Friday, October 30, 2015

Banana Bread with Coconut Milk

I think my family sometimes lets the bananas go bad just so that they see what I can come up with. :) I like to try come up with different things and this time I wanted to experiment with coconut milk.  The flavors are amazing!  The bread is moist and very flavorful.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-3 very ripe bananas
-1/2 cup coconut milk
-2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
-2 Tbs applesauce
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cardamom
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 tsp baking powder
-2 1/2 cup flour
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with baking cooking spray (the one with butter and flour).  Set aside.
In your mixer's bowl, cream the sugar and eggs until nice and fluffy.  Add the bananas (I just tear them in big chunks) and mix well.  Stir in the coconut milk, melted butter, applesauce and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add the salt, cardamom, cinnamon, baking powder and flour, half of cup at a time.  Mix very well and pour in prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 70-80 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place, in the pan, on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Take the bread out of the pan and let it cool completely on wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scalloped Potatoes and Pork Casserole

This is very easy to assemble and it makes for a nice, homey, hearty meal.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 Tbs salted butter, divided
-2 1/2 lbs pork chops, boneless
-salt and pepper
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-2 lbs potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
-1 (14.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
-1 1/4 cups milk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease bottom of 9x13 baking dish.  Set aside.
Heat 1 Tbs of the butter in large skillet.  Season pork chops with salt and pepper on each side.  Quickly brown on both sides in the melted butter.  Pork will not be cooked through at this point, just nicely browned.  Remove form skillet onto plate and set aside.
Return skillet to stove and add the other Tbs of butter.  Add the chopped onion and season with some salt and butter.  Cook for about 5 minutes until soft.  Stir in the soup and milk.  Mix well until no lumps.  Simmer for a few minutes, until sauce thickens.
While that simmers, place sliced potatoes on bottom of prepared baking dish.  Top with the browned pork chops.  Once done simmering, add the sauce to the dish, making sure that all the chops and potatoes are covered.
Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 30 more minutes.
Remove casserole from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Baked Cheesy Pasta with Corn

This is an awesome side dish that goes with pretty much anything.  The pasta is cooked to perfection in a wonderful cheesy concoction of flavors.  Delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
-1 (15 oz) can corn, NOT drained
-1 cup pasta (any kind you want; I used elbow macaroni)
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 stick salted butter, melted
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly butter the bottom and sides of 9x13 baking dish.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until well combined.  Pour into prepared dish.
Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cassie's Butternut Squash Soup

We recently had a fancy etiquette night for the Young Women at our church.  This soup was one of the courses served.  We all instantly fell in love with it.  It is creamy, has a little kick to it and the flavors are absolutely amazing!  I already made it for my family and they loved it as well.  The only addition I did was to top it with the bacon bits and chives.  You don't have to do it, but it looks pretties in the pictures. :)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-3 cups water
-4 cubes chicken boullion, crushed over the pot
-1 tsp seasoned salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-6 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
-8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-bacon bits, optional
-chives, optional
Directions:
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.  Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the water, chicken boullion, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Mix well.  Add the squash and give it another good stir.  Cook, on medium-high heat, for 10 minutes or until squash is tender.  Add the cream cheese and stir.  Puree the soup by either using an immersion blender or working it in batches in a regular blender.
Ladle into bowls and top, if desired with bacon bits and chives.  Enjoy this bowl of heaven!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Chili

This is super easy to put together, as you pretty much throw everything in the slow cooker.  The result is a wonderful, super flavorful, hearty dish.  The chicken melts in your mouth and the flavors are just perfect.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 small red onion, finely chopped
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, cut into chunks
-1 Tbs ground cumin
-1 tsp black pepper
-1 (16 oz) jar classic Alfredo sauce
-1 (15 oz) can Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 (4 oz) fire roasted and chopped green chili peppers, NOT drained
-shredded Cheddar cheese, for topping
Directions:
Generously coat your slow cooker bottom and sides with cooking spray.  Add all of the ingredients, except for cheese.  Give it a good stir.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
Ladle into bowl, sprinkle with a little cheese and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Slow Cooker German-Inspired Chicken

I love this combination of sauerkraut with potatoes and chicken served on top of noodles.  It's not the most appetizing looking dish, nor is the smell the most inviting, but the taste is amazing!  The flavors are wonderful together and they all create a beautiful, hearty and tasty meal.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 (14.5 oz each) cans sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
-2 (10.75 oz each) cans cream of potato soup
-1/2 cup water
-2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
-1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-6 oz wide egg noodles, cooked
Directions:
Coat the bottom and sides of your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add the sauerkraut, soup, water, sauce, thyme, salt and pepper.  Mix very well.  Add the chicken and cover it with the sauerkraut mixture.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Serve on top of the hot noodles.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Slow Cooker Tomato-Ginger Chicken

I just love the freshness of the ginger and garlic in this dish.  The flavors are just beautiful and the chicken is cooked to perfection until it falls off the bone.  Delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-2 (14.5 oz each) cans petite diced tomatoes
-2 Tbs minute tapioca
-1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
-1 Tbs parsley, chopped
-2 tsp packed brown sugar
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Directions:
Coat the bottom and sides of your slow cooker with some cooking spray.  Lay the chicken thighs on the bottom.
Drain only one can of the tomatoes and add it to a large bowl.  Add the remaining tomatoes with the juice, plus all of the other ingredients.  Mix well and pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pumpkin-Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

This is flavor perfection in one bite!  Everything blends absolutely beautiful in a perfect harmony of flavors.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
-1 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-3 overripe bananas
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3/4 cup pumpkin puree
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp baking soda
-2 cups flour
-1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Generously coat the bottom and sides of 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar in your mixing bowl.  Add the eggs, one at a time, bananas (I usually just drop big chunks of it in there) and vanilla.  Mix very well.  Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, baking soda and flour, half of cup at a time.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven onto wire rack and cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Slice and enjoy!
Original recipe found here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Beef Stroganoff Casserole

This is very quick to put together and a perfect dish for one of those busy nights.  You can assemble it 24 hours before serving, if you don't have time right before baking. Just assemble everything except for the cheese and place in the fridge.  When ready to bake, sprinkle with the cheese and pop it in the oven.
The flavors are absolutely fantastic in this dish! Everything goes so well together.  Delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp paprika
-1 cup sour cream
-1 (12 oz) package refrigerated buttery crescent rolls
-1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Brown beef along with onions and mushrooms in large skillet.  Season with the salt, pepper and paprika.  Cook until all the liquid is gone.  Stir in the sour cream and mix well. Remove skillet from stove.
Unroll the crescent dough and press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 casserole dish.  Pour beef mixture right on top.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Enjoy with a side of veggies!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Easy Apple Strudels (Strudele cu Mere)

I was born and raised in Europe, so to me, when I see apples, the first thought that comes to mind is strudels!  I love them and taught my family to love them as well. :)  This recipe cheats a little because it uses pre-made pastry sheets.  However, the result is still that flaky, buttery crust that makes this dessert truly a delight.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 puff pastry sheets (an entire package of about 17 oz), thawed according to package directions
-2 Tbs unsalted butter
-4 apples, peeled and grated
-1/4 cup PLUS 1 Tbs sugar, divided
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 Tbs plain bread crumbs
-3 Tbs chopped walnuts (make sure it's very finely chopped, like walnut topping)
-butter flavored cooking spray
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with butter flavored cooking spray.  Set aside.
In a small saucepan, start melting the butter over medium heat.  Add the shredded apples and 1/4 of the sugar.  Mix well and cook until butter is melted and sugar dissolved.  Stir in the cinnamon, crumbs and walnuts.  Mix well and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove pan from stove and let it cool a little.
Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, place your thawed pastry sheets.  Using a rolling pin, rolls the dough until nice and thin.  Scoop the apple filling evenly onto the 2 prepared pastry sheets. Spread all over.  Gently, roll each dough with the filling, flattening it a little as you go.  Place seam down on the prepared sheet.  Cut 3-4 slits into each strudel.  Coat each of them with a little butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tsp sugar onto each strudel.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes.  Gently, cut each strudel into slices and enjoy!

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