Monday, February 27, 2012

Banana Bread

A family favorite around here is the super simple and ever delicious, banana bread!

Low Calorie Banana Bread
Source: N/A

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (I omit)

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs; mix well.
Beat in the bananas, sour cream, applesauce and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture just until moistened.
Fold in chips, if desired.
Pour into 3 mini-loaf pans coated with cooking spray. If desired, top with chocolate chip layer.
Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Or 1 large loaf-pan for 55-60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Serves: 3 mini-loaves, 8 thick slices each
or one large loaf

Can freeze loaves in airtight bag/container for up to 3 months
Nutrition: 185 calories per slice with chocolate chips
115 calories per slice without chocolate chips

I topped one loaf with mini-Chocolate Chips, the kids LOVED it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mexican Chicken

Mexican Chicken

1-1/2 pounds chicken (or you can substitute any meat - pork, boneless round steak, etc)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can black beans, drained
1 (20 ounce) jar of Salsa
1/2 cup beef broth

Place chicken breasts in crockpot and mix with all other ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with rice.
Serves: 4-6

No prep necessary prior to freezing. Place all ingredients in a freezer bag and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw, and place in crockpot for 6-8 hours on low.

Nutrition: 6 servings is 423 calories (depending on salsa used)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cheesey Chicken Lasagna

Picture Source: What's for Dinner?

Cheesey Chicken Lasagna
Source: adapted from What's for Dinner?

3 cups skim milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) lasagna noodles, cooked
1 1/2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, grated

Boil chicken for 20 minutes, or until done. Prepare noodles, rince under cold water when finished.
Simmer 3 cup milk and ranch dressing over low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the Chicken and pepper. Layer half of lasagna noodles, sauce, and cheese in a well buttered pan. Repeat layers. Bake covered at 350 for 40 minutes then uncovered for 20 minutes.

Serves: 1 9x13 pan or 2 8x8 pans

This is perfect to split into 2 8x8 pans. Complete recipe as stated above until the lasagna is assembled. Then freeze. When ready to eat, thaw and bake covered at 350 for 40 minutes then uncovered for 20 minutes.

Nutrition: 12 slices = 286 calories each

* I only had 8 ounce oven ready lasagna noodles, this does make for a "light" lasagna, I think it would be better with more noodles!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's!

a sick baby means she gets her own picture later.

her "rockstar" apparel left little to be desired by our 3rd photo shoot! She was not loving pictures :(

Monday, February 13, 2012

Frog Cake Pops

My friend's little girl was turning 4, and she asked me to help her make Cake Pops for the party! It is a tedious task, so it's always more fun to make them with a friend :)

My friend had gotten all the supplies, so this was none of my creativity, I just showed up and supplied the labor :)

We used the Wilton Markers and were sadly unimpressed with their sticking power on the chocolate.

Friday, February 10, 2012



1 cup brown rice
3 cups shredded chicken (approximately 2 large chicken breasts)
2.5 cups shredded Mexican Cheese, divided
2 (14 ounce) cans red enchilada sauce
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed
1/2 yellow onion, diced (if desired)
10 flour toritillas

Boil a large pot of water, once water is boiling place chicken breasts inside and cook for 20 minutes, or until done. Use a fork to shred.

Cook Brown Rice.

After chicken is shredded and rice is cooked, place both in a large bowl with 1 can of enchilada sauce, 2 cups of cheese,black beans and the diced onion. Mix Well. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Fill 10 tortillas with mixture rolling them and place in the 9x13 baking dish. I like to split mine amongst two 8x8 baking dishes. Pour 2nd can of Enchilada Sauce and remaining cheese over top of Burlattas.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Delicious served with Sour Cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Serves: 10

Once prepared, cover and freeze until ready to use. To serve, thaw and bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes, or until warmed through.

Nutrition: 646 calories each

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yellow Cupcakes

Everyone needs a perfect yellow cake in the recipe box. I tried this one and thought it stayed beautifully moist! I ate a cupcake several days later and it still was moist - something I have found rare with most homemade cupcakes! It did have almost a cornbread type cupcake taste though.

Moist Yellow Cupcake
Source: Bakerella

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter (room temperature)
1 cups of sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1.5 cups of sifted flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 cupcake tins (double the recipe to make 3 8-inch cakes).

Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.

Fill cupcakes 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on your oven. Tops will begin to brown.

Serves: 12

Nutrition: 207 calories (unfrosted)

Top with Chocolate Buttercream - divine!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bakery Vanilla Cupcake

I used Sweetapolita's Bakery Style Cupcake to make FunFetti Cupcakes! So cute, the kids loved the looks of them :)

Sweetapolita described the cupcakes as: "a sweet, sturdy and “eggy” cupcake (sorry if that sounds odd, but it’s the only way I can describe that taste)."

I felt the cupcakes were a little dense, but the flavor was spot on. Now to try to figure out how to achieve this wonderful flavor in a fluffier cupcake!

I topped these with my delicious Marshmallow Buttercream.

Bakery Style Cupcake
Source: Sweetapolita

3/4 cups self-rising flour
5/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cups white sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup  milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside. In a large bowl, on medium speed of, cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake until tops turn golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Serves: 12 cupcakes

Nutrition: 202 calories, unfrosted

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Marshmallow Butter Cream Frosting

This was delicious. Maybe one of the best frostings I've had. It was sweet, but not too sweet. So smooth! The one downside would be that it doesn't keep it's shape very well, so not great for Swirling!

that was my swirling attempt :)  Beautiful, but slowly fell!

It worked better just frosted the old fashioned way with a knife

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
Source: adapted from Hoosier Homemade

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Milk to thin if needed

Beat butter until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add marshmallow fluff and vanilla. Add milk if the frosting is too thick
Serves: will frost 24 cupcakes

Nutrition: 140 calories per serving (when serving 24)