Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Introducing...

     The day has finally come. I'm proud to introduce the reason I won't be posting very regularly for a little while: Miss Ezra Jane...

We are so in love, just like we were when Miss Eden Elizabeth came into our world three years ago.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Banana Split Bites

     Each month, I anxiously await my Secret Recipe Club assignment. This month was no different. I was assigned to Judee's blog Gluten Free A-Z. I'll admit, I was a little intimidated since we do not focus on gluten free, but as I searched through the recipes I found many that we would be interested in trying...and many recipes that could be easily adapted to a non-gluten free recipe. Here are some examples of what Judee has to offer: Mini Caprese Appetizers, Cajun Sweet Potato Fries, and Frozen Watermelon Smoothie,
     Ultimately, I decided on Banana Split Bites. A Memorial Day cookout seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out a tasty, mostly frozen treat. In reality, it was a pretty toasty day with a high of 91* and a terribly high heat index I'm sure. Besides looking a little melty, these delicious bites were a hit. They really did taste like a tiny banana split. I even read on the Internet that some people hollow out their banana and stuff with ice cream. That would have been an even bigger mess, I think!
     Lessons learned from this recipe: It would be best to buy the bananas the day you want to make them so you can make sure they are under-ripe (green!). A firm banana would be much easier to work with. I bought my bananas the day before, but it has been so hot they quickly became ripe and soft. Secondly, I dipped my bananas in the chocolate and sprinkles, then put them in a deep freeze until we were ready to eat them. This nearly froze the banana and allowed the chocolate to set. It also prevented the banana from getting even more squishy in the heat.
Add caption
3-4 green bananas
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 can whipped cream
Sprinkles (or nuts)
cherries
  • Cut each banana into thirds.
  • Melt chocolate chips in a double broiler.
  • Dip one end of each banana piece into the melted chocolate and then in sprinkles. Place on waxed paper. 
  • Place in deep freeze or freezer until you are ready to serve.
  • When ready, squirt each banana bite with whipped cream and top with a cherry.
Nutritional Information (per banana bite)
145 calories, 23 carbs, 7 fats, 1 protein, 17 sugars, 2 fiber

Previously posted:
One year ago: Strawberry Shortcake





Thursday, June 7, 2012

Strawberry Lassi

     This month's Crazy Cooking Challenge was to make a fruit smoothie or shake. The email announcing the challenge came the day after we went to the strawberry patch, so I knew which fruit I would be using! As I started thinking if I had seen a strawberry drink, I remembered Bo's Strawberry Lassi he posted a couple of months ago. I think it stuck out in my mind because I love Indian food, but our local Indian restaurants don't offer a strawberry lassi along with the typical mango lassi.
     I actually made this drink twice before running out of strawberries. The second time, we had a big group of friends over and they all loved it! The drink is cool and refreshing, especially on a hot summer (or late spring) night, but I really think it's special because of the secret ingredients: cinnamon and nutmeg. Bo's recipe actually called for cardamom, but when I saw the price of cardamom I researched substitutes and came up with a 50/50 mix of cinnamon and nutmeg. I really need to get to a spice store that allows you to buy only the amount of spice you need for these spices that are a little more pricey!
1 lb fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
1/2 cup sugar or honey
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup ice cubes

  • Puree strawberries, sugar, and spices until smooth. 
  • Add yogurt and ice and blend until smooth.
My fitness pal says the nutritional information for these 4 servings is:
245 calories, 49 carbs, 4 fats, 6 proteins, 39 sugars, 5 fibers
Keep in mind: the strawberries and yogurt have naturally occurring sugars in them which make up almost 40% of the sugar in the final product

Previously posted
Photobucket

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Watermelon Pops

     Popsicles are the perfect summertime treat. Frozen goodies that not only taste great, but also cool you off when it's super hot. The problem is that most Popsicles are loaded with sugar and other stuff you don't want to put in your body. I've found very few store-bought pops that don't have a lot of extra, unnecessary ingredients. It's so easy to make your own Popsicles, and you can also control what is in them. With only two ingredients, this recipe is sure to please.
     We found a great deal on watermelon at the store last week. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't really like watermelon and it's hard for Eden and I to eat a whole watermelon by ourselves. So, I came up with the idea to try making Popsicles with it. I figured since watermelon was so, well, watery it should freeze pretty well. My theory was right. These were so good, and it the spot! I even added a few blueberries to make it look like watermelon seeds.

Other Popsicles I've made are chocolate pudding pops and frozen yogurt pops (strawberry).
Watermelon, cubed
blueberries

  • Place a few cubes of watermelon in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. 
  • Pour into Popsicle mold and drop in a few blueberries.
  • Freeze and enjoy.
Previously posted:
Two years ago: breakfast pizza pie

Monday, June 4, 2012

Menu Plan June 3-9

     For the sake of my budget, I'm planning easy things from here on out. Besides the weather being super hot; Miss Ezra is taking away all motivation  to cook these days. (Only four more weeks of this, right?) My goal was to plan simple and mostly pretty quick meals. I figure if that is what I have on hand, it will be easier to motivate myself to cook than to just go get something quick to eat at a restaurant.
It's pretty vague, but this is what my plan includes this week:

Grilled burgers (I don't have to cook those! Yay for man grillers:)
General Tso Chicken (sauce from Trader Joe's) with brown rice
Cheeseburger Macaroni
Grilled Chicken w/ broccoli
Saucy Meatloaf w/ corn
Breakfast for dinner: hashbrown, egg, and cheese muffin cups
Burrito Nachos

If I get super motivated, I would like to try:
English Muffins
Scones


Linked up to Menu Plan Monday hosted by orgjunkie

Special Note

For the present, anonymous comments are not allowed at Robin, Restored due to the large number of spam comments that make it through Blogger's spam filter. I'm sorry about those of you who comment as Anonymous and sign your names. I'll try later to enable the function again.
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