Saturday, May 26, 2012

Monte’s Banana Bars


History: this recipe was given to me by Monte, who went to iMom meetings with me, circa 2012. She developed the recipe in order to use aging bananas for a shop at which she used to bake. The bars are so good that they became a popular menu item!


Chef's Notes: This recipe is for a half-sheet pan, which is 12" x 16" x1" deep. If you don't happen to have one of those, you could use a 9 x 13,though it will be deeper (more like cake than bars) and you'll have enoughbatter for some cupcakes too. It will still be delish though! But actually Irecommend you go get a half sheet pan--they are so useful for cookies, roastingveg, and about a million other things I can't think of right now. Also, I use parchmentpaper to line the pan, and I highly recommend this as well, for all yourbaking. I still grease (spray) the edges, and if you don't have parchmentyou'll want to grease the whole thing well.  


Full-Size                                                                     Half Size
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, unsalted and room temp
2 cups sour cream
4 eggs
6 mashed bananas
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt 
1.5 cups sugar
.5 cup butter, unsalted and room temp
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
3 mashed bananas
.5 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 350 and get pan ready.
Cream sugar and butter.
Add sour cream, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla, until thoroughly mixed.
Add mashed bananas.
Stir together flour, soda and salt, then stir in to batter gently, just until incorporated.  
Spread in the pan.
Bake until the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean, 
(about 30 minutes in my oven for the half sheet pan; longer for the 9 x 13, shorter for cupcakes.)
Let cool completely (in the pan is fine, especially if you plan to serve it from the pan.)



Full-Size                                                                     Half Size
6 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz butter, softened
1/8 cup sour cream
4 cups powdered sugar (a little over a pound)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 oz cream cheese, softened
3 oz butter, softened
1/16 cup sour cream
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream until smooth.
Spread on cake, let chill overnight. 



Full-Size serves 24-30, depending onhow big you cut the pieces.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Homemade Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper



Ingredients:
·        1 pound ground beef
·        1 cup hot water
·        2 cups milk
·        1.5 cups elbow macaroni
·        1 tablespoon corn starch
·        1 tablespoon chili powder
·        1 teaspoon garlic powder
·        1 teaspoon salt
·        1 teaspoon sugar
·        1/2 teaspoon paprika
·        1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Directions:
1.      Brown ground beef in a large skillet; drain.
2.      Mix dry ingredients together in small bowl.
3.      Add hot water and milk to the meat.
4.      Add the uncooked pasta and pre-mixed dry ingredients.
5.      Bring to a boil.
6.      Cover and simmer on low about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.
7.      In the last few minutes of cook time, stir in the cheese; cover the pot again for the final few minutes of cook time.
8.      When the pasta is tender and the cheese is melted, turn off heat and uncover.
9.      Let mixture stand, uncovered, about five minutes. It will continue to thicken as it stands.




Homemade Hamburger Helper Variations
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Chili Mac: Using 1 pound ground beef, 2 1/4 cups hot water and 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, and 1 cup stewed or diced canned tomatoes, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar or jack cheese, shredded, near the end.
Lasagna: Using 1 pound ground beef, 2 1/4 cups hot water and 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cups either lasagna broken into small pieces or small egg noodles, and 1 cup stewed or diced canned tomatoes, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded, near the end, then sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese during the 5-minute standing period.
Cheesy Beef Taco: Using 1 pound ground beef, 2 1/4 cups hot water and 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup rice, and 1 cup stewed or diced canned tomatoes, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, near the end, then top with another 1/2 cup cheddar plus 1 cup of Fritos during the 5-minute standing period.
Beef Stroganoff: Using 1 pound ground beef, 1 cup hot water and 2 cups milk (if you have sour cream, replace 1/2 cup of the milk with sour cream), and 1 1/2 cups small egg noodles, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper with an add-in of 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms.
Potato Stroganoff: Using 1 pound ground beef, 1 cup hot water and 2 cups milk (if you have sour cream, replace 1/2 cup of the milk with sour cream), and 1 1/2 cups very thinly sliced or diced potatoes, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper with an add-in of 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms.
Salisbury: Using 1 pound ground beef, 1 cup hot water and 2 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups small egg noodles, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
Cheesy Italian Shells: Using 1 pound ground beef, 3/4 cup hot water and 2 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups small pasta shells, and 1 cup stewed or diced canned tomatoes, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in 1 cup cheddar, shredded, near the end.
Cheesy Jambalaya: Using 1 pound ground beef, 3/4 cup hot water and 2 cups milk, 1 cup rice, and 1 cup stewed or diced canned tomatoes, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, near the end.
Cheeseburger Macaroni: Using 1 pound ground beef, 1 cup hot water and 2 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, prepare a sauce packet including 1 tablespoon corn starch, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, near the end. (You can toss a 1/2 cup cheddar on top at the end, too, if you want. We’re going for cheesy here!)