Friday, May 10, 2013

Banana Peanut Butter Nut Bread

One of my favorite breads to make has always been banana nut bread. Unfortunately we never had bananas hang around too long to make the bread out of them since we would peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Mmmmmmm....

For the record, I just found out that one of Elvis Presley's favorite sandwiches was peanut butter, banana, and bacon. It is delicious, omg...

Anyways, back to this bread, I decided that this time I was going to try to combine both the bananas and the peanut butter in the bread since I usually spread peanut butter on my banana bread when I eat it. It came out perfectly! The bananas remained in tact and helped keep the bread moist, while the peanut butter was still able to come through without overpowering the banana. Great success for me! Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 oz Chopped Walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup and 2 tsp White Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 ripe Bananas
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cup AP Flour (AP = All Purpose)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit  In a container, combine 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp white sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Then in a medium sauce pan, brown 2 Tbsp of butter on low heat until the butter turns a rich brown color. Once browned, coat walnuts in the butter and then place in the container with the sugar mixture. Shake around and evenly coat the walnuts. Once coated, set walnuts on some parchment paper to dry and move aside.

Step 2: In a bowl, take your three bananas and cut up to fit in the bowl. Then take a fork and mash the bananas, but be sure to keep some lumps in it. Set aside.

Step 3: In a large bowl, cream the 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar together. Add in the peanut butter, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Then slowly start adding in the flour until it has all been added. Lastly, fold in the banana mash, making sure to keep the lumps of banana in there. 

Step 4: Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan and cover with your sugared walnuts. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once done, pull out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before taking out of the pan. Enjoy!

Note: Serve with cream cheese (just spread it on your bread as you eat it!)!

Yield: Makes 1 loaf.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shrimp Linguine in Tomato Cream Sauce

I feel so fancy when I get to eat shrimp. Growing up we didn't have shrimp too often, mostly on New Years Eve and maybe a few other holidays here and there. So when I get a chance to get shrimp, I take it and I feel fancy!

Looking through the pantry the other night I had all the ingredients for some tasty pasta, I just didn't have a meat selected. Immediately I jumped on the chance to have shrimp! I ran to the store and started brainstorming ideas on how to create this pasta. I hope you find this recipe as tasty as I did! Enjoy!

  • 4 oz Linguine (cooked)
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup and 2 Tbsp White Wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 30-40 Large Shrimp (peeled and uncooked)
  • 2 Tbsp Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Spinach (raw)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (shredded)

Step 1: In a medium sauce pan, heat up 1 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Once warm, add the diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup white wine. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes and then add 1 Tbsp garlic and turn off heat. Set aside.

Step 2: In another saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the shrimp and 1 Tbsp of garlic and cook until the shrimp becomes a nice reddish pink color. Set aside.

Step 3: In another saucepan, add 2 Tbsp White Wine and the spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted and then add to the saucepan with the tomato pan. In the same pan you cooked the spinach in, add 2 Tbsp cream cheese and 1/2 cup white wine and bring to a slow simmer. Add in 1/2 cup Parmesan and stir until most of the cheese has been melted. Add this mixture to the same pan that now has both the tomatoes and the spinach. On a plate, dish out one serving of pasta and cover with a nice amount of the tomato mixture. Throw a few shrimp on top, and voila! Enjoy!

Note: Serve with a wedge of lemon, a spoonful of pesto, and some extra Parmesan cheese.

Yield: Serves 2-4.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fried Tofu with Ponzu Sauce

One of the foods that I wish I had discovered earlier in life is tofu. It has a multitude of uses and can taste however you want it to, with a little help. You can make smoothies with it, you can add them to stir-fry for extra texture, or even turn it into a delicious hamburger patty for your vegetarian friends.

I recently have been craving sushi but haven't been able to go grab any yet so to feed my craving I decided to make some fried tofu and dress it up with some homemade ponzu sauce (my favorite sauce, I can honestly eat it with everything). After researching a few different sauces and playing mad kitchen scientist, I was able to come up with a recipe that is tasty and full-bodied. Make this dish as either a side dish or serve it as your main course. Either way it will be a very tasty night! Enjoy!

  • 14 oz package Firm Tofu
  • 1/4 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin (Sweet Cooking Rice Wine)
  • 1/4 tsp Wasabi or Horseradish Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Green Onions (diced)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Flour
  • Canola Oil (for frying)

Step 1: In a container, combine orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Mirin, and Wasabi and mix until the Wasabi has been thoroughly mixed in. Add in the green onions and set the mixture aside.

Step 2: Open the tofu container and slice it into 8 equal pieces. Place these pieces in the mixture and let marinate for at least 1 hour. 

Step 3: When you are ready to cook the tofu, grab a sauce pan and place canola oil in the pan so that it goes up the side about 1-2 inches. Heat oil on medium-high heat, and while the oil is heating lightly beat an egg in a separate bowl. Once oil is hot enough, dredge tofu in the egg and then cover with flour. Cook the tofu for 4 minutes on each side in the oil (the edges will start to turn a golden brown). When done cooking, pull the tofu pieces out of the oil and pat with a paper towel to soak up some oil. Place tofu on a plate and cover with your marinade (it is ponzu sauce). Serve warm. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 2.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Feta Stuffed Steaks

It had been too long since the last time I remember having asparagus, so I was on a mission to create a recipe that included asparagus in the dish.

Looking through my refrigerator I was a little sad since it is close to food shopping day so I didn't have too much to work with. What I did have were 4 mighty tasty looking steaks and some leftover feta cheese from another dish. I didn't want to just cook and serve everything separately  so I decided to try to make a 'stuffed' steak. The best I could do with my steaks were roll them, so that was just what I did. If you love feta cheese, make sure to have extra on hand in order to top the dish off for extra flavor, and serve these either by themselves or with mashed potatoes like we did! Enjoy!

  • 4 3 oz Steaks (I used Beef Chuck Arm Steak)
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 16 Asparagus Spears
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
  • 4 Tbsp Feta Cheese
  • 8 Toothpicks

Step 1: In a container, combine 1 tsp Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire, 1 Tbsp Montreal Seasoning (if you don't have this, a blend of black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne will suffice  just make the combo equal 1 Tbsp), and 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce to create your marinade. Place the steaks in this marinade for at least 1 hour (the longer the better).

Step 2: When you are almost ready to cook your meat, combine the 2 Tbsp Balsamic, 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice, and 1 tsp Olive Oil and coat the asparagus with them. Place the asparagus and liquid mixture in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until the asparagus are soft (the softness is all preference, so cook them as long as you'd like until you are happy with them. Once finished, toss the 1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper on top of the asparagus and set aside. 

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out another sauce pan and lightly grease it. Turn it to medium-high heat and once it has warmed up, start cooking your steaks. Cook them for 2 minutes on each side to give them a nice brown color. Don't forget to toss in the marinade as well so that the steaks can cook in it.

Step 4: Once you have cooked the steaks, take out a cookie sheet and place some aluminium foil on top. Place each of the steaks on the cookie sheet and lay out 4 asparagus on each steak. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp Feta Cheese on top of each steak, and then carefully roll the steak around the cheese and asparagus. Use 2 toothpicks in each steak to keep it together. Place the steaks in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes. Then take them out of the oven and let set for 1 minute. Sprinkle with extra feta cheese if you'd like. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 2-4.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese Calzone

Do you enjoy eating Macaroni and Cheese but hate that it isn't portable? Well now it is!

Introducing the Macaroni and Cheese Calzone! It's all the macaroni and cheese flavor you love with the addition of tasty sausage in a great convenient hand-held edible container! 

This is sure to be a great hit with your family, and leftovers are a snap! Just cover any non-eaten calzones with foil wrap and store them in the fridge until you are ready to eat them again. Now you can take macaroni and cheese on the go, to school, to the park, even to the movies with you which will save you on the cost of popcorn. Enjoy!

  • 1 14oz box of your favorite Macaroni and Cheese, cooked and prepared how the package states (I used Kraft Mac 'N Cheese)
  • 12 oz of your favorite Sausage (I used 4 3 oz Apple Gouda Sausages), cooked and sliced
  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast (.25 ounces worth)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Step 1: To make the dough, start by dissolving the yeast in the cup of warm water. You want to make sure the water is warm and not hot in order to give the yeast a little jump start. Once it has been dissolved add in the sugar, salt, and 1 Tbsp Olive Oil. Mixture together and slowly start to add in the flour. Knead the dough on a lightly floured area or just play with it in your hands until it becomes elastic. Place 1 tsp of Olive Oil in a bowl and place the dough in there, making sure to cover it with the oil (this will help prevent the dough from drying out). Cover the bowl with a paper towel and let sit for about an hour (or until the dough doubles in size).

Step 2: While the dough is sitting, make your Macaroni and Cheese and cook your sausages if you haven't already. Slice and dice the sausages to a size you like, and then throw the pieces in with the macaroni. Set aside.

Step 3: Once the dough has finished resting, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit and then break your dough into two equal pieces. Set once piece aside and with the other break it in half again. With a rolling pin, roll each of these dough pieces into separate circles. Place a good amount of the macaroni and sausage mixture in the center, then sprinkle some shredded cheddar on top of the macaroni, and finish by folding one side of the dough on top of the other side and pinch the edges closed. Do this with your remaining dough until you have four calzones. If you have extra macaroni, set it aside and eat it later.

Step 4: Take out your cookie pan and place a piece of parchment on it. Place the calzones on the parchment paper and then take a knife and carefully cut a hole or two in the top to prevent the calzones from exploding in the oven. Before you place the calzones in the oven brush them with the remaining oil to help give them a nice crust when they finish baking. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Note: Serve these calzones with a side of cheese sauce or pasta sauce, or both! :D

 Yield: Makes 4 calzones

Monday, April 22, 2013

Super Stuffed Chili Cheese Sliced Baked Potatoes

Beware! These are not for the faint of heart!

There is so much gooey deliciousness going on here that at first we just sat and stared at this meal's awesomeness. You will not need a side dish with this, and if you can finish this in one sitting I will be impressed!

Seeing an image on Pinterest of a sliced baked potato (you slice the potato but don't cut it all the way so it is still attached) I used that for my inspiration. And since baked potatoes in themselves are already a tasty meal, I decided to add everything in my house that I felt would be a good match; I was not disappointed! We feasted on gloriously stuffed potatoes that night and went to sleep with full, happy bellies. Plus since we have leftovers, we enjoyed the meal the following day for lunch (we usually take leftovers for lunch, makes packing out lunches easier on me).

Feel free to add or remove components to make this meal suit your tastes as we did, and most of all have fun with this dish. Enjoy!

  • 2 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 tsp Cayenne Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 2 slices of Bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 10.5 oz can Chili
  • 1 Jalapeno (diced)
  • 1/4 cup Green Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Onion (diced)
  • 1 Avocado (mashed)
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Chives

Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and scrub your potatoes to get them clean. Once cleaned off, take a knife and carefully start slicing the potato, but make sure not to cut it all the way through. You want the potato to remain together to make it easier to eat. Next make your butter sauce by combining 2 Tbsp of melted butter with 1 tsp cayenne and 1 tsp garlic sauce. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and cover with the butter sauce, making sure to get some of the butter in between your slices and on the skin. Then place the sheet in the oven and cook for 50 minutes.

Step 2: When you have about 15 minutes left you will want to start heating up your chili and making your cheese sauce. For the sauce, start by dissolving the flour in the 1/2 cup flour. Once dissolved, place mixture on a sauce pan and combine it with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese,  the cayenne, and the chives. Stir until cheese is melted on medium to medium low heat. At the same time, heat up your can of chili in either the microwave or stove top (I cooked mine on the stove at low heat).

Step 3: Once the 50 minutes has passed, take the potatoes from the oven. Then start dressing it by first placing 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese in the potato cracks. Follow with the chili, and then top with the cheese sauce you made, jalapenos, green onions, onions, and avocado. Serve with sour cream, your favorite hot sauce, and diced tomatoes. Enjoy!

Yield: Makes 2 potatoes

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Greek Deviled Eggs

Made these for the same party I brought the Cheddar Bacon and Jalapeno Deviled Eggs to and these Greek Eggs were by far the favorite! Enjoy!

  • 12 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 10 Black Olives (diced)
  • 3/4 cup Feta Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp Black Pepper

Step 1: Place all the eggs in a pot big enough to hold all of the eggs. Cover eggs with cold water and cook the eggs uncovered until the water boils. Once the water starts boiling, turn off the stove and cover the pot. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Step 2: After the 15 minutes pass, place all of the eggs into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Place bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to completely cool. Once cooled, peel all of the eggs.

Step 3: Slice each of the eggs in half and place the yolks in a bowl, set the whites aside. Mash the egg yolks. In another bowl, combine the olives, feta cheese, balsamic, tomato, basil and the mayonnaise. Add the mashed egg yolks on top and mix together.

Step 4: Place the yolk mixture in a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner. Place the egg white hole-side up and using the Ziploc, squeeze the yolk mixture into the holes of the eggs.

Step 5: Once all the eggs have been filled, sprinkle any leftover feta, basil, and the black pepper over the tops of the eggs. Enjoy!

Note: If you have any leftover yolk mixture, save it and make an egg sandwich with it later, or cut open an avocado and place the egg mixture in the spot where the seed is and enjoy!

Yield: 1 dozen eggs