Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ripe bananas? make Bread!!

This is a great way to use up any over ripe bananas!
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mix sugar, oil, eggs, salt vanilla essence and mashed banana. 
Add baking powder to flour and sift; fold into sugar mixture. Do not overmix. 
Add nuts. 
Turn into lightly greased and floured bread pan. 
Bake at 350 degrees about 40-45 minutes or until a knife put in comes out clean

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken Escaloppes

This is a great way to cook chicken breasts - any leftovers taste delicious in a sandwich!

  • 1 cup  flour
    3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups  panko* or fine breadcrumbs
    4 chicken breasts, beaten down to a uniform thickness
  •   Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/2 cup oil ( I like using peanut oil)
    6 tbs butter
  • 2 tsp  capers
    2 tbs lemon juice and 1 tbs  chopped parsley
    picture by Quentin Bacon

1. Put the flour, eggs and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the eggs and coat thoroughly with the panko , pressing lightly.
2. Heat 1/4 cup of  oil. Add half  the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook over moderately high heat until browned. Stir in the capers, lemon juice and parsley; spoon over the chicken and serve.

Panko (パン粉?) is a variety of flaky bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods such as tonkatsu. Panko is made from bread electrically baked without crusts, and it has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breading found in Western cuisine.[1]Outside Japan, it is becoming more popular for use in Asian and non-Asian dishes, is often used on fish and seafood, and is often available inAsian markets and specialty stores. Increasingly, it is also available in many large supermarketsPanko is produced worldwide, particularly in Asian countries including JapanKoreaThailandChina and Vietnam

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Portabella mushrooms

5 Ways to Incorporate Portabella Mushrooms into Your Cuisine

The portabella mushroom is the largest of the edible fungi family. Its flat cap and fanned out gills can measure up to six inches in radius. It is considered the equivalent to a beef burger in some vegetarian recipes due to its savory flavor and thick meaty texture. These mushrooms are high in fiber and are fat, sodium and cholesterol free. Portabellas weigh in at about forty calories per four ounces (approximately a medium cap size). Incorporating portabella mushrooms into your cuisine can be a pleasant surprise to you and whomever you serve, especially if there is unfamiliarity with this tasty staple.


Clean about two large portabellas thoroughly. Cut off the stems and brush them with some extra virgin olive oil. Place in a skillet with about a quarter of a cup of the same olive oil. Sauté each mushroom on a medium flame while gently pressing on the top with a spatula. Occasionally you can flip them. Add a pinch or two of salt, pepper, garlic powder and a dash of red wine vinegar and soy or teriyaki sauce as you sauté. After about five to ten minutes when the portabella is well cooked remove and place on paper towels. Pat dry and slice into long strips. Cut the strips in half and add to any salad.


Making a portabella sandwich can be tricky due to its sometimes rubbery texture that can cause more chewing than swallowing. Therefore, follow the above sautéing directions but beforehand bake the caps for about ten minutes at three hundred and fifty degrees. This will remove a lot of moisture and make them a little crunchier. After you sauté them place on strong toasted bread like an Italian ciambella or onion roll.  Add sautéed onions, hot and/or sweet peppers prepared alongside the portabella. Pesto sauce goes well as a condiment.

Stuff ‘Em

Once again, sauté the portabellas along with minced onions, shallots, bell peppers and garlic. In a separate pot, boil water and prepare quinoa (a high protein grain found in most health food stores or better supermarkets). In a bowl grate mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Add basil, salt and pepper. Pour in the quinoa and sautéed vegetables and mix well. Pat dry the portabellas being sure to flatten down the gills. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and scoop your mixture into the gill side and serve.

Slide Chicken In-between

Brush two stemmed portabellas with a healthy amount of teriyaki sauce. Gently broil for about ten minutes on about three hundred degrees. Sauté a skinless chicken breast in white wine, garlic and lemon. Remove the portabellas, pat dry, put the chicken in-between on a bed of lettuce and eat like a sandwich or cut into pieces.


Make your own pizza or order one. Sauté two portabellas, cut into strips and arrange on the pizza like spokes on a wheel. If you make your own pizza, bake with the portabellas in the sauce first then add the 
cheese over them.

 About the Contributor: Deborah is a full time writer and blogger with a passion for cooking. She also enjoys writing about personal finance, bankruptcy, and credit repair and is a regular contributor at

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chocolate cake

Ill admit it - I am addicted to chocolate. BHG has the best recipe for a decadent chocolate cake...
Make sure you check out their website as they have amazing recipes!

  • 3    eggs (room temperature)
  • 2  cups   flour
  • 3/4  cup   cocoa powder
  • 1  tsp.  baking soda
  • 3/4  tsp.  baking powder
  • 3/4  cup  butter, room temperature
  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 2  tsp.  vanilla
  • 1-1/2  cups  milk
  • 3  oz.  grated dark  chocolate
  •   Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting,or Vanilla Sour Cream Frosting (recipe below)


1. Grease three 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Grease  and flour parchment paper and sides of pan then set aside. In a bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl: beat 2 minutes more. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low after each addition just until combined. Beat on medium to high 20 seconds more. Stir in grated chocolate. Divide batter among prepared pans. (If you do not have three pans, refrigerate remaining batter until ready to use.)
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.
4. Frost with desired frosting. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Makes 16 servings.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: In large mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup butter, softened and 2, 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened. Add 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in 3 cups powdered sugar and the 1/4 cup milk. Beat in remaining 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar to make a spreading consistency. Makes 4 cups.
Vanilla Sour Cream Frosting: In large mixing bowl combine 3/4 cup butter, softened and 3/4 cup sour cream, and 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 8 cups powdered sugar. Thin with buttermilk or milk to desired consistency. Makes about 4-1/2 cups.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Berry Tart

Better Homes and Gardens always has really good recipes, so i thought i would share one with you.

Serves 4


  •     Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2  tbs  sugar
  • 1  tsp  cornstarch (cornflour for my european friends)
  • 1/8  tsp  cayenne pepper
  • (A little cayenne pepper gives these tarts a pleasant hint of spice and distinct Mexican flair)
  • 1/4  cup  water
  • 1  cup  fresh blueberries
  • 1  cup  fresh raspberries
  • 1  tbs  sugar
  • 1/4  tsp  ground cinnamon
  • 4  sheets  frozen phyllo dough (9 x14-inch rectangles), thawed


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat four 4x2x1/2-inch rectangular tart pans that have removable bottoms with cooking spray; set aside. In a small saucepan stir together 2 tablespoons sugar, the cornstarch, and cayenne pepper. Stir in water and half of the blueberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Fold in remaining blueberries and the raspberries; set aside.
2. In small bowl stir together 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon. Place one sheet of phyllo on cutting board. Lightly coat with cooking spray; sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon sugar mixture. Repeat layering with remaining phyllo and sugar mixture, ending with cooking spray. With a sharp knife, cut phyllo stack in half lengthwise and crosswise, forming four rectangles. Ease rectangles into prepared tart pans.
3. Bake for 8 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown. Cool slightly; remove shells from pans. Spoon filling into shells just before serving. Serve warm or cool. Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lemon Shortbread

Melted white chocolate drizzled over the top makes all the difference. For even more lemon flavor, crush the lemon peel with some of the sugar. Use a mortar and pestle or small bowl and the back of a spoon to release the lemon oils.

3 cups  flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 tbs grated lemon peel
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups  butter, softened, cut up
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz. white chocolate

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 15x10-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk flour, 1 cup of the sugar, lemon peel and salt in large bowl.
2. With pastry blender (i use finger tips but make sure your hands are not too warm!) add butter and mxc until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Press dough into pan; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and prick all over with a fork.
3. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
4. While the shortbread is cooking,  put chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds until is melted and smooth. Drizzle over bars.
48 bars

Thanks to the Cooking club for this recipe

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Take something simple and turn it into a tastebud delight!
The secret to making a perfect grilled cheese sandwich is cooking it over low heat, which brings out the subtle flavors of a cheese, and slathering the bread with butter, which crisps it in the pan. Comte is nutty, semi hard, French cheese that when grilled melts into the soft, gooey, pull apart stringy cheese that you look for in a grilled cheese. 
The key to getting the flavor out of the comte is cooking over low heat, so it melts slowly
Serve with some home made tomato soup and YUM!!!

Butter (at room temperature)
4   slices sourdough bread
1 8-oz. piece comté cheese, grated
1. Butter both sides of each slice of bread. Put half the grates cheese on one slice and half on another. Top each with remaining bread slices. Heat a pan 9cast iron is best) over medium-low heat.
2. Add sandwiches to the pan and cook, flipping once with a metal spatula, until golden brown and crusty on both sides. Transfer sandwiches to a cutting board and slice in half with a knife. Serve warm.
Photo: André BaranowskiThanks once again to Saveur for inspiration

Monday, April 11, 2011

Aïoli with veggies

The success of this simple dish depends on the freshness of the vegetables; if you have a garden then this is the recipe for you.
Thanks to Saveur once again
5 lbs. of young vegetables such as beets, carrots,  asparagus, and new potatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 egg yolks 
1 cup  extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
1. Cook vegetables, one type at a time, in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until tender (cook beets last). Remove from water with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. Use a mortar and pestle to mash garlicinto a paste, then transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in egg yolks. Then, whisking constantly, drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and fresh lemon juice. Makes 1 cup aïoli.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Prime Rib

Serves 6 to 8
Look for a roast with an untrimmed fat cap (at least 1/2-inch thick); roasts that have been trimmed of their fat  tend to overcook at the surface.  Prime grade beef is the best but choice grade will work as well. To remove the roast from the bones, use a sharp knife and run it down the length of the bones, following the contours as closely as possible until the meat is separated from the bones. Open the oven door as little as possible but remove the roast from the oven while taking its temperature. If the roast has not reached the correct temperature (see step 3), heat the oven to 200 degrees for 5 minutes, shut it off, and continue to cook the roast until it registers 126 to 128 degrees. The roast can be served plain or with one of the  sauces *.

1 (7-pound) first-cut beef standing rib roast (3 bones), meat removed from bones, bones reserved
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
 1. Using sharp knife, cut slits in surface layer of fat, spaced 1 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern, being careful to cut down to, but not into, meat. Rub 2 tablespoons salt over entire roast and into slits. Tie meat back onto bones exactly from where it was cut, passing length of twine between each set of bones and one lengthwise around widest part of roast underneath ribs. Place the roast on a large plate and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Sear meat-side of roast on all sides until browned, 6 to 8 minutes, spending more time on sections with thick fat cap. Flip and sear bone-side of roast for 1 minute. Transfer roast, fat-side up, to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and season with pepper. Roast until meat-probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 110 degrees, 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours.
3. Turn off oven; leave roast in oven, opening door as little as possible, until meat-probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 126 to 128 degrees, 60 to 90 minutes longer.
4. Remove roast from oven (leave roast on baking sheet), tent loosely with aluminum foil, and rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 75 minutes.
5. Adjust oven rack about 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Remove foil from roast, form into 3-inch ball, and place under ribs to elevate fat cap. Broil until top of roast is well-browned and crisp, 2 to 8 minutes.  
6. Transfer roast to carving board; cut twine and remove ribs. Slice meat into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Season interior of slices with salt and serve.
*Mustard-Cream Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
 1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Whisk sour cream, heavy cream, yolks, mustard, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and sugar together in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to serving bowl, stir in chives, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
*Horseradish Cream Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
 ½ cup heavy cream
½ cup prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Whisk cream in medium bowl until thickened but not yet holding soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Gently fold in horseradish, salt, and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Bacon Butty

(Thanks to Saveur and author Tim Hayward for this info!)

Though the Brits claim roast beef andYorkshire pudding or fish and chips as their national dish, neither has an ancient provenance. The family pig, on the other hand, preserved in the salt that surrounds their island, slapped between two slices of bread, and dubbed a butty, a piece, a wedge, a doorstep, a sanger, or a sarnie, depending on your region of origin, is older than our monarchy, and probably more important to them.

The bacon sandwich is one of the few truly egalitarian foods, served in the most unhygienic of greasy spoon cafés and greedily unwrapped from fine linen on freezing grouse moors, from the northernmost reaches of Scotland to England's Cornish peninsula. It is the corrupting nemesis of vegetarians and a sovereign hangover cure. There are opinions aplenty on the type of bread to be used, ketchup or brown sauce, smoked or unsmoked bacon, the possible addition of an egg, and a million other variations. To have a favorite version is one of the Englishman's most dearly held liberties, yet the bacon sandwich in any form unifies the nation.

"Chef Fergus Henderson has long championed such simple British food. At St. John Bar and Restaurant in London, he serves what I regard as the ur-bacon sandwich: smoked back bacon from Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs on thick slices of grilled white bread. Of course, Henderson has a theory about its appeal: "We all react the same way to the smell of frying bacon. Rather like chocolate produces the same endorphins as falling in love does, bacon speaks to us all. Once slipped between white, crusty bread and smeared with brown sauce… now we're talking!" —Tim Hayward, editor of Fire & Knives "

This beloved British sandwich uses a meaty cut of pork from the loin of the pig, commonly referred to in North America as back bacon. Tangy HP Sauce makes a mouthwatering counterpoint to the salty meat


3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
6 slices back bacon
1 crusty round roll, halved and lightly toasted
2 tbsp. HP Sauce

Heat 1 tbsp. butter in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, turning once, until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, spread remaining butter on top and bottom of roll. Place bacon on bottom half and top with HP Sauce. Cover with roll top.
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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.