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Monday, November 28, 2011

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Bites

Tonight I had a craving for something sweet. Being as tired as I was, I  had to make something easy and quick! I tried to justify making these because they have fruit and peanut butter in them, so I just kept telling myself they would be healthy haha! Since I only ate two, I guess it isn't so bad. I love peanut butter and chocolate together and if you throw in a banana, I guess it's just a triple good thing! These are super yummy,  but next time I am going to make them with semi sweet or dark chocolate and cut some of the sweetness. I only had milk chocolate on hand tonight, so that's what I used.

1 Banana
Peanut Butter
Melted Chocolate, (milk chocolate, semi sweet or dark)

Cut the banana into slices. I wanted mine thick. You can cut them as thick or thin as you like.Place a small amount of peanut butter onto the top of each slice. Dip them in melted chocolate and place on wax paper to harden the chocolate.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Miracle Bread

When my sister told me about this yummy bread recipe, I was kind of hoping that the title meant that I would eat it, and wake up thin!! That would be an amazing miracle. It didn't work. A girl can dream can't she? Even though that miracle didn't take place, it was super delicious and so easy to make. Sitting in my sisters house in Oregon with the smell of freshly baking bread was such a wonderful blessing this week. Being from Southern California, where we try not to turn on our ovens too frequently, due to the fact that it is usually as hot as an oven outside.....I don't bake fresh bread too often. This recipe will definitely change that. In fact, I can't wait to make it again!! I just might try adding some fresh herbs next time, or maybe some cheese. We'll see!
Here is the link to the original recipe.
http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2011/01/miracle-bread.html

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Italian Meatball Sub

I genuinely do not like ground beef. This is about one of the only ways that I can tolerate eating it. Back in the old days I would have just bought a bag of meatballs and a jar of spaghetti sauce to make this sandwich, but not this time. The meatballs and sauce are both home made. There is just something about making something yourself, which automatically makes it taste better. At least that's my opinion. You are probably wondering how I got my mouth around this monstrous thing, but oh don't you worry, food has never stopped me before!
*In this picture you can't see it, but this sandwich is also loaded with melted provolone cheese.
* cooks note: I adapted the original recipe by adding extra salt and italian seasoning, fresh basil, fresh oregano and fresh parsley into the meat portion. For the sauce portion I adapted it by adding fresh basil, fresh oregano, extra salt, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and an 8 ounce jar of tomato sauce!I also served it with pepperoncini's on the top as a garnish.
Here is the link to the original recipe.
 http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/04/italian-meatball-subs.html

Friday, November 11, 2011

Caramel Corn

Today John was working overtime, so I decided to make some home made caramel corn that he could have when he got home from work. I really like this particular version to make, because not only is it super quick and easy, but it stays chewy instead of getting hard, like some of the versions of caramel corn that are out there. I know people have many different ways they like to eat caramel corn, but I am all for the sticky, chewy versions. I mean really....who doesn't love picking the ooey, gooey, stickiness out of their teeth all night. I'm sure my dentist appreciates me eating this snack, as it keeps me coming back to see him. Fortunately I was a good girl and got all the unpopped kernels out this time, so there was no broken teeth involved. Maybe that should have been my opening line "No teeth were actually harmed in the eating of this snack" ;)

1 bag microwave popcorn, popped
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C white Karo syrup
1/4 t salt 
1 cube butter, cut into bite size chunks
1/2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla

Pop popcorn and put it into a very large bowl. Try to get out all the unpopped kernels. (Trust me, your teeth will thank you for this extra step!) In a large bowl, place the brown sugar, karo syrup, salt, and butter.   Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir thoroughly to combine. Cook on high for 2 minutes. Take it out and stir it again. Place it back in the microwave for 2 more minutes. When the caramel is done in the microwave, take it out and stir in the baking soda and the vanilla. Stir it well and pour it over the popcorn making sure to coat all the pieces. You can put a piece of wax paper on the counter and pour the popcorn out onto that, but I say just enjoy it warm right out of the bowl. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lemon Twists with Lemon Marshmallow Dip

Yesterday as I contemplated what I could bring to the pot luck at work today, absolutely nothing came to mind. So thankfully I had some chocolate chip, banana bread in the freezer that I had made last week. So when I suddenly woke up at 4 AM, (unfortunately this happens a lot) I decided I had no excuse to not have time or energy to make something. So the hunt began to find something in the house that I could make for work. Since I don't need coffee to get going in the morning, I dove right in and started looking for ingredients. Thankfully I had some puff pastry in my freezer. Oh and thankfully I have a microwave for defrosting things ;)
So once I had decided to use the puff pastry, I reved up the imagination and started making a concoction that I hoped would taste good. Thankfully it did! In fact, I would make these again. I really liked them. they are light and crispy and it helps that they were very simple to make. Now that it's 4 PM I hope I can remember how I threw these together this morning!
Ingredients for twists:
One sheet puff pastry
4 Tbsp butter, melted
Lemon juice 
Zest of one whole lemon 
1/2 cup sugar 

Ingredients for the Dip:
Approximately 3 cups marshamllows
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened


For the twists:
Heat oven to 400
Flour a work surface lightly and roll out on sheet of puff pastry with a rolling pin until it's just a little bit thinner than it came in the package. Cut the dough into strips. I made 24 by cutting the dough into strips. I cut twelve strips and then cut across them in the other direction to create 24 strips.
In a bowl, combine 4 Tbsp of melted butter with lemon juice. You can use as much or as little as you like to bring out the lemon flavor. I used almost an entire lemon. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Take each strip of pastry and completely cover it with the melted butter/lemon mixture. Next put the buttered pastry strip into the sugar/lemon zest mixture. Make sure you get the mixture onto the entire twist. Twist the pasty and place it on a Pam coated cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for about 7 minutes and then flip them over. Bake for about 7-8 more minutes. If you have extra lemon juice and you want them more "lemony", squeeze some extra juice onto them when you flip them. 

For the Dip:
Melt marshmallows in the microwave with the corn syrup. Stir completely and add in cream cheese. Use a mixer to blend these together thoroughly. Serve soon after making. (My dip got a little "thicker" as the day wore on and it didn't seem to be as creamy later in the day! But it was still YUMMY!!!!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stuffed Salmon wth Sriracha Cream Sauce

I'm not sure I could ever truly convey my genuine love for sushi!! I think I could eat it day and night and not tire of it. I have always like the sriracha cream sauce on the top of the rolls at sushi restaurants. So when I stumbled across this recipe, I just knew I would have to try it. It's not sushi, because the salmon is cooked, but the sriracha cream sauce is a perfect copycat of the sauce that comes on the rolls at sushi restaurants. The next time I make it, I will leave out the cream cheese on my portion as I am not a lover of cream cheese mixed with my seafood.
Here is a link to the recipe:
http://theboogieblog.net/2011/02/27/stuffed-salmon-w-sriracha-cream-sauce/

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grilled Lime Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

I'm not one for making a lot of salads at home. We do like salad, but I think we'd both rather have a hearty vegetable on the side, then a salad. So when I get the chance to make a hearty salad that serves as a main dish, I wind up liking it a lot. This was no exception. Too bad I didn't realize it was going to be so cold today as this would have made a great salad for a warmer evening.
We still managed to eat it though ;)
* Thank you Pinterest for another winner recipe!
For the salad:
http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/salads/bbq-lime-chicken-salad/

For the dressing: 
http://www.ourbestbites.com/2010/05/cilantro-lime-vinaigrette-grilled-fish-tacos/

Banana, Coconut, Chocolate Chip Bread

Lately I have been finding recipes and modifying them. That's almost as fun as creating it yourself, not quite....but almost! I found a recipe for banana coconut bread on Pinterest and then modified it, by adding less almond extract, a little pinch of cinnamon and a few chocolate chips. It turned out really good.
The original recipe can be found here:
http://fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.blogspot.com/2011/10/coconut-banana-bread.html

I modified this recipe by adding only 1/4 tsp almond extract instead of the 1 tsp it called for.  I also added about 1/8 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients. You can add as many chocolate chips as you like, but I only added about 1/4-1/2 cup as I don't like my bread too chocolatey! I also found that mine cooked for quite a bit less time then the original recipe called for. So set your timer for about 40 min and keep checking it from there!

Prosciutto, Basil and Gruyere Rolls

Who doesn't love bread? Seriously....but who truly doesn't love bread stuffed with yummy goodness? Last night was our first cold day/night of the Fall season. So I made a big pot of vegetable soup and made these rolls to eat with it. These will definitely be made again at this house, because every single one of them got eaten....and quickly!! They made a great addition to a bowl of hot soup, but trust me, I could eat these as the main dish itself. Super simple to make and I can't believe I never thought of doing this before finding this recipe.
*Sorry that my pictures aren't great. I never claimed to be able to take pictures haha!

 
*Recipe adapted from: Whatscookingamerica.net 


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 ounces thinly-sliced prosciutto
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
 1 cup grated Gruy√®re cheese  

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 egg, beaten





Heat oven to 400°
Place puff pastry sheet on work surface. Cut in half.
Place the prosciutto on each half leaving a small border along one side. Place basil onto each half on top of the prosciutto. Top with the gruyere cheese. Sprinkle red pepper over the top. Brush the small border that you left unfilled, with the beaten egg. Starting at long side opposite the egg washed border, roll the pastry up, pressing gently to seal. You can use more of the beaten egg if needed, to help seal. Wrap in plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up the dough. After the dough is ready, cut into 12 individual "pinwheels" or servings. Place on a Pam sprayed cookie sheet (or you can line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I just used Pam) and bake at 400° for about  16 minutes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

I have always loved making my mom's home made chicken and dumpling recipe, ever since I became a grown up and started cooking my own meals. It's a "go to" meal for each winter and I can't wait to make it this winter also. A few days ago I stumbled onto a recipe for a chicken and dumpling bake. Sounded interesting! After trying it tonight, I truly like it. I can't say it's exactly as good as making good ole fashioned chicken and dumplings, but it's definitely something I would make again. It's super quick and easy, especially since I decided to use a store cooked rotisserie chicken, instead of cooking my own. I also just used a can of chicken stock instead of making my own.




Here is a link to the original recipe.
http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2009/02/chicken-and-dumpling-bake.html