BANANA WALNUT BREAD

Lucky me! All of my bananas went soft and the skins were starting to turn brown and as I was about to throw them out my hubs ran into the kitchen in slow motion screaming “NOOOOO MAKE BANANA BREAD!!”… ok maybe it wasn’t that dramatic.
I really just wanted to lay in bed and finish dying from this flu, but I pulled out the old recipe book and whipped this up. It’s so good with a lot of butter * I also put cheese on mine, don’t judge me, I love cheese <3*  Man am I glad I thought to make this 😉
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1cups sugar
  • 12cup butter or 12 cupmargarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1cups mashed very ripe bananas (3-4 medium)
  • 1cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8X4 inch) loaf pans.
  2. In large bowl, mix sugar and butter. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and nuts (if using) just until moistened. Pour batter into pans.
  4. Bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool about 1 hour before slicing.

TIP : If you don’t have buttermilk, you can add 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes before using in your recipe 🙂

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I’m bringing this yummy warm bread toFiesta Friday, a party by Angie of the Novice Gardener. This week it’s co-hosted by the lovely Julianna @Foodie On Board and Hilda @Along The Grapevine

CHEESY BACON JALAPENO BISCUITS

There will be no conversation, just go to your kitchen and make this. NOW!!!! Thank me later!

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of crescent rolls (you can use biscuits too)
  • Cheese (Whatever type you like, I used velveeta)
  • 12oz or 16oz package of bacon, cooked
  • flour for dusting (optional)
  • jar of jalapenos

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line your baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly flour your work surface if you don’t want any crescent roll stickage.
  2. Unroll one can of crescent rolls (or 1/2 can of biscuits) on your work surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, press the seams together and lightly press & stretch a little into a nice rectangle. Add a layer of cheese (I like a pretty thick layer, & I use Velveeta because I love how it melts) & then add your layer of bacon and jalapenos. Unroll the remaining can of crescent rolls on top & press all the seems together both on top and all around.
  3. Using a pizza cutter or a knife (I prefer a pizza cutter) slice into squares. Place the entire thing on your baking sheet using a large spatula, working in batches if you need to. Lay all the squares right beside each other, just as they were before you sliced it. You want all the cut seams to be touching so that your cheese doesn’t leak out.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the top of the crescent rolls are lightly browned. Remove from the oven & cool on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes before digging in. The crescent squares will pull right apart. Serve & enjoy!

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I’m bringing this appetizer to the Fiesta Friday #64, hosted by the Amazing A because they are so so so delicious! I know they’ll go fast! Thank you to the wonderful hosts!! ,Ginger & Bread and Safari Of The Mind

LEMON SHRIMP SCAMPI

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes! I love making it in spring time because my glorious lemon tree is absolutely covered in huge lemons!

It’s flavorful, zesty, spicy, light and so fresh! I like this dish a lot more than the heavy, oily, creamy version that you’d find in restaurants. The flavorful sauce just soaks into the pasta and the leftovers taste even better the next day!

Here’s the recipe, definitely give it a try if you’re a lover of lemon and garlic!

Ingredients

8 garlic cloves, pressed or grated

2 lemons, zested and juiced

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied (reserve shells)

1/4 onion

1 pound thin linguini

2 tablespoons butter

1 small bunch parsley, leaves chopped

Directions

In a bowl, combine the garlic, zest and juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the shrimp. Set aside to marinate.

Meanwhile make a quick shrimp stock: In a small pot, over medium heat, add the shrimp shells and onion. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a bowl and discard the shells and the onion.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add a generous amount of salt. Add the linguine and cook until just tender, 2 minutes less than instructed on the package. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking water.

Heat a skillet over high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook until they turn pink and start to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate and add the reserved marinade. Let cook a few minutes then add about 1 cup of shrimp stock and about 1/2 cup pasta water. Continue to cook until sauce reduces by half. Add the zest and juice of the remaining lemon, the butter and the parsley and stir to combine.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in the shrimp and pasta and toss to combine with the sauce. Turn out into a serving bowl and serve immediately.

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I am submitting this recipe to the amazing Angie’s Fiesta Friday #61 at http://fiestafriday.net/2015/03/27/fiesta-friday-61/

FIFTY SHADES OF CHEESECAKE

OK..so maybe it’s not really 50 shades of cheesecakes but I’m making 50 cheesecakes today in two scrumptious flavors!

As usual my lovely husband came in the door yesterday saying “Ummm honey can you make a couple cheesecakes for my lovely friend who is NOT paying for them!? Thanks you’re the best!!”

Me “Ummm really!? REALLY”

WHY DO MEN ALWAYS DO THIS!!! GRRRR!!

*OK happy thoughts, happy thoughts, breathe ooooosaahhhhh*

So now I’m up at 8 am *not a morning person* prepping my pans and ingredients. I decided to do a classic cherry and a spicy chocolate cheesecake with raspberries. I love making mini cheesecakes, because it keeps us * meaning my husband* from eating too big of a slice! Portion control is key around here, as we say in Trinidad, his eyes are bigger than his belly, and that means he tries to eat too much! 😀

What’s your favorite cheesecake flavor? Below I put the basic recipe I use, play with the flavors, try different extracts and crusts, you can make so many variations!

  • 1 1⁄2 cups graham cracker crumbs(your preference) or 1 1⁄2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (your preference) or 1 1⁄2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (your preference)
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line cupcake tin with cupcake papers (24).
  3. Combine crumbs, sugar and butter; press equal portions onto bottom of cupcake papers.
  4. In large mixing bowl beat cheese until fluffy.
  5. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth.
  6. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  7. Spoon equal amounts into prepared cups (about 3 tbl per cup).
  8. Bake 20 minutes or until cakes spring back when touched lightly.
  9. Cool and chill.
  10. Garnish with fresh berries or sliced fruits; chocolate shavings; toasted coconut; or cake sprinkles for a festive look.

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I am bringing these little beauties to Fiesta Friday! I am feeling better and ready to party with all the guests and the co-hosts this week are Effie @Food Daydreaming and Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier, and lose a little weight, shooting for 25 lbs. So far I’ve lost 15lbs *yay me* but now the weight loss has slowed… or maybe it was that burger and animal fries and milkshake that I had at In n Out 😀 *shhhhh*

My friend and I are trying to cut out carbs, flour and rice, which makes meals a little difficult, since I am a bread fiend *sigh*. But I pulled out my trusty spiralizer and I was determined to make something healthy and delicious. I came up with Roasted lemon, garlic and herb chicken and a mushroom and veggie noodle stir fry.

It’s so much easier to eat veggies when they’re so bright and colorful and it feels like you’re eating pasta 😀 *and who doesn’t love guilt free veggie ‘pasta’*

What are you having for lunch today?

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BAKED ZITI

OK… so maybe I have a little thing going on for Italian food! I swear it’s my best friend’s fault and her name is Katherine Pagaaaannnnoooo * I just tried to pronounce it in her voice, not the same, I miss her and Italy and her cooking is so far away*… anyways, I digress! I decided to try this recipe because the seasonings looked about right! Am I the only one who chooses recipes based on what the seasonings look like? Show of hands!? *bunch of weirdos* 😀

This recipe turned out delicious and my small family of four devoured a meal made for 8! Well I guess if I didn’t starve them half to death while I took pics, I might have had some left overs for lunch! Here’s the recipe, have at  it! Bon Apetite or whatever! *insert weird hand gestures*

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb dried pasta (ziti or penne are best)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (8-oz) package shredded Italian cheese blend ( I used half and it was plenty cheesy)
  • basil, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over high heat, brown sausage, about 10 minutes. (I drain the oil to cut down on the fat)
  2. Add tomatoes, sauce, paste, Italian seasoning, dried pasta, and water. Stir to combine, cover and bring to a boil. Boil until pasta is al dente.
  3. Meanwhile; combine ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Stir ricotta mixture into pasta. Preheat oven to broil. Top skillet with shredded cheese and place in oven. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Keep a close eye on it or you will have crispy cheese pretty quick.
  5. Garnish with basil and serve. Easy peasy!

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LOADED TACO POTATO

SO…someone forgot to buy taco shells *points to husband*, therefor taco Tuesday became Loaded Taco Potato Tuesday and it just so happens that I like this twist very much!

I cooked up 1 lb of ground beef with a packet of Mc Cormick spicy taco seasoning. You can also mix up a batch of your own taco seasoning too, but I’ve been a little busy this week! Arghhh!

Bake a couple of spuds in the oven. I use the microwave, so much quicker. I stab the potato a few times, *great stress reliever when your husband forgets to buy taco shells 🙂*, coat with a little oil and some salt, and pop in the microwave for about 8 mins on each side or until tender. Or you can pierce, oil and salt your potato, wrap in foil and bake at 425F for about 45-60 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare all your favorite taco toppings. I use diced tomatoes, onion, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and cilantro.

Cut open your cooked potato and fluff with a fork, toss a tbsp of butter in there *or more, I won’t tell*… some salt and pepper and load on your taco toppings! Easy peasy!!! And oh so deliciousssss!

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PEACH COBBLER

Peach cobbler is probably the easiest dessert I make and it’s just perfect for a treat on a warm afternoon. My poor peach tree is struggling, so I used canned peaches this time around. But I have some hope because I spied a couple rosy pink buds forming!

Try this recipe, I’m sure it will fall into your regular recipe rotation 🙂

Ingredients

Batter

      • 1/2 cup melted butter
      • 1 cup flour
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 2/3 cup room temperature milk
      • 1 room temperature egg

Filling

    • 1 (28 ounce) cans sliced peaches, drained
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
  3. Stir in milk & egg.
  4. Pour evenly over melted butter.
  5. Combine peaches, sugar & spices and spread over batter-DO NOT STIR!
  6. Bake 35-45 minutes at 350°F until batter comes to the top and is golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream.

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BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Today I made my favorite breakfast! I deserved it after a super trying week! My lovely girl, Hailey, fell and hit her mouth pretty hard and now her front tooth is a little wiggly! * I’m so not ready for the missing tooth pictures yet*. So instead of making my usual waffle breakfast on a Sunday morning, I decided to make blueberry pancakes because they would be easier on her sore mouth * poor thing* 😦

Luckily I still had some blueberries left from our last adventure to the Santa Barbara Blueberry Fields. We go every year and fill a couple buckets and I freeze a some baggies so I can have them throughout the year! It’s so beautiful there and they don’t use pesticides! They even encourage you to eat your fill while you’re filling your bucket! 🙂

We always try to see who can find the biggest berries and as usual, I won!! yessss!

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Santa Fe grilled chicken

The weekend is finally here and we’re supposed to have perfect 80F weather! So that means, pulling out the old grill and getting it ready for months of use! *someone get me a virgin piña colada* 🍹

I love making my own rubs, they’re so versatile and you can experiment so much! I’d like to share with you one of my favorite rubs! It’s spicy, sweet, smoky and just tastes delicious!

You can use the grilled chicken in tacos, or on top of your favorite salad! I love adding avocado, cilantro, chopped onions and tomatoes with sour cream and cheese to these tacos with a squeeze of lime! AMAZZZINGGGGGG!!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper *or less if you’re 🐣*

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded thin (about 4 large breasts)

Preparation

1. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper, salt, pepper, cayenne and brown sugar. Stir in oil; mixture will be moistened but crumbly.

2. Generously rub chicken on all sides with chili mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to marinate (or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day).

3. Preheat gas grill to medium, or preheat broiler to high and set rack 6 to 8 inches from source of heat. Grill or broil chicken until firm, about 5 minutes per side. Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into thin strips.

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