Baked Zucchini Chips with Sweet Garlic & Dill Aioli

It’s that time again. Time for me to stop baking things like these, and start playing around with healthy, vegetarian, vegan and even raw recipes.

Zucchini is my new favorite vegetable. I never liked it as a kid but lately I just can’t get enough.

It’s already bikini season. Can you believe it? What you put in your body really effects not only how you look but also how you feel. 

These were dinner tonight, and after a good run with Honey, I feel pretty good!

For Zucchini Chips
  Serves Two
1 Zucchini
2 Eggs
Half loaf old french bread (or your choice of light breading)
1/4 cup flour
Pinch of dried or fresh dill

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Slice your zucchini in 1/3 to 1/4 slices. Salt them and set them aside to sweat for 5 minutes.

*Run your french bread through the food processor until it’s in fine, small crumbs. Mix the bread crumbs with your flour and season with salt, pepper and dill (to you taste buds desire)

*Mix your eggs in a separate bowl. Dip your zucchini slices in the eggs, then each side in the bread crumb mixture. Lay each slice on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes on each side.

Crunchy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside!

For Sweet Garlic Aioli
Two egg yolks
1 Garlic clove
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Dash fresh or dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil

*In a food processor or blender add your egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, dill, and honey. Blend for about 2 minutes. Slowly — one drip at a time ,for the first 10 drips — add your olive oil. Continue adding the oil until you get the right consistency. (If it still seems to thin, keep blending, trust me it will get there)

P.S. You should probably listen to this while you make your healthy zucchini treats. Bop around that kitchen!

Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks from Foster The People on Vimeo.

Flatbread Margarita Pizza

When the moon hits your eye. Like a big-a pizza pie. That’s amore …  That’s exactly how I feel about the personal flat-bread pizzas I made the other night.  Fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil from the herb garden. Yum!

*1 package of mini flat-breads (fresh from your grocers bakery) *1 ripe tomato *calamata olives *olive oil *fresh basil, chopped *1 fresh garlic clove *fresh mozzarella

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Make sure you have an additional pan to catch the olive oil if you bake it directly on the rack. (Your kitchen will get awfully smoky if there are any oil drippings that have to burn off the bottom of the oven.)

2. Brush about a table spoon of olive oil around the flat-bread. Sprinkle on your minced garlic. Slice your fresh mozzarella thinly and arrange it evenly around the flat-bread. Next, slice and top with your tomatoes, olives and last but not least your fresh basil.

3. Salt and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges brown and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

You can create this pizza with any topping of your choice. Don’t like tomatoes? No problem. Try mushrooms and turkey bacon! The possibilities are endless.

It’s almost Friday and Momorial Day weekend!  Summer is finally here. What are you bringing to your backyard barbeques this weekend? Lime Peel Jello shotsBuffalo Chicken Wontons?  What’s your signature dish?

Cherry Apple Sugar Cone Crumble

This weekend we went to a gorgeous engagement party at a lake house in Virginia. The views of the dock at sunset were spectacular. I ate too much ceviche, drank too much cherimoya punch and ate way too many gummy bears on our hour long drive home.

I spent the next morning miserable on the couch with a cold washcloth on my forehead unable to do much but watch re-runs of Chopped on our DVR.  Good thing Nick was there to take care of me.  He made me pancakes!

When I felt better — after I missed an entire beautiful Sunday —  I made him this Cherry Apple Sugar Cone Crumble. An adaptation of this Apple Berry Brown Betty in this months FoodNetwork Magazine .

*1 can cherry pie filling *2 Fuji apples *4 sugar cones (crushed) *1 teaspoon salt *1/2 cup brown sugar *1/3 cup sliced almonds *1 teaspoon cinnamon *1/2 teaspoon nutmeg *1 stick melted butter

The best part of this dessert was the hint of salt that came out with the brown sugar and crushed sugar cones.  It really elevated the flavor.  I like the tang of the cherries paired with the crunch of apples but you can use any kind of fruit filling you like.  Strawberries would be good too… 

1. (Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.) Peel and slice your Fuji apples into small cubes. In a large bowl mix the cherry filling and chopped apples.

2. In a separate large bowl toss your crushed sugar cones, brown sugar, sliced almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg (don’t underestimate the power of nutmeg, a little is enough).

3. Mix 5 tablespoons of melted butter into your sugar cone crumble.

4. Grease two ramekins with butter and fill each half way with your cherry, apple filling.

5. Pack your sugar cone crumble on top of the filling and then pour more filling on top of that.

6. Top your full ramekins with more sugar cone crumble and place in the oven for 30 minutes.  Serve right away.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, I really did it… I made bacon, chocolate chip cookies. Nick didn’t really “get it,” I explained to him it was kind of like dipping french fries in a Wendy’s Frosty. You do that too right?

Since we have been together I have been trying to convince him that chocolate and salt go hand in hand. Chocolate covered pretzels,  salted caramel brownies, or if youre hardcore like me and my friend Ashley and Carly you enjoy Mo’s Bacon Bars. These cookies were equally, if not more, delicious.

*1 egg *1 stick butter (room temp.) *1 box Krusteaz chocolate chunk cookie mix *8-10 slices of bacon
Makes about a dozen cookies or two dozen mini cookies

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place two sheets of paper towel on a microwave safe plate. Place half of your bacon on top of the paper towel (absorbs the grease) then more paper towel on top of the bacon. Microwave for 5-6 minutes. Bacon must be crisp, not chewy. Repeat with remaining strips and set aside to cool.

3. Mix room temperature butter and egg until combined and then Krusteaz chocolate chunk cookie mix. Knead with hands if necessary.

4. Rough chop your bacon strips. I placed in my food processor for a quick tumble.

5. Mix bacon into cookie dough.

6. Roll about two table spoons (or one for smaller cookies) into balls, no need to make them perfect, and place them on an un greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden around the edges. Cool before removing from the cookie sheet.

7. Eat one and then give them away immediately.

Coconut French Toast with Grilled Pineapple

We had breakfast for dinner last night. I saw this recipe in my latest Cooking Light and had to try it.  My version uses regular organic white bread (I didn’t think French bread would get that soft, soggy on the inside and crisp around the outside texture I love) and I couldn’t leave out the maple syrup.

*1 cup light coconut milk *1/4 cup sugar *1/4 cup low fat milk *3 eggs *4 slices of bread *cooking spray *3 pineapple spears * maple syrup *powdered sugar
We stayed in a lot this weekend because poor Honey Bear had routine surgery on Friday (she got fixed).  It’s been pretty difficult for her to sit still so she can heal properly.  We have been camping out on blankets and pillows in the living room with her because she can’t jump on and off the bed.

She has the saddest eyes and has to wear an inflatable collar half the time to keep her from licking or biting at her wounds. I wish I could have given her some french toast to cheer her up. She has been settling for Pup-Peroni and Frosty Paws (doggie ice cream).

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add pineapple, and grill for 2 minutes on each side or until well marked. Chop pineapple and set aside to place on top of french toast. 
3. Combine coconut milk, sugar, fat-free milk, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Working in batches, dip bread in the milk mixture, and let stand for 1 minute on each side.
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 coated bread slices to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place the first batch on warm baking sheet in oven while you cook the second batch.
5. Top with a few sprinkles of powdered sugar and drizzled maple syrup.