Banana Bread Muffins

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Bananas are not my favorite fruit but I try to eat one a couple times a week since they are so good for you.  Consequently, I have lots of bananas that are on their way to yucky.

I came across this recipe while going through some community cookbooks and it turned out to be a great choice.  The muffins have great banana flavor and are nice and moist.  There is nothing worse than dry muffins.  I used cinnamon as my spice of choice since it’s my favorite and using a tablespoon did not make it too cinnamon-y. Mixing up some spices will work as well.  Just use your favorite baking spices.

Mr. Meat Eater ate them for breakfast for several days so they do keep for a 3-4 days in a container.  I think they would freeze well, too.

Banana Bread Muffins 1

Banana Bread Muffins 2

Banana Bread Muffins

Muffins:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or your choice of spice ~ you can also mix spices

Topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray.

Cream the butter, vanilla, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs. In a small bowl, combine the smashed bananas and sour cream. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and whatever spice/spices you decide on. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with the banana mixture.

Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle topping over the top.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Topping: Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle on tops of the muffins before baking.

Makes 12 muffins

Adapted from:  Paws-itively Good Chow

Banana Bread 3

Happy Cooking!

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

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Oh my ~ these are delicious!  I know red velvet everything is big right now and I don’t usually follow trends but this recipe sucked me in.   I actually made them around Valentine’s Day and I put the recipe aside and forgot about it until I downloaded the pictures and there they were.

I chose to try this recipe because it made the brownies from scratch ~ no boxed brownie mix was involved.  I am trying to stay away from boxed mixes especially since it’s so easy to bake from scratch without all the preservatives.  I also liked that it didn’t use a whole bottle of red food coloring like so may recipes do.  Be careful when using it because it turns everything red.  The only thing I did different from the recipe was to leave out the nuts.

Brownies 1

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownies:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

Brownie layer: Melt the butter either on the stove top or in the microwave and pour into a large mixing bowl. In order, add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions. In an small bowl, whisk the eggs and stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour until combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Save 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside. Pour what’s left into the prepared pan.

Cream cheese layer: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Gently spread this mixture on top of the brownies mixture in the prepared pan.

Using a spoon, drop the remaining cocoa batter over the top of the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife or a skewer, drag it through the cream cheese layer and the dropped batter to create a swirl effect.  Try not to mix in the brownie layer on the bottom as much as you can.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 8 servings

Adapted from Food Network

Brownies 2

Brownies 3

Happy Cooking!

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Chocolate Silk Pie for Pi Day!

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Today is Pi Day (3.14) so I will post a pie.  As I have said many, many times, I am challenged in photographing pies.  I can’t cut them nicely to begin with and I just get mad and take a terrible picture.  Oh well.

This pie is so good and it helps that chocolate pie is one of our favorites.  Don’t leave out the coffee as it really adds to the chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Silk Pie

Chocolate Silk Pie

Pie:

1 baked 9 in pie shell
1 jar marshmallow cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 ozs unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsps strong brewed coffee
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Topping:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsps confectioner’s sugar

In a heavy saucepan, combine the marshmallow cream, chocolate chips, butter, unsweetened chocolate, and coffee. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool. Fold in whipped and pour into crust.

For the topping, beat cream in a large bowl until it starts to thicken. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Spread over filling and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Adapted from Taste of Home

Happy Cooking!

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Strawberry Mousse

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I love any flavor of mousse but so many of them use raw eggs that I don’t usually make them.  Yes, I know I can use pasteurized eggs but  for some reason, I don’t.  Anyway, this recipe doesn’t have any eggs at all.  It tasted like fresh strawberries which I loved.  I hate when I can’t taste the flavor.  It is also very easy to make.

A Strawberry Mousse

Strawberry Mousse

1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup hot water
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream

Place the strawberries and sugar in a blender and process until pureed. Let stand for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, soften the unflavored gelatin in cold water. Add the hot water and stir until the gelatin dissolves.

Add the gelatin mixture to the pureed strawberries and process in the blender to mix well. Add the whipping cream and whip for 5 minutes. The mixture will not whip up like whipping cream usually does.

Pour into 4 dessert dishes and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until set.

Makes 4 servings. I made 2 large servings instead of the 4.

Recipe adapted from Something’s Simmering

Happy Cooking!

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Baked Mozzarella Sticks

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Don’t forget to enter the Gooseberry Patch cookbook giveaway!  For a chance to win a copy of Weeknight Dinners, click this LINK and leave a comment!

First of all, I love the deep fried mozzarella sticks and while the baked sticks don’t come anywhere close to tasting like the fried sticks, they are a wonderful substitute.  Especially if you are counting calories or, like me, are too lazy to get the deep fryer out and mess with all that oil.

This recipe is easy but plan for all the freezing involved.  These sticks MUST be watched in the oven or they will melt.  I watched mine and couple melted very quickly so please keep an eye on them.

I found the recipe on Pinterest and it comes from a site called The Comfort of Cooking.

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

12 mozzarella sticks, cut in half to make 24 pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/4 Italian-style bread crumbs
1/4 cup panko
2 tsps grated Parmesan
1 tbsp dried parsley

Freeze the 24 pieces of mozzarella until hard ~ about 30 minutes.

Place the egg in a shallow dish and whisk. Place the flour in a separate dish. Place the breadcrumbs, panko, Parmesan, and parsley ~mixed~ in a third shallow dish.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Working quickly, dip frozen mozzarella halves into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all pieces are coated. Freeze on the cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes until frozen.

While the coated cheese is freezing, preheat the oven to 400º.

When the coated cheese is ready, place in oven and bake 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and turn pieces over. Return to oven for an additional 4-5 minutes.

WATCH STICKS CLOSELY because they will melt quickly.

Serve immediately with warm marinara sauce.

Makes 24 mozzarella sticks.

Happy Cooking!

Quick and Easy Lemon Bars from 101 Farmhouse Favorites by Gooseberry Patch

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The Gooseberry Patch Giveaway has now ended!

I have been so slow over the past couple of days that I haven’t even gotten to write a new post here.  It seems the colder it gets, the slower I get.

This recipe comes from Gooseberry Patch’s 101 Farmhouse Favorites ~

101farmhouse

If you want a chance to win this awesome cookbook, please comment on the previous post ~ HERE!  Comment with your favorite comfort food and you’re entered to win!!  Reading through the comments makes me hungry!

Quick and Easy Lemon Bars was submitted by Lynda McCormick who I “met” on a message board on AOL years ago.  She is an awesome cook and I wish she would start her own blog because every recipe of hers that I have made has been wonderful!  Anyway, we lost touch when the message board went away but she found me on Facebook and have been back in touch since then.

This recipe is another of hers that I really like.  Super easy, very lemony, and great to make and take at the last minute.  I made half the pan sprinkled with coconut and half the pan sprinkled with chopped pecans.  I like the coconut better only because no one else in my family are big coconut eaters and I love it.  The bars are just delicious!

Lemon Bars 2

Quick and Easy Lemon Bars
Submitted by Lynda McCormick, Burkburnett, TX

16 oz pkg angel food cake mix
22 oz can lemon pie filling
Optional ~ chopped pecans, sweetened flaked coconut

Combine the dry cake mix and the pie filling in a large bowl; mix well.

Spread in a greased 15×10 jelly-roll pan; sprinkle with the chopped pecans or coconut, if desired.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.

Let cool and cut into bars.

Makes 24 to 30 bars depending on how you cut them.

Lemon Bars 1

Happy Cooking!

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Apple Crumb Pie

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Mr. Meat Eater and I are pie people.  We like cake, too, but almost always choose pie over cake.   Even though we love pie, I don’t make it very often because we would eat too much.  Last week I had some apples that were well on their way to spoiling so the first thing that came to my mind was…pie!

I searched around and found a recipe on Allrecipes that I changed up to suit us.  It’s easy and delicious.  I used MUCH less sugar than the recipe called for ~ I used barely 1/4 cup since my apples were sweet and 3/4 cup just seemed like too much sugar to me.

Apple Crumb Pie

Apple Crumb Pie

Pie:
1 pie shell, unbaked
6 cups sliced apples
1 tbps lemon juice
2/4 cup sugar ~ I used less than 1/4 cup
2 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp cold butter

Preheat oven to 375º.

Place sliced apples in a large bowl and sprinkle lemon juice over the apples. Mix the rest of the pie ingredients (except crust) in a small bowl and sprinkle it over the top of the apples and mix until all the apples are coated evenly. Spoon into unbaked shell.

In another small bowl, mix together the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks crumbly. Sprinkle over filling in the pie shell. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Cool and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

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