Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread

30 11 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana bread has always been a favorite of mine. A great addition was coconut!  This recipe does make 2 loaves so it is perfect for gift giving, taking to gatherings, or your family enjoying both loaves.


Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread

~ 1 1/4 cup sugar

~ 1/2 cup butter, softened

~ 2 eggs

~ 1 1/2 cup mashed rip bananas, about 4 medium bananas

~ 1/2 cup buttermilk

~ 1 tsp. vanilla

~ 2 1/2 cup flour

~ 2 tsp. baking powder

~ 1/2 tsp. salt

~ 1/4 tsp. baking soda

~ 1 cup mini chocolate chips

~ 3/4 cup shredded coconut


1. Heat oven to 350o F and grease the bottom only of 2 loaf pans.

2. Mix sugar with butter. Stir in eggs. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.

3. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until just moistened. Do not over stir! Fold in chocolate chips and coconut.

4. Evenly pour the mixture into the 2 loaf pans. Bake 1 hour until top and edges are browned and the when a toothpick is inserted in the center it comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan and then place on a wire rack to finish cooling.

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread

Mini Mac n’ Cheese Muffins

29 11 2011

If you kids are like mine then they love Macaroni & Cheese. I am not the biggest fan of the boxed version because I don’t really like the consistency and lets be honest have you read the ingredient list. There are some things that I am not really sure what they are and how they pertain to food. So I prefer to make mine homemade.

I stumbled upon an article that talked about making mac n’ cheese appetizers in mini muffin pans. I thought that sounded like such a fun way to make dinner for the kids. I used a regular muffin pan instead so that the portions were bigger than a bite. Such a fun side dish and the cayenne gives it just the right amount of kick.


Mini Mac n’ Cheese Muffins

~ 1 lb. small elbow pasta

~ 6 Tbsp. butter

~ 4 Tbsp. flour

~ 4 cups milk

~ 1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated

~ 3 eggs, whisked

~ 3/4 cup bread crumbs

~ 1 tsp. cayenne pepper or less depending on taste

~ salt to taste

1. Bring salted water to a rolling boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Cook until soft. Don’t stop at al dente, the pasta will not continue to cook through when molded into muffin form.

2. Make cheese sauce by melting 3 Tbsp. butter and mixing in the flour. Cook the butter and flour together for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add the milk and whisk in. Continue to whisk until sauce thickens. When sauce thickens remove from heat and add grated cheese. Season with salt and cayenne. Add sauce to the cooked pasta. Then add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and eggs. Stir the mixture.

3. Melt the remaining 3 Tbsp. of butter and blend in with the 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. Set bread crumb mixture aside.

4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Liberally grease muffin tins. Spoon the mac n’ cheese mixture into the muffin tins. Garnish with bread crumb mixture and bake for about 20 minutes or until browned on top and somewhat firm to the touch. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing them. If you have trouble removing them cool for a bit longer.

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Mini Mac n’ Cheese Muffins

Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, and White Chocolate Chip Bread

28 11 2011

As soon as I stumbled upon this recipe over at For the Love of Cooking I was super excited to make it. The white chocolate is what really got me excited, I love white chocolate. The pineapple and coconut gives this more of a tropical feel. It was super yummy and simple to make. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed!


Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, and White Chocolate Chip Bread

~ 1/2 cup butter, softened

~ 1 cup sugar

~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract

~ 2 eggs

~ 2 very ripe bananas

~ 1/2 cup drained pineapple tidbits, drained well

~ 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

~ 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

~ 2 cups flour

~ 1 tsp. baking powder

~ 1/2 tsp. baking soda

~ 1/2 tsp. salt


1. Preheat oven to 350o F. Coat a bread pan with cooking spray.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl with a beater. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the mashed banana, pineapple, coconut, and white chocolate chips.

3. Mix the flour together with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan. Sprinkle a little more coconut on top of the batter.

4. Bake in the oven for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack.

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Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, and White Chocolate Chip Bread

Malibu Chicken

21 11 2011

Growing up I remember going to sizzler and my mom always getting their Malibu Chicken. I think it is a great dish and this recipe recreates that very well. The Creole Mustard Sauce is a bit different than the sizzler version but I liked it along side the chicken.


Malibu Chicken

~ 3 eggs

~ 2 cloves garlic, minced

~ 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

~ 6 Tbsp. butter

~ 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

~ 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

~ 1 Tbsp. dried parsley

~ 1 tsp. garlic powder

~ 1/2 tsp. salt

~ 1tsp. black pepper

~ 4 slices black forest ham

~ 4 slices Swiss cheese

Creole Mustard Sauce

~ 2 Tbsp. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard

~ 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

~ 1 tsp. yellow mustard

~ 1 tsp. honey

Mix together and chill in the refrigerator.

1. Start by pounding out your chicken breasts to an even thickness.

2. Preheat oven to 400o F. Melt butter and pour into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

3. Mix together the eggs and garlic in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip flattened chicken breasts into the egg mixture and then the bread crumb mixture. Place breaded chicken in baking dish, and sprinkle the remaining bread crumb mixture over the chicken.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Top each piece of chicken with ham and a slice of Swiss cheese. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve with Creole Mustard Sauce.

**Makes great sandwiches the next day**

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Malibu Chicken

Chicken Florentine Bowtie Pasta

16 11 2011

I found this recipe over at Picky Palate and thought I would give it a try. This Chicken Florentine Bowtie Pasta is a great weeknight dinner that didn’t take much time to put together. To make it even similar grab a rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket and use the chicken off of that. Plus it made enough for our family to have it for leftovers the next night as well. The other thing that I love about this recipe is that I was able to sneak in some spinach. My kids gobbled it right up never knowing they were getting something extra!

Chicken Florentine Bowtie Pasta

~ 2 Tbsp. olive oil

~ 1 cup finely chopped onion

~ 1 clove minced garlic

~ 4 cups spinach leaves

~ 2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast

~ 1/2 tsp. salt

~ 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

~ 2 cups Philadelphia Cooking Crème Italian Cheese and Herb

~ 1 lb. bowtie pasta or other small noodle

~ 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350o F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place oil in a large skillet over medium hear. Add onion and cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in spinach leaves, cook, stirring until wilted about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and pepper, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add cooking cream, stirring to combine.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Add pasta to chicken mixture stirring to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with cheese.

4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted.

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Chicken Florentine Bowtie Pasta

Potato Skins

15 11 2011

I love potato skins and lately have been eyeballing the TGI Friday’s frozen potato skins at my local grocery store. Since a bag of potatoes ended up in our basket this week I decided to make my own and save a bit of money. They turned out great and will defiantly be making an appearance in our house again.

Potato Skins

~ 4 potatoes

~ 3 pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon

~ cheddar cheese

1. Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Microwave for 3 minutes, then place on a cookie sheet in a 400o F oven for 40-60 minutes or until cooked through.

2. Once the potatoes have cooled cut in half and scoop out the center leaving about a 1/2 inch layer of potato. Top with cheese and bacon and then place under the broiler for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Serve with sour cream and chives.

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Potato Skins

Ribbon Storage

14 11 2011

Any one who does any kind of crafting has a few spools of ribbon. They tend to be a pain to store and keep track of. That is why I loved this idea that my friend over at I Think I can Moms had.

She took a pretty inexpensive plastic bin and used a dowel to make a ribbon holder. Then end result is quite handy and keeps all your ribbon in one easy place!

First you need to get a plastic bin that has holes around the outside and a 1/4 inch dowel rod. I got both of these things at the local Walmart (they only place in town to shop). I then cut the dowel in half. Then just insert the dowel through one side of the bin, place your ribbon on the dowel, and then insert the dowel through the other side of the bin.

Slip your ribbon through the holes in the bin and then when you need to use the ribbon just pull out the desired amount and cut! Keeps things in order and all in one place.

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