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.