Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baby friendly banana pancakes

3 small bananas
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup of applesauce
1 cup of soymilk (milk, water, liquid of some sort)
2 eggs
2 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 T flaxseeds (optional)

Blend ingridients in a blender until smooth. Heat up a griddle or skillet on medium-high heat. Spray generously with cooking oil. Drop 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle or skillet until bubbles begin to form and then flip pancakes.

I modified this from a recipe in The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook so that my kids could eat it! Husband approved

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Italian Beef Soup

As you guys may know I've been following a Jillian Michaels-approved diet and exercise plan lately (on her website free for 30 days) and this came up the other night for dinner.

And with a few tweaks (adding herbs and half an onion) oh my it's really good. Geoff even approved.

And it was easy. That's probably the best part. Jillian says this makes 4 servings to be served with a whole wheat roll (80 calories). I just cut a pita in half and then cut it open and toasted that -- 80 calories and it was HEAVENLY with the soup -- nice and crispy.

Anyway, here's the soup as I made it (but with her info about calories, etc. -- the onion adds a minimal amount of calories)

Italian Beef Soup

Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Makes 4 Servings:
Per Serving: Calories: 328 , Total Fat: 10 g , Carbs: 28 g , Protein: 33 g , Cholesterol: 70 mg , Sodium: 1228 mg

1 pounds beef, lean ground
3 clove(s) garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 - 3 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper, black
1/4 teaspoon salt
28 ounce(s) broth, beef (I used a 32 oz. box)
14 1/2 ounce(s) tomatoes, stewed, Italian-style
1 cup(s) carrot(s) (chopped)
1 can(s) beans, cannellini
1 medium zucchini (chopped)
2 cup(s) spinach, fresh

Saute the beef, garlic and onions until browned, breaking the beef up into 3/4" pieces (like mini meatballs). Add herbs, salt and pepper halfway through so the meat gets seasoned.

Drain the beef and wipe out the pan. Put beef back into pan, add broth, tomatoes and carrots, bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer 10 minutes.

Add beans and zuchhini and boil for another 4 - 5 minutes.

Take off heat, add spinach and devour.

I added some fresh basil to each bowl. This soup is sooo delicious.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whiskey Pork Chops

Like most of my recipes, this is another one that came from a quick look through the fridge and pantry. I will throw all modesty aside and say these are the best pork chops I have ever had. Although I've never tried it, I think the sauce would work great on chicken or turkey breast, too. My husband, Mike, usually requests that these are served with prosciutto wrapped asparagus and mashed potatoes, but I think buttered green beans are a great accompaniment, too. These cook quick, so prepare your sides while they are marinating. The first time I made these, I was living in an apartment with a tiny kitchen that had no vent hood, and plywood cabinets right above the stove - basically, I came pretty close to lighting the whole place on fire, so please be careful with this!

Whiskey Pork Chops

4-6 Thick Cut Pork Chops

Zest of 1 Orange
Juice of 1/2 Orange
1 Sprig of Rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1-2 Sprigs of Tyhme, leaves removed and chopped
1/2 Shallot, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh-Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Shallot, Minced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Whiskey or Bourbon
Juice of 1/2 Orange
2-3 Cups Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup Dried Sweetened Cranberries (Craisins)
1 Sprig of Rosemary, Whole
1 Sprig of Thyme, Whole
1 T softened butter mixed with 1 T flour (make a paste)

  1. Heat oven to 500° (don't be scared!)
  2. Combine marinade ingredients in a zip-top bag and add pork chops. Seal bag and massage marinade into meat. Let sit for at least 1/2 hour.
  3. Heat a large skillet, and add 1-2 T canola oil. Brown pork chops on both sides, remove from pan and place in an oven-safe dish or on a sheet pan. Place pan in oven and cook until pork chops reach desired doneness (5-8 minutes for medium).
  4. Pour off any excess fat in pan. Cook shallots and garlic until fragrant, REMOVE PAN FROM BURNER and deglaze pan with whiskey. Re-light flame, and set to low. Replace pan on burner and allow alcohol to burn off. Make sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a whisk or wooden spoon.
  5. Add chicken stock, orange juice, cranberries, rosemary and thyme sprigs. Allow sauce to reduce by at least half.
  6. Remove herbs, and whisk in the butter/flour mixture to thicken the sauce. Serve over rested pork chops.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Macaroni Salad

My mom would probably kill me if she knew I was posting this, but I just made it this morning and it's so good I just can't help myself. I have to share. I prefer using the large olives and cutting them myself because then you get bigger slices of olives, but obviously you can just sub sliced if you're not motivated to slice a can of olives.

Like most mayonnaise-based "salads", this tastes best when it's left to sit in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.

Macaroni Salad


1 16 oz. bag salad macaroni (sometimes called ditalini)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 - 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped (I always use 3)
1 large can large olives, olives cut into thirds (or just use sliced)
1 bunch green onions, sliced (white and green parts used)
1/2 bunch radishes, chopped (or more or less to taste - I prefer more)
2 T. sweet pickle relish
2 T. dill pickle relish
1 1/2 - 2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 c. mustard
1/4 c. ranch dressing
Lawry's seasoned salt and pepper to taste


Cook macaroni per instructions, run cold water over, then combine with everything else, adding more mayo as needed.

Before serving, you may need to add more mayo as the pasta will absorb quite a bit.