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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Banana Apple Cranberry Walnut Muffins

Well, it's been a while! Sorry! Sometimes I get so caught up in my life, I forget about my blog! Yes, I DO have a life other than being in the kitchen.

I had a garage sale last weekend. It went pretty well despite terrible weather. We have so much baby stuff to get rid of, though, that we're extending the sale to go one more weekend. I don't mind sitting outside all day for the sale. But getting everything together was back-breaking.

What's that? Oh. The recipe? Sure. Here ya go:


3 ripe bananas
1 apple (I used a Gala, but any apple will work for this recipe)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

See? They're good for you! TONS of fiber! Very little added sugar. All the fruit in these helps eliminate adding extra sugar. (-:

First, mash the bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl. Oh, peel them first, please. Hey, you never know. Can't leave any details out, ya know.
Then peel, core, and dice your apple. I used my handy dandy Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer from The Pampered Chef to peel, core, and slice the apple, then just made a few vertical cuts to get a perfect dice. LOVE that tool. If you don't have one and want one, let me know.

Next, add the apple, cranberries, cinnamon, egg, and salt to the banana mash and mix it all together with a fork. It should look like this:
Add the sugar and flour and mix until all ingredients are combined and it looks like this:

Fill Mini Muffin tins all the way. I suppose you could use regular muffin tins, but then you can't justify eating 3 of these (or 7....don't judge me).

Sprinkle walnuts on top, if desired. I did half of mine with nuts, half without, because my weirdo husband doesn't like nuts on things. Yes, my husband has faults and this is one of them.
Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes.
Since cleanup for these muffins is super easy and fast (you only have one bowl to wash!), you have time to do other things while they're baking. Adlai and I made a candy necklace. I didn't make the candy. Just strung the candy beads onto the stretch string. He got to do the fun part, and ate it. Never mind that it looks like I beat my child. He's just extremely accident prone. This particular "owie" occurred when he ran, full speed ahead, into the open tailgate of a truck.

Take the muffins out of the oven and let them cool a bit....then scarf them down. Because they're good for you. Right? It's ok to eat 3 (7) of them. (-:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spinach and Feta Penne

I'm tired....and I really just want to get this written. So no funny prologue here. Just good, simple yumminess. Here goes:

8oz Penne pasta (I use Barilla Plus)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (or the jarred stuff)
1/2-1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2-3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (I used Italian seasoned diced tomatoes)
4 oz feta cheese, extra for garnishing, if you so desire


Boil your water (salted, of course!) and cook pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Once hot, sauté onion, garlic, and mushrooms in skillet. We're not caramelizing the onions....just cooking them until they are soft or translucent...about 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach to the skillet and stir it in until it's wilted, about a minute or less. Once spinach is wilted, add the diced tomatoes (do NOT strain). Cook until heated through. Add drained pasta and feta cheese and toss to combine. Garnish with additional feta cheese on top, if desired.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Turkey Pesto Calzones

Holy cow were these ever easy!!! You MUST try them. Really. Do it.

Turkey Pesto Calzones

16 slices of deli sliced turkey breast
4 deli slices of provolone cheese
Pesto sauce (I used basil pesto, but whatever you'd like is fine)
1 can pizza dough

Unroll your pizza dough onto your work surface and spread into an 11"x15" (ish) rectangle. Cut it down the middle lengthwise and then cross wise to make 4 rectangles. Spread about 1-2 tsp pesto on each piece. Place 4 slices turkey and a slice of provolone on each piece of dough. Fold the rectangles over and seal with the tines of a fork. Place on a greased sheet pan and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. VOILA!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bacon Tomato Bisque

This bisque can be made with general every day ingredients that I know I almost always have on hand. It was a first run, but I doubt I'll change anything for next time. It was delicious!

Bacon Tomato Bisque


4-6 slices of bacon, chopped up
1/4 cup butter (half stick)
1/4 cup flour
pinch of nutmeg
1 can vegetable broth (or chicken)
4 oz cream cheese, SUPER soft
1 can Italian style diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can regular diced tomatoes, not drained
1/4 cup milk (i used 2%, but it shouldn't matter)

In a saucepan (whatever you're going to make the soup in), brown the bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Discard drippings. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, slowly whisk in the flour and nutmeg (I always use whole nutmeg and just grate what I tastes so much better) until smooth. Slowly whisk in the broth. Bring to a small simmer and whisk occasionally until nice and thick. Reduce heat and add cream cheese, whisking until smooth. (I added my cream cheese after the tomatoes and had trouble getting all the lumps out, so I think adding it before the tomatoes is going to be your best bet.) After the mixture is smooth, add tomatoes and juice. Heat through. Add milk and stir. Do not bring to a boil after adding the milk. Garnish with the crispy bacon. You could also use green onions to garnish as well.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Grilled Salmon and Asparagus

I don't eat fish. I don't like fish. But my husband does. So tonight I decided to treat him and make grilled salmon. And one of the only vegetables my husband will eat outright is asparagus. So I picked some up (even though it's out of season).

The first step is to marinade the salmon. Here's the recipe I used:

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt (kosher)
1 tsp lemon pepper
2 garlic cloves, pressed (or minced)

Mix it all together and throw it in a ziplock bag with the salmon. Leave it in there to marinade 2-8 hours.

When you're ready to grill it, turn your grill on high and let it get really hot. Spray your grill rack with non-stick spray. Be careful when you do this because the flames will get HUGE. But it's necessary if you don't want your fish to stick and fall apart. Put the salmon on the grill, skin side up. Grill with the lid closed for 4 minutes. Using a large flat spatula and flip the fish over. grill for another 6 minutes with the lid closed. When you take the fish off the grill, you might be able to slide your spatula between the fish and the skin. You don't want to eat the skin. It won't taste very good. Then again, I don't think ANY of the fish tastes good.

That's it! You're done with the fish! Super easy!

For the asparagus, snap each piece in half. You don't want the thick bottoms of the asparagus. It's very chewy and woody. Not good for eating. My dogs won't even eat it. It will naturally snap between the edible and "I wouldn't eat that if you paid me" part. I put my asparagus in a grill basket so I don't have to worry about it falling between the grate on the grill. If you don't have one, let me know. I can get you an awesome one. I drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and grind fresh pepper over it, then sprinkle with kosher salt. Throw the basket on the grill for about 3 minutes (no more!) on high heat. That's it! Done!

Super easy dinner and my husband said it was delicious!

Holy Guacamole!

I really don't think there is any better snack than a bowl of fresh guacamole and some chips. I'm actually taking a break after I write each sentence here to eat some. :-)
Here's the recipe:

3 Ripe Avocados*
1 Lime
Cayenne Pepper
Ground Cumin
2 Roma Tomatoes (or 1 small vine ripened tomato)
1/2 small red onion
2 cloves garlic

*Avocados are ripe when the flish gives a bit when pressed gently, but is not "squishy."

Pit and peel the avocados. Juice the lime over the meat of the avocados to keep them from browning. Add salt, pepper and cumin to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon of each) and mash. Chop cilantro and seed and dice tomato(es). Dice the red onion. Mince the garlic (or use a garlic press). Fold the cilantro, garlic, onion, and tomato into the avocado mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes so that the flavors meld together. ENJOY!

I think I made it three sentences without stopping to take a bite. My guac now feels neglected. So I'm going to get back to it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Is there anything better than buttercream icing? Normally I'd say no, but I have to say....chocolate buttercream can be JUST the thing to hit the spot. Especially when it's combined with a rich devil's food cake.

Here's my recipe:

1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners sugar
8 T of butter
a few tablespoons of milk

Beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugar 1/4 cup at a time, mixing on slow until combined and then on medium high to whip until all the sugar is incorporated. Add milk a tiny bit at a time, beating it in until you get the right consistency. Thick enough to hold form, but thin enough to pipe. After you have a good consistency, add the cocoa powder, mix on slow until incorporated (or you'll make a BIG mess) and then beat the frosting until fluffy.

I just used a simple Devil's Food Cake mix to make my cupcakes and piped the chocolate buttercream on top of them using my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator. LOVE that tool. Makes anyone look like a master decorator!

Oh, and they were delicious. I won't tell you how many I ate today. :-D