Mom’s banana bread

My mom didn’t make banana bread very often because she doesn’t really like bananas, but my dad, sister and I did, so when she made it, it was a great day. I was pretty surprised at how easy this is to make. It’s perfect for a cold late winter day.

Print Recipe
Mom's banana bread
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter or Crisco. No need to flour the greased pan. Mix the wet ingredients into a bowl, adding the milk last.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients. If your brown sugar is a little lumpy, that's ok! It will add pockets of caramel notes.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together.
  4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 55 to 60 minutes until the top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean and the sides start to pull away from the greased pan.

My opinion: This makes your whole house smell amazing. It’s delicious and one of my most favorite breakfast foods. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter (if you add peanut butter reduce the oil by one tablespoon). The options are endless!

Advertisements

C’s Blueberry and Peach Buckle


My sister has a gift. The gift of making extremely amazing baked goods. This is one of my new all time favorites. Right up there with her pound cake recipe. She created this dessert using a hybrid of the recipes from Alton Brown and Joy of Cooking.

Ingredients:
1 large ripe peach, halved, pitted and cut into small chunks (or 4-5 if you’re just using peaches)
Combine with:
1 1/2 cups blueberries or boysenberries
whisk together:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (you can use up to 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Combine in another bowl and beat until light and fluffy:
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup sugar if the peaches are very sweet)
1 large egg
Gradually beat in 1/2 cup milk

Struessel topping:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
In addition to the directions above, position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan or 9-inch square baking dish (C uses shortening instead of butter). Combine all the dry ingredients and then cut the butter up into pieces, using a fork to blend in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

Add the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the fruit. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the struessel topping over the batter. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the top springs back when touched and a toothpick (or butter knife) inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.

My opinion:
Like an extra delicious coffee cake. Perfect at any time of day for any occasion.

Homemade Chick Fil A


Before the current big hullabaloo over this restaurant, J and I decided to figure out how to recreate our favorite chicken sandwich at home. Mostly because the nearest restaurant to us is more than an hour and a half away. This recipe is so close! With a bag of Oreda waffle fries, it’s almost like you’re there.

Ingredients:
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Dill Pickle Juice (we bought the hamburger slices and just used the juice)
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 Egg
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Flour
1 tablespoon Powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Celery salt
1/4 teaspoon Dried basil

Directions:
Wrap the chicken loosely between plastic wrap and pound gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/2 inch thick all around. Cut into four pieces, as even as possible. Marinate in the pickle juice and Tabasco Sauce for 30 minutes. Beat the egg with the milk in a bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, and spices in a zip lock bag. Dip the chicken pieces each into the egg on both sides, then place in the bag and shake. Heat the oil in a skillet (1/2 inch deep) to about 345-350, or use a deep fryer (that’s what we did). Remove the chicken from the flour mixture and tap off the excess. Place in the oil. Fry each cutlet for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through. If using a fryer, it takes about 5 minutes total. Be sure to check the first couple to make sure they are cooked all the way through. Blot on paper and serve on toasted buns with pickle slices.

My Opinion:
So good. It’s very, very close to the original. It just needed to be a touch sweeter, so next time we’ll use a bit more powdered sugar and a touch less pickle juice.

Best Sweet and Sour Chicken

Image
We’ve been eating a home a lot more lately. Which means, when we’re craving specialty food, we have to make it ourselves, while trying to use up the left overs.We had left over onions and green peppers from grilling and decided to try our hand at sweet and sour chicken adapted from this recipe. It was amazing. Right up there with the Kung Pao. Flavorful and even better easy.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry wine
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (you can use fresh too)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks (we used a bigger can and be sure to save the juice!)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions:
Mix together first 6 ingredients. Add chicken; coat well. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Fry chicken until lightly browned (we skipped this since we velveted the chicken).  Removed chicken; drain. Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Add enough water to juice to make 1 cup (if you used a larger can of pineapple, you should have one cup of juice from the can and won’t need the water). Add the cornstarch, mixing well. Combine pineapple juice mixture and next 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir green pepper, onion and chicken into sauce; cook until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

My opinion:
I know what you’re thinking, will this sauce really taste good? It has ketchup for goodness sake! I promise, you it will not only taste good, but be delicious. I like this dish so much better than the one at our favorite local Chinese place. Especially without the breading. One of the secrets is not to cook the green peppers too long. You want them to still be bright green, not dull green. Next time, we might add a dash or two of chili peppers to make it a bit spicy. Yum!

Easy Baked Manicotti

J made this recipe from Kraft for dinner earlier this week. We were surprised at the flavor and how filling it was!

Ingredients:
2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1-3/4 cups Ricotta Cheese (we used part skim)
1-1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup pesto (we used store-bought in a jar)
12 manicotti shells, cooked, rinsed in cold water

Directions:
Spread 3/4 cup sauce onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish. Mix cheeses, egg and pesto until well blended; spoon into resealable plastic bag. Use scissors to cut small corner from bottom of bag. Fill manicotti shells by squeezing cheese mixture into both sides of each shell; place in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; cover (we used tin foil). Bake 40 min. or until heated through.

My Opinion:
This dish was flavorful and delicious. We actually used a whole jar of pasta sauce because we like the sauce and two cups seemed so little. J had some trouble filling the manicotti and said he broke a few, but if he hadn’t said anything I would never have noticed. Super easy weeknight meal. We ended up freezing half of the manicotti for an even faster weeknight meal in the future.

Recipe originally from Kraft.