Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On time! TWD: Cocoa-Nana Bread...Ahhhhhhh

When you think of a fruit dessert, what usually comes to mind? My first thought is usually chocolate covered strawberries. And the next would be pretty much any other fruit covered in chocolate - you know how at those chocolate fountains (that I won't even let myself really think about when I'm loading my plate full of heavenly chocolate-drenched finger foods because of all the oil they have to put in it to make it that runny and smooth) there is every fruit under the sun, because fruit is already fabulous, but then you bathe it in chocolate and you could just die it's so good?! Anyway, this bread is just like dipping bananas in that delicious chocolate fountain. Ok, so it's not exactly like that, but it's pretty dang good! It's really rich, so it's perfect with a glass of milk for that weekend junk-breakfast splurge, or the late night snack you've been craving all day when you're catching up on the episode of Lost you missed because your husband has a freaking night class on Tuesdays. Oh, the life of a student's wife - so glad I'm graduated! Like I'm going to understand anything they throw at me this season, anyway...hmmmm... But really, like every other recipe of Dorie's I've tried, this one was a huge hit. Dick took the second loaf to work, and didn't bring even a crumb home to me. Head on over to Obsessed With Baking for the complete recipe. You won't be sorry you did. Love you guys!
Cocoa-Nana Bread
Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tardy TWD...kinda: Chunky Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Ok, so this week I was really supposed to make Chocolate Oatmeal Almost - Candy Bars, but it just didn't happen! You can, however, find pictures and a recipe for them at Confectiona's Realm. Instead, I made these delicious cookies for a baby shower I was invited to. This is going to sound bad, but I'm just going to say it...I'm not as big a fan of babies as I am of these cookies. It's true, and I won't take it back. In fact, I'm just not a fan of babies in general because they scare me to death...plus they're gross. Crying, snotting, pooping, and don't even get me started on the spit-up! I literally have to leave the room when that little situation happens because I'll be making a bigger mess if I don't. And yes, Mom, I know "it's different when they're your own," but we'll wait awhile longer to see if that one's fact or fiction. But let's stop talking about puke so you can get excited about these cookies! hahaha
They were easy & delicious, not to mention a big hit at the shower! The recipe really makes about a million cookies, though, so unless you plan to take them to friends and neighbors, I'd just half it. I'm going to stick to the rule of not posting the recipe, because I'm already breaking two rules this week by not posting on Tuesday (better late than never?), and not posting the right recipe. But you can also find this recipe at Proceed With Caution. She even made them into ice cream sandwiches! I just ate about a dozen with a big glass of milk - scrumptious either way!

Monday, January 11, 2010

cOrN bReAd SaLaD

You know when someone tells you to try something, and you think, "Now that's just crazy! It sounds stupid, and I don't do stupid things." I thought that exact thing when I first saw Dick put ketchup in his mac & cheese. But then when I tried it, I realized that it tasted just like dipping a grilled cheese sandwich in ketchup, which I love to do! Well, that thought might go through your head when you think of putting corn bread in your salad instead of just having it on the side, but once you try it you'll be thinking, "Mmmmmmm...ok, ok, now I get it!" This salad is perfect, or at least I think so. And I'm pretty sure my sis-in-law thinks so, too, because she wasn't going to eat with us tonight - she was going to go on a date with her BF - but then she had a bite of Dick's salad and she called her boytoy to tell him they were eating dinner here. Told ya. Yup, that's what I thought. And the great thing about this salad, just like pretty much any other salad, is that you can add or take out any ingredient you want. I love that about salads! It's also an awesome option if you're wanting something filling, but not super heavy. I've seen chicken put in it, and you can do that if you absolutely love chicken, or if you just need to stretch it to feed a lot of people, but it's totally not necessary. The beans and bread fill ya right up. So, go ahead and think I'm crazy. But then make the salad so we can be food-friends again, ok?!
Corn Bread Salad
From lots of places - seen it done here and there.
1 10 oz. bag Salad greens (I used spinach, but like it with Romaine, too)
Corn Bread (recipe follows)
1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 c. baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Ranch dressing
1. pile a 1-2 cups greens in your bowl.
2. Cut a square of corn bread into smaller pieces and top your greens with them.
3. spoon some kidney beans and carrots on top.
4. Sprinkle with cheese and top with dressing, if desired.
5. dig in!
Corn Bread
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Bridal Edition Cookbook
1 c. milk (I used skim)
1/4 c. margarine, melted
1 large egg
1 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat)
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. corn kernels (I used canned, drained)
1. heat oven to 400; grease bottom and sides of 9x1.5 inch square pan.
2. beat milk, margarine, & egg in a large bowl. Stir in dry ingredients all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Then add corn kernels. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 20-25 min. or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Looking back...it's all coming back to me now!

Happy New Year, everybody!!! I hope your holidays were as fabulous as mine! Can I just tell you really quick how awesome Christmas was?! I have to be honest that I was kind of nervous about what Dick had in store for me as far as gifts go, but not really nervous enough to care because the past 3 Christmases, or any holiday or event that traditionally calls for gifts, have pretty much been a bust in the gift-giving area for him. But to my shock and amazement - and I think he even shocked himself - he really blew me away! My favorite of all the killer gifts he got me is a Celine Dion dvd of her "A New Day" Las Vegas concert. You may not think that's a killer gift, but then you probably don't love Celine like I do. It's been on as background music pretty much non-stop since I opened it.

Anyway, looking back over 2009, this blog has been one of my very favorite things! It's given me an excuse to get some new cookbooks, make food non-stop, and try things in the kitchen I never thought I would. I even received a comment from a Super Star Chef from the Holy Food Network! I'm psyched about this next year and all the delicious dishes I'll get to whip up and then gobble up! Thanks for popping in every now and then. I hope you've been able to enjoy some of these recipes along with me! Here's to 2010, and many more mouthwatering bites!

~Top 10 of 2009~

BBQ Turkey Meatloaf - From the Food Network's Neely's. Seriously the best meatloaf I've ever tasted - so moist, and PACKED with flavor!

Veggie Skillet Lasagna - From http://www.foodnetwork.com/ (my go-to recipe guide). It was just one I wanted to try, and now we make it all the time!!! It's quick, easy, and a healthier alternative. Even meat-lovers will be licking their plates!

Pizookies - From our good friends Sam and Melissa Bates. They picked it up from a restaurant in Arizona, but I'm giving them credit. If you love cookies, and you love ice cream, you'll love this decadent dessert!

Strawberry Sour Cream Bread - From the Closet Cook. When I first saw this, I thought "Really, sour cream?!" But now I understand! I looooove this bread, and my friend MJ loved it so much she made it almost everyday the week after I posted it!

Zucchini Crisps - From Ellie Krieger on the Food Network. These were a fave of all I know who tried them. This was the first recipe a friend tried and called me to rave about - I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty exciting for me!

Summer Spinach-Berry Salad - From me...kind of. I've had similar salads at many restaurants, barbeques, and any other kind of foodie gathering you can think of, but I really just threw it together, so I'm gonna claim it. And don't worry, we eat it all year-round, not just in the summer!

Corny Mango Salmon - From Sunny Anderson on the Food Network. Her show Cooking For Real is one of my absolute faves. And I'd like to think we're friends now that we've talked through commenting on each others' blogs haha! Fave salmon recipe of all-time...FOR REAL!

Easy Spicy Black Bean Soup - From Cathy Lowe on http://www.foodnetwork.com/. You can find absolutely anything on this website! We've done this many times since, and it's always one of the first suggestions Dick has when I ask, "What should we have for dinner?" It is super easy, and a fave of our pals the Pursers.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip - From the Food Network Magazine (a.k.a. my Bible). Love love love this magazine...it's like getting a new cook book in the mail every month! My family devoured this one, and my sister, Bug, has requested it to be made whenever we visit. haha Why not?!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread - From the Closet Cook. This is, hands down, my favorite bread I've made all year...possibly the best I've ever made and/or tasted in my whole life. Chocolate and vegetables at the same time tasting this good? Impossible, you say? Try it. Then we can talk.

~hOnOrAbLe MeNtIoN~

I made this Black-And-White-Chocolate Cake for my sister Boo Boo's bff in the world's fancy black and white birthday party. The recipe didn't make enough frosting, in my opinion, but it still looked pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. It gave me an excuse to buy a real cake stand, and it was a big hit at the party! It wasn't perfect, but I'm getting braver with my cooking/baking, and this is one of my proudest little triumphs of the year!

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