This is THE recipe that I have memorized and made a gazillion times. Everyone in my family makes this recipe. It comes from a family cookbook that my cousins put together in 1977.
This banana bread comes together in a snap and it is the perfect way to use up those ripe or over-ripe bananas.
It is moist and dense and sweet and banana-y and all sorts of good things. It also lends itself to all different kinds of add-ins. Some of the add-ins I have tried are chocolate chips, walnuts and pecans. Serve it plain, with butter, with cream cheese, as is, or toasted. Its all good!
Billie and Kathryn’s Banana Bread
Makes one loaf
3 ripe bananas, 4 if small
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 325º. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
Place bananas in bowl of stand mixer. Beat on low speed until thoroughly mashed. Add sugar and egg and mix until combined. Beat in melted butter on low. Add dry ingredients and mix on the stir setting until combined.
Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until center is set.
Do you do Sunday dinner with your family? We do. And. I. Love. It!
It gives us a time to get together and connect and for the cousins to see each other and play and have fun.
Not all of the kids come every Sunday as our schedules are crazy. We also don’t pressure anyone to come. It is always “come if you can, no worries if you can’t.”
Most of the time I come up with the menu, but my favorite dinners are when someone requests something.
We were talking the other day about the really good chicken and waffles that Chili’s Grill and Bar is serving now. My oldest son suggested trying to make a bit healthier version for Sunday dinner.
I got right on it and searched for a recipe. I found this one and tweaked it a bit. I used a whole egg instead of just the white for a little richness. I also added some chipotle pepper for a little kick. Instead of making waffles from scratch I used our absolute favorite pancake and waffle mix made a few additions. The Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes is available at Costco and it is so so good!
The chicken and waffles were a hit. The chicken was moist and tender and crunchy without frying. The additions that I made to the waffles bumped them up just enough to compliment the slightly spicy chicken.
This will for sure be part of our Sunday dinner mix of recipes.
A Little Bit Healthier Chicken and Waffles
For the chicken-
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/8-1/4 cup skim milk
2 cups corn flakes, crushed
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
For the waffles:
1 cup Kodak Cakes Power Cakes mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp avocado oil (or oil of your choice)
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place an oven-safe cooking rack on top and spray with cooking oil.
Prepare three bowls for dipping: one with flour, chipotle pepper powder, and salt and pepper; one with the egg and yogurt and a bit of the milk to thin; and one with the crushed corn flakes. Be sure to stir each bowl.
Dip the chicken breasts into the flour mixture, followed by the egg/yogurt/milk mixture, followed by the corn flakes, coating evenly. Place the coated chicken evenly spaced out onto the prepared rack.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until thoroughly cooked and juices run clear.
While chicken is baking prepare the waffles.
Stir all the waffle ingredients together in a bowl and cook per your waffle iron directions.
Serve with maple syrup, raspberry chipotle sauce, jalapeño jelly or what ever your little heart desires!
The polenta was really soft and creamy when I served it for dinner. I knew that it wouldn’t reheat and have the same creamy texture so I smashed it into a loaf pan, covered it with plastic wrap, and stuck it in the fridge.
The next morning I had a beautiful loaf of polenta that was the perfect consistency to slice and fry up in a little butter with an egg on the side.
Not the lowest calorie breakfast but SO good!
Here is the recipe for the Cheesy Polenta. Enjoy!
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T avocado oil (I like to use avocado oil for sautéing as it has a higher smoke point than olive oil)
1 cup polenta
1 cup milk (I suggest using whole fat milk or heavy cream or a mixture of both. Non fat milk will not result in a creamy mouth feel)
1-2 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese*
In medium saucepan sauté the garlic for one minute. Add the milk and one cup of the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add the polenta and whisk until polenta is thick and bubbly. Continue whisking and adding stock as needed until polenta is soft and creamy.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
*You can substitute any cheese of your choice to suit whatever you are serving it with. This is a pretty versatile recipe!
I pulled some ingredients out of the pantry, fridge and freezer to come up with this tasty meal. The combination of the savory breading on the chicken and the tart cranberry sauce and the sweet maple syrup was scrumptious. Oven roasted veggies are one of our favorites also. If you haven’t tried roasted broccoli, get on it! Ah-maze-ing! We gobbled it up pretty fast.
Roasting the veggies on the same pan as the chicken made clean up a breeze. The Hubs likes that since we sort of have an understanding. I cook, he cleans up! Win/win. He was used to doing dishes when he was working in the fire station so he doesn’t mind. (Or I like to think he doesn’t mind!)
I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did. Let me know if you make it.
Oven Baked Cranberry Maple Crusted Chicken with Roasted Veggies
Mix bread crumbs and Malibu seasoning in a third bowl.
Lay out carrots and broccoli on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and granulated garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Dip a chicken breast in the egg/milk mixture to coat. Move to bowl with flour in it and coat with flour. Put back in the egg/milk mixture to coat again. Dip in the Panko/Malibu seasoning mixture to coat.
Drizzle some olive oil on the part of the sheet pan where you are putting the chicken and lay chicken in pan. Repeat with second chicken breast.
Place sheet pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken registers 165º on instant read thermometer. Stir the veggies halfway through the cooking time.
We are a fire department family. The Hubs is a retired fire captain. My middle son is a fire captain. We know the drill. Days at a time away from the family. Missing kids sports games and school events. And the holidays……. Let’s just say that we are very flexible regarding what day we actually celebrate Christmas, Easter, birthdays, etc.
We gave up a long time ago trying to plan everything on days when everyone could make it. With a fire family, teachers, and a blended family in the mix we rarely get all 16 of us together at the same time.
So when the Murrieta Fire Department has their annual BBQ for the community we like to get as many of us together to attend as possible. It gives us a chance to see our son when he is working, even if he has to leave a few times on emergency calls!
This year was the 70th annual Murrieta Firefighter’s BBQ. The event is a great way for the department to interact with the community and show off their mad grilling skills at the same time! You could purchase a plate with a very generous portion of tri tip, a super soft and fresh sandwich roll, potato salad, beans, and a drink for $10. Oh my gosh! The meat was so so good. We were even able to purchase a whole, fully cooked tri tip for $20 to take home. Someone is going to have a fabulous dinner tonight. They also offered a child’s hot dog plate for $5. Perfect for the littles.
The Hubs and our youngest son spent some most of the time in the beer garden. They competed in the corn hole tournament and came out somewhere in the top eight. The beer garden offered local beers for $5 each or 5 for $20. The money raised in from the beer garden goes to the Murrieta Firefighters Association and is used by them to support multiple local causes. A good reason to have a beer!
There was also an area with local vendors. Everything from Hawaiian shave ice to essential oils to bouncy houses! My granddaughter’s favorite vendor was Funny Faces Face Painting. Lorraine Amaya did an awesome job on my granddaughter’s face and their were so many options to choose from. You can find her on Facebook here.
Look at that sweet face!
I love supporting our community and this is definitely a fun way to accomplish that. Great family time and great memories!
This cake is absolutely my favorite thing to make with the lemons from our trees.
I never know what to do with all the lemons from our tree. I know…. make lemonade. But we just don’t drink lemonade that much. I use them a lot in cooking fish and making vinaigrette but there are still a ton left over.
So I was excited when an internet search turned up this recipe for Nathan’s Lemon Cake. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this cake since I found the recipe. I did not change the recipe one bit because it is perfect. Plus, it is super fun to make. So many good smells!
I don’t think that there has been one person that I have served this to that has not loved it. (Or if there has, I have conveniently forgot them!)
Check out the recipe for this cake here at MyRecipes.com. I promise, you will not be disappointed!
Today I got on my trusty MacBook Air and searched for something to make with them. The criteria was that I had to have all of the ingredients on hand. I found lots of recipes for Lemon Surprise Pudding. I had never heard of it before but it was all over the place.
I don’t even know who to credit with this recipe because there were so many posts with the same recipe. Well, whoever came up with it, THANK YOU! This pudding is so easy and so good. It is light and reminiscent of lemon meringue pie.
The recipe that I used called for caster sugar. What? Never heard of it. I looked it up and it is just superfine sugar. I just happened to have some in the back of my pantry that I had bought for when I made 40 cremé brûlées for my DIL’s birthday party. Score!
This recipe is a keeper for sure! Have you every made Lemon Surprise Pudding or do you have any variations on it that you love? Let me know!
Lemon Surprise Pudding
7 T butter, softened
2/3 cup superfine sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice, about 3 large lemons juiced
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
Whipped cream for topping
Place oven rack on the second to the bottom rung in the oven. Preheat oven to 350º.
Cream butter and sugar using stand mixer (or hand mixer) until creamy, white and fluffy. Add lemon zest and juice. Mix well. (The mixture will curdle at this point. Not to worry)
Beat in egg yolks one at a time.
Gently beat in flour and milk until combined. The mixture will be thin.
In a clean bowl beat egg whites till they stand in snowy peaks. (Picturing “Frozen” in my head right now! Let It Go!) Fold egg whites into the lemon mixture.
Pour mixture into well buttered 8×8 baking dish.
Put the baking dish in a larger dish and fill larger dish with cold water, make sure the water comes halfway up the sides of the 8×8 dish. (I placed the 8×8 dish into the larger one and then put in oven and filled the water up while dish was in the oven.)
Bake for 50-60 minutes. If the top is getting too brown cover with foil for the last 10 minutes.
Serve topped with whipped cream right when it comes out of the oven. Yum yum!
Still have leftover ham from Easter! And leftover uncooked asparagus as well. Fridge is bulging.
Good thing the Hubs has his weekly card game tonight because it is time to use this stuff up. This salad is what I came up with.
This salad looks super fresh and pretty. Beautiful colors in it. Look at those lovely little bits of red pepper peeking out! The lemon vinaigrette that I found online gives it a nice zingy taste.
You really could add anything you like to this salad, making it the perfect “clean out the fridge” salad. I’m thinking broccoli and chicken, asparagus and salmon, make it vegetarian by leaving out the meat. Whatever your little heart desires!
I like to use DeLallo whole wheat pasta in cold salads because it has a little nutty flavor and it stands up to sitting in the dressing. It keeps that nice little bite. But, you could use any pasta you choose.
The toasted pine nuts add a nice little crunch and the avocado finishes it off perfectly. Yum yum!
Hope you enjoy this salad. It really is a “no-brainer!”
1 lb asparagus, woody part removed, chopped into 1 in. pieces
1 c chopped ham
This dressing. Use the entire amount made. (The only thing that I changed on the dressing recipe is that I just dumped all of the ingredients in a mason jar and gave it a good shaking. So easy!)
One avocado cubed
1/3 c toasted pine nuts
Lemon zest for garnish if desired.
Bring 3 quarts lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and bring back to a boil. Cook orzo for 8 min then add chopped asparagus and cook two more minutes.
Remove from heat and drain.
Mix orzo and asparagus mixture in large bowl with all other ingredients except for the avocado. Let chill in fridge for at least 4 hours. Gently stir in avocado and pine nuts just before serving. Garnish with lemon zest.
We are game players. All of our kids are game players. We are teaching our grandkids to be game players.
There are two types of families. Avid game players and not-so-much game players. Our family is definitely in the former category. Give us a table and we will play a game.
One of the best memories that I have of my childhood was playing canasta on summer evenings on my next door neighbor’s screened-in patio. She was a little Italian gramma who we loved just like our own gramma. I loved playing games with my own children as they were growing up. We spent many a summer afternoon playing cards. Often we would have tournaments that would last all summer long.
Now that most of my grandkids are old enough to play games we spend frequent Sunday afternoons playing. I play Farkle two mornings a week with my nine year old grandson who stops by for breakfast on those days. We have lots of fun and we are both pretty competitive. The Hubs and I play Hand and Foot sometimes almost every night after dinner. Games, games, games!
Right now there are so many new games that the kids are into. I love to learn a new game that they enjoy. Quite a few of them are games that all the players are playing as one team to beat the game. Those are my favorite.
I bought the Harry Potter Hogwart’s Battle game for two of my grandsons for Christmas and we are having so much fun playing it. It is a cooperative deck building game. Aren’t you proud of me that I know what that even is?! We really enjoy it because those two grandsons and I are are fans of the Harry Potter book series.
I encourage you to get involved in some of the newer games that are out. I find that it gives me common ground with the grandkids (and even my sons who like these games). Even if I don’t totally “get” all the games I still enjoy the time spent together. And that’s what its all about for me!
Another favorite game we recently bought and enjoy playing is Codenames. This is a very fun, quick playing game that sparks lively discussions.
For a lot of laughs we play Blurble. Oh my gosh! This one is super lively and super funny. It is a fast game that can be played by all of my grandkids. We just change the rules a bit for the younger ones who don’t read yet.
It’s the day after Easter and in our house that means just one thing: split pea soup! The Hubs and I love it but I only make it twice a year. I make it after our annual Christmas open house and after Easter. Those are the two times a year that I buy the fabulous spiral sliced ham at Costco.
I got a Bella® Electric Pressure Cooker earlier this year and I am just discovering the wonderful things it can do. Steel cut oats cook perfectly. Pinto beans are a snap. Beef stew? Ah-maz-ing. And soup….. 20 minutes!
I found this recipe online and adapted it a bit to suit my tastes. I substituted organic chicken broth for the water and sautéd the veggies before adding the other ingredients. I think it added a nice depth to it.
I read different recipes online and got conflicting instruction regarding quick release vs natural release. I choose to use the quick release because one site said that the quick release results in a creamier soup. I was not dissappointed.
I also switched the sherry to Marsala wine because that is what I had and that is how I roll! Trust me. You will want to add the splash of Marsala. It takes split pea soup to a whole other level. From everyday to “could be in a restaurant” good.
Be sure to clean your pressure valve as soon as it is cool enough as split peas can dry hard quickly, impacting your pressure next time you cook.
Hope you enjoy this soup as much as the Hubs and I did. Let me know in the comment section.
Drunken Split Pea With Ham Bone Soup in the Pressure Cooker
Serves: 4 meal size bowls or 8 cup size servings
1 lb split peas, rinsed and sorted
1 Tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil if desired)
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 cups chicken broth
1 ham bone with some ham still attached
Splash of Marsala wine
Sour Cream or plain Greek yogurt to garnish
Turn pressure cooker to sauté function and let heat up a few minutes.
Add carrots, celery, and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent. Turn off pressure cooker.
Add split peas, dried thyme, broth, and ham bone.
Press the “Pressure Cook” button and set timer for 20 minutes.
Once pressure cooker beeps do and instant release. I always put a dish towel over the release valve so as not to have the steam spray all over.
Remove ham bone to cutting board and cut off meat. Chop meat and return to soup.
Ladle into cup or bowl, add a splash of Marsala wine and garnish with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.