Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nutella Banana Muffins

So one day I had an epiphany.  Take my beloved banana bread/banana muffin recipe...and swirl in some Nutella.  Bam!! It's like taking a chocolate covered banana and making it into some warm delicious bread.  And who doesn't love a little Nutella.
Make the delicious batter.  Attempt not to eat it all raw.  Raw eggs be damned!

Mix a little nutella with a little bit of the batter.  This will help the swirly part not be so thick when you're trying make your swirls.  Scientific, I know.

Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins
Printable Recipe
makes approx. 18-24 muffins

1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
salt (leave out if you used salted butter)
2 cups flour 3-4 very ripe bananas, enough to make a generous cup
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Add vanilla. Add flour, sift if possible with baking soda and salt. Add mashed bananas and nuts.
2. In a small bowl, mix approximately 2-3 tablespoons of Nutella with 2-3 tablespoons of batter.  Set aside.
3. Pour remaining batter into greased muffin tin.  Drop a small spoonful of Nutella mix on the top of each muffin and swirl in slowly with a toothpick. 
4.  Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean in the center.  Let cool slightly and remove from pan.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches

There really is nothing like having a really hard day at work, and coming home to a dinner that is ready and a house that smells so good you almost can’t wait to eat.  That happens to be my problem when I come home from work to a crock pot meal.  I get home from teaching and picking up the baby at about 4:30, so that gives me about a two-hour window before dinner.  That’s a lot of time to restrain myself from digging in.  I sometimes even try and convince myself that there won’t be enough natural light left by the time dinner rolls around to be able to take pictures.  Thank goodness the baby kept me occupied last night because this roast almost didn’t even see 6:00.  It had the most incredible flavor and literally melted in my mouth.  And you wouldn’t believe how easy it was…almost criminal.  But that’s what I think a good crockpot meal should be, quick and easy to put together but tastes incredible.  And an added bonus…this gave us plenty of leftovers for a few other dinners over the next few days.  Win-Win!

Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Beef Roast Printable Recipe
makes about 8 sandwiches

1 (4-5 lb) beef roast, any variety
1 jar of pepperoncini rings
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions: 1.  Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until roast falls apart with a fork.  Serve on toasted hoagie rolls with provolone or swiss cheese and a side of au jus. 

*I did not add any liquid to my slow cooker, except the liquid that was in the jar of peppers.  I found that I had plenty of liquid that came from the beef itself as it was cooking.  If you are worried about not having enough liquid,
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Apple-Pear Crisp

I. Love. Fall. Period. Double Period. It is my absolute favorite season.  Second being spring, third summer, and winter...well aside from one good snow and Christmas, winter is for the birds in my opinion.  I hate the cold.  I hate feeling cold, and I hate cold that has "no purpose." You know, that bitter nasty cold that goes straight to your bones.  But right now it is fall, the most glorious time of the year. Full of casseroles and slow cookers, apple cinnamon candles and old college sweatshirts.  I like to make foods that are in season, because obviously they are cheaper to buy.  And you can't get much cheaper than pears you gathered from a relative and apples that have been in your fridge for about a week.  Speaking of apples...soooooo good for you, and once I get on a kick, I eat them every day.  Not on a kick of any kind right now.  Right now I'm still in pregnancy mode, where I eat whatever I want whenever I want.  Mental note: I gotta quit that.  So I mixed up a good old batch of my favorite apple crisp, but subsituted in some pears.  Yummy and very fall-esque. 

Apple-Pear Crisp
makes 8 servings

For the Fruit Base:
3 cups Granny Smith apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 cups pears (about 3 large), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Topping:
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter a 8x8 baking dish, or use an ungreased stoneware baking dish.

2.  Prepare the fruit base:  In a mixing bowl, combine apples, pears and lemon juice; toss to coat.  In a separate bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples and pears, tossing to coat.  Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading into an even layer.

3.  Prepare the topping: combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Mix butter and vanilla together and pour over oat mixture.  Stir to combine.  Crumble mixture evenly over the apples and pears.

4.  Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown.

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