July 9th, 2014

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread


It’s officially zucchini season and I’m loving it!  It all started last week when a friend gave me a huge – organically grown no less- zucchini from her garden.  Mmmm . . . what to make?  So many choices . . .

Finally I made my decision, and first up for the season is an old classic favorite- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread.  Sweet breads are fun and easy to make; this one doesn’t even require an electric mixer.  Just mix and bake for all the goodness of zucchini bread filled with chocolate chips and walnuts if you like {the nuts are my favorite part.}.

This recipe makes 2 loaves.  You’ll probably want to eat one warm out of the oven with a cold glass of milk.  You can share the other with a friend, or freeze it for later.


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread



Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread


2 cups grated fresh zucchini
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnut (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees  Spray 2 loaf pans (8×4) with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the zucchini, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir the flour mix into the zucchini until completely combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.{Note- I like to leave a few nuts to sprinkle on top the loaves before they bake.}  Pour evenly into the two prepared pans.

Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove pans to a wire rack and cool about 10-15 minutes before removing from pans.



July 8th, 2014

Crockpot Refried Beans

Crockpot Refried Beans

Seriously Refried Beans.  Beans don’t seem that appealing I know.  Refried beans were never one of those things that I really wanted to dip in a spoon and just eat. The refried beans out of a can just don’t seem that appetizing. However, since I have started making my own I can’t get enough of them. These beans are seriously AMAZING!  I can’t even describe the difference between homemade and the canned ones.  They are not even really the same thing at all.   I’d be happy with a bowl of these Refried Beans and a bag of tortilla chips – Dinner!

It does take a little thought ahead of time to make sure your beans have long enough to cook, but other than that they are so simple. I live to double the recipe (make sure your crockpot is big enough) and freeze them in smaller portions to pull out when we need them.

Crockpot Refried Beans

Crockpot Refried Beans


1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
1 jalapeno, seeded
1 1/2 – 2 yellow onions
3-5 teaspoons minced garlic, divided use
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
about 5 Tablespoons bacon drippings
1 lime


Note – I live at a high elevation, so I place my beans in the crockpot the night before and cook on low overnight. If you live lower, you can cook them the morning of, or overnight if you are worried about them cooking through. You can’t over cook them. :)

Place beans in crockpot and cover with water until water is at least 2 inches above the beans. Add the jalapeno and 1 onion that has been peeled and cut in half, and 3 teaspoons minced garlic. Cook on high 6-8 hours.

When the beans are tender, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, discard remaining liquid. Place the beans, cooked vegetables (jalapeno, onion and garlic) and the vinegar in a blender or food processor. Blend until desired consistency is reached using the reserved liquid a little at a time. Return to crockpot on low.

Mince the remaining onion (use your judgement here – either a half or whole onion). Heat the bacon drippings in a skillet over medium-high heat; add the minced onion and remaining garlic and cook until tender. Add to the beans and stir to combine. Add salt to taste, be generous. Before serving, stir in the juice from 1/2 of the lime. (Again, add more if desired.) I like my refried beans topped with a little Cotija cheese.


July 7th, 2014

Fresh Corn Grits with Bacon and Shrimp

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I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend filled with fun, friends and plenty of good food!  Now that summer is in full swing, it’s we like to keep things simple at the dinner table.  These Fresh Corn Grits with Bacon and Shrimp are a delicious option.  They are simple to make and take just minutes for a fresh and flavorful summer supper.


Fresh Corn Grits with Bacon and Shrimp


The key to this yummy supper is beginning with fresh sweet corn straight off the cob.


Fresh Corn Grits


The sweet corn doesn’t need much, but of course bacon is always good! Just a little butter, salt and pepper, plus a little green onion complete the grits.  Top if off with a few fresh shrimp and dinner is ready to go!


Fresh Corn Grits with Bacon and Shrimp



Fresh Corn Grits with Bacon and Shrimp


6 cups fresh corn kernels off the cob (about 6 large ears)
6 slices bacon
5 green onions, whites only, diced (reserve the greens for garnish if desired)
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
20 large peeled and deveined shrimp, patted dry
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika  (or chipotle chili powder for more heat)


In a food processor or blender, pulse 3 cups of corn until almost smooth.   Add the remaining 3 cups and pulse twice to just combine.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate.  Drain all but about a tablespoon of bacon fat and add green onions.  Allow onions to soften for 1-2 minutes.  Add the corn to the skillet with butter, salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through- about 3-5 minutes.  Crumble the bacon into the corn mixture (reserve about 2 tablespoons for garnish).

In a second large skillet heat oil oil over medium-high heat.  Season the shrimp with paprika and black pepper.  Cook in a single layer until golden brown and opaque throughout,  about 1-2 minutes per side.

Plate the grits with the shrimp on top and sprinkled with additional bacon and green onion tops.  Serves 4


July 3rd, 2014

4th of July Recipe Favorites


We’ve updated our 4th of July recipe list to give you even more delicious ideas to help you make your menu sparkle for the big celebration!  We hope you have a safe, happy, and delicious holiday!


Strawberry Fruit Dip 
Piña Colada Fruit Dip
Cheesecake Dip
Salad on a Stick
Bruschetta with Fresh Tomato and Basil
Easy Stuffed Bread with Pesto
Mexican Street Corn 
Tortellini Skewers
Chicken Salad Cups
Crab Cakes with Rémoulade 
Roasted Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tarts
Spinach Artichoke Bites
Corn, Bacon and Chile Crostini
Easy Stuffed Bread with Pesto
Creamy Parmesan Ranch Dip
Meatball Sliders
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Chipolte Black Bean Dip
Mexi-Corn Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Baked Parmesan Crab Dip
Grilled Corn and Poblano Guacamole
Restaurant Style Salsa
Mango Pineapple Salsa
Pepper Blend Cheese Ball
Easiest Ever Appetizer


Pizza Pasta Salad
Potato Salad
Firehouse Potato Salad
Loaded Baked Potato Salad 
Onion Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon
Watermelon, Arugula and Feta Salad Wedges
Cucumber Salad
Black Bean Confetti Salad
Favorite Spinach Salad
Layered Tortellini and Spinach Salad

Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad
Chicken Pasta Salad
Shrimp Pasta Salad
Bacon Fried Corn
Cheddar Zucchini Pie
Baked Beans
Squash Bake
Roasted Parmesan Tomatoes
Scallion Sweet Potatoes {On The Grill}
Mexican Street Corn {Elote}


Flavored Lemonade Bar
Sweet Liberty Straw Flags
Layered Drinks {4th of July Style}
Raspberry Lemonade
Sparkling Rhubarb Lemonade
Brazilian Lemonade
Mango Agua Fresca
Cotton Candy Fizz
Orange Cream Smoothie
Summer Slushies
Blueberry Lemonade Spritzer
Hawaiian Lemonade
Watermelon Slush


Spiral Cut Hot Dogs
Restaurant Style Baby Back Ribs 
Grilled Steak Sandwich with Peppers and Onions
Caramelized Jalapeno Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese
Chipotle Lime Glaze for Summer Grilling
Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
Grilled Lasagna
Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Marinated for Flank Steak or Chicken
Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Pepper Glaze 
Fajitas- Chicken or Beef
Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos with Spicy Red Onion Guacamole
Marinated Steak with Caramelized Onions
The “7-6-5″ Method for Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin {works every time}
Balsamic BBQ Chicken
Grilled Cauliflower with Kalamata Vinaigrette
Grill Bread
Grilled Pineapple Sundae with Brown Sugar Lime Sauce
Grilled Peaches

{Not Off the Grill, but will feed a Crowd}
Pulled Pork with Apple Cider Sauce {slow cooker recipe}
Zesty BBQ Chicken {Crockpot}
Crockpot Barbecue Ribs


Strawberry and Cream Cake
Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes
Red, White and Blueberry Sundaes
All-Star Cupcakes
Fresh Peach Pie
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Crumble Pie
Strawberry Pretzel Ice Cream Pie
Rhubarb Cheesecake Pie
Lemon Blueberry Cream Pie
Orange Creamsicle Pie {Kool-Aid Pie}
Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie
Peanut Butter Pie
Cherry Pie
Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
Swedish Apple Pie
Apple Pear Raspberry Crisp
Blackberry Pie Bars
Crushed Raspberry Tart
White Chocolate-Peppermint Mousse Pie
Custard Pie with Fresh Peaches and Summer Berries
Cherry Crunch Pie
Chocolate Chip Pie
Banana Cream Pie (made with ice cream)
Cream Cheese Pie (Simple Cheesecake)
Lemon Marshmallow Tart
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Blackberry Cobbler
Strawberry Shortcake with Sweet Cream Biscuits
Chocolate Ice Cream
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Hot Fudge
Marshmallow Hot Fudge
Texas Sheet Cake
Blonde Texas Sheet Cake
Cream Cheese Sheet Cake
Fresh Apple Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
Peanut Butter Sheet Cake
S’more Cake
Picnic Cake
Funnel Cake
Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake
Peanut Butter Fudge Cake
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Brown Sugar-Pecan Cupcakes
Coconut Bread
Smore’s Cookie Bars
Sugar Cookie Bars
Monkey Bars
Frosted Peanut Butter Bars
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars
Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookie Bars
Oatmeal Fudge Cookie Bars
Chewy Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Chips and Coconut
Pineapple Cream Cheese Bars
Red Velvet Buttermilk Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Snickerdoodle Brownies
Dark Chocolate Brownies
Butterscotch Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting
Chocolate Chip Blondies
Triple Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Scotchies
Praline Cookies
Individual Fruit Pizza
 Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes


Sweet Liberty Cookie Bark
Sweet Liberty Printable Tags
Stars and Stripes Forever
4th of July Strawberry Sticks
Strawberries and Cream White Chocolate Bark


K&J Siggie

July 2nd, 2014

Strawberry and Cream Cake

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If I had to list an all-time favorite dessert of my family, this Strawberry and Cream Cake would be right up at the top of the list.  This is the cake my oldest son always requests for his birthday, and it just isn’t summer without it!

This amazing dish combines a white cake layered with a mixture of whipped cream and cream cheese {yum} – then it’s finished off with a strawberry pie -type topping {double yum}.


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The beautiful red color and fresh berries makes it a perfect finish for your 4th of July celebration or it will make any day a celebration!


strawberry cake 039



Strawberry and Cream Cake


1/2 prepared white cake mix (make a few cupcakes with the extra batter)

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 pkg Danish Dessert Strawberry Pudding*

4 cups strawberries, sliced


Preheat oven to 350.

Bake the cake mix batter (a generous half of the mix) in a 9×13 baking pan coated with cooking spray for about 15 minutes or until center set.  Cool.

To make the cream cheese layer, whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Whip the cream and fold into the cream cheese mix.  Spread over the top of the cooled cake.

To make the strawberry topping combine the Danish Dessert with 1 3/4 cups of water in a medium sauce pan until completely dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and cool 10-15 minutes.  Add strawberries and let cool completely.  Pour the strawberry mixture of the cream cheese mix and refrigerate the cake for 3-4 hours before serving.

*Note:  the Junket Brand Danish Dessert is often hard to find.  It’s usually with the jello products or you can order it on Amazon.  It also comes in Raspberry which is also really really good!





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Caramel Potatoes

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