand for 5 minutes.

Once platted, I then sprinkle tortilla strips on top... to add a little crunch.... You can use tortilla chips if you can't find the strips. I also like a dollop of sour cream and hot sauce on mine.

Now one to the salad.... Which I used 1 can of black beans and 1 can of chickpeas, since I ran out of black beans :( But it was really good!

Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salad

  • 2 cups of corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 cups black beans, rished and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, wishl together, rice winegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and peppers to make the dressing.

Add in the beans, corn, onion and pepper and toss to coat with dressing.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Add the cilantor and toss before serving.

I also added a little diced jalepeno for some heat, remove the seeds, if you do this.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Get Two Beers And Jump....

Tonight for dinner Matt and I went out with his Grandma.... We first went down to the strip district to the new Pittsburgh Public Market... they had a quiet opening today... It's kind of small, but lots of organic produce and a wide varity of items. I ended up getting a HUGE zucchini, dried chickpeas and a chickpea curry mix... and of course Matt got a piece of fudge... His weakness :)
We then walked down Penn Ave. to a Greek restruant, where we were going to have dinner... but when we arrive, we find out that they have closed their doors :( So, we decided to walk down to Chrystals on Penn, which was on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.... only to find out that it closes at 2pm on Saturday's.... :(
So we walked back down to where we parked.. ended up walking almost all of the strip twice! *lol* So we headed for Squirrel Hill to Aladdin's Eatery... Matt and I ended up getting Falafel to make up for last week when I made it and it disintegrated in the fryer...
Other than that we just took it easy today... No cooking...
Tomorrow I think I might make zucchini bread and a cake with that mammoth zucchini....
Now it's time to kick back with a beer, our baklava cheese cake from Aladdins and watch Boondock Saints II.... We picked up a mixed 7 pack earlier.... buy 6 get one free :) ... and the most expensvie 7 pack ever! But it seems well worth it... I'm having a Raspberry Hefeweizen by Harpoon Brewery

and Matt is having a Pale Ale by Stone Brewing... I just love their bottles! :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pizza Night!

Tonight was another easy dinner night... I made Naan bread pizzas... It's super easy and really yummy! We bought the pizza hummus to try something different.... yeah, it's really not that good on it's own, but on this it's great! You can use any type of veggie, but here is what I used tonight.

Naan Bread Pizza by Tree
  • Naan Bread or any thick flat bread
  • Tribe Pizza Hummus
  • Diced Onion
  • Diced Pepper
  • Diced Mushrooms
  • Banana Peppers
  • Mozzarella Cheese

  • Place naan bread in a 400° oven for 5 minutes.
  • While bread is in the oven, cook the diced veggies.
  • When the bread is done toasting spread pizza hummus, about 3 table spoons, on the flat side of the naan bread. Top with veggies and cheese.
  • Place back into over at 400° for another 5 minutes and Enjoy! :)

Also my flowers that I pretty much killed/the heat burn them, came back to life! :) I was pretty sure this plant was dead about 2 weeks ago and just when I was getting ready to throw it out, what do you know, there was buds on it... and here they are in all of their glory!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Super Easy Dinner!

So, Matt cooked me dinner tonight.... Cheesey Tuna Helper... Hey, I'm not going to complain! :) He cooked and I washed dishes for a change.. It was actaully pretty good... with some hot pepper flakes he added.... I did make the salad tho :) Guess you can't keep me out of the kitchen afterall ;) Well, Matt just got back from Starbucks, his treat to himself for making dinner, and it's time to catch up on America's Got Talent from last night.... It's going to be a tough top 10!!!