Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hawaiian Pineapple Banana Bread, So NOT Boring

I just had to post this as it is the best Banana Bread I have ever had. It was gifted to me by my mom. I love banana bread, however I hadn't made any in a very long time finding that plain old banana bread gets to be boring. Just add in some crushed pineapple and chopped macadamia nuts and problem solved. We can't seem to get enough of this. It is good morning, noon, and night; buttered, buttered with cream cheese, toasted or not. This is one quick bread I know I will be making for a long time to come.
Thanks Mom

Hawaiian Pineapple Banana Bread
Courtesy of Mr. Food

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 5)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained, with 4 teaspoons liquid reserved
½ cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with cooking spray, then dust with flour.    
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir in macadamia nuts. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, oil, bananas, vanilla, and crushed pineapple; mix well. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake 1¼ to 1½ hours, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.
In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and reserved pineapple liquid. Drizzle over cooled breads.
Makes 2 loaves


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pork Tinga

This pork tinga was a first for us. I had heard the term before though had never tried it. Rick says " In colonial Puebla, on the other side of the volcanos from mile high Mexico City, tinga is offered as a stew in restaurants, a filling for tortas (Mexican hoagies) in snack shops, and a stuffing for masa turnovers (quesadillas) from street vendor griddles." Rich and smoky, with tomatoes, chipotles, and chorizo. This dish did not disappoint. We rolled them up as soft tacos the first time we had them. The little amount leftover I had for lunch as a stew without any breads. 

Pork tinga topped with cheese and avocado.

Warm melting goodness wrapped in a tortilla.

I know this recipe looks daunting with its long list of ingredients. However it is so worth the trouble and really is simple considering it all goes into the slow cooker and doesn't require any more steps after that. You must give this a try when you can set aside some time for the prep work.
Authentic Mexican 20th Anniversary Ed: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico

Pork Tinga with Potatoes


1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 pound lean, boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch cubes
¼ teaspoon each, marjoram and thyme
3 bay leaves
4 ounces chorizo sausage, removed from its casing
4 to 5 medium (about ¾ pound total) red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 large white onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
1½ pounds (about 3 medium-large ripe tomatoes, roasted or boiled, peeled, cored, and diced
or 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles, en adobo, seeded and finely chopped
4 teaspoons chipotle canning sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
About ½ cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese like salted pressed farmers cheese
1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and diced
1 - ¼ inch slice of onion, broken into rings
Warm corn tortillas


Bring about 1 quart of salted water to a  boilin a medium sized saucepan. Add the pork, skimming the foam that rises to the top for the first few minutes. Add the herbs and bay leaves.Partially cover and simmer over medium heat until meat is tender, about 50 minutes. When meat is tender, turn off the heat and let the meat cool down in the broth. Remove the meat, strain the broth and skim off any fat that rises to the top, reserving 1 cup of the broth. Dry off meat on paper towels and shred the cooked meat.

Heat the oil in a very large (12-inch) non-stick skillet. Once the oil is very hot, add the pork and chorizo in an single layer and cook, stirring until the meat has browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the meat and its juices into the slow cooker. Add the potatoes.

In a large bowl, combine the onions, garlic, tomatoes, chipotles, adobo sauce, Worcestershire, oregano, sugar, and salt. Pour mixture into the slow cooker and stir to mix thoroughly. Cook for 6 hours at the highest temperature.
After six hours, gently stir the tinga. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in a little of the reserved broth.  Scoop into a large bowl, garnish with the fresh cheese,  diced avocado, and onion rings. Serve with warm tortillas. Serves 4 - 6

Linked to:



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie and It's Not Mama's

This one is just as good as this one posted here from quite a while back. (Back when all of my pictures had a yellow, red, or green hue to them. So sad.) Anyhow, I do like to use puff pastry as the top of my pot pies, though I'm not fond of the double or bottom crust. Just seems like too much to me. Yes I do love pot pies, I have made many a chicken pot pie though not so many in the beef variety. I have one in mind though and hopefully will get around to making and blogging it. Trust me it was a beautiful presentation and sounded equally wonderful. In any event, this one comes to us from Better Homes and Gardens and has a surprise ingredient in it. Most of us only use it once a year. I have seen Rachael Ray use it in various ways to try and use it up. Can you guess what it is?

Start by sautéing the leeks, mushrooms, and celery.

Poultry Seasoning!
You know the one you only pull out for the holiday bird? 

Make your rue adding the flour, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Cooking until it thickens to a pasty consistency. Do not let it brown it though. You want a white cream sauce.

Add broth and half and half. Cooking until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken and remaining vegetables.

Cover with pastry (of your choice). You can make your own, or use pre-made pie crust if you like. I like the flakiness of the puff pastry myself, it feels a little lighter. Though I use the frozen pre-packaged, as I haven't mustered up the nerve to try and make it myself.

The finished pot pie is really tasty just by adding that magical spice from that little yellow box. You know it's hiding up there in your cabinet too.

I plan on finding more ways to use poultry seasoning in recipes, as it contains a large variety of spices already mixed into one little box.

Chicken Pot Pie
Courtesy: Better Homes and Gardens, once again!


Puff pastry sheet for Topper
1 cup chopped leek (3 medium) or onion (1 large)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
¾ cup sliced celery (1-½ stalks)*
½ cup chopped red sweet pepper (1 small)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1-½ cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
2-½ cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup loose-pack frozen peas or frozen peas and carrots**
1 egg, beaten


In a large saucepan cook leeks, mushrooms, celery, and red pepper in butter over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the flour, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add broth and half-and-half. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken and remaining vegetables (your choice). Pour into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish.

Place pastry over chicken mixture in dish. Turn edges of pastry under; flute with a fork to edges of dish. Brush pastry with some of the egg. If desired, place cut-out pastry shapes on top of pastry. Brush again with egg.

Bake, uncovered, in a 400° F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

*I omitted the celery (just didn't have any that day)
**I used fresh carrots, diced, frozen peas, plus I added in ½
cup of frozen green beans

We're Linking this post up with:


Friday, April 20, 2012

Cioppino, Our First Time Ever

Let me start by taking a personal bloggers vow. I vow to not be absent from posting to this blog and to post once a week at the very least if not more. Dually noted, I will notify you if I will be taking a temporary break for unexpected upcoming reasons (vacations, emergencies, etc...). I do love blogging, sharing this blog and reading all of your blogs as well and I don't want to loose touch with that.
Having said that, I am going to do some catching up and will be interspersing my posts with some of the pictures and posts from the last couple of months (those that never made it here).
This cioppino we made a few months back. We had never made this before and after seeing it all over the television, internet, and in print I knew we had to give it a shot. Might I also tell you we loved it!
This recipe was very tasty and I am looking forward to giving a few others a try to see how they compare, being that we'd never tried cioppino before. When we do , I'll let you know.

We had ours over pasta.

Sauté onions and peppers until soft, about 5 minutes.

Grind fennel seeds and red pepper flakes.

Add fennel, red pepper, and half of the chopped garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook about 3 minutes. Add the red wine and simmer until it is reduced by a third to a half, about 20 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, bay leaf, oregano and pepper and cook at a low simmer until the sauce is a dark brick red, about 45 minutes. Finish with your seafood and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.

How delicious!
Served over pasta with garlic bread to mop up that wonderful sauce.

If you have a tried and true cioppino recipe that you absolutely love, please send it to us so that we can compare and find a favorite.

Adapted from LA Times


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¾ cups chopped onion
1 large chopped green bell pepper
 ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
8 to 10 cloves garlic, chopped (about 3 tablespoons), divided
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (750 milliliter) bottle fruity red wine
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
1 bay leaf
 ¾ teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds firm, meaty fish such as shark, yellowtail, monkfish or sea bass, diced into large chunks
1 pound delicate, flaky fish, such as rock cod or snapper, diced into large chunks
(we used Tilapia we had on hand for the fish)
 ¾ pound shrimp, in shell
1 (1¼- to 1½-pound) Dungeness crab, cooked, cleaned and cracked
(we omitted the crab)
1 pound small clams and/or mussels (we used both)
1 pound calamari (our addition)
 ½ cup chopped parsley


In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper, fennel and half of the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook about 3 minutes. Add the red wine and simmer until it is reduced by a third to a half, about 20 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, bay leaf, oregano and pepper and cook at a low simmer until the sauce is a dark brick red, about 45 minutes. You should have a little more than 6 cups. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 2 hours in advance or even further if tightly covered and refrigerated.)
While the sauce is simmering, cut all of the fish into bite-sized chunks. Season the fish and the shrimp with the remaining chopped garlic and a little salt, cover tightly and refrigerate.
In a separate large saucepan, one that is taller than it is wide, arrange the fish. First, ladle in a thin layer of the sauce. Then arrange the cracked crab in a layer. Begin stacking the fish on top of that in the order of how long they will take to cook: start with the meaty ones, then the flaky, then add the shrimp, then the clams and/or mussels, and lastly the calamari..
Pour the remaining sauce over the fish and give the pan a good shake to distribute the sauce evenly. Cover and place over medium heat. Cook until the clams and mussels are open, about 20 minutes.
When ready to serve, taste and add more salt if necessary, gently stir in the parsley and ladle the stew into warm bowls.

Linked up with


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Oven Roasted Smokey Beef Brisket

This was Michael's request for his birthday this year. He can't seem to get enough of it lately. As you may remember if you've followed our blog, this has been his long time favorite. However once I had made this, long before his bithday, he said "This is what I'm requesting for my birthday this year, I think I've had enough Chicken Cordon Blue for a while". Which has always been one of his favorites. I almost always make him a special dinner for his birthday. His birthday falls on Valentines day, so we usually stay in and have a cozy dinner at home. As the nicer restaurants are usually on a long wait to be seated. Although we did go out to a nice seafood restaurant this year that didn't have a long wait. You know what? It was a disaster. Michael's dinner came out and mine was still being finished up in one of the other kitchens. (They have three different kitchens.) Well we had been there once before and everything turned out wonderful. One would think that resaurants would be at the top of their game on special holidays knowing they are going to be "slammed". You just never know.

I served this awesome brisket with standard Potato Latkes and a side garden salad, and it was a meal to swoon over. Though since he's requested this more times than I can count, (and I suppose we'll have this many more times in the coming year) I suppose I'll have to come up with something else swoon worthy for next year. At least I have some time.

If you have any leftovers, you can repurpose them into sandwiches, burritos, carnitas, or any number of meals. 

Oven Roasted Smokey Brisket


4 lb. beef brisket, trimmed
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (a little goes a long way)
2 Tablespoons salt, kosher
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon Chipotle chili powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 bay leaf, ground
1½  - 2 cups beef stock


Preheat oven to 350° F.
Start by rubbing brisket with the liquid smoke.In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, dry mustard, sugar, ground bay and mix well. POur and rub in this seasoning mixture on both sides of the brisket, covering well. Place brisket into a roasting pan, uncovered, and roast for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, lower oven to 300° F. Add enough beef stock to coome up about ½ inch in pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and continue to cook for 3 hours, or until fork tender.

Trim any excess fat and slice thinly. Serve accompanied by pan juices.
Serves 10

I am absolutely certain that if you try this recipe, you will be swooning too! Let us know if you do (make this or swoon).

We are linking up with our friends at: