Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is copied and pasted directly from allrecipes (my favorite food site). The only changes I made were to omit the 1/2 cup nuts and put in 1 cup chocolate chips =)


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quick Pastitsio

Here's the delicious-sounding recipe that Tracy shared. I'm going to try it next week.


8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
cooking spray
1 lb ground sirloin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 (3 ounce) package fat-free cream cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat broiler.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan; drain. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beef; sprinkle with salt. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in milk, tomatoes and cream cheeses, stirring until smooth; bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pasta.

Spoon pasta mixture into a 13x9 inch broiler-safe baking dish coasted with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top. Broil 4 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with parsley.

Awesome & Easy Corn Casserole

This is from and it's become a staple for any family get-togther. It's ridiculously easy to make and never, ever leaves any leftovers. It's just THAT good. I have a photo somewhere, I just need to find it.

This recipe is for a 9x9 baking dish. If it's just you and your hubby, then the 9x9 dish will be perfect. But if it's going to be 6 or more people, then double it with a 13x9 pan.


1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry cornbread mix
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (175 celsius) and lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish.

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Monday, September 26, 2011

S'more Please!!

Hi! I'm Christy also known as clipscomb1987 :) I want to start off by saying that I am totally addicted to pinterest and most of my inspiration for cooking I find on that website! Here are two recipes I made for my friends daughters 7th birthday camp out party this weekend.

S'more Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
Beat thoroughly

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips, or one giant Hershey bar, chopped
1 cup mini marshmallows
Stir to incorporate

Put a "dab" of cookie dough on the center of the Graham cracker.

Bake at 350 degrees for no longer then 11 minutes, any longer and the Graham cracker will burn. When done baking quickly transfer to your wire rack. Yields 4 dozen

S'more Rice Krispie Treats

3 cups marshmallows
1 (heaping) tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup graham crackers, broken into course pieces
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Butter 8x8 pan. In large (microwave safe) bowl, place the marshmallows butter and vanilla in the microwave until the marshmallows begin to soften (this only took 30 seconds for me, depends on your microwave) Mix with a spatula and microwave for another 30 seconds or until marshmallows are completely melted. Add the Graham cracker chunks in, then add in chocolate chips and combine (I let my rice krispie's cool a little bit after mixing in the graham crackers so the chocolate chips wouldn't melt, just 2 minutes or so)

Press mixture into the prepared pan. Allow to cool and devour!


S'more Cookie Source:
S'more Rice Krispies Source:

Chicken & Dumplings

This is another really fast & easy meal that you can make if you're pressed for time. It's really a chicken & biscuits recipe. I got this one from the magazine "Real Simple" a few years ago.

Chicken & Dumplings

1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (or you can use 1-1.5 lb of shredded chicken breast)
1 (10 oz) package of frozen vegetables
1 (10.75 oz) can of cream of mushroom soup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 10-count tube refrigerated biscuits

1. Heat oven to 400F. Combine the chicken, vegetables, soup, salt, pepper, and 3/4 cup water in a large bowl.
2. Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe casserole, cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the foil, cover the filling with the biscuits, and bake until the biscuits are golden brown & cooked through, about 15 min. (I actually cover the biscuits for the first 10 min & uncover it for the last 5 min - I find they cook through faster this way.)

Chicken Tamale Casserole

A good friend passed along this recipe from My DH & I make this all the time. It's a great casserole to make when you don't have a lot of time & a lot of the ingredients are probably already in your fridge/pantry.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

1 c. shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 c. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4 oz) can creamed corn
1 (8.5 oz) box corn bread mix
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
cooking spray
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
2 c shredded, cooked chicken breast
1/2 c sour cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese & next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13"x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 400F for 20 min or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 min. Cut into 8 pieces, top each serving with 1 tbsp sour cream.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Basic Cheesecake

This is the last recipe I'm sharing today, I promise! :-)

This is my brother's tried and true cheesecake recipe. He's famous for his cheesecake among my family and any Oakland jetBlue crewmembers. He still gets requests for it from friends, family and former co-workers for birthday parties.


Enough graham crackers to give you a few cups of crumbs
About half a cup of sugar
Enough melted butter to get the damp sand consistency
About a half cup toasted almonds

(to toast the almonds, spread evenly on aluminum foil and bake in toaster oven until they start to turn brown)

Combine the graham crackers and toasted almonds in a food processor to turn into crumbs. Put in a bowl and add sugar and enough butter to get the right consistency (damp sand). Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" or 10"spring-form pan. It's okay if you don't end up using all of it. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes to harden the crust a bit.


2lbs cream cheese at room temperature (room temp. makes it easier to mix with other ingredients)
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended (smooth and without any cream cheese lumps). Add eggs 1 at a time until just combined. Pour into the baked and slightly cooled shell and bake for about an hour and 10 minutes (70 minutes) until the edges are set but the center slightly quivers when the pan is shaken. Center should be almost set but not stiff when it comes out because it’ll cook for a few minutes as it cools. Let cool on a wire rack until its cool enough to touch, then you can cool it in the refrigerator. It’ll get denser as it cools. Run a thin knife around the edge carefully to release it from the side of the pan. Release the sides and cut to serve.

This is a great basic cheesecake that tastes good by itself or with pretty much any kind of fruit topping. The toasted almonds add a wonderful nutty flavor to the crust. But if you have an allergy, you can leave them out.

Don't stress if you end up with the Grand Canyon in the top of your cheesecake. It happens to me most of the time, even when I pull it out of the oven at the right time. Some claim that baking the cheesecake in a water bath can prevent it, but I've never tried. I just fill the canyon with fruit topping and no one ever knows. :-)

To make a caramel cheesecake, leave out the lemon juice. Then add caramel in layers with the filling so that the caramel is distributed evenly.

40 Cloves and a Chicken

This recipe is actually from an episode of Good Eats. DH and I have done it many, many times because it's so damn good. It works best to brown the chicken in a frying pan or skillet that can go right into the oven. We use a 12" cast iron skillet that works wonderfully (covered with foil when in the oven).

It seems like you're using a lot of oil, I know. But the chicken doesn't soak up the oil. It helps keep it from drying out and somewhat poaches the chicken. Then, when you're done, you have these yummy pieces of roasted garlic that you can spread on toasted baguette or french bread.


1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme
40 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove chicken from the oven. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve and serve. I like to serve with roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and crusty french bread.

Lamb Sliders with Tzatziki Sauce

I made these just the other night (DH and I both really like lamb). My local market didn't have any lamb, so I went to Whole Foods. There wasn't any ground lamb, so I asked the butcher to grind it for me. Next time, I will request a finer grind. He made them a little chunkier than I like. Also, when I made these, I just cooked the sliders in a frying pan with a tiny bit of olive oil. Since we just moved, the grill wasn't set up yet and we don't have a grill pan for the stove. They were still delicious.

Tzatziki Sauce:

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 cloves minced garlic

½ of a hothouse cucumber, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp chopped dill

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

salt to taste

The original recipe called for fresh mint in the sauce instead of dill. I’m not a big fan of fresh mint because the smell can be overpowering sometimes, but in small quantities it can be really tasty. Use what flavors you prefer.


1 lb ground lamb

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 small shallot, finely diced

1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

½ tsp cumin

¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper

½ tsp salt

Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

For the sliders, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. I found it was easiest to mix with my hands (I wore gloves). Form into small patties. Make them a little bit larger than the buns you have as they will shrink a bit when cooking. This recipe makes between 6 to 8 sliders. Cook for about 3 minutes per side in a grill pan or on the grill.

Assemble with your slider buns or small pieces of pita, slices of tomato and thinly sliced onion. It also tastes great with caramelized onions.

White Bean Chicken Chili

My brother introduced me to this recipe and I love how easy it is to make, especially since you don't even have to cook the chicken, you just buy a supermarket roasted chicken. My fav is the chicken from Costco. Not only are they tasty, but they're a bit bigger than the supermarket ones and less money. I can usually dice and/or shred both breasts and both legs for this recipe. Then we save the thighs and wings for another meal.

You can adjust the spices and chilis to suit the level of spicy you'd like. I love to use my enameled cast iron pot for this, but any heavy soup pot will work. I'm not a huge fan of the large white kidney beans, so I'm going to try black beans next time and see how that works.

White Bean Chicken Chili

2 tbls canola oil

1 yellow onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1 7oz can of green chiles

1 tsp of oregano

1 tsp of coriander

1 half tsp of cumin (or more depending on taste)

1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth (or more if you like it soupy)

1 small and 1 large can of diced tomatoes

Rotisserie Chicken from supermarket, already cooked, diced (I prefer shredded or pulled)

1 can of corn

1 can of white beans (a.k.a. Navy beans)

1 can of white kidney beans (a.k.a. Cannellini beans)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onion in the oil on medium-high heat in a soup pot until translucent. Add garlic, cook a couple more minutes. Add the chiles and stir to incorporate. Add the spices and stir to incorporate. Add the chicken broth and stir, scraping to get the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, chicken, corn and beans, cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the temperature to low and simmer the chili for another 10-15 mins. Check the flavor and adjust with salt and pepper.

It tastes even better the next day. Serve with some sort of bread on the side. I love cornbread for this because I can put a big hunk of it right in the chili. Marie Callendar's mix is the best.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rena's Noodles

This recipe got it's name from my mom's housekeeper when she was growing up.  It has been slightly modified through the years to make it simplified, but other than that it has been a family favorite through 4 generations (N LOVES it)!

Rena's Noodles
1 box rigatoni
1 28oz can tomatoes
1 med onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
6ish cups of shredded jack cheese

In blender, blend/puree tomatoes, onion, garlic, & cilantro. Put in saucepan and simmer.

While sauce is simmering, bring water to a boil and cook rigatoni according to directions on box.

Drain pasta & remove sauce from heat. In a glass pan (9x12, I think), layer half of pasta. Cover with 1/2 of cheese. Cover with 1/2 of sauce. Repeat. Cover with foil and bake in a 350* oven for 30-45 mins. Let cool and enjoy!