Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Banana Zucchini Bread

This is the BEST banana bread ever, it doesn't taste like bananas!! This is a good thing, I don't like bananas. Not. At. All. I thought I would try this any way. After all with only 2 bananas for 2 loaves how much banana flavor could it have? Turns out, not much! This makes me happy. I changed quite a few things here, so now it is better then ever. Make this. Eat this. Not all of it at once tho. I wanted to, but I refrained. Only just tho. And no, I didn't use the nuts. I an nutty enough I need no help. 

Banana Zucchini bread

3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup apple sauce (I used peach apple sauce)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 less 1 tablespoon cup white sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch bread loaf pans.(I sprayed mine with the baking spray and that works great, prep your pans how ever you want.)

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light yellow and frothy. 

Add oil, apple sauce, brown sugar, white sugar, grated zucchini, bananas, and vanilla; blend together until well combined.

Stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt till everything is just moist. 

Mix in the cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts. 

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. (I checked after 45 mins and it ended up taking a total of about 65, but we all know ovens are different!) 

Allow to cool in the loaf pans for an hour on a wire rack before removing to finish cooling before cutting. 

My kids like this with cream cheese. I like it plain. You eat it how you like it. Just not all at once.. if you can manage it. Now I want to go and have another piece. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chicken and Pasta

So we all know I haven't been taking pictures.. you are going to have to deal with it again.. its been a rough week.. but that isn't for here really.. this is for tonight's dinner... mmmmmm..... Chicken and Pasta... its pretty easy... so I will just get into it...

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
Italian spices of choice (I used those Mc cormic grinders for Italian seasoning and garlic salt for the chicken and then dried basil parsley and oregano)
2 cans diced tomatoes (I used hunts)
1 can chicken broth (cottage inn roasted garlic flavor)
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 small onion chopped
7tbls flour
7ish tbls olive oil
2lbs pasta

Once you cut the chicken put a decent amount of the grinders on it and mix it all up. Heat your pan (going to need a good sized one), once it's hot add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the chicken, stirring till its mostly cooked (about 5 to 7 mins). Add the chopped onion and garlic, cooking till the chicken is no longer pink. Add the flour stirring it into the oil and cook for a few mins. Now pour in the chicken broth stirring well to get a gravy like texture. Cook for 1 to 2 mins before adding the 2 cans of tomatoes. Stir it all up well, and add the basil, parsley, and oregano (unless you like other spices in your tomato sauce, then have at it!). Cook covered on low-med low for about 10 mins. Of course you should be cooking the pasta now while the sauce is going on. I used 2 lbs of linguine. When the pasta is done turn off the sauce, and drain pasta. I tossed ours with a bit of butter to stop the sticking (and the kids like it plain like that sometimes). Serve it up with cheese or not. I find this is like a creamy tomato sauce without the milk. It comes out great and is QUICK. I haven't done it with out the chicken. I do assume that you can cut it in half. I make enough to have left overs tho. This EASILY feeds the 4 of us. YUM!! Garlic bread would have been good too.. but when isn't it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I know I know and eggs

Ok, so I PROMISED potato soup.. and you will have it.. but the house has been full of sick.. and that is NOT fun.. to put it one way, I HATE the smell of lysol.. HATEHATEHATE it.. its just gross.. as the 7 year old is sleeping I hope this is the end of the 4 of us being sick..

so that being said here is something small to hold you over...

hard boiled eggs..

I have read a ton of ways to make them.. but I use my own as it works well..

take the eggs you want, I have done 4 and all the way up to 16 at a time..
put a steamer basket in the pot and the eggs in that
pour COLD water till it covers the eggs by about an inch and a half
then put a temp probe into the water along the side of the steamer basket with the alarm set for 212*
once the alarm goes off set a timer for 13 mins.. yes.. 13...
when the timer goes off turn off the heat and run COLD COLD water into the pot till you can handle the steamer basket and pull that out still running cold water on the eggs and then fill the pot again and let the eggs sit in COLD water for about 20 mins then pop them into the fridge..

PERFECT every time!!!
I then peel them by cracking a spot, rolling the whole egg breaking the shell up very well and peel under running water..

now you are set to make what ever you like with them.. put them in salad, make egg salad make potato salad with them in it, eat them as they are. YUM!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

cinnamon sugar popcorn

OK OK OK I know I said if you were good I would do the baked potato soup... but I figured if I am lucky enough to get the ham bone again from Easter dinner I can make it and take pictures!!! So you get today's snack for the kids.. CINNAMON SUGAR POPCORN!! it was downright tasty.. I have the pictures on the camera but need to locate the cord so I will add them later.. Now you can pop your corn how ever you like.. I don't care.. I used my lovely air popper.. its fun and let me tell you.. the kids LOVE it.. and they aren't all that expensive and the popcorn is way better for you then the stuff that comes in the microwave bag thingies.. I have recently learned that you can just put the kernels into a brown paper lunch sack and nuke them that way too.. but what ever you like.. so here you go..

1 cup unpopped popcorn
3 TBLSPS of butter, melted
cinnamon sugar to taste

I know I know.. how much is "to taste" what ever you LIKE start out light and if you want more add more! I used my McCormick cinnamon sugar grinder thingy... LOVE IT!! so.. here you go.. the how..

pop your corn how ever you want.. I did it in the air popper and this gets the kids excited!! I have to do it in 2 batches as my popper does 1/2 cup at a time.. but that's OK.. as its popping melt the butter, I dumped the butter on the 1st time then tossed it up then added the cinnamon sugar, the 2nd time I added some to the butter (I let the kids taste the 1st batch and rapidly knew 1 batch would not be enough lol) so add as much as you like.. then I put a lid on the bowl and shook it all up.. put in bowls, put on a movie, and NOM!!

It was a VERY tasty snack and made little faces happy.. and the big one too..

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

stir-fry that wasn't

Well I started out with 2 chicken breasts and a plan.. then I got to go to IHOP for dinner.. (Nutella crepes are AMAZING in case you were wondering) Then it was a late day and quick dinner, and then I forget lol but now the chicken is defrosted and needing to be used! So I take from my shelf the Lipton side "Teriyaki Noodles" and start cutting chicken while I have the eldest practice her reading out loud to me. On a side note I figure this is a wonderful time to have her read to me as I can listen and help while getting something else done! Now.. for what went into this amazingly tasty dinner that I have no pictures of... again.. sorry.. I know.. I am slacking.. at least I am posting again!! So shhh lol

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs or so)
2 packages of the above mentioned side (this is NOT needed as I learned lol)
2 TBLSP chopped garlic
teryaki sauce
3/4lb carrots (I used baby ones) cut on the bias (or in circles I dont care! lol)
4 ribs of celery
1/4 any color bell pepper you have (I used the chopped ones I had in the freezer, yellow and orange)
2 large clementines (mine were again frozen as I used the skins in soap.. yes.. soap)
1lb thin spaghetti (this is too much but it worked out lol)
chicken base paste stuff (or bullion)
orange juice
1 can of sliced water chestnuts
about 1/3 of a leek sliced and washed of course (ugh sand in dinner NOT good)
oh and about a TBLSP of brown sugar

now.. here is the long part.. cup up the chicken and put into a bowl (help sound out words from the eldest as needed from her new book) pour about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Teryaki sauce on it and mix it all up. Start the side (this is not needed but you can do it anyway) cut up the rest of the veggies. (correct the youngest from poking the oldest while she is reading about 10 times) Heat up a large wok or another HUGE pan you have.. a pot will NOT work. When it is good and hot add the oil let it heat up before tossing in the chicken and garlic. Cook about 7 mins till cooked thru. toss in the veggies. Mix in the bowl the chicken was in 1/4 cupish of the teryaki sauce,  the brown sugar, 3 cubes bullion or 2 teaspoons stock paste, 1/4 cupish of water and about a cup of OJ and mix it WELL. (tell the reading child that you are cooking and need to deal with that she can read more later or tomorrow but she is doing so good!) turn off the side as it is prob done by now. Add the liquid mixture to the pan and realise that the side is just not enough to go with the stir-fry you now have in the pan, get annoyed that you dont have angelhair pasta, and use thin spaghetti instead, break it into 1/3rds into the pan with the stir-fry and cover at hubbys thought. (see.. you need a HUGE pan lol) after 5 mins add another 1/8th cup of teryaki sauce to the pan and then about 1/2 cup of OJ to the pan. stir it all up good often keeping it covered in between. Let this cook about a total of 15 mins. PLEASE be careful, I left mine about 3 mins too long and it started to stick and burn on the bottom, but it was still SO tasty. Put into bowls and devour.

and hopefully another post tomorrow.. perhaps if you are good you will get the baked potato soup with ham recipe I made with a ham bone (dont like split pea soup so potato it is for using up the ham bones!)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cock-a-Leeky Soup with homemade chicken stock

Heehee this one is just fun to say.. at least the 12 year old boy that lives in my head thinks so.. Of course I started this by looking up leeks. Found this, and then changed it pretty much all but the leeks and barley.. and no.. there are no pictures of this one.. perhaps the next time I make it..

1 chicken frame with the bits of meat left on from carving (I pulled mine from the freezer, it had some white meat left and about half the dark meat)
2 onions quartered
5 ribs of celery cut in thirds
6 carrots cut in thirds
any other veggie trimmings you have (I save mine in the freezer, like celery tops, carrot ends, asparagus ends, even potato bits.. what ever I know is edible but not always pretty or in the case of asparagus easy to eat but full of goodness for stock)
teaspoon black whole peppercorns
water to cover all the above in a 12 quart pot
4 carrots chopped
5 or 6 ribs of celery chopped
about half a head of garlic chopped (mine was about a tablespoon and a half when all said and done)
1 medium-small leek sliced and washed. (slice thin, and set into a bowl of water, swish it about to get the sand out)
1 cup barley

make the stock, this is so easy and SO full of flavor you will wonder why you bought it ever...
toss the chicken frame, carrots, celery, onions, and veggie ends into the pot, cover with cold water. This will take HOURS but only requires you to be home (I dont leave the stove on if I run out!). Cover the pot, put it on the burner on about medium high till it comes to a boil, then turn down to low (keep it as low as you can while maintaining a simmer). Leave this alone like this for HOURS. I am not joking, 6 of them.. at least... I normally start mine in the morning and leave it to after dinner, so figure mine goes for about 9 hours. The house will smell SO good. I promise. Just check it so often to make sure that your liquid doesnt get too low. Too low is when more then an inch of the makings are poking out. If this happens just add a bit more cold water. After it is done, pour everything thru a colander into a large bowl. Put the veggies and the bones and meat in another bowl. refrigerate over night. Now go to bed! lol the fast part is tomorrow.

Now, separate the veggies and bones from the meat. You can hold onto the bones and veggies if you want and reboil it, it will make AMAZING broth, I know it sounds insane.. but it is true.. I promise. (toss all in the big pot and boil again all day, strain and there you go!) Back to this dinner. Pour the stock you made into the pot again. add in the chopped carrots, celery, garlic, and the barley. Bring this to a simmer for 30ish mins with the lid ON. Add the leeks, and simmer for another 15 mins. Toss the reserved chicken meat into the soup, let it simmer for 5 to 10 mins till the chicken is heated thru. Serve. I know, there is no salt or pepper, add to your taste in each bowl! This is so good, I am VERY happy with this one.

Please keep in mind you can use this stock for ANY chicken soup or stew. It takes not much effort for TONS of flavor. DO IT!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

apple crisp

So we went apple picking last weekend. I LOVE apples. Crunchy tart cooking apples. We got Macoun apples. So tasty, and crunchy, sweet but tart, and JUICY! The first thing I made was an apple crisp. I let the 6 year old take pictures... so you will see what happens, and because of that there are a few missing, like the ingredients, sorry... But here is the tasty goodness....

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, melted

3 cups of apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (or my way as seen below) (I used 3 apples, it was closer to 3.5 cups)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350* and grease an 8" square pan
Mix together brown sugar, flour, oats,

Add butter..

Let the 5 year old help mix it up (it makes her happy)

This is what it should look like, all crumbly and good. You can add some cinnamon here if you like, I didn't and it was good.

Measure and chop the apples. We have a peeler corer slicer thingie, 

I love it, makes it SO fast!! (dont mind the messy table this was being done as dinner was cooking too!)

 It does make measuring the apples hard.

I chopped them into 4ths at that point. 
Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Lay the apples over the crumb mixture, then sprinkle with the white sugar and cinnamon.

Put the rest of the crumb mixture on top of the apples. 

Bake for 40 to 45 mins. You want it brown and crunchy on top, you will see the bubbly goodness peeking up in places. (Sorry no picture, we were eating dinner at the time and that was WAY more important to the 6 year old photographer)

I think next time I will add cinnamon to the topping. It was definitely tasty. More apples is more better. I also might try tossing the apples with the cinnamon and sugar next time.