Best-Ever Banana Bread

Originally posted on Main St. Cuisine:

banana breadWell, hello there!

This is a little long, so if you are just in the mood for baking (I get it!) and don’t have time to read, please skip ahead.

In yesterday’s post (part of the Mondays on Main St. series), I shared a little on goal setting.  And, I don’t mean setting a goal to match up the socks that are missing their partners.  I mean real-life goals.  The kind that improve your life or maybe the lives of others (family, friend or a stranger).

This is such an awkward time to set goals with the holidays approaching.  I even thought to throw this whole idea out until January 1, but then I’d just be prolonging what I really need to work on right now.

My goal this week has to do with my calendar, which is under the umbrella goal of “being more organized.”

I don’t want to…

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Sunny Side Up!

Good morning!

A simple heart shaped egg makes a loud statement.

You are loved.

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Ingredients

  • egg
  • butter
  • sausage
  • toast
  • heart cookie cutters

Make sausage patties, place aside. Warm pan with a dollop of butter. Place cookie cutter in pan, and crack egg in the middle.  Season to taste.  Toast your bread.

Cut the sausage and toast with the cookie cutters.

This makes me smile =)

Have a great weekend filled with love!!

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore, Easy

Mid week dinners are frantic for me. As soon as I walk in the door from work, I have to have a meal planned AND all the ingredients ready to go, otherwise any delay will push dinner time closer to 8:00 pm. I’ve learned to improvise, be flexible, and keep it simple!  During the week I cook 3 meals. On day four we are all on our own with leftovers or pizza deliver, and I don’t usually cook on Fridays. Those are reserved for going out. So here was my frenzy tonight!

Chicken Cacciatore

  • About three pounds of chicken (I had chicken thighs)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 24 oz POM crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup of dry red wine (Zinfandel was open, so that’s what I used)

Drizzle about 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and warm over medium heat. Brown chicken turning once for about 10 minutes.

While cooking chicken, pour yourself a glass of wine (this is important, don’t miss this step!) ;)

Remove chicken and drain oil, leaving about a tablespoon. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft and mixture is fragrant. Add tomatoes, wine, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaf.  Add chicken back to sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce, cover, and simmer for about 35 minutes.

Remove bay leaf and serve with hot cooked pasta, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Delicious meal in less than an hour!

Homemade Coffee Creamer

I love Saturdays; waking at my leisure, reading the paper, making breakfast, and enjoying several cups of COFFEE!  Coffee and I have been buddies since my college days. The caffine in coffee used to keep me awake so I could keep up with my reading, but I’m immune to the buzz now and it’s the flavor I enjoy day after day, especially on the weekends. I like to dress up my coffee with flavors. Vanilla and almond are my favorite, so those are the flavors I chose for my creamers. One recipes is a dry powdered creamer and the other a liquid creamer. Both Yummy!!

Homemade Powdered Creamer

  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup dry powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon powdered vanilla
  • 1/3 cup xylitol OR 1/3 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Put all ingredients in a blender. Mix into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container. I use a jelly mason jar. This recipe can easily be doubled. My blender doesn’t mix well with mass, so I make small batches.

Three ingredients for a liquid homemade creamer.

Homemade Liquid Creamer

  • 1 1/2 cups of milk (your choice, my latest batch I made it from powdered milk by following the packaged directions)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (I use fat-free)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Put all ingredients in a blender.  Mix until well incorporated.  Store it in the refrigerator.

I bought some oil and vinegar jars to store the creamer.  Looks so pretty when serving =)

Homemade liquid and powdered creamers can’t be any easier to make!  Give it a try =)

Ebert’s Mai Tai Magic

Today is my best friend’s 20th wedding anniversary! This morning my dearest Shawn text me to from Maui, Hawaii! Her hubby planned a surprise anniversary trip for the two of them.

I’ve been testing and tweaking Mai Tai recipes for over a month (not every day!), and today is the perfect day to debut my Mai Tai concoction in honor of Shawn and Bill’s anniversary. This drink is STRONG and good! It’s smooth and goes down easily, but you may not notice because the fruit juice and sweeteners mask the alcohol, so pace yourself or just make sure you don’t have anywhere to go ;)

There are a few ingredients you may have to shop for like almond syrup, fresh lime, and mint. Get them. Don’t cut corners. You will be pleased with the results!

Ebert’s Mai Tai Magic

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz dark rum
  • 3 oz light rum
  • 1 oz grand marnier
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz guava juice
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (get 2 limes)
  • 1 oz almond syrup
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • mint leaves
  • fresh pineapple for garnish
  • Umbrellas!

Put all ingredients in a shaker. Shake vigorously until well blended. Pour in two highball glasses filled with crushed ice. Smash a few mint leaves to bring out the flavor and float on top of the drink. Garnish with umbrella, pineapple, and additional mint.

Enjoy!

“A successful married life requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” “It’s so great to find the one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” ;)

With love,

Matron of Honor….20 years ago xoxo, Sandra