Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zucchini Ricotta Casserole

I felt a little guilty posting that incredible cookie recipe last week... so, this week, I thought I would introduce a healthier dish. Though zucchini season is leaving us, this light, easy to prepare, recipe will have zucchini lovers asking for more. I gave it a try last week... a little uneasy about adding the fresh mint leafs, but I did as I was instructed and it turned out wonderfully. Roasted zucchini, with fresh garlic and topped with a nonfat ricotta cheese... yum! I found this recipe on YouTube and presented by Chef John, who's recipes are always a treat, from Click here to watch him prepare this delicious dish. 

Zucchini Ricotta Casserole


6-8 medium size zucchini squash, chopped in triangles (see video)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
A few fresh mint leafs (about 7 leafs), chopped
1 cup of nonfat ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
salt & pepper


1. Preheat over to 450 degrees F.

2. Place chopped zucchini in a large bowl. Add oil, paprika, mint leafs, salt & pepper, and a garlic. Stir.

3. Place zucchini mixture in an oven safe casserole dish that has been sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray.

4. Top with several clumps of ricotta cheese... leave room between the clumps.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes and... that's it! Serve warm!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fudge BonBon Cookies

Who likes chocolate? Ok. That's a dumb question. We all do, right?... well... ok... maybe not ALL of us... but the majority. As we enter the Fall season I'm trying new recipes for cookies... as I'll be sending boxes of them around Christmas time in a few months. I found this recipe for Fudge BonBon Cookies (isn't that a great name for a cookie?) in a wonderful cookbook, The Best of Country Cooking 2000, with the recipe by Janice Smith of Cynthiana, Kentucky. The recipe is very simple and the results are... just... wow. The fudge part of this cookie is not overwhelming sweet... like most fudge recipes... but rather a nice, subtle, setup for the milk chocolate kiss at the center. The white chocolate drizzled on top of each BonBon cookies not only adds a little color  and decoration... it's also a chocolate lovers Heaven when combined with the dark chocolate, fudge outside and the milk chocolate, sweet inside. This one's a winner, kids!

Fudge BonBon Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (13 ounces) milk chocolate kisses
2 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and pecans; set aside.

3. In a microwave or saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth.

4. Stir condensed milk and vanilla extract until blended well.

5. Add to flour mixture; mix well.

6. When cool enough to handle, shape a tablespoon of dough around each chocolate kiss... rolling them between your hands to form balls.

7. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes... or until tops begin to crack.

8. Cool on a wire rack,

9. In a microwave or saucepan, heat white chocolate and oil; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

Makes about 5 1/2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hobo Burgers

I learned how to make these while watching an episode of Paula's Home Cooking with Paula Deen. I thought to myself, "dang... that doesn't look hard to make!" Not only was I right about that, but these little meaty delights are actually quite tasty! I suppose you can get creative with what you want to put on, or in, your Hobo Burger... but I would strongly suggest not omitting the hickory-smoked bacon. That's against the law.



1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 package (2 cups) of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup saltine crackers, crushed
1 cup diced green peppers
1 dash of lemon juice
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2-3 red potatoes, sliced
carrot sticks
strips of hickory-smoked bacon


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, cheese, crushed crackers, green peppers, lemon juice, egg, salt and pepper... get your hands in there and make sure it's blended well.

3. Make small, oval shaped loaves with the meat mixture.

4. Top each of the loaves with potato, onion and carrot slices... then top it with a few slices of bacon!

5. Securely wrap each of the loaves in foil and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

6. Put baking sheet in oven and cook for 45-50 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and carefully remove the foil. Enjoy!