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Monday, April 7, 2014

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip

Do you have a cake that you make that everyone always likes?  This one is it for my kids and it's kinda healthy or at least that's what I tell myself when they eat it:)  This one, they got a piece and the rest when to work where everyone loved it.

What you'll need:

White Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/2 C light Sour Cream
1 C unsweetened Almond Milk (you can use skim or whatever for same result) 
4 really ripe Bananas
Mix up with your hand mixer and add
1/2-3/4 C chopped Walnuts
1/2-3/4 C mini Chocolate Chips (I used dark chocolate but any flavor would work)

Pour into sprayed bundt pan and bake about 35-40 minutes at 350.

Invert onto plate, frost with a little bit of cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of walnuts and choc chips if you're feeling naughty and .  It's great without but if I'm bringing a dessert with nuts ANYwhere, I always put them on top so people can see them.  I don't want to make anyone with a nut allergy to get sick.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Gyro Kjome style

Another place I'd love to go, GREECE!  This is at the top of my list so we'll end the week here.

Now I realize this is not even close to being a recipe from Greece but for fussy teenagers, it's the best I've got.

What you'll need:

3/4 lb Beef Tenderloin ~ you could use a strip streak or even sandwich steak
your favorite seasoning~I simply used salt, pepper and garlic powder
Package of Flat Bread


Sliced nice and thin. Let's hope my Father in Law doesn't see this because this is a crime in his opinion to do this to a piece of prime beef

Flat bread that I heated up in the oven for a couple of minutes. You could skip that step but I think it makes it just a bit tastier. And, if you wanted to melt cheese on the bread, now is your chance.

I cooked the meat to medium because that's about as funky as it gets with meat around here.

Serve with some fries and you've got dinner

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Crab Boil

New Orleans anyone?

What you'll need:

A pot that will hold 3 gallons of water or more

1 3/4 gallons of water ~ I bought the gallon jugs so I didn't start with cold water to get it to boiling faster
2 packages of Zatarain's Crab boil
8 T Salt
1 T Cayenne Pepper
2 Lemons quartered
1 bulb of Garlic pulled apart ~ remove the flaky skin but leave the cloves intact
1 Onion sliced
2 dozen Baby Red Potatoes washed
1 lb of Shrimp ~ I used frozen that were thawed and without shell
4 ears of Corn on the Cob
2 lbs of Crab thawed ~ I used King Crab because it was on sale
Stick of Butter melted with 1 t of garlic powder
Loaf of crusty french bread

Put your water, zatarain's,
Cayenne pepper, lemons, garlic, onions and baby reds in the pot and cover. Bring to a steady boil.

Add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove shrimp from pot. It would have been helpful to have a basket that I dropped in with the shrimp but we were at the cabin and working with what I had on hand. Steve told me to do the shrimp first because they would absorb a lot of flavor that way and he was right.

Add corn and crab, cover pot and boil 8 minutes. Scoop out the garlic, potatoes, corn and crab or if you have a colander large enough, strain in that.

Dump the shrimp out onto newspaper covered with brown paper bag, toss the rest of the stuff on top and serve with garlic butter.

You can squeeze the garlic cloves onto crusty french bread and dunk in garlic butter for an OVER the top garlic bread.

Everything was seasoned perfectly. The corn didn't need even need butter. Eat your way through the pile. It was seriously YUMMY! This pile served 4 women:)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Red and White Lasagna

Next stop...ITALY!  I've always wanted to go, maybe some day but until then....

You'll need both of these Creamy Italian sauce and regular Spaghetti sauce. If you don't want to make it from scratch, you can use your favorite jarred sauce I'm sure. Alanna claims the Ragu Alfredo sauce is very good. I'm taking her word on that one.

This was seriously YUMMY.

We're going to pretend that we're making a 13x9 pan because that's what most folks want to do when they are taking the time to make lasagna.'ll want left overs, I promise.

What you'll need:
3 C Red Sauce ~ I used my spaghetti sauce with ground turkey
1 1/2 C White Sauce ~ I used Creamy Italian Chicken sauce with chicken but you could use Alfredo
Box of Lasagna Noodles
1 Egg beaten
15 oz container Ricotta~I used low fat
1/2 bag of Spinach chopped
1/2 t salt
1 t pepper and garlic powder
1/2 C Asiago shredded ~ you could use Parmesan or any hard cheese like that
3 C Mozzarella shredded

Mix your egg, Ricotta, spinach, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Asiago cheese and set aside.

Spray a 13x9 pan. Put 1 1/2 C red sauce in the bottom of pan, top with dry lasagna noodles, single file.

Half of the ricotta mixture goes on top of the noodles.

Top with white sauce

Sprinkle with 1 1/2 C Mozzarella.

Another layer of noodles

Rest of Ricotta mixture

Rest of red sauce

Rest of mozzarella cheese

Cover and refrigerate over night. Take out of fridge for at least 30 minutes (you can go as long as an hour out of the fridge) before popping into a 350 degree oven for an hour uncovered. Serve.



Beaten Egg

this is what the spinach mix looks like

spinach spread on top


White sauce

Noodles, not pictured

Spinach mixture, not pictured,

Cheese, not pictured

Noodles, not pictured

Red Sauce, not pictured



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Orange Chicken

How about China?

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 eggs ~the second time I made this, I needed 3 eggs but they were small eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
white pepper
Crisco (for frying)
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon gingerroot, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chili pepper
1/4 cup green onion, chopped ~ I left these out
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Orange Sauce for Stir Fry ~ mix together and set aside
3 T Soy Sauce
3 T water
10 T sugar
3 T white vinegar
8 T Orange Juice
1 orange, zest of

Stir eggs, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well. Mix in 1/2 C Cornstarch and 1/4 C Flour. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat

Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp

Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to your pan. Add ginger, chili peppers and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds. Add green onions (I actually left this out because I forgot them). Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil. Stir 1/4 C COLD water into 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to sauce. Heat until sauce is thickened. Stir in sesame oil and orange zest. Add chicken and give a good toss. Serve over rice or sesame noodles minus the chicken like we did.< This is the consistency of the batter, just thick enough to stick to the chicken. You should be able to stir the chicken around in the batter to make it stick.

Chop your chicken in pieces like this

Mix the chicken into the batter

Fry your chicken pieces in crisco until golden brown.

Grate your orange peel

Add to the sauce

Start the ginger, garlic and pepper paste in a pan with about a tablespoon of Olive Oil

Add the rice wine vinegar and orange sauce and bring to boil

Here is what your cold water and cornstarch looks like. Make sure you have the lumps worked out

What the sauce looks like after you add cornstarch mixture

Add chicken and give a good toss.

Serve over rice or sesame noodles like we did.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tex Mex Burritos

It's spring break FINALLY!  This winter has been SO long and well, even though it's "spring" break it's not a very springy forecast and we're stuck in MN because of baseball and dance obligations!  Had we not been, I would be in my car driving towards warmth and ability to wear flip flops.  But since I can't, I decided to take a food vaca.

First stop...Mexico, my absolute favorite warm weather destination and food that I could eat every single day!

Let's get this vacation started!!

The recipe takes a bit more to prepare than my usual recipes but oh so worth it. And, it's still easy...I promise:) PLUS..I've given you several days to get yourself in the "mood" to cook!!

Tex Mex Burritos
1 pkg boneless Chicken Breast
4 C Water
4 Chicken Bouillon cubes
1 T Chili Powder
1 t Cumin
1 T Garlic Powder
1 T minced Onion ~ I used dried
few cranks of fresh cracked Pepper

Throw all of this in a pot and boil until chicken is done, about 30-40 minutes..I've never actually timed it but if you stick a fork in the chicken and it goes in without resistance, you're good. Turn off heat, shred the chicken and put back into broth.

1 pkg of 10 Tortillas~I don't know the size, it's the pack they sell in 10s;)
1/2 Red Pepper and 1/2 Orange Pepper diced ~ you can use one whole pepper any color, I just like how pretty it is to use two different ones.
1/4-1/2 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 C Spinach chopped
1/4 C Jalapenos diced~I use the sliced ones in the jar
1 can Black Beans drained and rinsed
1 C Frozen Corn
1 t Cumin
1 t Chili Powder
1 t Cayenne Pepper

Saute peppers, garlic and onion a couple of minutes in a bit of the chicken broth you stole from the chicken. Add the jalapenos (you can use more or fresh, it's just what I always have in the house), black beans and corn. Splash in a bit of the jalapeno juice from the jar. Fold around for a minute or two. Fold in Spinach. Drain chicken and throw it in. Throw in cumin, Cayenne and chili powder. Taste and make sure it doesn't need salt.

Spray 13x9 pan with cooking spray. Put about 3/4 C mixture in middle of tortilla and roll up. Put seam side down and continue until all tortillas are used. If you have extra filling, throw on top of the burritos.

1 can Mild Enchilada Sauce ~ I prefer HOT but some people don't
1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 C Sour Cream~I use light

Mix together and pour over top of burritos. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until bubbly. Top with 1-2 C of your favorite cheese, I used a Colby Jack mix and bake 5 more minutes.

While this is cooking put together the best topping in the whole world.

3/4 C Sour Cream ~ I use light
1/2 C Mayo
2 t Dill Weed
1 t Garlic Powder
1 t Onion Powder
3 Ripe Avocados mashed

Mix Sour Cream and Mayo, add seasoning. Chill while the burritos are baking. You can do this step as far ahead as you want. Add avocados to the mix when you put the cheese on the burritos. You can NOT make this too far ahead, it turns a funny greenish brown color. If you did this, skim off the top and the underneath will still be green:)
Here's the chicken ready to shred. I actually prefer to use bone in chicken because it's more moist but I only had boneless in the house.
Shred your chicken and put back into the broth.
Here's your peppers, onion and jalapenos diced up.
The spinach pre chop.
Peppers, garlic, onion and jalapenos in the pan for a couple of minutes with a few T of Chicken broth you stole from the chicken pot.
You've added the black beans, corn, chicken, spinach and seasoning. Cook together for a couple of minutes.
Here is the size of tortillas I buy. You can use any size but this size typically makes exactly the recipe. These turned out to be a bit smaller so I had left over topping. No problem, throw it on top.
Put about 3/4 C of the topping in the middle of the tortilla, roll up. You can add cheese here if you want but the recipe really doesn't need it.
Seam side down in your sprayed 13x9
Throw whatever is left on the top of the burritos. Typically I don't have a lot left over, these tortillas were a bit smaller than usual. You can cover and refrigerate at this point for up to 24 hours. IF you do that, allow an extra 15 minutes of cooking time.
Here is the sauce ingredients.
Whisk together and this is what you get.
Pour it over the top and throw in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes.
I'm gonna be honest and tell you that I don't measure. I did a very good estimate for you up above but truth be told, it's 3 parts sour cream to 2 parts Mayo. The seasonings I did measure this time...just for you:)
This is what a ripe avocado looks like. DARK green that is soft but not squishy.
How to get your pit out...Cut avocado in half, whack with a knife, give a twist of the wrist.
TA DA, out comes the pit. No fuss, no muss.
Take a big spoon and scoop out the yummy avocado.
Here they are ready to meet the fork for some mashing.
Now the choice is yours. Mash these babies until they are smooth or if you're like me and like a few chunks you can do that too.
Need a new camera to get a photo of this mixture. It's a soft green color and OH SO YUMMY. Eat some with chips but make sure to save enough for the burritos.
Out of the oven with the melted cheese. Again, you can leave the cheese off, the sauce is creamy enough but who can pass on melted cheese!?!?
If you're a good hostess you can serve rice and/or salad on the side.