My discovered a new way to use up overly ripe bananas ... wait for it ... banana muffins with dark chocolate chunks and fresh raspberries! I was searching the internet when I stumbled across Recipeboy.com and his recipe for chocolate, raspberry, banana bread. Three of my favorite ingredients in one recipe - dreamy. I converted the bread recipe into muffin form because I had planned to pack them for a picnic.
As luck would have it, I had a Godiva Dark Chocolate bar in my pantry, (That should not surprise anyone.) some perfectly ripe bananas on my counter and a bag of frozen raspberries in my freezer. I could hardly wait to get started on this recipe.
Banana, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup halved raspberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.
I made some mini muffins....
and some regular sized muffins.
You've got to try these muffins to believe how good they are. They are incredible.
Most of these muffins never made it to the picnic because we ate so many of them warm out of the oven.
It didn't take long before I made the recipe again, this time with no intention of sharing, I made a loaf of banana, raspberry and chocolate chip bread.
Not sure if I liked the muffins or the bread better. Bottom line - it really doesn't matter. Both are decadent and delicious.
Cooking Light magazine featured a Grilled Sweet Potato and Napa Cabbage Salad with Lime Vinaigrette this month. (Even the title is a mouthful.) I used that recipe as my inspiration for this yummy salad. I modified the recipe to fit my own personal taste and my busy schedule.
Cabbage Salad with Grilled Sweet Potatoes
3 medium sweet potatoes
5 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 cups shredded cabbage (I bought prepackaged shredded cabbage.)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons green onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 avocado, sliced
Cut potato slices into strips.
Arrange over cabbage.
The truth is that I was the only one who ate this salad for dinner. I bought some steaks for Ben and the kids and Ben cooked the potatoes at the same time that he was grilling the meat. Ben and the kids had the extra potato strips alongside their steaks as a nutritious side dish and I was perfectly happy with my delicious cabbage salad. (sans steak) This salad was easy to put together and while Ben was acting as "Grill Master" I got the cabbage and vegetables ready. It was super satisfying and delicious.
Cookies that you don't have to bake? - sign me up. With temperatures still in the 80's, I'm using my oven as little as possible. This recipe for Chocolate Caramel Cracker Bars came from this month's issue of Taste of Home magazine. These are super simple and no baking is required - yea!
Chocolate Caramel Cracker Squares
1 teaspoon + 3/4 cup butter
45 club crackers
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I added these to the original recipe.)
Cut into squares.
This is a great recipe to get your kids in the kitchen and baking. It was super easy and everyone really enjoyed them. (Nobody even suspected that it was crackers layered in between the caramel layers.)
I hope that you're not tired of me posting about all of the meals that we eat "on the go". With soccer and baseball seasons officially ending this week we should be eating more meals at home next month.
I packed another picnic to take to the field last week - this time it was pepperoni rolls and calzones. This recipe came out of my Cook's Country magazine. I've experimented with pepperoni bread recipes but never really had great results so I thought this recipe might be just what I needed to get me on the right track to pepperoni greatness.
Pepperoni Rolls (I made a 1/2 recipe)
4 sticks pepperoni
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
6 2/3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoon sesame seeds
I drastically underestimated the amount of pepperoni that I would need for these rolls so I turned the rest of my dough into meatball calzones. I'm not really sure which one my family preferred, pepperoni rolls or meatball calzones. Both were delicious and both were gone by the end of the game.
As much as I love to cook, sometimes I just need an easy lunch that doesn't take long to prepare and keeps me full and satisfied for hours. Hello - tuna melt. I blogged a tuna melt last August but this one is a little different and I thought it deserved another shot on the blog. It really is delicious, quick, easy and satisfying - what more could you want out of lunch?
Tuna Ciabatta Melts
1 pouch light tuna in water
2 Tablespoons chopped celery
2 Tablespoons chopped cucumber
1 Tablespoon sliced green onion
1 Tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 slices avocado
2 ciabatta rolls
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
3 minutes later - voila - Tuna Melt Extraordinaire!
I thought this sandwich was amazing. My son didn't like the celery in the tuna and asked for his tuna "plain" next time. I actually liked the crunch of the celery but I can see his point. The next time you need to grab a quick lunch, give this tuna melt a try.
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