Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

So I said to my dad on Sunday "Here is my dessert wall on Pinterest. Pick one." He picked this. And, boy, am I glad he did! Although I didn't get to try it that night, oddly enough. I made it, not realizing (because I'm awful at reading instructions BEFORE I start making it) that it had to cook for 1 hour 40 minutes, and I had to take the girls home to bed within the hour. That's how much I love my faja.
Oh, this dessert...it's thick and moist and the chocolate is just a hint. It's a perfect combination! Make it. Now.

Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Photo Credit to mybakingaddiction.com
About 12 servings
1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 275°. Thoroughly grease and flour a 12-cup non-stick bundt pan or use PAM spray for baking.

In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with the lemon juice; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.

Add in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing until combined. Stir in banana mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer (still in pan) for 45-60 minutes. This will make the cake very moist. Remove cake from freezer to a cooling rack for at least 3 hours.

When ready to serve, invert the cake onto a serving platter and prepare the chocolate ganache.

To make the ganache, pour the chopped chocolate into a medium mixing bowl, set aside. Pour the heavy cream into a microwave safe measuring cup (Pyrex) and microwave on high for about 1 minute or until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Take care to not overheat because the cream will boil over. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes. Use a small whisk to combine the mixture into a smooth chocolate glaze. Drizzle over cooled cake. {I made the ganache, then kept it in a bowl so we could add however much we wanted on each piece and it worked great...maybe didn't look as pretty as hers...but tasted AWESOME!}

Recipe Source: My Baking Addiction

Friday, May 18, 2012

Whole Grain Banana-Pecan Muffins

I've posted a recipe for Banana muffins before. Those are super healthy. These are super delicious. And I will make no comment on the healthy-ness of these because I have no idea! We actually didn't try the pecans on top (my mom didn't have any), but I love pecans, so I'm sure it would be delicious as well.

Whole Grain Banana-Pecan Muffins
About 24
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed very ripe banana (about 3 large and 4 medium)
1/3 c. low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. pecans, chopped
1/4 c. packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with liners.

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, honey, and butter. Add each egg in one at a time, combining completely after each addition but not over-mixing. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly (so the cups are about 2/3 full) among 24 muffin tins. Combine the chopped pecans and brown sugar and sprinkle them on top of the batter. Bake for 22-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to finish cooling. Serve with breakfast or as a snack.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Our Best Bites

Crustless Quiche

So I've made lots of breakfast casseroles before. That's kind of what this ends up being like, but its a lot lighter than the others I've made because it's supposed to be like a quiche. I enjoyed it very much! I added avocados and tomatoes to the top and used sausage instead of bacon (because pregnancy #2 ruined bacon for me). It does take awhile, so you might want to make this on a Saturday morning.

Photo Credit to mrshardingcooks.blogspot.com

Crustless Quiche
Makes 9x13 pan
10 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend, oddly enough)
1 pound cottage cheese (I left this out because we didn't have any and it was great)
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 green onions, chopped
10 slices bacon (or 7ish pieces of sausage)
2 cups chopped fresh spinach (more than you think because, remember, it shrinks a ton!)
8 ounce package sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined and no lumps remain. With a wooden spoon, stir in cottage cheese, 3/4 of the shredded cheese, melted butter, and green onions.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until browned and desired level of crispiness. Remove bacon to a paper towel and let cool slightly before chopping into smaller pieces and adding to egg mixture. Leave bacon grease in pan over heat, add chopped mushrooms, and saute a few minutes until soft and tender. Add chopped spinach, stir with mushrooms and cook a few minutes, until wilted. Add cooked mushrooms and spinach to egg mixture and stir to combine.

Pour into a 9x13 pan, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 15-25 minutes, or until browned around the edges and lightly browned in the middle.

This can be cut in half and baked in an 8x8 pan. If you do this, bake it for about 12 minutes at 400 and then about 15 minutes at 350.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Mrs Harding Cooks

{The Best} Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever...

...no, seriously. I've been trying for probably 2 years to find "my" oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. I finally found it.
Oh. My. Goodness.
First of all, the dough is amazing, so we ate a lot of that. Then I baked them...and ate probably 6 cookies. I couldn't stop. It was awesome. I want to make them again.
Photo Credit to mrshardingcooks.blogspot.com
The Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
I don't know how many it makes...because I ate too much cookie dough
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping cup of non-instant oatmeal
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a handheld mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 3 full minutes, until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla until combined. Put the oatmeal in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times. You're not making oat flour, you still want pieces of oats left. You just want most of the oat flakes broken up. Combine oats with dry ingredients in separate bowl. Beat dry ingredients into creamed mixture a third at a time with a wooden spoon. Stir in chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 10 mins. Take out a little early and let bake for a few minutes on pan before moving to a wire rack.

Recipe Source: Mrs Harding Cooks

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Caramelized Banana French Toast

Photo Credit to mrshardingcooks.blogspot.com
This is a favorite of Mrs Hardings, and has become one of mine! She found it in NY and boy am I glad she did! This made an awesome breakfast for dinner! (With a little sausage of course).
Caramelized Banana French Toast
Makes 4 Toasts
4 slices of good quality bread (I used a couple day old french bread)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
dash salt
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
strawberries, sliced
whipped cream
maple syrup

Heat two separate skillets to medium heat.
Slice the bread about an inch thick. In a shallow dish, whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon, white sugar and salt. Dip the slices of bread in egg mixture and turn to coat. Cook in greased skillet till nicely browned and crisp on both sides.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and brown sugar in the other skillet, and cook banana slices in sugar mixture to caramelize, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Arrange toast on plate, and pour caramelized bananas and extra sauce on top. Top with more syrup, fresh whipped cream, and sliced strawberries on top.

Recipe Source: Mrs Harding Cooks

Perfect Salmon Marinade

Oh. My.
Photo Credit to melskitchencafe.com
Okay, I have to tell you about seafood for me. I HATED it until my Junior year of high school when I went camping up Fairview canyon with some friends. This trip may have included hitting a huge rock on my way up and something about going miles and towns away from where we were to find a transmission fluid pan...but I diverge. My friend caught a trout and that's what we had for dinner that night (ok, that's not ALL we had), and for the first time, my eyes were opened to the wonderful world of seafood (thanks Bryce!).
Moving forward...I have now cooked fish plenty of times, and I rocked it this last time with this recipe. Don't you worry, I've "flopped" quite a few recipes, but this one is awesome and easy and quick. Yay! Please try this and you will be in heaven!
Salmon Marinade
4-6 Servings1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

The original recipe says to spice the salmon first. I accidentally through everything together in the marinade and it turned out great. So, either season the salmon with the lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt, then mix the rest of the ingredients; or, just mix all the ingredients together!
Place in a resealable plastic bag and let marinate in the fridge for about an hour. {The original recipe says 2, but I did it for one this last time and it was awesome}. Discard extra marinade.
Place marinated salmon on nonstick baking sheet (or baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil), and bake at 350 for about 12-13 minutes (until the salmon flakes with fork).
Eat a piece of heaven on earth! (or 2...)

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing

I always feel better when I eat salads, therefore, I tried this one and it was awesome (I don't know how "healthy" it was with the dressing but...who cares?)

Photo Credit to melskitchencafe.com
BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing
Serves 4-6
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups BBQ sauce, storebought or homemade
½ head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
2 romaine hearts, chopped
1/2 red onion diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed small or shredded
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, cubed small or shredded

Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

For the salad, combine the cooked chicken and BBQ sauce in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, toss together the iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red onion, cilantro, corn, black beans and cheese. Toss the mixed salad with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the dressing, if desired. Otherwise, you can serve the dressing on the side. Place salad on plates and top with the prepared BBQ chicken and additional dressing.
For the dressing, combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. You could also run this through a blender to make it even more smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Oven Baked Chimichangas

These are really easy and quick, which is nice. And I really love all things "Mexican" so, of course I loved these!
Oven Baked Chimi
Photo Credit to melskitchencafe.com
Oven Baked Chimichangas
Makes 6 chimichangas
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
2-3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1-2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (use the lesser amount for less heat, greater amount for a bigger kick)
1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese (or a combination of both)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and Pepper
6 large burrito-size flour tortillas

Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook the onion until it is just softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, rice, chicken and chipotle and cook until the mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon each).

Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave the tortillas until they are warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Top each warm tortilla with some of the chicken mixture, leaving about a 2-inch border at the bottom of the tortilla. Fold in the sides and roll up the tortilla tightly. Brush the wrapped tortillas with the remaining oil and arrange them seam side down on the hot baking sheet that has been preheating in the oven. Bake until the chimis are golden brown and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Banana Whoopie Pies

Yes. I have put whoopie pies on here before. Despite the name :) these are so so yummy! We couldn't stop eating them (when I say we, I mean I). These are easy and gooey. I didn't make the mascarpone filling (because it calls for expensive cheese I don't have), just the Cream cheese frosting that I've blogged before. (Which was awesome!)
Post image for Banana Whoopie Pies {Amy Atlas Sweet Designs Giveaway}
Photo Credit to mybakingaddiction.com

Banana Whoopie Pies
Makes 12 pies2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulateD sugar
1/2 packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mascarpone at room temperature
4 tablespoons sugar

Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl and beater, and beat in egg on medium speed until combined. Beat in banana, sour cream, and vanilla until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add flour mixture in batches until completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag fitted with a Wilton Round Tip #2A pastry tip. Pipe six 2 1/2-inch round mounds onto each pan, placing them 3 inches apart. Bake until light golden, 12-15 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through.
Remove pans from oven and slide the parchment sheet of cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely. Line baking sheets with fresh paper and repeat process with remaining batter.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the mascarpone and sugar in a small bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated.
Once the cookies are cool, spread 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the flat side of 1/2 of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies and arrange on a platter in a single layer. The whoopie pies can remain at room temperature up to 3 hours. To store, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Recipe Source: My Baking Addiction

Cadbury Egg Cookies

Doesn't that just make your mouth water? It did mine. I LOVE Cadbury mini eggs, and these cookies were wonderful! I adored them, those that we shared them with didn't love them as much as I did, but they still liked them. They have what I want to call a "grainier" texture than most cookies, but not in a bad way. Anyway, if you have any eggs left from Easter, try these!
Photo Credit to ourbestbites.com
Cadbury Egg Cookies
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 10 ounce bag Cadbury Mini-Eggs*

*If it’s not Easter, or you (gasp!) don’t like Cadbury Eggs, try these cookies with white chocolate or PB chips- they’re fantastic!

Preheat oven to 350. You’ll need to chop up those Cadbury Eggs. I just put them in a ziplock bag and bang on them with a marble rolling pin until they look like the picture below. A hammer would work too. Go get a kid and put him to work.
Photo Credit to ourbestbites.com
Don't they look delish?
Cream together the butter, crisco, brown sugar and white sugar. Add in eggs one at at a time and the vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture to combine and then mix in the candies. And a little secret…if you want your cookies to look pretty, save a few egg pieces and pop them on top of the cookies before baking so you get those colorful speckles on top!

Drop onto a cookie sheet and cook for about 8-10 minutes. They’re soft and fudgy in the middle and a little crisp on the edges with crunchy little candy bits throughout.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Friday, May 11, 2012

Breakfast Taquitos with Lime Chipotle Dip

Hey, sorry for the hiatus for all of you that read this (aka Laurel). I was a little busy. With my little L. She is beautiful and I love her (although I don't love all her spit up...and there is a LOT). Also, I might be a little excited to sleep again...someday. I'll get there...right?
Anyway, moving on...I haven't made a main dish for awhile, I've been blessed to have lots of people bring us food. So I've been making breakfasts and desserts like crazy. (Just to prepare you for the next few recipes...)
So I come to these. They are a little different, but delicious! Scott asked to make sure we had a ton...we did. So we froze them and will be eating them very very soon. You need to have the dip for sure. Its delish.

Photo Credit to ourbestbites.com
Crispy Baked Breakfast Taquitos with Lime-Chipotle Dip
Makes 14-16 taquitos
2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
12 large eggs
1/2 cups Breakstone’s Sour Cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cup grated pepperjack cheese
1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 teaspoon hot sauce
16 6″ flour tortillas (I used 10" and they worked great)
cooking spray or olive oil

Lime-Chipotle Dip
1 1/2 C Breakstone’s Sour Cream
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.  Spray with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Crack eggs into large mixing bowl.  Whisk in sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  When skillet is hot, add egg mixture to pan.  Using a rubber spatula, gently scrape bottom of pan and fold eggs over to scramble.  Remove from heat when slightly undercooked.  Add cheese, roasted red peppers, green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce to taste.  Gently fold to combine.
Warm tortillas in microwave to ease rolling process.  Working with a few tortillas at a time, place a scant 1/4 C egg mixture (or more if you use bigger tortillas) into the center of each one and roll up into a cylinder.  Place rolled tortillas on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down, so they are not touching each other.  When all tortillas are rolled and filled, lightly spray tops with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and crisp.
While taquitos are baking, coming sour cream, lime juice, chipotle chili powder and kosher salt.  Stir to combine and store in fridge.  Remove taquitos from oven , let cool for 5 minutes, and then serve with dipping sauce.

Make Ahead Prep: The egg mixture can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use.  You can also prepare the taquitos and instead of baking right away, cover tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight, or freeze for later use.  To prepare frozen taquitos, place (un-thawed) directly on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  Follow original baking instructions, increasing time by 5 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites