Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Banana Bread is in the Oven!!

Today I'm making Banana Bread for a Quilting Group luncheon. It smells wonderful as it bakes in the oven so I thought I'd share the recipe with you. It's quite easy, my only problem this morning was that I was out of Eggs! So as I waited for the dollar store to open down the street, I suddenly remembered my neighbor Linda who has chickens! Quickly I dialed her number and asked... "Do you have eggs this morning?" "Why, Yes! " she replied. "I'll be right over!" and off I went to get a couple dozen fresh eggs! I love fresh eggs!

So here is the recipe I used today, which I got from
Banana Bread on Simply Recipes


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

- I used Cooking spray (instead of buttering the loaf pan)


No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). 
- With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. 
- Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. (I premixed these in a 2 cup glass measure then added to the bananas)
- Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. 
- Add the flour last, mix. (I added a couple handfuls of Hazelnuts! - I was out of walnuts)
- Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan.  (At this point I sprinkled Cinnamon/sugar mix on top!)
- Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

...and here's MINE NOW!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ruths Ravioli Crockpot Meal

I don't say that I always eat healthy... but I try.  But today, I saw another post on Facebook by another friend.. that looked positively Yummy! The challenge? To see if I can make it without buying anything new from the store! So... Here it is, and below is my 'version' of it with what I have on hand...

Crockpot meal: 
1 bag of frozen tortellini 
1 small bag of fresh spinach 
2 cans of italian style diced tomatoes 
1 box or 4 cups or vegetable broth  
1 block of cream cheese 

put all ingredients in crockpot, chunking up the cream cheese. Cook on low for 5-6 hrs. SCRUMPTIOUS!'s what I have to try this with...
Ruths Crockpot Ravioli
1/2 bag of Frozen Ravioli
partial bag of Frozen peas & carrots
partial bag of Frozen green beans
1/2 pint of sour cream
and roughly 5 oz of whipped cream cheese
Orrington Chicken base with 4 cups of water to make the chicken broth.

Let's see how it goes! Crock pot on low for 6 hrs...

Stay tuned for pictures tonite of the end result!

Well, PERHAPS I should not have used the sour cream... and just get more cream cheese... Here's the result.. (not very appetizing)

Cost Compare...Cost it out Before you believe Cheap Recipes!

I saw a post on Facebook this morning which kind of tells a story about why people make poor food choices. The post came from "Living on a Dime" and was re-posted by one of my friends. I, more than many, understand the need to "live on a dime" ...but I also have learned that eating healthy is NOT as expensive as people think. That's what my post today is about.

Here is the recipe my friend posted and I looked up the prices on all the ingredients:

Tater Tot Casserole Recipe - Total Cost: $20.50

1 to 2 lbs. hamburger, browned and seasoned to taste (2lbs - $8.50)
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix ($1.50)
8 oz. sour cream ($2.00)
20 oz. frozen mixed veggies, or leftover veggies* ($2.00)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (doesnt say size, we'll assume small - $1.00)
2 lb. bag of Tater Tots ($3.00)
8 oz cheddar cheese or cheese of choice ($2.50 ON SALE)

Gently mix all together but cheese and place in a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

*Keep a container in the freezer and, when you have a small dab of vegetables left over, put them in this container. This casserole is a great way to use them up instead of making the usual veggie soup.

and here is MY recipe from last night:

Ruths Pasta Primavera -- Cost Under $10
2 cups any type of pasta  (.60)
1 zucchini (.50)
1 summer squash (.75)
1/2 red pepper (.99)
1/2 pkg finger carrots (.98)
1 pkg chicken (thighs or breasts) ($5.00)
Seasonings of your choice (salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning)
Minimal amount of parmesan cheese (1.00)

Toss cup up veggies with lite oil or cooking spray, then season, put on cookie sheet and roast in oven for 45 min.
Put Pasta in pot with water and cook Just til done (don't over cook).
Season chicken and with a SMALL amount of oil, or cooking spray, cook in skillet 5 min, flip, cook 8 more min, put cover on.

In large bowl, or individual bowls layer:
Grated Parmesan cheese
Chicken (cut into bite size pieces)

THEN... we can look at the health value if you like... 
- Hamburger  vs Chicken
- Dry soup mix...Lots of sodium
- Cream of mushroom soup ... sodium
- Sour Cream... Yummy, but full of the wrong fats
- Cheese... also yummy and we'll give you that but we use a lot less Parmesan than it uses Cheddar.
- Tater Tots vs. Pasta

You Decide.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Last Night's Healthy dinner!

Well, oddly enough I took no photos of this spontaneous dinner... but here's how it went...

1. Cut up veggies I like into bite size pieces. Dumped in a bowl and drizzled with maybe 1-2 teaspoons olive oil, seasoned with s&p, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning. Toss in bowl to evenly distribute.

2. Place veggies on foil lined baking sheet, and put in oven at 375 til we're ready... LOL

Raided the cupboard for any pasta that wasnt spaghetti or elbow maccaroni (my choice) and got it going in a pot of water.

Bought a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. (we like thighs better than breasts, use what you like).  Seasoned them on a plate... S&P, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning. Drizzle 1 Tbl olive oil in large skillet, when hot, add chicken.  Cook maybe 5 min on 1st side and turn, then cover and let cook another 8-10 minutes.

1. DRAIN pasta, then put a serving of it in bottom of a wide soup bowl.
2. REMOVE veggies from oven, they should be FORK TENDER. Add to the top of pasta in bowls.
3. Grate some fresh Parm cheese on top of veggies, or use shaker can if that's all you have.
4. Top with cut up pieces of chicken thighs. (Cut bite size so that knives are not needed at table)
5. Eat & Enjoy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Turkey Burgers!!

A few days ago, I said to my Mom... " we should change our eating habits and try eating healthy"
She said, "Ok"
Me: "Really? Will you do that? CAN you do that?"
Mom: "Sure I can do that, I'll do it as long as you do."
Me: "OK!!! We'll put some menus together of things you think you'll like... I already have breakfast and lunch worked out for me. I have a mean turkey burger I like to make and then I have it every day for lunch!!"
Mom: "Oh, that sounds good!"
Me: "OK... I'll get you the ingredients so you can add to your shopping list then on TUESDAY when the kids are back in school, we can make the burgers together over Skype!"
Mom: "OK!"

So I texted the list of ingredients to Mom the next day when she told me she was going out shopping. It was getting closer. I was excited!

Yesterday she texted and asked "How much broccoli do I shred for this? I'm doing it now"
Me: "WHAT?!?! I thought we were doing it together Tuesday??"
Mom: "Well, I went shopping and had it all so I need to do it now."

Oh, well... when I got home that day I had the ingredients also so I threw my batch together and cooked my burgers, so I'll share that with you all here, and it's a good place to keep the "recipe" so that Mom can find it for her next batch! Also, she omitted the spices, ...the onions... and the garlic... so next time she makes it, she's in for a Flavor Treat!!! here goes... give it a try!


1 - lb ground turkey
1 stalk fresh broccoli
2 long carrots or about 10 mini carrots
1/2 small onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2 Tblsp. dried* Terragon
2 Tblsp. dried* Thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Put the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Use food processor or other tool to finely shred broccoli and carrots and onions and garlic. Add to mixing bowl. Then if you want to add grated mushrooms, you can but now add your seasonings. Mix Well.

Use ice cream scoop to portion out meat mixture and form into patties. Patties should be about the size of the palm of your hand. Flatten and put a small thumb depression in the middle on both sides; this prevents it puffing up into a ball. Cook in lightly sprayed skillet until JUST done and turn off heat.
Let cool COMPLETELY. Put in a large ziplock as a single layer so they don't stick together before freezing. Prying them apart frozen is NO fun!

When you are ready to eat one:

1. Take 1 burger from ziplock bag and put on small (microwavable) sandwich plate. Microwave for ONE minute, turn it over, (if your rolls are frozen, now is the time to add the roll to the plate) and  do ONE more minute.  (DO NOT assemble the burger inside the roll, it will just get soggy!)

2. If your rolls were NOT frozen, obviously you don't need to microwave them so just get your toppings ready... ketchup, mustard, whole grain mustard, avocado, etc...

3. When done, THEN you can assemble, and add condiments and Enjoy!!