Banana Muffins

-1 cup mashed bananas
-1 egg
-1/3 cup milk
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-3 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt

First, beat the egg and milk together. Then mash your bananas and toss them in. Once that is combined, add the sugars, the salt and the baking powder. Then slowly add the flour until the batter is well combined.

Line or grease your muffin tin, and fill them about 2/3 of the way. I usually do it a little bit more, because I love big muffins. Bake them for 20 minutes at 400F.

Tomorrow I’m going to be making lasagna (and maybe dessert. And sometime this weekend I’m going to be making pumpkin muffins. So you’ll get a few more posts ūüôā


Baked Chicken Alfredo

My alfredo sauce is usually quite thick, so¬† I had to make sure that it was thin, so when it baked it wouldn’t get disgusting.

-3 cups of milk
-2 tablespoons of butter
-2 tablespoons of flour
-salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
-1 lb. box of pasta (I used penne)
– 3 or 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts grilled and chopped
– 1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

I would grill and chop the chicken, and cook the pasta beforehand. The sauce is quite simple, and fast to make.
Scald the milk. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then incorporate the flour. Slowly whisk in the scalded milk, and gently simmer. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. The nutmeg should just require one small pinch.

Place the pasta in a casserole dish, and mix in all the sauce and the chicken. Top with the mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 400F for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is browned.

Meatballs, gravy and mashed potatoes

This is a recipe of my mothers, with slight changes, because well, I can’t help myself!

-1 lb of ground beef
-1 lb of ground pork
-1/4 cup of italian seasoned breadcrumbs
– 1 teaspoon of pepper
-2 tablespoons of milk
-1 1/2 teaspoons of galic salt
-2 eggs
-1 family size Heinz “Savory Beef” Gravy (why yes, I was that lazy, and not making my own gravy. But you know what, I love this gravy!!)
-4 or 5 medium-large potatoes, chopped
-1/2 stick of butter
-1/4 cup of heavy cream
-salt and pepper to taste

I pretty much just dump everything in and mix it thoroughly with my hands. Its easiest that way. Then make them to whatever size you desire. Mine are about the size of golf balls.

In a pan over medium to medium high heat, brown the meatballs on all sides. I try not to cook them all the way, and let them finish in the gravy.

Once they’re all browned, I pour the gravy over them and let them¬†gently¬†simmer away.

Cut and boil the potatoes until they’re done (when you poke them with a fork and they’re tender!)
Then I put in the butter, cream, salt and pepper, and mash them. MMMMMMmmm.

Baked Mostaccoli

This was my favorite, but that just might be because I have a soft spot for it. I love this. Any buffet that has it, I eat it! I changed it up a bit, but all in all, it tasted pretty much the same. And finally, my mom let me make the sauce, so I know have a delicious recipe for homemade tomato/meat sauce.

-Beef neck bones
-1 lb. ground beef
– 3 large cans of crushed tomatoes
-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
-salt, pepper, oregano, and italian seasonings to taste
-1 lb. box of mostaccoli
-1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Pour all the tomato products into a large pot, drop in the neck bones, and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it simmer away for about 2 hours, stirring every once and awhile. Also, during this time, brown the ground beef, breaking it up into small pieces.

Remove the bones, let them cool, and then remove any beef from the bones and drop in the pot. Also, at this time,¬†drop in the ground beef.¬†Season the sauce with the salt, pepper, oregano, and italian seasonings. Let it simmer for another half hour, or longer. It won’t hurt it, just make sure you stir it.

Next, cook the mostaccoli noodles until they are ALMOST al dente. Drain. In a casserole pan, dump the noodles in and pour in as much sauce as you want. Then top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is browning.

Under the cheese, I had been making some meatballs for another dish, and chopped some up and put it on top of the pasta, but under the cheese. I love me some meat, so the more the better!

Grandma Betty’s Chicken and Dumplings

This is a recipe that pretty much everyone in my family loves. I’ve changed it a bit, but only to give it more flavor, nothing drastic at all!

-Stewing chicken (any size you want. For the party I actually had two, and slow cooked one.)
-Enough chicken stock to cover the chicken (you can use water, chicken stock just obviously gives it more flavor)
-1 large (20-something oz) of condensed chicken noodle soup
-1 large onion
-two cloves of garlic, peeled,
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 cups of flour
-2 large eggs

So in a LARGE pot, put the chicken in, and pour in enough chicken stock to cover the chicken. Then drain the chicken noodle soup, and just add the liquid, save the noodles (you can pour in a little bit of water, and its like noodle soup, not a lot of broth, lots of noodles!), cut the onion in half and drop it in the broth, along with the garlic. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer, until the chicken is done. I usually go by the neck bone, when its pertruding out, its done. But it’ll be at least an hour, if not more.
Once the chicken is done, remove it from the broth, and skim anything unwanted from the broth. Let the chicken cool, enough where you can shred it.

To make the dumplings:
Use 1 cup of the flour, and one egg. Slowly temper the eggs with one cup of the broth. Mix until combined and then scrape out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is approximately 1/4 in. thick. Cut into any desired shape and drop into the broth. Repeat one more time, or more if you want more dumplings. Once you’re done, drop in the chicken. Let it simmer for about a half hour, or until the broth has thickened.

It’s effin’ delicious.¬†Sadly I don’t have any pictures, but the next time I make it, I’ll be sure to post it.

I’m pretty sure out of all the things I made for the party, this was the most popular. Everyone loved it, and it was all gone! No leftovers!

Austin’s Cake

So I’m not gonna lie, I was lazy as hell. I had so much cooking still left to do, that I wimped out and bought boxes of cake.
But no fear! I made the icing. And I’m not an icing person, and even I liked this icing!!

We made yellow cake, Devil’s Food cupcakes, and for Austin’s individual cake (and for my mom) we made strawberry.

American Buttercream Frosting
-4 large eggs
-1 cup of sugar
-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-4 sticks of unsalted butter

Start by cracking all four eggs into the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl. Whisk until the eggs, sugar, and extract are evenly combined.

Find a pot that the mixing bowl can sit on without touching the bottom of the pan. Pour about 1/2-in. (about 1 cm) water into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the mixing bowl over the water pot to form a double boiler. This will allow us to heat the eggs slowly, minimizing the chances that the egg proteins will tighten up (forming scrambled eggs). Whisk continuously over the steaming water until the eggs reach 160¬įF as measured by an instant read thermometer.

Once the mixture reaches 160¬įF, take it off the heat and beat on medium-high with the flat beater attachment for five minutes. The egg mixture will turn light yellow and fluffy. The mixture should have cooled by this time. Touch the side of the mixing bowl to check the temperature. If the mixture is too warm, it will melt the butter while you add it and the buttercream might not come together.

Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and begin cutting pieces of butter into the mixer, waiting for ten to fifteen seconds before adding the next piece. One pound of butter should be cut into about 16 to 20 pieces (about 2 Tbs. per piece). During this process, the mixture will become lumpy, but don’t worry about it, continue to cut pieces of butter into the mix until all the butter has been incorporated.

After all the butter has mixed in, continue to run the mixer until the mixture turns smooth and silky. The final buttercream should be easy to spread onto the cake and should taste distinctly of sweet butter without any lumps or grittiness.

And wah-lah! This is what the cake looked like when my sister, Kerri, was done decorating it. (I have no artistic ability, that went to Kerri. I cook/bake, she decorates!)

And here’s big brother feeding little brother his BIRTHDAY CAKE!

Austin Joseph Turns ONE!!!

Yea, yea, yea, it took me a few days to feel like doing this. I thought about it, but I was too busy watching the Barefoot Contessa, Giada at Home, and Top Chef (and Top Chef Masters!).
So I didn’t take any pictures. Ok, I took some of the cake, and some of the meatballs, and well, that’s¬†it. But I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be making my grandmother the Mostaccoli¬†that I made, so I’ll take some pics of that. And this Friday is Fajita night at our house, and let me tell you, my fajitas are delicious, so soon there will be that too!
So let’s get to this party!

So there were about 25 people. And I made tons of food. I mean TONS. I made those huge metal buffet containers. Four of them. Plus some other stuff. But that just means that everyone could go back for seconds (and thirds, and fourths…) and some people could take a plate home. I feel like that’s a success, and I did the math, it was about $4.50 a person. There is no way that you can get alllll this food for $4.50 a person!

So the spread:
-Chicken and Dumplings
-Baked Chicken Alfredo
-Meatballs, gravy, and mashed potatoes
-biscuits and croissants

The biscuits and croissants¬†turned out terrible, but that’s only because we had really dark pans, and they burned so easily. I mean, how else could you mess up packaged croissants and Jiffy biscuits? The temperature was right, and they started burning HALFWAY into the cook time. But its all we had. And some turned out fine, the biscuits were actually ok, but they were close to burning, so though they were cooked all the way through, they weren’t browned on top. Oh well!
Alright, the recipes and such will be posted next!

Austin’s first birthday!

So i’ve been cooking and baking. And icing cakes. And, sorry, but I totally spaced on taking pictures. But don’t worry, it’s all been the prep so far. I’ll make sure to take pictures of the final products! And share some recipes.

I’m exhausted, and just peeled and chopped like 20 potatoes. I’m going to bed!!

Yeast rolls…

Once again, this was a recipe that failed for me. Everyone else (parents and grandparents) loved them. I just thought they didn’t taste like the rolls at Texas Roadhouse, and that’s what I wanted. I found another recipe that I want to try. It has more fats and more milk in it, so maybe it’ll come out softer. Not as dry. Though these weren’t really that dry, just, as I said, not like Texas Roadhouse.
If anyone wants the recipe, let me know, I’ll send it to you.

Easter Dinner

I’m pretty much not doing a damn thing! The “traditional” Easter dinner that my mom makes is pretty much a dinner of “things Christi doesn’t like”. I like ham, but I’m sick of it, and then she makes scalloped potatoes, amoung other things. I’ll probably eat some ham, but I’ll make myself some mashed potatoes and thats about it.

The one thing I WILL be doing is making the rolls. My family absolutely LOVES the rolls they give you at Texas Roadhouse. And I spent a bit of time scouring the internet, comparing recipes, looking for a “copycat” recips for these rolls. And I think I found one, so my family will be lucky (hopefully) to be having some incredible rolls with their dinner.

I’m going to wait until tomorrow to post the recipe, just in case it doesn’t work out. But if it does, expect the recipe, and pictures, and it being added to the list of things I’m going to make for AJ’s first birthday next weekend.


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