Thursday, October 7, 2010

Best Banana Bread recipe

This bread is from my friend Kristi, who in my opinion makes the best banana bread. I crave it all the time, and luckily she brings me some from time to time!!! I make it all the time but we eat it too fast to get a good pictures. But I had to post it and sharte the love becuase it is soooooo good and moist!!! (picture to be coming soon!)

Banana Bread
1 c. sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
3 mashed, ripened bananas
1/4 c milk
1/4 c sour cream
2 large egg whites
2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, butter until fluffy. Add milk, sour cream, egg whites and beat well. Stir in bananas. Combine dry ingredients and add slowly to banana mixture until combined. Pour into bread pans coated with cooking spray and bake for about 45-50 minutes, unless it is a large loaf pan then bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Be careful not to over cook or it will dry out. I usually cover mine loosely with foil for the last 20 minutes of baking time to make sure the top doesn't get to brown and dry. The ultimate comfort food!

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Oh my gosh this bread is good! I love banana bread, I love coconut, and I love lime...The combination is TO DIE FOR! I almost ate the whole loaf myself! This is my all time favorite banana brea now. Nothing else compares!

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
adapted from Our Best Bites

2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
1/4 c sour cream or plain yogurt
3 T apple juice
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and beat to combine. Add banana, sour cream, apple juice, and vanilla. Beat until just blended. Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined. Stir in 1/2 c. coconut. Pour batter into 9x5 loaf pan that has been greased and floured. Sprinkle an additional 2 T shredded coconut over the top of the loaf. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. ( I cover mine loosely with aluminum foil about 40 minutes into the baking time so the top doesn't get too brown or hardened. When done remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
For the glaze:
wisk 1/2 c. powdered sugar with 1 1/2 T. fresh lime juice. Drizzle over the top, wipe the drool from your face and DIG IN!!!!This makes my mouth water everytime that i am thinking about it!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Berry-infused Waffles!!


Berry Sour Cream Waffles adapted from A Feast For The Eyes
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen berries, optional (I used raspberries and blueberries)
Maple syrup or jam, for serving ( We used blueberry syrup and it was SOOO good! We also added sliced bananas over the top, which was the perfect topping!
Heat a waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Lightly oil the grids.
Meanwhile whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to combine and make a well in the center.
If adding berries, add about ¼ cup of the flour to the blueberries and gently mix—this will help prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter.
Whisk the melted butter, milk, sour cream, and eggs in a medium bowl until well combined and pour into the well. Whisk just until smooth; do not over mix. Gently fold the berries into the batter.
Spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the center of each quadrant of the waffle iron and close the iron. Cook until the waffle is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Serve the waffles hot, with butter and syrup.

Grilled Pork Chops!! Summer is Here!

When the weather warms up, so does our grill, almost nightly in fact! This is a new go to recipe that I have already made three or four times! It is easy to throw together and doesn't require a long marinating time, which is a plus in my book!
Grilled Pork Chops
(adapted from melskitchencafe)
8 boneless pork loin chops
1/2 c. olive oil
5 T soy sauce
2 t Montreal steak seasoning
sliced button mushrooms, sauteed in butter and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic salt
Mix olive oil, soy sauce, and steak seasoning ingreadients in a small bowl and pour into a 1 gallon resealable ziplock bag. Add the pork chops and set the bag in a baking dish. Marinate in the fridge for 3-8 hours (but no longer than 8. I have done just one hour and the flavor was still WONDERFUL!) Heat the grill to medium and grill the chops 6-8 minutes per side, until they are no longer pink in the center. Remove the chops and let them rest under some tented aluminium foil for about 5 minutes. Serve smothered with the cooked mushrooms and any summertime bbq sides that you please ( like corn on the cob, sliced watermelon and a green salad!! )

Marinated, Grilled, Steak Skewers

These are SOOOOOO good! SOOOOO easy to make and one of the best marinades that I have ever tried. SOOOOO give them a try!

Korean BBQ beef skewers
(from ourbestbites)

1 1/2 lb sirloin steak, cut thinly against the grain. (I like to stick the steaks in the freezer for about 15 minutes right before I slice them to make it easier to slice).
1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c low sodium soy sauce (regular soy sauce makes it too salty and tough)
2 T brown sugar
2 T minced garlic
1 t Sriacha chili sauce (found in the asian section of your local supermarket)
1 1/2 t sesame oil
Combine rice wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, chili sauce, and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add meat and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the grill. While the grill is preheating thread the steak pieces onto bamboo skewers. Cook over medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side. They cook fast and you don't want to overcook them, so watch them vigilantly! Serve immediately. This is another recipe that I always double because my family gobbles them up immediately! And we can't have hungry little Lamb's running around!!! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Apricot Glazed Chicken Thighs

This is one of my new go-to recipes! So easy to make and soooooo yummy! I am really liking how tender the chicken thighs are and have been trying lots of new recipes with them...(which I will post eventually!) I'm sure if you have an aversion to the darker meat you could do this with boneless, skinless chicken, but I don't think it would be as moist and tender....I will have to give it a try and let you know!

Apricot Glazed Chicken Thighs

(adapted slightly from For the Love of Cooking)

*I double this recipe for my family of 6 *

3 T apricot preserves

2 T red wine vinegar

2 T olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat

Sea salt and pepper to taste

garlic salt to taste

Combine the apricot preserves, red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 T of the olive oil, and the minced garlic. Mix with a wisk until combined and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. Heat the remaining 1/2 T of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the seasoned chicken thighs when the pan is hot and cook until golden brown on both sides. Place chicken in a 8x8 baking dish (or 9x13 if you are doubling the recipe) and pour the apricot sauce over the top of the chicken. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

So yummy with roasted red potatoes and asparagus!!!

Asian Beef Noodle Soup


I have a sister in law who makes the best Pho you have ever tasted. (Pho is a vietnemese noodle bowl with steak and broth and lots of other yumminess). It quickly became a favorite of ours and we would request it every time we would visit. The problem is the original recipe takes all day to make and try as I might I could never duplicate her deliciousness. So when I found this recipe, I was hopeful that it would be a quick and close substitute that I could make on a weeknight. We weren't disappointed! While of course it isn't too authentic the flavors are there and the kids and hubby devoured it!

Asian Beef andaa Noodle Soup

(adapted slightly from Cook's Country)

8 c. chicken broth

1 T. greated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T fish sauce (found by the asian foods in the supermarket)

1/4 t. chinese 5 spice powder

4 (3 oz) packages of ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded)

1 small flank steak, cut lengthwise into thirds and then crosswise into 1/4 inch slices

1/2 medium hadaa napa cabbage sliced thin (about 4 cups - I just bought the preshredded package at the grocery store)


1/4 c finely chopped cilantro

sliced green onions

a couple limes cut into quarters
soy sauce

Siracha chili sauce

Bring broth, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and 5 spice powder to boil in a large pot. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Add noodles to simmering broth anda cook until nearly tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in beef and cabbage and simmer until cabbage is wiltedaa anda beef is cooked through. Top with your choice of any of the above toppings and serve immediately!

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated parmesan cheese – optional
1 pound potato gnocchi – can buy this in the gourmet section of many supermarkets
Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, over medium heat when the onion becomes translucent, add the flour, and make a roux, let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.
Cook gnocchi according to package directions.
Into the roux add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasonings, simmer until soup is heated through.
Comments about this recipe: You can add more chicken if you like. While you could use left over cooked chicken breasts, I really think using the rotisserie chicken that are found in many grocery stores is the best way to get the optimal flavor of this soup. If you want to make the soup lower calorie you can use milk instead of half and half. Half and Half, does taste better, and it also reheats better than milk does.
Serve with some homemad breadsticks on a cool fall evening!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Double Decker Cake with Berries and Whipped Cream


2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons melted butter

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon

berry whip cream frosting:

1 10 oz bag frozen stawberries - thawed

1 10 oz bag frozen raspberries - thawed

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla extr


fresh strawberries - pint

fresh raspberries - pint

1 tablespoon sugar

slice the strawberries and combine in a bowl with the raspberries. sprinkle the sugar on top of the berries and gently stir. let macerated (sit at room temp) while you prepare the cake.

frozen berries:

chop the strawberries if they are large (which they probably will be). you want them in small pieces because they will be folded into the whip cream.

cakes: preheat oven to 375 degrees. prepare two 9 inch cake pans by buttering the pans, lining the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. then butter again and dust with flour. tap out the excess flour.whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. combine the raspberries and strawberries in a bowl. sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. mix to combine. set a large glass measuring cup or bowl whisk butter, eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth. combine the wet ingredients into the dry. mix until just combined. do not overmix.divide the batter equally between the two pans. bake for 20 minutes (make take up to 25 minutes). check at 15 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cakes. it should come out clean. cool on drying rack for 10 minutes. turn out of pan, remove parchment paper and flip upright. cool completely.whip cream frostingin a stand mixer whip the heavy cream. when it starts to have bubbles add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. beat until stiff.
gently fold half of the frozen berries into the whipped cream. set aside the remaining half.assemblyplace one layer of the cake on a cake plate or stand. with a skewer poke holes in the cake. this will allow the juices from the frozen berries to penetrate the cake. put the remaining frozen berries on top of the cake and spread them out with the back of a spoon or spatula to cover the cake. put about 1/3 of the whip cream mixture on top of the berries and gently spread it out to the other cake layer on top. scoop another third of the whip cream on top of the cake and gently spread it out over the cake. gradually add more of the whip cream to the top gently coaxing it over the edges. with an off-set spatula bring the whip cream down over the edges. smooth the whip cream over the whole cake.take the fresh berries and their juices and mount them on top of the cake. the juices will run over the sides

Olive Oil and Rosemary Rolls

There is something about the smell of baking bread with rosemary in it that is just comforting to the soul! Such a delicious combination and it went beautifully with the honey roasted chicken!

(from Recipe Girl)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 T chopped, fresh rosemary
2 1/4 t (1 packet) active, dry yeast
1 c. warm water
3 1/4 c bread flour
1 3/4 t sea salt or kosher salt
extra flour for dusting
1/2 c butter, melted and slightly cooled
nonstick spray

In a small bowl, combine olive oil and rosemary and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Pour yeast into 1 c. of warm water, stir to dissolve the yeast and let stand for 5-10 minutes, watching for it to foam and bubble. Insert a paddle attachment into your stand mixer. Pour yeast mix into mixer bowl, add 1/2 c of flour anda the salt and mix on low speed until incorporateda. Keep adding 1/2 cups of flour until all flour is used up and mixed in. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with a dough hook. knead on low speed while slowly pouring in oil and rosemary. Increase to speed 3 and knead for about 2 minutes. Remove the dough andaa shape quickly into a ball. Dust lightly with flour anda place in a ziplock bag, pressing out all the air and sealing the bag. Let rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down inside the bag anda let rise again for an additional hour. Punch the dough to deflate and let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball and place on prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about an hour, until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove plastic wrap anda lightly brush each roll with melted butter. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 andaa bak an additional 10-15 minutes, until browneda and hollow sounding when tapped.

Honey Roast Chicken

I have to be honest with you, roasting a whole chicken scares me, almost as much as cooking a turkey...There are so many things that can go wrong! Overcooking, undercooking, dry meat, and on and on....That being said, I attempted this recipe and actually came out with a moist, perfectly cooked bird. It was amazingly delicious! I served it with roasted veggies and everyone was licking their fingers clean!

Honey Roast Chicken
(from Cook's Country)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 t. paprika
2 whole chickens (3 1/2 to 4 lbs each), giblets discarded
1 t. cornstarch
1 c. plus 1 T water
1/2 c. honey
5 T cider vinegar
1 c. chicken broth
1 t. minced, fresh thyme
2 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
Prep chicken:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1 T salt, 2 t pepper, and paprika in a small bowl. Pat chickens dry with paper towels. gently loosen the skin of the chicken from the meat by sliding your fingers underneath between the meat and the skin. Rub the spice mixture under the skin andaa then over the outside of each chicken. Tuck the wings behind the back, and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Make Glaze:
Stir cornstarch and 1 T water together in a bowl until no lumps remain; set aside. Bring honey and 4 T vinegar to simmer in saucepan over medium high heat. cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 c, 3-5 minutes. Slowly wisk cornstarch mixture into glaze. Return to simmer and cook 1 more minute.
Roast chicken:
Arrange chicken, breast side down on a V rack set inside a roasting pan. Roast until just golden, about 35 minutes. Remove chickens from oven and using a wad of paper towels, flip to breast side up. Raise oven temp to 450 degrees. Pour 1 c of water and broth into roasting pan. Return chickens to oven and roast until meat thermometer registers 165-170 degrees, about 30-40 minutes. Brush chickens evenly with thick layer of honey glaze and continue to cook until glaze is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer chickens to a cutting board, brush with remaining glaze and let rest for about 10 minutes.
Make sauce:
Meanwhile, pour pan juices and any accumulateda chicken juices into a saucepan; skim fat. Stir in thyme, bring to a simmer, and cook until sauce is slighly thickenedaa anda reduced to 1 cup, about 1o minutes. Off heat, wisk in butter and remaining vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Carve chicken and serve, passing sauce at table.

Easter Dinner Sampler

Ok. So one day in a perfect world, I will be able to post meals right as we eat them, not a month later. But it is not a perfect world, and I have 4 kids who are very happy and busy and I don't get to sit and type recipes daily. Most of the time, I type after they are in bed, the laundary is folded, house is cleaned, bills are paid, and all the stars are aligned just right.... which doesn't happen very often. Anyhow, here is a little taste of what we had for Easter, I will get to posting the recipes sometime before Halloween....

Cake with Berries and Whip Cream frosting: Deliciously moist honey roasted chicken:

Olive Oil and Rosemary Rolls:

Roasted veggies:

Doesn't that just make your mouth water? Recipes to follow....

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Cheese

I was browsing through some of my favorite foodie blogs the other day and found this skillet meal on "My Kitchen Cafe". She happens to love skillet meals (as do I). I mean what could be better than a delicious meal made all in one pot???? This one is a keeper and will be adorning my table frequently from now on!!!

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Cheese
(from My kitchen cafe)

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti (penne makes a great substitution – I’ve used both with great results)
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (asiago was the cheese in the original recipe and can be interchanged, but I always have parmesan on hand so I used that)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, and 1 1/2 c water and cook 2-3 minutes. Uncover and return heat to medium high. Stir in cream, parmesan, and reserved chicken and continue to simmer, uncovered until sauce is thickened and chicken is warmed through. Off the heat stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper. Serve.

Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

This is my favorite poppy seed cake recipe! I love to have something sweet around, but this didn't last long! Thanks Kristi for sharing!

Poppy Seed Cake

1 white cake mix
1 pkg of vanilla instant pudding mix
½ cup of oil
4 eggs
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup water
¼ cup poppy seeds
1 tsp almond extract

Beat eggs first, then add the rest of the ingredients until water and beat for 5 minutes. Add poppy seeds and extract and beat again until mixed. Butter and flour a bunt pan and sprinkle the bottom with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Pour batter in and cook at 350 for about 40 minutes.

I also made a glaze with orange juice and powdered sugar to drizzle over the top of each slice..It was to DIE FOR!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Creamy Lemon Crumb bars

Lemon is the greatest...Anything lemon rocks. Tangy, refreshing: LOVE IT. So anyways, when I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website, it just was screaming SPRINGTIME. I tried it and was not dissappointed. See the crumbly topping, the creamy lemon center - It is DIVINE ( and very easy to make!!). Thanks Ree for another keeper!

1-⅓ cup All-purpose Flour
½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Slightly Softened
1 cup Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
1 cup Oats
1 can (14 Ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cups Lemon Juice
Zest Of 1 Lemon

Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 11 inch pan.
Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don’t press.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.
Serve cool.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Berries on a Cloud....Ohhh Baby.

I love meringue!! I love how it it puffs up and cracks and looks beautifully homemade! I love the soft marshmallowy center. This recipe adds even more by topping the meringue with a fluffy cream cheesey whip cream layer and then smothered with cherries and strawberries oh my!!!

Recipe adapted from The Recipe Club
6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form (do not underbeat). Spread evenly in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 275 degrees F for 1 hour; turn off oven (do not open door). Let cool in oven overnight or at least 12 hours.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; gently fold in whipped cream. Spread over meringue. Chill for 4 hours. Cut into 16 pieces. Combine topping ingredients; spoon 1/4 cup over each serving.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I love soups! This is a gem from my friend Kristi. It literally took like 10 minutes to make and is soooo creamy, warm, and delicious!
4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

2 1/2 - 3 cups cooked and cubed chicken (I used the white meat from a rotisserie chicken)

1 (6.2 oz) box of quick cooking long grain and wild rice mix with seasoning packet

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 - 1 cup frozen peas and carrots

In a large pot combine broth, water, and chicken. Bring to boiling and stir in the rice only from the rice mix. Turn heat down to low and simmer with cover on for 5 minutes.Meanwhile in a small bowl combine salt, pepper and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Stir in the rice seasoning packet. Reduce heat to low, then whisk in flour to form a roux. Slowly whisk in cream until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.Stir cream mixture into the broth, chicken, and rice in pot. Cook over medium heat until heated through. Add drained peas and carrots and heat through. If needed add more chicken broth to thin the soup to desired consistency.

French Bread

This is a very easy and delish french bread recipe that I found on Jen's "Yummy Fun" blog.

7 C flour

3 C water

1 Tlb sugar

2 tsp coarse salt

1 Tlb + 1 tsp yeast

1-2 Tlb cornmeal


1 egg white

1 Tlb water

Mix 4 Cups flour, sugar, (very warm) water and yeast in mixer and let knead for 3-4 minutes. Add salt and remaining flour gradually and let knead for 6-8 minutes. Once kneading is complete, roll out on floured counter space and divide in 1/2 or 1/3's (depending if you want 3 loaves or 2). Roll out into a 8x10 rectangle and roll up lengthwise, jelly roll style. Pinch seams together to seal. Grease cookie sheets and sprinkle cornmeal on sheet. Place loaf on sheet and set aside in warm place to rise (should double) approx 20 minutes. Whisk egg whites and water together, brush over dough loaves. With sharp knife make four shallow slashes across the top of dough loaf. You can also do this before rising if you don't trust yourself with knives and worry about slashing too deep.. you do not want to deflate your loaf. Bake 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Orange Pork and Happy Chinese New Year!

So since Valentines day fell on Chinese New year this time around, I thought we would have a little fun and have a chinese Valentines feast for dinner! We enjoyed lettuce wraps, rice, pot stickers and this amazing orange pork!!! It was probably the highlight of the meal! You could also do it with chicken and it would be just as tasty I'm sure!!Recipe modified from
1-2 pounds boneless, skinless pork chopes, cut into small bitesized cubes
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 eggs (beaten)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce-
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons green onion (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions. Enjoy

Mexicali Plate

This is a great, quick week night dinner. Thanks for sharing Kristi!! This is one of our new favorites! 1 lb ground beef
1 can refried beans or black beans ( I used black beans)
1/2 t. chile powder
1 12oz can drained white corn ( I used frozen corn)
1 small can sliced olives

1 8oz can of tomate sauce
Cook beef until browned and then add all the rest of ingredients into the pan and heat through. Add 1 cup shredded jack cheese and stir until cheese melts. Top with additional cheese. Serve over lettuce and tortillas. (or tortilla chips to make a "taco salad".) We also added sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onions, and mild salsa to ours.

My favorite new snack....

Sorry, this picture is pretty crappy, but don't let it stop you from trying this!!! It is soooo easy and soooo refreshing! I have it almost every morning for breakfast. Very healthy also! 1 c. mixed, frozen berries (make sure they are frozen! Don't defrost!)

1 small container of peach or strawberry yogurt (or you can do half and half).
Mix together in a bowl and let sit for about 3 minutes for the flavors to blend. Eat and enjoy! You could also top with some granola for a little crunch, but I like it just the way it is!

Jamies "almost' Lasagna and Yummy Garlic Bread

My friend Jamie introduced me to these 2 wonderful recipes....I love easy italian meals that I can whip up fast! The kids love it! I also love, love, love, love, garlic bread and this recipe is a fun twist! Enjoy!

Almost Lasagna

8 oz. barilla mostacccioli noodles
Cook in salted water according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

1tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. pepper
1 bottle of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Cook hamburger with listed seasonings. Drain grease and then add spaghetti sauce. Cook until it starts to boil and take off heat.

1 C. cottage cheese
1 C. sour cream
1 C. grated cheddar cheese

Mix together and add to noodles.

Layer in 9 x 13 starting with meat. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese on top. Bake covered 350 for 30 minutes.

Cheesy bread

french bread loaf sliced in half
1/2 C. mayo
4 TBSP. butter, softened
dash of garlic salt
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. grated cheddar cheese

Combine and spread over bread. Bake at 400 until bubbly and crispy.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread
from Our best bites:
2 c. flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
¼ c. butter, softened
1 ½ c. mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)\
2 eggs
1/3 c. plain lowfat yogurt or sour cream
½ c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream sugar and butter. Add bananas, eggs, and yogurt, beating until just blended. Add flour mixture. Beat on low until just moistened. Microwave chocolate chips in a medium bowl for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 c. batter to chocolate, stirring until well-combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter (so you have stripes of plain and chocolate batter) in an 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan coated with cooking spray, and swirl batters with a knife Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes (give or take a little; I'd probably set your timer for 1 hour and 10 minutes to be safe) or until a knife comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
*Note: I just poured the banana batter and then the chocolate batter into the pan, i was lazy and i didn't alternate or swirl....Next time I will alternate and swirl because the chocolate batter burned a little on top and I didn't get that "neat" swirl pattern....The taste is out of this world though!!

Coconut Cupcakes

I love coconut anything!! One of my favorites! I like to make mini cupcakes that are bitesized that you can just pop in your mouth. It makes you feel better when you eat 3 or 4 at a time! :)

Recipe from Ina Garten on the food network:

*note: this recipe is for making the cake version, I like to do mini cupcakes, the recipe doesn't change, just the baking time if you want to do cupcakes!)
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don't be concerned.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip!).
To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

Superbowl Goodies!!!

We had such a fun Superbowl party at our house this year! We love to throw parties and I tend to go overboard with the food! Here is a sampling of some of the goodies we had.....Some old and some new, but all delicious!!!

Posted by PicasaAll the recipes are posted on this blog, so check them out for next year! We had my favorite homemade salsa, Becca's buffalo wings, creamy hot corn dip, and kahlua pork BBQ sandwiches...and that's just what I made! There was a lot of food, a good game, and lots of good friends!!! Hopefully next year my Bronco's will be in the game!!! :P

Creamy Corn Dip

This was another superbowl treat this year....Really creamy, with a little kick! Nummy with tortilla chips! I think it would also be good with slices of baguette!Creamy Corn Dip

2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 cups corn kernels (from 4 ears fresh white or yellow corn, or frozen fresh corn)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell peppers - I used roasted red bell peppers from a jar.
1/4 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise - 1/2 C was plenty for mine
4 ounces monterey jack or cheddar, shredded- I used monterey jack
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Tortilla chips, for dipping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels turn deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Note that if you're using frozen corn it probably won't get golden brown. Just cook for about 5 minutes as the recipe states. Transfer to a bowl.
Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until the onions are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the green onions, jalapeno, and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Transfer to the bowl with the corn.
Add 1/2 C mayo, cayenne pepper, half of the monterey jack and half of the cheddar and mix well. If you need more mayo to hold the mixture together then add it, but I found that 1/2 C was plenty, and I even added a little extra cheese.
Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish, or something equivilant and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Kalua Pork

This is a must add to your recipe box recipe! It only has 4 ingredients, feeds a lot of people and is SOOOOO good!!! We sure enjoyed it while watching the superbowl!!!
Kalua Pork BBQ sandwiches
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

7-8 lbs pork shoulder butt roast
1 bottle liquid smoke
2-3 T. sea salt
1 c. water

Trim large fat pockets off of roast. (leave some fat for flavor!) Pour water and liquid smoke into crock pot. Rub sea salt all over pork roast and add to crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until roast shreds with a fork. You can just eat it this way with rice or potatoes and it is soooo tender and good! We made it into BBQ sandwiches for our superbowl party and they were a hit!! Just toast up some hoagie rolls, butter, top with pork, your favorite BBQ sauce, and a slice of provolone cheese!! TO DIE FOR!!!


Share with us all! If you have any recipes you would like me to post or try, email them to me: . Thanks for sharing your kitchens with me! Happy cooking!

Click on the link to recieve email updates when I post new recipes!!!!