Friday, July 27, 2012

What to do on a Friday? Bake banana bread!

I adapted this recipe from the Southern Living cookbook. I just love all the classic recipes you can find from there. I came across this banana bread recipe and couldn't just make it how it said to. I had to put the "Emily spin" on it. So I came up with this version, and it happens to be my favorite so far.

Banana Walnut Bread: or muffins

Bake time for loaf: 50min-1hr.
bake time for muffins: start with 18min.-20min. time will depend on your oven, may need more or less time

2 cups self rising flour. If you don't have self rising, you can make your own.
          1c self rising= 1c. all purpose + 1 tsp. baking powder + 1/2 tsp. salt. Yahoo!
1c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, depending how much you like
1c. chopped toasted walnuts
1/2c. butter melted, don't even think about using margarine. :)
3 very ripe bananas mashed. Now you have another use for that potato masher!
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1/4c. low fat buttermilk
1tsp. vanilla extract

Now, this is the time to decide if you want muffins or a loaf. Or double the recipe and have both! I chose to do both this time because I was sending some to a friend or two and for my family there are people who like nuts, don't like nuts, and then there's my hubby who doesn't touch the stuff unless there be some chocolately chippies (that is, chocolate chips) in there. So when the mix is complete and before you add nuts, you can choose what you want to do.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, unless you don't want nuts; make a well in the center of the mixture. After that, in a separate bowl, mix melted butter, banana, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Once combined then pour the mixture in the dry. Stir with a wooden spoon till all the dry is incorporated.

At this point you can pour the batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan, or you can line muffin tins with liners and make muffins. It will probably make 24 decent sized muffins. I like using an ice cream scoop to make sure each muffin is about the same so they cook evenly. Muffins will take less time and are fun for kids to eat. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Time Meal

The other day I made a very yummy, and summer friendly salad for dinner. I thought I would post the recipe for those who wanted a low cal, easy, summer meal.
Asian Chicken Salad: serves 4

(chicken marinade)
2-3 lg. chicken breasts
1/4c. Ken's light olive oil vinegerete
1/4c. Newman's low fat ginger and sesame dressing
1 T. honey dijion mustard
1/2tsp. salt
1/4tsp. fresh cracked pepper

(Salad ingredients)
1 lg. head of washed, and chopped romaine lettuce
1 bag of coleslaw mix, no dressing (green and red cabbage, and carrot)
1 red bell pepper, julienned
 1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
2 green scallions, thinly sliced
2 T. fresh chopped cilantro
Simply add desired amount of Newman's low fat sesame ginger dressing. *Only add a little at a time, so you don't wilt the lettuce too much.

 Mix chicken with the marinade ingredients, and put in a plastic zip bag, and then place that bag in a bowl. Let the chicken marinade for several hours in the fridge. When you are ready to make the salad, pull the chicken out of fridge and let stand for 10 minutes as the grill warms up to med-hi heat. Cook chicken till it's cooked through (165 degrees). Discard any of the remaining marinade. As the chicken grills, mix all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix in a little of the dressing and toss. I would start with 2 or 3 tablespoons, then go from there. Once chicken is done. Let it rest for 5-10 min so the juices stay with the chicken. Then slice the chicken. Put several cups of the salad on each plate and then fan out several pieces of chicken onto each plate. The grill gives the chicken such great flavor, without adding a ton of oil or fat. I garnished the plate with a couple wedges of fresh lime. Have each person squeeze fresh lime over their own plate just before eating. It brighten's up all the flavors. Enjoy! We sure did.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Crepes for Breakfast

I love making pancakes for my family on the weekend. But I also love changing it up a bit. Pancakes, waffles, and of course CREPES! Crepes are a wonderful vessel for fresh fruit and cream or delicious nutella and bananas. So here is a recipe for how the Boyd family rocks their crepes.
Strawberry and Cream Crepes: 4 eggs 2c. flour 2c. cold milk 1/4c. butter, melted 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tsp. sugar Mix all ingredients in a blender or my new favorite...use a hand blender. It's less mess to clean up. Get a round non-stick sauce pan and heat over med. to med.-low heat. Use a little butter to coat the pan so the crepe doesn't stick. Pour a 1/4-1/2 cup of batter in the pan and gently swirl the batter around so it covers the pan evenly. Using a spatula, run it around the edges of the crepe after a minute on the pan to loosen it up. Then give it another 30 sec. to a minute until just slightly golden, and flip with the spatula for another 30 sec. Once you have a couple crepes made, it's time to assemble! This is the best part. You can pretty much add anything you wanted to the crepe. For me, I love sliced fresh strawberries with a pinch of sugar and some fresh homemade whipped cream (see below for whip cream recipe). Top the crepe with a couple more strawberries, roll it up and enjoy! Homemade Whip Cream: 1c. heavy whipping cream 2T. sugar 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract Whip all ingredients in a mixing bowl till light and fluffy. Use this to top just about any yummy dessert or breakfast item. Or if you're like me and my awesome sister Lauren, get two spoons and share with a buddy! Haha.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Family BBQ

It was such a beautiful day here in Portland. The sky was blue and the temp was only 80 degrees. That put me into BBQ mode. So here are the recipes I came up with for our family BBQ. Guacamole Burger: 4 servings 1-1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef salt and pepper to taste 4 T. BBQ sauce 4 slices colby jack cheese Evenly divide the beef into 4 patties. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and once you flip the burger, add a tablespoon of BBQ sauce to each burger and then the cheese on top . Finish cooking a couple more minutes till desired doneness. Pull off the grill and assemble the guacamole burger! Guacamole: 3-4 avocados 1/4 diced red onion 1 tomato, seeded and diced Juice of a lime salt and pepper 8 dashes of hot sauce 1-2 T. chopped cilantro We had this with fresh fruit, and chips and salsa. I made fresh pico de gallo that was so delish! Here's the recipe for the pico. Pico de gallo: 3 tomatos(on the vine), diced 1/4 red diced onion 2 T. chopped cilantro salt and pepper to taste juice of a lime 1/4 tsp. lime zest Mix all together and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Plum Tart

It's been a while since I have last posted a recipe. With a new baby, husband graduating with his MBA and a move with a 11 hour drive, I have been a wee bit busy. But after having a wonderful conversation, part of which included recipes, with my Aunt Laurie I had to post this plum tart recipe. It was fun to chat with her about how my grandma Rosie (her mother) loved Ina Garten's recipes. I think had they ever met they would be good friends. Haha. She was known for her special touches she put into things. Much like what I think Ina Garten tries to do as well. Simple ingredients, great quality, and little touches to make a dish oh so special. After learning that Rosie was into tarts and crisps for a while, I had to post this plum tart recipe. Might I suggest this recipe be made on a summer day? We have moved to Portland, OR and with summer approaching how can you not go to the farmer's market, pick out the freshest plums and create this fun treat?!? Ina Garten's Plum Tart: Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced 1 egg yolk 2 pounds firm, ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly. Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in. Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it's lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.