• Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

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    I found this recipe in the Cooking Light September 2007 issue. The recipe is from Jean Patterson, and it was originally published by Cooking Light in September 2003. It was good, but probably not something I’ll make again. I still prefer the classic banana bread.
    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
    • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
    • 3 tablespoons dark rum
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
    • Cooking spray
    • 1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F
    2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
    3. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack.

    Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze:

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  • Thai-Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

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    This recipe comes from Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes, and this recipe is the reason I bought this cookbook. It didn’t disappoint either. I deviated from the recipe to make it my own, and it was delicious. It’s thick, filling, and tasty. The great thing about this soup is that you can pretty much put anything you like in it…any veggies and any meat or just go vegetarian. Eggplant, zuchini, potatoes and peas would be delicious additions.  Be sure your veggies are cut pretty small so they will cook in the lotted time, otherwise you can partially cook them and then add to the crock pot, or add them raw and cook for a few hours before adding the chicken.  I wouldn’t just extend the cooking time with the chicken in the crock pot from the beginning, because it will be overdone.  It also doesn’t have to be prepared in a crock pot either.

    This recipe is called a soup, but I’ve really made it into a Thai curry dish.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, but into 1 inch cubes (I used 2 breasts)
    • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
    • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 TBSP brown sugar
    • 1-2 TBSP Thai red curry paste, depending on your heat likes
    • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
    • 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and diced
    • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
    • 1/2 c. mango nectar
    • 1/2 c. fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
    • 4 c. chicken broth
    • 2 TBSP rive vinegar
    • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro
    • 1/2 c. heavy cream
    • 1 TBSP cornstarch
    • Hot cooked rice
    • 3 green onions, minced
    • 1/2 c. roasted unsalted peanuts

    Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and curry paste; cook for 1 or 2 minutes longer or until mixture is fragrant .
    2. Add celery carrots, pumpkin, mango nectar, lime juice, peanut butter and broth in a bowl and stir to combine.
    3. Transfer chicken mixture to crock pot; cover chicken with sauce.
    4. Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
    5. Stir in rice vinegar. Mix cream and cornstarch together in a small mixing bowl. Stir mixture into soup. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes or until soup thickens.
    6. To serve, put rice in soup bowls. Ladle soup around rice. Sprinkle with cilantro, green onion and peanuts. Squeeze fresh lime juice over soup, if desired.

    Thai-Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup:

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  • Tiramisu Cake

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    If you love tiramisu, you’ll love this cake. It’s super easy to make, and you don’t have to worry about finding lady fingers or mascarpone cheese at your local grocery store. This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker Cookies, Bars and Cakes magazine, but I changed it up a bit.
    Ingredients:

    CAKE:

    • 1 box of moist white cake mix
    • 1 c. water
    • 1/3 c. canola oil
    • 1/4 c. Kahlua liqueur flavored syrup (you can find this with the coffee at your grocery store) or 1/4 c. brandy
    • 3 egg whites

    ESPRESSO SYRUP:

    • 4 TBSP. instant espresso coffee granules–I used instant coffee
    • 1/2 c. boiling water
    • 2 TBSP corn syrup

    TOPPING:

    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
    • 2 c. whipping cream
    • 1 TBSP unsweetened baking cocoa, if desired

    Directions:

    1. Heat over to 350F (325 for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13×9 inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, beat cake mix, 1 c. water, the oil, kahlua syrup, and egg whites with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
    2. Bake 26 to 31 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.
    3. In a small bowl, stir coffee granules and 1/2 c. boiling water until mixed. Stir in corn syrup. With long-tined fork, pierce top of cake every 1/2 inch. Brush top of cake with espresso syrup. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
    4. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with electric mixer on low speed until mixed. Beat on high speed until smooth. Gradually beat in whipping cream on low speed, and then once all cream is added, beat on high speed for about 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Spread cream mixture over top of the cake; sprinkle with cocoa powder. Store in refrigerator.

    Tiramisu Cake:

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  • Thanksgiving Feast

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    We had quite the fest today. Rather than list all the recipes in one post I’ll post each recipe separately. Since our kids have been born this is the first Thanksgiving we’ve celebrated with just us. It was probably one of the best Thanksgivings ever! The food was fabulous too! :)

  • Smoked Chicken

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    We (more accurately, -s) smoked 2 chickens for our Thanksgiving dinner. They were unbelievably delicious. One was marinated overnight in our favorite spicy bbq sauce and the other had a dry rub. Both were fabulous, but my favorite was the one with the dry rub. The dry rub gave the chicken such great flavor. We just used an inexpensive ($70) electric smoker, and it worked great.

    Dry Rub Ingredients:

    • 1 dried chipotle
    • 4 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Combine chipotle and peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind
    2. Combine all spices
    3. Massage spices onto the chicken
    4. Smoke according to your smoker’s directions. We used hickory wood and smoked for the chickens for 6 hours. Be advised that cooking time varies, especially on the weather–the colder the weather the longer the smoking takes.

    Smoked Chickens:

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  • Grandma’s Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls

    This is another one of those recipes from my grandmother. The entire extended family makes these rolls and the entire family loves these rolls, and whenever I make them it makes me think of my grandma. In my family, no holiday meal is complete without these rolls. They are delicious!

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    Quick Yeast Dough

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. warm water
    • 2 pkg. dry yeast (I use the quick rise variety)
    • 1/2 c. dried skim milk
    • 1/2 c. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
    • 4 1/2 c. flour

    Directions:

    1. Dissolve water and yeast in a large mixing bowl
    2. Stir in dried milk, sugar and salt. Add the eggs one at a time and beat vigorously. Add the butter, and then stir in the flour gradually until smooth
    3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 7-10 minutes. Have extra flour on hand while you knead, so the dough isn’t too sticky.
    4. Put about 1 tsp. olive oil into a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and roll the dough in the oil. Let the dough rise in a warm place (like an oven, but make sure it’s not too warm, otherwise you’ll kill the yeast). The dough will double in size.
    5. Punch dough down. Roll dough out and create desired shape. To make crescent rolls, roll dough into a circle and cut like a pizza (you will have triangular shaped pieces), then roll each slice from the base of the triangle to the tip. You can bring the ends close together to make the crescent or leave straight.
    6. Once the dough is shaped let it rise again in a warm place.
    7. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
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    Cinnamon Rolls

    Ingredients:

    • Dough recipe above (you can make 1/2 rolls and 1/2 cinnamon rolls)
    • Butter
    • Brown Sugar
    • Cinnamon
    • Pecans, if desired (I omit)

    Goo Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. butter
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. light Karo corn syrup
    • Pecans, if desired (I omit)

    Directions:

    1. Work with half the dough at a time.
    2. Heat butter, brown sugar,and corn syrup.
    3. Whatever size pan you use (depends on how many cinnamon rolls you make), grease the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. Add goo to pan and how ever many pecans you like.
    4. Roll dough out and spread with butter (I actually use Brummel and Brown for this step), brown sugar and cinnamon. I just put a layer of butter, then a thin layer of sugar, and then a layer of cinnamon.
    5. Roll it up and cut (each slice should be about the width of 2 fingers) and place in pan.
    6. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes
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    Grandma’s Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls:

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  • Pear and Cranberry Salad

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    This is quite the festive salad and goes great with any holiday meal. I got this recipe from one of those recipe cards in the produce section of the grocery store.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 large or 2 small ripe pears, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    • 1/4 c. dried sweetened cranberries
    • 3 c. salad greens
    • 1 TBSP. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 TBSP. Olive Oil
    • 1 TBSP. veggie oil
    • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper

    Directions:

    1. Combine pears, cranberries and salad greens in a large bowl.
    2. Stir together vinegar, olive oil, veggie oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over salad just before serving, tossing well.

    Pear and Cranberry Salad:

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  • Grandma’s Turkey Stuffing/Dressing

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    Stuffing vs. Dressing: Stuffing is cooked in the bird and dressing is cooked outside the bird. This here is my grandmother’s recipe (with a few alterations by yours truly), and Thanksgiving without grandma’s stuffing isn’t Thanksgiving at all. This recipe has been passed down from my grandmother (haven’t a clue where she originally got the recipe or if it’s her creation), to all 6 of her kids and now to the grandchildren, at least the ones who can cook (seeing that the youngest grandchild is only 5, there are quite a few years until the recipe reaches all of us).

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. butter or margarine
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 1 c. chopped celery
    • 1 to 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (I omit)
    • 6-8 c. stale bread cubes (half the amount should be stale cornbread, and that’s why we make chili and cornbread the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, you can buy stale bread cubes at the grocery store, but be sure they are unseasoned–kind of hard to find, or get some French bread a few days before and leave it out on your counter to get it stale)
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

    Directions:

    1. Cook onion, celery and nuts (if using) in butter over low heat until soft, but not browned.
    2. Stir in remaining ingredients until well mixed and taste to see if the seasoning needs adjusting.
    3. Stuff bird lightly–don’t pack it in.
    4. Extra stuffing may be cooked in a covered casserole dish for 45 minutes.
    5. Do NOT stuff turkey until ready to roast, but you can make the stuffing the night before and then stuff the bird the next day.

    Grandma’s Turkey Stuffing/Dressing:

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  • Cranberry Sauce with a Kick

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    I love homemade cranberry sauce, and rather than go the traditional route, we opted to make a cranberry sauce with a kick. It was delicious, and our 2 year old loved it!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
    • 1 c. sugar
    • 1 c. liquid (juice one orange and add enough water to make 1 c.)
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 1 serrano, membranes and seeds removed

    Directions:

    1. Zest the orange and mince the serrano.
      Juice the orange and add water so there’s 1 c. of liquid.
    2. Bring liquid and sugar to a boil. When it comes to a boil add cranberries. Bring back to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the zest and the serrano.
    3. Transfer sauce to a covered dish and allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate.

    Cranberry Sauce with a Kick:

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  • Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Turkey Sausage

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    This recipe comes from the Cooking Light, October 2007 issue. It was pretty good, and the kids liked it. -s said it tasted like red beans and rice, which he likes, but he likes his spicier. So if we make it again, we need to buy regular Tobasco sauce for him to use. I wouldn’t want to make the actual dish spicier, because then it wouldn’t be kid friendly.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups dried small red beans
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 10 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons salt-free Cajun seasoning
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3/4 pound smoked turkey sausage, thinly sliced
    • 3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
    • Chopped green onions (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours (I let them soak overnight). Drain beans.
    2. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in beans, 10 cups water, and the next 4 ingredients (through sausage); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until bean mixture thickens. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

    Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Turkey Sausage:

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