Sunday, June 30, 2013

Banana, Oat & Butterscotch Bread

This banana bread is hearty, low fat and super delicious. I added in the butterscotch chips at the last minute, because;

1. I am trying to use everything in my pantry 
2. the recipe seemed too healthy. 

Banana, Oat & Butterscotch Bread
(adapted from cooking light)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup greek yogurt (I used vanilla)
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana (about 2 large)
1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat well at medium speed of a mixer. Combine banana, oats, and milk; add to sugar mixture, beating well. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir with a whisk. Add to sugar mixture; beat just until moist. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (I made 3 mini loafs and baked for 40 minutes). Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Basic Pizza Crust

As you know, Chris and I are pizza lovers and I finally found a crust recipe from Smitten Kitchen that takes less than an hour to make.  To make it, I  use my dough hook on my standing mixture, but you can also do this by hand.  If you want to make the recipe a little healthier, you can  use a mixture of all-purpose flour and wheat flour (My recommendation - do not use over 3/4 cup wheat flour).

1 1/4 Tsp active  yeast
1/2 cup hot water - temperature 105 -115 F
1 1/2 cup flour
1 Tsp salt

Put hot water in your mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand for five minutes. Add flour and salt to mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high for 30 - 60 seconds or just until most of the dough has started mixing. Turn to the mixer to low and mix for 5 minutes. The dough at this point should be smoothing and formed into a ball.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes. * For the dough to rise it should be >70 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer this is not an issue, but in the winter a great tip is to preheat your oven to 200 F. Once you turn your mixer on low, turn the over off. Place the bowl with dough in the warmed oven to rise.

After the dough has risen roll out to desired size. I usually cook the crust for five to ten minutes prior to putting on toppings to make sure the crust is fully cooked. Put on desired toppings and bake your favorite pizza.  **Recently, I grilled the crust/pizza and it turned out delicious and crispy - give it a try

Don't forget some of our favorite recipes: Bacon and Kale Pizza and Barbecue Chicken Pizza.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Southwest Turkey Burgers

Summer is here; Hooray! To celebrate the start of our favorite season, we decided to try a new burger for dinner.   I am generally a bit wary about turkey burgers - they tend to be dry and bland, but not this one.  Rachel Ray's Southwest Turkey Burger was spicy, moist and delicious.  WE LOVED THEM!

Southwest Turkey Burgers (Rachel Ray)

8 slices turkey bacon or turkey bacon with black pepper or applewood smoked bacon
1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast, the average weight of 1 package
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large shallot or 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional - parsley may be substituted
1/2 small bell pepper, green, red or yellow, seeded and finely chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne hot sauce, several drops (recommended: Tabasco)
2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
Vegetable oil or olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 pound deli sliced pepper jack cheese
4 crusty kaiser rolls, split
Red leaf lettuce
Sweet Pepper Relish
Ripe Avocado, mashed

Chop your garlic and veggies.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Wipe excess grease from pan and return skillet to heat.
While bacon cooks, combine turkey meat, garlic, shallot or onion, thyme, cilantro or parsley, bell pepper, serrano or jalapeno pepper, cumin, hot pepper sauce, grill seasoning or salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 4 equal mounds then form meat into patties. Drizzle patties with vegetable oil to coat. Cook in skillet over medium high heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Place sliced cheese over the patties in the last 2 minutes of cooking, use 1 or 2 slices for each patty, as you like.
Pile cooked cheeseburgers into buns. Spread sweet relish or jelly on bun tops and set red leaf lettuce into place, using the relish or jelly as glue. (I topped ours with mashed avocado bc we did not have any sweet pepper relish - delish) Top cheeseburgers with 2 slices of cooked, crisp bacon..

Saturday, June 15, 2013

S'mores Rice Krispie Treats

My floors have been ripped out. You can see into the basement from a few different spots in the kitchen. We do not have an oven, refrigerator or dishwasher and my kids have been confined to the upstairs bedrooms. I will not really get into the fact that the girls have had the flu for the past few days, but this week has been a doozie.

I know that our "kitchen update" will be worth all of this hassle, but right now, I just want to complain about it.

On the bright side, I have had to get creative with the microwave cooking. None of them are good enough to share, with the exception of these fabulous
 S'mores Rice Krispie Treats. 

The treats are gooey, chocolaty and they taste like summer.  I will definitely be making
 S'more, because it will be a week before I can use my oven again!  

** if you get on a S'mores kick, do not forget about the recipe for these AMAZING s'mores bars that B made last summer.

6 cups Rice
 Krispies Cereal
1 bag of marshmallows
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker pieces
1 cup chocolate chips

Spray 11x7 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a large microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and marshmallows for 1 minute and stir to combine. Heat the mixture for another 30 seconds or until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
Pour in the rice
 krispie cereal and graham cracker pieces. Mix together well.
Add chocolate chips and gently stir - you want most of the chips to hold their shape and not to completely melt. (Next time I will also add in about 3/4 cup mini marshmallows along with the choco chips). Immediately press rice krispie treats into prepared baking pan. Use the flat side of a spatula sprayed with nonstick spray to flatten the rice krispie treats down evenly.  Let the squares cool and sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Original sub-floors - circa 1940


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

peanut butter, banana & chocolate chip cookies

Jazz in the Park has started again! It is one of my favorite Denver events.  Gathering with friends, listening to live music and having a picnic on a Sunday evening.  I brought the perfect sweet treat to our picnic this past Sunday and I found it on one of Jenny's favorite blogs, Siriously Delicious.  They were an absolute hit and PB, banana & chocolate is a combination that most couldn't resist.  Beware, they are hard to stop eating.

1 stick of butter, room temperature
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup creaming peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, for dusting

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, soad, cinnamon and salt. Put aside. With you standing mixer and paddle attachment, mix bananas, butter peanut butter, brown and granulated sugars, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Fold in dry ingredients until fully combined. Add chocolate chips. Chill in the refridgerator for 30 minutes.

While waiting, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with slip mats. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. After dough is done chilling, using a big spoon place dough onto mats. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool on a drying rack.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread - w/ Greek Yogurt

Lemon poppy seed.   Everyone likes it.  You can make it anytime of the year, in a variety of different forms - muffins, bread, cupcakes, cakes.....  The only downside to this longtime favorite, is the residual poppy seed that you have in your teeth for 4 hours before anyone tells you about it.  
I am super excited about this recipe. I made some substitutions to the original- greek yogurt for some of the butter and coconut oil (my new favorite thing) instead of vegetable oil and I was very happy with the result.  

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 tbs lemon zest (two lemons)
2 tbs lemon juice
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs poppy seeds

1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/4 powdered sugar 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a bread pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.  Set aside.  Cream butter and sugar in a standing mixer.  Add in oil, eggs, yogurt, lemon zest, & lemon juice.  Mix until smooth. Gradually add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until smooth. 

Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (50 minutes for me, but could be anywhere from 50 to 60 minutes). 

For the glaze, whisk the lemon juice and powdered sugar together until smooth.  Pour the glaze over the bread, when it is removed from the oven, letting it seep into and around the bread. Allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes, remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.