Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy Banana Muffins

Came home yesterday from our Thanksgiving travels to 8 very ripe bananas. My mom has a wonderful banana bread recipe, and I called her for it but I never got the recipe. Oh well. So feeling semi Betty Crockerish but not really, I decided to experiment. The banana muffins turned out very well and happened to be super easy to make. I did a double batch so the kiddos could have muffins for breakfast or snack this week.

Easy Banana Muffins

- 1 spice cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup applesauce or 1/3 c. oil
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. I put my peeled bananas into a zip-lock baggie to mash them up and then just snip the end off the bag and squeeze! Mix all the ingredients together and fill your muffin pan cups with liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center muffins springs back when touched. The double batch made about 30 regular sized muffins.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Carrot Cake Protein Bars

I went to the grocery store today to try to find some protein bars. Ha ha, god luck on finding them without nuts! I know there are some out there without nuts I just need to find them. But in the mean time I'm going to experiment. I found this recipe this morning. It sounds pretty good, but I'm going to omit the maple syrup with an alternative sweetener. Also, I'm going to use mashed bananas instead. So we'll see how they turn out and if they are some what edible!
Oil-free Carrot Cake Protein Bars
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed banana or ¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract or flesh from 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup unflavored protein powder
  • ¼ cup ground or milled flax seed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • pinch ground cloves
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line an baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl with a hand or stand mixer.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients in a small bowl. Once incorporated, add to the wet mix and mix until smooth.
  4. Add shredded carrots and raisins. Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes to thicken up.
  5. Scoop approximately ⅓ cup at a time into your hand. Shape into a bar and place on prepared baking sheet. You can also shape the bars on the baking sheet, I found that was easiest.
  6. Bake bars for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean, the bottoms of the bars or golden, and the tops are cracking slightly.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack
  8. Once cooled completely, top with a drizzle of coconut butter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Creamy Peas and Potatoes

The husband and I have been working in our garden a lot lately, getting it all ready for planting.  The peas and red taters are planted, along with several other vegetables.  But there is nothing like fresh peas and new potatoes in a cream sauce, just like Gram used to make. Love It!

Creamy Peas and Potatoes

  • 1 pound small red potatoes

  • 2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen  peas

  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed

  • 3 green onions, sliced

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon season salt

  • Dash of ground black pepper or to taste

  • 2 cups 2% milk

  • Scrub and quarter potatoes; place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add peas and cook 5 more minutes. Meanwhile, in a seperate large saucepan, melt butter. Add onions and saute until tender. Whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Drain potatoes and peas; toss with sauce and serve! Nostalgia Bliss!

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Roasted Cajun Taters

    • 2.5 lbs potatoes
    • 1/4 C vegetable/olive oil
    • 2 shallots finely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 t salt
    • 1/2 t paprika
    • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 t finely ground black pepper
    • 2 T chopped fresh parsley

    Preheat oven to 450° F.  Peel the potatoes, then rinse under cold running water and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Cut each potato lengthwise into 8 wedges.  In a roasting pan stir together the oil, shallots, garlic, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Add the potatoes and, using a large spoon or by shaking the pan from side to side, coat them evenly with the oil mixture.
    Roast the potatoes, turning them every 15 minutes, until tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with the parsley if desired and serve immediately.

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Spicy Turkey Burgers

    Spicy Turkey Burgers
    A great item to grill up in the summer time, these burgers offer a nice change to beef burgers!

    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
    • 2 TBSP Mayonnaise
    • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
    • 1/8 tsp celery salt

    ·         1 pound ground turkey

    ·         ¼ cup minced onion

    ·         ¼ cup dried Italian bread crumbs

    ·         1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper

    ·         1 large egg, lightly beaten

    ·         1 clove garlic, minced

    ·         ¼ teaspoon sea salt

    ·         ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

    ·         2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (optional)

    ·         4 hamburger buns

    ·         4 slices Monterrey Jack cheese

    ·         4 lettuce leaves

    ·         4 to 8 tomato slices

    Stir together sauce ingredients and chill until ready to serve.  Combine turkey with the next 8 ingredients and mix well. Shape into 4 patties. Cook burgers on hot grill coated with cooking spray for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or until done. Serve burgers on buns with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a heaping tablespoon of ranch sauce. Compliment with celery or carrot sticks and remaining ranch sauce. Enjoy!

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    7-Up Pork Spare Ribs

    With the weather being so nice outside lately, it's time to really fire up the grill!

    ·         ¼ teaspoon onion powder

    ·         2-teaspoons oregano

    ·         ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    ·         ½ cup 7-up

    ·         juice from 1 fresh lemon

    ·         sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

    ·         2 to 3 pounds boneless country style pork spareribs

    Combine all ingredients in a gallon zip lock bag and place in refrigerator overnight.  Preheat grill to medium.  Remove meat from bag and discard any remaining marinade.  Place meat on grill and cook for about 20 minutes turning often.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    I Love Pancakes!


    ·         1 cup whole-wheat flour

    ·         1 cup orange juice

    ·         ½ tsp salt

    ·         1 tsp baking soda

    ·         ½ cup vegetable oil

    ·         2 eggs plus 2 egg whites, whisked together

    ·         1 cup blueberries (optional)

    In a medium-sized bowl, blend together flour, juice, salt and soda.  Slowly add the oil, mixing very well.  Blend in eggs.  Coat skillet with vegetable cooking spray and heat, medium high.  Pour on batter and sprinkle each pancake with blueberries.  Lower heat to medium and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes; flip pancakes over and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve with Honey Orange Butter.  Yields 10 large pancakes.


    ·         ¼ cup orange juice concentrate

    ·         ¼ cup honey

    ·         1 cup butter, softened

    Whip the orange juice and honey into the butter, mix thoroughly.  Cover bowl and refrigerate.  Make one day ahead to let flavors blend.

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Best Cocoa Mix Ever!

    This is the very best Hot Cocoa recipe out there. Nuff said. Don't argue with me over this. Just trust me. (This makes a lot, but once you try it, it won't be enough!)


    10 2/3 cups instant nonfat dry milk
    6 ounce jar powdered non dairy creamer
    2 cups powdered sugar
    16 ounce can instant chocolate drink mix

    Combine all ingredients and mix well. Put in airtight container. Store in cool dry place for up to 6 months.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Roasted Ranch Potatoes

    8-10 average sized red potatoes, washed and quartered
    2 packets Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
    2-3 TBSP olive oil

    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wrap a cookie sheet in tin foil.  Arrange the sliced potatoes on the pan so that they are all lying down flat.  Mix the dressing mix and olive oil together in a separate bowl.  With a pastry brush, generously coat the potatoes with the mixture, until all the potatoes are coated.  Baked in the oven for about an hour until the potatoes are tender all the way through and the outsides are golden brown.  Serve hot!!!

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Homemade Applesauce!

    Start with approximately 20 pounds of fresh apples free of blemishes and bruises. Minor blemishing can be cut out but always make sure you are using high quality fruit.
    Have ready a large water bath canning kettle, pint sized canning jars with brand new lids. You will also want a canning jar lifter and a candy thermometer.

    Peel and core the apples.   Because it will take a while to get all the apples peeled have a large pan with about 1 gallon of water with 3/4 cup lemon juice in it. Put the apple slices in the lemon water as you work to prevent browning of the fruit.  After peeling, slice the apples.

    Once all fruit is peeled and sliced drain it from the lemon water and add it to a large stock pot and heat on the stove over medium heat. Cover the stock pot, but check frequently to make sure that the fruit is not scorching on the bottom. Water will soon start cooking out of the fruit and this will protect against scorching after the first few minutes. Keep the pot covered so that the fruit simmers and steams. Check every couple minutes and stir the fruit. Depending on the firmness of the apple variety you selected, the apples should become noticeably softened in about 20 or 30 minutes. Once apples are softened and beginning to break apart when stirred, start mashing them with a potato masher. This speeds the saucing process. You can make the apples as smooth or as chunky as you want. Keep the applesauce cooking after you mash to cook out more liquid. You don't want the applesauce runny. Cook out the water until a thick sauce forms. During this time, you may add sugar and spice if you want.

    Add, if desired:

    2 cups white sugar

    1/2 cup cinnamon

    2 tablespoons cloves

    1 tablespoon nutmeg

    dash of salt

    While you are cooking the apples, get the water bath canner and the jars ready. Wash your jars, and bands and fill the canner. Heat the water in the canner to at least 180 degrees F but less than boiling and submerge the jars completely. Use the candy thermometer to monitor water temperature. After the jars have been sterilizing for a couple minutes, shut off the heat to the canner and cover it. The water and jars will stay hot while you're finishing the applesauce.

    Once the applesauce achieves a thick consistency without any puddles of excess liquid, remove from heat. Take the sterilized jars and lids out of the water and fill with applesauce. Leave 1/2 inch headspace in jars. Carefully clean and wipe dry the rims of the jars and put on the lids. Secure the lids with the jar bands and screw tight with your hand. You don't have to make it really tight. Just screw it on without forcing it.

    Bring the water in the canner to a full boil and carefully add the filled jars with the jar lifter. Make sure at least 1 or 2 inches of water are above the tops of the jars. Keeping the water at a boil, process the pints for 25 minutes.

    When processing time has elapsed, remove jars from water and place on a towel in a draft-free location. Do not disturb the jars for 12 to 24 hours while the seals cool and tighten. You may hear the lids pop down and make a seal within the first few minutes, but do not touch them.

    The next day, remove the bands, wipe the jars and lids clean and store in a cool dark place for up to one year.