Monday, April 26, 2010

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

As you may have noticed by now, I am a coconut LOVER!!! When I saw this on the blog called Our Best Bites, I knew I had to try it and it was all I had hoped for and more! I have made it twice in one week. The bread is very moist and yummy with the coconut in it, but when you take a bite of the top with the lime glaze and the toasted coconut - WOW! It is delicious!!! I highly recommend this. (It is a recipe originally from Cooking Light Magazine, so it is a lower fat recipe, but when you eat half the loaf yourself - it kind of negates the "light"ness of it!)

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
adapted by Our Best Bites from Cooking Light

2 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/4 C (4 TBSP) real butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
1/4 C plain low-fat yogurt
3 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut

Topping: 2 TBSP additional coconut
Glaze: 1/2 C powdered sugar whisked with 1 1/2 TBSP fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and beat to combine. Add banana, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Beat until blended.
Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined. Stir in 1/2 C coconut.

Pour batter into a 9x5" loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle additional 2 TBSP coconut on top.

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean.
When done, remove pan from oven. Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from pan. Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top. Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mongolian Beef

One of our favorite things to order at P.F. Chang's is the Mongolian Beef. I found this copycat recipe and it is very close to the real thing! The recipe called for flank steak, but it was only sold in giant sized packages, way too much for the two of us, so I bought Petite Sirloin Steaks instead, and I think they worked great. This had really good flavor - we will definitely be having this again soon! This looks like a recipe that takes a LONG time by the looks of the directions, but it took less than 30 minutes total.

Mongolian Beef

2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1 TBSP garlic, chopped
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c water
3/4 c dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 c cornstarch
2 large green onions (I would add more next time)

1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp veg oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat (don't get the oil too hot)
2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic burns
3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat
4. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices. (Tilt the blade of your knife at about a 45 degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts)
5. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch is sticks.
6. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a large skillet as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil) Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
7. Add the beef to the oil and saute for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. Stir so that it cooks evenly. (I did mine in two batches) Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
8. Put the pan back over the heat and dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
9. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions and cook for one more minute. Remove the beef and onions with tongs onto a serving plate.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heavenly White Chocolate and Berry Trifle

Last year, my son-in-law's mother (Mary) came to our home for dinner and she brought this HEAVENLY dessert that she just made up. It was SO good - and I have made it for many a party since then. It is perfect in the Spring when the fresh berries are available and oh so good. If you have a trifle bowl, it is really pretty, showing all the yummy layers.

Cut the white cake into cubes. I found it really easy to do by dumping the cake onto a cutting board and using an electric knife. Put half the cake, cut up, into the bottom of the bowl.

Mix the pudding and milk for 2 minutes, then pour over the cake, letting the pudding soak into the cake.

Next, add a layer of cool whip and top with fresh berries, being sure to tuck some against the side of the glass bowl so that it looks pretty!

Add a layer of shaved white chocolate. I used a vegetable peeler and it seems to work great.

Repeat the layers and end with the fresh berries. It makes more than will fit into my trifle bowl, so I make another dish full. All the more to enjoy!!!

Heavenly White Chocolate and Berry Trifle

1 white cake mix, baked as directed on the box
2 small pkgs. White Chocolate Instant Pudding, mixed one at a time as directed on the box
1 12-oz container of cool-whip topping, divided
3 small containers of fresh berries (a mix of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries) washed and prepared, divided
2 1-oz squares of white chocolate - shaved, divided

Bake cake mix as directed on the box. Allow to cool completely. Cut into cubes. In the bottom of a glass bowl, put half the cake cubes. Mix up 1 of the boxes of White Chocolate Instant Pudding with milk(2 c.) as directed on the box. Stir for 2 minutes, then pour over the cake cubes. Add a layer of Cool Whip (half the container). Top with half the berries, being sure to tuck some against the side to look pretty. Add half the shaved white chocolate. Repeat the layers, but end with the berries so that they look pretty. Refrigerate.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chicken, Chick Pea (Garbanzo) and Pasta Minestrone

This minestrone soup recipe was shown on KSL-TV back in 2003 and I have loved making it ever since. It is a really hearty stew-like soup with lots of flavor. It is very easy to put together too! Very simple ingredients.

I like how you saute the onion, carrot and celery, then add the meat and garlic and cook before adding the liquid ingredients.

The finished soup - topped with fresh spinach leaves and grated Parmesan cheese - SO GOOD!

Chicken, Chick Pea (Garbanzo) and Pasta Minestrone
Adapted from a recipe featured on KSL-TV Oct 15, 2003

Ingredients:3 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1” pieces
1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 49-oz can chicken broth (about 6 c broth)
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, undrained
1 ½ c dried small shell pasta

Garnish with:
Baby spinach leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese

Method:In a large stockpot, heat oil and sauté the onion, carrot, and celery until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and chicken pieces; cook on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and beans. Bring to a low boil for 15 minutes. Add the dried pasta; cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Garnish each bowl with fresh spinach leaves and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir in the spinach and it will just start to wilt. Serve with crusty bread. Serves 6-8.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Scones and Honey Butter

On General Conference weekend, we have a tradition of having family come to our home after Priesthood meeting on Saturday night for scones and honey butter. The scones are just Rhodes rolls - thawed and risen - then spread flat and fried in oil. The honey butter this year was a hit! I tried a new recipe from my friend Jodie and people were eating it by the spoonful!!! Fluffy Honey Butter

1 c butter (room temperature)
1 c honey
1 7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme

Put all ingredients into mixing bowl and whip for about 3-5 minutes. Serve at room temperature. (store in refrigerator)
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