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Archive for August, 2009

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OK…So I know that I just posted Banana Bread, but you have to understand…I had lots of bananas to use!!!  That, and we just met our 1st grader’s new teacher.  She is requesting only healthy treats.  So I thought I would try a twist on an old favorite or two and see what I can do to make them healthier.  With no butter in the muffin itself and whole wheat flour, I think that they classify as healthy!  If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can substitute for all purpose flour, but I do encourage you to at least try them with the whole wheat flour.  My family is not a group of health food lovers as you are sure to see by a soup I plan to post later this week.  I chose not to tell anyone that they were “healthy” until after they ate them.  I must say by the reaction I got…all 12 muffins gone in less than 24 hours…they didn’t even notice that these are good for them!!!  Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/3 Cup apple sauce

1 tsp vanilla

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Topping:

1/3 Cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp butter – cold

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease 12 cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, beat egg.  Add applesauce, vanilla, bananas, and sugar.  Mix until well blended.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fill muffin tin evenly with batter in all 12 cups.  Bake for 13 minutes.

While muffins are baking, make crumb topping.  Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a small bowl.  Cut in butter.  After the initial 13 minutes, remove muffin tin from oven.  Carefully pat the crumb topping on the muffins.  Return muffins to oven to bake an additional 5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and allow muffins to cool 10 – 15 minutes before removing from pan.

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Help me please!!!!  I am currently working on a surprise birthday party for someone very special!  This person has fallen in love with a cake from a local bakery that is to die for!  Trust me!  3 layers of wonderful cake with a layer of this even better White Chocolate Mousse Filling between the layers that is almost as thick as the cake itself!  It is not overpowering at all.  In fact, it is very smooth, creamy, and light tasting.  Here is the catch.  I don’t want to just buy a cake…I want to make it!  That is where I hope to get some help!  Anyone have a recipe that they would like to share.  I have about 1 month to find and perfect whatever is out there…I’ve never made mousse before…so I need the time!  If you could help, send me a link to your site and I will be sure to post the results here and give you full credit!!!  Thanks to all!

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As much as we love bananas, we seem to have a few that get beyond what I would eat!  But, they are perfect for banana bread!  This is a recipe that my mom handed down to me at my bridal shower.  The card it is on is smugged with splatters over the years, but it is the recipe that I turn to time and again!  When spread with a great jam, this even makes a simple dessert.

Ingredients:

1/2 c butter

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 large or 4 small ripe bananas

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs, vanilla and bananas.  Beat until bananas are well broken into the batter.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix just until blended.  Place into a greased bread pan and bake for 1 hour.  Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Excellent with butter or jam!

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This is not your classic Minestrone.  Actually got this recipe from my sister and tweaked it to our families taste.  This one pot wonder will feed a family of 4 about 3+ meals.  What a great way to use all the fresh items just starting to come out of the garden.  I love to make a big pot, eat it one night and freeze the rest in small batches.  It is such a treat to pull out a small bowl for a quick lunch or a larger one for a family supper.  The one thing I really love…it freezes great!  And for those of you who turn up your nose at the cabbage, let me just say that I can’t stand cabbage…or at least that is what I thought before I had it in this soup!  (Still the only way I will eat it thought…I haven’t been converted yet!)

16 oz Polska Kielbasa – cut into 1/2″ rounds – then slice the rounds in half

1 T Olive Oil

1 medium or 2 small onions – diced

2 large carrots, sliced

1 tsp crumbled basil

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 small zucchini (or summer squash) sliced

16 oz can diced tomatoes – or grab a couple good size tomatoes out of your garden and dice

3 cups water

4 beef bouillon cubes

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

1 can great northern beans – un-drained

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:  Brown Kielbasa in large soup pot in 1 T olive oil for 3 – 5 minutes.  Add onion, carrots and basil.  Cook 3 – 5 minutes.  Add garlic to the pot and cook another 2 minutes.  Add zucchini, tomatoes, water, beef bouillon, and cabbage.  Simmer covered for 1/2 to 1 hour or until cabbage is tender.  Add beans with liquid.  Taste the broth and salt and pepper to your liking.  Simmer an additional 10 minutes to allow beans to come to temperature.  Serve in large bowls.  Careful, your guests will want to have seconds  🙂

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A quick, easy, delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  This is such a light tasting and refreshing twist on french toast.  The syrup is sooo yummy.  I saw this in a Taste of Home magazine a while back, tweaked it a bit, and here are the results!

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Orange Syrup:

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup corn syrup

1/8 cup sugar

1 T salted butter

3/4 tsp orange extract

To make the syrup:  Combine all ingredients except the orange extract in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly, boil for 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the orange extract.  Syrup will bubble slightly as you stir it in.  Note this is more of a sauce than a syrup.  Will be runny, not thick!  Reheat syrup just before serving.

French Toast:

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 T sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

12 slices french bread – approx 3/4″ thick

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.  Dip bread into egg mixture, allowing to soak 15 – 20 seconds on each side.  Cook slices on a high heat griddle until golden brown on both sides, flipping only once.  Keep warm on a hot sheet pan in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

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