Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Banana Bars

We had frozen bananas coming out of our ears and you can only eat so much banana bread:


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 (16 ounce) container cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting with the cream cheese frosting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Italian Chicken Calzones

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 (14 ounce) can marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained, liquid reserved
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup white wine
2 tubes pre-made pizza dough
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce (for dipping)

Preheat oven according to directions on pizza dough package.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in oil and butter for 5 to 7 minutes per side; remove from skillet, and set aside.
Place artichoke hearts and mushrooms in the skillet, and saute until mushrooms are brown and tender. Return chicken to skillet, and pour in reserved artichoke liquid and wine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Roll out pizza dough and portion the dough into as many calzones as you want.
Place some of the chicken mixture into the center of the dough piece. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Seal the dough around the chicken mixture being careful to completely enclose the contents.
Place the calzones on a greased cookie sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown.

Dip the calzones in the pizza sauce if desired.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup (8 ounces) Velveeta , cut into small cubes
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole.

Bring the large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is just tender, about 7 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.

In a small saucepan, melt eight tablespoons of the butter. Stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild and sharp Cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheeses. To the macaroni, add the half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta, and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and dot with the remaining one tablespoon of butter.

Bake until it's bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.

Chickpea and Potato Curry

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
One 14 1/2-ounce can fire-roasted or stewed tomatoes with chiles (If you can't find canned tomatoes with chiles you can add half a 4-ounce can of diced green anaheim chiles to a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes.)
6 baby (new) Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), quartered
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 In a large pot, combine the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, butter, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Stir to mix and nestle the potatoes into the liquid.

2 Set the pot, uncovered, over medium heat. Simmer vigorously for about 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add more salt to taste. Serve the curry in bowls over Jasmine rice.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Garlic Chicken Farfalle

This is a yummy recipe from a friend. So I thought I'd share it! We love this meal

16oz. farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 cup whipping cream
3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/2 Tbsp. pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 lb bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 12oz. bottle Lawry's mesquite with lime juice marinade
*2-3 cloves crushed garlic (optional)

Cook chicken in crock pot with marinade, 4-6 hours. Boil pasta. Melt butter; add whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, & bacon. Whisk together on low heat 5 min. In a large bowl add pasta and sauce, mix well. Cut up chicken into small cubes and add to mixture. Serve with garlic toast.

Also, I half the recipe because it makes a ton!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

I made this for dinner last night and Brandon enjoyed it. It wasn't that spicy either which I like!

Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
10 hr 20 min
10 servings
10 chicken thighs, skins removed (2-3/4 lb.)
1 jar (16 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. curry powder

PLACE chicken in slow cooker. Combine salsa, onions and curry powder; pour over chicken. Cover with lid.

COOK on LOW for 8 to 10 hours (or on HIGH for 5 hours).

REMOVE chicken to serving platter; cover to keep warm. Add sour cream to slow cooker; stir until well blended. Serve over the chicken.

Serving Suggestion
Serve over hot steamed vegetables. Or, spoon over 2/3-cup servings of hot cooked brown rice.

Cooking Know-How
Heat releases the fragrant flavorful oils in curry. For optimum flavor, measure the curry powder into a small microwaveable bowl and microwave on HIGH for 30 sec. before adding to the slow cooker.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

My cousin made this for our family reunion and it was a total hit! I made it and it was easy and delicious!
1 Fuji apple - peeled, cored and diced
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
**You can really use whatever fruit you have laying around. We used apples, pears, peaches, raspberries and strawberries in ours. Honestly...use whatever fruit is in the fridge or whatever you think sounds yummy! Just be sure to cut everything small enough it will be easy to scoop up with the chips!

1 cup oil for frying OR cooking spray
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, mix together Fuji apple, strawberries, kiwis, bananas, lime juice, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and chill in the refrigerator approximately 20 minutes.
For fried tortillas:
Heat oil in a medium heavy saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Slice flour tortillas into triangles. Carefully place tortilla triangles into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Place white sugar and cinnamon in a large ziplock plastic bag. Drop fried tortilla triangles into the bag and shake to coat.
For baked tortillas:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut tortillas into triangles. Spray both sides with cooking spray and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top. Bake until crispy(about 10-15minutes).

Serve the cinnamon chips warm (room temp is fine, too!) with the chilled fruit salsa.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Alex Streeter's Famous Pie

I had a craving - got the recipe from him - and now I'm posting it here so that I can't lose it

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 12-oz. container firm silken tofu
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 9-inch premade graham cracker crust
1/2 cup chopped chocolate-covered pretzels


Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for 30 seconds.

Stir chocolate, and heat 30 seconds more. Repeat heating and stirring until chocolate is just melted. Set aside.

Combine tofu and maple syrup in food processor, and blend 3 minutes, or until smooth.

Add peanut butter, and process until smooth. Add melted chocolate, and process once more until smooth.

Pour peanut butter-chocolate mixture into pie crust, smoothing the top; refrigerate 20 minutes.

Sprinkle pretzels on top, and serve, or refrigerate until ready to eat.