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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Banana Pancakes

Hmmmm... What can I do with this one lonely banana???
I need two for banana bread and three for banana cake... Oh, I know!! Banana pancakes!! Yummmm! They are so good, and easily made with stuff you probably already have!
Now you can cook these on a non stick pan or griddle (this is what I usually do), but for a really heavenly treat, melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan before you pour your batter and then sprinkle chopped pecans over the uncooked batter and finally top with pure maple syrup. I swear, it taste like butter pecan ice cream.
Now, let's get cookin. First you'll need one of these little helpers.
They are invaluable for mashing bananas, stirring eggs and pouring things!
Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup pecans (optional)

Directions
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients and beat with a wire whisk just until smooth. Stir in pecans.

Heat lightly buttered griddle to 350 degrees or a skillet over med/high heat. Spread 1/4 cup batter onto pan. Cook until bubbles form (2-3 min). Turn pancakes and continue cooking until brown. Serve with butter and syrup.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Smores... on a stick


I love to make goodies for my kids. I just imagine how excited their little faces will be when they see the assorted sweets and treats. So I had pretzel rods, marshmallow and chocolate, and this really cute idea... but things don't always work out the way you imagine them. The original idea was doomed from the get go... A stressful trip to the store where we forgot the dipping components... an unsuccessful attempt putting more than one sticky marshmallows on a pretzel and a crying toddler... put them all together and I had a recipe for disaster. I should have just stopped while I was ahead, but I didn't... and I'm glad! The end result of toasted marshmallow covered in sweet chocolate and a touch of graham crackers were oh so tasty, borderline addictive... and surprisingly not very messy!!



Ingredients
Pretzel Rods
Large Marshmallows
Dipping Chocolate (almond bark, candy melts, etc.)
Graham Crackers, crushed



Directions
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break each pretzel in half, then using a chop stick, or something similar in size, poke a beginner hole in one end of a marshmallow. Next, carefully work marshmallow onto the broken end of the pretzel (this seems like it would be so easy... but it's not) and lay the it on the baking sheet being careful not to let them touch.
 
 Once your sheet is full, or your tired of working with those pesky marshmallows turn the oven on to broil and place the pan in leaving the oven door open enough to watch them. And watch... seriously, it only takes about a minute... if that. Once they are toasted on the first side carefully turn them over and toast the other side. Place toasted marshmallows in the refrigerator to cool while you crush the graham crackers and melt the chocolate. Now carefully dip the cooled marshmallows in chocolate in roll in graham crackers then put them back in the fridge for a few minutes to harden... remove and enjoy... and try not to be too hard on yourself for giving up on those marshmallows and not making more... Your gonna want more!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chocolate Lime Cheesecake

This week's theme at IHCC is Going Green...


So my first though, of course, was how am I going to make green chocolate??? Well... just leave it to Nigella to have a recipe for Chocolate Lime Cheesecake!! You cant get any greener than a lime, right? Thank you Nigella!!
Ingredients
7 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 pound cream cheese (recommended: Philadelphia)
1 cup sugar
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
4 limes, juiced or 3/4 cup
Special equipment: spring form pan

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a large overlapping piece of aluminum foil over the bottom of the springform pan, and then insert pan ring over it. Fold the foil extra foil up and around the pan and place the whole thing on a second piece of foil, also folding it and pressing it securely around the pan, having a water tight covering.

In a food processor, process cookies until they are crumb-like, add melted butter and continue to process. Pour crumb mixture into springform pan and press with your fingers to line the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the cheesecake.

Place a kettle of water on for water bath. In a food processor beat the cream cheese until smooth, add the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and lime juice.

Take crumbed pan from the refrigerator and place it in a roasting pan. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the crumb pan, and then carefully pour the hot kettle of water into the roasting pan so the water reaches 1/2 way up the pan so the water does not splash into cheese cake.

Place roasting pan in oven for 1 hour, checking after 50 minutes. It should feel set, but still wobbly in the center. Take the roasting pan out of the oven, carefully remove the springform pan from the roasting pan and place it on a rack. Peel off the outer layer of foil, and tear away the side bits of the first layer of foil and leave the pan to cool. Once the cake comes to room temperature, place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving. Transfer to the plate you're going to serve it on, a plate without a lip, or a cake stand. Unclip the springform pan and remove the outer part. Carfully lift the cheesecake removing the metal bottom. The aluminum foil can stay on the cake. Serve chilled.

Original recipe found here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chocolate Croissants


I'm so excited to finally get to participate in IHCC this week! It has been crazy busy around here, and I haven't had a chance to find a recipe, get to the store and make stuff in quite a while. The theme this week "Tea Time" and while I dont drink hot tea this recipe goes equally well with a good cup of coffee. I chose Nigella's Chocolate Croissants because well... I love chocolate... and I already had everything I needed.

Ingredients
1 package butter puff pastry
chocolate chips
1 egg beaten

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Open the sheet of pastry and then cut it into 6 squares.

Cut each square diagonally to give 2 triangles. Put the triangle with the wider part facing you and the point away from you.
Sprinkle about half a teaspoon of chocolate chips on each triangle.

Then carefully roll from that chocolate loaded end towards the point of the triangle.

You should now have something resembling a straight croissant, seal it slightly with your fingertips and curl it around into a crescent.

Place the chocolate croissants on a lined baking tray and paint with the beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and puffy.

Original recipe found here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crock Pot Spaghetti

I have a full time job and an hour commute each way so with what little time I have left in my day I love to cook recipes like this! (not to mention that it's good) I mean is there anything better after a long day than coming home to a home cooked meal. It has a combination of hamburger, italian sausage, cute little peperoni and noodles cooked in the sauce rather than water which makes them extra flavorful. Oh yeah, it has mushrooms too... which are totally gross... fungus... yuck, but my sweetie loves them so there they are... for his enjoyment.
1 lbs ground beef
1 lb italian sausage
1/2 6oz pkg sliced pepperoni
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
4.5 cups tomato juice
24 oz dry spaghetti broken into 4-5 inch pieces
grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Brown and drain ground chuck and italian sausage.
2. Combine all ingredients except spaghetti and parmesan cheese in a large crockpot
3. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hrs, or high 3-5 hrs. Turn to high during the last 30 to 40 mins and stir in dry spaghetti. If the spaghetti is not done to your desired degree of doneness let it cook another 10 mins.
4. Sprinkle individual servings with parmesan cheese and serve.

Original Recipe found Here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jen's Lasagna

This is a spouse pleasin, kid pleasin, pan filling simply good lasagna recipe, and anything that is good enough for my picky little kids to clean their plates must be shared with the masses. Thanks for the recipe Jen!!

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 26 oz can spaghetti sauce (I used Hunts traditional)
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 24 oz container cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella (Jen uses Monterey Jack which melts beautifully)
12 lasagna noodles
Garlic Salt
Italian Seasoning
Salt
Pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Boil noodles per package directions. Brown ground beef, drain fat, add sauce and season to taste. Mix ricotta, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and season again to taste. Put just a little of the meat sauce down in a greased 9x13 pan. Place four lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping each noodle a little. Next, cover with 1/3 of the cheese mixture, then 1/3 of the meat sauce. Noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce and finish with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella and bake for 45 minutes. Let lasagna sit for 5 min before serving.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Pie

From time to time I send some of the goodies I make to work with my darling husband.



One of his co-workers asked if I had ever made a peanut butter pie... and, up until now I had'nt. Believe it or not, with three kids under the age of 12 in the house we do not eat a lot of peanut butter so it is not a recipe that I would even consider. But I came across this recipe on Homesick Texan and thought I'd give it a try.

Peanut Butter Pie

Filling ingredients:
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cups of sugar
5 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
¾ cup of peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Meringue ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar
Your favorite pie crust.

Directions:
In a pot, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, flour and salt. While stirring, cook on medium heat until it bubbles and thickens, about five to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne and peanut butter.
Meanwhile, poke holes in your pie crust with a fork and bake it at 350 until it’s brown, about 20 minutes.
Beat your egg whites with salt and when they start to get fluffy add the sugar.
Pour the peanut butter custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites.
Bake pie until peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Banana Pudding

Did you know that banana pudding is not made from a box???


Because I didn't, for the first 24 years of my existence. Then one day at work (a long time ago) we had a baby shower and someone brought banana pudding... Oh, I was in love. I had to know how to make it, I had to make it so that I could eat it... any time I wanted to. I can't believe I never knew about this!?!? To answer your question... yes, I must have been living under a rock. This is not a quick recipe. You have to stand and stir but it is worth the effort, I promise! The results are amazing!

Banana Pudding

Ingredients
Pudding
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 dash salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 bananas, sliced
Vanilla Wafers

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
Mix sugar and eggs in a saucepan, then add cornstarch, salt and milk and wisk until well combined. Bring mix to a boil over med-high heat stirring constantly until thick. (10-20min)

Remove from heat, add vanilla and mix well.

Layer wafers, bananas and pudding, then let cool while you make your whipped cream.

Place mixing bowl in freezer to chill. Once the bowl is nice and cold pour the cream in and mix on high speed until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

 Cover banana pudding with whipped cream and top with crushed vanilla wafers. Now comes the hard part... waiting. Oh why do I have to wait!! Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least a couple of hours to give the cookies time to soften.