Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Gotta give credit to Melissa McKechnie for sharing this recipe with me!!!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 very ripe bananas, smashed
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter. Beat in vanilla, banana, and eggs. Sift flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda 3x. Blend flour mixture and add to banana mixture. Add chocolate chips. Pour into a a greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Blonde Brownies (Blondies)

My first job out of college was a full-time position at the Florida Museum of Natural History's business office. I learned all the ins and outs of handling purchases off of federal grants in addition to appreciating baking and cooking. The executive assistant used to make blonde brownies and I had to keep the recipe (below) - Enjoy!


8 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 1/2 cups brown sugar (16 oz)
3 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 2/3 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Melt butter in a sturdy sauce pan. Add sugar. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour and dry ingredients (baking powder, salt). Add vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Bake in a greased 9 x 13 pan for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool, cut and serve.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Nancy's Cornbread

So, I just slightly modify this recipe originally given to me by Nancy Carter. The recipe is moist and flavorful, but ohhh so bad for you. Note: I posted this AFTER running a 1/2 marathon so all the calories from the cornbread and bbq ribs are ok :)

3 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix (8.5 oz)
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 pint sour cream
1 can creamed corn
1 stick butter, melted - 1/2 in batter, 1/2 on top
dash of vanilla

Mix everything together + 1/2 stick butter. Pour into greased pan, 9" x 13". Pour 1/2 stick of butter over batter in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Moroccan Chicken Stew

This recipe is adapted from the Food Network recipe entitled "Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup". I love the unique flavors and use of cinnamon. Also, this a great recipe to use up leftover roasted chicken.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, minced
8 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 heaping tsp sweet paprika
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I recommend Goya)
1 qt chicken stock
1 tsp sugar
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
3 cups roasted chicken shredded
1 (5 oz) package pre-washed baby spinach

Heat olive oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and caramelize. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add spices and salute a minute or so. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and sugar. Season with a couple pinches of salt and 10 grinds of fresh pepper. Stir well. Add chicken + more if you want a heartier stew. Bring to simmer, then lower heat to low and gently simmer for at least 45 minutes.

When ready to serve, remove from heat and add spinach. Let heat through until the spinach is wilted. Season again, to taste, with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Peasant Stew

We have a garden and every year have a surplus of tomatoes from August-October. Aside from freezing bags of diced tomatoes, I try to make marinara sauce, curries and soups. This is one of our

dash of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 lb chicken breast, cubed (or leftover roasted chicken)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans (14.5 oz, each) diced tomatoes (replace with 30 oz fresh diced tomatoes from garden)
2 cans (15 oz, each) great northern or cannelloni beans (sometimes I add 1 more for heartier soup)
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth or chicken stock or homemade chicken stock
1 cup diced carrots
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced (I prefer the chicken andouille sausage from Costco)
6 cups fresh baby spinach

1. Heat a dash of olive oil in a dutch oven. Caramelize onions over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
2. Add chicken and stir until no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan. (skip this step if you have roasted chicken)
3. Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. If you prefer smoother soup, use an immersion blender to create a smooth saucy consistency.
4. Stir in beans, carrots, and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add chicken and sausage. Cook another 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Matzo Balls (partial slow cooker recipe)

One of my favorite comfort foods is matzo ball soup. My version of this soup uses homemade chicken stock and pre-cooked roasted chicken and is essentially chicken noodle soup with matzo balls. This is an easy way to use leftover roasted chicken or turkey from holiday meals.

Ingredients for chicken stock: 
Use bones either from a roasted chicken or raw whole chicken (include neck, gizzard, skin, wings)
1/2 large sweet onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 carrot cut into 3 pieces
1 celery cut into 3 pieces
3 whole peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
kosher salt to taste
thyme (fresh if available or sprinkle dry thyme)
dash of dry parsley (again fresh if available)

Place first 10 items in a crockpot (I have a 5 qt crockpot). Cover everything with water and cook on low for 24 hours. Your house will smell amazing! The final product should look like this:

Add 1/2 of the broth to a dutch oven and freeze the rest for future recipes. Next, let's make the soup!

Homemade chicken stock
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Egg noodles (I prefer kluski egg noodles)
dried dill to taste
roasted pre-cooked chicken
matzo balls (I purchase boxed matzo ball mix)

Prepare matzo ball according to directions on the box. Keep in a separate pan. Bring homemade chicken stock to a boil. Add carrots, celery, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Add egg noodles, chicken, and dill. Cook according to the directions on the noodle package. Serve by ladling the soup into bowls and adding 2-3 matzo balls. Do not mix the balls and soup or the balls will absorb all of the liquid in the soup. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This is adapted from Paula Dean's Pot Roast recipe. Hopefully, I will eventually be able to add pictures. We have done this as a freezer meal plenty of times, as well! 

1 3-4 lb beef chuck roast
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp veg oil
1 cup onion wedges
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 can cream of mushroom (I have been using Pacific brand organic cream of mushroom)
1 can beef broth (no MSG and low salt)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 yukon gold potatoes cut into chunks

Season roast with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Sear entire roast. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, cream of mushroom, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and potatoes in slow cooker. Place roast on top of mixture in slow cooker. Cook the roast 8 hours on low.

Note: I have frozen the seared roast and soup mixture as a freezer meal in a gallon bag (do not add potatoes). Scott will take the freezer meal out, thaw it, add potatoes and cook on low for 8 hours - easy!