Lemon Basil Carrots

IMG_8148Carrots? Really a whole blog post about carrots. Okay, sure, maybe there is not a lot to say about carrots. Side dishes, I find, can be one of the harder parts of the meal to be creative. I get lost in the planning of the main course, and vegetables I am sad to say are often the same, night after night. We eat a lot of peas because they are super easy and all three of my kids love them. These carrots had a lot of flavor, and not a combination you would generally think of. Lemon and Carrots, who knew, right? Also, as Christmas is looming I must say there has been a lot of sweet making (and eating) going on. We’ve had the Mexican Wedding Cookies, Cream Cheese Frosted Banana Bars (Hello Gorgeous), Almond Joy Cupcakes, and of course there has been Muffins, Muffins, and more muffins! So I thought it was high time to share something healthy and delicious.

Recipe from Allrecipes

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • dash pepper

1. Cook carrots in boiling water until tender. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients so carrots are coated.

2. Eat and enjoy!

Cinnamon Swirled Muffins

IMG_8416Staying on budget for groceries can sometimes be a bit difficult. December is one of the harder months as I do a bunch of extra baking. We, or at least me, tend to go a wee bit overboard when planning the dessert table. What can I say I like variety. So when I find a recipe that sounds delicious and I have all the ingredients all ready it’s a shoe-in to get put on the week’s meal plan. The cookies and bars get put in the freezer for Christmas (after we have all taste tested them, of course), so I like to have things like muffins and scones for the kids to snack on.

Recipe found at The Spiced Life

  • For the muffin batter:
  • 1½ cups self rising flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 7 T unsalted butter, melted
  • For the cinnamon swirl:
  • 1 Tbsp.  cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. brown sugar

1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in large mixing bowl. Make a well. Place egg, milk , and butter in well. Fold to combine ingredients.

2. Mix together cinnamon and brown sugar.

3. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Spray paper liners and top of muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Place about a Tbsp. of batter in each muffin cup. Divide half of sugar mixture between cups. Top with remaining batter, then remaining cinnamon mixture. Use a butter knife to gently swirl.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

6. Eat and enjoy!

Zucchini, Bacon and Rice Casserole

IMG_8236Zucchini, love it, my favorite vegetable. Rice, a very nice carb, if I do say so myself. Bacon, Smoky and delicious. Cheese, makes everything better. Casserole, a meal you can throw in the oven and go back to the couch to enjoy your book. So needless to say when I found this recipe at Roxana’s Home Baking I made it. It has the added bonus of being gluten-free so when we have gluten sensitive guests coming over for dinner it just seemed the perfect thing to make. And it was ever so yummy. Thanks Roxana!

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 4 oz shredded aged cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. shredded zucchini (do not drain the excess moisture)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked instant brown rice
  • 4-6 slices cooked bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper

1. Beat eggs with fork. Add olive oil and both cheeses. Fold in remaining ingredients.

2. Scoop into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish.

3. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

4. Eat and enjoy!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

IMG_8254Secret Recipe Club is definitely one of my most favorite recipes to make for the month. So I was a bit bummed that we were going to be taking December off. I totally understand of course. Christmas can make it a very busy season for everyone. Then the cookie carnival was announced. Cookies. In December. Perfect. Basically it’s the same premise, you get assigned a secret blogger, and pick a recipe from their site. This month though, it’s all about the cookies. I was very happy to receive Turnips 2 Tangerines, I was oh so hoping that I would be assigned someone from a different group (although I love my group C) so I could discover someone new. My wish was granted and I am so glad because the family absolutely loved the Mexican Wedding Cookies that I eventually settled on. There they wait in the freezer waiting to be brought out again at Christmas time. This may just be a recipe that my family starts requesting every year.

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped fine
  • Icing sugar for coating cookies

1. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, and flour, beating until fully combined. Beat in pecans.

2. Shape about a tablespoon of dough  into crescents. Place on cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 45 minutes at 275 degrees. Immediately roll in icing sugar. Cool. Re-roll in icing sugar.

4. Eat and enjoy!