Saturday, August 30, 2008

#22 Coconut Banana Bread

2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tblsp) butter, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 c. mashed overripe bananas (about 3 large or 4 medium)
3 tblsp sour cream (I used reduced-fat)
1 c. sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (see below)
1 c. chocolate chips

Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350. Generously butter two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans and dust with flour.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Toast coconut by heating in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until light golden brown. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, bananas, and sour cream, beating until just combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips.

Divide batter between loaf pans. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.

We had all these bananas turning black on our kitchen counter, and Steve asked if I'd make banana bread. Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook. It called for macadamia nuts and lemon zest, neither of which I had, as well as unsalted butter. Steve's mom loves chocolate chips in her banana bread and since one loaf was for her, I threw them in. It sounded weird the first time I heard of it, but hey, chocolate anything is good with me! Steve wasn't so sure about the toasted coconut at first, but then he liked it. I think it would be good with macadamias, if you had them, or pecans, also toasted.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

#21 Chicken Salad


Lettuce or bag of mixed salad greens
Cooked & Cubed Chicken
Black Olives (sliced)
Mandarin Oranges
Cucumber (chopped)
Carrots (chopped)
Cheese (Cubed)
Celery (chopped)
Salt & Pepper
Your choice of salad dressing


This is a really easy one. I used leftover chicken from a lemon chicken dinner. You could boil the chicken until it is cooked through. I also like my chicken cold on the salad but you could definitely use warm chicken.

Place the lettuce or salad greens on the plates. Layer the remaining ingredients except the salt, pepper and salad dressing. I usually put the crutons and oranges on last. In the past I have used the crunchy asian noodles (I don't know what they are called) instead of the crutons, I think they are healthier for you and have less calories and salt.

Serve with salad dressing and salt & pepper to taste. That is a very simple and refreshing summer meal!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

#20 Strawberry Sorbet


1 lb strawberries
1/4 cup orange or apple juice
~1/4 cup sugar


Layout some plastic wrap on a cookie sheet. Slice the strawberries into about 1/4" to 1/2" pieces and put on cookie sheet. Cover with another layer of plastic wrap and seal the edges. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer. When the strawberries are frozen pull them out and put them in a food processor or a blender. Add the juice to the stawberries. Blend until smooth. Add the sugar and blend until thoroughly mixed (you can add more or less sugar to your taste). I also added a few splashes of milk to make it a little creamier. You can either serve it right away or put it in a container, put it back in the freezer and serve later. After you have refrozen it, make sure to leave it out about 10-15 minutes to let it thaw a bit.

I think if you add enough milk it gets to be more like Sherbert rather than Sorbet.

This is an easy recipe for ice cream without the ice cream maker!