Zucchini Bread

So, anyone who’s browsed my blog knows that my beloved grandma took a few shortcuts in the kitchen.  Let me tell you something, here, in this recipe, she did not.  I did.  It’s the dead of winter in February 2021 and not only is fresh zucchini hard to come by, it’s impossible to find.  Between the winter months and the pandemic, it’s just another food that’s fallen into the food shortage.  

But heck if I had a craving for this memory inducing treat.  I strongly considered the yellow summer squash that has the same distinct feel of zucchini but not that great green and unique flavor.  Now, if you’re in the mood for the fresh stuff, and can only find the yellow squash, go for it.  It has the same texture and nutritive values, just don’t include the seeds. 

Gosh, what’s a person to do when they really want that zucchini flavor?  Head to the freezer section at the local grocery store where the new fad of spiralizing all the veggies comes in handy.  I picked up some spiralized zucchini in a 12 ounce bag, not store brand, since I tried that too and it was a brick of water and yuck. 

So head on over to my recipe to check out the delicious, simple and now, year round indulgence. 

Wasabi Crusted Pork Chops

The pork chops are inspired by my flavor imagination gone wild.

Seriously, when you’re in the mood for something crispy that has a really fun zingy flavor, check out this recipe. 

It’s not too spicy, trust me.  I’m a spice wimp and if regular wasabi flavored peas aren’t too spicy for you, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re a big wasabi fan, go ahead and kick it up a notch with a bit more wasabi paste in the egg mixture.

Sesame Crusted Chicken

After craving sesame crusted chicken for weeks and pouring over recipes both in my slew of cookbooks and online for days, I developed this recipe.

Some recipes come to me in a flash, others in bits and pieces, while others as I create them.

This one came to me in a flash.  I had a can of mandarin oranges that I was likely not going to use the juice from, and that seemed wasteful.  I also had too much hoisin sauce in my pantry, not that it goes bad when unopened, but jeez, do I really need four jars?

I had received some chicken tenders in the grocery delivery, they were substituted for chicken breasts, so I thought this would be a great way to try this recipe. 

I love using marinades in my Asian flavored recipes, so the mandarin juice seemed like a perfect fit. oh no

  • NOTE: Orange juice can be substituted.  Orange juice just produces a stronger, sweeter flavor.

Also, using the chicken tenders allowed me to have a greater crust to chicken ratio which I plenty enjoyed. 

Now, a lighter hand with the hoisin sauce might be preferred, as it is by some of my taste testers, but I like it just fine doused thoroughly.

You can cook this in the oven or on the stovetop, depending on the season and where you live, as well as your taste preference.  If you like a little extra sesame flavor, the stovetop is nice since it has the sesame oil in it.

I look forward to hearing from you about your experience with the hoisin under the breading as it is in this recipe.

Lily’s Favorite Italian Soup

Picture it: January 2021 and I’m getting tired of my soup recipes being the same every week for lunches for my Pandemic Pal (roommate during the pandemic).

I start thinking what makes a really good, hearty and delicious bowl of soup?  Kind of like Italian Wedding Soup, Minestrone, Pasta Fagioli you get the idea. 

So, I took all my favorite parts of all the best Italian soups and merged them together into one really quite great recipe.

We’ve got great northern beans, ditalini pasta, veggies, tomatoes, and you can’t forget the little chicken meatballs all in a savory broth with homemade chicken stock.  YUM.

Now, if I’ve gone and created a recipe for which there is already a name, PLEASE let me know!  Write me a note in the comments, send me a note at hello@mommiesnommies.com, or whatever, but let me know!

Chicken Stock

As you may have read from my other blogs, I went a little stir crazy in the Spring of 2020 and made a LOT of chicken stock.  I was roasting chicken and making subsequent stock pretty much weekly for a few months there. 

It helped me figure the recipe out in addition to feeding my Pandemic Pal / roommate.

If you don’t have an instant pot don’t worry you can still make the Chicken Stock, it just takes a bit longer.  Just remember, the more time on the stove, the tastier it will be.  I like to keep it there from 8-10 hours when I can, but I try to have 5 hours as my minimum.

It’s perfect for these cold blustery days out here in Pennsylvania.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my Pandemic Pal enjoys and I enjoy it.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Oh my gosh, this recipe is such a winter favorite.  Alright, you got me, it’s a year-round favorite.  I make this in the dead of summer. 

This recipe comes together nicely as the proportions are so easy to estimate.  I use solo cups, 16-ounce plastic tumblers, to separate my ingredients to make my mise en placeMise en place is a culinary term to describe “everything in its place.”  This gets everything chopped up and all ingredients lined up and ready to cook before the application of heat (cooking) starts.

Wow, zzzzzzzz, I just bored myself. 

But the point is that you can pop everything into 16-ounce solo cups to separate and measure your ingredients so that they’re all set to throw in the pot.  Also, I find it’s easier to remember all the quantities too.  ⅔ onion, 1 celery, 1 carrot, 2 potato.

For this recipe, you’ll want to just undercook the chicken breast, so that it can finish cooking in the broth.  You want tender bites, and over cooking the chicken breast in the pan then cooking it more in the broth will make for a chewy bite.

PS, 3 points to anyone who got my Star Wars references – Solo and Chewy.

PPS, the points are for imaginary credit, not anything running on the page 🙂

Morning Glory Muffins

The original recipe was first published in Gourmet magazine in November 1981.

Legend has it that it was Chef Pam McKinstry who created these muffins in 1978.  The recipe was for her restaurant, the Morning Glory Café, on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.

I lived on Nantucket Island from 1988-1990.  It was an amazing two years that I cherish to this day.  I was lucky enough to get to visit the Morning Glory Café from time to time and to have these muffins firsthand.

If we’re being honest, I was obsessed with them from the first bite.

There are many versions of this recipe on the internet that claim to be the original.  Most, like mine, include pineapple.  Some include ginger, or orange juice.  Others include wild and crazy ingredients such as flaxseed or jammy bits (yeah I had to figure that one out too). 

When I was in college and working in the culinary library, I came across an original copy of the Gourmet magazine from 1981 and was thrilled to find the recipe.  I had since lost it, but recently I acquired a full set of 1981 Gourmet magazines and was very excited to find this very recipe in the November edition.

Here at MommiesNommies.com we worked hard to bring you the actual original recipe as well as the version I have updated to add a little more pizzazz.  No offense to Chef McKinstry.

I’ve since made it my own, adding pineapple and changing the all carrots part to include not only carrots, but also zucchini and yellow summer squash to liven things up and get a few different types of nutrients in there. 

You’re, of course, welcome to keep it as originally intended: all carrots, no pineapple, and a lot of vanilla.

Here is the recipe, as it originally was written:

Into a large bowl sift together 4 cups all-purpose flour, 2½ cups sugar, 4 teaspoons each of baking soda and cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir in 4 cups grated carrot, 1 cup each raisins, chopped pecans, sweetened shredded coconut, and 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated.  In a bowl beat 6 large eggs with 2 cups vegetable oil and 4 teaspoons vanilla and stir the mixture into the flour until the batter is just combined.  Spoon the batter into well-buttered ⅓ cup muffin tins, filling them to the top, and bake the muffins in a preheated moderate oven (350° F.) for 35 minutes, or until they are springy to the touch.  Let the muffins cool in the tins on a rack for 5 minutes, turn them out onto the rack and let them cool completely.  Makes about 30 muffins.

Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot (No Drain)

I don’t know about you but when I want mashed potatoes from scratch… but want them without the fuss and muss… I usually get discouraged from making them or even including them in my meal planning.

Well… say “how do you do” to no-drain mashed potatoes in your instant pot!

This recipe works best in a 3 quart version but can be doubled for larger sized pots.

Personally, a little garlic makes them even more desirable but again, time crunch plus efficiency, equals skipping this part.

May I introduce Better Than Bouillon Garlic base!  Reminder, I get no kickbacks from any sponsors, so this is just my personal preference.  This stuff is terrific in vegetarian recipes as well as these mashed potatoes.

A little of this plus some water, throw in the potatoes chopped up and boy, you’re on your way to some great mash!

chicken and rice soup

Chicken and Rice Soup

My grandma Dottie, bless her heart, was not the best cook in the world (see Grandma’s Pasta Sauce Blog) but she did make a mean turkey and rice soup the day after Thanksgiving.

I still honor that tradition by making it the same day too, however, I have upped it to recreating it throughout the year to enjoy with homemade stock and roasted chicken. 

She always made it simply.  Celery, carrots, and onion (or as culinary school taught me – mirepoix) as well as broth, rice, and meat.  Throw in a little salt and pepper and you’re set.

Today I add a bit of fresh parsley and garlic as well as bay leaves. 

Every time I make this recipe, she is in my heart more so than usual.

Be sure to check out my Trifecta Chicken blog for more of the story! 

Black and White Brownies

You’ll note that I don’t use a from scratch brownie recipe.  I actually really love the brownies that come from a box and find that they don’t need much improving other than some good toppings, such as the white chocolate ganache you’ll find in this recipe.

The fudge brownie box mix is my go-to for this recipe, it tends to make peoples’ eyes roll back in their heads a bit more than the more cakelike versions.

Now I love pecans and many other nuts, but especially mixed with chocolate.  That’s why you’ll find the pecans in this recipe, but you can easily substitute out walnuts. 

My first memory of this recipe was making it for a winter holidays potluck.  Everyone thought the ganache was frosting of some sort, I was like “nope, it’s just chocolate!”.  They were dumbfounded.

Although I call them black and white brownies, my friends have nicknamed them all sorts of things, most of which I can’t or won’t share here (haha), but to be sure, with or without pecans, this recipe is a favorite among my friends.