Banana Cookies

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This is an old recipe I got out of an old cookie cookbook that belonged to my grandmother.

They stay nice and soft. When storing them, you may want to put a paper towel in between layers so they don’t stick together.

You will need a large mixing bowl.

You will need a tablespoon size cookie scoop or spoon for dropping the dough onto the baking sheets.

Three cookie sheets are good. If you use less, you may need to let the cookie sheets cool down in between batches.

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 Celsius

 

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups flour

1-3/4 cup oats

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup butter OR coconut oil OR shortening, softened

1 egg

1 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

 

Directions:

In one bowl, mix the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

Add the butter, egg, banana, and vanilla extract. Mix it well and add the nuts, if you are using.

Drop the dough by cookie scoop or spoon onto cookie sheets.

Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven.

They may sound like they are still cooking. If so, touch the top of one or two to see if they are firm, but soft.

Take out of the oven and immediately remove them to a rack to cool.

 

Using a tablespoon size cookie scoop, I got 3 dozen nice sized cookies.

 

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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This is my daughter’s favorite way to eat zucchini. This recipe makes two loaves of bread, but they don’t get very tall. I have also made it into just one loaf and it baked just fine.

 

You will need a grater or food processor to shred the zucchini.

You will need one or two 9″x5″ loaf pans, depending on whether you want one tall loaf or two short loaves.

If you have a stand mixer, it makes mixing it a breeze. By hand works well too.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Ingredients:

 

3 large eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cooking oil

6 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon creme de cocoa OR chocolate extract OR vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour( wheat based or gluten free 1 to 1 blend)

1 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions:

 

Grease and flour one or both loaf pans. Set aside.

Add eggs to your mixing bowl and beat well. Add the sugar and oil and beat together. Next add in the creme de cocoa or extract and the cocoa powder. Once that is blended in, add the zucchini. Mix in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scrape into your prepared pan or pans.

Bake for 1 hour. Test with toothpick to see if it is done.

Remove to wire rack. Let cool in pan before removing.

 

Using one pan instead of two does not significantly increase the cooking time.

Blueberry Jam

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Jam is a great way to use up  extra fruit. Jam is easier to make than jelly because you don’t have to make the juice and time everything exact.

I have my own blueberry bushes, but you can buy fresh or frozen and it will still yummy.

 

You will need five or six 1/2 pint jars. They are also known as jelly jars.

You will need lids for sealing. Either one piece sealing lids or the rings and flats.

A ladle and a food funnel would be great for filling the jars.

Water bath canner is optional.

You will need a large dutch oven.

You will also need a potato masher or something to mash the berries and a large spoon.

 

Ingredients:                                                            

6 cups blueberries

4 cups white sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Directions:

Rinse the blueberries and check for stems or bad berries. Add to the dutch oven and mash with the potato masher.

Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir well until combined.

Turn the heat on to medium high and bring to a good boil, stirring frequently.

Set the timer for 15-20 minutes and continue to stir frequently. Stir well to make sure the jam doesn’t stick on the bottom of the pan. If it boils up too much, you can turn it down a little. But, you need to maintain a good boil so don’t turn it down too low.

After 15 minutes, you can start to test for set. To do this, put a small plate in the freezer and remove it and put a bit of jam on the plate. If it does not run, it is ready. If it does, it needs to go a few more minutes.

Testing for set is optional. When you make jam, you would rather have it a little thin over too thick. If jam is overcooked, it will turn gummy as it cools.

When the jam is like you want, ladle the jam into jars. Seal.

USDA does not recommend the upside down method, which is basically sealing the jars and turning them upside down to cool. This is pretty old school and this is what I do.

There is enough acid in the sugar and added lemon juice that makes jam safe for water bath canning. These need to be processed in a water bath canner for 5 minutes.

 

If you want to do the upside down method and are worried about them keeping well, just store them in your fridge.

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Is it the Yeast or is it the Gluten

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By yeast, I mean brewer’s yeast and not nutritional yeast.

Brewer’s yeast is the type of yeast used for making bread and rolls.

 

It can be tricky to figure out of you have a problem with gluten or just yeast if you get gas and bloat up every time you eat bread. Even if it doesn’t seem like it should have yeast in it, it might. So you have to read your labels.

Some people have problems with both yeast and gluten.

I have problems with gluten and not yeast. I get nauseous, constipated, my hair falls out, I get rashes, etc.

So, I can eat a gluten free pizza, but I can’t eat a Milky Way candy bar. Thank you malted barley.

If you have ever proofed yeast, you see the bubbling action and that is what pretty much happens when it hits the digestive system and some people are effected severely.

You could go to the doctor and get tested or you can eliminate yeast from your diet and see if that is the culprit. If you are still having problems, go see your doctor.

In order for you to be tested accurately, you need to be eating gluten. Some doctors will diagnose based on history and symptoms, but many won’t.

Pizza Chicken

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Pizza chicken is a tasty low carb and gluten free way to enjoy pizza. Is it just like eating pizza? Of course not. But it is pretty awesome!

You will need a rectangular baking pan ~ 9″ x 13″

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 Celsius

Prep time is about 10-15 minutes and cook time is about 30-35 minutes.

Ingredients:

24 oz. of thick spaghetti or pizza sauce

3 lbs. cut up boneless chicken breasts

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Favorite pizza toppings such as pepperoni, sausage, olives, onions, mushrooms

Directions:

Cut up your chicken. The larger the pieces, the longer it takes to cook. Set aside.

Pour half of the sauce into the baking pan. Top with the chicken. Add whatever you want for additional toppings. Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes and check a piece of chicken to make sure it is done. If not, let it cook a sew more minutes.

If you want more color to your cheese, turn it up the last few minutes to brown it a little.

A thinner sauce will still taste good. But, you will have the juices from the chicken mixing with the sauce and thin it more so a thicker sauce to start out with will work better.

This will serve 6 good size portions.

Streusel Coffee Cake

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I love a good coffee cake. It’s great with tea or coffee or milk. Have it for breakfast. It is a plain cake with a ribbon of cinnamon/sugar throughout.

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/177 Celsius.

Grease a 9″x 9″ square baking pan.

You will need one bowl for mixing the coffee cake batter and a smaller bowl for the streusel.

 

Ingredients:

CAKE~

2 cups flour, all-purpose or gluten free all-purpose

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup softened butter

1 cup milk

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

 

STREUSEL~

1/3 cup cold butter

1/2 cup flour. regular all-purpose or a gluten free all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar OR white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

 

Directions:

In the smaller bowl, mix the cinnamon, sugar, and flour and cut butter in until crumbly. Add nuts, if desired and set aside..

In the larger bowl, add all the ingredients and beat together until smooth. You can use a mixer or beat it by hand.

Put half the batter in the pan followed by half the streusel and spreading the remaining batter over that and sprinkling the rest of the streusel on top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until it tests done with a toothpick.

Serves 9.

Enjoy!

 

Last time I made it, I used gluten free flour and I forgot to make layers and just put all the batter in the pan and sprinkled the streusel on top. It worked out very well doing it this way.

Stuffed Pork Chops

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Stuffed pork chops are really easy. They are also really tasty. I made them for my birthday dinner a little over a month ago.

I make them using my sage stuffing recipe, but you can use a mix.

Serves 4.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 Celsius.

You will need a baking pan that will fit all four pork chops. It should have a cover or you will need aluminum foil.

 

Ingredients:

4 thick cut pork chops, with or without the bone

1/2 recipe sage stuffing OR stuffing mix made for 3-4 servings.

Salt and pepper to season

 

Directions:

Mix up the stuffing and set to the side.

With a knife, cut a slit along the side of each pork chop. If it is a boneless chop, make sure not to go all the way through the back side of it. You just want to make a pocket.

Divide the stuffing and stuff each chop and put in pan.

Salt and pepper the chops.

Cover the pan.

Bake 45 minutes. Juices should run clear.If not, give it a few more minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Can be made with gluten free bread,

 

 

Frugal Me Fridays~ The Stand Alone Freezer

It’s been quite awhile since I did a Frugal Me Fridays post.

Between health stuff and outright laziness, I have not been keeping up with this blog like I should.

I have talked in the past about buying in bulk to save money and on freezing fruit for the same.

You need a place for that and if you want to really put stuff up, you are most likely going to need a freezer.

An upright usually costs more upfront, but it is more cost efficient to run. I find an upright to be easier when it comes to finding things.

You don’t need to buy new. Lots of times you can look in the want ads and find one. Other good places are garage sales and auctions.

Some stores have room dedicated to appliances that have been dinged or returned without the box for whatever reason. These can be a real bargain.

Even if you live in an apartment, you can have a freezer. If you have an extra bedroom(or room in yours) you can get a bigger one.  Even a small freezer can save money in the long run.

I have a smaller upright. It is 4 cubic feet so not tiny, but not full size. I can fit a lot of meat and veggies in it.

If you have a lot of leftovers, freeze them for another time. My husband’s grandmother used to grill a lot of meat at a time and freeze some of it for other meals.

I like to keep the broth from when I roast chicken. I freeze it and I have chicken broth when I need it.

When bananas are on sale cause they are turning brown, I buy them for the freezer. Great for smoothies or bread. My town’s store used to give their brown bananas away free. Those were they days. I always had bananas in the freezer.

Basically if you think of it, you can freeze it. There are guidelines like freezing yeast dough means adding more yeast before freezing because some will die off. But, otherwise go for it.

Enjoy your Friday!

 

Extreme Cocoa Meringues

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Have you ever had meringue cookies? They are cookies made with egg whites and no flour. These are a bit simpler because you don’t need to beat the egg whites with cream of tartar. If you would like a recipe for cocoa meringues, I have that too.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 177 Celsius.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan.

 

Ingredients:

3 Egg whites

2- 1/4 cups Powdered sugar

1 cup Cocoa powder

2 teaspoons Vanilla or Chocolate extract

 

Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl. Beat slightly with a whisk or large spoon, just until frothy.

Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

Use a tablespoon size cookie scoop to droop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookie tops become shiny and crackly.

Take out of the oven and let cool on the sheet before removing.

 

This will make 14-16 cookies.

Using parchment paper makes the cookies almost fat free. The only fat being in the cocoa fat in the cocoa powder.

Beating the egg whites is not completely necessary, but it does make the cookies a little lighter in texture.

How dark the cookies turn out has to do with the brand of cocoa powder.

 

Chicken Tetrazzini

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Chicken Tetrazzini is a nice change of pace from spaghetti and tomato based sauces.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/177 Celsius.

You will need a 2 quart baking dish and a pan for cooking the spaghetti and sauce.

 

Ingredients:

8 Ounces spaghetti

2 Cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 Cup chopped onion

2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 Cup flour

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 Cup chicken broth

1 Cup milk

2 Cups chopped chicken or turkey

2 Tablespoons sherry OR add an additional 2 Tablespoons chicken broth

1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

 

In a large pot, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. I like to break the dry spaghetti into three or four pieces before throwing it into the water. It makes it easier to eat the finished dish.

Using the same pan, cook the mushrooms and onion in the butter over medium/low heat until tender.

Stir in the flour, pepper, and nutmeg.

Add the milk and chicken broth and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Stir in the chicken, sherry or extra chicken broth, and half of the cheese.

Add the spaghetti and mix up well.

Put the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley.

Serve.

This dish will serve 4-6 people.

Enjoy!