February 26, 2015

Healthy Banana (chocolate chip) Cookies

Block schedule...90 minute periods...4 periods per day.  Just my luck, both study halls land on the same day! Back to back!  Oh yeah, three hours of What should I do now?

What did I do?  Well after finishing an English project, typing a scholarship essay, finishing a scholarship application, and doing a blog post, I decided to make some PB2 Oatmeal Bites.  All that work made me hungry!

So I strolled down to the foods room.  The teacher is super nice and lets me come in and experiment. She must not know how dangerous that is...shhhh, don't tell her! 

After the snack I was all ready to roll up my sleeves and do some baking!  The Menu: Healthy Banana (chocolate chip) Cookies and an Egg Wrap

A couple days ago I found this recipe on Pinterest for Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies.  There's a catch.  They have no sugar, just bananas.  The lady promised "you will NOT miss the sugar in these cookies at all!"  I just had to try it for myself... 

The first batch was good.  I did alter the original recipe a little bit. They were more cake-y than cookie-y.  A good thing for breakfast! And giving up sweets I had to leave out the chocolate chips.  That probably would have made them more like a cookie.  Overall though, not bad. Next time I may add a little cinnamon, honey, or a second banana. But seriously, try them for yourself!  They were much better than I was expecting!

Start by creaming your butter.  

Add in the banana and vanilla.  You're supposed to mash the banana, but I'm to lazy to do that.  I just sliced it and threw it in.  Turned out fine!

When that's all combined stir in the flour and baking powder...

...until a dough forms.  Then if your adding chocolate chips or raisins or something stir them in now by hand.  

Roll into balls and place on your cookie sheet.  Sample some if you must, it's pretty good!  Shhh...I won't tell :)

Bake 10 minutes or until done.  Cool on a cooling rack.

So one batch makes about 14 cookies, depending on how much dough you eat. I gave away 5, ate 1 out of oven, 1 before gymnastics....let's just say I woke up with 2 left.  Whoops!  Hey, they're healthy right?

Healthy Banana (Chocolate Chip) Cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, raisins, etc. (optional)
Cream butter or margarine.
Stir in banana and vanilla.
Add flour and baking powder. Stir until combined.
Roll into balls and and place on cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Bake 10 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

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February 22, 2015

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

We survived the first four days of Lent!  Yay!  What is it then, 36 to go? Is it bad that I'm already counting down the days to Easter?  Sugar addictions... don't start!

My parents gave up chocolate (shocker!) so dad can't have chocolate chip cookies in his lunch. No cookies just isn't an option!  Not in this household! So mom and I reached way, way back in the cupboard and found the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. 

Can't tell you the last time we made these.  A little dusty, but boy did they hit the spot!  Look how beautifully she rolled them out.  I think she's hired!

Almost as good as chocolate chip....almost...

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
Cream together shortening, brown sugar, and sugar.
Add eggs and almond extract. Beat well.
Stir in oatmeal, flour, baking soda, and vanilla extract.
Roll into balls.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake 12 minutes.
Cool completely on wire rack.

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February 19, 2015

Boston Cream Pie Yogurt

Yes, I did it to myself again... I gave up sweets for Lent. 40 days of no ice cream, no chocolate, no cakes or pies, no cookies. This is gonna be rough...

Fat Tuesday you know I indulged! Handel's ice cream, ice cream cake, chocolate sauce, Nutella. It'd be bad by Easter! I had to eat eat! 

New York Style Cheesecake may just be my new favorite ice cream flavor. I may have shed a tear or two when I looked down and saw the empty container. Yes, it was a pint. (I didn't wear jeans to school the next day...)  And of course we made chocolate chip cookies in Creative Cooking...

So now I have to find creative ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without breaking my Lenten promise. Idea One: Boston Cream Pie Yogurt

I had a coupon for the little containers of yogurt so I figured I'd try some fun flavors. Boston Cream Pie? What the heck! So I open the container and this is what I find...

...where's the chocolate???!!!!!
I needed chocolate. That's why I bought Boston Cream Pie! Ughhh! 

Then it hit me. You ready for this brilliant idea...  Stir in some chocolate PB2!  

Mmmmmm! Absolutely delicious!!  Not a PB2 fan? Nutella or chocolate sauce would taste just as good...

February 16, 2015

Baked Potato Bar

Baked Potatoes...idea number nine on my meatless meals challenge for Lent.  I did a little research (aka googling) of the best toppings for a baked potato.  Obviously not all of these are "Lent-friendly", but hey!  I may serve this for dinner some other time too!  Football season maybe?

50+ Baked Potato Toppings

Tortilla Chips
Dried Fruit
Scrambled Eggs
Sour Cream
Cottage Cheese
Barbecue Sauce
Spaghetti Sauce
Alfredo Sauce

some interesting combinations...

Pepperoni Pizza Potato

Grilled Vegetables and Sausage Potato

Sweet Potato with Cranberries, Apples, and Pecans

Sloppy Joe Potato

Breakfast Potato

Please note, these are not my images.

February 12, 2015

Angel Food Cake

Is it too early to start the countdown to spring? I know I’ve said it before, but I am literally through with winter! Had enough, done! One more snow/ice storm, I’m packin’ up and headin’ to Florida! Anyone who wants to tag along, come join me!

In the last five days I’ve gotten stuck three times in my driveway! Yes, three times! Stuck! Don’t be mistaken, not on the my driveway. I should probably explain I have a really long driveway. And the turn tends to get a little slippery. Right now, the whole thing is a sheet of ice. Lovely.

So yesterday Abby and I were heading to school and my mom said, “go slow around the corner it’s slippery.” Okay, no big deal! I’m a slow driver anyway! I slow down, turn the wheel...nothing happens. AHHHHH! Straight into the snowbank. Ughhhh!

Mom to the rescue! She literally had to push me out of the snow and around the corner! If our neighbors were recording the whole ordeal, they’d definitely win $10,000 on AFV!

So...if I could get out of my driveway, I’d be on my way to Florida (or somewhere a little warmer!)  Look how beautiful...I'm meant to be there... But I’m stuck. So, I decided to make the most summery dessert I could think of, close my eyes by the fire, and pretend I’m lying on the beach. Little ocean-y/waves music and I’d be good to go! Nothing says warmth and sunshine like a piece of angel food cake and strawberries! 

Start by measuring out the egg whites.  I like to crack them over a separate bowl...just in case a yolk breaks!  It stinks when you're on the last one and have to start all over!!

Beat the egg whites, cream of tarter, salt, and vanilla until soft peaks form.  I test with the beater.  It takes quite a while...

Now beat in the granulated sugar.  They say about 2 tablespoons at a time, but I always just slowly pour it in while it's beating.  

Keep mixing until stiff peaks form.

Sift the flour and powdered sugar together in a separate bowl.  And then sift one more time...just for the heck of it!

Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture about a fourth at a time.  Pour into an ungreased bunt pan...

and bake on the lowest rack of a 350º oven 40 minutes or until golden.

Remove from oven and cool inverted.  I'm so proud of myself this time!  The cake didn't crumble when I inverted it!  Yay!

Here's the picture I got when it came out...

....and then I went to take a picture of the final product...and this is what I found.  Yep, one bite.  How do you photograph one bite?!  Well, this is what I came up with so until I make it again this will just have to do!

Angel Food Cake

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar

Sift together powdered sugar and flour twice.  Set aside.
Beat egg whites, vanilla, salt and cream of tarter until soft peaks form.
Beat in granulated sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time.  
Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Fold in sifted flour mixture, about a fourth at a time.
Pour into an ungreased bunt pan.
Bake on the lowest rack of a 350º oven 40 minutes or until golden.

Click for printable recipe.

February 10, 2015

Tuna Noodle Casserole

They say it’s best to eat pasta the night before a big game. (In my case a gymnastics competition) So, for Friday night I planned some sort of pasta dish. At the beginning of the week I wasn’t quite sure what that dish would be, but I knew I’d think of something good...

Before I knew it, it was Wednesday and I still didn’t have any ideas! Traditional spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread ....BORING! I can totally do better than that! Then it hit me. Tuna Noodle Casserole! Pasta, fish, veggies, it’s like the perfect least I think so!

Abby, who usually turns up her nose at any of my “healthy” concoctions, actually begged me to make it again! She loved it! :o (Shock face!) Next time I won’t make her try it...more for me! ....I thought you didn’t like tuna, Abby?

Needless to say, the leftovers only lasted one night. Guess I’ll just have to make it again for lunches! Maybe a double batch this time! 

Start by cooking your noodles and broccoli. This time we used "No Yolk" noodles, but really any kind will work! I like wheat rotini...

Drain the tuna.  This is probably my least favorite step.  Why can't they sell "Chunk Light Tuna in No Water"??  I despise draining tuna! To bad I love eating it.

Add the broccoli, tuna, cream of chicken or mushroom or celery soups, and and milk in with the noodles.  

Now give it a good stir...

And pour into a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a little mozzarella cheese.  I've also heard people use breadcrumbs or potato chips.  Never tried it myself, but they say it adds a nice crunch!

Bake at 350º for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is nice a melted.  Doesn't that just look delicious!!  I couldn't resist a little sample...

Okay...maybe it was a serving...

Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 2 cups noodles
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 ounces canned tuna
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Cook noodles and broccoli according to package directions.
Stir soups, milk, broccoli and tuna with cooked noodles.
Pour into a large baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Cover bake at 350 F for 20 to 30 minutes.

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