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Banana Bread — June 19, 2013

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

I can’t count how many times Scotty asks me to make banana bread. I think he buys bananas and purposefully doesn’t eat them so I’ll make banana bread. I have made banana bread with plain yogurt before, but I didn’t want to go to the grocery store to buy some so I used this recipe with sour cream. This is the best banana bread I have ever made. It wasn’t dry at all and had such great flavor. Happy Eating!

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Banana Bread

Recipe thanks to Martha Stewart

Yield Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

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Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans — June 17, 2013

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

Day 1 of clean eating complete! I knew it was going to be different and I thought it was going to be really hard, but it was actually pretty easy today. I now know I can do it for one day so my next challenge is to do two clean days in a row.

The chicken in this was pretty dried out, so Scotty suggested I put aluminum foil on the pan next time to keep the juices in. The lemon was just enough flavor to make me not want to add ranch like I normally do. Happy Eating!

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Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

Recipe thanks to Real Simple

Serves 4

Ingredients:

6  tablespoons  olive oil

2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1  teaspoon  kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

3/4  pound  trimmed green beans

8 small red potatoes, quartered

4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices.

Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans.

Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet.

Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender.

Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad —

Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad

I have been home for the past 11 days and throughout those 11 days there was A LOT of eating out and drinking alcohol. It’s obvious to say that I’m feeling pretty crappy now that I’m back home. The worst part is that I have to be in a swim suit at the end of the week. My mom mentioned that she saw a video about eating non-processed foods so I decided to do a little reading while waiting for my plane at the airport. The things I took away from my little amount of research was 1. It’s about getting as close to the source as possible 2. Don’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients in it and ingredients that you can’t pronounce. So today even though I was traveling I decided to see if I could do it.

Breakfast was easy because I was at my parents house and could make some eggs. Getting to the airport and trying to figure out a snack was my next challenge. I went to Starbucks and started reading the ingredients on the snacks they had. I was really happy to find a bag of nuts and a cup of fruit. Driving home from the airport and figuring out lunch was the next challenge. I could have easily stopped at a fast food place, but decided to wait until I got home. Luckily I found all the ingredients to this salad I have been wanting to make. I made the dressing myself which had all clean ingredients. This is not something that I am going to be able to change right away and probably stick to completely, but it is something that I can start thinking about and slowly changing. It’s all about the small victories for me. I am celebrating making good choices this morning.

I changed a few things about this salad. I didn’t include bacon, I used feta cheese instead of blue, and iceberg lettuce instead of romaine. Happy Clean Eating!

Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad

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Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad

Recipe thanks to Gimme Some Oven

Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

Salad Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

8 cups chopped Romaine lettuce

8 slices bacon, cooked and diced

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

2 avocados, pitted and diced

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup garlic vinaigrette (see recipe below)

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Garlic Herb Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (optional)

pinch of salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasonings

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

To Make The Salad:

Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chicken. Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside. (Cooking time wil vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.) Remove chicken and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Dice chicken into small pieces.

Add the diced chicken, lettuce, bacon, blue cheese, avocados and tomatoes to a large bowl, and toss until combined. Drizzle or toss with garlic vinaigrette and serve immediately.

To Make The Vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Gifts for Baby Logan — June 6, 2013

Gifts for Baby Logan

Being off from work for the summer I am always looking for stuff to keep me busy. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I have been trying to talk myself into using it. It’s a little intimidating to get started on a project, but I did it. I’m going home this weekend and I wanted to bring my sister some gifts for my new baby nephew. These were so fun to make and surprisingly not that hard. I wasn’t sure about using the wonder under, but it was awesome! I got the tutorial for the Monster Bibs at Stubbornly Crafty and the Tie Onesie at Crap I’ve Made. Happy Sewing!

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Gifts for Baby Logan —

Gifts for Baby Logan

Being off from work for the summer I am always looking for stuff to keep me busy. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I have been trying to talk myself into using it. It’s a little intimidating to get started on a project, but I did it. I’m going home this weekend and I wanted to bring my sister some gifts for my new baby nephew. These were so fun to make and surprisingly not that hard. I wasn’t sure about using the wonder under, but it was awesome! I got the tutorial for the Monster Bibs at Stubbornly Crafty and the Tie Onesie at Crap I’ve Made. Happy Sewing!

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Santa Fe Chicken Packets —

Santa Fe Chicken Packets

I love the combination of corn, black beans and rotel. This recipe was super easy, throw all the ingredients in the foil and grill. Happy Eating!

Santa Fe Chicken Packets

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Santa Fe Chicken Packets

Recipe thanks to Ready Set Eat

 

 

Serving Size

4 servings (1 packet each

Ingredients:

1 can (15 oz each) Black Beans, drained, rinsed

2 cups frozen whole kernel corn

1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz each)

1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend

Directions:

Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat according to manufacturer’s directions. Stir together beans, corn, drained tomatoes and cumin in medium bowl.

Place four 18×12-inch pieces of heavy foil on counter. Spray each with cooking spray. Place 1 breast in center on each piece of foil. Spoon 1/4th bean mixture over chicken for each packet. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.

Place packets on grate of covered grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers (165°F).

Carefully open packets; sprinkle 1/4th cheese on top of each breast. Close foil and let stand 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Santa Fe Chicken Packets —

Santa Fe Chicken Packets

I love the combination of corn, black beans and rotel. This recipe was super easy, throw all the ingredients in the foil and grill. Happy Eating!

Santa Fe Chicken Packets

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Santa Fe Chicken Packets

Recipe thanks to Ready Set Eat

 

 

Serving Size

4 servings (1 packet each

Ingredients:

1 can (15 oz each) Black Beans, drained, rinsed

2 cups frozen whole kernel corn

1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz each)

1/2 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend

Directions:

Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat according to manufacturer’s directions. Stir together beans, corn, drained tomatoes and cumin in medium bowl.

Place four 18×12-inch pieces of heavy foil on counter. Spray each with cooking spray. Place 1 breast in center on each piece of foil. Spoon 1/4th bean mixture over chicken for each packet. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather.

Place packets on grate of covered grill. Grill 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centers (165°F).

Carefully open packets; sprinkle 1/4th cheese on top of each breast. Close foil and let stand 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles — June 5, 2013

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles

I remember my dad buying these cookies for my sister and I when we were little once. I loved them! I never really got into regular animal cookies, but what kid wouldn’t love cookies in the shape of animals covered in frosting and sprinkles? Now my questions is, what adult wouldn’t love these awesome cookies combined with frosting to make truffles? I made these for my softball team and I can’t wait for them to try them. Happy Eating!

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles

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Circus Animal Cookie Truffles

Recipe thanks to The Domestic Rebel

Ingredients:

About 3 cups Circus Animal cookies

1/2 can cream cheese frosting

1 pkg white chocolate almond bark

Rainbow nonpareils

Pink food coloring

Directions:

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside. Meanwhile, in a food processor, grind the cookies (about a cup at a time–work in batches) until finely ground, coarse crumbs. Pour all the ground cookies into a large bowl.

Once cookies are ground, spoon in the half can of cream cheese icing. Using your clean hands or a spoon, mix together the crumbs and frosting until thoroughly combined.

Begin portioning the crumb mixture into inch-sized balls (I used a small cookie dough scoop) and place the balls onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.

Freeze the truffles for about 3 hours or until completely frozen and solid. While they’re freezing, prepare your white chocolate according to package directions until smooth and melted. Pour half that mixture into a separate bowl, and using your pink coloring, tint one of the bowls a pretty pink shade.

Dip half the batch of truffles into the white chocolate, and the other half into the pink chocolate. I used a fork to coat all sides of the truffles, then allowed the excess to drip off the bottom before gently placing each dipped truffle back onto the foil-lined sheet. While still wet, sprinkle the truffle tops with the rainbow nonpareils.

Allow all the truffles to harden and set, about 20 minutes in the fridge. Store leftover truffles airtight for about 2-3 days at room temperature, or a week in the freezer–just allow them to come to room temperature before eating them that way.

Wedding Season is Here —

Wedding Season is Here

I am so excited to get to go to my first wedding of the season this Saturday. I love when my friends from college get married because it’s like having a reunion. This weekend is going to be filled with going home, seeing family, and celebrating with my friends. I made this card for the happy couple and had a lot of fun looking for quotes to put on it. I found the idea on Inspired Apertrey Ink and Nichole Heady.

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Wedding Season is Here —

Wedding Season is Here

I am so excited to get to go to my first wedding of the season this Saturday. I love when my friends from college get married because it’s like having a reunion. This weekend is going to be filled with going home, seeing family, and celebrating with my friends. I made this card for the happy couple and had a lot of fun looking for quotes to put on it. I found the idea on Inspired Apertrey Ink and Nichole Heady.

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