Lunch With Loni

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake August 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 3:10 am

I hadn’t had zucchini cake or bread in ages, and with one large zucchini sitting in my crisper in need of use, I figured it was a good opportunity to make a dessert that provided a serving of vegetables!  I made cupcakes as opposed to a cake.  Since I didn’t frost them with anything, I think it’s easy enough to call them muffins and justify eating them for breakfast.  Though in all honesty, I don’t think I’d feel the need to qualify eating cake for breakfast, anyhow!

Recipe Courtesy Of: Sandy (on allrecipes)

Recipe Located Online At:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  •  1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  •  3 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts  (I left these out.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting (or leave unfrosted and it’s also delicious)! 

Next time I’d probably try subbing some of the oil with applesauce, which was recommended by several reviewers but I didn’t happen to have any on hand.  That way I could also reduce the sugar a bit.  The cake was very tasty, but not as healthy as you’d think something with veggies in it could be!       


Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes August 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 10:41 pm

If you like breakfast for dinner, or really breakfast any time, you should give these pancakes a try!  They are hearty enough to be a meal any time of day.   I did alter the recipe slightly.  I cut down on the sugar, as several reviews suggested they were quite sweet, which is in keeping with the “cookie” in the title.  I’m glad I did cut back, as they were still plenty sweet without being over the top.  I also omitted the raisins, mainly because I didn’t have any.  I like that you could easily switch this up by adding chocolate chips instead of the nuts and/or raisins (which is in my opinion always a good idea), using a chunky applesauce instead of the mashed bananas, or any number of other ideas.  I was a bit worried that the pancakes would be too heavy, but they weren’t at all.  I didn’t use whole milk, but instead “soured” my regular 1% milk with a little vinegar.  I always think this helps keep pancakes light.  They were also very moist, and heated up wonderfully in the microwave the next day.

Recipe Courtesy Of: Rachael Ray

Recipe Located Online At:


  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 ounces, 1/4 cup, chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (I used 3/4 cup 1% milk with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar stirred in and let it sit for a few minutes before using)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 really ripe bananas, mashed up
  • 3/4 cup raisins (I omitted these, but plan on adding chocolate chips next time because I ❤ chocolate more than raisins, anyhow!)
  • 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup, melted, plus additional for buttering skillet


Rachael includes a good tip with this recipe: if you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft for mashing.

Mix dry ingredients, the first 7, in a bowl. In a another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, the next 4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the mashed up bananas and the raisins. Stir in the melted butter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with additional melted butter. Cook oancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on the top, then turn. Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side. Keep pancakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep them hot. Serve with drizzled honey or maple syrup over the top.



Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders August 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 1:21 am

I make chicken quite often, and I know I often make variations on the same theme.  Looking to try something new, I perused some of Giada’s top recipes on  This one was the winner, which was just as much to do with the fact that I had limited items in my fridge/pantry and didn’t need to buy any new ingredients to make this as it had to do with the fact that it looked tasty (there were a lot that looked tasty)!  The simple dipping sauce was a great compliment to the chicken tenders.  My only “complaint” is that it’s difficult to bake anything coated/breaded and have it come out crispy without burning the bottom or having it stuck to the pan.  These turned out pretty well (a little dark on the bottom), but not as perfect as they looked on TV!

Recipe Courtesy Of: Giada de Laurentis

Recipe Located Online At:

My apologies for the random green speck…not sure exactly what herb that was that made it’s grand appearance!


  • 4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (about 18)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy large lined baking sheets. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the garlic with the salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and then the remaining 1/2 cup of oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with pepper. Transfer the vinaigrette to a small serving bowl.

Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Transfer the chicken tenders to a platter and serve the vinaigrette alongside for dipping.