Friday, April 28, 2017

Banana-Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love having overripe bananas because there are so many yummy things to make with them, like these amazing cookies. These are moist and super delicious, a perfect combo of banana and chocolate.  Yum!  Enjoy!
Yields 2.5-3 dozen cookies
Ingredients:
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-2 ripe bananas
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 1/2 cups flour
-1 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a couple of cookies sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In your electric mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Toss is the ripe peeled bananas and mix well.  Add baking soda, salt, vanilla and flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop dough onto prepared sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the sheets for 10 minutes.  Place cookies on wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Baked Cod with French Creole Sauce

I love fish and try to make it for my family at least once a week. This is a great way to enjoy a nice piece of cod.  It's quick, easy and delicious.  It's also got a very nice kick to it.  I like to serve ours with mashed potatoes and salad/veggies.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-olive oil cooking spray
-1 lb cod fillets (about 4 pieces)
-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
-1 Tbs lemon juice
-2 tsp dried parsley leaves
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Coat foil with olive oil cooking spray.  Place cod fillets on top.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Divide mixture evenly on top of each piece of cod.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Eggs in Purgatory

I have been wanting to make this for a long time, but always postponed it for so many reasons. Well, last week, I finally made it and I'm so glad I did because it's super delicious.  This recipe makes enough for 1 person, so plan accordingly if you plan on sharing.šŸ˜‰  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
-1 tsp dried basil
-2 large eggs
-salt and pepper
-1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions:
Heat oil in large skillet.  Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly and not letting the garlic brown.
Add tomatoes and basil.  Give it a good stir and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Carefully, break the eggs and place them on top of tomato mixture. Season the eggs with salt, pepper and Parmesan.  Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Carefully, pour that goodness onto serving plate. Make sure you have some sort of bread or rolls to dip into that tomato delight and the runny eggs.  YUM!  Enjoy!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Oven Roasted Ranch Vegetables

We absolutely love this simple side dish. It's quick, super filling and super delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1.5 lbs baby potatoes
-1 red onion
-1 lb asparagus
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 (1 oz) package ranch dressing dry mix
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cut the potatoes in half (or quarters, if they're really big).  Place on large baking sheet.  Half the onion, then slice and mix with the potatoes.  Break the woody ends of the asparagus and discard.  Break asparagus stems into 1.5 inch pieces and mix with the other veggies.  To the pan, add remaining ingredients. Mix very well, until all the veggies are evenly coated with the oil and spices.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Slow Cooker Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chicken Thighs

This is super easy to put together and the results are fantastic.  The chicken gets super tender and it literally melts in your mouth.  The spices are also a nice combo with such a nice flavor.  I like to serve ours with the individual potato gratins.  They are such a good match. Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 tsp paprika (smoked paprika works even better if you can find it)
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp seasoned salt
-1 Tbs dried dill
Directions:
Coat bottom of slow cooker with cooking spray.  Place chicken thighs on top.
In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients.  Rub evenly on all thighs.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hawaiian Pasta Salad

I love pasta salads.  They're easy, convenient, hearty and delicious; absolutely perfect for crazy, busy days.  This is one of my favorites because I always enjoy a good combo of ham and pineapple. Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For salad:
-1 lb garden rotini
-1 (20 oz ) can pineapple chunks
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-16 oz cubed ham
-5-6 green onions, chopped
-8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
For dressing:
-juice reserved from pineapple
-1/2 cup mayonnaise
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1 Tbs Dijon mustard
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp honey
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp pepper
Directions:
Cook pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain and place in salad bowl.  Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice for the dressing. Add pineapple and remaining ingredients to the pasta.  Give it a good stir.
In a separate bowl, combine all dressing ingredients.  Pour over pasta mixture.  Give it a good stir, cover and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours.  Serve and enjoy!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake

I recently made this for my daughter's birthday.  It's easy and so, so delicious!  Every bite is a piece of heaven with its decadence from the rich dark chocolate flavor.  The ganache on top is also dark chocolate and very rich and decadent.  YUM!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For cake:
-1 (15.25 oz) box dark chocolate fudge cake mix
-1 (18.2 oz) box dark chocolate fudge brownie mix
-4 large eggs
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1 1/4 cup water
For ganache:
-1 cup heavy cream
-12 oz dark chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a bundt cake pan with baking cooking spray (the one with butter and flour).  Set aside.
In your electric mixer's bowl, combine all cake ingredients.  Mix very well, then pour in prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Place pan with cake on wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.  Carefully, turn the cake on the wire rack and let cool completely.  Once cooled, carefully transfer onto serving plate.
Once all that is done, pour ganache ingredients in large saucepan.  Melt over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Give it a good stir until nice and smooth.  Pour that goodness on top of the cooled cake.  Enjoy and store any leftovers in the fridge. YUM!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Quick and Easy Honey-Garlic Shrimp

This is another delicious dish under 30 minutes, perfect for those busy nights.  I like to serve ours with rice and some sort of veggie on the side.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 lbs medium/large shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
-1/3 cup honey
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
Directions:
Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add the shrimp and cook until almost completely done.
While that's cooking, quickly stir together remaining ingredients.  Pour over shrimp.  Cook for another couple of minutes.
Serve immediately over rice, with plenty of that yummy sauce.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spinach-Chicken Salad with Avocado and Strawberries

I love quick and super tasty salads and this surely is one of those.  It's easy and super delicious, and quite filling too.  The marinade/dressing is the key to how tasty this is. Also, all the flavors combine beautifully.  Great salad!  Yum!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For marinade/dressing:
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
For salad:
-2 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
-6 oz baby spinach
-8 fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into chunks
-1 avocado, pitted and sliced
-1/2 small red onion, sliced
-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
-1/4 cup sliced almonds
Directions:
Combine all dressing ingredients.  Pour half into large ziploc bag.  Cut the chicken into chunks and place in bag with half the marinade.  Stir to combine and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours.
Heat up a nonstick large skillet.  When hot, add the chicken and sear until cooked through.  Remove from stove and let it cool for a little.
Assemble your yummy salad by topping your plate with spinach, strawberries, chicken, avocado, onion, feta, almonds and, of course, a drizzle of the super yummy dressing.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found here.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mexican-inspired sausage and pasta casserole

Oh, what a delight this quick meal is!  It's done in under one hour and it bursts with so much flavor! I use sage sausage for this, because it's our family's favorite, but you can use any bulk sausage you like, even the spicy kind.  The green salsa adds a lot of flavor as well.  And when you serve it make sure to add the fresh tomatoes and jalapeƱos.  Such a cheesy delight!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb rigatoni pasta
-1 lb bulk sage pork sausage
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-16 oz medium salsa verde
-8 oz shredded Monterey-Jack cheese
-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
-2 jalapeƱos, seeded, halved and sliced
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Cook the pasta for only 10 minutes.  Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage and onion, breaking the meat as it cook.  Once the meat is browned, stir in the green salsa.  Give it a good stir.
Place pasta on bottom of prepared pan.  Top with sausage mixture.  Sprinkle with the cheese all over the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Scoop onto plates and top with tomatoes and jalapeƱos.  Enjoy!

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