Monday, April 30, 2012

Mix it up Monday

We usually don't have brown bananas here because frankly, I like ripe bananas--the more brown spots the better for me! For those of you who don't like ripe bananas, here's a recipe that's comes together quickly and got high ratings at my house!
 Banana Coffee Cake
(From Quick Cooking Magazine)
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 

1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the bananas and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture.  Combine topping ingredients. Transfer to a greased 13" X 9" baking pan.  Sprinkle with the topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when touched.  Cool on a wire rack.  

Another school year has come to a close and we made a whirlwind trip to Michigan to bring our musician son and his gear home from college. Not all was work, though. We spent Saturday exploring some of the charming towns and neighborhoods around Grand Rapids and ate at some great restaurants. We've usually stayed on the other side of campus in Holland, but we've been missing out. Grand Rapids has some wonderful chefs!
Fresh Mozzarella!
Saturday we joined the crowd at the Wealthy Street Bakery on Grand Rapid's northeast side. I had an excellent Mediterranean salad and couldn't resist buying a loaf of whole wheat bread to take home with us. How fun it would be to visit again on a warmer day and enjoy coffee and a pastry at one of the little tables outside!

The long drive gave me a lot of stitching time and I'll be uploading new goodies for Early Work Mercantile this evening!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mix it Up Monday

I offered to provide cookies for an event last weekend. I have an old, reliable chocolate chip recipe but I wanted to do something a little bit different. How long have the swirled chocolate/peanut butter morsels been out? Yum! These would make a great addition to brownies, too!
Chocolate/Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
1/2 Cup Crisco (for crispiness)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
10 oz package chocolate/peanut butter chips
1 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream shortening, butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and egg. Combine flour and soda in medium sized bowl. Mix into dough until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Batter will be stiff.  Roll about 2" balls of dough and place about 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake about 13-15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes about four dozen cookies. 

I've been cleaning out my craft room and will be listing some wonderful patterns on Ebay this week. For now, though, I'm heading outside to do some planting. Happy baking!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mix It Up Monday

I'm once again joining Mix it up Monday on Flour Me With Love. First, I want to share a lesson I learned with you. Do not substitute Half and Half for Heavy Cream when making cheesecake. The result, although still edible, is not pretty.
Chicken Salad
This was my month to bring snacks for our Discipleship Division meeting at work. My co-worker Mary brought a carrot cake and cheese and crackers, so I wanted to bring something substantial but somewhat healthy, so I brought chicken salad on a bed of fruit.

Fruity Chicken Salad
 (from Cooks.Com)
3 1/2 cups cooked and chilled chicken breasts (I used almost two pounds of boneless breasts, cooked in water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes)
1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp curry powder
a few dashes of soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dill weed

Cook the chicken until tender.  Cool and cut into chunks. Add all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate to blend flavors.

Just before serving I added about 1/2 cup of sliced grapes. I've also added chopped apple. This is also a nice salad to serve at a luncheon served with slices of melon.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Simply Primitives Update

Just a quick post to let you know about my offerings for this month's Simply Primitives. I had issues sending my link this month so I don't know whether or not my page will be updated, but here are my projects:
For my fellow cat lovers! A trio of cats created from brown and black overdyed wool prowls across this handstitched, 10" X 6.5" pillow.  $23 ppd. Inspired by a Jo Ann Mullaly design.
Sale Pending-Thanks!
Keep pins and needles close at hand, securely wrapped in this charming sewing roll from a design by Stacy Nash. Linen backed with brown silk matka and secured with a silk ribbon. 15" by 5" open.  $25 ppd.

Please shoot me an email if you'd like more information!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mix it Up Monday

I hope you had a wonderful Easter! We took advantage of the beautiful weather to get some work done in the yard and garden after church and brunch. It was a little tricky with the brace on but after all that work and fresh air we were ready for a treat! I adapted an old Pillsbury recipe and added some of the fresh strawberries I picked up at Costco a couple of days ago the result was kind of like lemon poppy seed muffins with strawberry jam!
I love serving cakes on one of the cake plates from my collection. This one is a vintage one from probably the 50's in the harp pattern and features a sweet, gold beaded edge. It was a long ago birthday gift from my sister which makes it even more special!

 Strawberry Poppy Seed Brunch Cake
Adapted from a Pillsbury Bake-Off Recipe
2/3 cup sugar (or less if you prefer)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons poppy seed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy sour cream (I used plain Greek yogurt)

2 cups cut up, fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottom and sides of 9 or 10 inch spring form pan.  In large bowl, eat 2/3 cup sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add lemon peel and egg. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, poppy seed, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream.  Spread batter over bottom and 1 inch up sides of greased and floured pan, making sure batter on sides is 1/3 inch thick.

In medium bowl, combine all filling ingredients; spoon over batter.  Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cool slightly. Remove sides of pan.

In small bowl, combine powdered sugar and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over cake. 8 servings. 

On the remodeling project...
the bathroom countertops have been installed and they put the doors on today!
Hopefully by the end of this week our bedroom will no longer look like this. Our little six week project has now lasted 13!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Early Work Mercantile Update

The April 1st edition of Early Work Mercantile has been updated. I know you will want to make like the Easter bunny and hop, hop, hop on over and see what goodies everyone has to offer! My offerings this month honor some of our bird friends that have returned from their winter homes.

Both were made from a Maggie Bononomi design. Sometimes it's fun to just tweak the colors and see what you come up with. Well, off to watch the basketball championship game and do some more stitching. Go KU!