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Posts tagged ‘Cooking’

Going Bananas…..

 I found bananas for 39 cents per pound! I don’t know about the rest of you but for my part of the world this is a deal. I buy them at Kroger every chance I get. I can’t stand green bananas so it works out well for me when Kroger bags up their ripe bananas…only 39 cents per pound. This includes organic bananas as well as the ones I normally would pay 59 cents a pound for now. Most of the time we don’t have a problem eating them up before they are too far gone…..but, sometimes we have a few extras.

What do you do with your ripe bananas? I have a few ideas for you….the main thing to remember with bananas is that they freeze well to use later. You don’t have to use them right away. They will be mushy when they thaw out…but if you are cooking with them or making smoothies it doesn’t really matter does it?

Using the picture above as a reference…..the ones on the left are perfect for just about anything, they are ripe. The ones on the Right are perfect for baking! I know, you are probably thinking “this girl is crazy!”. I’m not. If you want the best banana flavors in your breads, muffins, cookies, etc…then use the ones on the right. Now…if they start to grow mold…please throw them out! Till then you can put them in the freezer at any time to use later on.

1. Banana Popsicles: Peel banana, cut in half for little hands (not lengthwise) and place in plastic wrap….freeze well, eat frozen! The kids love them. They taste like ice cream but have a much higher nutritional value.

2. Banana Pudding: This is a given…simple, quick and oohhhh so good! Just mix up vanilla pudding, layer 1st-vanilla wafers, 2nd-bananas, 3rd-pudding….as many times as you want to make as much as you want. You can top it off with more vanilla wafers and serve. Or (my favorite) beat egg whites with a little sugar to make a meringue. If you use a meringue on top make sure you are using an oven safe dish…place meringue on top, create pretty peaks and pop in the oven till the meringue is just golden. Beautiful! (Personally, I think it taste better too!)

3. Toast & Bananas: Mush them up with some peanut butter and place on toast for breakfast….we did this yesterday. Yummy!

4. Fruit Smoothies…of course. 🙂 Just throw in some banana, frozen or not, your favorite fruits..(strawberry, blueberry..etc.), some ice, yogurt and or orange juice. Blend Well and Enjoy! I like to throw in a couple of almonds too..really, it’s just a matter of trying out different mixers..you might be surprised at what you can come up with.

5. Banana Milk Shake: One ripe banana, a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream, a little milk and a tad of vanilla flavoring…(a little cinnamon is good too if you like it.) What a treat!

6. Banana Bread or Muffins: Who doesn’t like fresh bread? I made Banana Bread last night and it was wonderful. Recipe is coming. When using bananas for baking there is no need to peel before freezing. Just toss in the freezer with peel on. When you get ready to use…thaw and squeeze out mushy goodness. 🙂

7. Cereal Topping: I like to slice the bananas and add them to my cereal. No matter what kind of cereal you like…this adds a little more flavor and it’s healthier for you.

8. Chocolate Covered Bananas: Oh, yeah! This is similar to banana popsicles. Before freezing..cut lengthwise and place popsicle stick in the middle…put back together and freeze. Now cover in melted chocolate…refreeze and Enjoy! You can also cut your bananas in pieces, cover with chocolate and freeze. Break apart pieces when frozen. This makes good finger size snacks for little ones.

9. Dried Banana Chips: This is one of my favorites and it keeps well. You don’t have to have a dehydrator to do this either. They are nice, but I don’t have one. 🙂  Slice bananas into small pieces and place on wire rack making sure they don’t touch. Cook on low…really low, about 150 degrees….for 8-10 hours. It helps to leave the oven door cracked open slightly to promote air circulation.

10. Baked or Fried Bananas: To bake…coat in melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with brown sugar & cinnamon. If you like coconut….it makes a nice crispy outside. Just roll in coconut before baking. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Ovens differ on times so you might check it at about 15 minutes and go from there. 🙂 To Fry…coat them with flour and a little cinnamon, fry till golden….drizzle with honey and eat. Very Good!

Bananas are an economical, healthy and delicious food. So the next time they get past your “ideal” eating stage Don’t Throw Them Out! Try a few of these ideas instead. Even if they are a mushy and over-ripe they work well in breads, smoothies, etc. So don’t be afraid to grab those bananas you see on sale. Your kids (and your spouse) will love you for it! 🙂

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Sew Sensations – Child’s Apron w/Handtowel

I just love this apron! Elastic around the neck, so there are no ties getting tangled in her hair, hand towel…for all those little messes, and a cute little pocket in case she needs to hold a pen or whatever else. 🙂 This would be great made with Cars or Cowboys for my little man. Will have to get to work on that.

If you would like one custom made for your little one, just let me know what fabric patterns you want…(this will vary the cost, depending on how specific you want to get.) Also comes in Reversible – customizable as desired! Apron as shown is $25.00

I can also make matching Mommy & Me aprons!

Thank you for looking. All items come from a smoke free, pet free home.

Penne Rigate alla Prociutto

INGREDIENTS

Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
6 slices prociutto or pancetta, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound penne rigate pasta
1 cup heavy cream
Few basil leaves

Fresh Mozzarella

PREPARATION:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Heat a few drizzles of oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the prosciutto and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and sugar and cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. To the boiling water, add a handful of salt and the rigatoni. Cook until al dente.
  4. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl and whip with a hand mixer until peaks form. Fold it gently into the tomato sauce.
  5. Drain the rigatoni and add to the sauce. Mix to combine and season, if needed. Add the basil and grate fresh mozzarella on top…. serve immediately.

This is so….good! If you don’t have access to prociutto or pancetta you could put in ham. I promise you ..it will not be the same, however, it will still be good. Try to get ham that has had the least amount of processing. No nitrates or nitrites…..It is out there!

If you want the cheesy bread recipe it is here!

Today’s Menu

Penne Rigate alla Prociutto
&
Cheesy Bread

Ok..so you see that we used styrofoam plates today. It doesn’t happen often but it’s nice to not have as much clean up occasionally. The Rigate was amazing..it was everything I expected and more. I was inspired by a different recipe…changed it up to suit my family and they all loved it. Three cheers to the Italians…they do know their pasta!!! The cheesy bread…WOW! I could eat that with anything….or just by itself.  I do believe I did well tonight. 🙂

If anyone is interested in the recipes..let me know. I don’t have time to post them this evening, so..just let me know. The cheesy bread would be a great addition on Super Bowl Sunday!

 

Update:Recipes are up! Penne Rigate alla Prociutto and Cheesy Bread.

Super Bowl Sunday…Truffle Football Cupcakes!

Ok…so this is not a recipe for the cupcakes themselves. 🙂 Mostly just for the truffles and you can decorate your favorite cupcakes with them or just put them in a bowl and enjoy!

You will Need:
* 3 ounces white candy coating, coarsely chopped, divided
* 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
* 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2/3 cup crushed granola cereal with oats and honey
* 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
* 2 tablespoons shortening
* 2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting, divided
* Green paste food coloring
* 36 cupcakes of your choice

Directions:
* In a microwave, melt white candy coating at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and cereal. Chill for 2-3 hours or until easy to handle.
* Shape into 1-in. balls; form each ball into football shape and set aside. In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip footballs in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on a wire rack over waxed paper; let stand until set, about 30 minutes.
* Pipe frosting laces onto footballs. Tint remaining frosting green, using a 233 or 234 tip, pipe grass over cupcakes. Just before serving, insert a toothpick into each football. Insert toothpick into cupcake to position football. Yield: 3 dozen.

Done!!! Thanks go out to my favorite recipe collectors of all time. I have received several books published by them..Taste of Home! You can check out many of their great recipes online at http://www.tasteofhome.com. 
(I have not been compensated by Taste of Home..just love their books!

Wednesday’s Menu

 

Pizza

Cinna-sticks

Cinna-sticks are easily made with a roll of refrigerated pizza dough. Roll out, spread on melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar blend. Cut into strips and cook. Serve with icing of choice!

Wednesdays are busy for us. Quick and easy is the way I like it! 🙂

Sweet Potatoe Casserole

With a move behind me and at a loss without my cookbooks. ( These got left behind in storage) I didn’t remember exactly how much of what was in my sweet potatoes. So..I was searching the web to find a similar recipe and found this one. It is (I am pretty sure) the exact same one I have made the last two years! Hope you enjoy!!

There couldn’t be an easier way to make an elegant sweet potato side dish. Canned sweet potatoes are a huge time-saver, and when they’re mixed and baked with a few ingredients and topped with pecans…mmm mmm!
Serves: 6

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, divided
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut (optional)
2 (29-ounce) cans sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, flour, 1/4 cup butter, and the coconut, if desired; mix until crumbly then set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, including remaining 1/4 cup butter; mix well. Spoon into casserole dish and sprinkle evenly with pecan mixture.
4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

P.S. I don’t put in the coconut and I use brown sugar not granulated. Those are my changes. 🙂 Enjoy!

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