September Recipe Round-Up {Back to School Recipes}

September means that back to school time is in full swing! If you have children or work in the education field yourself, you know that quick breakfasts, make-ahead dishes, lunchbox ideas, and easy weeknight dinners are all especially important. This month our group of food bloggers is sharing recipes for back to school time! We hope you find some recipe inspiration here as you plan out your meal ideas for the month. Don’t forget to check back on the last day of each month to see the monthly recipe round-up!

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Pecan Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Is it even summer if you don’t end up drowning in zucchini at some point? I think not.

Between our garden and our CSA, we always have plenty of zucchini around. I have, of course, been experimenting with lots of new, fun recipes – but I just keep coming back to zucchini bread. It’s a classic.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread 1

This loaf is our favorite. It’s a little heavy on the nutmeg which gives the loaf a nice spice. Pecans and chocolate chips are mixed in, too, to add a little sweetness and texture.

This recipe does make a big batch, so it’s great to share with neighbors – or freeze a loaf for later!

And if you’re looking for more ways to use up your garden zucchini, I suggest Zucchini Scones, Zucchini, Chile & Red Onion Frittata, or Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas – all family favorites!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread 2

Thanks Ellen from Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting our Farmer’s Market Event!

Thursday Farmer’s Market Week Recipes

 

Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread 3

Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread

Makes 2 large loaves or 5 small loaves

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla together. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, pecans, and chocolate chips.

Divide batter between loaf pans. Bake until a knife inserted comes out clean – about an hour for large loaves or 35-45 minutes for smaller loaves.

adapted from The Taste of Home Baking Book

Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread

Strawberry Avocado Salsa #ImprovCookingChallenge

It’s strawberry season here! The kids and I spent yesterday morning at one of our favorite local farms picking a whole flat of gorgeous berries – so now we’re making everything strawberry.

Strawberry Avocado Salsa 2

Do you want to take bets on how many things I can stick strawberries in over the next few days?

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Loaded Hummus Plate {Movie Snack Series}

Next up in the movie snack series: Aladdin, and this loaded hummus plate!

Loaded Hummus 1

Aladdin was one of my favorites as a kid, so I was really excited to introduce it to the littles. It was a trickier one to plan a snack for, though, since there isn’t many food references in the movie to work off of!

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Root Beer Popcorn

One of my food blogger groups has been doing a fun round-robin game of #FoodBloggerLove. It’s a fun way to get to know a new blogger or introduce your followers to someone you’ve been admiring.

Root Beer Popcorn 2

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Erin – the brains behind The Spiffy Cookie and a root beer collector.

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Happy National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! As the mom of two kids who treat PB&J as a food group, I knew I had to make something fun to mark the day.

PBJ Muffins 2

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins are the perfect treat for PB&J day!

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I can’t believe we’re already talking back to school, but here we are. I feel like we lost most of our summer to the move (because, we did), so I’m sort of wishing these next few weeks would slow down a bit. We still have a lot on our summer bucket lists that we want to check off!

But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit excited about back to school. I can’t wait to get everyone back on a routine and have life be somewhat normal again. This move, man. It’s really thrown us off our groove!

PeanutButterGranolaBars2

I’m also excited about getting the kids back on some sort of normal eating schedule. What is it about summer that makes them want snacks ALL THE TIME? As soon as I was mixing these up they were both in the kitchen, asking incessantly when they’d be done.

These totally got the kids’ seal of approval. And mine. I know no-bake granola bars are generally more popular, but in my opinion, you just can’t beat the chewiness you get from baked ones. They would make a really rocking lunchbox treat or after school snack.

And if you’re looking for more back-to-school inspiration, I’m linking up with some other bloggers today. From quick breakfasts to specials treats – and everything in between – they’ve got you covered:

 

PeanutButterGranolaBars1

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
(adapted from Just a Taste)
Makes 18

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Like a 9×13″ pan with parchment and spray with non-stick spray.

With an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil, and vanilla until smooth.

In another bowl, combine the oats, sugar, and salt. Add the oats to the peanut butter mixture and stir until evenly combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down evenly.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden-brown. Set on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Cool completely, and then slice into 18 equal pieces.

Fresh Corn Salsa (3)

Instant Pot Cheesy Southwest Spinach Dip #FootballFoods

I’ll be honest: I gave up on football months ago. The Giants were awful – and then they pulled the stupid stunt of benching Eli and we stopped even pretending we were going to watch.

But, if you aren’t as pessimistic and are looking for a fun munchie for the Super Bowl, I submit to you this awesome take on spinach dip – made in the Instant Pot! You could totally do this on the stove top, too, but the Instant Pot speeds it up nicely and makes it a little less hands-on – which is awesome if you’re hosting a party.

This dip is creamy and flavorful without being spicy. And you can tell yourself there’s a whole pound of spinach in there to make yourself feel better as you shovel it down. (Remember, we talked about compromise the other day?)

We served this with cubed up pumpernickel bread, but it would be great with other types of bread and veggies too!

Also, I’m linking up with my #FestiveFoodies friends today who are also sharing #FootballFoods – you can check them out here:

SouthwestSpinachDip

Instant Pot Cheesy Southwest Spinach Dip
(adapted from The Cents able Shoppin’)
Makes about 4 cups

1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fresh spinach
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 4-oz. can sliced black olive, not drained
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chipotle pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Hit the sauté button and add the olive oil. When hot, add the garlic, spinach and tomatoes. Let cook until the spinach is cooked down and then turn off the sauté.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, cover, close valve, and set the manual cook time for 4 minutes. When finished, do a quick pressure release. Stir everything until well combined then scoop into a bowl to serve.

Southwest Spinach Dip

One Bite Spaghetti and Meatballs #Tresomega #OrganicsForLife

Disclosure: This post is part of the Tresomega Nutrition Blogger Recipe Challenge. I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

I have a plan for Christmas this year. Instead of doing the big ham dinner that involves being in the kitchen for hours, we’re just going to make a bunch of appetizers and spend the day hanging out. It sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

This is one of the dishes I’m planning to make. It’s filling enough that it could count as a meal, but it’s also something we can eat while lounging around the Christmas tree. It’s pretty much the prefect holiday bite: spaghetti smothered in a to-die-for alfredo sauce, topped off with a miniature meatball and some homemade tomato sauce. And some more cheese just for good measure. Are you drooling yet?

This recipe features Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti. We have a few gluten-free family members so we’ve tried a bunch of gluten-free pastas and I can say that this is hands down the best one I’ve tried. My husband – who grew up in a very Italian family – admitted he wouldn’t have know it was gluten-free pasta if I hadn’t told him. Win!

For more recipe inspiration, you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase Tresomega products at: Tresomega.com. Sams.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

OneBiteSpaghettiMeatballs1

One Bite Spaghetti and Meatballs
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 3 dozen

1 box Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti
1/2 cup butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 oz. cream cheese
5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tsp. garlic power
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 tsp.  salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
36 small meatballs – homemade or frozen
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese, for topping

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, whipping cream and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat – stirring frequently until all melted together. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves, the garlic powder, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook, whisking frequently, until smooth. Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes more.

Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.

Using a fork, twirl up some sauce-coated spaghetti and place in the well of a mini-muffin tin to form a little next of spaghetti. Press down slightly to pack and add more spaghetti if necessary. Repeat until all wells are filled.

Bake for 15 minutes.

While the spaghetti bakes, combine the remaining ingredients, except parmesan cheese, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

When the spaghetti is done, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then use a spoon to scoop out the spaghetti bundles and place on a serving platter. Top each bundle with a meatball, 1-2 tsp. of sauce, and parmesan cheese, to taste.

OneBiteSpaghettiMeatballs2

 

Candied Spiced Nuts #improvcooking

Even though it’s October (and the weather is still feeling like August…), I’m starting to think about Thanksgiving. I know, I know, but I get to host this year and I’m pumped! We’re not sure if we’ll have a big crowd or just the four of us, so I’ve got several menus floating around in my head.

I knew this month’s Improv Challenge theme, Sugar and Spice,  was perfect for trying out some of the recipes I’m considering. Sugar and spice is SO fall – apple spice, pumpkin spice – but I couldn’t get these nuts off my mind, so they won out.

This is such an easy recipe – the slow cooker makes it totally hands off. Just mix, let the slow cooker do it’s thing, then spread them out to cool. They were so good – and a perfect pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack!

CandiedSpicedNuts

Candied Spiced Nuts
(adapted from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet)
Makes 3 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups almonds
2 cups pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

Grease the crock of a slow cooker and add the nuts. Add the sugars and cinnamon and stir. Add the water and stir until everything is evenly combined and wet.

Cook on high for 3 hours.

Remove nuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Sprinkle with remaining  seasonings. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container.

You can check out the other Sugar and Spice themed recipes that bloggers made here: