Saturday, October 31, 2009

Frosted Banana Bars

Picture from Taste of Home

My friend, Brenda, posted these on her cooking blog.  I made them tonight and they are fabulous!  They are originally from Taste of Home!  Enjoy!

½ cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended. Transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
For frosting, in a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder

It's the time of year for soup, and this is one of my favorites!

Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder


2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

2 (14.5 ounce) cans of chicken broth

3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (I use red potatoes and never peel them)

1 can corn (I use 2 small cans of vacuum packed corn)

1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies

1 (2.5 ounce) package country style gravy mix

2 cups milk

1 cup shredded Mexican style processed cheese

(I also usually add chicken)


1. In a large saucepan, melt margarine over medium high heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are are soft, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in corn and chilies; return to boiling. Dissolve gravy mix in milk; stir into boiling mixture. Add cheese; cook and stir over low heat until the cheese is melted.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

White Bean Soup

Hi--Rae here! I think I've posted this on my regular blog before, but it bears repeating because it is economical, delicious, and a wonderful cold-weather recipe. might be kind of good for you? So without further ado:

White Bean Soup

¾ C dried cannelini beans, soaked in cold water to cover overnight (I actually used canned cannelini beans instead, and have several times since with great success)

1 ½ quarts chicken or vegetable stock

4 oz dried coralline(those curly, ribbed elbow noodles)

6 Tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I’ve used dry with success, too)

**salt and pepper

fresh crusty bread, to serve

Drain the soaked beans and place them in a large, heavy-bottom pan. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Partially cover the pan, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until tender. (2 hours of simmering if you don’t use canned beans)

-Transfer about half the beans and a little of the stock to a food processor or blender and process to a smooth puree. Return the puree to the pan and stir well to mix. Return the soup to a boil.

-Add the pasta to the soup, return to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender.

-Meanwhile, heat 4 Tbsp of the olive oil in a small pan. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Stir the garlic into the soup and add the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creamy Pesto Crock Pot Chicken

Well hot dog! Dont you just love when you throw ingredients into your slow cooker with no recipe and it actually turns out? This dish tastes great and smells like basil while its cooking. Mmm. I love me some basil.

You will need:

1 pound chicken tenders or breast
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom
1 cup prepared pesto (Im sure you could use a dry mix, but prepared is what I had on hand)
1 can of artichoke hearts drained and quartered
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes cut into small bits
1/2 cup milk or cream (more or less to desired sauce thickness)
garlic powder
a handful of pine nuts
Add to crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours. Serve over pasta and along side a vegetable. We ate it with asparagus. I could eat anything with asparagus but thats a whole nother post.....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 can chicken broth (13 oz - so a little less then 2 cups. 2 cups is 16 oz)
1 small onion, diced

1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
Pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)

2 c. milk (I wanted it super creamy, so I did 1 1/2 cups 2% milk and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (the sharper the better for flavor)
1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese
Steamed chopped cauliflower (If you would like. I added this to the recipe!)
Steamed chopped broccoli (The amount is up to your preference. I did 1/2 of a family sized bag)

Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour and pepper. Cook together for a couple of minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium-high heat until soup starts to thicken. Next add chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and steamed broccoli. Serve immediately.

Makes approx 4 servings.

Bread Bowls

Bread Bowls

This recipe is from my friend Lisa!

2 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 c warm water
5 c flour
1Tbsp sugar

Put yeast and water in Kitchen-Aid bowl (or any mixer with a kneading attachment) and stir with a spoon. Allow yeast to dissolve for about 5 minutes. Add in sugar, salt, and flour one cup at a time. Use the kneading attachment of the mixer to knead the bread. You can do this by hand but if you have a Kitchen-Aid it’s a lot less work for you. Knead until smooth and cover mixer with towel and let rise to double. Punch down and divide into 6 balls on a cookie sheet. Cover and let rise to double. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

PERFECT Pumpkin Roll

This recipe was posted on My Kitchen Cafe. And, they weren't joking when they named it the PERFECT Pumpkin Roll! I made a bunch yesterday and it turned out absolutely amazing. I was going to give them out as VT gifts, but I'm rethinking that now. I might just have to keep it all for myself! haha :)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
2/3 cup mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15 X 10-inch jelly roll pan. Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of the pan and leave an inch overhang on each of the short ends of the pan. Lightly grease the wax paper and sides of the jelly roll pan.

Mix the sugar, flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, eggs and pumpkin in a large bowl. Once mixed, pour mixture over the waxed paper. Sprinkle the walnuts, if using, on top of the mixture. Bake for 14-15 minutes until edges pull away from the sides of the pan and center is done.

Lay a large dishtowel on the counter top (it is best to use a dishtowel without any texture - a tea towel or similar towel works best). Spread a thick dusting of powdered sugar all over the towel. When the cake comes out of the oven, turn the pan upside down on the powdered sugar-laden towel so the wax paper is on the top. Gently peel off the wax paper, being careful not to tear the roll. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the pumpkin cake up with the towel to cool. While the roll is cooling, mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until it is light and creamy. Once the roll is cool, unroll and with an offset spatula, carefully spread filling in an even layer over the cake. Roll it up without the towel and place in the refrigerator (covered with plastic wrap or wax paper) for about an hour before serving.