Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Zoji Banana Bread

I make lots of banana bread. When I'm in the mood - I can easily make/freeze a dozen loaves. But sometimes I have a craving for just one loaf of hot, fresh banana bread. I didn't want to heat up my entire kitchen, so I tried some different online recipes - and this one worked perfectly.
This is for a 2 lb breadmaker - 3 large eggs, beaten 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup ripe and mashed banana 2 cups all purpose flour 3 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. salt When beeps sound, add: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1 Add the ingredients to the baking pan in the order listed, except for the walnuts. 2 Select the CAKE course, set the crust setting to LIGHT, and press START. 3 When the add beeps sound, open the lid and carefully scrape off any flour that may be left on the side of the pan with a rubber spatula. Please be careful if the kneading blades are moving. 4 Add the walnuts, close the lid and continue baking. 5 When baking completes, allow the bread to cool, remove from pan, slice and serve. I am lucky enough to own a Zoji - best breadmaker on the market in my opinion. The original recipe along with step by step pictures can be found here

Monday, September 24, 2012

Plan To Eat

Wow - sounds simple - plan to eat.  If I eat what I plan, then I succeed.  This is a pretty neat website - you can plan out your menu's - it'll figure out your grocery list, you can take advantage of what you already have in your pantry, and copy menus - by the week or by the month.  Try it now for 30 days - FREE !  Just click on this ling - PLAN TO EAT

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat I'll be putting a permanent link on my blog for this site. I really think it'll be helpful. Combine this with a calorie tracking site such as WW or Spark people,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

McCormick Grill Mates Party


photo(1)  Last weekend I hosted a McCormick Grill Mates Party.  The Spices were sent to me by Crowd Tap


Everyone enjoyed the food.  We had dry rubs, bbq sauce and marinades going.  One of the favorites was the Spiced Brandy & Herb marinade with chicken which is pictured above.  The bbq sauce we brushed on a different batch of chicken during the last 10 minutes as well as using some as a dipping sauce – that was the kids’ favorite.  They said it was good sticky chicken.  We weren’t having steak, but we did use the McCormick Montreal Steak seasonings on some lamb – and wow – that was awesome.  It was nice that it already contained a lot of the spices that I normally use.  I will be buying more McCormick spices in the future. 

I do have one bottle that we didn’t try – Molasses Bacon.  If anyone would like the bottle – it’s free – just come by and pick it up.  Just email after and let me know how you liked it ! 


Sunday, September 2, 2012

September, 2012 - New Beginnings

Although New Years Day usually is the start of all the new Resolutions, new challenges, new ideas - I think the beginning of a new school year is a great time to challenge ourselves to be better.
As summer is slowly drawing to a close, I can sit and take time to reflect on what I wanted to do but didn't, and why didn't I? #1 Beach --- I went exactly once. VERY BIG SIGH Once? I have 4 children ! Once? VBS again. #2 Fishing --- We did go out often with Christopher Robin - maybe even try tomorrow for one last day - although not sure the boat will be going out. $$$ - going to the beach would have been cheaper !
#3 Lose Weight --- Well, that didn't happen. I think the end of summer found me heavier than I was at the beginning of summer ! #4 Spend more time with Family --- this happened in a way - not the way I planned, with everyone gathered around the pool, sharing good times and laughs - but we all flew to Michigan together and shared my father's 82nd birthday with his twin brother and all the cousins and Aunts and Uncles we could round up. THAT was fun. #5 Do School Work with the younger 3 --- this didn't happen at ALL ! So, as I go over everything - why didn't I do much of anything? I was too busy ! Too busy doing what? Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the lawn, fixing things that were broken, more cooking and cleaning, lots of laundry, swim practices, tennis practices, swim meets that take me away from home 4 or 5 days at a time. Whew - OK - so now I know where summer went - the question remains - what can I do about it? Nothing. Not much at least. There isn't much more I can do than enjoy every single moment that I manage to snatch for myself. Enjoy every speck of time spent listening to the kids laugh. And just because they are back in school - doesn't mean it's the end of our time together. It'll just be tougher to plan - but I'm thinking maybe a trip to 6 Flags for the next Jewish holiday when they are off !