From My Kitchen…

filed under: Recipe Roundup on September 21, 2009

…to my belly.

I should have said something very Martha Stewart-ish there such as…

“From my Kitchen… to yours.”


“From my kitchen… to your table.”

But I gotta keep it real.  When I cook, I eat.

Often the grazing I do on the food I prepare is a meal in itself.  But that doesn’t stop me from sitting down and eating with the family as well.

Must I disclose every poor habit of mine?

We have been in the throws of zucchini season around here… and therefore have attempted to consume it in a variety of ways.

(and be warned, I am extremely ill equipped in the food styling department, so you my see the same strawberry a similarly cohesive design used more then once)

Zucchini Coffee Cake


Zucchini Casserole


Zucchini Chocolate Fudge Cake (also seen at Tasty Kitchen)


And one of my favorites…

Zucchini French Fries (sooooo yummy)


With the abundance of tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers (actually not so abundant this year) and onions, we have made LOTS of salsa.  I’m talking like five times a week.  Fresh every single night.

Thank you Magic Bullet.


And thank you pre-mixed store bought taco seasoning in the .69 packets.  I truly would be lost without you.


Just dump one packet of taco seasoning into container of sour cream, stir, and spread on a platter.  Top with veggies of choice (yes, I know that tomatoes are a fruit) and dig in!

The following salad was served at Elizabeth’s shower, and prepared by my very creative Mother-in-Law.  When she described it to me, I had my doubts.  I mean really.  I am a Midwestern girl.

I likes my meat.    I likes my fruit.

I do NOT like them combined.


I am wrong.  I love them combined.  At least, in this salad I do.

I had to make it.  Its uncomplicated design beckons novice chefs such as myself.




Honeydew Melon

Serve with a dressing of equal parts french dressing and sour cream.

Feast on its deliciousness.

The final picture is that of something my kids have enjoyed immensely.

It only took me about 20 minutes to make it all… I only messed up ONE pan, and used very handy and inexpensive ingredients.

It was beyond easy.

My kids love it and ask for it everyday.

And I happily oblige.



Play dough.

Apparently, every single mom that has ever lived knows about making play dough at home and how easy it is.

I’m a little slow.  This was my first time.

I used Martha Stewart’s recipe (although this one I have linked to is double the amounts of my recipe, not sure why) and found it to be so simple I would highly recommend it over store bought.  It even lasts longer and is organic, so I don’t have to flip out if my kids eat some.

Not that they would do that.

How about you.. what wonderful yummy creative enticing appetizing handy practical and adaptable things have you made lately?

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  • Genny says:

    I love zucchini! I think my favorite thing here would be the zucchini coffee cake, or the french fries.
    This post was *delicious* Amanda! 🙂

  • CFMama says:

    I am obsessed with sweet potato fries, I am wondering if I would like zucchini fries. With the garden zucchini my father in law grows I usually just make loads and loads of zucchini bread probably because that is the only recipe I have. lol
    And one more thing. For your shots, do you have a wide angle lens? I am dying to get a 10-22 mm lens but they are so expensive. Wondering what your thoughts are?

  • Stephanie says:

    Um, helloo? Recipes please:) I am totally craving the zucchini chocolate cake and the zucchini fries.
    (Please tell me that I am not the only commenter that had to scroll up to see how to spell zucchini???)

  • Bethany says:

    Seriously, what food coloring do you use? Those play dough colors are amazing. I grew up with made from scratch play dough and I have pretty much passed it on. The kids love it. Have you tried the clay that you can bake and they paint? That’s a blast too.
    The food looks so yummy. I would have never put zucchini and chocolate together, but I bet it’s so good. Great photos as always, is it the natural light thing? I cannot take a good food pic to save my life.

  • Amanda Rettke says:

    lol  you are too funny!!  Thank you spell check or I would have massacred zucchini!! 🙂  I’m working on recipes… the chocolate cake recipe is at Tasty Kitchen.. then rest are, well, somewhere in my kitchen! 🙂
    Hope you are having a blessed day!

  • He & Me + 3 says:

    Ok, this whole post made me hungry. Even the play doh looks good enough to eat. Man I wish I could cook.

  • Karen says:

    Mmmmmm! I have a recipe somewhere for peanutbutter cookies made with zuchinni. I haven’t had a garden in a few years, so it’s been about that long since I’ve made the cookies. But I do remember they were WONDERFUL!!!
    And I had the silly notion that if I ate enough of them I could count it as a serving of vegetables. *grin* Er, probably not.
    Your playdough looks great!

  • BP says:

    I enjoyed the pictures!
    I’ve never made play dough I don’t think.

  • Christina says:

    I don’t care what you say, you make that food look amazing! I am totally drooling over the Zucchini Chocolate Fudge Cake. mmmmmmmmmmmm:)You can come to my kitchen any time!!

  • Laura says:

    Yummy. Ok, so here’s the deal. I don’t think I like zucchini (but to be honest I don’t think I have actually TRIED it…but that’s how I roll) ANYWAY your food looks SO delish! I think I will have to try them. Were you going to share these recipes or just leave us hanging, huh!? 🙂 I might need them for next year when I try out my (NON) gardening skills…so if anything grows…
    And homemade play-doh rocks! Yours I think might be prettier than any of mine though. 🙂 And WHAT? Your kids eat that stuff? JUST KIDDING, mine do to sometimes! 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Did you happen to have some zucchini that needed used up? 🙂
    I graze while I cook too, but then I never want to eat it!

  • carma says:

    I have a cooking post in my queue – but it’s not half as appetizing as your post – darn!!

  • Five Moms & A Blog says:

    Mmmmmmmmmm, you sure are making me HUNGRY! =0)
    Especially that chocolate brownie one with the strawberry on top. Looks soooooooooooooooo GOOOD!

  • abby says:

    That turkey and fruit salad look great! I’m going to for sure try that.
    I love taco seasoning packets…but I finally googled the other day how to make my own seasoning and now we eat taco-seasoned things even more often!
    I’ve never made play-do yet either, but that’s going to change…thanks for the reminder!

  • Erica says:

    Fried Zucchini and fudge cake, sounds great! And I tell you I’m impressed that there is deco on top of anything, we don’t put strawberry’s on top of cakes around here, only icing ;)! And my grazing could be a meal in itself too, that’s why I told hubby it was okay I didn’t get any hasbrowns tonight, I already had some of course!

  • Casey says:

    YUM!! As I was scrolling, my 2 year old kept saying “Ooooo, what that?” and “Eat that momma?” too all the cakes.
    I too am guilty of the grazing… maybe that’s why my thighs could pass as a small child all on their own.
    I like my meat separate from fruit too. Can’t eat it together, no way, no how. Oh and nuts too… leave them out of the chicken salad please. 🙂

  • Sunshine Mama says:

    I AM SO IMPRESSED with your pictures. I love the angle with the play-do. And that zucchini brownie with strawberry on top? To be honest, I don’t like zucchini, and my mom tries to give us loads of it but I decline because no one here will eat it, but you make it look like a delicacy. Those zucchine fries look awesome.
    I’m so glad I met you. How do I become a follower? There’s no follower place that I can see.
    Regardless, I’ll be stalking you too.:)

  • Tricia says:

    I might like some of those zucchini recipies. Beyond the basics of baking, frying, and steaming; all I know how to make with it is bread and chocolate chip cookies.

  • Beth says:

    Wow you’re making me HUNGRY. Everything looks so yummy!

  • BigMamaCass says:

    How do you make the zucchini fries? and is that taco seasoning mixture a dip for chips?

  • Jamie says:

    Found your blog through your link at Genny’s. That coffee cake looks so yummy. Actually, it all looks good!

  • Amanda Rettke says:

    Just slice or dice or cut zucchini the thickness you desire, dip in egg mixture, cover in breadcrumbs, and fry.  Just like you would do regular french fries.
    And yup!  We did just dip our chips into the olive and taco seasoned platter… tortilla chips!  Lots of people put lettuce and peppers and refried beans and sour cream too… you can personalize it so easily!
    Blessings to you today!

  • Bethany says:

    Ohh I like anything zucchini… especially zucchini bread 🙂

  • Jenny says:

    oooh – the zucchini desserts look awesome! I made a zucchini casserole a couple of weeks ago but got sick the same night. I’m not sure if it was a random occurrence, but I need to find a new zucchini recipe and these will totally fit the bill!

  • Sarah says:

    I’ll have to remember the zucchini fries! We lke to make chocolate zucchini “bread”. If I call it bread, I feel not so guilty about eating too much of it….
    My kids don’t eat play dough either. Especially not my 6 yr old.