Friday, January 28, 2011

Banana Bread

This has been with us forever! I love to make it.  When I bake this  I make extra for Britt to take back to college with her.  The recipe is easily converted to muffins as well.
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 T milk 1 cup mashed banana

Stir the flour, powder and soda and set aside.  Mix the sugar and shortening with a mixer until light.  Add eggs and milk and beat until smooth.  Add flour mixture and banana alternately to the mixture. Turn the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes.  If you are making muffins no need to bake so long.  For the topping brush melted butter on the bread towards the end of baking and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar! YUM! Enjoy~

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Congo Bars

These are the prefect lunch box treat.  I think they are a chocolate chip cookie in a bar...Brenn disagrees.  He says they are better than a cookie! I have made them more than a few times and they are always gone.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter at room temp
3 eggs at room temp
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 12 ounce pkg chocolate chips **I use milk or semi sweet**
Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk together the flour, slat and baking powder.  In a mixing bowl cream the brown sugar and butter until well combined.  Add the eggs one at a time and make sure well mixed before adding the next. Add vanilla and beat until smooth and no sugar lumps remain.  Don't over mix on this step. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, add the chocolate chips and mix until the chips are all mixed in good.  Grease a jelly roll pan and spread dough evenly over the pan and bake for 18 minutes or until done.  **I use a plastic sandwich bag on my hand and spread the is thick and tough to manipulate. I also have never baked mine the full 18 minutes.**
YUM! Enjoy~

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chocolate Mint Parfait Bars

Eh...these lacked in taste.  A friend tried them and she said they reminded her of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies...I don't think they were minty enough for that, but the consistency is right on!


package chocolate cake mix
cup butter,softened
Ingredients for Filling:
envelope unflavored gelatin
cup boiling water
cups powdered sugar
cup unsalted butter, softened
cup Crisco
teaspoon peppermint extract
to 3 drops green food coloring
Ingredients for Frosting:
ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
tablespoons  butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 15x10 inch jelly roll pan.  In large bowl combine all base ingredients at low speed until a crumble.  Press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and cool.  Dissolve gelatin in boiling water, cool.  In large bowl combine gelatin, 2 cups of powder sugar, butter, shortening, flavoring and coloring and beat for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Blend in remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar.  SPread over cooled crust.  In small sauce pan melt the butter and chocolate chips over low heat .  Spoon over filling and spread as frosting, Chill and cut.  Enjoy~

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

These were very good.   I was a little disappointed in the pancakes being so thin, I love fluffy and thick pancakes.....but they had  HUGE taste so it evened out. The lemon is subtle and really yummy.  I used fresh strawberries for the sauce and I think it would be just as good using frozen. I also think t would be great with any type of fruit, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries peaches....they would all make a great topping!


Strawberry Sauce
12 oz. strawberries, rinsed and drained
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. cold water
For the pancakes:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup milk
3 large eggs, separated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1½ cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup sugar
To make the strawberry sauce, combine the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release some of their juices and the mixture is simmering.  Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberries and mix well.  Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and keep warm if desired.  The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
To make the pancakes, combine the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add in the cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until incorporated.  In another clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat, adding the sugar gradually, until medium-soft peaks form.
Fold one third of the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture with a spatula until completely incorporated.  Add in the remaining egg whites and fold in gently until the mixture is smooth and light.
Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Grease as needed.  Ladle a scant ½ cup of batter onto the cooking surface for each pancake.  Allow to cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Use a large spatula to carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side until light golden and cooked through.  Repeat with the remaining batter. Top with berries! YUM!! A little time consuming but sooo worth it!! Enjoy~

Monday, January 24, 2011

Seafood Mac and Cheese

My favorite market has different 'festivals' at different times of the year.  This focus was on cheese.  It was called Hail to the Cheese.  YUM! I am a cheese addict.  I went wild and picked up several recipes.  I could not wait to try this recipe.  It got a double thumbs up from the kids and Tony is not a fan of hot shrimp so he was indifferent about it. I did not get a photo as we ate in a you get Mr. Lobster here.  He smiled for his picture, as you can see...

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pound coarsely chopped cooked lobster, shrimp, crawfish, or crabmeat, **I did not nor would I ever use crawfish.  EW, just my opinion...but YUCK**
4 cups (1 pound) mixed grated cheeses, such as Parmesan, chedder, swiss, and fontina
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
6 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 400. In a large pot of boiling water, cook macaroni 2 minutes less than al dente. Drain; rinse with cold water. Set aside.
 While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium in a large saucepan. Transfer 2 tablespoons melter butter to a medium bowl, and reserve. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stiring, 1 minute. Add milk; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg.
 Remove pan from heat. Fold in seafood, macaroni, and cheese; tranfer to a shallow 4-quart baking dish. To bowl with reserved melted butter, add breadcrumbs and Creole seasoning; until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Mmm mmm Good!! Enjoy~

Sunday, January 23, 2011


My friend, Stacy, led me to this recipe of Valentine Brownies.  She got the recipe out of Good Housekeeping. They are fun to make and smell delish as they are baking. My kids loved them.  I took them to a neighborhood get together and they liked them as well.  I added a vanilla drizzle to the top, the recipe doesn't call for anything on top.  Forgive the photo. They were plated for the party and I realized the plate was not the best for a photo...but this is all I have.
3/4 cups butter cut up
4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 pan with foil and grease.  In a large sauce pan, over low heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolates.  Stir and remove from heat when fully melted.  In a bowl whisk the flour, cocoa and salt.  In a large bowl with mixer on high speed beat the eggs until blended.  Gradually add the sugars and beat for 10 minutes or until tripled in volume.  Fold in chocolate and vanilla and then flour mixture.  Pour into pan and bake for 28-32 minutes. Enjoy~

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fried Tortillas

This is such an easy and fast Mexican dessert! We love it and top it with ice cream or whipped cream and honey. YUM!
8 tortillas cut in 1/4ths
hot oil to fry the tortillas**I use canola oil**
cinnamon and sugar mixture

Fry the tortilla strips in the very hot oil until crispy on both sides.  WATCH them because they get very brown very quickly!! Drain on paper towels and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on both sides and cool.  Serve with whatever you think sounds good...strawberries and whip, honey, ice cream....the list is endless! Be creative and ENJOY!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Burrito Casserole

This recipe came off the package of Lawry's Chimichurri Burrito seasoning.  It was gone the night I made it.  It is so easy and everyone has 2 helpings.  I made a double recipe and am glad I did! I did freeze 2 for Britt to take back to college with her but the rest were gone!
1 lb  ground beef**I used ground turkey**
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup water
1 1.4 ounce package Lawry's Chimichurri Burrito seasoning
8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Brown the meat, add salt and pepper. Drain off the fat and add the rinsed and drained beans.  In a small mixing bowl mix the water, tomato sauce and Chimichurri seasoning.  Pour 1 cup of the sauce in with the meat and beans, mix well. Fill the tortillas with the mixture.  Roll the tortilla up and put, seam side down, in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top and put the cheese on top of that.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until it is heated through and cheese is melted. Garnish with all the yummy Mexican fixin's! Enjoy~

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Honey butter

This is so easy and so good on home made bread and/ or rolls....
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup honey
In a mixing bowl beat the butter and drizzle in honey as you are mixing. **You can also use peanut butter instead of the butter for a treat! **  EAT! Yum! Enjoy~

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Peach Cobbler

YUM! We love peaches and this is a great dessert...or breakfast! I love it warm and with fresh whipped cream on it or vanilla bean ice cream!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups peeled, pitted and thinly sliced fresh peaches (5 to 6 medium peaches)**I am sue you can use frozen as well**
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Several dashes ground cinnamon or ground nutmeg (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour the melted butter into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, the baking powder, and the salt and mix well. Stir in the milk, mixing until just combined. Pour this batter over the butter but do not stir them together.
In a small saucepan, combine the peaches, lemon juice, and remaining cup of sugar and bring to a boilover high heat, stirring constantly. Pour the peaches over the batter but do not stir them together. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden-brown. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

This has been a go-to recipe for my family for a couple of years.  It is easy and fast. Make sure you pound the chicken...I tried to do a fast job and it is not as good...AT ALL! :)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin!!!!!

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .

    1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and cook the garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

    1. In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt.

    1. Dip each chicken breast in the garlic butter to coat, then press into the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining butter and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.

    1. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Enjoy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Enchilada Sauce

A friend requested an enchilada recipe from me. I have had this for a while and forgot about it.  I made it last night...SO EASY and SO YUMMY!!! Brenn is not a spicy fan and it was not too spicy for him.  I highly recommend this sauce with your favorite enchilada recipe!

6 dried ancho chiles
1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
1/4 cup corn oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 1 /2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
3 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the chiles on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 3-4 minutes, remove the stems, pulp and seeds.  Place the anchos in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them sit for 1 hour in the water. Combine the chiles, tomato paste, corn oil, garlic and spices and 1 cup of the beef broth in a food processor, process until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a saucepan and add the remaining 2 cups of beef broth and heat until warmed through. Use in your favorite recipes!  Enjoy~

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mmmm Mmmmm Muffins

Um...Holy melt in my mouth muffins! YUM! A wonderful surprise with a  hint of lemon and a burst of fresh blueberries and the lemony sugar topping is a treat! This is a must to make!
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries( you could use frozen as well)

1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Mix dry ingredients and set aside.  Beat eggs and milk with butter.  Add dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Stir in blueberries gently.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.  Combine melted butter and lemon juice for the topping.  While muffins are still warm dip the tops in the butter and lemon juice and then in the sugar...Enjoy~

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cheesy French Dips

This is an easy roast recipe to throw in the slow cooker  when you don't have time to cook at night.  We had a late basketball game last night so I threw this recipe together in the a.m. and Presto! done at night.


  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 6 cups water
  • 3-4 pounds beef chuck roast
  • rolls or buns
  • Sliced provolone, swiss or cheddar cheese, which ever is your fave...I made a combo of all so people could have a choice!
                                    1. Combine garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, soy sauce, and water in a slow cooker.  Stir to combine.
    1. Place the roast in the liquid in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-10 hours.
    1. Remove roast from slow cooker and shred.  Place liquid from slow cooker in another container and remove bay leaf.  Return shredded beef to slow cooker.  Add a small amount to the reserved liquid.  Add just enough to make the beef nice and moist.
    1. Place slice rolls or buns on a baking sheet.  Place one slice of provolone on each roll.  Place on the center rack of an oven under the broiler. Broil until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Serve on the rolls and put the liquid alongside so you can dip...YUM!! Enjoy~