Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread

makes 1 loaf, about 10 servings

1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Mashed Ripe Bananas (About 2 Large Bananas)
1 Cup AP Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 Large Egg
4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1/4 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons AP Flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, set aside.  For the bread - in a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugars, oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract.  Stir in bananas.  Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir gently until just combined.  Don't over mix.  For the cream cheese filling - in a separate large bowl beat together egg, cream cheese, sugar, and flour.  Pour 2/3 of the bread mixture in the loaf pan.  Evenly spread cream cheese mixture over bread mixture and top with the remaining 1/3 bread mixture.  Bake about 50 minutes until top is domed, bread is golden and a tooth pick comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.  Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.  

I am always craving a good banana bread, but throw in a cream cheese filling and I am sold!  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 24 muffins 

2 Cups AP Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Honey
2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Old Fashion Oats

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and honey. Stir in milk, then the oats and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the dry ingredients. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Serve with butter and a cup of coffee. 

My parents are coming up this weekend and my mom is on a sugar free diet. So I thought I would make these healthy-ish muffins that have no sugar!  Cinnamon oatmeal muffins are a great way to start out your day... Or keep you going in the afternoon... Or satisfy your midnight snack cravings. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies
makes 32 cookies 

2 1/4 Cups AP Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg, Plus More For Garnish
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Egg Yokes
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Eggnog

1/2 Cup Butter, Room Temperature
3-5 Tablespoons Eggnog
3 Cups Powdered Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixture with a paddle attachment, whip together butter, sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Mix in egg yokes, one at a time, blending until just combined after each addition.  Mix in vanilla extract and eggnog.  With mixer speed on low, mix in dry ingredients until just combined.  Scoop out the dough by heaping tablespoon full onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (dough will be very sticky and slightly lumpy).  Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes.  Allow to rest for several minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack.  Cool completely then frost with eggnog frosting and sprinkle on a dash of nutmeg.

For the frosting, whip butter with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 3 tablespoons eggnog and powdered sugar.  Add additional eggnog until reached desired consistency.

I've never actually had eggnog until a year or two ago.  We didn't have it growing up and it never really appealed to me... raw eggs in milk... not my idea of a good time.  When I finally did get around to trying it, I finally saw what I had been missing.  The richness!  The creaminess!  That's why when I found this recipe for eggnog cookies I knew they would be awesome.  Eggnog cookies are so tender and soft!  And they are a perfect addition to your Christmas cookie line-up!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Baked Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Baked Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes
serves 6 as an appetizer

-4 oz. Sun-dried Tomatoes, finely chopped
-3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 (13.2 oz.) wheel Brie cheese
-1 to 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
-crackers (pita crackers, or other sturdy crackers), for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl combine tomatoes, garlic and some of the oil from the tomatoes.  Place the brie on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the cheese and bake for 10 minutes until cheese is soft and melted.  Serve immediately with crackers.

If you want a super simple snack that looks very impressive and elegant, here it is!  Cheesy, fancy and delicious! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

J's First Birthday Party

For J's First birthday we had a puppy theme birthday party!  Here's what was on the menu:

-Puppy Chow
-Vanilla Cupcakes 
-Dill Pretzels
-Fruit with Cheesecake Fruit Dip

Cheesecake Fruit Dip
makes a lot!

- (2) 8 oz. Packages Cream Cheese, Softened
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- (1) 8 oz. Cool Whip

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Add in cool whip until combined. Refrigerate 45-60 minutes and serve with all of your favorite fruit!

Easy Overnight French Toast

Easy Overnight French Toast
serves 6-8

3 Small Loafs French Bread, Cut Into 1/2 Inch Slices
1 1/2 Cups Milk
3 Eggs
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Arrange the bread in the dish so the pieces are upright.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together milk, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg and evenly pour over the bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).  Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  While the french toast is baking, melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and cook until well combined and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Pour evenly over the french toast when it is done baking and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve immediately to your eagerly waiting house guests.

I wish I had gotten a picture of the whole dish, but I was too impatient and was already on my second helping when I realized I had not yet taken the photo!  
If you're wondering what this food blogger's favorite food is, I will tell you - it is French Toast!  And this recipe is top-drawer... the best of the best!  Next time you are having a slumber party, whip this up and I promise you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Menu Planning

Menu Planning

Well it's cold here.  Really cold.  And when it's really cold I just like to stay inside.  That's why I decided to do weekly menu planning and only grocery shop once per week.  Not only am I saving myself multiple trips to the store, I'm also saving $$$ by decreasing my impulse buys.  This girl cannot make a trip to Target without spending at least $50!  Here's how I've had success with weekly menu planning:

-make the list!  I like to start my list the day before shopping day.  I search for a few different types of recipes, one that I know will make a lot so we can have lefties, one that I've been craving or meaning to try out, and one that takes a lot of pantry ingredients and less fresh ingredients to make at the end of the week.  I really only make about 3-4 meals per week since it's just M and me eating.  I also make sure we have lots of frozen veggies, breads, pizzas, and also from the pantry soup for easy sides and quick lunches if my meal planning gets off track (which it will!).  Things that also go on the list - breakfast items and whatever is on the running tally of things that we're out of that I update during the week.

-shop!  This part is easy.  Especially since I've got a great list!  One perk of menu planning is I can also look for coupons and sales since I'm planning ahead ~ saving more $$!!

-get cooking!  Now that I know what I'm making for dinner, the rest of the week is easy.  I don't have the 'it's 4 o'clock what should I make' problem anymore.  Stick to the menu plan as much as possible but if the leftovers didn't stretch as far as you thought they would or you just didn't have time to make stew today but you will tomorrow, there's the back up soup and pizza that you have ready to go!

Do you menu plan?  What are they keys to your mean planning wins?