Monday, July 21, 2014

Sour Cream Banana Pancakes

Summertime makes me feel loved. We have wonderful friends who live all over the world and they come visit us! When we can we can, we visit them too. A few weeks ago, we went to the Oregon coast to visit some friends who came in from the east coast. A whole bunch of us, some assorted kiddos, and our dog had a wonderful time sharing a beach house, playing games, and eating and eating. In the morning, we made sour cream banana pancakes that everyone gobbled down. They are currently my guests-in-the-house go to breakfast. Delicious, sweet, vanillay and oh so good!

Sour Cream Banana Pancakes - from Ina Garten
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 250 to store cooked batches of pancakes

1 1/2 cups of flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk (I used whole milk)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ripe bananas chopped or mashed

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside. In a larger bowl, mix together sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla and chopped or mashed bananas. 

Find an adorable helper, and let them stir. Mix everything together in the larger bowl and fold until just combined.

In a large cast iron skillet with a bit of butter, cook pancakes in batches. I like to store cooked pancakes on a cookie sheet in a low set oven. 

We like these with a variety of toppings... some faves include butter and sugar, or peanut butter (obviously - this crowd lives on peanut butter) or the never-fail maple syrup. I'm not really a fan of maple syrup, but a dear friend of mine made vanilla infused sugar and with some butter, that's my fave!

I feel like it's been the summer of pancakes, but boy am I glad!!



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Asparagus and Marinated Tomato Pasta

Summer is the time of year where people want light foods that they can take to a picnic.  They want feel-good foods that don’t make them feel heavy, bloated, or weighed-down.  Well, I have a dish that just about sums up summer in a nutshell.  It’s my Asparagus and Marinated Tomato Pasta.  Pasta can be heavy, but this one doesn’t have any heavy sauces or creams.  It’s light and it highlights every one of the ingredients in a simple and flavorful way.

This recipe was very much inspired by a dish that Barefoot Contessa makes.  I made a few changes (like adding asparagus to kick up the health component a bit).  Tomatoes are extremely versatile, and although I don’t necessarily like tomatoes plain, I don’t necessarily need them cooked either.  This recipe marinates tomatoes for hours in an oil, garlic, and basil mixture.  The salt pulls out all of the juices, softens the tomatoes, and acts as the base for the very light sauce that is featured in this dish.  Ahhh…summer :)

Asparagus and Marinated Tomato Pasta
Insipred by Barefoot Contessa

16oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 c olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 c basil leaves, julienned
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ lb dried cavatelli pasta
½ c (or more) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 bunch of asparagus tips

Add tomatoes, ¼ c olive oil, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper, ¾ tsp salt, and ¾ tsp pepper to a large bowl.  Stir and set aside for 3-4 hours.

Heat a grill pan to medium heat.  In a large bowl, mix asparagus tips with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook on grill pan until bright green and grill marks start to form.  Remove from pan and cut into 1” pieces.

Just before serving, cook pasta according to package directions in salted water.  Add tomato mixture, grilled asparagus, and cheese to large bowl and mix well.  Serve at any temperature.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats... with Chocolate

Oh boy. Not healthy. Too easy. Really fast. At least they are perfect to share! There's not too much to say about these. If you like Rice Krispie Treats (and really, who doesn't?) and peanut butter, and chocolate, you'll dig these. Like a crispy peanut butter cup, but cut to your own specific size needs. That's about all you need to know. Make them. Love them. Enjoy treat karma and share them.

The base of this recipe is just straight up Rice Krispie Treats, but I decreased the butter, added peanut butter and on top, added quick melted chocolate that cools to a nice mess-free hardness. It's the same thing I like to do with these zucchini brownies.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats with Chocolate
Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Butter a 9x13 glass baking dish

6 cups Rice Krispies
40 large marshmallows (about 10oz or 4 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Measure out Rice Krispies and set aside in a large bowl. In a pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients, including the Rice Krispies, melt the butter and peanut butter. Add in the marshmallows and melt everything together stirring constantly.

When the marshmallows are nearly melted, add in all of the Rice Krispies and stir gently to combine.

When everything is evenly combined, pour everything into the prepared pan. I like to lightly spray my hands with cooking spray, or rub a little butter into my palms and then press down the cereal mixture to even it out a bit.

Sprinkle about a cup of chocolate chips on top of the cereal in the glass pan. Pop the pan into the warm oven for about 5 minutes. When the chips are soft and starting to melt, take the pan out and spread the chocolate over the top of the Rice Krispies treats. 

Let the treats cool completely and enjoy!!

Things made this time last year...

Charred Artichokes

Dijon Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Things made this time two years ago...

Pappardelle with White Truffle Butter

Pizza and Bread Sticks