Friday, July 29, 2011

Recipe: 'Naner Bread!

Banana bread is one of my FAVORITE ways to use produce that you would normally need to chuck.  I constantly buy a huge bunch of bananas, and we eat 2 or 3 before the others turn brown.  I started freezing the rest of the bunch when it was no longer edible (at least to my liking; i love green-yellow bananas but don't really love them when the start to freckle) and defrosting them later to make bread!  This recipe is super easy for the non-baker and you don't need any fancy baking equipment except a wooden spoon!  Add chocolate chips to the mix if you want to get fancy...LOVE!

Banana Bread
3-4 ripe bananas
1/3 c. melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix butter into mashed bananas with a wooden spoon.  Mix in sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Sprinkle in baking soda and salt.  Add flour last.  Pour mixture into greased 4x8 loaf pan and bake 1 hour.


 These will be delicious soon :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Sausage and Penne Toss

I use a lot of pre-cooked or pre-packaged foods in my recipes because it is SO. FRICKIN. EASY.  As much as I love to cook, I'm not always in the mood after a long day at the office. Nothing is faster than pasta, and this recipe combines a healthy pasta variety with a quick and lean (and pre-cooked!) protein.  Adding fresh veggies rounds the dish out.  Try this for a light summer meal when you're short on time.

1 Package chicken sausage (I used Al Fresco roasted garlic flavor but use what you see at the store if you can't find this variety)
1 box tri-color pasta (Ronzoni Garden Delight is packed with one serving of veggies! Double whammy!)
1-1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 red pepper
EVOO (use at your discretion)
1 tsp. chopped or minced garlic
1 tblsp. red pepper flakes
1-2 turns of a pan Pastene Balsamic Glaze (sub balsamic vinegar if you can't find this)
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place broccoli and red pepper on foiled baking sheet and drizzle EVOO, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven about 15-20 minutes, checking and tossing once throughout cooking process.  Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and cook according to package.  While pasta cooks, oil large skillet with EVOO over medium-high heat.  Add garlic.  When garlic is browned (but NOT burnt!) , add chicken sausage and turn heat to medium-low; cook until browned.  When pasta and veggies are ready, add to skillet with chicken sausage.  Drizzle more EVOO and balsamic glaze to coat; let warm through.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and toss to coat.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

let's talk savings.

I want to discuss couponing for a minute.  The fact that "Couponing" is even a real (or somewhat real) verb should be enough to tell you that everybody's doing it.

People have been clipping coupons for years.  When I was a kid I used to love Sunday mornings at the kitchen table, cutting coupons with my mom and organzing them in her coupon book, picking the cereal coupons I had to have (um HELLOOOO Lucky Charms!) and begging for the ice cream ones to get cut out, too.  I grew up with coupons and never understand why people don't use them more regularly.

Now that I live with my fiance and we're on an even tighter budget than before, I love my Sunday paper even more.  I get the paper simply FOR the coups.  I'm not talking TLC-Extreme-Couponing here.  But I do clip what I can and save what I can.  Am I embarrassed that at 25 years old I have already acquired the housewifely duties that I remember from my mother so many years earlier?  Hell no.  Some people might laugh at my accordion coupon case or my slow-as-molasses walk through each grocery aisle looking for savings.  But how much do I love getting my grocery receipt at the end of a transaction and seeing that I saved $25 with my stop&shop card and extra $10 in COUPONS?! that's like....4 medium iced coffees.  or a quarter tank of gas.  or a wedding invitation.  $10 is $10 is $10 and I will take what I can get, thankyouverymuch.

Do YOU coup?!