Saturday, February 19, 2011

Peanutbutter-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

This is what happens when people don't eat banana's. I take a perfectly healthy snack, and turn it into something that isn't. But dang, it sure tastes good.

PB& Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1/2 C. Peanut butter
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
4 ripe banana's, mashed
2 C. flour
1/3 C. cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. milk
1. cup chocolate chips
Coarse raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together the butter, pb, sugars and egg. Add vanilla and banana's, mix till fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients. Mix till well blended. Add the milk to make the batter a good, bread batter consistency. Add chips. Pour batter into pans, and top with some coarse sugar.

Grease bread pan. (or pans, I made mini loaves..)

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until knife comes out dry. (My mini loaves took 45 minutes.)

Serve warm with milk no less than 2% fat. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In the case it happens to you..

I accidentally bought a bag of Hershey's "Hugs" instead of "Kisses."

I don't particularly like white chocolate, since I don't even consider it chocolate, however I think it is great on pretzels. So if you have a bag of these dang Hugs, and you don't know what to do with them, stick them on some mini pretzels and throw them in the oven at 250 degrees for about 5 minutes. Let set- and try to prevent yourself from eating all of them while watching the Biggest Loser.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fondue: 3 Courses

This year, due to lack of extra money to spend on love- we decided to stay in and have fondue. Jack was at a Valentine's Party (thank you, Elisha) so we had a few hours alone. To his own embarrassment, Josh watched The Bachelor with me and we leisure had three courses of fondue. It was really, really good, and less than half the cost of Melting Pot.

Beef Broth Fondue:

1 box of Swanson's Beef Broth
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
1 T olive oil
1/2 c. red wine
Sprigs of thyme

In a sauce pan, saute the garlic and the oil. Once the garlic is turning golden, add the broth, sprigs of thyme and the wine. Transfer to fondue pot and bring to a boil. We used a package of beef tips from Harmon's, the recipe ready kind for stroganoff. They were small so it only took a minute or two in the pot for them to cook. Yum. We also had broccoli, mushrooms and zucchini.

Cheese Fondue:

I cheated here, and bought a box of cheese fondue. They have them at Harmon's, Target and probably other places. This saves time and is totally delicious. We dipped all the veggies above and some french bread.

Chocolate Fondue:

This could be anything really, but I had a half bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and a quarter bag of white chocolate chips, and some milk chocolate Valentine's candy. I threw it all in and added 2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream. It was so good- ALONE, but we dipped strawberries, banana's and mini Nilla Wafers.. mm.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Homemade" Pickles

I really like pickles. Especially garlic know the refrigerated kind? They're a great snack when you need something salty. Instead of grabbing some crackers or chips, eating a pickle is a tasty way to eat a vegetable instead.

I think I was reading a Martha Stewart magazine when I found a recipe in there for homemade pickles. I was so excited because I had a bunch of cucumbers in my garden I didn't know what to do with. So I harvested some cucumbers and made them. They were OK. Here's a link to the recipe:

Then I had an idea for a faster and better way to make pickles.

Step 1: Buy a jar of refrigerated garlic pickles like this one:

Step 2: Eat all of them. Save the jar with the leftover brine in the fridge.

Step 3: Buy some cucumbers, cut them into spears.

Step 4: Put them in a bowl and sprinkle them with rock salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes (the salt draws out a lot of the water in the pickles).

Step 5: Rinse all the saltiness off with water, let the spears drain on a paper towel.

Step 6: Put cucumber spears in your jar of brine you had from before. Marinate in fridge for 24 hours.

Voila! Pickles. And you just cut your cost by more than half.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken with Cream Sauce and Asparagus

This was something I whipped up out of nowhere. But dang, it was a hit, and mega good.


Two boneless chicken breasts, tenderized
2 cups of milk
Juice from one lemon
2 T. McCormick Lemon Pepper Seasoning (or just pepper and lemon rind)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Steamed Asparagus

Cream Sauce:

1/2 pint of heavy cream
4 T. Butter
2 T. flour
Lemon juice
CAPERS- (I forgot to put my capers in.. :( Sad.)

Tenderize your chicken breasts by placing them between two sheets of parchment and beating them gently. Place them in a marinade of the milk, lemon juice and lemon pepper seasoning. I left them in there for just over an hour.

Start steaming your asparagus, and warm up your grill. (I used a grill PAN, not an actual grill... but it goes either way.) Grill your chicken on a med-low heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, with a bit of olive oil in the pan.

While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter over low heat for the cream sauce in a sauce pan. While stirring with a whisk, add the flour. Then slowly add the cream while stirring quickly and the sauce should thicken. Then add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you have capers, add those. Keep the sauce on low heat and stir occasionally while your chicken finishes grilling. Place chicken and asparagus on plate and SMOTHER with delicious cream sauce.

Or, if you are one of those people "watching what you eat", you may omit the cream sauce and have an uber-healthy meal.