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Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I had some banana's that were getting pretty ripe so I decided to make up a quick batch of banana bread.  I happen to have some chocolate chips on hand, so of course I had to add them!  Here is what I used...

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
4 medium overripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chocolate chips

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease loaf pan (or muffintin, if you prefer)
In a large bowl, combine banana, sugar, egg, vanilla and oil.  Mix well. Use a small mesh colander and sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda andsalt on top of the wet ingredients and then stir to combine. This will save you from dirtying a second bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan (or muffin cups). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a bread comes out clean. It took me about 45 minutes.  Muffins will bake faster.  Letcool before serving.

This was pretty delicious. I topped it with some homemade whipped cream.   I think next time I'll add a little homemade almond butter to the mix because what could possibly be better than almond butter, banana, and chocolate???


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Pie from a pumpkin...who would of thought?

We went to a pumpkin patch this weekend and had a wonderful time there.  We have taken our daughter every year since she was a year old.  We always go, let her play, and end the day with picking out pumpkins - one for display and one tiny one for her room.  This year, we decided to buy a third pumpkin for a pumpkin pie.  Okay, really my husband came up with the idea, and I just went along with it. For pumpkin pies, you should buy a sweet pumpkin like the sugar (or sugar pie) pumpkin.

So, after much research online, I ended up combining a few recipes and here is what I came up with -

2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

First, to roast the pumpkin, I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and lightly oiled it.  I placed it on a baking sheet lined with foil and lightly oiled, cut side down and let it bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes.  Bake it until a it is tender when you put a fork in it. Next time, I think I will cut the pumpkin into several smaller pieces so that they cook a little faster and more evenly.

After it's done, let it cook slightly and then scoop out all the pumpkin flesh - and discard the shell.  Puree the pumpkin until smooth.  You can use a hand blender, regular blender or food processor.

Next, add the spices and salt then beat in the eggs, honey, milk and heavy whipping cream. Actually, my daughter did this part - she does love to help out in the kitchen.

  Pour into a  pie shell and bake 55 minutes, or until firm. Oh, and I totally cheated and used a pre-made pie shell.  For Thanksgiving, I'll go all out and make a homemade one but this is just a tester.

I also made chantilly cream (aka homemade whipped cream) to top the pie with - using a cup of heavy cream, 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of sugar.

Oh, and the great thing about roasting your own pumpkin is that you have plenty of leftovers and you can freeze them in one cup servings in plastic freezer bags like this -

AND, you can dry out your pumpkin seeds and roast them for a delicious snack 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

Spinach, feta cheese, chicken and bacon...heaven!!!  This is a really good dish!  I served it with quinoa and the rest of the spinach stuffing.  Delicious, quick, and easy.

First I made the filling (actually my daughter helped out quite a bit with the filling) - 6oz plain greek yogurt, 6oz crumbled feta cheese, 12oz bag of spinach (thawed and drained), 3 cloves of minced garlic and half a small onion diced. Next, I butterflied the chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper and added the stuffing to middle and closed it back up.  I then let my daughter wrap a slice of bacon around the chicken and then I secured it with a toothpick.  Once all four breasts were stuffed, I mixed 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of olive oil then added seasonings - salt, pepper, oregano, basil to taste.  My daughter brushed the mixture over the breasts and then I popped it in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  I had quite a bit of leftover spinach mixture so I put it in a small dish, topped it with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and baked it the last 30 minutes of cook time.  While everything was in the oven, I made some quinoa on the stovetop.  Easy peasy.  Really good flavor on everything.  The chicken was nice and moist and the stuffing was yummy.  And of course, you can never go wrong with BACON!  


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