Monday, August 29, 2016

Banana Blueberry Pancake Squares

Despite Monday being my least favorite day of the week, I love months that have five Monday's.  Five Monday's means a bonus Secret Recipe Club reveal!  The SRC bonus reveals always have a theme.  What better theme for August than back to school?

My assigned blogger for the August themed reveal is Our Eating Habits.  Jamie, the blogger behind Our Eating Habits says her two favorite things are Christmas and Disney!  For sure, who doesn't love Christmas and Disney.  She home schools her children, has a mug collection and lots of great recipes on her blog. 

For the first day of school, I always tried to make Justin a special breakfast.  Although today, he's not a sweet breakfast eater, I think when he was in grade school Jamie's recipe for Banana Blueberry Pancakes would have been a hit!!  Pancakes without having to trying to keep them all warm while the rest cook makes this a perfect recipe for a school day.  Prepare the batter and bake for about 25 minutes, doesn't really get much easier than that!  Plus pretty sure this would work fine with pancake mix with the fruit added, to really cut down on time needed!!

Banana Blueberry Pancake Squares
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 over-ripe banana
  • about 1 cup milk, maybe a bit more
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup blueberries – frozen works great
  • Butter and Syrup for serving
1. Grease a 13×9 inch baking dish. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in mixing bowl.
3. Mash banana in bottom of large 4 cup measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal 1 2/3 cups. Stir to combine. add eggs, vanilla and oil. Stir to combine. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in blueberries.
4. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Test with toothpick to insure it has cooked in the middle. Serve with butter and syrup.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Watermelon Yogurt Popsicles

If you ask any member of my family, they'll tell you I own every kitchen gadget known to man.  After recently purchasing the Instant Pot, that might be true ... almost.  Also, I suppose if you ask them, they will tell you I don't always use all of them.  A couple of years (or more) ago the wonderful associates that work for me, gave me a gift card to a local kitchen store.  Intrigued by the Zoku and knowing this was a splurge, I decided to purchase it.  Of course, like anything, I used it a lot when I first got it.  Since, then it's been sitting ready to go on a shelf in the freezer.

I'm all about having a sweet treat in the evening.  Truth is, I have a horrible sweet tooth.  The reason or at least the person I am going to blame is my Dad.  I'm guessing there's a malt shop in heaven and my Dad is the number one "soda jerk" as they used to call them.  When I was kid, every night, I'm remembering pretty much without fail, I had a dish of ice cream or a malt.  My Dad made the best malts, the kind that used the malted milk powder and lots of ice cream and syrup.  So you get the picture? You see why I have a sweet tooth!!

In an effort to try and manage the calories in those sweet treats, I dusted the ice crystals of the Zoku and made Popsicles.  If you're not familiar with how the Zoku works, you pour in the liquid and in 5 - 9 minutes, you have Popsicles.  Easy!!  The directions say you can make a second batch without refreezing but I never had very good luck with making a second batch.   These make a perfect summertime treat and a super nutritious snack kids will love to eat.

Watermelon Creamsicle Pops

1 cup watermelon chunks
1 container of greek yogurt (I used coconut)
1 T. honey
Pinch of Salt
  1. In a blender, add a heaping cup of watermelon.
  2. Add the yogurt, honey, and salt. Blend for another 15 seconds to mix.
  3. Pour the blended mixture into the ice pop molds and freeze.
  4. After filling the Zoku maker, I poured the remaining in regular freezer pops mold.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

White Bean Caprese Salad

We've had interesting weather these past few months.  We had an almost nonexistent spring, felt like we went straight from chilly into a hot and humid summer, with lots of rain.  I'm not crazy about this weather but our garden sure is.  We've had the largest and best tomato crop in the five years we've been in this house.

What I wouldn't give to live somewhere we could enjoy this type of produce year round but since that's not in the cards in Nebraska, we'll make the most of what we have!  Cherry tomatoes are the best and the variety we have this year is so sweet.  You can just pop them in your mouth and eat them.   We enjoy lots of Caprese Salads. I love this take on Caprese Salad.  It's filling, easy and delicious!

White Bean Caprese Salad
Recipe Courtesy of Skinny Taste
Servings: 6
  • 1 (15-oz) can Great Northern (or White Kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic glaze
Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with balsamic glaze.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Perfect Peach Cobbler - Secret Recipe Club

August?!!  Am I the only who can't believe it's August already?  Where did this summer go?  Despite being bummed it's already August, I am thrilled to share my August Secret Recipe Club post with you!  This month I was assigned the hard working leader of the Secret Recipe Club group I belong to, Camilla, the blogger behind Culinary Adventures with Cam.  When describing herself, Camilla says "I've crammed a lot of different things into four decades: florist, waitress, SCUBA divemaster, stock photo agency manager, stroller fitness teacher, writer, editor, and au pair. I lived and worked in Rome for 13 months. That's where I learned to cook, visiting the markets, talking to farmers and fishmongers, and pestering them on how to prepare this and that."  Wow, what a fun life!!

A couple of Saturday night's ago Tim and I were driving back into the neighborhood from dinner and we noticed one of our neighbors had picked all of the peaches off their tree and set them in the driveway with a sign FREE PEACHES.  Free?  Yes, please.  What do you think of when you think peaches?  I think cobbler or jam.  Cobbler lead me to Camilla's Perfect Peach Cobbler.  

Camilla added rhubarb to her cobbler and just so happened I had a bit left in the freezer.  The peaches I used were fairly small and didn't yield as much as I would have liked, so I added a few blueberries.  I was intrigued by the use of olive oil in the topping!  After having used butter for years and taking the time to work it into the flour, I may be using olive oil from now on, so much easier!!  We really enjoyed this cobbler, a perfect way to showcase summer fruits!  Thanks, Camilla!

Perfect Peach Cobbler

Filling Ingredients
  • 4 C sliced organic peaches
  • 1 C sliced organic rhubarb
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C packed organic brown sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground cardamom
  • 2 T butter
Topping Ingredients
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C packed organic brown sugar
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 3 to 4 T olive oil
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a baking dish.
With a wooden spoon mix all of the filling ingredients until thoroughly combined and the peaches and rhubarb are all coated with the other ingredients. Spoon the filling into the prepared pan and dot with 2 T butter that's been cubed.
For the topping...stir until all the ingredients are combined. The consistency will be like a crumble top. Spoon the topping over the fruit and use a spatula to spread it over the fruit. 
Bake the cobbler for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot.