Happy Bees

I’ve never seen bees do this before!

While working in the garden this morning and I kept hearing a loud buzzing. When I looked for the source, I noticed there was a Magnolia flower that had bloomed at dawn and had dropped some luscious stamens on its outstretched petals.

Bees doing a Happy Dance!

Bees doing a Happy Dance!

The bees found the stamens and seemed to be quite happy, playing and rolling around. I’ve never seen bees this happy!

 

 

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Zucchini Brownies, Just try it!

Zucchini Brownies are a great way of adding vegetables to your families diet. Unless you tell them zucchini is in the mix, they simply won’t know. The secret here is to finely shred the zucchini so it ‘melts’ while baking. You can’t expect it to be undetectable if you put big chunks in the mix.

This is a great way to get some vegetables into your meat and potato family members.

This recipe follows the formula of replacing the fat in the recipe with vegetables. The shredded zucchini adds the required moisture that creates the most gooey, fudgy brownies; you won’t believe they are full of zucchini.

I’m looking forward to trying zucchini in other baked goods to see how it goes. I imagine a carrot zucchini cake?

Try the recipe and let me know what you think!

 

Zucchini Brownies

  • Servings: 9-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Zucchini BrowniesZucchini Brownies

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 x 9 baking dish.

Combine sugars, egg and vanilla in a mixing bowl on medium speed.

Fold in zucchini.

Shred Zucchini

Shred Zucchini

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture on low-speed, mixing only long enough to combine the ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish, smoothing it evenly in the dish.

All mixed together with the Shredded Zucchini

All mixed together with the Shredded Zucchini

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Remove the brownies from the oven and cool on a rack.

Cut and remove from pan after the brownies have cooled to room temperature.

Zucchini brownies

Hot and Spicy Chicken

So here is a recipe for a hot and spicy chicken from Paul Prudhomme. He calls it “Frontier Chicken”; I call it delicious!

The flavor resembles Chicken Creole and will leave you smacking your lips because it is so good.

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

I left out the jalapeno because I thought it had enough spicy heat, but if you can tolerate them, add them in. We served sliced jalapeno on the side.

There’s one element that will surprise you.

Banana! Don’t leave it out! It makes for such a delightful complex surprise when you’re eating and there’s that bite. . .

Paul Prudhomme's Frontier Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Seasoning Mix

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek (I left it out because I couldn’t find it)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Combine everything into a small bowl; set aside while your prepare the rest of the dish

For the chicken and the rest of the dish:

  • 6 (4-6 ounce) chicken breasts or 1 cut-up 8 piece chicken or 8-12 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups of chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 cup chopped yellow peppers
  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 fresh jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds and robs for milder heat; wear gloves to protect hands)
  • 1 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes

Sprinkle each side of the chicken breasts with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture. Be sure to massage it in well.

Heat oil in a large skillet or 5-quart pot, add the chicken to brown each side, typically 2-3 minutes on each side; remove from pan.

Brown the seasoned chicken on both sides

Brown the seasoned chicken on both sides

(Notice the color of the oil! A great golden brown from the turmeric, it’s quite dramatic!)

If you notice the chicken or the pan is starting to burn, turn the heat down.

Once the chicken is removed from the skillet, place it in the oven to keep warm. It will finish cooking later.

Add 1 cup of the onions, only half of each of the chopped peppers (not jalapeno) and the banana and the remaining seasoning mix to the pan. Cook; stirring occasionally and scraping the pan for about 10 minutes. IF anything starts to get too brown, add chicken stop to loosen everything from the bottom of the pan.

Add garlic, ginger and flour, stir until the flour is absorbed; add the remaining peppers, onions, cilantro and jalapeño.

Cook for 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and remaining stock. Bring to a boil.

Add the chicken and any juices that may have accumulated to the pan, reduce to low and simmer about 10 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve hot over steamed brown rice; add a crisp, crunchy salad that includes cucumber to cool the mouth down!

The heat is coming from several sources: cayenne, cumin, and ginger, dry mustard, chili powder, and jalapeno.

Adjust any one of these to cool it down if it gets too hot for your taste. I just left out the jalapeno for us and served them on the side.

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

Hot and Spicy Chicken!