Banana Bread

I used to use another banana bread recipe until my sister in law Maria shared this one with me.  It is super moist and always delicious!  I just love how it tastes.  My favorite thing about this recipe is that it freezes VERY well.  I like to cut the loaf into fourths and wrap them individually in foil then put them all in a freezer bag.  Then when I am feeling in the mood for some of this delicious bread, I take it out of the freezer and let it defrost...and we have the perfect amount to eat for my husband and I.  I feel it actually tastes better after it freezes because it seems even more moist.  Delicious!  Thanks Maria!

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter, softened
1 1/4 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
4 tablespoons Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups AP Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups (about 3ish) ripe Bananas, mashed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 bread loaf pan.

Beat together your butter and sugar. Then add your eggs one at a time and mix well. Add your sour cream, vanilla, and bananas. Mix well. Add in your baking soda and flour. Mix until fully incorporated. Make sure to scrap your bowl to make sure all the ingredients were fully mixed.

Pour your mixture into your prepared loaf pan. Bake in your heated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool your banana bread on a cooling wrack. Wrap your bread in plastic wrap overnight to bring out the moisture in the bread.

Scone Sandwiches

I absolutely LOVE these scone sandwiches.  You can make the sandwich however you want, and it still tastes great!  This is one of my favorite meals, and it is just a sandwich!

For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons Yeast
1 1/2 cups Warm Water
1 tablespoon of Butter, melted
1 tablespoon of Sugar
4 cups AP Flour
1 teaspoon Salt

For the sandwich:
Toppings of choice.  Recommendations are:  Ham, Turkey, Bacon, Cheese, Avocado, Lettuce, Pickles, Onions, Mayo, Mustard

For the frying:

Mix the yeast with the warm water and let it sit for five minutes.

Combine the flour and salt in a separate bowl.  Add the butter and sugar to the yeast/water mixture and then slowly add in the flour/salt mixture.  Knead for two minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.  Rise in a covered, greased bowl for one hour or until dough is doubled in size.

After dough has risen, punch it down, and on a floured surface, roll it out into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.  Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut out rectangles measuring about 4 1/2 x 6 inches.

Heat up about 2 inches of oil in a pan to 375 degrees.  Fry one rectangle of dough at a time in the oil for a couple minutes on each side, or until browned. The dough should puff when it hits the oil, but if it starts puffing a lot, poke it with a fork to prevent it from puffing even more.

Once they cool enough, cut them in half and make them into sandwiches.

Yields 6 scones.

Sesame Chicken

If you like asian food, but do not like it spicy, then this is just the recipe for you.  The sauce is sweet and served with toasted sesame seeds.  Simple, yet delicious. 

3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds, toasted

For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Sherry Cooking Wine
3 drops Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons Flour
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Water
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup Water
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/8 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Chili Paste
1 Garlic Clove, minced

For the Frying:
Peanut Oil

Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients. Pour them into a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.  If it gets too thick, feel free to thin it down to the desired thickness with some water. Turn the heat down to low and keep warm while you are deep-frying the chicken.

In a medium skillet, heat up about a inch or so of oil to 350 degrees.  Add the marinated chicken pieces a few at a time, and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and then place chicken in warm oven (130 degrees) while you continue frying. Repeat with the remainder of the chicken. Just before you are finished deep-frying, bring the sauce back up to a boil.

Place the chicken on a platter and pour some of the sauce over it. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve the Sesame Chicken with rice and the remaining sauce.

Italian Dipping Oil

This dipping oil is just to die for. There is so much flavor in this oil and is the perfect side to go with your pasta. This recipe does make a lot, so you can bottle up the extra and save it for next time!

1 cup Olive Oil
2/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons Basil, dried
1 tablespoon Oregano, dried
1 teaspoon Thyme, dried
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with italian bread to dip in.

Put the remaining dipping oil in a bottle and store in the fridge.

Herb Flank Steak

My sister in law Maria made this last night. She had purchased it at a place called "Dream Dinners" so she did not have the recipe for it. I was determined to make a recipe for it. I gave it a shot, and was pretty impressed with the outcome. I did not have the time to marinate it as long as I would have liked, but the flavor was still out of this world...

Flank Steak

For the Marinade:
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Herb Rub:
2 teaspoons dried Basil
1 teaspoons dried Thyme
2 teaspoons dried Rosemary
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons Black Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil

Whisk together your marinade. Place the marinade in a large bag along with the meat. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

Mix all of the herb rub together in a bowl. Once it is all fully mixed, rub it completely over the steak on both sides.

Grill the meat until fully cooked. Cut against the grain in 1/4 slices.
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