Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri

I had oodles of strawberries last week and after making numerous desserts with the strawberries I decided to try something different. The kids loved this drink and I made it several times over a two day period much to their delight. I tried several recipes before settling on combining a few recipes together to make a drink we really liked. This may not taste like a traditional daiquiri and it might not be the perfect recipe for you but this is one that shows sometimes you have to combine a few recipes to get one that works for your family.

Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri

4 ounces fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
splash of sweet and sour mix (probably 1 ounce)
sugar to your taste, for us it was about 1 tablespoon (the strawberries were a tad sour)
4-7 ice cubes, the range is depending on how thick and icey your want your drink
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Blend everything but the ice cubes in blender. Add ice cubes one by one until desired consistency is reached.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Banana Bread

We love banana bread in our house which is good because I always forget to serve bananas until they have turned all black and brown. I've discovered that waiting to use these bananas until they are really black and brown and really really squishy is it magnifies the banana taste in bread. So this has been the perfect solution to forgetting all about the bananas. I've tried hundreds of different recipes and I always seem to really like the ones with some unusual ingredients. I love using sour cream or yogurt in banana bread. They add a flavor and a tenderness to the bread that can't be beat. However this time around I discovered I had neither on hand so I started looking on the internet for a recipe with an ingredient that's different. King Arthur Flour (I love their recipes and their flour!) helped me out with a recipe. It called for apricot jam or orange marmalade. I'm not a fan of orange marmalade and as it turns out my husband ate all the homemade jars of marmalade and the few store bought jars I had on hand so I used my homemade apricot jam. Now I seriously was worried it would taste weird but was willing to give it a try. You really couldn't tell it had jam in it but there was a hint of something different in the bread. In the end I was only able to get one piece cause the kids ate the whole loaf. Big hit in this house.

Banana Bread
King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium or 2 large bananas)
3 tablespoons apricot jam or orange marmalade, optional but tasty
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional


1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

2) In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, beating till smooth.

3) Add the mashed bananas, jam, honey, and eggs, again beating until smooth.

4) Add the flour, then the walnuts, stirring just until smooth.

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

6) Bake the bread for 45 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning.

7) Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean, with at most a few wet crumbs clinging to it. The tester shouldn't show any sign of uncooked batter. If it does, bake the bread an additional 5 minutes, or until it tests done.

8) Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove it from the pan, and cool it completely on a rack.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

I noticed these in the latest Food Network magazine and showed them to my husband. He couldn't wait to give them a try. In the picture and in Indiana they make this sandwich to be oversized. I felt as a family we didn't need to have such a big sandwich so I used thin cut boneless pork chops instead of the pork tenderloin and making a big piece of meat. It worked great and probably helped cut a few calories out of this dish. This isn't something we will be eating on a regular basis, due to the high calorie count that I'm sure this dish had, but every once in awhile it will make an appearance.

Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Food Network Magazine May 2010
Made as listed in the magazine it is suppose to make 4 sandwiches. Done the way I made it I had enough meat to make 8 sandwiches.

2 pounds center cut boneless pork loin (I used 8 thin cut boneless center cut pork chops, if using the chops skip the pounding with a mallet)
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
kosher salt and ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1 teaspoon hot sauce)
2 sleeves saltines (about 80 crackers)
2 cups instant flour (like Wondra)
oil, for frying
4-8 hamburger buns, split
1/3 cup mayo
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 head iceburg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4-8 dill pickle slices

(No need for this step if you use chops) Cut the pork crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Put each piece flat on a cutting board and slice horizontally almost in half (stop about 1 inch from the other side). Open like a book. Sprinkle each piece with water, place between 2 pieces of heavy duty plastic duty and pound to 1/4 inch thick with a mallet or heavy skillet.

Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, and the cayenne (or hot sauce) in a shallow bowl. Add the pork, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Pulse the crackers into coarse crumbs in a food processor, then transfer to a shallow dish. Put the flour in another dish. Remove each piece of pork from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Dredge both sides in flour, dip in the buttermilk marinade again, then coat with the cracker crumbs.

Heat 1/4 to 1/2 inch oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until a thermometer registers 360 degrees. Fry the pork in batches until golden and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Spread both halves of each bun with mayo and mustard. Layer the lettuce, tomatoes and onion on the bottom halves. Add a piece of pork and a few pickles slices. Cover with bun tops.

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