Friday, May 21, 2010

Go-To Recipe for Banana Bread

To say that David loves banana bread is an understatement.  He adores me when I make this recipe, so obviously it's a Dave's Fave.  Well, we had a few overly ripe bananas laying around on the counter, so I decided to whip this up.  This is a perfect breakfast snack for him in the morning before work.

I've tried a few banana bread recipes and this one is by far my favorite.  It's quick and easy and you can make little additions here and there if you want.  There is no need for a mixer, just sitr it all up with a wooden spoon.  Want to add a little nutmeg?  Go ahead.  Want to add a few chocolate chips?  No harm, no foul.  Want to add some nuts?  I don't know why you would because they're gross, but go right ahead if you please.  Once prepared the bread should look something like the below picture, beautifully and unevenly cracked down the middle.  Enjoy!

Banana Bread

3-4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.  Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.  Add the flour last, mix. 

Pour mixture into a butter 4x8 inch loaf pan.  Bake for one hour. 

Cool on a rack. 

Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hearty Chicken & Noodle Casserole

Here's a quick and easy recipe that I made on Tuesday night.  I clipped this recipe out of a coupon book in the Sunday paper a looooooong time ago.  This is a Campbell's Soup recipe and it's a nice and healthy alternative to most casseroles with a good amount of flavor. 

Of course, I made a few alterations and one addition.  The addition wasn't healthy, but was good.  Maybe if I had used turkey bacon I could still say we were trying to be reallllly healthy...but I didn't.  However, the three bites of bacon in my serving didn't kill me or my waistline.

Hearty Chicken and Noodle Casserole
Revised from Campbell's version (changes in red)

1 can (10 1/2 oz.) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup (I used the 98% Fat Free version)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I used a little more, about 3/4 cup each of frozen peas and frozen corn)
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I boiled then cubed two chicken breasts)
2 cups medium egg noodles, cooked and drained (I used whole grain thin spaghetti)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 strips of bacon, cooked

1. Stir soup, milk, black pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, vegetables, chicken and noodles in 1 1/2-qt. casserole dish.  Top with cooked, crumbled bacon.

2. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot.  Stir.

3. Top with Cheddar cheese.

Makes four servings.

David and I polished this off last night.  Yum!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fast Food Drive-Thru Decorum

This is totally random, but I had this thought today while I was getting lunch...

What is proper etiquette when you're waiting for your food in a drive-thru?  I always feel weird and don't know where to look. 

Do you look inside the fast food establishment?  That seems weird because it's like your staring at them and almost hurrying them along.  Don't get me wrong, if they mess something up with my order I'll watch just to make sure they don't spit in my food/drink.  This is especially the case when I order a specialty coffee drink at certain drive-thrus...::cough:: McDonald's ::cough, cough::... 

Do you fiddle with your radio, cell phone or iPod?  Just to keep from staring inside...

Or do you do what I typically do, pretend like I'm staring at something out the windshield.  Maybe "people watch" at other patrons as they walk in/out the front door.  You want to be able to see the drive-thru window out of your peripheral vision...but not stare...yet, be prepared when they pop their arm out the window with your prepared bag of food.

The one time I can feel completely at ease with this whole situation is when someone else is in the car with me.  That way, I can carry on a conversation with my friend and just casually look over in the window from time to time.  Just to check in on the situation.  That's the best.

Am I the only one that doesn't know how to act when alone in a drive-thru?  And how do you normally act?  What's the proper etiquette in this situation?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I apologize in advance for the pic of this does it absolutely no justice!  However, my digital camera took an unexpected nose drive to the concrete a few weeks ago and I have yet to play with and figure out how David's works.  So, crackberry pic it is!  Again, sorry for the fuzziness!

This dessert was deeeeeeelish and I will definitely be making it again!  This is perfect for Mexican food days at work as the dessert, which is why I made it.  It's always hard to figure out what to make for a Mexican dessert...flan or tres leches  Sopapilla cheesecake is a score amongst all taste testers, promise! 

David even loved this and he doesn't like cheesecake, therefore I'm labeling it a "Dave's Fave" in this post.  In fact, he was requesting I make them AGAIN this weekend.  No such luck for him, I was out of crescent rolls and cream cheese.

Another big positive for this recipe: it's a cinch to whip up and you'll be done in less than an hour, baking time included.  I made it the morning of and got ready for work while it was in the oven.

I found this recipe in my cookbook from an old email my mom forwarded me from one of her co-workers.  I have nooooo idea where it came from, otherwise I would quote the source.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cans of crescent rolls (leave crescents in refrigerator until ready to use)
1 stick REAL butter (melted)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. 

Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla with mixer until smooth. 

Spray bottom of 9x13 pan.  Put one can of crescent rolls on bottom of pan.  Spread cream cheese mixture over crescent rolls.  Put another can of crescent rolls over mixture.

Melt 1 stick of real butter.  Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to butter and stir well.  Pour over the top of crescent rolls.

Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes.

Great served cold...unbelieveable served warm with vanilla ice cream.
(*we just had them cold, I'll have to warm them up and serve with ice cream next time!)

Yum!  Make it soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mansfield Park

I would be lying if I didn't say that it took me a while to get into this book.  And then I had no time to finish it!  I've been on the last 50 pages for the last couple weeks.  But, I finally finished it last night...right after I finished my JH scrapbook.

Fanny is the definite protagonist of this book and I have to say that I felt sorry for her throughout most of the book.  Her family is poor and because of this she's shipped off to live with her aunt and uncle at Mansfield Park.  She also lives with her four cousins, all of which are snotty and spoiled...with the exception of Edmund.  Edmund is truly the only one that treats Fanny with any tact.  Fanny is always being reminded of how grateful she should be and how she shouldn't be outspoken because she's not of the same class as her cousins.  How would you like being told every single day how lucky you are to be allowed to live in this mansion when you really deserve to live in a shack?  Because Edmund is the only decent one she soon develops a school girl-type crush on him.

Once this background information is laid, the bulk of the book is about how a brother and sister pair, Henry and Mary Crawford, affect all the members of this family.  Henry catches the eye of one of Fanny's cousins, one that is engaged...and once she's married Henry decides to pursue Fanny instead.  Mary catches Edmund's eye, but is disappointed in his salary potential when she discovers he wishes to be a pastor.  A little materialistic?  Yes.  Everyone (and their dog) are shocked that Fanny dismisses the attentions of Henry Crawford...after all, he is rich!  That's all you should consider in a life partner, right?  Riiiiiight.  But, Henry's morals are askew and Fanny knows it.  In fact, later Henry has an affair with the engaged (and then married) cousin after Fanny's rejection.  Mary does her brother's dirty work and tries to keep this affair as quiet as possible, but does not display any feelings of impropriety at the lovers' actions.  This turns Edmund's affections southward despite the fact that he knows a marriage with her would be impossible after this scandal. 

Essentially, the entire family is distraught between this scandal and a couple of other side stories (a sickness and desperate elopement on the other cousin's parts).  In the end, Edmund discovers his true love for Fanny and they marry, much to Fanny's glee.

This book is...OK.  If you have a chance to read it quickly over a short period of time, I would suggest reading it that way.  Perhaps on a couple long plane rides.  But, spreading it out over a period of got dull for me, which then caused me to take longer to finish.  You have to read 5-10 pages to get back into the story each time, otherwise it's pretty dry writing.  On a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a 6 because the story is's just getting into the story that takes a while.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inspection and Sale Time!

OK, so I haven't said anything because I'm scared half to death that I'm going to jinx it, but I have a buyer for my house!  He is pre-approved and we have a signed contract. Tomorrow afternoon is the inspections and I'm crossing my fingers that everything will go well!  Barring any unforeseens, we will be closing on May 21st.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Everything has gone relatively smooth thus far, I just hope that continues!

So, guess what all this immediacy means...I'm finally having my garage sale!  Actually, it just means that I've been too lazy to host one yet and now I don't have an excuse.  And next weekend is just too hectic...David has one of his groomsmen coming in town for graduation (PhD, woot woot!) that also needs to be fitted for his tux, plus we have to make a mini-trip to Kansas for a wedding.  Oh yes, and I have a friend that is graduating with her bachelor's degree.  Then, the weekend after that will be AFTER get the picture.  This weekend is IT!

While I am ready emotionally for this garage sale, I am soooo not prepared...yet.  I will have all evening Friday to's probably going to be a loooooong night.  While most everything is out in the garage...none of it is organized or priced. Yippee for me! (this is when you really need a sarcasm font)

Wish me luck on all of the above...and I promise I will be a better blogger soon.  Between house, wedding, Junior Hospitality stuff and life in general, I just have no time right now!

Speaking of the wedding, did I mention we have set up the tuxedo rental, booked the rehearsal dinner and started two registries?  All this past weekend.  Go us!

It's all coming together...


Related Posts with Thumbnails