Friday, September 24, 2010

Whole-Wheat Banana Nut Muffins

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey (or 1/4 c. sugar if you prefer, or I did 2 T. sugar and 2 T. honey)
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed very ripe bananas (about three bananas)
1/3 c. low-far sour cream or plain yogurt
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. nuts, chopped (pecans or walnuts)
1/4 c. packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with liners--you'll need about 15-16.

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, honey (if using), and butter. Add each egg in one at a time, combining completely after each addition but not over-mixing. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined (don't over-mix).

Divide the batter evenly (so the cups are about 2/3 full) among 15-16 muffin tins. Combine the chopped pecans and brown sugar and sprinkle them on top of the batter. Bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to finish cooling. Serve with breakfast or as a snack.

Note 1: My friend Julia hit me up to this lovely site, where I found the recipe for these muffins. They are really, really excellent. I was able to get a dozen regular-sized ones and a dozen mini muffins. So some for me and the husband and some for the kid! We all loved them. Also note that I love nuts IN my muffins, so I added an additional 1/4 cup chopped walnuts to the batter.

Note 2: These are similar to these, but not quite the same. I like the addition of nuts, as well as the sour cream/yogurt.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meat and Bean Burritos

recipe from Bridgette

1 can pinto beans
1 can diced green chilis
1 cup salsa
1/2 to 1 pound ground beef
1 diced medium onion
shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream and extra salsa for toppings

Brown hamburger and onions together in skillet, add salt and pepper to taste. When the meat is cooked, drain the fat off, put in a separate bowl, and wipe the skillet down with a paper towel. While hamburger is cooking empty beans and chilis in a pot and heat over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Be careful, do not let the beans begin to stick to bottom of pan, you may need to cook them on low! Remove the beans from heat when they are finished and use a potato smasher to mash them up. Then add salsa and as much cheese as you want to make a completely delicious pot of bean goop! Spread the bean mixture down the middle of a tortilla, add some meat mixture, then fold the sides in and roll up your burrito. Then put the burrito in the skillet you cooked the meat in and brown on each side. This makes them crunchy and yummy! Top with toppings and serve with black beans or rice. I use a package of Spanish rice from the store. When we have beans I cook them in a pot with the juice of 1 lime! SO YUMMY!

e-notes: Our family really loves these burritos. So simple, yet so tasty. I pretty much do everything as said. I do a pound of ground turkey. I also just use one skillet - I brown my meat and onions, then I add the beans and when warmed I smash them with the potato masher. Then I add the can of green chilies and the salsa and cheese. I just mix everything up together and then spread the mixture down the center of my tortillas. I spray my burritos with cooking spray to help them crisp up when browning the filled tortillas on the skillet - using low-fat ground turkey usually doesn't leave a lot of grease to "fry" them on. I love browning the burritos on the skillet because it kind of "seals" them up and makes them less floppy - which makes them so much easier to eat for my little kids.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chicken Fajita Melt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
8 (1/2 inch thick) slices French bread
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook and stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the sliced onions and red peppers, and cook and stir for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the tomato juice and taco seasoning, and mix well. Cook mixture until the juice has thickened and the chicken is well coated with sauce, about an additional 7 minutes.

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.

Spread 2 tablespoons of salsa over each slice of French bread. Evenly spoon the chicken mixture on top of the salsa topped bread. Sprinkle each sandwich with 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese.

Place sandwiches under the preheated broiler and cook for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Notes: We won't drink tomato juice, so I couldn't see buying an entire thing of it just for half cup. However, I found that you can mix tomato sauce or tomato paste with water to get the juice. If using sauce, use a 1:1 ratio (so use 1/4 c. sauce and 1/4 c. water to get 1/2 c. juice). If using paste, then you'll need a 4:1 ratio (four parts water to one part paste). They were really tasty!

Taco Seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all together and use like you would use a packet of taco seasoning you buy. This makes enough for one pound of meat; you could easily make more and store it until you're ready. If you make more, then note that one serving would be 2 T and 2 t.

I didn't have sea salt and used regular salt. This recipe has less sodium than the packets, so that's good news.