Today I was feeling very "homey" and decided to bake some banana crackers with the bananas that were VERY dark and mushy on my counter. They are the best for breads or in this case, crackers, when they are mushy and the skins are spotted brown! I found this recipe a few years back on a kids product website and just now tried it - VERY yummy and healthy too! Bug helped me make the crackers and she thought that was great fun. The kids LOVED the crackers and kept wanting more, and so did I!
Here's the recipe plus a few notes from me:
Banana Crackers (Yum!) (from Little Jo_ey Sn_ackin Pack)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 t. honey
1 banana, thoroughly mashed
Preheat oven to 425 and grease a 12x15 inch cookie sheet.
Using your hands or a pastry blender, mix butter, flour and 1/8 teaspoons salt together until crumbly.
Using a fork, stir in honey and banana.
On a floured surface, knead mixture (adding additional flour, if necessary, to form a firm dough - I ended up adding a LOT of flour - the recipe did not call for enough...just keep adding it until it is more stable).
Divide dough in half, and roll out one half at a time on a floured surface.
The dough should be thin enough to cover the cookie sheet.
Place dough on cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon (optional).
Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut the dough into 1" squares.
Bake 5-8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove crackers with a spatula and place on a wire rack to cool.
*These taste great with honey drizzled on top! Or they would also be good dipped in something...maybe a peanut butter dip?
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I love cooking and also preparing meals for future use in the freezer. My mom has taught me much of what I know about cooking, and today I had the pleasure of working with her in her kitchen, preparing LOTS of cabbage rolls and stuffed peppers! To start off, mom and I had purchased the peppers and cabbage from the farmers market, and they all looked so beautiful. Mom grew up eating cabbage rolls and stuffed peppers and she has continued making them for our family. I have many wonderful meal memories of eating these things.
Here's the recipe, along with how we changed or altered things:
Haluptsie (pigs in the blanket, or cabbage rolls) (From Mom's German cookbook) (serves 6-8 adults)
Mix the following ingredients together:
2 lbs hamburger (I like Lau_ra's Lean Beef, 4% fat - no antibiotics or hormones)
1 large onion chopped fine (I think I used 2)
1.5 cups precooked rice (we used brown rice, and we used 6 cups)
salt, pepper, garlic powder - season to taste (you can't taste it though as the meat is raw, so season moderately but well - I estimated about 2 teaspoons or more of pepper, same with the garlic powder, and probably 1 teaspoon celery salt & Lawry's seasoned salt combined)
*We also added a jar of spaghetti sauce to the mixture! I like Ra_gu 7 herb. And after you've dumped out the jar, put some water in it and shake it up and then add that to the mix also.
Blanch 1 head of cabbage by removing heart and placing leaves in boiling water until limp. (We just cut out the "heart" and then put the whole head in the pot, covered it up, and checked it in several minutes. Then the leaves start pulling off as they cook...you kind of have to do it in stages as they're ready to come off.) The put the leaves in a bowl until ready to use.
Place a heaping tablespoon (or more - really, I think we did probably 1/2 cup or more) of the meat mixture on each leaf and roll up.
Place in heavy kettle or roaster.
Pour the following mixture over the cabbage rolls: 1 can tomato soup and 2 cup tomato juice.
(OR, you can use 2 cans of tomato soup)
(OR, how I like it is with some diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce from the jar)
(OR, Mom said you could use some stewed tomatoes over the top)
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1.5-2 hours or until cabbage is soft and meat is done.
STUFFED PEPPERS!!! (serves 6-8 adults)
*Make sure to parboil the peppers for about 3-4 minutes after you've cut them, or leave them whole.
Use the same meat mixture as for the above cabbage rolls EXCEPT fill the cavities of whole green peppers, or cut peppers in half length wise and fill. (or you can take the peppers and cut them in half width wise, just trimming off a bit of the stem but leaving it on mostly until after you cook and serve - then whoever is eating it can cut off the stem)
Pour tomato juice and tomato soup or spaghetti sauce over all and bake at 350 degrees until peppers are soft and meat is all done. (approx. 1.5 hours)
You can also add shredded cheese over the top and place back in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden once the peppers are all cooked.
If you decide you would like to freeze some or all of your cabbage rolls or stuffed peppers, you would place them on a cookie sheet or in a pan (lightly grease the pan if you want things to come out easily) and place them into the freezer for an hour or so until frozen. Once frozen, you can remove them and place them into a Zip_loc freezer bag or into a lightly greased pan and cover with tin foil and place inside of a freezer bag. Also, you would leave the sauce over the top until you actually cook the rolls or peppers - do not freeze with the sauce over the top.
**This recipe made TONS! We had about 12 peppers that we halved, so 24 stuffed peppers - they were HUGE peppers. Then we had enough mix left over to make about 20 cabbage rolls.