Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Straight and Narrow Banana Cookies

The mother of one of my friends in high school made these for all the teenage gatherings at her house, which apparently kept all of us on the right path. I don't know if all that's true but I do know they were good. My cookies were tested on about 6 adults and 10 children...and everyone liked them. Worth giving them a try!

2.5 cups flour
1.5 tsp. bk.pwd.
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. bk.soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Mix and set aside

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mashed banana (aprox. 2.5 bananas)
1 pkg. choc. chips

Mix butter and sugar 'til fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Alternate dry ingredients and mashed banana. Stir in choc. chips. 350, 10 mins. (I had to bake mine longer.)

2 tb. butter
1/4 cup mashed banana (aprox. 1/2 banana)
2 cups pwd. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whip until smooth. Frost cooled cookies.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kickin' Black Bean Soup

1 ham bone
2 cups chopped carrots
3 cans black beans (do not drain)
1 medium onion
2 TBS chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

Boil ham bone in 3 cups water for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from pot. Add carrots; cook 10 minutes. Add onion; cook 10 more minutes. *In the meantime, pull ham meat from bone and cut into bite size pieces.* Add beans, including the juices. Add chili powder. Return ham (without bone) to pot. Stir well. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste. My kids love this.

* I wouldn't recommend using a glazed ham bone ... the flavor would throw everything off.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Apricot Chicken

1 pkg onion soup mix
1 8oz bottle Russian dressing
10 oz apricot preserves
2.5 lbs boneless chicken (breasts, thighs, tenders - whatever)
Cooked sticky rice (I like the Calrose Botan brand -- white bag, red flower)

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Dump soup mix, dressing, and preserves into dish. Whisk together well. Add chicken (I recommend cutting the breasts into smaller {tender size} pieces). Stir to coat the chicken. Cover with foil. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces). Serve over a bed of sticky (sushi) rice.

** This is delicious. Perfect sweet and savory. WAY better than any sweet and sour chicken I've ever had ... and tons healthier! Enjoy.

Oh yeah. And both of my kids LOVE this dish. Can't get enough of it. Sometimes, I add carrots to the dish and bake them with everything else. Yum.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hamburger Soup

I made this last night for dinner. It was really, really yummy. I seasoned my beef quite a bit, which I think made all the difference. I also added potatoes (not included in the original recipe), which made it a very hearty soup. Oh and since I didn't have any canned tomatoes, I used fresh tomatoes and added an extra cup of water. Probably could go either way.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 cups diced potatoes
6 cubes beef bouillon
5 cups water
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt (I used Kosher)
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons ketchup

In a medium skillet, brown hamburger over medium heat. Be sure to season with salt and pepper. Drain off fat. Combine beef, carrots, celery, onions, bouillon, water, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, salt, corn, basil, and ketchup in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.