Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zucchini Bread

For those of you with green thumbs, and over abundance in your garden, wanting something to do with all that zucchini that is growing like weeds...this recipe is for you.

I, however, have a black thumb and kill everything I try to grow save children and a larger waistline. I have to buy my zucchini from Aldi. Thankfully, it is so reasonable! A few weeks ago I got 3 good sized zucs for $1.39!!! WHAT? Okay, not as good as free - but easier than me trying to garden (and far less amusing to the outsider!) And they were fine specimens too, large and quite weighty! I still have one left after making this treat!

Also, there is no picture because it did not last long enough to be photographed. I briefly considered taking a picture of the mangled aluminum foil with crumbs abounding, but figured that would be cruel. :)

I hope that you enjoy.

Zucchini Bread

3 Golden Hen Eggs (.25)
1 Cup Vegetable Oil (.40)
2 Cups Baker's Corner Sugar (.20)
2 Cups Grated Zucchini, drained well (about 2 med-large) (.93)
1 Tsp Vanilla (.10)
1/2 Tsp Sebree Salt (.02)
3 Cups Grandma's Best Flour (.50)
1/2 Tsp Bakers Corner Baking Powder (.02)
1 Tsp. Baker's Corner Baking Soda (.01)
3/4 Teaspoon Spice Market Ground Nutmeg (.01)
1 Tbs. Spice Market Ground Cinnamon (.02)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla together well in a very large bowl.

Sift together salt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir well, but do not overmix.

Pour into two 8 X 5 (or 9X5) loaf pans. Sprinkle the top with a light coating of sugar, if desired (this makes for a crispy top crust!) Bake for 45-55 minutes - or until top springs back. Let cool completely before removing and slicing (this will be tough I realize!)

The cost is $1.23/loaf - and that means about .12 a slice! Tasty, inexpensive treat! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chinese Cabbage & Eggs


For the last few years we've been blessed with the opportunity to host Chinese Cultural Immersion Students. It's always such an enriching experience for us as a family, and for me personally. The gist is, they come here for "American Camp" and visit a few typical American cities (she's been to Las Vegas, Los Angeles & Philadelphia, and after she leaves us will spend a few days in NYC), they also live with American families and immerse themselves in the language and the culture. She's been here almost 2 1/2 weeks already. They do typical "American" things, tour our schools, firehouses, farms, etc. And learn about American culture. As well as sharing their own with us. The students spend half the day in class learning about America, then they spend the other half of the day on a field trip. As a host family, we get to attend as many of the field trips as we like. We've done quite a few with this group this year! But, one of my favorite parts of this exchange is that usually they teach me how to make an authentic dish or two while they are here.

This year, our student Ya Xian (yah sheeahn), aka Angela is 14, and a true delight. Ya Xian has an English name, Angela, because we Americans are complete doofuses when we try to pronounce Chinese names. I'm not kidding, you haven't lived until you've had 20 Chinese teenagers laughing at you trying to pronounce their names!. Angela and her classmates are from a town about 45 mins south of Hong Kong. They are definitely more like American teenagers than we've experienced before. She came with a laptop, MP3 player and cell phone. She texts with one hand - now the keyboard on her phone is English alphabet, when she types on the screen, though, it's in Chinese characters! WHAT??

I might be a little biased, but, we've got the best student on the trip! What strikes me about her character is that she, unlike most female Chinese Immersion Students we've encountered, is not afraid of anything! She was the first (and only) of the girls to swim during our welcome party, she's tried fishing, she walked barefoot in the creek and threw rocks with us, she's tried on a fireman's suit, she's played American games even though she didn't know the language well, she's played in the rough waves of OCNJ. Not only that, but she lets me take her picture! I'm surprised she's not blind from all the pictures I've taken. All the other girls hide from me when I bring out my camera and say "no, no, I'm ugly!" Not Angela, she turns towards me and smiles broadly. She's just great! Her bravery, and courage when facing new things is truly inspiring. She seems to have a true sense of who she is, and how valuable she is to her family, and this world. I am slightly concerned, however, that my youngest is going to stow away in her luggage and run away to China with her. They've gotten quite close. Here is our Angela:

Anyway, I digress, not to be one to shy away from a challenge, Angela wanted to cook dinner for us. Her father gave her a recipe and told her - over Skype, of course - how to prepare it (I want you to keep in mind that she NEVER cooked this recipe before, nor is it something she has at home often....I told you, BRAVE!). Tonight was the night. She prepared one batch and we ate it so fast, she had to teach me how to cook the dish and we ate the 2nd batch down equally as fast. Inhaled would be a better word. As odd as the words cabbage and eggs might sound in the same recipe, but PLEASE try it, I know that you won't be disappointed.

Oh, and the bonus? Not only is it delicious, but it is CHEAP!

Chinese Cabbage and Eggs

1/2 head of cabbage, shredded (.85)
3 eggs (.30)
Salt & Pepper to taste (.01)
1-2 Tbs Oil (.10)

In a small bowl, mix eggs with pinch salt & pepper.

Heat oil in large skillet or Wok over medium heat. Add cabbage and saute until tender crisp. Add a pinch of salt.

Add egg mixture and cook until eggs are fluffy and cooked. Sprinkle top with pepper. Serve immediately.

Aside from chopping, cook time takes about 5-10 minutes all told. Seriously EASY supper for 32 cents a serving!

* If you need to make more, I suggest making it in two batches so that the cabbage sautes and doesn't steam.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Suicidal Blondies

Okay, so maybe they're not suicidal, but they are definitely depressed. They wish they were chocolate brownies, but what they don't understand is that they're awesome, just the way they are. I do know that a few delicious, inexpensive ingredients gave their lives for them to be so delicious. I think it's only fitting, and honoring, to eat them with gusto, and a glass of milk. And be thankful!!!

Feel free to eat these in excess (i.e. INXS).

Suicidal Blondies

1 Cup of Country Creamery butter, melted ($1.00)
2 Cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar (.45)
2 Golden Hen eggs, lightly beaten (.20)
1 teaspoon of vanilla (.10)
1 teaspoon Bakers Corner baking powder (.05)
1/2 teaspoon of Baker's Corner baking soda (.05)
1/4 teaspoon of Sebree salt (.01)
2 cup of Grandma's Best all-purpose flour (.50)
1 package of Baker's Corner Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (1.69)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly butter and flour an 13 X 9 pan.

Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix well again.

Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool. (if you can handle it!!!)

Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 18 blondies @ .23 each!