Zucchini Squash Noodles

**UPDATE 7/17/12 - I changed the recipe from the original post after I tried a few different versions.  I wanted to cut down on the amount of water that pooled in my plate from the zucchini and now it is perfect!

I call them a *wink, wink*nudge, nudge* from God.

David A Bednar calls them "tender mercies."

Whatever the title, it is so amazing and humbling when something happens in your life to remind you that there is a loving Heavenly Father who knows you personally and your needs.

Last week, our miraculous *wink, wink*nudge, nudge* completely blew me out of the water.  I won't bore you with the details.  Just know that when we look for them, those moments are there, both big and small in our lives. 
As far as this recipe goes, it isn't much of a recipe.  I actually saw it floating around Pinterest and knew I had to try it next time I made spaghetti for my kids.  I already owned and loved my julienne peeler, so it was a great new way to use it!
I will never tell you that it is just like eating regular spaghetti noodles.  However, for those of us who can't eat them, or choose not to, it is a pretty amazing substitution.  Our mouths and minds are funny.  If you can trick them even a bit by providing a similar texture, your mind helps fill in the blanks.

Personally, I loved this recipe.  I topped it with my homemade meat marinara and I didn't feel like I was missing out at all.  My kids ate their regular spaghetti noodles, and my hubby and I devoured our version.  Yum!!  I can't wait to try these with a lot of my other sauces.  I know it seems like a lot of zucchini, but once it is cooked, it shrivels so plan on 2 small zucchini per person!

Zucchini or Squash Noodles
(serves 2)
4 small zucchini or yellow squash *Larger squash with seeds, will cause you headaches when trying to slice your noodles!

1.  Using a juilenne peeler, run the length of your squash to make your noodles.  Once all your noodles are sliced, sprinkle them with salt and toss so the salt is well distributed.  Let sit for 15 minutes.
2.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Once hot, add a dab of oil.  Squeeze the excess water from the salted zucchini noodles and saute for 1-2 minutes until they are just barely softening.  I like to cook them in individual batches for each person so they don't get too wet and mushy from cooking a big batch all together.
3.  Plate your noodles and top with hot sauce!

Sinful Hot Fudge Sauce

I've been looking for this recipe for a long, long time.  After many lousy experiences with homemade hot fudge, I was very hesitant to waste my ingredients yet again.  I'm so glad I trusted the recipe.

In other recipes I've tried, the result would be grainy or way too thin.  Often, the chocolate flavor was weak and not worth the extra calories.

Not so with this gem!
This was thick and truly fudge-y as it cooled on the ice cream.  I love having to scrape that thick chocolate goo off the sides of my bowl.  Heaven!  My kids were begging for another layer of hot fudge once the first was gone on the top of their scoop.  I was happy to oblige :)

Sinful Hot Fudge Sauce
makes 2 Cups
(recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
2/3 C heavy cream
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/3 C dark brown sugar
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 Tb butter
1 tsp vanilla

1.  In a heavy saucepan, combine the cream, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and 1/2 C of the chocolate chips.  Heat over medium high heat and whisk until it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
2.  Remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate chips, butter and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth and all melted together.  Allow to sit about 20 minutes to cool a bit.  It will thicken as it cools.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute until pourable, but thick.

Grilled Low Carb Chicken Teryaki

When I returned from grocery shopping this morning, my 12 year old son told me that while I was gone, he had trained the puppy to stop pooping in the house.

He then showed me the following video that he made:
My life would be so boring without my 12 year old.  

When I made the original version of this recipe back in January, I knew I would want to try it on the grill this summer.  So this Sunday, I pulled the extra one I made back in January out of the freezer and threw it on the grill.  It was really good on the grill.  I preferred the grilled version to the oven version, but that is true with most meat for me.

The original recipe is here.  The only difference is to preheat your grill on high for 10 minutes.  Place your chicken on the grill and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Banana Streusel Cake

On Sunday afternoon, I can always count on my 8 year old daughter approaching me about making cookies together.  Baking with her mom is definitely her favorite way to spend time together.  Of course, that makes me smile to see her as interested in baking as I am.

She really wanted to make Peanut Butter Bars, but I convinced her that we needed to use the brown bananas in the fruit bowl.  I've had this recipe in my "to try" recipe pile for a couple years and I should have given it a try right away.  Way better than boring old banana bread or muffins.
This cake was delicate, but really moist as well.  My kids really loved the streusel topping and I added some powdered sugar glaze to put it over the top.  My only mistake was making such a small pan of it.  Next time, I will definitely double the recipe and put it in a 9x13 pan instead.

Banana Streusel Cake
recipe from Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker
6 Tb flour
6 Tb brown sugar
3 Tb butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 1/3 C cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
3 Tb milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1 C sugar
1 egg, room temperature

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a square baking dish with non-stick spray.
2.  Cut together all the ingredients for the streusel and set aside.
3.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat it in.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Add the banana, milk and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add all the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Do not over mix!
4.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then top with the streusel evenly.  Bake for 35 minutes, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.  You can top it with a simple mixture of milk and powdered sugar if you desire.