Mini Banana Bread Loaves

Banana Bread 1Like a mindless robot, I always buy bananas every time I go grocery shopping. And then I come home to find my fruit bowl full of bananas I still haven’t eaten. Please tell me I’m not the only one that does that?! So my options are eat some bananas; freeze some bananas; or make something with the extra bananas. Today I chose the last option. I decided to make mini loaves so I am not committed to having to eat a whole size loaf in a few days. And I can always freeze or give away the others. But you are more than welcome to make a whole size loaf.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter or use baking spray on 3 mini loaf pans (5.75 x 3 x 2 inch) or one loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inch)
  3. Cream both sugars and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a small bowl mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
  6. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  7. Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined.
  8. Add dry ingredients, mixing until flour disappears.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 40-45 minutes. (1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes if making regular size loaf.)
  10. Insert toothpick into center of a loaf to check if done. If toothpick comes out clean it is done.
  11. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan and place back on rack to completely cool before slicing.

Banana Bread 2

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Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

Bacon Wrapped Hotdog 3Okay, let me warn you that this recipe is not for the faint of heart. I do not claim that it is healthy or good for you in any way. So now that full disclosure has been stated, let me just say one word, bacon. Crispy, tasty bacon. The star of this recipe. It’s not really even much of a recipe. You need one piece of bacon per hot dog and a little brown sugar. That’s it.

First wrap a piece of bacon around your hot dog. Continue to do this until you have wrapped desired amount of hot dogs. You might need toothpicks to hold in place.

Bacon Wrapped Hotdog 1

Heat a skillet on medium high and add a tablespoon of butter. Add hot dogs to skillet and sprinkle bacon with a little brown sugar. Turn over midway, when the bottom side has browned and the bacon has begun to get crisp. Fry until the bacon looks cooked. Note: You might need to drain some of the grease from the skillet at this point. Remove hot skillet from heat. Carefully lift out the cooked hot dogs with tongs or a spatula. Place on paper towels to drain excess grease.

Bacon Wrapped Hotdog 2

Serve in your favorite type of bun with your favorite condiments. Do I get any stars for serving these in whole wheat buns?

Bacon Wrapped Hotdog 4

Remember, I warned you this wasn’t going to be a healthy recipe. But everything in moderation, right? Look past the tater tots. See the grapes? Did I mention, the whole wheat bun?

Infinity Dreams Award

Infinity Dreams AwardFor the past few weeks, bloggers who I not only admire but inspire me to continue blogging have nominated me for blogging awards. Honestly, I was just happy for them following my blog back. I never thought they really read my little blog since compared to theirs it’s pretty basic.  It is such an honor to be recognized by them.

I would like to thank SKD at Aromas and Flavors from My Kitchen for nominating me for this award. SKD’s blog is full of wonderful recipes and great blogging tips. SKD zeroes in on the point that aromas and flavors bring out so many wonderful memories from one’s life. It’s so true how a certain smell or taste can bring you back to your childhood or an important time in your life. So, if you aren’t already subscribed, you should go check out SKD’s blog at Aromas and Flavors from My Kitchen.

According to the rules I am supposed to list a few of my dreams and nominate 7 blogs.

My Dreams (Are really Hopes):

  • My children will have long and happy lives.
  • No person, young or old will go without a meal.
  • There will be a way to treat cancer that does not require chemotherapy or radiation or anything that makes a person sicker just to stop the cancer cells.
  • My selfish dream is to one day never have to worry about finances.

Spreading the goodwill to inspiring bloggers, here are my nominees:

  1. Love the Little Bakery
  2. Rachel Mankowitz
  3. What’s for Dinner Moms?
  4. How to $tuff Your Pig
  5. BBQ Bastard
  6. Carolinian Explorer
  7. Meals Our Kids Love!

Thanks to all who follow and/or give my blog “Likes.” It really means a lot to me.

Joann

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Chocolate Mint BrowniesI’m usually pretty good about passing on sweets. I find it harder to resist savory foods more often than not. But every once in a while, I get a chocolate craving. And what better way to satisfy my craving than with a brownie? I could make a batch with a prepackaged mix and that would be fine. But why not make an even more decadent one by scratch and add a layer of mint and chocolate frosting? Why not indeed!

BROWNIE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter (about 11 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

MINT LAYER INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • green food coloring (optional)

CHOCOLATE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

DIRECTIONS FOR BROWNIES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  3. Whisk in cocoa and oil until smooth.
  4. Cook and stir over low heat until cocoa is blended.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in sugar.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  7. Stir in vanilla.
  8. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to cocoa mixture.
  9. Stir in chocolate chips.
  10. Spread into 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan.
  11. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  12. Completely cool in pan on a wire rack. 

DIRECTIONS FOR MINT LAYER:

  1. In the bowl of your mixer, beat all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Add a few drops of green food coloring if you want the frosting green.
  3. If the frosting is too thick, add a little extra cream. (The frosting should be just thin enough to spread.)
  4. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownie layer.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes or until firm.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter and cream.
  2. Spread over the mint filling and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate frosting starts to dull.

TO SERVE:

  1. Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut into squares.

Premio Dardos Award

Premio Dardos AwardPremio Dardos means “Prize Darts” in Spanish. The Award recognizes those who transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values through writing.

Once again, I have been honored with an award nomination by Stephy at Stephysweetbakes. It means so much to me to be recognized by Stephy. Her blog is full of scrumptious recipes and beautiful pictures of her creations. Her blog is one of the first I subscribed to and I am so glad I found it. If you aren’t following her yet, then subscribe to her now. You’ll learn much from her. I know I have.

THE RULES ARE:

  1. Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
  2. Pass the award on to other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.

MY NOMINEES ARE:

  1. Nandini at Goan Imports
  2. Serena at Serena Glow
  3. Jess at Cooking Is My Sport

Thanks to all of you for keeping me motivated!

Joann

Vegetable Chow Mein

Chow Mein 1Looking for something that takes just minutes to whip up but tastes like you spent time slaving in the kitchen cooking? Try my chow mein recipe. You’ll spend most of your time cutting the vegetables. But once that is done everything else takes just a few minutes. Vegetable chow mein you say? I’m not a vegetarian, so I was surprised how I never missed the meat in this dish. But the proof was my meat and potatoes loving, picky-eater son even enjoyed this. He was first to ask “Where’s the meat?” But after trying it out I didn’t hear any complaints.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 package (14 ounce) refrigerated chow mein noodles or 2 packages (5.6 ounce) refrigerated Yaki-Soba noodles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion sliced
  • 3 stalks celery sliced
  • 1 medium carrot cut Julienne style
  • 6 Shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbageChow Mein Ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together: soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and white pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, add noodles until loosened. About 1-2 minutes and drain well.
  3. Heat olive oil in large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Cook stirring often until tender. About 4 minutes.
  4. Add in noodles. Be sure to mix well with the vegetables.
  5. Stir in cabbage until heated through. About 1 minute.
  6. Finally add in soy sauce mixture until well combined. Stir in for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately. Chow Mein 2

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

dragons-loyalty-award1My little blog was nominated for a Dragon’s Loyalty Award! I am honored and speechless. I never would have thought when I started this blog that anyone other than my friends and relatives would even look at it. (And that’s just as a courtesy.) It’s so nice to be acknowledged by a truly wonderful and creative baker like Hannah at  Love the Little Bakery.  Her recipes alone will inspire you to get to baking. But it is the pictures of her creations that will tempt your sweet tooth and convince you to try her recipes just so you can get a taste. If you haven’t yet, you must check out her blog!

The rules for this award are as follows:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website
  • Announce your win with a post and a link to the lovely blogger that nominated you
  • Present 15 Awards to deserving bloggers
  • Drop them a comment to let them know after you have linked them to your post
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself

7 interesting things about myself:

  1. My favorite place to travel is anywhere there is a beautiful beach and sparkling, clear water.
  2. I get car sick easy on long winding roads.
  3. I love to bowl, even though I am not very good.
  4. I have a tattoo on my inner right ankle.
  5. I didn’t grow up liking Hello Kitty, but now I love all things Hello Kitty.
  6. Christmas time is my favorite time to bake.
  7. I can speak more Spanish than I can Chinese, and I grew up with two Chinese speaking parents.

Yeah, I’m not very interesting. What can I say? Thank goodness this award isn’t based on how interesting I am.

In no particular order, here are my 15 nominees:

  1. Spring Tomorrow
  2. The Mediterranean Microwave
  3. What’s for Dinner Moms?
  4. Bunny Eats Design
  5. Aromas and Flavors from my Kitchen
  6. Goan Imports
  7. Fae’s Twist & Tango
  8. Emerging Adult Eats
  9. Cooking Up The Pantry
  10. Rachel Mankowitz
  11. Cooking Without Limits
  12. The Migrant Chef
  13. Full of It
  14. thefatbutterfly
  15. Let’s Nom Nom!

Thank you, Hannah from Love the Little Bakery for the nomination. You brightened my day.

Best wishes to all of you!

Joann