Grandpa’s Tomato Zucchini Casserole

This is my grandpa’s recipe, it’s delicious and cheesy. The sauce is also great over pasta.

Grandpa’s Tomato Zucchini Casserole


  • 2 tbs. salted butter
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 c. diced white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/3 in. thick slices
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into 1/3 in. thick slices
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 in. thick slices
  • 4 tbs. grated parmesan cheese

Yields Approximately 8 servings

In a large saucepan, place zucchini and 1/2 c. of water. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered. Cook zucchini until tender but not mushy. Drain zucchini and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until golden. Add salt, pepper, basil, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 10 inch casserole dish.

Spoon half the tomato sauce into the casserole dish. Arrange the zucchini, tomato, and mozzarella slices in the dish, overlapping is fine. Spoon remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Ham+Apple Quick Bread

These can be baked in loaf pans or in cupcake liners.

Ham+Apple Quick Bread Mini-Loaves


  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dill
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 c. bread flour
  • 1 c. diced ham
  • 1 c. diced apple
  • 1/2 c. shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • cupcake liners if making muffins
Ham+Apple Quick Bread Muffins

Yields Approximately 12 mini loaves or 1 1/2 dozen muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine canola oil, eggs, and brown sugar. Add sour cream and mix until mixture lighter in color and fluffy. In a bowl, stir together the baking powder, salt, spices, and flour. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the ham, apple, and cheese and mix to combine.

Place dough into greased mini-loaf pans or into cupcake-wrapper-lined muffin tin. Bake mini loaves for 23-25 minutes until lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes until lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Queso Dip

This is a quick and easy queso dip that also freezes really well.

Queso Dip


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 16 oz. can salsa
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • Two 14 oz. cans of chili con carne chili
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into smaller pieces c. shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. shredded pepper jack cheese

Brown the ground beef with the kosher salt, black pepper, chipotle chile powder, ancho chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and hot sauce. Drain excess fat and set aside.

In a stock pot, mix together the green chiles, diced tomatoes, salsa, and chili over medium heat. Allow mixture to warm up, then add add the cream cheese, stirring to combine. Add the shredded cheeses, stirring to melt and combine. Add the ground beef and allow mixture to bubble slightly before serving. Be sure to stir frequently as the queso can stick and burn.

This can also be made in a slow-cooker, combining the ingredients over low heat and allowing the cream cheese and shredded cheese to melt fully after each addition.