Chocolate Bread with a hint of Banana


Revised a recipe I found today and it’s really yummy!

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas very ripe
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cups raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coco powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat to 350 degrees F .
  2. Grease and flour a 9″ loaf pan
  3. Microwave the bananas, butter, sugar and salt for about 3 minutes. Stop it for a few seconds if it tries to boil over. Let this mixture cool to luke warm.
  4. Sift the all-purpose flour, coco powder and baking soda to remove any clumps. Add the chocolate chips and then whisk/mix the mixture together.
  5. Put cooled bananas in a blender/food processor along with the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extra until smooth
  6. Combine banana mixture into the flour mixture,  but no need to over mix.
  7. Pop it into a loaf pan and back for 40-50 minutes.
  8. Cool the  bread on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then eat!
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Oreo and Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes


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1 box brownie mix, 8×8 inch size
24 Oreo Cookies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 muffin cup baker with paper liners.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. For each cupcake cup spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter over 2 Oreo cookies and stack them on top of each other. Place oreo stacks into the cupcake lined muffin cups. Spoon 2 tablespoons of brownie batter over each stacked oreos and let it run down the sides of the cookies. If you have left over brownie batter, bake separately in a separate baker or muffin tin. Bake cookies and brownies for 18 to 20 minutes, until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely then serve.

Makes 12 servings

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes


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1 pound asparagus, trimmed $
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes $
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar $
1/4 teaspoon salt $
3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

1. Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

Raisin and Pine Nut variation: Omit tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and goat cheese.
Cook 1/3 cup sliced red onion and 2 tablespoons pine nuts in oil for 4 minutes.
Add 2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice, 3 tablespoons raisins, and 2 teaspoons honey; cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon orange rind. Spoon over asparagus; sprinkle with pepper. Yield: 4 servings.
Calories 111; Fat 5.3g (sat 0.6g); Sodium 151mg

Sesame-Ginger Glazed variation: Omit oil, tomatoes, vinegar, salt, cheese, and pepper. Microwave 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger, and garlic on HIGH for 2 minutes. Drizzle over asparagus; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges. Yield: 4 servings.
Calories 43; Fat 0.8g (sat 0.1g); Sodium 134mg

Lemon-Tarragon variation: Omit tomatoes, vinegar, and cheese; decrease pepper to 1/4 teaspoon. Combine 1/8 teaspoon lemon rind, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and oil. Drizzle tarragon mixture over asparagus; toss gently to coat. Yield: 4 servings.

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip: that bloomin’ zucchini! | King Arthur Flour – Baking Banter


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Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip: that bloomin’ zucchini! | King Arthur Flour – Baking Banter.

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad


Recipe type: Side Dish
Author: Savory Sweet Life
Serves: 4-6
A simple but flavorful recipe for Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad.
Ingredients
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh “mini” mozzerella pearls
4 tablespoons olive oil
18 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions
Add the cherry tomatoes and mozzerella cheese to a medium bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzerella. Add the basil, salt, and pepper, and gently toss all the ingredients.

Lentil Quinoa Burgers with Sauteed Mushrooms


From: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/barbecue-recipes?page=4&cm_mmc=Facebook-_-WomensHealth-_-Content-Food-_-BurgerRecipes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 can (19 oz) lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
1/3 cup cilantro Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tsp vegetable oil
6 100% whole-grain buns

1. In a saucepan, combine quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes. Let quinoa cool.

2. In a bowl, combine half the lentils, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, cumin, cilantro, lemon juice, cooked quinoa, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in a food processor or blender; process until well combined. Add remaining lentils and walnuts; pulse until they’re incorporated. Form into 6 patties.

3. Preheat grill to medium. Meanwhile, melt butter in skillet over medium heat; add sliced mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in wine and cook for another 5 minutes.

4. Brush burgers with oil and cook for 4 minutes per side. Toast buns for 2 minutes. Serve burgers on buns and top with sauteed mushrooms.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 445 cal, 15 g fat (3 g sat), 62 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 305 mg sodium, 19 g protein

Ratatouille


Yes, I thought it was a movie too.  That shows home much of a “not-a-cook” I really am, right?  Well here is another recipe from my class at Cook that proved to me it was first a chunky type of soup not the name of a rat.

Check out my others ones here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup eggplant, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup plum tomato, medium diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or for my fellow vegetarians try VegeBase)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat a medium saucepan to a medium high heat.

Add the oil to the pan and then onion and garlic.

Saute for 2-3 minutes until onion becomes translucent.

Add the yellow squash and zucchini, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Saute for 2-3 minutes and then add the eggplant and tomato.

Saute another 2-3 minutes then add the stock.

Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Add the basil, check seasoning and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

Serve it warm.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach


Another recipe from my cooking class at COOK in Ashburn, VA

Check out the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad recipe

Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • 1 package (20 oz) Butternut Squash, cleaned and precut
  • 1/2 of red onion – 1 whole onion, halved and quartered (onion can get overpowering, you can “eyeball it” and reduce the amount as needed)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Wegman’s Basting Oil (can use any flavored oil or plain olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup – 1 cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)

Preheat 450° F

Cut squash into 1 inch cubes (try to get around all the same size for even cooking).  Combine squash and onions in large pan; drizzle with basting oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss lightly to coat.

Roast for 25 minutes until tender and lightly browned.

Add Spinach and cranberries; toss so spinach will wilt.

Tips:

  1. Once you add the cranberries and spinach, you can put it back in the oven for 1 minute to help the spinach wilt faster.
  2. Roasting vegetables can be done at any temperature. The lower the temperature, the longer  it will take.  Cooking them longer and at a lower temperature will allow the natural sugars in the vegetables to caramelize more which results in more color and flavor.
  3. By buying the squash precut, you save time but will probably spend more money.  If you buy a whole squash, you can save time by cutting it up the night before and putting it in an airtight container.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad


ImageI used my Groupon for a cooking lesson at COOK in Ashburn, Virginia.  Since I have been Pescatarian (Vegetarian with fish and egg allowances) for about two years, I really wanted to learn a few more veggie dishes that weren’t too hard to make so I chose the “Veggie Tales” class.

No, I wasn’t lucky enough to find myself living the scene in Hereafter with Matt Damon as my cooking partner so I said yes to each glass of wine they offered throughout the night.  And, somehow, I managed to make some pretty good dishes and get home by 930p (geez – I should not be proud of that haha).

ImageOur first recipe was the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad.  The tomatoes should be roasted for 2 hours so the chef, Lucy Ritter, pre-roasted them for us before we arrived to speed things up for us.  It was a simple and very tasty dish that I plan to make again tonight as I’m writing this blog post.  The picture doesn’t do the dish justice but one of my table partners was a bit of a bossy-knows-everything-about-cooking-and-you-must-need-me-to-tell-you-what-to-do-because-you-obviously-can’t-think-for-yourself kinda person so I was a bit distracted by her.  I only put a small amount balsamic dressing on my tomatoes before I snapped the picture.

 

Check out the Roasted Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach recipe I made next.

Ingredients:

  • 12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seed removed
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 275 °F

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.

Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize.

Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.

If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half.

Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Serve at room temperature.

Juicer: Bountiful Brassica Juice


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