Friday, November 28, 2008

Festive Tossed Salad

This is a recipe that we make at work, for banquets.
It is surprisingly sweet and very addictive! Give it a try!

Festive Tossed Salad

10 cups torn Romaine
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 medium Apples, cored and cubed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 - 1 cup cashews

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. finely diced red onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup oil
2-3 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Banana Bread

I found this yummy (and easy) recipe for Banana Bread, here.
It was really easy to make... I recommend giving it a try!

Banana Bread
1/2 c butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c very ripe bananas, mashed (~3 bananas)
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts (if desired) and pour into pan. Bake until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
*the original recipe said 1 hour 10 minutes but I overbaked mine so many times that I finally just changed it to 1 hour. It's better to check on it early than too late!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baked Oatmeal and Fruit

(Sorry for the kind of un-appetizing picture, but I promise, it is really good.)
Whisk in a large bowl:
3/4 c. oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs

Add and stir well:
6 cups oatmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups milk

Stir in:
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 cup craisins
1/2-1 cup pecans (optional--of course I left them out because my husband doesn't like them:) )

Pour into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve with milk or cream.

You can see this is a pretty big recipe, but I think you could easily cut it in half. Also, you could replace the fruit with any kind of fruit you like. I think it would be really good with bluberries. Ryan and I ate it dry the night we baked it, but added milk the following days. We really liked it both ways!!

Soft Ginger Snaps

(From Girls Night Out)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (or 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened--but, I like the oil better)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
granulated sugar for coating

In large mixing bowl beat oil, sugar, eggs and molasses together well. Sift dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture until blended. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Form into balls (I think it works better to make them kind of small). roll each ball in granulated sugar and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 6-8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies will be puffy when removed from oven, but wil flatten as they cool. Tops will look cracked. Cool on rack.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Banana Nut Muffins w/ Oatmeal Streusel

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

6 tablespoons regular oats
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°. To prepare the muffins, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine banana and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; fold in walnuts. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.
To prepare streusel, combine oats and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Blend with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel over batter. Bake for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

*Original recipe can be found here

Thursday, November 6, 2008

sour cream containers

Today is my daughters birthday and since the schools require you buy pre-packaged or store bought items for birthday treats (and I'm anti store bought cupcakes!), I wanted to do something fun for today's class treat. A good friend gave me the idea of making sour cream containers (which name sounds silly, but if you've ever been to Wendy's for instance, and ordered a baked potato... they usually come with a pouch of sour cream, hence the name of this cute party favor!)
So, I bought the supplies and my sister and I made these beauts for my daughters first grade class!

What you'll need:
*Paper, preferably card stock
*Tacky tape (or any durable double sided tape)
*Paper cutter
*Paper crimper (is that what it's called?!)

the official "directions" we were following from this site were a little different. They showed the smaller line of tape closer to the corner (almost meeting the vertical strip of tape), but we didn't like where the seam ended up, so... we moved it.
These were cut 5"x6", but you can make them any size you want, just as long as it fits in your paper crimper!

then they were filled with some of my daughters favorite treats

the bottom edges were crimped

The official instructions say to seal the top as well, but we're dealing with first graders and I was fearful they wouldn't know how to open them, so I crimped the top, punched a hole, added a tag and a ribbon and voila...

THEY'RE DONE! Cute, huh?

What's the irony of this??? I didn't notice the name until I was about 3 away from being totally done! Yay for Abby paper!

Even though I copied this project almost 100% and had lots of help, I love feeling crafty!