Zucchini-Poppyseed Bread

Zucchini bread is a sleeper when it comes to summer treats. Everyone is all against carbs these days, but, if you put down your carb fence for a second and just give this loaf a try, you will not regret it. Doesn't matter how hot it is out, zucchini is a delicious treat at any time of the day. 

Here's what you need.....

3 large eggs

1 cup veggie oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon molasses

3.5 cups grated zucchini

2 cups flour

2 cups rye flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup poppyseeds

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (not necessary)

Then.....

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 bread pans. Whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and molasses in a large bowl. Throw in the zucchini and stir away.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppyseeds. Pour these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture and stir until just combined. Add the nuts if using, then divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the bread is still moist in the center but just cooked through.

Shout out to Elspeth Hay for the recipe.

Slow cooker roasted veggies

You know who likes getting home from work, going into the hot kitchen and turning the oven on to cook? NOBODY. It stinks. Work stress and a hot kitchen do not mix, but you can't starve. To avoid the steamy kitchen and skip to the deliciousness, try this veggie recipe. It's the classic set it and forget it approach.

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers, any color, chopped in big chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 summer squash or zucchini, cut in chunks
1/2 cup peeled garlic (which I actually skipped because we didn't have any)
Olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
Salt, to taste
Italian seasoning or some other herbs, to taste

Instructions: 

Add the veggies to the slow cooker. Toss with the olive oil, seasoning and salt. Cover. Cook on high for about 2.5 hours.

Plus, you won't be eating something heavy that will make you feel ever warmer than you already are. No need to wait a half hour before swimming, dive in.

China serving sewer shrimp

"According to a Chinese publication called NetEase, vendors in Wuhan have been selling shrimp balls that are made from the most unsavory of seafood, processed in pretty much the most nauseating way possible.

The travesty begins when some of the shrimp that are handled in the markets of Baishizhou ended up in local sewers during cleaning and packaging. Scavenging seafood vendors have been scooping up these discarded sewer shrimp and—in order to make a fast renminbi—taking them to nearby public toilets. There, literally in the toilets, they sort the shrimp. Then, they use the dirty floor as a prep area where they combine the scavenged shrimp with other fish and form them into balls to be cooked and sold nearby—to the unsuspecting public. By adding other ingredients and turning the bathroom bounty into shrimp balls, the vendors are able to better mask the suspect origin of the sewer seafood." - Munchies

This is one of those stories that I really hope is fake. Those little shrimps are gross to begin with, let alone if they are being found on the grimy streets of China IN THE SEWERS. And then cleaned in public restrooms. For years we have been hearing about crazy shit happening in China, but this is right up their with the worst of those stories. 

I don't understand how anyone can get shrimp this way and actually serve it to another human. I know I couldn't. I don't care if I was broke and this was the only job available, its something that your brain says "no effing way" to and you turn that opportunity down. The people who are serving these shrimp are savages. There are a lot of jobs that I would never do based on interest and/or skills, but this is one that I would have to let common sense have a say.

I find it hilarious that these people think taking the shrimp they found in the sewers and washing them in a public bathroom is okay. They might as well take them from the sewer and place them directly on a plate for customers to eat. If there's a difference between the sewers and public bathrooms in China, I've yet to hear about it. I think they are one and the same. 

"Sewer shrimp, get ya sewer shrimp here."

America's (sad) favorite fast food places

Burgers and fries may be iconic fast-food items, but it turns out that Americans are looking for something fresher when they go out to eat these days.

The $228 billion fast-food industry exists to serve the whims of consumers, many of whom grew up hearing slogans like Wendy's "Where's the beef?" and McDonald's "You deserve a break today." Yet today, Americans are more likely to snub the all-beef patty and look for a break from older fast-fast chains. Read the rest here.

This list is appalling. This is why America id FAT, FAT, FAT.

9. Dominos - Their pizza is trash. Anyone who disagrees needs to go get themselves some real pizza so they can get out of the dark, dark place they have been living.

8. Chipotle - I have always thought Chipotle was overrated. You can go to any corner Mexican restaurant and get better quality food at the same price. Oh, and you may die from eating their, who knows!?

7. Subway - THEY DON'T PUT MEAT IN THEIR SANDWICHES. The most frustrating thing of all time is when you order a sandwich and get nothing but bread.

6. Dunkin Donuts - America does indeed run on Dunkin, but only their coffee. Their food is no good. The bagels have no flavor and are chewy, the donuts are mediocre at best, and the eggs are plastic.

5. Arby's - Never eaten here. But their commercials are annoying.

4. Panera Bread - The king of overpriced and overrated food. Their cinnamon bagels are delicious, I'll give them that. 

3. Little Caesars - Gross. Their pizza is chewy and fake. Anything that is hot and ready in 5 minutes is no good with the exception of street nuts from NYC. 

2. Papa John's - Peyton Manning jingle, ugh. Horrible.

1. Chick-Fil-A - Never eaten here because I grew up in NH.

Do better America. 

My go-to quick bite. Senor Salsa! Cheap, real, delicious.

Fried Twinkies come to Walmart

You can now get pre-fried Twinkies at Walmart in the frozen food section. Walmart has a 1 year exclusive on the pre-fried snack because they are Walmart and this is America.

The catch is that the Twinkies still need to be prepared once you get them to your house, pop them in the oven and you have yourself some fried treats. 

I have never had a Twinkie, ever. But I have heard tales of how they do not ever go bad, and how delicious and/or awful they taste.

I just hope Hostess doesn't end up rolling out their entire product line deep fried.

If you're like me and do not have a love for Twinkies, here are some facts about the classic treats via The Huffington Post.

- Twinkies have been subjected to many scientific experiments, including gravitational response tests and radiation tests.

- Last year, Greg Lawler strapped a Twinkie to a high altitude balloon and sent it to space. When it came back down, his 14-year-old assistant ate the Twinkie, commenting that it tasted “normal.”

- In the 1980s, Hostess introduced strawberry-filled Twinkies. The product didn’t last long.

- Deep-fried Twinkies have become a carnival and fair staple and are supposedly delicious.

- In 2010, nutrition professor Mark Haub went on a “Twinkie diet,” during which he ate only convenience store junk food for 10 weeks. He lost 27 pounds.

Why food trucks are awesome

There is nothing like coming home super late from work or stumbling out of a bar and seeing a food truck parked nearby. Food trucks are like beacons of light during times of need. Ain't nobody got time for a sit down meal these days. That is one of the many reasons food trucks are all the rave and should continue to be. Here are some other reasons to walk up and place your order today.

1. Convenience -  Food truck meals are prepared in roughly the same amount of time as a fast food meal, while tasting exceedingly better. The prices are not on par with fast food, but the bump up in taste makes it worth the extra dollars.

2. Cool Factor - Some morons still think cigarettes are cool. I would argue that you look much cooler eating a pulled pork sandwich from a food truck. A delicious sandwich should make people more envious of you than cancer.

3. Hours Of Operation - Many of these food trucks have come to the realization that staying open late will net them hundreds of drunks coming home from bars and other nightlife activities. Drunk people = easy cash.

4. Selection - Each food truck may only specialize in a certain kind of food (think burritos or pizza), but boy do they have a great selection of options for customers to choose from. Anything you may want on that pizza or burrito can be accomplished by the food truck staff.

 5. Outdoor Eating - During the summer months (or any nice day), eating outside is far and above more enjoyable than eating in a stuffy restaurant. 

I'm all about the food trucks. The more popular they get, the bigger of a fan I become. Keep the wheels rolling foodies. 

Summer Tostadas

In honor of the temperature in Connecticut currently creeping toward 90 degrees for the first time this year, let's talk about making some tostadas. Nothing is worse than a hot sandwich (think steak and cheese) on a humid summer day. I love steak and cheese, but not when I'm already sweating.

Tostadas are perfect for those days when you are sweating without moving. Humidity sucks, these tostadas do not.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces chicken breast tenders
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup salsa verde
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)

Instructions:

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

Credit myrecipes.com for the delicious recipe.

Tell me you wouldn't demolish those faster than the next drop of sweat running down your back. 

Shish Kebab

Summer is here and that means my ass is going to be out on the deck of my apartment grilling up all sorts of different shish kebabs. One of my favorite things about shish kebabs is that you can almost skewer anything on a stick, grill it, and its delicious. We're one shish kebab session deep thus far during this beautiful summer season, with many more to come.

My first shish kebabs of the season were grilled chicken topped with lemon pepper seasoning, onions, and brussel sprouts. Delish. With many more combos coming in hot for the summer I dug up some banging ones that I need to try.

Ham and Pineapple kabobs

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

3/4 pound cooked ham, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

Instructions:

Preheat grill for high heat. In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, vinegar, vegetable oil, and mustard. Thread ham and pineapple chunks alternately onto skewers. Lightly oil grill grate. Place skewers on the prepared grill, and brush liberally with the brown sugar mixture. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning frequently and basting often. Serve when heated through and richly glazed.

Asian Beef skewers

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

3 tablespoons sherry

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon barbeque sauce

2 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root

1 1/2 pounds flank steak

Instructions:

In a small bowl, mix together hoisin sauce, sherry, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Cut flank steak across grain on a diagonal into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour hoisin sauce mixture over slices, and mix well. Refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Discard marinade, and thread steak on skewers. Oil the grill grate. Grill skewers 3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

Sweet Teriyaki Beef skewers

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup pineapple juice (optional)

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

4 pounds boneless round steak, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Instructions: 

Whisk brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, water, vegetable oil, and garlic together in a large bowl; drop beef slices into the mixture and stir to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Marinate beef in refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove beef from the marinade, shaking to remove any excess liquid. Discard marinade. Thread beef slices in a zig-zag onto the skewers. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Cook skewers on preheated grill until the beef is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Adult popsicles to suck on

Popsicle season is in full effect now that the sun sets after 8pm and the temp has broke the 70 degree mark. Popsicles are great, no matter your age. But, to make them even better for adults, you can add a little alcohol.

Que the Bar Rescue voice as you read these recipes through.

Red Wine Fudgesicles

1 cup red wine
1 ½ cup dark chocolate
1 ½ cup milk

In a small pot simmer the wine over low/medium heat for 12-18 minutes, allowing it to reduce. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until completely melted. Stir in the milk. Pour into your popsicle tray and freeze over night. Makes 4-6 popsicles depending upon your tray size.

Blue Moon Orange Creamsicles

1 cup frozen 100% orange concentrate, thawed
14 oz sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
24 oz Blue Moon Belgian White Ale or other Witbier (2 average-sized bottles)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 clementines or tangerines
12 (3 oz) Dixie cups
Small popsicle sticks or craft spoons
A pitcher or large cocktail shaker

In a pitcher or large cocktail shaker, combine the orange concentrate, sweetened condensed milk, beer, and vanilla extract. It is important to combine the ingredients in a container that has a spout because it will make it much easier to pour the mix into cups.

Line out the Dixie cups on a baking sheet, so it will be easy to transport them to the freezer. Fill each Dixie cup 90 percent of the way with the orange-beer mixture.

Slice the clementines into ¼ inch thick rounds. Push a craft spoon through the center of each clementine round, so that half of the stick pokes out from each side. Top the mixture with the clementine sticks. Make sure the clementine is resting directly on top of the orange-beer mixture.

Freeze for at least four hours, or overnight. When ready to remove the popsicles from the Dixie cups, simply snip a small cut in the rim of each cup and peel them away from the popsicle. Place the popsicles onto a dish with crushed ice to keep them from melting too quickly. Serve and enjoy.

When you are looking to suck down something cold this summer, rather than grab a beer or glass of wine, grab a delicious popsicle. Gotta cool down using alternative methods sometime.  

Reeses are getting too good

Reese's has recently been teasing this new idea of taking a classic Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and jamming some Reese's Pieces inside. 

I have never been and will never be a big candy guy, I eat a few mouthfuls of sugar and then I crash like a newborn baby. My candy tolerance is like my tolerance for alcohol, very low. Also, now that I am a grownup and have to pay for my own food, spending dollars on candy does not happen. 

That being said, I don't hate this idea. I think the last piece of candy I consumed was a Reese's Cup and I will admit it was delicious. I can honestly say that I had never even tried Reese's Pieces until yesterday when my neighbor offered me a few pieces. I had heard about this new combo Reese's was working on and I gave them a shot all for this blog post.

The Reese's Pieces were softer then I thought they would be, softer then an M&M for sure. So I think if they were stuck up in some peanut butter, it would taste pretty damn good. The Reese's Pieces themselves are filled with peanut butter so I am not sure if you would be able to even tell they were there, but peanut butter is delicious.   

Cinco De Drinco

This day is about drinking right? This is America, so yes. Here are 10 beers that are Mexican and I guess it doesn't even matter what you drink, but if you feel so inclined to drink Mexican beers, try these. These are lesser known brands, because Tecate, Corona, and XX are garbage.

Mexican Logger - Site Link - Awesome branding and bottle graphics, not to mention the great name, double G's in lager is a power move.

Sol - Site Link - Looks like piss in a bottle, perfect for Cinco De Drinko.

Pacifico Clara - Site Link - All aboard to the middle of the road tasting Pacifico, after 3 or 4 it won't matter, walk the plank.

El Sully - Site Link - Should be called El Jeffe, king of Mexican beers. 

And because this is the good old USA, expect some classic (possibly racist) drunk texts from your buddies as they drink these Mexican delicacies. 

Cinco De Mayo!

Cinco De Mayo does not apply or have any meaning to most of us, until you factor in the amount of eating and drinking of Mexican delicacies we do in celebration. The holiday is not about victory in war, its about victory over the plate of tacos sitting in front of us. Here are some Mex-tastic recipes for tomorrow.

Nachos: One of the Swiss army knives of food, these things can be part of any outing, meal, occasion, event, etc. Just have some nachos and everyone is good. Nacho Nacho Man, I want to be a Nacho Man! 

INGREDIENTS

1 bag tortilla chips

1½ cups shredded chicken

¾ cup cooked black beans

3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

¾ cup scallions, thinly sliced

1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

1 avocado, diced

¾ cup salsa

½ cup sour cream

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your broiler on low. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On the baking sheet, build a small spiral of 15 chips, stacking them close together in a 3-inch circle. Repeat to make a total of 6 piles.

Sprinkle ¼ cup chicken and 2 tablespoons black beans on top of each pile of chips. Top each with ½ cup shredded cheese.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the cheese is totally melted, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Top each pile with 2 tablespoons scallions, a few jalapeño slices, 2 tablespoons avocado, 2 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Serve immediately.

If run of the mill nachos don't do it for you, try these tater tot nachos. They are like nachos, only worse for you and even better tasting after you finish those 4 margaritas. 

INGREDIENTS

1 bag Tater Tots

2 teaspoons oil

½ red onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

½ pound fresh chorizo sausage

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

4 green onions, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Sour cream

Salsa verde

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Spread the Tater Tots on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until they begin to turn golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Crumble the sausage into the pan and sauté until cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes.

Remove the Tater Tots from the oven and pour the sausage mixture evenly on top. Cover with the cheddar and Monterey Jack and return to the oven to bake until the cheese is melted, 7 to 9 minutes.

Remove the nachos from the oven and top with green onion, cilantro, sour cream and salsa. Serve immediately.

Shout to PureWow for the recipes.