Saturday, 22 January 2011

Banana bread

I was given this easy recipe for delicious banana bread by my niece Heloisa. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


2 cups of self-raising white flour
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of sunflower oil (not too full)
3 eggs
5 ripe bananas
1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


Mix the eggs, oil, cinnamon and 4 bananas in the blender. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the sugar. Mix well, then gradually sift in the flour and continue mixing until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Slice the final banana and add to the mix. Pour it into a buttered and floured loaf tin and bake in pre-heated oven (375F/190C) for approximately 50 minutes. Check that it's firm to the touch and toothpick comes out clean, etc. If necessary, cook for another ten minutes or so. You may sprinkle the top with sugar and cinnamon while it's still hot.

This is more of a cake, despite the bread shape. It doesn't matter what we call it. It's lovely with a nice cup of coffee!

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Sleuth collected some more recipes from the palingaters, this time for appetizers. I didn't manage to get this post out before New Year's Eve, but these recipes are useful at any time.


Not so light, but sophisticated flavors and easy:
Mash together well, sweet gorgonzola cheese with the same amount of cream cheese and fill celery sticks with the mixture (shown here with a sprinkling of pine nuts).

lilybart again

Green Olive Dip/Tapenade (serve with pita chips)
2 cups green olives in brine
1 small to medium jalapeno pepper
1 1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk

Place in a food processor: olives, drained, jalapeno cut into strips and seeded, add all the other ingredients and process into a coarse paste. If too dry, drizzle in a little more olive oil. Put in into your serving dish, cover and chill until you use it. Let it warm up before serving with pita chips. I am bringing this to a dinner tomorrow night. Along with a chocolate brioche bread pudding with creme fraiche.


Here is one I've used a lot - you can sub blue cheese for the Gorgonzola if you want... easy, elegant... great served with wine. I usually do mine in a round cake pan, just make sure you make enough to fill it. In a bowl combine equal parts softened cream cheese and crumpled Gorgonzola or blue cheese then add finely crushed walnuts. Spray the pan and line it with saran wrap leaving some hanging over the sides, put the nuts in the bottom and then the whole mixture and pack it down good, fold over the saran wrap to cover and put into the refrigerator then before the party just unwrap the top and invert onto a pretty dish and then remove the rest of the wrap... ENJOY with crackers or crostini.


"Roll ups"
Take thin-sliced natural lunchmeat (I like roasted chicken from Healthy Choice), and schmear a thin line of whipped cream cheese (about the diameter of a "Pretty Little Pencil") down a long edge of the meat. Add a slightly steamed asparagus spear next to it, then roll up tightly (smear a light amount on other side to make it "hold" together). It should now look like a long thin cigar. Now, cut it into 1" slices, arrange on a serving platter and then ladle a small amount (about 1 tsp.) any of these sauces over each one: a warmed light white sauce; a thin, cooled cranberry sauce (my fav), whatever. Place tidbit toothpicks and a discard bowl nearby (for nibblers), and / or a serving spoon (for those using a plate) for serving. VOILA. I make these for get togethers and they disappear first. Always.


Spinach & Salmon Rolls
Makes 10 rolls
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
5 slices smoked salmon
4 tablespoons Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
10 large spinach leaves

Cut the smoked salmon lengthwise into two separate halves. Mix Boursin, lemon juice, and crème fraîche. Wash the spinach leaves and blanch them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Plunge them in ice water and dry them on kitchen paper. Lay half a slice of smoked salmon on each spinach leaf. Spread the Boursin mixture in the middle of the slices of smoked salmon, fold over the edges of the spinach leaves, and roll them up tightly.
Tip:You can replace the smoked salmon with cooked ham and the spinach leaves with large lettuce leaves.

Cheeriogirl again

BLT Bites
19-20 Cherry Tomatoes
1 pound Bacon
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Chopped Green Onions
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons snipped Fresh Parsley

Cut a thin slice off of each tomato top, then scoop out and discard pulp. Invert tomatoes over a paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Chill, serve and ENJOY!


[This recipe came from a well-known chef in Dallas who made it on a morning TV show. He said that it was "embarrassingly easy". I like embarrassingly easy lol!]
If you have a source for fresh shiitake or wild mushrooms, strudel is easy & elegant.
¼ cup olive oil
3 peeled shallots, minced
1 bay leaf
2 pounds of shiitakes or mixed mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup sherry
2 tbls unsalted butter
2 to 3 cloves peeled garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbls fresh thyme, chopped
1 bunch of chives, sliced thin
1 cup chevre or other goat cheese, crumbled
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 beaten egg with small amount of water

Preheat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
Add shallots and bay leaf.
Cook until shallots are translucent but not browned.
Add mushrooms and brown evenly. Stir.
Allow moisture of mushroom to be released and juices to reduce.
To deglaze the pan, add sherry and scrape up any browned bits.
Add butter and garlic. cook until garlic aroma is strong.
Add salt and pepper to taste along with the fresh thyme and chives.
Remove bay leaf.
Place mixture on a sheet pan and refrigerate to cool.
Once completely cool, remove from refrigerator and mix together with cheese.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place puff pastry sheet on work surface. Place mushroom mixture off-center lengthwise down the pastry. Brush egg wash around perimeter of the dough.
Fold long edges, overlapping, over the filling. Flip or roll strudel so the seam is on the bottom. Seal short ends by folding under or pinching.
Place on lightly oiled baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through the baking process. Cool before slicing.

Texasgal2009 again

Another easy appetizer that I like, it starts with portabella or shiitake mushrooms and ends up with mini gluten-free pizzas. First,trim off the stems and then place the caps upside down on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
I usually brush half of the caps with roasted garlic infused garlic oil combined with fresh or dried Italian herbs. It's very ad lib lol! I put a teaspoon of tomato based pasta sauce on the rest of the caps. Then I top the caps with pieces of cooked bacon, anchovies or shredded cooked ham. I leave some meatless for my vegetarian relatives and friends. Kalamata olives or black olives are also wonderful on these. The next step is to top the caps with your choice of Italian cheeses and a sprinkling of fresh or dried Italian herbs of your choice. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the cheese is golden. They don't last long.


Take a block of cream cheese, put on a pretty platter, pour cocktail sauce over it, then drain a can of crabmeat (or fake crabmeat for those of us like me who are among the unfortunate with a shellfish allergy) and put on top of sauce, arrange lemon slices around the platter, and serve with fancy and hearty crackers. It is last minute, all store bought, elegant (especially if garnished with the lemons and maybe a little parsley).
You can use lite cream cheese too, because to me it tastes the same.
Make sure to provide a knife, or spoon for digging in and spreading.

Variation by IWantTruth:
Substitute hot pepper jelly for the cocktail sauce and serve with crackers or tortilla chips.
Variation by 1smartcanerican:
Yup, this used to be my fancy dish back in the '70s, sometimes with the crab, sometimes with shrimp. Easy, but totally delicious.


An easy dip:
1 cup of Cream cheese (Philadelphia type)
1 cucumber, peeled and seedless
2 green peppers
1 big white onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 lemon juice
salt and pepper
Dump all in blender et voilà!


a baked wheel of brie, sliced French bread, sliced Pink Lady apples -- quick easy delish.

kellygrrl again

Buy a bag of the little frozen meatballs, throw them in a crock pot with a bottle of beer and a bottle of your fave BBQ dressing or heinz57 chile sauce. Cook them really slowly. Leave them in the pot in the fridge overnight. Rewarm the next morning.
Variation by honestyingov:
Every time we would have a potluck at my last job they would always do the same thing you mentioned. EXCEPT they replaced the meatballs with a package of those "Little Smokies" bite-sized little sausages. They were always all gone.


Austin offered calf fries (aka Rocky Mountain Oysters) as a suggestion. If you have to ask, you don't want to know...

There are also some recipes for desserts, but I'll put them in another post, otherwise my labels will get all messed up!

Thank you all for the recipes and a very happy New Year!