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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (Scott's Favorite)

I've been staring at the four brown bananas on my counter for the last couple of days, not having enough energy to do anything productive with them until today.  This recipe, based off Kathleen Tate's, is fabulous.  Moist, dense and tasty, you've got to use Ghiradelli semi sweet chocolate chips to get the full effect.  A four star recipe in our house, they freeze beautifully and you can heat them up in the oven for a few minutes to fool your friends into thinking they're freshly baked.  No one will be the wiser.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tps. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 & 1/2 cups smashed bananas (about 4 medium, you can squish them up right inside the peel and then squeeze them out into the mixing need to dirty another dish!)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 & 1/2 cups Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
About 2 TB. raw sugar for topping the muffins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare about 18 muffin cups, or use the fun medium sized white baking cups from Schweppe's, you don't even need a muffin pan then.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Cream the butter and sugars in a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well.  Squeeze in the bananas and mix in the sour cream.  Fold in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups.  Sprinkle them with raw sugar if desired, it gives them a little crunch on top which can be nice.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sam eats ice cream and misses his Great Grandparents

Sam enjoys ice cream like his mother does, all over his face.  We miss you Great Grandma and Grandpa!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Awesome, Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Run, don't walk, to your kitchen and throw together these enchiladas.  I am still thinking about them days later and am thankful I doubled it to freeze for a friend's baby meal.  Truly a great recipe, based off of the Cook's Illustrated recipe.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Prep time: 15 min
Total time: One hour

3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I bought a rotisserie chicken from Costco and used it)
4 cups shredded four mexican cheese blend
2 & 1/2 cups easy enchilada sauce
2 (4 oz.) cans chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
juice from two limes
12 (6 inch) soft corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make enchilada sauce:
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
3 TB. chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup sugar, more to taste if desired
16 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
juice from one or two limes
pepper, to taste
Heat some olive oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering, saute onion and salt until softened, about 5 min.  Stir in spices, garlic and sugar.  Cook about 15 seconds, add tomato sauce, water and lime juice.  Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 min.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine shredded chicken, 2 & 1/2 cups of cheese, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, the chiles and the cilantro in a medium bowl.  Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Stack tortillas and wrap in a wet paper towel.  Microwave for 60 seconds, it makes it easier to fold them without flaking.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan with Pam.  Place 1/3 cup of chicken mix into each tortilla and roll tightly, place seam side down into pan.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Lightly spray enchiladas with Pam.  Pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce over top and then sprinkle remaining cheese over top.  (You can freeze it at this point.)  Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20-25 minutes.  

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes until cheese melts.  Serve with sour cream, lettuce, remaining sauce and lime wedges.  Serves 4-6 people and freezes well.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Friday!

It has been a long, cold week filled with rivers of running snot, high fevers, crabbiness and never-ending days...I'm glad to see the end of this one.  February is just around the corner too, and you know what that means, March is on the way too.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Houston, we have a problem

Well, it looks like the hoarding gene I received from my grandfather has carried on down through another generation.  Sam's ball obsession has spiraled out of control.  In this video taken right before Christmas, he assembled almost every ball he had into one pile, then proceeded to move that pile all over the house. 

I was mystified and amused at my offspring, what a funny little guy.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sam's First Present Christmas Morning

I'm posting this for Kath & Co. who gave Sam another of his favorite gifts this year...his first set of blocks.  They are already much beloved and I can hear his shrieks of frustration from all over the house as his creations topple down accidentally.  

It picks up around the 34 second mark when he begins drooling in excitement and then eventually turns to me and says "WOOOOW!!!!"

Monday, January 05, 2009

Christmas Eve's Dessert

I have to tell you about this trifle.  It was to die for and the only thing bad about it was the fact that it didn't keep for more then one day.  My little helper and I made this mind blowingly good chocolate pudding (seriously, just LOOK at those pictures on her blog), homemade whipped vanilla cream and Kathleen Tate's devils food chocolate cake.  
Sam didn't enjoy it at all.  Really.

Favorite Things About 2009

  • Yoga on Saturday mornings at 8 am
  • Having the house look clean after all the decorations are down (notice I said "look," not be)
  • A fresh start to the year, and a new job for Scott (yea!) 
  • Florida in 52 days
  • Sam's attention span being almost 2 minutes now instead of 17 seconds
  • Starting to swim again
  • A new food budget for the year!
  • Weekly coffee dates at Starbucks with Scott and Sam
  • Baby swapping with a friend so we each get one day a week to do whatever we want
  • A second car.  I will never take it for granted again.

That's about it, my heart is light as we begin this new year with hope and perseverance and faith that God is leading us somewhere after two months of waiting.