Friday, August 20, 2010

Banana Pudding Bites

I'm wrapping up "Week of Banana Recipes" with this fun, bite-sized take on traditional banana pudding. This recipe is so simple it's ridiculous! Ridiculous in a good way. =) There is a recipe to this, but I figure you don't even really need one. You can use all of the ingredients, or not, it's up you. I love that about this. How come I never thought of banana pudding in a bite?
- Regular sized vanilla wafers
- Banana cream pudding (already made)
- Whipped cream or Cool Whip
- Banana slices (about ½" slices)
- Crushed vanilla wafers

Place a banana slice on each of the vanilla wafers. Top with banana cream pudding. (I piped the pudding on for convenience.) Top with whipped cream/Cool Whip and crushed vanilla wafers, if desired. That's it! Enjoy!
Recipe Source: Adapted from Semi-Homemade by Sandra Lee

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Banana Cupcakes with PB Frosting

Yet another recipe from Hungry Girl. I can't wait to make every recipe in every book! Haha! I wish! I loved how creamy and airy this frosting was. Reminded me of peanut butter butter cream a little. Yes, I know my cupcakes look a little...well....flat....BUT! So does Hungry Girl's! Don't believe me? Here is what  hers looks like:
I hope you try them. Enjoy!

For cupcakes:
- 2 cups moist-style yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines.)
- 1 large banana, mashed
- 1/3 cup Gerber bananas (or another brand of pureed bananas in the baby foods aisle)
½ teaspoon baking powder

For Frosting:
¾ cup Cool Whip Free, thawed
¼ cup reduced-fat peanut butter, room temperature

Optional Topping:
- 12 slices banana

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and Cool Whip, stirring until mixed well. Refrigerate until cupcakes are ready to be frosted. (I didn't refrigerate because the cupcakes don't take that long, and after the frosting is refrigerated, it's harder to frost the cupcakes.)
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix with baking powder (don't forget this! (= ) and 1 cup water until mixed well. Add pureed bananas and stir thoroughly. Mix in mashed banana.
4. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute cake mixture among the cups.
5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
6. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, spread frosting evenly over the cupcake tops. Top each cupcake with a slice of banana, if you like. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 12 servings.

PER SERVING (1 frosted cupcake): 143 calories, 3.75g fat, 193mg sodium, 25g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 13g sugars, 2g protein
Recipe Source: Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 by Lisa Lillien

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Banana-Coconut Upside-Down Cake

I found this recipe in All You magazine. I didn't even have to read the recipe to wanna try this one. The picture did it for me. This is the recipe that made me wanna try a bunch of banana recipes. It looks so yummy. What do you think?
Photo from All You August/27,2010 issue

And this is mine:
Doesn't look quite the same does it? I wasn't disappointed at the overall appearance of it, nor the fact that all the banana slices stuck to the bottom of the pan when I turned it out. (Yes, I had to replace every single slice of banana!) I was disappointed that it fell apart when I cut into it. The taste was okay. Not what I expected. If you try this recipe, and it turns out great, please let me know. This was the first time I tried an upside-down cake...maybe I went wrong somewhere. I was so excited about trying this one, but was failed! Hope it turns out great for you! Enjoy!

- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 bananas, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 2 cups loosely packed shredded coconut

- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup milk (I used whole milk.)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Make topping: Melt butter over medium-high heat in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet at least 2 inches deep. Stir in brown sugar and cook, stirring often, until smooth, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice; stir until bubbling, about 1 minute. Arrange bananas in a flat layer over bottom of pan and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle coconut on top; remove from heat.
2. Make cake: Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter on high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
3. Pour batter over bananas and coconut; spread evenly. Be careful not to mix bananas and coconut into batter.
4. Bake until cake springs back slightly when touched in center, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cake sit in skillet for 5 minutes to allow juices to blend into cake. Run a knife around outside of cake to loosen, then carefully invert onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Banana Brown Betty

Before seeing this recipe, I never knew what a Brown Betty was. After searching to try and find out what it was, it seemed like it was kind of like bread pudding. Although apple is the most popular and usually how a Brown Betty is made, this banana version intrigued me. I absolutely love bread pudding. It's on my list of Top 5 favorite desserts. So, if this tasted like bread pudding, it was gonna be a winner. My verdict? This tasted amazing! I only WISH I could've had vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on hand. Sad, I know! =) The only thing that worried me when I was making this was that my custard never really got thick. But, after it came out of the oven, it was fine. I can't remember for anything where I got this magazine. I know it's from a magazine, just don't remember which one. If you like bread pudding, or even if you like brown betty's, you should really give this one a try. Enjoy!

Crumb Mixture:
-2½ cups bread crumbs, plain or made from stale sweet rolls (I toasted some bread & ground it up in the food processor. I used 4 slices of regular white bread.)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup milk (I used whole.)
2 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup dark rum, optional (I used Captain Morgan.)
4 firm-ripe bananas, sliced into ½-inch rounds

1. Make crumb mixture: Mix together bread crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter.
2. Make filling: Position a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350°F. In a heavy pan, bring milk to a simmer. With an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt until thick and pale yellow. Gradually pour half of milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Then whisk this mixture gradually into milk in pan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture has thickened, 1 minute (do not overcook). Remove from heat and stir for 1 minute. Add vanilla and rum, if desired. Fold bananas into hot custard.
3. Gently press half of crumb mixture into bottom of a 9-inch baking dish. Top with banana mixture, then remaining crumbs. Bake until top has browned and starts to bubble, 25 to 30 minutes. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week of Banana Recipes!!!

After seeing "Week of..." on a few blogs, I've decided to try my hand at it. I've decided to start off with bananas...for a couple reasons. One reason is that we had quite a few of them because they are always in our house. My hubby eats them all the time.  And the second reason is because I wanted to try and like them again. For a couple years or so, I haven't really been on the banana band wagon so to say. I don't know why, but I just stopped liking them. These recipes have, I guess you could say, helped change my mind a little. The first thing that I ate the made me start liking them again was banana pudding. We went to a family function and someone had made traditional banana pudding. It was devine! So, one day I will try my hand at good ole traditional banana pudding. For now, try these 5 recipes out. I will be adding more banana recipes down the line, but I had to narrow it to these 5 for the week. I hope you enjoy!

Overstuffed Peanut Butter & Banana French Toast (Hungry Girl Style)
- 1/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
- 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
½ teaspoon + 1 dash cinnamon, divided
- 1 no-calorie sweetener packet, divided (I used Splenda.)
- 1 tablespoon fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons reduced-fat peanut butter, room temperature 
- 2 slices light white bread
½ small banana, sliced
- 2 teaspoons light whipped butter or light buttery spread
¼ cup sugar-free pancake syrup

1. Combine egg substitute, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and half of the sweetener in a bowl, and mix well. Transfer to a small plate and set aside. 
2. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and the remaining half-packet of sweetener. Mix until smooth by stirring with the handle of a fork or spoon. (That's the easiest way to mix this!) (I used a small whisk.)
3. Gently spread cream cheese-peanut butter mixture evenly onto one slice of bread. (If needed, use your fingers, or spatula,  to help spread.) Top with banana and a dash of cinnamon, and then finish it off with another slice of bread. Press down lightly to seal.
4. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add butter and allow to coat the bottom of the skillet. Meanwhile, evenly coat both sides of your sandwich with the egg substitute. Coat the sides of the sandwich as well. (You won't need to use all of the egg mixture.)
5. Place sandwich in the skillet and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve with syrup for dipping. Enjoy!

Makes 1 serving.

{PER SERVING (entire recipe): 327 calories, 8.5g fat, 700mg sodium, 48.5g carbs, 7.25g fiber, 11g sugars, 18g protein}

**You can substitute ingredients, like the cream cheese. I used Weight Watchers' reduced-fat cream cheese instead of fat-free. You just need to make sure you adjust the calorie & fat counts.**

Recipe Source: Hungry Girl 1-2-3 by Lisa Lillien

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Mexican food has to be one of my favorites. I mean, who doesn't love Mexican food?? Though, I never really like guacamole much...until about a couple years ago. My husband's dad & his wife invited us over to her parents' house for dinner one night. Her parents' friends showed up, and the man had this huge bowl of guacamole. I asked him why such a big bowl for only a few people. He said it would be gone by the end of the night. I challenged him. He told me to just try it. I was hesitant at first because I've had some really horrible guacamoles. So, I did, and let me tell you, I LOVE it now. So, I decided to try my hand at it. This recipe I've made my own, and so far is my favorite. I love it because you can tweak it any way to your liking. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. My favorite way to eat it is the traditional tortilla-chip-way! (Sorry again for the less than great picture. This was taken the same night as the Strawberry Cream Trifle.) Enjoy!

- 3 ripe Haas avocados
- Juice of 1 lime
½ cup red onion, diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Slice avocados in half; remove pits. Scoop out flesh, and roughly mash in a medium bowl with lime juice.
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tex-Mex Deviled Eggs

What can I say about deviled eggs? They are one of those go-to's that everyone knows and loves...well, I love em. They show up at just about any event, right? Birthdays, BBQ's, reunions, even weddings. They're always the same. They usually have pickles or relish, mustard, mayo, salt, pepper, sometimes sugar, and the infamous paprika sprinkled on top. Why not mix it up every now and then? Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the deviled egg. I can't help but help myself to a few every time I see them at a party or what not, but it gets monotonous after a while. I wasn't out to get a recipe for one when I saw this recipe. 

This one is a nice variation on the original. I love the cilantro in it. But, it was a tad too salty for me. I followed the recipe exactly. I would still cut the salt in half, at least. Also, I chopped up the jalapeno finely, but I would almost mince it next time. These might not taste anywhere near 'ole faithful,' but they do look like them. So, I would suggest putting out a sign or something letting people know that they aren't the regular ole deviled egg. 

If you are a deviled egg fan, I would recommend trying these. They are very good, unique, have great flavor, and that little kick of heat. Enjoy!

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled* (see note below)
1 TBSP diced green onions (approx. 1 green onion)
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (I used half of a medium one.)
¼ cup mayonnaise (I used fat free.)
1 tsp prepared mustard (I used spicy brown.)
¼ tsp salt
Garnish: shredded Cheddar cheese and chili powder


Cut eggs in half crosswise, and carefully scoop out yolks. 
Mash yolks, and stir in green onions along with the next 5 ingredients.
Spoon or pipe into egg whites. 
Sprinkle with cheese and chili powder.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.

**How to Get the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg**
Boiling an egg...not too hard, right? Well, in some cases, wrong! I struggled with getting the perfect hard-boiled egg for a while. Some of you may, too. Now, my mom has one of  these awesome egg cookers. Me? Not so lucky. So, for those of you, like me, who have to use water and a pot, here is my tip for the best hard-boiled eggs I've ever had. Start off by putting how ever many eggs in the pot that you need. Then, fill will water to about 1-2 inches over the eggs. Set the pot on the stove and set to high heat (or whatever your setting is to boil the water). Once the water comes to a RAPID boil, take the pot off of the heat, and cover IMMEDIATELY. Set the timer for 12 minutes, not a minute more or less. When the 12 minutes is up, take the eggs out of the water and set in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and cool them down to about room temperature. They keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Strawberry Cream Trifle

Strawberries are definitely my absolute favorite fruit out of all of them. I can't get enough of them. I could eat a big bowl of strawberries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This dessert just did it for me. I can't wait to have an excuse to make it again. Hehe! My favorite summer dessert is strawberry shortcake. This trifle reminded me of just that. It was like a deconstructed strawberry shortcake in a huge bowl. I could go on and on about how good this dessert was. I was out of almonds when I made this, but I imagine it would have been awesome with them for that added crunch. The strawberry yogurt/cheesecake mixture is SO dang YUMMY! I could eat that alone. Try it, I promise you won't be disappointed. (Sorry the picture isn't so great. I left my Canon @ our house, and we were at the in-laws' eating dinner. And, yes, I know that's not a trifle bowl. I don't own one. I know right!)


  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted - I was out, so no almonds in mine.
  • 1 pkg (10.75 oz) frozen pound cake, thawed
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • 1 container (16 oz) frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 containers (8 oz each) blended strawberry yogurt -  I used 4 (6 oz) strawberry Yoplait yogurts.
  • 1 pkg (3.4 oz) cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • Powdered sugar - I didn't use this either.
1. Coarsely chop almonds. Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes; set aside. Set aside the prettiest strawberry for garnish. Hull remaining strawberries, and cut into quarters. In a large bowl, combine fresh and frozen strawberries; mix well. 
2. Juice lemon to measure 2 tablespoons of juice. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk lemon juice, yogurt, and pudding mix until smooth; immediately fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping.
3. To assemble trifle, place 1/3 of the pound cake cubes into the bottom of the trifle bowl. Top pound cake with 1/3 of the strawberry mixture. Top with half of the yogurt mixture, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the almonds. Repeat layers one time. Top with remaining pound cake cubes and remaining strawberry mixture.
4. To garnish, spread remaining whipped topping over top of trifle, forming a flat surface. Sprinkle remaining almonds over whipped topping. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sifter. Create strawberry fan with reserved strawberry, and place into center of trifle.

Recipe Source: Pampered Chef Season's Best

Some tips from Pampered Chef:
Vanilla or white chocolate pudding and pie filling can be substituted for the cheesecake pudding, if desired. 

To make a strawberry fan quick & easy, use an egg slicer. Open the egg slicer, place the strawberry stem end down; slice most of the way through with the wires. Remove strawberry, and gently fan out slices. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cajun Turkey Burgers with Spicy Scallion Ranch Dressing

Ground turkey is a staple, among others, in our house. I love the taste of it. A lot of people frown upon it, but I like it. I especially love turkey burgers. The turkey is so versatile, just like beef. I got this recipe from one of my Semi-Homemade cookbooks. I LOVE Semi-Homemade because you can make amazing meals for cheap, and half of the ingredients are store bought and no one has to know! =) I have four of these cookbooks, and I wanna try about every recipe. I love this burger because it has a lot of flavor without a lot of fillers, and it has that little bit of kick. Then, there's the scallion ranch dressing to cool it down. The onions and peppers keep the turkey moist, so no dry burgers here! One of these burgers definitely fills me up. You won't be disappointed with this one. ENJOY!!

  • 1 ¼ lbs ground turkey
  • 1 cup frozen chopped onions and bell peppers, thawed 
  • ¼ cup real bacon pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning - I used Tony Cachere's. 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce 
For the Spicy Scallion Ranch dressing:
  • ½ cup ranch salad dressing
  • 1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 onion kaiser rolls - We used regular hamburger buns.
Optional toppings: lettuce leaves, tomato slices, onion slices

1. Place grill pan on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until very hot.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, onions and bell peppers, bacon, Cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper, and the ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce. Wet hands to prevent sticking; form turkey mixture into 4 ¾-inch-thick patties. 
3. Place patties in hot grill pan; cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until cooked through. (165 degrees F)
4. For the dressing, in a small bowl, combine ranch salad dressing, scallion, and the 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce. 
5. Serve patties with Spicy Scallion Ranch Dressing on split rolls. Top with lettuce, tomato, and onions if you like. 

Recipe Source: Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals