Saturday, December 19, 2009

Banana Muffins

In college I had several roommates that varied from the slightly delusional to the super crazy along the friends for life type. During my last semester I lived with a set of cousins that I LOVED. For my wedding gift they shared with me their family cookbook. Tucked inside was a recipe for the most delicious banana muffins. I love, love, love them. (the kids really only like the glazed tops – crazy!) The recipe is made with Bisquick. I am not usually a fan and actually only buy the stuff to make these muffins, I prefer the heart healthy version.

Glazed Banana Muffins

2 c. Bisquick
3 T. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. mashed bananas
1 egg

Combine the Bisquick and sugar, add butter and cut in with a pastry blender. Add bananas and egg.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Just until the tops are a tiny bit brown. Place hot muffins on plate and glaze with a mixture of powdered sugar and milk with a drop of vanilla.

Yum, Yum, Yummy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peppermint Bark

After reading LOTS of peppermint bark recipes I finally combined a couple and made some. Much to my surprise it worked and it tastes good! So if you like chocolate and peppermint - you need to try this Christmas candy!

1 12 ounce package chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk) I used milk chocolate
1 pound white chocolate or almond bark - I used almond bark
1/2 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candy - I used a bit more

You can buy flavored bark or real chocolate. If you want your layers to stick to each other,
atleast one of the layers needs to be real chocolate. However, bark is a bit easier to melt and
not I went with one of each. The bottom layer is the easiest so I used the bottom layer
as the real chocolate. You can do it however you want.

Line a 9x11 pan with aluminum foil. Spray. Spread your chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of
the pan. Slightly melt in the oven until you can spread them. Maybe 5 minutes on low heat. Using a spatula spread the chocolate evenly over the pan. Put in the refrigerator. It needs about 20 minutes to set up. Take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for 1-2 minutes
before you spread the next layer on so the layers bond together better.

Crush your candy canes. I recommend using a freezer bag (a sandwich bag is not durable enough) and crush them with a hammer, meat tenderizer, whatever you have that is heavy.

Melt the white layer. If you use real white chocolate you need a double boiler or use a metal bowl on top of a pan of water (don't let the bowl touch the water). If you use almond bark you can do it in the microwave or on the stove, follow the directions on the package it came in.

Mix some of the crushed candy cane (I used the real fine powder) into the melted white layer.
Spread on top of the chocolate layer. Then spread the rest of the crushed candy cane on top of
the white chocolate. Let it set in the refrigerator until completely hard. Then take the foil out
and break the candy into pieces.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. I think it's easier to eat and tastes better if
it has set out on the counter for just a couple of minutes and warmed up just a bit - so I 'warm up' a couple of pieces every day!

The almond bark comes in a 1.2 pound package (or something like that). I bought a candy mold at Michaels for $2. I melted the left over almond bark and some extra crushed candy canes to make peppermint candy for the kids. They love them. They were so easy and set up really fast (5-10 minutes) in the fridge and popped out so easy. The kids like the shapes. It was easy and fun.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Made-up Soup

So I made this soup up one day and thought it turned out pretty good. Since I made it up I don't have exact measurements for all of the seasonings so just add until it's to your liking.

1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
1 can of garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
1/4-1/2 lb of spicy Italian sausage (I really like the Jimmy Dean hot Italian sausage)
1 can of diced tomatoes (If you have mom's pint size tomato use those and just blend them)
1 can of chicken broth
2 small potatoes (I use red so I don't have to peel)
1 carrot or 1/2 cup of corn
handful of dehydrated onion
1-2 bay leaves
1/2-1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine all of this in the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2 to 4 hours. Serve with french bread or mom's cornbread.

Tortellini Carbonara

This recipe is one of Michael's mom's recipes and I just love it. Of course as usual it's pretty fattening but enjoy.

16 oz frozen tortellini (I buy mine in the deli refrigerated section at Costco)

1 egg hard boiled and chopped

4 slices of bacon

1/4 c. chopped onion (I usually just throw in a handful of the dehydrated onion)

6 Tbs of butter

2/3 c. cream or evaporated milk

dash of pepper

dash of nutmeg

3/4 C Parmesan cheese

1 Tbs dried parsley

Dice bacon and fry until brown. Drain and cook onion in grease. Set aside bacon, onion and chopped egg. Cook tortellini as directed. Melt butter and cream over low heat. Stir constantly until bubbly for about two minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually add Parmesan Cheese stirring constantly until fairly smooth. Stir in pepper, nutmeg, parsley, onion, bacon, and egg. Mix with tortellini and serve.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Homemade Pizza Hut Pizza

Ross LOVES Pizza Hut! In our kid-less days we enjoyed going out every Friday night for dinner. If Ross had his way we would have eaten Pizza Hut every week! In attempt to make a much cheaper homemade version, I came across this recipe. It is not exactly like Pizza Hut, but it comes pretty close! ENJOY!


1 1/3 cup Warm water (105F)
1/4 cup Non-fat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 pkg. Dry yeast
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil (for dough)
9 ounces Vegetable oil (3 oz. per pan)
Butter flavored Pam

Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large bowl. Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes. Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed. Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes. (I do all of this in my KitchenAid) Divide dough into three balls. In three 9" cake pans, put 3 Oz. of oil in each making sure it is spread evenly. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9" circle. Place in cake pans. Spray the outer edge of dough with Pam. Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 475F .  Spoon  sauce on dough and spread to within 1" of edge.  Distribute shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce. Place toppings of your choice. Top with a little more mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown.

For us, three pizza is one too many so I take the third pizza and spread it with garlic butter and smother it in cheese- deep pan cheese bread-amazing!