Thursday, August 30, 2012

Elvis loaf aka: Peanut butter Banana Bread

(Thanks for the catchy name suggestion, Mom!)

Since Bubba is over a year now it is ok to give him peanut butter. The other day I gave him some peanut butter toast for breakfast and he loved it. So much that he barely touched his banana, one of his favorite fruits. So I got an idea. Peanut butter banana bread! I enlisted my brother Tim's help since we would be modifying his banana bread recipe. Here is what we came up with:

3/4 stick of butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3 eggs
2 bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream the butter and the sugar.

Add the peanut butter.

Add the eggs.

Add the dry ingredients.

Mix well.

Oops! We were so excited we forgot to take a pic of them in the muffin tins before baking! 
But I'm sure you know what that looks like :)
Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes.


Bubba loves them!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pot Stickers

Another of my brother Tim's specialties. Usually my Tim and I made an untraditional Thanksgiving dinner, the day after Thanksgiving. One year we decided to try potstickers and the recipe has evolved over the years. As usual I will let Tim describe his methods...

This one's undergoing continual refinement, they're still not as good as my favorite Chinese restaurant's (have to try rice flour one day) so the ingredients and their amounts should be taken very liberally.

For the filler, I used a packet of ground pork meat, ginger (about the size of my thumb), chives (a lot), a splash of wine, about 2 tsp of corn starch, sesame oil and various spices (off the top of my head: onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper). And this time, (remember, continual refinement) I blended it in the Cuisinart; very messy, but much better consistency than trying to finely chop the ginger. 

The dough is a very simple recipe. It's a two-to-one ratio of flour to warm water. So I think I started with 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of water, but I almost definitely made more because a package of ground meat goes along way. (Don't overstuff! You'll see why)

So anyway, knead the dough until it's a nice consistency but not sticky.

Pinch off a bit of dough with some flour and a bowl of water on standby. Flatten out the bit of dough and cut it in half into two triangularish shapes.

This one looks nice but it and some of it's brothers were massive,
which makes them too doughy, and they leaked

Place a spoonful (no more) in the center and fold (somehow)

Cut off the extra bit of dough that will form around the edges. This also creates a nice seal.

Squeezing out the last bit of dough

Heat oil in a wok (peanut oil plus a splash of sesame works best), high temperature and when hot throw in 2 or three potstickers and fry them for about a minute.

Then, (this is the tricky bit) add some water (I'm still working on how much, best results seems to be less than 1/2 a cup) and cover the wok immediately.

To make sure the meat's completely cooked, I recommend leaving them in for at least ten minutes. If they're not browned when you uncover them, you've added too much water. fry them a little longer uncovered. Between batches you may have to dump out or even scrub the wok (another reason we don't overstuff)

For sauce, Teriyaki and a little chili oil works nice. Or Hoisin if you prefer sweet

Bubba says "No chili oil for me, thanks. Not after that time with the over spiced mushrooms!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


My husband is a night owl. Usually when he is up late it was because he was grading papers or playing Halo on Xbox live. One morning I noticed an email from him. It said "We have got to get this set of pots and pans!" and had a link to the Orgreenic site
Normally he is not an infomercial person, and does not really like to cook so I was surprised that he even paid attention to the commercial at all. But the video was quite impressive. With no cooking spray they could swirl and egg around in the pan with out a spatula and slide it off in to the plate. At one point I think they blow on an egg with the pan flipped at and angle and it magically flies out.
Our pots and pan set has been dwindling down to almost nothing. As the teflon on one gets a chip I throw it out, but hadn't really replaced any. And since we found out we were moving we thought "Great! We'll just toss out the crappy pans and buy a new set at the new place. Less packing!" So the other day when I saw one of these pans at the end of the aisle at Walmart it seemed like the perfect opportunity to "test" out these pans before buying a whole set. Now for the next couple of weeks it is my mission to "beat the crap" out of this pan to see if they are really as amazing as they look.

Anyway my brother Tim and I decided Crepes would be a really good nonstick test for these pans and it worked well because we had a lot of little left over smoked and grilled meat in the fridge, but not enough of any one thing to make a bigger meal. That's why crepes are great, you can throw almost anything into them. 

Here is what you'll need for the batter.
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup water
4 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour
a pinch of salt

Mix all the wet ingredients together.

Then whisk in the flour and salt.

Add a little oil to a pan and heat it over medium high heat. When the oil begins to bubble add about 1/4 cup of batter. Quickly swirl the pan around to form a circle of batter.

Cook until the edges begin to curl and it is no longer wet in the center.

Flip then cook for about 30 more seconds.

Just like the infomercial it slid out of the pan nice and smoothly! If this pan holds up we may have to buy the whole set after all.

Nice stack of crepes waiting for filling.

I put left over smoked chicken, some bacon, and cheddar cheese in mine.

Fold the sides over and Ta-Da!

Bubba had smoked chicken and corn with a cut up crepe. Looks like he liked it! 
(They taught him to do "Touch Down!" which now since he gets every one else to do it too, he often starts "The Wave" at the dinner table when he is happy with his meal.)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

3 Ingredient Healthy (sort of) Cake

A while ago, I noticed a new recipe from one of my favorite recipe blogs Kirby's Cravings. This is usually my go to site for mug cake recipes, but this one intrigued me. It was for a 3 ingredient healthy cake. My mom is sort of a health nut lately so you always have to let her know what is in everything you make so she can calorie count it on My Fitness Pal which is a free calorie counter website. I did if for a while, but then I decided I don't care about calories. Besides Bubba has me run around so much now that he is totally mobile walking, crawling and climbing that I burn a lot of calories a day. Plus I'm on the "I share my food with the baby diet" which means if we have something he really likes he eats all of his portion and then half of mine cause I don't want to get up and cut up some more for him, so I let him have mine. Anyway this healthy cake sounded like something good to make, the original recipe called for chocolate cake mix, but all we had was white cake. I figured it would do just fine, and my husband likes white chocolate better than regular (weirdo), but I couldn't resist adding some mini chocolate chips I found in the pantry so I'm not sure how healthy it ended up.

1 cup lowfat greek yogurt
1 cup water
1 box cake mix 
1 cup of mini chocolate chips- (this would be the not healthy addition to the recipe)

Hmm. Looks like cake batter...

Pour in 13x9 baking dish and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Not too bad! They came out a little like a mix between blond brownies and cheesecake.